NXNE, Primus, Sweatshop Union and the Hidden Cameras Lead This Week's Can't Miss Concerts

NXNE, Primus, Sweatshop Union and the Hidden Cameras Lead This Week's Can't Miss Concerts
June may have only recently kicked off, but the summer festival season is in full swing. In this week's Can't Miss Concerts, we look at two festivals offering a concentration of great live music, as well as plenty of stand-alone shows. Check out our preview for all the details.


Thursday, June 14
Seattle-based hip-hop group Shabazz Palaces will be heading back north for a show in Vancouver this Thursday, bringing with them their signature avant-garde sound and complex lyrics. Ishmael Butler and Tendai "Baba" Maraire will be leading a host of other unnamed collaborators on tour following the 2011 release of their critically lauded first studio LP, Black Up.

Shabazz Palaces
$13 at Fortune Sound Club

  Friday, June 15
Bay Area alt-rockers Primus will be making a stop at the Orpheum this weekend, midway through their current tour up and down the West Coast. The bass-loving weird-rock vets recently reunited with former drummer Jay Lane and are on the road following the release of their most recent album, 2011's Green Naugahyde.

$39.50 to $55 at the Orpheum Theatre

Saturday, June 16
Although this week's show at the Vogue Theatre will mark the end of Hey Ocean!'s most recent cross-Canada tour, it's certainly not the last gig they'll be playing following the release of their latest album, IS. The hometown indie outfit are set to kick off a summer marked by a handful of concert dates across the country, with several festival stops already lined up.

Hey Ocean!
$20 at the Vogue Theatre


Friday, June 15
It's been over three years since the release of Sweatshop Union's last full-length album, but the Vancouver-based rap collective have been on the road this spring, most recently wrapping up the Dessert Rocks Music Festival in Utah. They'll be returning to the country this week with a show at Dickens Pub, along with support from acts including Californian hip-hop duo Natural Ensemble.

Sweatshop Union
Natural Ensemble
Soul Sisters
Niki Louise
TBA at Dickens Pub


Thursday, June 14
With this year's NXNE festival dominating Toronto venues this week, there's plenty of options for great live music in the city. Electro pop duo Purity Ring, set to release their first LP next month, are just one of the many must-see acts hitting the stage at Wrongbar on Thursday. They'll be accompanied by similarly synth-happy Brooklynites the Hundred in the Hands, as well as a series of other up-and-coming names.

Purity Ring
The Hundred in the Hands
Young Magic
Moon King
TBA at Wrongbar

Friday, June 15
Multi-talented pop experimentalist John Maus will be showcasing his solo material this Friday night, including offerings from his acclaimed 2011 album We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves. The lineup will be rounded out by acts including doom pop duo (and sisters) 2:54, Oberhofer, Friends and rising Beach Fossils offshoot DIIV.

John Maus
Zulu Winter
$25 at Lee's Palace

Saturday, June 16
They may occasionally incite controversy, but psych rockers the Flaming Lips sure know how to put on a show. The Oklahomans are known for their colourful, animated sets and frontman Wayne Coyne's tendency to crowd surf while sealed in a giant, plastic orb -- a sight that thousands will be able to see for free this Saturday as part of NXNE's showcase at Yonge-Dundas Square. With a lineup that includes nine other exciting acts and zero costs attached, this is one is a total no-brainer.

The Flaming Lips
Portugal. The Man
Of Montreal
Art Vs. Science
The Burning Boyz
Free at Yonge-Dundas Square


Thursday, June 14
Before heading down to NXNE, garage punks Reigning Sound will be in town for a show at Il Motore. The band are currently touring material from their latest EP, last year's Abdication... For Your Love, which featured production by the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach. The lineup for the evening is rounded out by Toronto-based songstress the Coppertone and Montreal's own Bloodshot Bill.

Reigning Sound
The Coppertone
Bloodshot bill
$17 advance, $20 door at Il Motore

Friday, June 15
The Hidden Cameras, the brainchild of indie pop maestro Joel Gibb, will kick off the weekend by taking the stage in Montreal this Friday. Along with a revolving cast of backing players, Gibb released the last Hidden Cameras album, Origin:Orphan, back in 2009. Known for their upbeat live performances, the band will be occupying slots at summer festivals this year, along with a smattering of tour dates in the coming months.

The Hidden Cameras
Light Fires
$13 advance, $15 door at Il Motore

Saturday, June 16 British nu-folk songwriter Laura Marling is on the road following the release of her third album, A Creature I Don't Know, with a series of dates that will take her across North America, then back to her native England. The 22-year-old Marling, who has frequently been compared to the likes of Joni Mitchell and Tori Amos, already has a catalogue of well-received recordings, and will be in town with blues artist Billy Mason before heading south for some American stops.

Laura Marling
Willy Mason
$23 advance, $25 door at Corona Theatre