Music in the Streets: The April Edition

This isn’t everything that’s happening in the Toronto music scene this month, but it is a definitive list of healthier evening alternatives that should compliment any young professional’s (YPs) pursuit of higher audio knowledge. Of course, we understand that YPs come in all shapes, (sounds), and sizes – so in response, we offer a diverse selection of shows and albums guaranteed to pique the interest of each and every one of you. Except Cher fans. 

The National
Their cult appeal is steadily solidifying in the rock mainstream, and for damn good reason. They’re dark. They’re melancholic. The pressure and intensity of their music: visceral experiences only amplified in the live. But too bad for us, they’re also in increasingly high demand. Hopefully at least one of their three shows isn’t sold out yet, because Trouble Will Find Me is a record that simply has to be heard in person.
April 9-11. Massey Hall. $49.50 – $69.50 advance. All ages.

The Black Lips
We think the worst (or is it the best?) of the Black Lips’ live show antics are likely behind them – one of those things that comes with growing up and actually learning how to play your instruments – but if Southern garage punk rock enhanced by deceptively thoughtful song-writing and soulful lyricism is your scene, we suspect you won’t mind that no one’s peeing on stage. Still, if their incredible energy and half decent new material can’t sell you, perhaps this will?
April 22. Phoenix Concert Theatre. $19. 19+.

James Blunt
For those of you who think the Bloor-Danforth viaduct was only built for convenient access to authentic Greek food, you’re missing out on some of the best live shows this city has to offer. Since taking over the Danforth Music Hall in 2011, Impresario Inc. has consistently booked some of the bigger names in music and offered them up at one of the smaller venues these types would normally play (seating capacity: 1500). The combination of excellent sound and acoustics, convertible seating, and a surprising array of fantasticpre-show dinner options that don’t sell spanikopita gives you no choice but to find a name you love on their calendar. Go east, YPs.
Wait? Didn’t someone say James Blunt? James, you’re beautiful, and you’re there twice this month.
April 29-30. Danforth Music Hall. $49.50. All ages.

*Mention you saw this on when you order a shot of JD and they’ll buy it for you. Ok, that probably won’t happen, but what have you got to lose? Either way, you get a shot of JD.

James Vincent McMorrow
Some say this guy’s rippin’ Gayngs, and we couldn’t imagine a nicer compliment. Taking quite a different approach on his sophomore album, Post Tropical, JVM has pawned the acoustic guitar for a Roland TR-808 and displaced folkier output with more electronically polished, soulful RnB. His falsetto will slow the world around you to a stop, and the ascending piano and horn melodies will make you wish it never started again. But don’t just take our word for it, because we aren’t the only ones who’ve proclaimed this record an early candidate for 2014 album of the year.
April 2. Danforth Music Hall (See? Didn’t we tell you about this place?). $19.50. All ages.

The War on Drugs
In support of yet another epic record – both in scope and acclaim – this tour probably offers one of the hotter tickets in town this month. And judging by the venue sizes – shows at The Horseshoe and Lee’s Palace – the world may not know it yet. Just your luck, because you know what sounds awesome in more intimate venues? Massive, sprawling rock records. Regarding Lost in the Dream, bloggers throw words around like hazy, atmospheric, psychedelic, and anthemic, while also tossing the names Springsteen, Dire Straits, and Tom Petty into the mix. On their current trajectory, this will likely be the last time you get to see these guys for less than $20 in a club where you can buy them a beer after. The kind of nights you tell the cool kids about when you’re not one of them anymore. Not that we’re saying that could ever happen…
April 14. Horseshoe Tavern. $16.50.
April 15. Lee’s Palace. $16.50. 

San Franciscan multi-talent Scott Hansen is carting around a live band for the first time on his fourth studio album, Awake. Best described as electronic ambient, instrumental soundscape, or sometimes, ugh, “chillwave,” this record still has more than enough of Tycho’s perfectly placed percussion elements to keep heads boppin’ at the Hoxton. Especially on a Saturday night. And if you see him in the crowd, ask him why he had to play Aristotle like that. (No way he’s heard that one before, huh?)
April 12. The Hoxton. $20. 19+.

Finally, if your grandma goes missing on April 2nd, try here

Stayin’ Alive at Your Day Job: Newer Music That Unfortunately Isn’t in the Streets This Month

The Record: MoodymannS/T
The Sound: Ever since Kenny Dixon Jr. sampled Chic’s “I Want Your Love” in his breakout single “I Can’t Kick This Feelin’ When it Hits,” he’s had us sold on the legendary Detroit dance scene. Dancier music and other audio treats you can enjoy while dragging formulas in Excel on a Monday afternoon when you’re sure the clock is stopping every time you look away. (That clock totally hates you. But Moodymann loves you.)  

The EP: Tunde OlaniranYung Archetype EP
The Sound: For the Notable YPs who appreciate rappers capable of spitting more than narcissism. Trunk-rattling bass drops, intelligent rhymes, and he sings his own hooks! Expectations be defied…

#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)

Cover image: FugitiveSounds

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