Blood Diamonds, M. Ward, Experience Montreal and Lee Fields Lead This Week's Can't Miss Concerts

Blood Diamonds, M. Ward, Experience Montreal and Lee Fields Lead This Week's Can't Miss Concerts
September is on the horizon, and with it comes the last chance to let loose and enjoy the summer -- and all of the live music that comes with it. Make sure that the last days of the season are the most memorable by taking advantage of the long weekend with some of the late-summer festivals and tours making stops in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.


Thursday, August 30
Whether you're a fan of his solo work, or know him as the male half of She & Him, chances are singer-songwriter M. Ward will be offering up a compelling set of tunes from his extensive works at the Commodore this Thursday. The multi-instrumentalist just released his eighth studio album back in April, adding to an already impressive indie-folk songbook, so expect a handful of new numbers interspersed with familiar favourites.

M. Ward
Mike Coykendall
TBA at the Commodore Ballroom

Friday, August 31
Starting the weekend off, the performance space at Interurban Gallery will be shared by a pair of West Coast singer-songwriters and indie rock figures, Joel RL Phelps and Chris Brokaw. Following on the heels of Brokaw's latest release Stories, the double bill is a must-see for anyone interested in checking out some of the pioneers of '90s alt-rock. The pair of headliners will be joined by Seattle garage psych trio Zebra Hunt.

Joel RL Phelps
Chris Brokaw
Zebra Hunt
$10 advance, $12 door at Interurban Gallery

  Saturday, September 1
If you aren't yet familiar with Lee Fields's body of work, now is as good a time as any to get acquainted with the prolific soul singer's catalogue. Along with the Expressions -- the Truth and Soul label's house band -- Fields is a force to be reckoned with, boasting experience and cred that most contemporary artists would envy (his first release came out in 1969, after all). And with reviews of his latest effort, March's Faithful Man, touting the record as one of his best yet, it'll be tough to justify passing up his performance in town this weekend.

Lee Fields and the Expressions
The Ballantynes
$15 at Fortune Sound Club


Friday, August 24
Accompanied by a host of like-minded artists and labelmates, noted street performer turned celebrated loop artist Dub FX (also known as Benjamin Stanford) will be in town for a night, providing heavy beats for the city's ever-growing legions of dubstep fans. Currently on a tour that will see them hitting several major stops throughout Canada and the U.S., Stanford will be accompanied by fiancée and collaborator Flower Fairy, along with glitch-hop duo Snareophobe and a host of other performers.

Dub FX
Flower Fairy
Hidden Elementz
TBA at Flames Central

Saturday, September 1
Kicking off the month with a deep lineup of bands, this year's X-Fest has a variety of artists on hand, and with gates opening at 11:30 a.m. and music starting at noon, festivalgoers should come ready for a full day of raucous acts. The earlier you arrive, the better, since the day's opening sets, including standouts like noisy Vancouver post-punk duo the Pack A.D. and increasingly talked-about New York vocalist L.P., are at least as big a draw as the evening headliners.

Linkin Park
Silversun Pickups
Young the Giant
The Joy Formidable
The Pack A.D.
$50 to $150 at Fort Calgary


Thursday, August 30
Almost a year after the release of their first full-length album, Mississauga natives the Paint Movement have been laying low. The experimental indie rock sextet are back in town following a brief sojourn in New Brunswick, and will be hitting the stage for just their fourth show of the year -- meaning there's as much incentive as ever to catch a rare appearance from these former Yukon Blonde tourmates and purveyors of light-hearted, pop-tinged tunes.

The Paint Movement
TBA at the Dakota Tavern

Friday, August 31
British hard rockers the Cult may have dropped Choice of Weapon, their ninth studio album, just a few months ago, but audiences can expect the band, who have been together since 1983, to dig deep into their previous records for this Friday's show at the Phoenix Concert Theatre. Halifax rock outfit Gloryhound and L.A. alt-rock unit Murder of Crows will help jump start things in the opening slots.

The Cult
Murder of Crows
$39.50 at Phoenix Concert Theatre

Saturday, September 1
Coming off a collaboration with labelmate and fellow dance pop head-turner Grimes, 21-year-old electronic artist and producer Blood Diamonds (the onstage pseudonym of one-time videogame designer Mike Tucker) is primed to make waves on the genre's burgeoning scene. Recently returned from Japan, and with his 4AD label debut on shelves as of last month and an LP on the way, this up-and-coming talent should get everyone packed into Wrongbar this weekend dancing.

Blood Diamonds
$22 at Wrongbar


Friday, August 31
On the fourth day of the inaugural Experience Montreal Festival, meant to showcase talents from both the host city and from abroad, the event's main stage will be occupied by German digital hardcore act Atari Teenage Riot, on the road in support of their 2011 LP Is This Hyperreal? (their first release in 12 years). They'll be preceded by an impressive roster including the likes of former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine and hometown quartet Duchess Says.

Atari Teenage Riot
Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine

Duchess Says
John Nicholas Savage
$16.15 at Olympic Stadium

Saturday, September 1
Wrapping up the first year of the Experience Montreal Festival will be none other than legendary hip-hop force Public Enemy, who released their latest album last month and have another rumoured to drop later this year. Local rapper Chub-E Pelletier and Oakland duo Main Attrakionz are just a couple of the talents rounding out the day's bill, making the fest's under-$20 price tag a pretty incredible bargain.

Public Enemy
Chub-E Pelletier
Main Attrakionz
Rilly Guilty
Jah Cutta
$16.15 at Olympic Stadium