Screw a preamble. Here’s three more acts you might want to check out tonight.
CITYREAL is a Vancouver rapper with a background in political science, but his 2011 effort, The Beginning, didn’t secure a nod at last year’s Western Canadian Music Awards because it sounded like a term paper. Dude produces classic boom-bap hip-hop tracks and then, more often than not, goes in on them; even a mellower collection of tracks, like this year’s collaboration with South Carolina expat bluesman Wes Mackey, contains strutting, confident bangers like “Passing Me By.” Which, presumably, is why he’s playing PURE Ultra Lounge, of all places, at 10 p.m. tonight; who said having a sense of social responsibility can’t also make you nod yr head?
CASTLE RIVER is two dudes from Saskatoon who play guitar and drums indie rock and slap elegant harmonies over top. Planet S scribe Craig Silliphant wrote that, though “dogged with lazy comparisons to The White Stripes and other famous guitar-and-drum duos, they’ve actually crafted a sound all their own that could compete with any band in Canada or beyond.” Then he said they’re one of his favourite bands in Canada. High praise! They’re at the Gaslight tonight at 10.
FEDERAL LIGHTS. Guy from Winnipeg named Jean-Guy Roy got a band together, and basically they sound like Blue Rodeo if Blue Rodeo wasn’t exclusively for dads. Confident and patient music that occasionally breaks into raw, celebratory howling and ain’t bad live. Then again, what else am I going to say about a bearded dude who writes pop hooks? They play at 1 a.m. at O’Hanlon’s, for all you night owls looking for a melodic comedown.