Toronto Star - - ENTERTAINMENT - Chris Young


HSY, “Scratch.” Pro­nounce ’em hussy, if you will, and brace your­self for the Toronto four­some’s omi­nous post-punk that’s been mak­ing the rounds for a cou­ple of years. With de­but LP Bask just out and mak­ing waves they should be in a fine frame of mind-blow­ing. Head­lin­ers Ni­hilist Spasm Band bring a pedi­gree that ex­tends back 50 years as “the world’s first noise band” — af­ter start­ing in Lon­don, Ont., as a ka­zoo ensem­ble — and are joined by free­jazz pal Joe McPhee and his re­volv­ing horns. Rec­om­mended for con­nois­seurs of the off­beat, along with ear pro­tec­tion. (The Gar­ri­son, doors 9 p.m.)


Scor­pi­ons, “Black­out.” They’re big­gest in their na­tive Ger­many but also big enough glob­ally to keep it go­ing as one of hard rock’s pro­tean col­lec­tions, hence this “50th An­niver­sary” tour. With prog-me­tal vets Queen­sryche along on the bill, it’s a sing-along/head­ban­ga­long (the more stu­dious might want to try Em­press Of at the Drake) as the out­door sea­son counts down these last few days of sum­mer. (Mol­son Am­phithe­atre, 7 p.m.)


Van Mor­ri­son, “On Hyn­d­ford Street.” First of two week­end nights for Van the Man and his first time here in six years. Given the rar­ity of large-scale tour­ing any­more, and the fact that he just turned 70 on Aug. 31, chances are run­ning out to catch one of the rock and folk world’s most revered song­writ­ers. And this par­tic­u­lar song, with its spo­ken-word walk through Mor­ri­son’s early haunts and for­ma­tive fig­ures grow­ing up in east Belfast, does make for an es­sen­tial and en­tirely mov­ing mo­ment on his setlist these days. (Sony Cen­tre, 8 p.m.)


St. Paul and the Bro­ken Bones, “Fake Plas­tic Trees.” The Alabama sev­en­piece’s lo­cal de­but a year ago was one of the year’s rous­ing con­cert nights, with gospel-schooled Paul Janeway win­ning over a sold-out Horse­shoe crowd and the band of Mus­cle Shoals reg­u­lars be­hind him play­ing their role faith­fully as mil­len­nial MGs to Janeway’s Otis. They’ll pitch curve­balls, in­clud­ing this novel re­shap­ing of an old Ra­dio­head num­ber. On a night that in­cludes com­pe­ti­tion from Ed Sheeran and the Punch Broth­ers, it’s the pick of the week. They’re also down for an out­door TURF fest set Satur­day night. (Lee’s Palace, doors 8 p.m.)


Bully, “Try­ing.” Nineties re­vival­ists out of Nashville go be­yond mere Pix­ies copy­ists thanks mostly to the for­mi­da­ble pipes and guitar of front­woman Alicia Bog­nanno. It’s their Toronto de­but as head­lin­ers, and any­body who was on board ear­lier this year with visi­tors like Hop Along (back at the week­end’s TURF Fest) and Speedy Or­tiz will get them im­me­di­ately: es­pe­cially Bog­nanno, whose raw, rasp­ing vo­cals are a good match for the band’s sim­ple rock­outs. (The Gar­ri­son, doors 8 p.m.)


Brigitte, “A bouche que veux-tu.” Ver­sa­tile, fash­ion­able pop duo of Sylvie Hoa­rau and Aurélie Saada are on their first North Amer­i­can tour, bring­ing slick ac­com­pa­ni­ment, close har­monies and match­ing wigs and se­quins. It’s all very smart and très chic (even some­times, slav­ishly Chic). Last month’s fall preview in this space high­lighted Braids’ show tonight at Lee’s, so there’s al­ways that, but here’s some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent. They’re helped along by a move to this Queen West spot that’ll bet­ter fit their style. (Rivoli, doors 8 p.m.)


Alabama Shakes, “Dunes.” Fresh off her Thun­der­bitch side pro­ject’s sud­den LP drop ear­lier this month, Shakes front­woman Brit­tany Howard re­turns with her reg­u­lar, blue­sier crew, still wring­ing the best out of stun­ning sec­ond LP, Sound and Color. They’ve come a long way from seem­ing one-trick pony act barely fill­ing Lee’s Palace four years ago, hun­dreds of thou­sands of tour­ing miles on and go­ing into one of the big­gest barns in town. Given the way they’ve han­dled the as­cent, the ready-or-not ques­tion seems al­most moot. Lo­cals July Talk open. (Air Canada Cen­tre, 8 p.m.)

Live mu­sic high­lights from Sept. 17 to 23:

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