Next week, instead of reveling in drunken buffoonery and watching fireworks explode over Lake Michigan, MD is heading north to Lake Ontario in Toronto to collect some Harvey’s trays and also enjoy a great music festival now in its second year. The Toronto Urban Roots Festival takes place at Fort York Garrison Common, and founder Jeff Cohen has put together another great lineup this year. We’re really looking forward to the trip because we here at MD are very fond of the city and always try to find reasons to go. Here are some things we’re really excited about at this years fest.
NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL
Ok, so we saw Jeff Mangum twice during his solo run. We saw NMH in October of last year when they started their tour. We’re seeing them at Pitchfork two weeks after TURF. And wouldn’t you know it, they’re still the most exciting part of this lineup!
He’s about to release his first solo record, and he’s playing here in Chicago on July 12th for the Taste. But we’ve seen him in Chicago so many times now, we need something different. Seeing Jeff and his son Spencer play music together is something I always figured we’d see, so why not check it out in glorious Toronto!
I’ve gotta say, I was not a huge fan of Acid Tongue. Rabbit Fur Coat was such a perfect record that anything she put out would have a hard time competing, but I thought the follow-up was just a HUGE step backward. Her new album comes out at the end of July, and I really like the lead single “Just One Of The Guys,” so I’m pretty optimistic that she’s back on track.
I’ve never seen Beirut live before. I think Zach Condon is a brilliant arranger of music and he comes up with some great ideas.
BLACK JOE LEWIS
Saw Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears open for Passion Pit of all things. And they blew Passion Pit out of the water as far as energy and crowd participation. Every instrument has an all-star playing it so I can’t wait to see these guys again!
SHOVELS AND ROPE
If you’re throwing a roots festival, you can’t get any more roots-y than Shovels & Rope. Saw them twice so far, and they were fantastic both times so I’m expecting great things from this early set.
Instead of having a million aftershows like Lollapalooza, TURF has set up a small but awesome group of late-night shows in Toronto. From the Wednesday before the fest through the Tuesday following, Lee’s Place and The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern will host Lucius, Black Joe Lewis, Shovels And Rope, Hollerado, Born Ruffians, Noah Gunderson, July Talk, Deer Tick and many more.
If you’re in Canada you should probably get some poutine, right? Lucky for us The Poutine Machine will be on location to meet all of our potato n gravy needs!
You can still buy three-day VIP or regular three-day and single tickets here. Find the full lineup and schedule here. If you live around the area or feel like taking a road trip, I definitely recommend it.