Canada gets bigger
Oh, Canada. Why do you love your Americana so?
Is it the cold winters and desolation of the Northwest Territories?
Is it your open heart and mind lending themselves to emotive, acoustic songwriting from Vancouver to Halifax? Your southern neighbors know a few things about you:
1) You love hockey.
2) You love doughnuts.
3) You love a Broken Social Scene.
Streaming down once again from the Great White North – 109 performers, last we counted – there's one thing this year's class of Canucks has in common: a support system unlike anything the U.S. has ever seen. Government builds (Canada Council for the Arts), musicians share beds, and boundaries quickly disappear. The Broken Social Scene is down to one member this year – Jason Collett – but there's still plenty of lager to go round and down.
The Cool Kids
City & Colour: Iron & Wine's long lost cousin.
Destroyer: Daniel Bejar's longtime troupe.
The Weakerthans: John K. Samson's voice counteracts his band's jitters.
The Most Serene Republic: Arts & Craftsmen love Death Cab.
Handsome Furs: Wolf Parade's Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry go dark.
Islands: Former Unicorns head toward offshore.
Jason Collett: Broken Social Scene on AM radio.
Land of Talk: Elizabeth Powell's band goes Applause Cheer Boo Hiss.
The Stills: New album on the way from the lush orchestrators.
Tokyo Police Club: The hype formed an Elephant Shell.
Vancouger: Sixties girl groups are back.
Martha Wainwright: Name's familiar, and her folk-pop's divine.
The Juno Awards are Canada's Grammys, so they too have their share of major label shudders. Fortunately, talent rises to the top, so alongside Celine Dion and Avril Lavigne proudly stand 11 of your SXSW 08 showcasers. Trophies go out April 6. The nominees are:
Blue Rodeo: The roots-country supergroup has sold more than 3 million albums since its 1984 inception. (Adult Alternative Album of the Year for Small Miracles, Group of the Year.)
The Sadies: Yep Roc's 10-year-old rural-psych band knocked it out of the park with last year's New Seasons. (Roots & Traditional Album of the Year: Group.)
Jill Barber: More singer-songwriter than Americana strummer, Barber is a vocalist For All Time. (Roots & Traditional Album of the Year: Solo.)
Alex Cuba: Young, Cuban-born multi-instrumentalist already has one on the mantle for 2006's rhythmic Humo de Tabaco. (World Music Album of the Year for Agua del Pozo.)
Jeremy Fisher: Fisher's Goodbye Blue Monday is all poppy innocence and sunshine. We get it. (Adult Alternative Album of the Year, New Artist of the Year.)
Holy Fuck: All improv, all the time, Rachael Ray's favorite band debuts with its self-titled introspection on Young Turks. (Alternative Album of the Year.)
Justin Nozuka: Justin Timberlake with an acoustic guitar, Nozuka drops Holly in April. (New Artist of the Year.)
Matthew Good: The avid blogger and former bandleader released his seventh, Hospital Music, last year, reportedly his last on Universal. (Rock Album of the Year.)
Pride Tiger: Good, hard rock & roll with a singing drummer is so rare these days that they deemed themselves The Lucky Ones (EMI). (Rock Album of the Year.)
The Luke Doucet Connection
Toronto's Luke Doucet caught us off guard with 2005's heartbreaking Broken (and Other Rogue States). Apparently, it rubbed off on a lot of other folks, as well. Not only is Doucet an astonishing producer, his detailed musicianship is heavenly. With newbie Blood's Too Rich in hand, he's holding down the fort as producer and guest on several projects.
Carolyn Mark: Neko Case's kindred spirit.
N.Q. Arbuckle: Neville Quinlan leads like an early-day Jon Dee Graham.
Jill Barber: When brother Matt's busy creating his own, Doucet helps out.
Bella: Two chicks and a dude keep the machines and strobes pumping.
Creature: Blondie's long-lost club hits.
