> CONCERT SAMPLER
Live music highlights for the week of April 13-19.
PJ Harvey Last year’s multi-faceted Hope Six Demolition Project provides the backbone for Polly Jean Harvey’s first Toronto show in just over 12 years, and you might say it’s about time. Then again, she works deliberately and thoughtfully, an auteur with a journalist’s eye for detail — witness “The Ministry of Defence,” the setlist’s early showstopper in which she lists the detritus in front of her as she picks through an abandoned building lot in Afghanistan: broken glass, a plastic spoon, a white jawbone, human hair, a ghost — “This is how the world will end,” she concludes, kicking the pedigreed 10-piece band into a mighty thunder. Nearly a quartercentury on from masterwork Rid of Me, she hasn’t lost any power. (Thursday, Massey Hall, 8:30 p.m.)
Rakkatak Toronto Tabla Ensemble veteran Anita Katakkar helms this local fivepiece that combines Indian classical with pop, jazz and funk and is on hand to christen third album Small Pieces here. Among the highlight cuts is “Heliosphere,” which has Rex Van Der Spuy’s intricate sitar runs calling out for a response from Oriana Barbato’s groovy bass and Katakkar’s rapid-fire syncopation — for this live show, violinist Jessica Deutsch (Oz- ere, Lemon Bucket Orkestra) and Sina Momtahan on setar throw some more into the heady, bubbling mix. Throw in their cover of Rush’s “YYZ,” and presto, it’s a Good Fusion Friday. (Friday, Burdock, doors 8 p.m.)
Choir! Choir! Choir! and Those Pretty Wrongs This T.O. mass-choral get-together brings its big-hearted formula out of home ground Clinton’s and under a new, bigger roof for this one-off, with Big Star drummer (and lone surviving band member) Jody Stephens guest of honour in a show called Thirteen — as in the song that’s among the top of the legendary, long-gone power-pop band’s sparkling catalogue and one of C!C!C!’s early covering triumphs. According to their Facebook page, Stephens and guitarist Luther Russell, his bandmate in Those Pretty Wrongs, will do some of their own songs as well as pull some Big Star chestnuts out. Between all that, the tickets ought to carry a warning label: May cause throat-lumping, tearing up, lots of feels. (Monday, Great Hall, doors 7 p.m.)
Leela James and Daley Soul singer James’ delivery is oldfashioned creamy, while the production embroidery is just new-school enough to show she’s paying attention on sixth LP Did It For Love. It’s her biggest hit yet, too — “Don’t Want You Back” landing her at No. 1 on the charts for the first time — it’s made for spooning, so bring your squeeze. Red-headed Manchester soul man Gareth Daley joins her on second billing and he’s no slouch either, as a hands-across-the-water match for the headliner. Canadian Music Week (CMW) starts off Tuesday and runs through Sunday; though this one is under that banner, it’s a separate ticket — check the schedule for all the permutations. (Tuesday, Great Hall, doors 7 p.m.)
Kolars Dozens of visiting acts are in for CMW, but upon further review they’ll have to work awfully hard to match the stage punch and charisma of husband-and-wife duo Rob Kolar and Lauren Brown Kolar, late of the more folk-tinged outfit He’s My Brother She’s My Sister. Rob is a pompadoured guitar pro with a throaty voice that’s just made for this kinda stuff — Lauren provides potent accessorizing to his rockabilly-punk styling, hammering away on a cocktail drum kit while tap-dancing on a customized bass drum. Even Slim Jim Phantom, patron saint of the standup bashabout with the Stray Cats, never did that. Further on this CMW Club Series card, lo-fi Welsh trio Seazoo figure to add to the fun factor. (Tuesday, Rivoli, doors 7 p.m.)
Monsieur Periné Colombian swing stars make their Canadian debut and come with some advance word, as in a Latin Grammy, as well as a rep in Europe and on their home continent for smokin’ live shows. Bogota-flavoured bolero and cumbia to hot jazz firecrackers are among the tricks in their bag, but not the only ones — it’s enough to ensure a good party atmo, for sure. Silky Peruvian-Canadian jazz singer Patricia Cano, making her venue debut in support, has a big year in store, including a quick return to guest here with Cree writer-pianist Tomson Highway (May 12) and the fall release of her second LP. (Wednesday, Koerner Hall, 8 p.m.)
PJ Harvey’s Hope Six Demolition Project provides the backbone for her first Toronto show in just over 12 years. Harvey plays at Massey Hall Thursday.