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November Toronto Music & Concerts Tip Sheet

Thanksgiving has come and gone, the Halloween costumes you painstakingly poured over are back to being unwearable within the context of regular social interaction, and the time for coat checking is nigh. Ah yes. November is here – and so am I with some humble recommendations regarding some musical happening you should be on the lookout for this month.

ALBUMS

November releases may lack the certain punch that October rolled in with, but here’s a select few from the release list that’ll perhaps pique your interest. Expect some older acts to cash in on holiday nostalgia and which other artists are preparing for a busy winter.

Ryan Hemsworth –  Alone for the First Time (Nov. 4, 2014)

Label: Last Gang/Secret Songs

Genre: Electronic, dance

For fans of: RL Grime, Evian Christ, Shlomo

Why you should care: I can’t profess to possessing a deep-rooted love of Ryan Hemsworth or his work, but I’ll be the first to admit I’m in the minority on that statement. Captain Canada already impressed with last year’s debut solo record Guilt Trips – picking up a Juno for electronic album of the year – and shows no sign of slowing down on that momentum. Hear it so you at least know what all those pesky kids are talking about and listening to.

Listen to: Snow in Newark

Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways (Nov. 10, 2014)

Label: Roswell Records

Genre: Rock, alternative

For fans of: Them Crooked Vultures, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Why you should care: People really like the Foo Fighters. In my books, they’ve typically been a band that’s absolutely excelled at the big kick-off single and more or less dropped off on the complete album experience. I’ve got no idea if Sonic Highways will follow suit, but expect it to be a big commercial hit regardless of its content.

Listen to: Something From Nothing

Damien Rice – My Favourite Faded Fantasy (Nov. 11, 2014)

Label: Warner Music

Genre: Folk, acoustic

For fans of: Glen Hansard, Angus & Julia Stone, Ray LaMontagne

Why you should care: It’s been eight years since we’ve had an album from Damien Rice. Following October’s rescheduled Toronto concert date, the Irish singer-songwriter returns with his highly anticipated new release.

Listen to: I Don’t Want You To Change

Parkay Quarts – Content Nausea (Nov. 11, 2014) 

Label: What’s Your Rupture?

Genre: Post-punk, garage

For fans of: Ought, Eagulls, White Lung

Why you should care: Parquet Courts offshoot Parkay Quarts has been hard at work. Despite the former releasing the critically acclaimed Sunbathing Animal earlier this year, they band has evidentially decided one full album a year simply isn’t enough.

Listen to: Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth

TV on the Radio – Seeds (Nov. 18, 2014)

Label: Harvest Records

Genre: Indie, alternative

For fans of: Spoon, Wolf Parade, Yeasayer

Why you should care: The band’s fifth album is also their first since 2011 and the death of drummer Gerard Smith. As such, anticipation is high – as is curiosity over where the band is heading with the new material.

Listen to: Careful You

CONCERTS

Be prepared to dish out some of those hard-earned dollars when you fork over your coat for the convenience of unimpeded concert movement. As the weather gets colder, the necessity of coat check is at an all time high. Remember the freedom when you’re cursing the universe for staying until the very end of the show, only to find yourself in the world’s longest “please give me my coat back” line. Hopefully the bands below will make it well worth it – and hopefully you already bought a lot of these tickets to these sold out (… sorry) shows.

Tanya Tagaq @ The Great Hall – Nov. 6, 2014

Tickets: sold out

Genre: Experimental, Inuit

Why you should go: The Canadian artist stunned a room into silence with her incredible Polaris Prize gala performance. After taking home the 2014 award for best album of the year, this show is obviously on a lot of people’s need-to-see list.

Listen to: Caribou

alt-J @ Kool Haus – Nov. 11, 2014

Tickets: sold out

Genre: Indie, alternative

Why you should go: You know a band is doing well when they manage to sell out a show even before the new album comes out. Those that got their tickets early were smart, especially given the strength of This Is All Yours.

Listen to: Every Other Freckle

PARTYNEXTDOOR @ Virgin Mobile Mod Club – Nov. 12, 2014

Tickets: sold out

Genre: Electronic, R&B

Why you should go: The OVO Sound signee may be young but he boasts huge credentials – including an endorsement from Drake. As the 21-year-old continues to rise, the hometown shows will inevitably get bigger and bigger.

Listen to: Recognize

Caribou @ Danforth Music Hall – Nov. 24, 2014

Tickets: sold out

Genre: Electronic, dance

Why you should go: It appears Caribou is playing a room far too small for them – especially given the warm reception to new album Our Love. Unfortunately if you didn’t get tickets to the Toronto show before they sold out, you’re now out of luck. Cross your fingers your friend’s have an extra or watch the Boiler Room set and be full of deep, deep remorse.

Listen to: Our Love

James Blake @ Virgin Mobile Mod Club – Nov. 30, 2014

Tickets: sold out

Genre: Electronic, soul

Why you should go: Speaking of small rooms… James Blake should 100 per cent be playing to a larger venue than the Mod Club (especially given his last Toronto show was at the Kool Haus). Luckily for people that snapped up tickets right when they went on sale, they’ll get a very intimate show from the English electronic artist. 

Listen to: Digital Lion

OTHER STUFF

  • One good thing about the cold weather is that it welcomes in another edition of Fucked Up’s Long Winter series. Back at The Great Hall this year, the first installment of year three takes place on Nov. 14 from 7:00 pm until late, with performances by Mozart’s Sister, Bizzarh, Kaydee, and much more to see and do. Show up early and PWYC.
  • If you haven’t heard the news yet, the City of Toronto announced last month they hired longtime NXNE staffer Mike Tanner to the fill the role of Music Development Officer. This is fantastic news for everyone involved in music and culture. Best of luck to him in his first official month on the job.
  • Hardcore and punk fans will have plenty to celebrate with Not Dead Yet taking over the city. Words of advice: bring earplugs because it’ll get loud. Find the events happening at various venues across the city from Nov. 20-23.

That’s your roundup for November 2014, Toronto. Let me know in the comments what you’ll be going to (and what you think Live in Limbo should be at) or send me an email with your recommendations! Once I get over my October candy hangover, I’ll see you out there.

About author

Former Music Editor & Concert Photographer at Live in Limbo. Sarah was born in Toronto. She's worked at some places that you've heard of (like NXNE) and some that you haven't. She is an Academy Delegate at the JUNOs (CARAS). You can usually find Sarah at a concert, on Twitter @beets, or on Instagram @sarahrix. She also likes dogs and cheeseburgers.