Duchess Says: Moog-rock spaz.
Crystal Castles: One girl, one boy, no eyes, no interviews.
Let's Go to War: DJ Cirkut, Jet Brown International, and Sonny Genius.
Peer Pressure: Full-blown fiesta.
Shout Out Out Out Out: Volatile dance music for robots.
The Russian Futurists: Matthew Adam Hart mixes man and machine.
MSTRKRFT: DFA 1979's Jesse F. Keeler (aka JFK) turns the other cheek with producer Al-P.
Laura Barrett: Kalimba, kazoo, vibraphone, piano.
Nadja: Aidan Baker & Leah Buckareff's ambient, experimental metal.
Tanya Tagaq: Inuit throat singer with ties to Björk and Matthew Barney.
The Choir Practice: 15-piece a cappella choir.
Torngat: Instrumental trio of French horn, keys, and drums.
Cassius Khan: Tabla master plays and sings Ghazals simultaneously.
Attack in Black
Ultimate Power Duo
Two Tables & a Mic
The Acorn, Ottawa, www.theacorn.ca, Wednesday, 12mid, Habana Calle 6
Alex Cuba, Smithers, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=98258, Thursday, 9pm, Copa
Attack in Black, Welland, www.attackinblack.com, Saturday, 11:30pm, Momo's
Jill Barber, Halifax, www.jillbarber.com, Thursday, 10pm, Velveeta Room
Matt Barber, Toronto, www.matthewbarber.com, Thursday, 9pm, Velveeta Room
Laura Barrett, Toronto, www.myspace.com/laurabarrett, Wednesday, 8pm, Habana Calle 6
Beasts & Superbeasts, Victoria, www.myspace.com/beastsandsuperbeast, Wednesday, 8pm, Wave
Bella, Vancouver, www.bellamusic.org, Friday, 1am, Club 115
Birds of Wales, Toronto, www.birdsofwales.com, Wednesday, 9pm, Wave
Black Mountain, Vancouver, www.blackmountainarmy.com, Thursday, 1am, Mohawk
The Blood Lines, Saskatoon, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=74949, Thursday, 11pm, Blind Pig
Blue Rodeo & Friends, Toronto, www.bluerodeo.com, Friday, 11pm, Smokin' Music
Elliott Brood, Toronto, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=65154, Saturday, 11pm, Velveeta Room
Basia Bulat, Toronto, www.basiabulat.com, Friday, 9pm, Antone's
Cadence Weapon, Edmonton, www.cadenceweaponmusic.com, Wednesday, 1am, Habana Calle 6
The Cansecos, Toronto, www.thecansecos.com, Wednesday, 9pm, Habana Calle 6
Cassius Khan, Edmonton, cassiuskhan.impendo.com, Wednesday, 8pm, Copa
The Choir Practice, Vancouver, www.myspace.com/thechoirpractice, Friday, 10pm, Club 115
City & Colour, St.Catherines, www.cityandcolour.ca, Saturday, 12:30am, Momo's
The Cliks, Toronto, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=22093, Thursday, 12mid, Dirty Dog Bar
The Coast, Toronto, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=88581, Thursday, 9pm, Wave
Jason Collett, Toronto, www.arts-crafts.ca/jasoncollett, Saturday, 11pm, the Parish
Constantines, Toronto, www.constantines.ca, Saturday, 10pm, the Parish
CPC Gangbangs, Monteal, www.myspace.com/cpcgangbangs, Saturday, 1am, Friends
Creature (CAN), Montreal, www.creatureband.com, Friday, 1am, Maggie Mae's
Crystal Castles, Toronto, www.myspace.com/crystalcastles, Saturday, 12mid, Wave
Dandi Wind, Vancouver, www.dandiwind.com, Saturday, 12mid, Beauty Bar
Demon's Claws, Montreal, www.myspace.com/demonsclaws, Wednesday, 10pm, Lamberts
Destroyer, Vancouver, www.myspace.com/destroyer, Friday, 1am, the Parish
The Details, Winnipeg, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=82350, Wednesday, 11pm, Wave
