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
Summer is almost (unofficially) over. But don’t despair, there’s plenty to look forward to. Here, a round-up of fall’s music offerings for when the weather gets cooler and people head back into the clubs en masse.
DJs Zattar and Trevor Walker team up for a new night of cool-Caribbean club sounds called Tropikalo. It starts on Friday, September 7, at Pressed on Gladstone Avenue and takes place on the first Friday of the month thereafter.
The Great Lake Swimmers are on the Ottawa Folk Festival bill this month. The Toronto band just released its fifth album, New Wild Everywhere, which expands upon lead singer Tony Dekker’s favourite themes (love and death). The festival runs September 6 to 10 at Hog’s Back Park with headliner Bon Iver. Other acts include Patrick Watson, John K. Samson, and Kathleen Edwards.
Other September festivals worth checking out:
The new Arboretum festival (happening on the grounds of the old jailhouse and neighbouring SAW Gallery). It brings together Canadian music performers with select Ottawa chefs for a day of tunes and food.
House of Paint celebrates hip-hop with a main event taking place underneath the Dunbar Bridge by Carleton University, along with some satellite events around the city. Future turntablists may want to sign up for the Sept. 16 DJ master class with none other than Kid Koala.
The O-town Hoedown is a small-scale festival celebrating Canadian hillbilly, roots, and country music and is organized by Ottawa musician Greg Harris (and is not to be confused with that big festival known for its ticket fiasco). It starts September 28 and takes place at clubs around town.
Propagandhi: September 27 at Ritual.
Elliott Brood: September 28 at Vankleek Hill Fairgrounds.
Toronto songwriter Matthew Barber was commissioned to write the soundtrack for the stage version of the book The Haunted Hillbilly by Derek McCormack. Quill & Quire described McCormack’s work this way in a 2003 review: “This book is not really an alternate queer history of Nashville so much as an unflinching look at aspects of our cultural icons that we choose to ignore.” The play — which features a character loosely based on country icon Hank Williams — ran for a month this past May at the Centaur Theatre in Montreal and at Summerworks in Toronto last year. Barber will play the soundtrack to The Haunted Hillbilly with a full band, before performing selected hits from his past albums at two shows: October 19 and 20 at the National Arts Centre. (The album version was recorded in Almonte, Ont., with producer Ken Friesen).
The Wooden Sky: October 24 at First Baptist Church.
I never really followed Loreena McKennitt’s work. I thought of her stuff as Mom Music, in the vein of Sarah Brightman — who my momma luuuuvs. That is until a friend told me that McKennitt’s tunes were the soundtrack to his trip in acid-dropping days. Then I checked it out (the music, not the other stuff). This is your brain on drugs as put to music. Think of that while you’re sitting in Southam Hall for her December 1 performance. Groooooooovy.