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
Keeping with the spirit of the times, where publications (including Ottawa Magazine) produce lists upon lists of what to buy (for him! For her!), we have categorized your weekend parties for you for maximum enjoyment. You’re welcome.
THE TWO-NIGHT DEBAUCHERY FEST
Country tune-slinger Slo’ Tom Stewart (Furnaceface, Manpower), hosts two nights of “country-fied rock ‘n’ roll cheer” at Irene’s Pub this weekend. He’s calling it The Slo’ Tom Christmas Rodeo. Think of it as the Vinyl Café gone badass with Stewart doing a rawk version of the fireside chat while a turnstile of musical guests takes the stage to outwit and outrock one another. On Friday, comedian Josh Grace — better known by his stage name Remi Royale — kicks off the evening with crude humour, followed by performances from Ball & Chain and headliner Slo’ Tom and his band The Handsome Devils (listen for their seasonal tune “Bytown New Year’s Eve.”). On Saturday, Royale will again hype the crowd before Mercy Buckets and headliners Ukrainia hit the stage.
The Slo’ Tom Christmas Rodeo takes place Friday, Dec. 14, and Saturday, Dec. 15, at Irene’s Pub, 885 Bank St., 9 p.m., cover is $10 each night.
THE INDIE-INSIDER HARD TO FIND EVENT
For folks of a certain vintage, finding their way to Porter Hall to catch the concert of a lifetime involved towing along with a friend who knew the halls and trails of Carleton University quite well, or relying on a hand-scrawled map. The place was a stopover point for touring bands in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and many a beer was drunk during sets by the Pixies, Billy Bragg, and the Ramones.
Fast-forward to now and, well, plus ça change. The kids these days are still looking for precious gig space and they’re still heading to campus during exam time, when it’s near empty, to make some noise.
The venue of choice these days is The Pit, the open space inside Carleton’s Architecture building that’s used for exhibits and speakers — and concerts.
Ming Wu organizes the 4in1 Ottawa Music Sessions, where four up-and-coming bands play gigs in parks (the series moves indoors during cold weather), and is bringing the next session, on Sunday, Dec. 16, to The Pit. He welcomes attendees to wear an ugly sweater to fit with the season, while enjoying music by Salton Sea, Winchester Warm, The Yips, Adam Saikaley and Roberta Bondar.
If you have no idea how to find The Pit, fear not, Wu has been posting a series of helpful messages — with photos — in the 4in1 event page on Facebook to direct music lovers.
RARE GIG — SO RARE YOU HAVE TO BRING THREE, COUNT ‘EM THREE, CANS FOR THE FOOD BANK
At least that’s what this handmade poster says, as released on Twitter by @kittythefool — the account of singer-songwriter and heart-on-sleever Kathleen Edwards. She’ll be playing the tiny Manx Pub on Tuesday, Dec. 18, for the drinkery’s first-annual holiday charity gig. Tickets are $20, or $15 with the three cans. Expect the place to be extra packed (as opposed to regular packed) for this low-key performance by O-town’s rock daughter.