Around this time of year, I start to crave something. Besides the usual cravings like ice cream, cold beer and not witnessing gross old men or even egotistical jocks shirtless (sup, dorks?), I yearn for some really good summer music. You know, the kind that you can blast at BBQs? The kind of music that make your steps a little more energetic while you walk to work and anthems you can sing along to. I think we all experience a form of this craving, so here are my local ideas for how to keep satisfied this July.
Bands to get the juices flowing
Topanga – This foursome have so much energy that it’s hard not to get pumped up when listening to racing party rock songs like “Lionheart” and “Back Against the Wall”. Their four-track self-titled EP is contagious, has a good balance of raw attitude and soft justice, so it’s an all-around good selection for backyard activities.
Hooded Fang – Yeah, I’ve written about them before, and sure I could write about all the bands I’ve written about again, but this freshly Polaris Prize long-list-ified indie pop rock troupe are releasing their sophomore album Tosta Mista on the 26th, and it’s going to be my album of the summer. They are standing up straight and matured in sound but ready to man the 50s dance off, bow-ties, big dresses, the twist and all. “ESP” and “Den of Love” are up to stream already, so I suggest you take your ears for a gander before you let your feet do the rest of the work.
Dwayne Gretzky residency at the Dakota, Tuesdays in July
This mutt band of members from Arkells and Sweet Thing have been making some sound waves around the city for their charming covers of artists such as The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen and The Rolling Stones. It’s a really groovy live performance that if you’re into this sort of thing (cough, dancing), you should see at least once. And look at that, so many options this month! More info here.
Hotkid, Cheap Speakers, Dilly Dally, Alex Pulec DJs at Sneaky Dees, July 15
This is a great Two Way Monologues series line-up of some really energetic local bands that are on the rise these days. Hotkid has recently opened for Sloan, the Cheap Speakers did an Eastern Canadian tour a couple months ago and Dilly Dally are still riding the wave of their 2010 EP. The night will also feature a rockabilly/surf vinyl DJ set by Alex Pulec of The Ruby Spirit. More info here.
Out of the Box Festival at the Great Hall and Underground Cinema, July 29-31
This is the next festival I’m quite excited for. It’s for three days at the end of the month during the long weekend and has a great roster of some of my favourites including Olenka and the Autumn Lovers, Heartbeat Hotel, The Ruby Spirit and Foxes in Fiction as well as acts I’m excited to check out: Carnival Moon, Blood Rexdale and the Rival Boys. This is one of those festivals that shows off unique, budding local talent and a lot of the bands are already affiliated with one another in some way, so it is bound to be really fun. More info here.