For May, Torontonians can enjoy a range of hip, emerging artists live, as well as a couple of proven live bands. This month is a great time to discover some new bands and expand your musical tastes.
Thursday, May 12 at Horseshoe Tavern
$18.75 at Ticketmaster
As you can probably tell from the artist name, tUnE-yArDs is definitely an alternative music act. Her real name is Merill Garbus, and her sound is a thrilling collage of lo-fi field recordings, ukulele, rough beats, and many other sampled instruments. This sonic mosaic is held together by Garbus’ impressive voice, which shifts from sweet and melodic to brash and jarring effortlessly. Promoting her new album W H O K I L L, catch tUnE-yArDs with the cool kids before everyone else catches up with the hype.
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
Thursday, May 12 at Sound Academy
$33.13 at Ticketmaster
From the band name and the cover art of their albums, it’s entirely possible to believe that Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings came straight from the 60s through a time warp, or that they’re just a tribute band playing other people’s hits from the Motown days. Both would be wrong; in fact, the band is a dedicated funk and soul music revivalist group who records and performs songs free of the digital effects that dominate current pop music. Not only that, but Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings have earned a reputation for being a top-notch live act after honing their skills through years of constant touring. Experience the good vibes yourself at Sound Academy this month.
Sleigh Bells and CSS
Tuesday, May 17 at Sound Academy
$29.25 at Ticketmaster
This is sure to be a lively and intense show. Both bands produce loud and danceable music that mixes punk, rock, pop, and dance music together for a show that’s guaranteed to get you moving. Sleigh Bells is the newer band out of the two, with a debut album that is adored by critics and hipsters for its fresh mix of metal, hip-hop, and sugary pop. CSS are from São Paulo, with two albums under its belt and a third one on the way. With a band name that translates to “got tired of being sexy” and song titles like “CSS Suxxx” and “Music Is My Hot Hot Sex”, CSS is sure to give the audience a cheeky, silly, and crazy time.
Friday, May 20 at Sound Academy
$68.50-$90.00 at Ticketmaster
One of the first bands to combine rock music with synth-driven pop music in the late 70s, The Cars garnered fans, platinum albums, and Top 40 singles by successfully crossing rock and pop genres. Recently reunited, the Cars are playing live for the first time in over two decades, so don’t miss their big comeback.
The Radio Dept.
Sunday, May 29 at Horseshoe Tavern
$18.75 at Ticketmaster
A Swedish band who’s gradually gained momentum, praise, and fans since their debut album in 2003, the Radio Dept. makes dream pop music: songs that are airy, buzzy, awash in layers of echoing guitars and synths, with a gentle singing voice nestled deep within. Check them out at the Horseshoe if you like blissed-out, atmospheric, ethereal music.
Tuesday, May 31 at Kool Haus
$24.00 at Rotate This
An Irish pop/rock band that would appeal to fans of Coldplay, Maroon 5, U2, and Snow Patrol, The Script has enjoyed enormous success in the UK, with five charting singles off of their debut album. Many of these songs are also recognizable to Canadians, since they’ve been featured in numerous TV shows like 90210, Ghost Whisperer, and Vampire Diaries. In town to promote its second album Science & Faith, this will be a great live show for fans of anthemic, melodic rock music.