Osheaga 2010 Preview

<p> <a href="features/osheaga_2010_preview/"><img src="http://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/osheaga10preview.jpg" alt="Osheaga" /></a> </p> <p> Canada's been batting above its indie-weight for years now, but this is getting ridiculous!  The best line-up from the perspective of...

Osheaga 2010 Preview

Canada’s been batting above its indie-weight for years now, but this is getting ridiculous!  The best line-up from the perspective of any alternative music fan ain’t Coachella, it ain’t Bonnaroo, it ain’t Lollapalooza – it’s Montreal’s Osheaga Music Festival.  For two days in July/August, Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Sainte-Hélène see music-lovers of any language hosts a killer festival, now in celebrating its fifth anniversary with an amazing line-up:




Arcade Fire, 9:30 PM – 11:00 PM

They’re back – and back home!  After making the biggest indie-smash since The Strokes with the already-seminal Funeral back in 2004/2005, and leading the charge of the ‘Canadian Invasion’, Montreal’s own Arcade Fire (QRO live review) followed that up in 2007 with the excellent-even-if-it-couldn’t-be-FuneralNeon Bible (QRO review).  But after playing to bigger-and-bigger-and-bigger venues (QRO live review outdoors), the massive ensemble took a much-needed break.

A serious break, as the group seemingly fell off the face of the earth.  Yet now they return, and as one of the biggest bands in indie-rock, with the ultra-anticipated The Suburbs, out the Tuesday after Osheaga, and is already being hailed as one of the best records of the year.  But before The Suburbs drops (though you know you’ll hear a lot of it, on stage & for the rest of the year), before they headline (QRO concert listing) two dates at Madison Square Garden (QRO venue review) mere days later, see Arcade Fire in their hometown.  Really worth the price of admission right there.

Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire
Pavement, 7:15 PM – 8:15 PM

It’s the reunion we’ve all been waiting for.  Ever since the Pixies (QRO live review) kicked off the eighties/nineties alt-rock reunion trend in 2004 at Coachella (well, really first was Mission of Burma – QRO live review), they’ve been coming at a pretty good clip (see: Dinosaur Jr.  QRO live review), but one everyone had been hoping for was Pavement.  The acclaimed indie-rock act split up ten years ago, with singer/guitarist Stephen Malkmus going his own way alongside his Jicks (QRO live review).  Deluxe edition re-releases of prior records like Brighten the Corners (QRO re-release review) and Wowee Zowee (QRO re-release review) did keep the flame burning, but the rumored reunion seemed like just that – a rumor. 

Until September 2009, when the news finally broke that the reunion was real.  It started with the announcement of four shows at Central Park SummerStage (QRO venue review) for September of 2010 (QRO concert listings) – which sold out immediately (a fifth was recently added/sold-out – QRO concert listing – at Williamsburg Waterfront – QRO venue review).  Since then, they’ve made it a full-fledged reunion tour, starting earlier this year in New Zealand, and are hitting up festivals all over the world (QRO photos at a festival in Toronto). 

What brought about the reunion?  The anniversary?  The money?  Greatest hits record, Quarantine the Past (QRO review)?  Singer/guitarist/Malkmus rival Scott Kannenberg coming back solo, using Pavement-era moniker Spiral Stairs on The Real Feel (QRO review)?  Jick Janet Weiss reforming her old band, including new member/Jick Joanna Bolme, Quasi (QRO spotlight on), leaving Malkmus free?  Malkmus no longer being the coolest ex-member of Pavement, since bassist Mark Ibold joined Sonic Youth (see below) full-time on The Eternal (QRO review)?  Or did everyone just get tired of them asking about a reunion? 

Whatever the reason, the dream has become reality. 

Stars, 5:30 PM – 6:20 PM

2008’s In Our Bedroom After The War marked a proverbial fork in the road moment for Montreal’s Stars (QRO photos).  While the band was still pumping out high quantities of admirable, very layered pop songs, their swooning ballads were a little too close to becoming overindulgent and underwhelming.  With 2010’s The Five Ghosts (QRO review), the band takes the road less traveled, proving their pop relevance and then some.  Known for the powerfully energetic shows (QRO live review), Stars are set to mesmerize festivalgoers.