Luke Doucet & the White Falcon, Toronto, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=39265, Saturday, 12mid, Velveeta Room
Duchess Says, Montreal, www.duchesssays.com, Saturday, 12mid, Friends
Christine Fellows, Winnipeg, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=54474, Saturday, 10pm, Velveeta Room
Jeremy Fisher, Vancouver, www.jeremyfishermusic.com, Wednesday, 9pm, 18th Floor @ Hilton Gardens
The Flatliners, Richmond Hill, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=22812, Thursday, 10pm, Red 7
Kim Fontaine, Saskatoon, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=73991, Wednesday, 11pm, Momo's
Fucked Up, Toronto, www.lookingforgold.blogspot.com, Thursday, 9:30pm, Vice
Geronimo, Regina, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=72336, Thursday, 10pm, Blind Pig
Ghislain Poirier, Montreal, www.myspace.com/ghislainpoirier, Thursday, 10:15pm, Elysium
The Golden Dogs, Toronto, www.thegoldendogs.com, Friday, 8pm, the Ale House
Matthew Good, Burnaby, www.matthewgood.org, Saturday, 10:30pm, Momo's
Grand Analog, Winnipeg, www.myspace.com/grandanalog, Saturday, 8:10pm, Flamingo Cantina
Jenn Grant, Halifax, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=84924, Saturday, 9pm, Velveeta Room
Handsome Furs, Montreal, www.myspace.com/handsomefurs, Friday, 10:30pm, Bourbon Rocks
Rebekah Higgs, Halifax, www.rebekahhiggs.com, Thursday, 8pm, Velveeta Room
Hollerado, Montreal, www.hollerado.com, Saturday, 9:30pm, Momo's
Holy Fuck, Toronto, www.myspace.com/holyfuck, Thursday, 1am, Wave
Hot Springs, Montreal, www.hot-springs.ca, Thursday, 12mid, Maggie Mae's
Hungry Hill, Whitehorse, Yukon, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=88528, Thursday, 10pm, St. David's Church
Islands, Montreal, www.islandsareforever.com, Thursday, TBA, Emo's Main
Lindsay Jane, Winnipeg, lindsayjane.ca, Friday, 8pm, Club 115
Jokers of the Scene, Ottawa, www.myspace.com/sceneofthejoker, Saturday, TBA, Volume
Caroline Keating, Montreal, www.myspace.com/carolinekeating carolinekeating, Thursday, 9pm, Maggie Mae's
Krief, Montreal, www.kriefmusic.com, Friday, 9pm, Maggie Mae's
Land of Talk, Montreal, www.myspace.com/landoftalkmtl, Friday, 10pm, Red Eyed Fly
Jen Lane, Saskatoon, www.jenlane.com, Wednesday, 10pm, Momo's
Daniel Lanois, Toronto, daniellanois.com, Wednesday, 11pm, Pangaea
Let's Go to War, Toronto, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=131581, Thursday, 9pm, Blind Pig
Catherine MacLellan, Halifax, www.catherinemaclellan.com, Wednesday, 9pm, Velveeta Room
Dan Mangan, Vancouver, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=37661, Wednesday, 10pm, Velveeta Room
Marianas Trench, Vancouver, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=131560, Wednesday, 10pm, Wave
Carolyn Mark, Victoria, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=13146, Friday, 9pm, Club 115
Lorrie Matheson, Calgary, www.lorriematheson.com, Wednesday, 8pm, Velveeta Room
The Mission District, Montreal, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=95638, Thursday, 10pm, Maggie Mae's
Katie Moore, Montreal, www.katiemoore.ca, Friday, 8pm, Maggie Mae's
The Most Serene Republic, Milton, www.themostserenerepublic.com, Saturday, 9pm, the Parish
MSTRKRFT, Toronto, www.myspace.com/mstrkrft, Saturday, 1am, Vice
