Ever wondered what the indie rock equivalent of one of those tiny circus cars that keeps spitting out clowns would look like? Clearly, the fine folks at Matador did, since they've dreamed up the perversely brilliant scheme of sending two of their biggest (literally) bands on a cross-country tour together. Head down to the Docks February 25 to see what happens when Scotland's sprawling crew of twee torch-bearers, Belle & Sebastian - whose new album, The Life Pursuit, hits stores February 7 - team up with our own massive power pop supergroup, the New Pornographers (signed to Mint in Canada, Matador in the States) to cram tons of performers into a relatively small space. Hopefully, they've got insurance in case someone falls off the stage. $35.50. 11 Polson. 416-870-8000.
Celebrating the Sadies
The Sadies now spend so much time on the road and making other people's recordings sound good that any time Toronto's favourite twang crew play a local club, it's an event. That's especially true of their upcoming Lee's Palace two-night stand February 3 and 4 , which is being filmed for a DVD. Dubbed Sadies Fest, it's a double-header celebration of all things Good , with Dallas , Travis and the boys joined by a celebrity cast of past collaborators including the Mekons' Jon Langford , Neko Case , Jon Spencer , the Jayhawks' Gary Louris , various members of Blue Rodeo and, of course, the rest of the Good family. No word yet whether the great Andre Williams will make the scene in his stylish threads, but this promises to be a memorable spectacle in any case. Tickets ($25 advance) are going fast. 529 Bloor West. 416-532-1598.
Friendly Rich sweetens up
After years of creating curiously jarring music for MTV's Tom Green Show as well as his own delightfully deranged recordings, like 98's Diarrhea Of A Lawnmower, Friendly Rich , aka Rich Marsella , has surprisingly turned over a new leaf with his new Lollipop People project. His forthcoming Bob Wiseman -produced disc, We Need A New F-Word, finds our man joined by the 10-piece Lollipop People orchestra armed with more traditional instruments than usual, including cello, bassoon, trombone, harp, banjo and harpsichord, while the music seems less influenced by the Nihilist Spasm Band than by Verdi and Morricone. Says Marsella, "It's my strongest work to date; I became tired of making deliberately ugly music!" You can find out for yourself when Friendly Rich and the Lollipop People hit the Lula Lounge February 16 . $10. 1585 Dundas West. www.friendlyrich.com.
With a rumoured second Martin-Paltrow bun in the oven and sales of last year's X&Y album not quite as staggering as EMI had hoped, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin clearly has to start planning for his family's fiscal future. The Toronto return of Martin and his mates March 22 should help shore up little Apple's college fund, especially since like-minded purveyor of epic power ballads Richard Ashcroft has stepped in as Coldplay's running - oops! - tourmate. Fans at their Air Canada Centre show might just be lucky enough to witness a repeat of the double-band Bittersweet Symphony duet that was a high point of the Live 8 debacle. $49.50-$89.50.40 Bay. 416-870-8000.
Dimitri From Paris has long enjoyed a strong fan base in Toronto, so expect a full house for his return to This Is London (364 Richmond West) February 10 . The event is part of a new underground night called Soho that will bring in a wide selection of talent over the winter months, including Deep Dish ( January 27 ) and the Scumfrog ( February 3 ). Check www.thisislondonclub.com for details.
Valentine's Day special
The people behind AD/D events have had an extremely busy year, bringing in many of the biggest names in electro-house. Drop The Pressure by Mylo was one of the biggest tunes of the past couple years in that style, so it's fitting that AD/D would be the ones bringing him in for a full live show on Valentines Day ( February 14 ) at the Phoenix Concert Theatre . $18.50. 410 Sherbourne. 416-870-8000, www.addevents.com.