Jimmy Cliff, 4:00 PM – 4:50 PM

You wouldn’t have heard of reggae without Jimmy Cliff.  The much-honored artist (2010 Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee, only living musician currently holding The Order of Merit, Jamaica’s highest award in arts & sciences), Cliff introduced reggae to the wider world when he sang & starred in 1972’s The Harder They Come, and is now an icon in world music.

Jimmy Cliff
Sarah Harmer, 2:40 PM – 3:20 PM

While an undeniable part of the genre, the saddest part of the independent music is when obscurity lingers far too long.  Such may be the case with Burlington, Ontario’s Sarah Harmer.  Despite frequent and notable appearances with names like Great Lake Swimmers (QRO album review), Neko Case (QRO album review), and The Weakerthans (QRO photos), as well as an unquestionable knack for modern folk styling have both failed to get Sarah Harmer half of the acknowledgement she deserves.  Now is your chance to see one of the most unappreciated gems in the Canadian music scene. 

Sarah Harmer
The Walkmen, 1:30 PM – 2:00 PM

A ‘Brooklyn veteran’ by now, The Walkmen (QRO photos) have grown from their more soused early days (QRO photos – which included a front-to-back cover of John Lennon & Harry Nilsson’s drunken weekend Pussy CatsQRO review) to a sadder, but more accomplished band (QRO photos) by 2008’s You & Me (QRO review).  Their live show (QRO live review) has similarly evolved (QRO photos at a festival), if losing some of that early fun, but certainly gotten classier (QRO live review).  But, even at festivals (QRO photos at a festival) or outdoors (QRO photos outdoors), they range nicely from barstool rockers like oldies “The Rat” (QRO video) and “Thinking of a Dream I Had” (QRO video) plus the new “The Blue Route” (QRO video) to sadder pint glass-raisers like older “Another One Goes By” (QRO video) and “Louisiana” (QRO video) plus the new “On the Water” (QRO video).

The Walkmen



The National, 8:15 PM – 9:15 PM

Cincinnati-by-way-of-Brooklyn’s The National (QRO photos outdoors) hit it big in 2007 with Boxer (QRO review) and tracks like “Fake Empire”, “Mistaken For Strangers”, and “Apartment Story” (QRO video) – and again in 2008 with The Virginia EP (QRO review), but that just presaged this year’s High Violet (QRO review), which debuted at #3 on the Billboard charts.  An impressive and much-in-demand act (QRO live review), they’re fitting in nicely as a festival headliner (QRO photos headlining a festival).  Blown up to the point that New York Times Magazine ran a feature on them, The National (QRO photos at a festival) are looking to take the summer by storm (QRO photos headlining a festival). 

The National
Keane, 6:20 PM – 7:15 PM

Riding the waves from their fantastic debut album Hopes & Fears, Keane have since gone on a rollercoaster ride encompassing the best and worst of piano driven pop rock.  While Under The Iron Sea and Perfect Symmetry have seen an alarming influx of synth-pop and electronica, the East Sussex trio still manages to sell out giant stadiums and maintain a humungous fan-base worldwide.  Keane’s latest album, 2010’s Night Train (QRO review), has been without a doubt their most intriguing effort in recent memory.  Here, the band have crafted a Rubix cube of a pop album – part extraordinary, part ridiculous, and – hopefully like their set at Osheaga – entirely attention grabbing.   

K’naan, 4:50 PM – 5:30 PM

Born and bred in the violence of a Somalian civil war, K’naan shines true in a genre that often does anything but.  Known for tackling the most difficult of topics in an interesting and accessible way, the Toronto based artist trumps not only the facts in hip-hop today, but also the fiction.  On only his second release – 2005’s Dusty Foot Philosopher – K’naan took home a Juno award and was shortlisted for the prestigious Polaris Prize.  Despite the three years in between recordings, he managed two Juno’s on top of another Polaris short listing with 2009’s Troubadour.  That album spawned the single “Wavin’ Flag”, which has since taken on a life of its own through mass international airplay, being named the official anthem of the FIFA World Cup, and being used to raise scores of relief money for the destruction in Haiti.  Unquestionably a hip-hop hero, and arguably one of the best names in the genre today, K’naan is ready to prove himself to Montreal all over again.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, 3:20 PM – 4:00 PM

Alex Ebert, former singer of Ima Robot (QRO interview), got a ton of buzz right after forming Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (QRO photos at a festival) – is it justified, or just PR hype?  Judge for yourself. 