Nadja, Toronto, www.nadjaluv.ca, Saturday, 10pm, the Ale House
No Kids, Vancouver, www.myspace.com/nokidsband, Saturday, 9pm, Lamberts
Justin Nozuka, Toronto, www.justinnozuka.com, Thursday, 1am, Velveeta Room
N.Q. Arbuckle, Toronto, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=16858, Saturday, 1am, Velveeta Room
The Nymphets, Montreal, www.thenymphets.com, Saturday, 8pm, Friends
Oh Susanna, Toronto, www.ohsusannamusic.com, Thursday, 11pm, Velveeta Room
The Pack A.D., Vancouver, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=79685, Friday, 11pm, Club 115
Parkas, Toronto, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=7361, Wednesday, 1am, Wave
Peer Pressure, Montreal, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=121348, Saturday, 7pm, Friends
The Perpetrators, Winnipeg, www.perps.ca, Thursday, 8pm, Opal Divine's
Plants & Animals, Montreal, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=89697, Friday, 11pm, Maggie Mae's
Pride Tiger, Vancouver, www.pridetiger.com, Saturday, 10pm, Esther's Follies
The Russian Futurists, Toronto, www.russianfuturists.com, Wednesday, 11pm, Habana Calle 6
The Sadies, Toronto, www.thesadies.net, Thursday, 12mid, Continental Club
Shout Out Out Out Out, Edmonton, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=40319, Thursday, 11:15pm, Beauty Bar
Simply Saucer, Hamilton, www.sonicunyon.com/simplysaucer, Thursday, 11pm, B.D. Riley's
Megasoid, Montreal, www.weaponshouse.com, Thursday, 12:30am, Elysium
Skratch Bastid, Montreal, www.skratchbastid.com, Thursday, 1am, Karma Lounge
Smalltown DJs, Calgary, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=113176, Thursday, 12mid, Karma Lounge
Socalled, Montreal, www.socalled.com, Saturday, 10pm, Friends
Spiral Beach, Toronto, www.spiralbeach.com, Saturday, 8:30pm, Momo's
The Stills, Montreal, www.thestills.net, Saturday, 1am, the Parish
Sylvie, Regina, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=8892, Wednesday, 12mid, Wave
Tanya Tagaq, Cambridge Bay, www.tanyatagaq.com, Saturday, 9pm, Friends
Think About Life, Montreal, www.myspace.com/thinkaboutlife, Saturday, 11pm, Friends
Thunderheist, Toronto, www.thunderheist.com, Thursday, TBA, Emo's Main
Tokyo Police Club, Toronto, www.tokyopoliceclub.net, Saturday, 1am, Dirty Dog Bar
Torngat, Montreal, www.torngat.ca, Friday, 10pm, Maggie Mae's
Twin Crystals, Vancouver, www.myspace.com/twincrystals, Saturday, 9pm, Beauty Bar
Ultimate Power Duo, Saskatoon, www.myspace.com/ultimatepowerduo, Thursday, 1am, Blind Pig
The United Steel Workers of Montreal, Montreal, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=39149, Thursday, 1am, Maggie Mae's
Vancougar, Vancouver, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=127934, Friday, 12mid, Club 115
Martha Wainwright, Montreal, www.marthawainwright.com, Thursday, 11pm, Maggie Mae's
The Weakerthans, Winnepeg, www.theweakerthans.org, Thursday, 11pm, Cedar Street Courtyard
Woodhands, Toronto, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=107818, Wednesday, 10pm, Habana Calle 6
Woodpigeon, Calgary, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=95682, Thursday, 8pm, Blind Pig
Your Favorite Enemies, Montreal, www.sonicbids.com/epk/epk.asp?epk_id=109607, Thursday, 8pm, Maggie Mae's