Sheepdogs headline our second day of CMW 2009

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The Ting Tings at the Mod Club, Toronto, during CMW 2009.. Jessica Beach photo.

CMW 2009 recap part II

After being told in no uncertain terms by an irate Mod Club manager (“I’m not going to go over-capacity… If I see [the head of CMW] I’m gonna hit him over the head with a plank for overselling the show”) that, despite our $900 executive delegate passes, we would not be getting into the Ting Tings, and tired of $10 cab rides to and fro, we decided to hunker down in one place.

The Horsehoe Tavern had the most promising lineup, and the bar was comfortably uncrowded when we arrived in time for the last half of the Hundreds and Thousands, a modish-ly attired (i.e. suits) power-pop band.

Rebekah Higgs came out next and charmed with keyboard-based electro-pop and great hair. Young Galaxy was a complete surprise; its melodic indie-rock was interrupted, wonderfully so, when lead singer Catherine McCandless broke into a torchy soul song.

Two Hours Traffic‘s spry power-pop seemed a little tame after YG’s set. For a change of pace we walked a few doors down to the Rivoli. Iceland’s Sprengjuhollin was even more energetic than it had been the night before at Rancho Relaxo, and a few souls were even moved to answer the keyboardist’s invitation to join the five-piece onstage.

Back at the Horseshoe, two-piece (laptopper and guitarist) Hexes and Ohs took awhile to get in a groove, but the initial abrasiveness turned into charmingly nerdy indie-pop. Finally, the reason I’d wanted to stake out a spot in the Horseshoe in the first place, Vancougar, came on.

This was my first time seeing the all-female Vancouver quartet, one of my favourite acts, and I wasn’t disappointed; Eden Fineday and her bandmates blew the audience (which by then had dwindled to a little more than half the bar) away with classically catchy tunes from their full-length debut Canadian Tuxedo. Rawk!

Later, Saskatchewan’s Sheepdogs tore up a small, narrow after-hours space with sizzling guitar solos and Neil Young-inspired roots-rock. Then I passed out.

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