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Cage the Elephant, 2:00 PM – 2:40 PM

With hardly a full-length album to their name, Kentucky’s Cage The Elephant were snatched up by EMI Records at a low-key SXSW showcase.  Following some impressive U.K. airplay, the band packed up and moved to London, where they released their first studio album in 2008.  The following two years have been a haze of international touring, late night TV shows, and preparation for the bands much anticipated next album.  As their blues-y rock infused live show will prove, elephants were never meant to be caged.


Shane Murphy, 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Cage the Elephant



Robyn, 8:35 PM – 9:20 PM

Robyn (Robin Miriam Carlsson) gained international fame with nineties dance-pop hits like “Show Me Love”, but then retreated to her home base of Sweden until relatively recently.  Back-up vocals on Britney Spears’ “Piece of Me”, opening for Madonna in Europe, and being featured on Röyksopp’s Junior (QRO review) all set the stage for her three-part Body Talk series, with Part 1‘s “Dancing On My Own” made the top ten in the U.S.this year.

Beach House, 7:15 PM – 8:05 PM

The guitar-and-keys pair of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally may hail from Baltimore, but there’s a Francophile expanse to Beach House (QRO photos).  2008’s Devotion (QRO review) earned them many fans that felt that way, and this year’s Teen Dream (QRO review) is already being shortlisted for ‘albums of the year’, and they’re working the festivals (QRO photos at a festival).  But will the sweet sounds work as well in the bright sunlight (QRO photos outdoors)?

Beach House
Jamie Lidell, 5:55 PM – 6:45 PM

U.K. songsmith Jamie Lidell is no stranger to hearing about his incomparable nature.  The stirring singer spans the genres; his music contains hints of funk, R&B and electronica, though it’s his soulful style that’s garnered him international attention and acclaim.  While his 2005 debut album seemed unsurpassable, 2008’s Jim (QRO review) was certainly no sophomore slump.  That record earned the English artist an Independent Music Award for Best Pop/Rock Album, and built upon his already multiplying following.  Lidell’s latest endeavor – 2010’s Compass – reads like a who’s who of the international indie scene.  With appearances by Feist (QRO live review), Beck (QRO album review), and Chilly Gonzales, Compass is set to keep the singer well on course, and then some.  If you’re fortunate enough to see Lidell play, you must remember one thing: Expect the unexpected.

Jamie Lidell
Japandroids, 4:40 PM – 5:25 PM

Vancouver garage-rock guitar-and-drums (QRO photos at a festival) outfit Japandroids have moved from festivals up north to those in America (QRO photos at a festival), and are one of the best guitar & drums duos out there (QRO photos at a festival).

Dan Black, 3:25 PM – 4:10 PM

U.K.mash-up artist Dan Black (QRO interview) first got attention with “HYPNTZ”, his combination of Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotize” and Rihanna’s “Umbrella”, but he’s made his own name with his own mash-up of electronic styles with debut Un (QRO review).

Dan Black
Owen Pallett, 2:10 PM – 2:55 PM

One-man instrumentalist Owen Pallett (QRO live review) has worked with acts like Arcade Fire (see above), including doing the string arrangements on Funeral and Neon Bible (QRO review), but is also well known for his solo work, with last year’s Heartland (QRO review) his biggest yet, though he had to drop the moniker of “Final Fantasy” for legal reasons (QRO photos under that name at a festival).  Just him and a violin on stage, he loops it through samplers & pedals, yet has been able to fill a stage (QRO live review), like at Osheaga ’06, with songs like “The Great Elsewhere” (QRO video).


