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St. Vincent (Annabel Mehran)
St. Vincent (Annabel Mehran)


Five live pop events worth a look Add to ...


Any excuse to visit the exquisite town of Bayfield, Ont., on Lake Huron will do. And so, a concert by the grunge-folk troubadour Hayden serves as a target date to visit an area that is its own draw anyhow. That being said, an appearance by the beloved murmuring strummer – part of seven-date solo tour of rural Ontario –  is nothing to sneeze at, and wouldn’t be even if it happened in an open, featureless field full of pollen. Which it will not – the Bayfield venue is a quaint kind of churchy structure that could be home to the Ingalls family. Bayfield Town Hall, Bayfield, Ont., June 21

Field Trip

Last summer, the juggernaut indie-music label Arts & Crafts celebrated its 10-year anniversary with its inaugural Field Trip, a two-day occasion of music, upmarket food-truck fare and a general air of groovy. Most of the acts were plucked from the label’s roster, which made sense given the candle-blowing nature of the celebration. This year, organizers have opened the bill up, inviting the veteran post-punk revivalists Interpol and the blues-punk duo the Kills to a party that boasts A&C stalwarts Broken Social Scene and label co-founder Kevin Drew, along with the Feist-led Hydra, the reunited Constantines and the avant-jazz trio BadBadNotGood. Fort York Garrison Common, June 7 and 8.


Much was made a year ago of the formalizing of Toronto’s musical “alliance” with Austin, Tex. Thing is, this town’s North by Northeast festival has been on superb diplomatic terms with the Lone Star city for years, having utilized the formula invented by SXSW, the annual event of music, film and interactive components which calls Austin home. This year’s NXNE brings in the special singer-guitarist St. Vincent, the trippy rapper Juicy J, the slack Canadian troubadour Mac DeMarco and Spoon, Austin’s excellent alt-rock ambassadors. Various venues in Toronto, June 13 through 22.

Elvis Costello

The troubadour-rocker is a publisher’s dream, every day writing the book. And some book it is. For his solo acoustic shows – he’ll be on the lone at Massey Hall – the singular Costello covers the rich, irregular catalogue of his own material, as well as chapters from the American Songbook and England’s dance hall tradition. Quite a resource he is. Massey Hall, June 14.

Toronto Jazz Festival

Most of the performers for this year’s downtown tadoo haven’t been announced yet, though the American groove conglomerate Earth, Wind and Fire are set to blow into town on June 24. Expect big names in soul and R&B, in addition to jazz’s representation. Last year, there were appearances from Smokey Robinson and Trombone Shorty, but not the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based soul-shouter Sharon Jones, who cancelled because of a daunting form of cancer from which she has now evidently recovered (if her make-up concert at Massey Hall on June 6 is any indication, and we hope it is). Various venues, June 19 through 28.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that a three-concert series would take place in Bayfield, Ont., beginning April 20. This version has been corrected.

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