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article imageUnder The Radar at Canadian Music Week

By Lenny Stoute     Mar 6, 2008 in Entertainment
It's Canadian Music Week time again. What with all the Montreal and T.Dot hipster acts and punkers from Moncton and Inuvik, it's easy for some really good stuff to get lost n the shuffle. Here are four acts it shouldn't happen to.
With 350 bands getting on stages in three days in Toronto, somebody has to get stuck with the 8 p.m slot during Canadian Music Week. Even the many others coming in to play at a more attractive time aren't guaranteed any more attention from the T.Dot's hype-sucking media.
Here's a quartet of low flying new acts with something to say. If you're anywhere in the vicinity when they plug in, drop by and show them some under the radar love.
Jane Vain and the Dark Matter are cooking up a Gothfied electro-pop brew that's initially catchy then turns oddly compelling. Jane's all Facebook attitude sprinkled over dark side lyrics. that comes in a croon or a desolate wail.
The Calgarians attract a demonstrative fans base, some of whom thoughtfully deposited a bathtub of rotten animal carcasses in between the gate and the door off the place where we were staying, when the band played Vancouver.
They claim to be really nice people and rate Of Montreal, Cat Power, Okkervil River, M.Ward, as more or less influences, kinda.
Jane Vain and the Dark Matter bring a clutch of new material to The Silver Dollar on March 6 at 11pm.
Straight outta Taber, Alberta, with more Wilco than Tom Cochrane in their high plains difter sound, The Travezty promise to kick up mucho dust midnight Saturday at the Hard Rock Live.
The lineup's Jason Ilczynski (Guitar), his brother Brad (Bass), Danny Douglas (Guitar), Jason Robison (Drums) and Scott Robinson (Vocals) They've been rocking the Western circuit for about five years, opening the likes of The Watchmen, 54-40, The Headstones and Wide Mouth Mason, watching the pros, honing their craft.
The result is debut album Who You Are, a collection of songs about youthful self-examination steeped in long van drives, wide open skies and geetar-slingin'.
The Finnish of rock'n'roll play Kathedral Thursday Mar.6 when Traffic Island makes it Canadian debut. A year ago The Islanders were doing the Scandinavian rounds and building-their audience . Then a chance gig opening for The Killers so impressed frontman Brandon Flowers that things started happening.
They'll face off with the tunes from debut album Enough Is Enough, which is actually only the first album under their deal with Universal Music What started otf as a heavy and overbearing sound has mutated into more accessible pop tuneage tunage and lead singer Oskari Ruohonen is belting it with confidence.
Rekha Malhotra has been spinning discs in NY for years, a highly regarded pioneer on the bhangra scene, but with the breakout of M.I.A., bhangra is suddenly heating up again and Rekha's getting another swing at the pinata.
Music for this London born, Indian raised DJ has been a family affair. Mom introduced her to the life-changing music when she returned from a trip to London with a tape of bhangra music.She learned to DJ with two cousins in New York City, and when they moved to India, took over their amateur sets.
Rekha became a community radio DJ while studying at New York's Queens College, during which time she forged a Toronto connection opening for bhangra/hip-hop posse Punjabi by Nature at the SoHo club. This gig was so hot that shortly after, she became the house DJ at SoHo, currently hosting her tremendously influential Basement Bhangra nights.
As one of the last of the First Wave DJs standing, she'll be spinning a mix of the hip hop/bhangra/ragga tunes off the Bhangra Anthem albums cut with exotic hybrids she's been researching. DJ Rekha drops 'em at the Drake Hotel Saturday March 8. This is one mashup you don't want to miss.
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