Skip the Use, 1:00 PM – 1:40 PM

Owen Pallett



The Unsettlers, 9:10 PM – 9:55 PM

Osheaga hometown heroes The Unsettlers are difficult to pin down – both stylistically and physically. With only a brief though revealing note from front-man Ben Brandes to go on, the band’s music becomes both clearer and more intricate after reading.  “This offering of music is perpetual thanks for the pieces of the map I have been given thus far,” write Brandes.  The sincerity of that message is reflected in the intimacy of their jazzy post punk styling’s, and in the interests of keeping things as short and sweet as Brandes, all that’s left to do is to recommend you get out and see this hidden gem.

The Unsettlers
Fran Healy, 8:00 PM – 8:45 PM

Fran Healy, lead singer/songwriter in Scotland’s Travis, is stepping out on his own with solo debut Wreckorder out in October, and comes to Osheaga while on tour with Keane (see above).


Marie-Pierre Arthur, 7:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Fran Healy
Avi Buffalo, 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Long Beach’s Avi Buffalo (QRO photos at a festival) may be only about a year removed from high school, but their falsetto sound has already got people’s attention (QRO photos outdoors).

Avi Buffalo
Bahamas, 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM

One of the best names in the singer/songwriter genre today, Afie Jurvanen cut his teeth as a backing musician for names like Jason Collett (QRO spotlight on), Feist (QRO live review), and Hayden (QRO spotlight on).  Under the stage name “Bahamas”, the self-taught musician recorded his first solo album in a rural Ontario cabin.  The result: 2009’s Juno-nominated Pink Strat, which earned the Toronto native spots and just about every ‘Who To Watch’ list, as well as a place on the 2010 Polaris Long List.  Fans of Iron & Wine will devour Jurvanen’s minimalist folk, as Bahamas (QRO live review) looks to kick off the festival’s early goings with a bang.  


Little Scream, 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM


Final Flash, 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Ingrid Michaelson, 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Even if you don’t know Ingrid Michaelson, if you’ve watched American TV, you’ve heard her, as song of hers have been featured in a host of TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy, as well as in advertising campaigns like that for Old Navy.  But the licensing favorite makes music of her own, most recently with last year’s Top 20 record Everybody (QRO review).


Daniel Isaiah Schachter, 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Ingrid Michaelson





Weezer, 9:45 PM – 11:00 PM

While the new output from Weezer (QRO photos) like last year’s Raditude (QRO review) isn’t up to their nineties classics (and 2008’s red album-covered self-titled – QRO review – can’t hold a candle to the blue- and green-covered earlier Weezers), they still play those nineties classics like “My Name Is Jonas” (QRO video), “Say It Ain’t So” (QRO video), and “Dope Nose” (QRO video), which can even lift later pieces like “Beverly Hills” (QRO video).  And their live show (QRO live review) – especially outdoors (QRO live review outdoors) at a festival (QRO photos at a festival).

Metric, 7:35 PM – 8:35 PM

Is it wrong to resent a band for finally getting break through success?  That question is always at the heart of any discussion regarding Toronto based band Metric (QRO live review) – love them or hate them, the quartet do pretty well for themselves.  2009’s Fantasies (QRO review) earned them a couple of Juno awards, as well as shot listing for the prestigious Polaris Prize, two awards the band is certainly no stranger to.  While they may be one of the more mainstream acts in indie today, they are undeniably a charismatic take on the pop/punk genre, and their growing fan base (QRO live review) reflects this over and over again.  Always a safe bet to tear up any stage (QRO live review), Metric’s third time at Osheaga (QRO photos at a festival) is entirely capable of winning over the indie purist in all of us (QRO photos outdoors) with songs from the new “Sick Muse” (QRO video) to older numbers like “Dead Disco” (QRO video), “Handshakes” (QRO video) & “Monster Hospital” (QRO video).

The Cat Empire, 5:45 PM – 6:35 PM

Aussie alt rockers The Cat Empire have been catching unsuspecting music fans off guard worldwide for the last decade or so.  The explosive sextet is near impossible to nail down, their styles ranging from indie rock to Latin jazz and many places in between.  With several successful international tours and a handful of platinum albums under their belts, the Cat Empire’s expansion is doing their namesake well. 

