Toronto Star


- Chris Young

Live music highlights for the week of Feb. 23 to March 1. Kobo Town From humble beginnings, Toronto’s Drew Gonsalves has grown his fivepiece band — named for the neighbourh­ood in his native Trinidad where calypso was born — into an internatio­nal touring thing, including work backing the ageless Calypso Rose. Latest Where the Galleon Sank gets its unveiling here, and reflects all that developmen­t. It’s the most rocking of their three LPs yet, brassy and vibrant with Caribbean and Latin flavours, with centrepiec­e track “Karachi Burning” perhaps tacking closest to calypso’s foundation as incendiary social commentary. The song’s witness account of the Pakistan city’s grief and outrage after the assassinat­ion of thenPM Benazir Bhutto is “a piece of calypso journalism,” as Gonsalves calls it. (Thursday, Lula Lounge, doors 7 p.m.) Danny Michel Kitchener-based Michel has long sought out environmen­ts beyond the usual template to serve as muse for his mischievou­s, positive songwritin­g, and this show built around latest release Khlebnikov could well be the most striking example. The bed tracks for the record were recorded in a makeshift studio in Michel’s cabin on a Northwest Passage-riding Russian icebreaker, dolled up at home by composer/ bandmate Rob Carli. Now the songs get their full live presentati­on in theatre surroundin­gs, with the help of a chamber orchestra, and no doubt a number of Michel’s many friends, including starman Chris Hadfield. Pick of the week. (Thursday and Friday, Harbourfro­nt Centre Theatre, 8 p.m.) The Highest Order The Silver Dollar doesn’t close for another few months, but the Toronto psych-roots band that’s taken a few turns around its tight stage are coming in ahead of time to record a live set that’ll stand beyond the scruffy place’s closing. On their own, the foursome of top players about town conjures a most righteous hum — add the occasion, including proceeds going to the End Immigratio­n Detention Network, and a guestlist that figures to grow longer from already-announced Michelle McAdorey and Crash Vegas, and you know it’ll get warm fast. (Saturday, Silver Dollar, doors 8 p.m.) Blackie & the Rodeo Kings Colin Linden, Tom Wilson and Stephen Fearing originally formed up for a one-off tribute show for Willie P. Bennett. The one-off is into its third decade of on and off around their various other endeavours, including now this latest tour’s opening night, off their new Kings and Kings LP that has them joined by an array of top male roots artists — for example, Texas country man Rodney Crowell in “Live by the Song” — in much the same manner as 2011’s Kings and Queens had them paired with some of the top female voices around. (Saturday, Massey Hall, 8 p.m.) K. Forest Score another one for Brampton, breeding ground of Alessia Cara, WondaGurl, Roy Woods, Tory Lanez et al. K. Forest (née Kashief Hanson), whose languid singing and rapping, with moody production that’s a nice match, seems more than ready for this show’s “debut performanc­e” tag. The marquee’s a little misleading, though — the 22-year-old’s been at this game for some time, but when Travis Scott pilfered Forest’s AfroCaribb­ean banger “Guidance” for his remixing purposes last year, the cover was blown and the boost on. He’s done most of his strongest work with longtime producer pal Darren Fraser (a.k.a. dF) — it’s a pairing worth watching and perhaps even ready to take on worlds way beyond the 905. (Sunday, Drake Undergroun­d, doors 8 p.m.) Dua Lipa “Be the One” With a debut LP just out, including three tracks that have already landed in the U.K. charts’ Top 10, the lines are already queuing up for Lipa’s slick and seductive dance-pop candy on her first North American tour, just underway. Actually, she’s been here before, having written one of the album’s tracks in Toronto, then warming up for Troye Sivan in November — plenty to banter about, then, but since the Londoner’s been on the come-up and -up, named top new artist at the NME Awards and nominated for another trinket at the Feb. 22 Brit Awards. It’s not exactly groundbrea­king stuff, but proving plenty able to fill the trophy case and the concert hall. (Monday, Mod Club, doors 7 p.m.)

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