July 8: Jolie Holland, whom fans will have loved since her work with the lovely group The Be Good Tanyas, provides a smooth, easy entry into the month, bringing her mildly twanged blend of roots, jazz and blues to the Cabaret Mile End.
July 8-9: U2 at the Hippodrome. The 2-night concert run so big they had to build it its own outdoor stadium. Seriously- I drove past it the other day and the structure itself is worth the price of admission. And if you thrown in the fact that some small rock outfit from Dublin is going to play a couple tracks you might have heard before, well, it seems like it might just be kind of a fun time.
July 11: A short time ago, The Black Keys were a group that music nerds loved but the world in general knew little about. 3 Grammy awards later (for their great album Brothers), the world caught on that this duo from Ohio was making some of the toughest, smartest rock out there. Befitting this audience embiggening, they play the Bell Centre. In my mind, this is the biggest concert of the month.
July 14: Taylor Swift is a teenager who writes and sings sweet country pop songs. Which would make you think that this show at the Bell Centre would only be on the radar of a select group of teens. But, as many grownfolk who listen to entirely respectably intelligent music have noticed, Swift is a skilled songwriter. Kanye didn’t want to let her finish and she appears not to be done by any stretch of the imagination.
July 23-24: Heavy MTL. Some people will see this as a Kiss concert with a lot of angry bands playing before them. Others will see this a Motorhead, Anthrax, Disturbed, Billy Talent and Gobsmack concert with some guys playing dressup after it. I wouldn’t want to get in the middle of those two groups.
July 23: Every month there seems to be two simultaneous concerts that seem to exist in diametric opposition to the other. This month, it is Heavy MTL happening at the exact same time as the Oprah-approved Josh Groban serenades your mom at Bell Centre.
July 26-27: Sir Paul McCartney, who plays the Bell Centre for two nights, explained recently that an ex-manager suggested he retire at age 50, almost 20 years ago. Instead of throwing in the towel, this timeless Beatle released 11 new albums and continued playing shows around the world.
July 28: I first saw Gobble Gobble at Pop Montreal. It was a bunch of dudes running around in grass skirts and a dude with angel wings on the mic. And then it got weirder. And kind of awesome. They play with Grimes and Pat Jordache at Sala Rossa.
July 29-31: Osheaga. Eminem, Elvis Costello, Janelle Monae, Sam Roberts, Bright Eyes and much more. Obviously, we’ll be all over this.
July 30: DFA founder and LCD Soundsystem‘s James Murphy always puts on amazing show and his gig with fellow LCDer Pat Mahoney at Olympia is going to be the perfect party to shut down the month of July. Though none of The Muppets in the video below will be in attendance, this video makes me super happy.