The Cat Empire
The Black Keys, 4:20 PM – 5:00 PM

The blues-rock from guitar/drums duo of Dan Auerbach & Patrick Carney (QRO photos) sounds like it comes from the deepest (and blackest…) part of the South, but these two white men hail from Akron, Ohio.  However, The Black Keys (QRO photos outdoors) are as gritty as anyone, whether on records like 2008’s Attack & Release (QRO review), or live (QRO photos at a festival), as depicted on the recent Live at Crystal Ballroom DVD (QRO review).  And their latest, Brothers (QRO review), channels all their inspirations into a great sound that’s even better at a festival (QRO photos at a festival), like at Osheaga ‘08.

The Black Keys
The Gaslight Anthem, 3:00 PM – 3:40 PM

The newest band on today’s workingman’s punk wave, New Brunswick, New Jersey’s Gaslight Anthem (QRO photos) borrow from classic punk and more recent predecessors like Flogging Molly (QRO photos) & hometown heroes Bouncing Souls (QRO photos) – but also from the Garden State’s ultimate shining musical light (no, not Sinatra – not even Bon Jovi…), Bruce Springsteen (QRO live review).  Once described as the product of some alternate history of rock, where The Boss embraced his early love of The Clash, Gaslight Anthem have gone even more Boss-like on their latest, American Slang (QRO review), which has catapulted them up the charts and even into headlining Radio City Music Hall (QRO venue review).


Seu Jorge & Almaz, 1:40 PM – 2:20 PM

The Gaslight Anthem



deadmau5, 8:35 PM – 9:35 PM

Fresh off appearing at the medal ceremonies for his country’s Winter Olympics, Niagara Falls’ deadmau5 is still most recognizable for his trademark headgear & light show (QRO photos at a festival).  While his remix of Morgan Page’s “The Longest Road”, featuring Lissie (QRO album review), lost out in the Grammy for ‘Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical’ to David Guetta (QRO album review), the progressive house artist (don’t dare call him a ‘DJ’…) has blown up to the point of closing out the Budweiser Stage at Osheaga.

Snoop Dogg, 6:35 PM – 7:35 PM

Do you really need to be introduced to Snoop Dogg (QRO photos at a festival)?  Unless you’ve been living on that island from Lost with The Others for the past twenty years, you’ve seen Snoop from his part in Death Row Records’ West Coast rap ascendance with “Gin and Juice” through his legal troubles and ‘less-than-amicable’ split from Death Row to today’s chart-topping success in hip-hop and mainstream, most recently with last year’s Ego Trippin’.  His high profile and relatively laid-back, but charming, persona these days have also made him ubiquitous on screen, whether cameoing as himself in everything from Showtime’s Weeds to T-Mobile Sidekick ads, or guest-spotting as a rapper from Showtime’s L Word to ABC daytime soap One Life to Live (not to mention having his own reality show, Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood, and filling the quintessential pimp role as Huggy Bear in the big screen remake of Starsky & Hutch).  But Snoop will be returning to rhyming when he’s on stage, as the latest hip-hop star to try to woo the indie-crowd (hopefully it goes better than Kanye West at Bonnaroo…).


Charlie Winston, 5:00 PM – 5:45 PM


Arianne Moffatt, 3:40 PM – 4:20 PM


Ian Kelly, 2:20 PM – 3:00 PM


Galactic with Cyril Neville, 1:00 PM – 1:40 PM


Snoop Dogg



DEVO, 9:35 PM – 10:45 PM

If a festival comes along, you must whip it!  So proto-punk they seemed light years ahead of it, Akron, Ohio’s DEVO started in 1973, but broke through in 1980 with the classic out there hit, “Whip It” (whose video was a mainstay in the early days of MTV).  One of the first futuristic, strange-yet-accessible bands, DEVO had the predictable decline after “Whip It”, finally breaking up in 1991, but reuniting five years later to play the classics at places like Lollapalooza and Central Park SummerStage (QRO venue review).

Recent years have seen DEVO more active, from their first European tour in almost twenty years in 2007 to their first Akron show in thirty years to support Barack Obama (joined by fellow Akronites The Black Keys – see below).  And SXSW 2009 (QRO recap) saw them perform actual new material, which was released this year (after their appearance on The Colbert ReportQRO Indie on Late Night TV) in the first new DEVO record in two decades, Something for Everybody.

