Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at OttawaMagazine.com. Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani
JUNO TREATS, DEETS, AND TWEETS
By now you’ve heard all the brou-ha-ha — yes, the Junos are in town. This involves hosting a big ol’ bash at the palladium (aka Scotiabank Place) way out in the former municipality of Kanata. What follows are a bunch of after-parties spread about town. That happens April 1. Ahead of the big bash, your hottest ticket is the $30 wristband that gets you into the JUNOfest concerts taking place March 30 and 31 around the city — that’s where the fun happens.
When the Junos were in town in 2003, the best gig by far was a showcase at Barrymore’s. The place was packed for an acoustic jam from an all-star cast including Sam Roberts, k-os, and Buck 65, aka Rich Terfry. The rapper and CBC host was in production mode, performing what would become the tune “Way Back When.” He had yet to memorize the words — stanzas were written on his left hand in black Sharpie, Chris Martin-style.
Jian Ghomeshi was behind the mic then too. He took to the Barrymore’s stage for a few solo numbers, but didn’t touch any of his Moxy Fruvous back catalogue. He’s back in town for this year’s Junos for a live taping of Q, Thursday at the Bronson Centre. Tickets are sold out, but you can follow @fateemasayani and @Ottawamagazine for details or hear the show Friday morning on CBC Radio.
Tickets are still available for the Sunday telecast at Scotiabank Place for $55 plus service charges. The most-frugal found their way into the show via volunteer duty; some 1,000 people are signed up to be seat-fillers. These people get into the show for free in exchange for playing musical chairs. When famous folks need to take a powder, the volunteers must sit in empty seats and look cool for the camera pans. Instructions sent to volunteers insist that they do not go “gaga” or ask “the talent” for autographs.
Speaking of talent: There are more 100 bands playing JUNOfest. So how to choose where to be? Ottawa Magazine offers a curated list divided into two categories. Here are the Hot Steppers and Hometown Heroes worth seeing.
Check out the seriously affecting operatic vocals put to clubby beats. That’s Austra. Meanwhile, SoCalled could be considered a hometown hero. He grew up in Chelsea, but does the MC thing NYC-style. D-Sisive’s rhymes are incisive, while Azari & III keep ‘90s-era rave and house alive.
- Amos the Transparent: We like the weird-tame dynamics of the new album.
- Zoo Legacy: Rap-rock that doesn’t suck.
- Dave Norris and Local Ivan: Listen for some seriously swooshy pop-rock.
- Glass Chain: Rapturous dance rock.
- Fevers: Headphone honey.
JUNOfest wristbands are $30 plus surcharges through Ticketmaster. Tickets for individual shows can be purchased from the Folklore Centre, the Record Shaap and Vertigo Records.