Sonic Youth, 8:15 PM – 9:05 PM

Is there a bigger band in punk rock?  Is there a better band?  There certainly isn’t a more important punk band playing today than Sonic Youth (QRO live review) – in fact, they might be the most important of any of the bands playing today (QRO live review).  For it-can’t-really-be-thirty years, married singer/guitarists Thurston Moore (QRO solo live review) & Kim Gordon (the best married couple in music, ever), axe-god Lee Renaldo, and never-forget-about Steve Shelly (it’s tough, being a drummer…) have been combining the best guitar rock since Jimmie Page (and without any of the axe-wankery) with the power of the spirit of ’77.  From 1988’s now-in-the-Library of Congress Daydream Nation (QRO deluxe edition review) to being the Dirty wise men of grunge, through experimental outings, Jim O’Rourke picking up the bass Gordon put down in 2000, Mark Ibold (of Pavement – see above) picking up that bass & fully joining the band for last year’s The Eternal (QRO review), even playing Daydream in its entirety (QRO live review), Sonic Youth (QRO live review) are not only still here, they’re still the gold standard of punk rock – of rock(QRO photos outdoors).

Sonic Youth
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, 7:00 PM – 7:45 PM

Today’s garage-rock and party-rock revivals wouldn’t be possible without The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.  Spencer’s also featured in other more-notorious-and-influential-than-successful acts such as Heavy Trash, Boss Hog & Pussy Galore, but he returns to explosion, celebrating twenty years with their first-ever compilation, Dirty Shit Rock and Roll: The First Ten Years.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
We Are Wolves, 5:40 PM – 6:25 PM

Originally formed by two visual artists as “a post-punk landscape with analogue trees”, We Are Wolves could have gone in any great number of directions.  Thankfully for listeners, the intriguing indie rockers could not have chosen a better road to travel. Their various tugs of war between lo and hi fi, French and English vocals, and dance and Latin styles have been almost as intriguing as their collective results on Invisible Violence (QRO review).  They’ve played CMJ, SXSW, The Virgin Festival, and now they are bringing their electro garage party back to Osheaga. Party on.

We Are Wolves
The Antlers, 4:25 PM – 5:10 PM

The newest of the next wave of Brooklyn acts is The Antlers (QRO photos), who first blew people away with epic concept album Hospice, then opened for the likes of Ra Ra Riot (see belowQRO live review, opening for Ra Ra Riot), Editors (QRO album review QRO photos, opening for Editors) and, most recently, The National (see aboveQRO photos, opening for The National).  But now they’ve graduated to headlining their own big gigs (QRO live review, outdoors & headlining), and leaven in some new material with the Hospice.

The Antlers
Blitzen Trapper, 3:10 PM – 3:55 PM

While some of the ‘sweet seventies’ revival has been overhyped [cough-Fleet Foxes-QRO album review-cough], Portland’s Blitzen Trapper deserve their praise, as they add in some freak to their folk.  After self-releasing their first three records (including 2007’s Wild Mountain NationQRO review), they signed to Sub Pop for the excellent Furr (QRO review) and this year’s Destroyer of the Void.  And their live show (QRO live review) has stayed strong, with songs like “Sci-Fi Kid” (QRO video) and “Murder Babe” (QRO video).

Blitzen Trapper
Still Life Still, 2:00 PM – 2:40 PM

Toronto’s Still Life Still has stretched one studio album further than a lot of musicians push their whole careers.  Months before their first record – Girls Come Too (QRO review) – hit the shelves, the expansive indie rockers had already lined up Kevin Drew (QRO album review) of Broken Social Scene (QRO spotlight on) to produce.  Factor in a record deal with Arts & Crafts, a spectacular live show (QRO live review), as well as some dates with the likes of The Hold Steady (QRO live review) and The Most Serene Republic (QRO spotlight on), one thing becomes clear.  Despite their short discography, they Canadian quintet are poised to shine at Osheaga.

Still Life Still



Tim Barry, 10:20 PM – 11:00 PM

Crossing the folk/punk divide is Avail’s Tim Barry (QRO photos).  Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, Barry has put out three records of solo folk work, and in 2008 toured with fellow punk rockers-going-solo folk in the ‘Revival Tour’ (QRO photos outdoors at a festival) with Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music – QRO photos) and Ben Nichols (Lucero – QRO album review).

Tim Barry
Ra Ra Riot, 9:10 PM – 9:50 PM

Oh, how they’ve grown!  In the less than three years since their self-titled EP (QRO review) and the death of singer/drummer John Pike, this Nor’easter collective (QRO photos) has not only rebounded but exploded (QRO photos at a festival), embracing life even more on 2008’s excellent The Rhumb Line (QRO review) than early single “Dying Is Fine” (QRO video) could have predicted.  Ra Ra Riot’s live show (QRO live review) sees everyone but the new drummer running around on stage like kids on candy (especially singer Wesley Miles – QRO interview), but they’re also relative road ‘veterans’, from near-immediately after Pike’s death (QRO live review) to outdoor festivals (QRO photos outdoors at a festival) to in-stores (QRO photos) to industry showcases (QRO photos at an industry showcase) to bigger & bigger rock clubs (QRO photos) to opera houses (QRO live review) to fashion launch parties (QRO live review) – and even the occasional basement show (QRO photos).  They’re also building in songbook, from early numbers like “Can You Tell?” (QRO video) to Rhumb single “Ghost Under Rocks” (QRO video) and the Pike-penned “St. Peter’s Day Festival” (QRO video) to the new “Too Dramatic”, and follow-up The Orchard drops in late August.  Note: do watch out for a tight pack of males in front of everyone’s indie-rock crush, Alexandra Lawn (QRO interview)…

Ra Ra Riot
Ra Ra Riot
Frank Turner, 8:00 PM – 8:40 PM

While Frank Turner (QRO photos) began his life in music as singer for the post-hardcore act Million Dead, since that band’s break-up in 2005, the Bahrain-born, Britain-raised artists has turned to political indie-folk.  He’s not a stranger to big stages, however, having opened up for Green Day (QRO album review) at stadium shows in the U.K.in June.


Pawa Up First, 7:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Frank Turner
The Morning Benders, 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM

From over in Berkeley comes The Morning Benders (QRO photos at a festival), and while they draw from the sixties, it’s not the Deadhead hippie jams but sunnier strums, inflected with the right amount of indie (QRO live review) in early songs like “Dammit Anna” (QRO video) & “Boarded Doors” (QRO video).  This year’s Big Echo (QRO review) was something of a disappointment musically, but has certainly seen the band (QRO photos at a festival) get more successful, to the point of headlining bigger stages (QRO photos, headlining outdoors).


Amanda Mabro, 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM

The Morning Benders
Horse Feathers, 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM

One of the more elegant acts at Osheaga, Horse Feathers looks to captivate audiences with a paradoxical style.  Quiet yet powerful, simple yet complex, the Oregon based band craft refined arrangements, which blend chamber folk and orchestral pop.  Graceful, charming, and most importantly, sonically superb, Horse Feathers will make you stagger and swoon by the light of the Montreal sunset.  

Horse Feathers
Hannah Georgas, 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

With only a handful of demos to her name, Hannah Georgas left the college life behind and took the chance that everyone who plays an instrument mulls over at one time or another.  Thankfully, that chance turned into the chance of a lifetime, with Georgas getting international airplay and touring across the continent.  It would be entirely unfair to attribute any of her success to luck – instead, Georgas owes her new career path to witty lyrics, poppy writing, and a truly undeniable charm.  With that trio in her arsenal, Hannah may just me one of the festival’s best-kept secrets. 


Ariel, 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM


Cotton Mouth, 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Hannah Georgas

Major Lazer


Major Lazer, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

The collaboration between DJ/producers Diplo and Switch made a serious breakthrough last year as Major Lazer, with Guns Don’t Kill People…  Lazers Do, and just recently followed it up with tour EP Lazers Never Die.



For festival website, go here: http://www.osheaga.com/en/


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