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Kaytranada

Haiti-born, Toronto-bred Kaytranada is on fire right now. After launching his career under the guise of Kaytradamus, he shifted to the alias Kaytranada in 2012. As a producer and DJ who has been on the scene for a mere four years, Kaytranada’s catalog is already fairly prolific, with 13 projects and 16 remixes under his belt. Now, he’s started working with rap’s freshest emcees, including Mick Jenkins, GoldLink and Vic Mensa. His latest release “Rain,” starring Mick Jenkins, samples the Ann Peebles song, “I Can’t Stand the Rain.” Kaytranada morphs the song to indeed make you feel like you’re standing in the middle of a serene downpour.

Wed., Oct. 8, 8 p.m., 2014

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Perfect Sisters: A Plot to Kill A Terrible Mom

Perfect Sisters stumbles through a plot of moments haphazardly strung together that sounds absolutely unrealistic — except that it’s based on the true story of the Bathtub Girls, the case that rocked Toronto in 2004.

Truth proves stranger than we’d put up with in fiction when two close-as-can-be sisters, Sandra (Abigail Breslin) and Beth (Georgie Henley), plot to murder their alcoholic mess of a mother, Linda (Mira Sorvino), after their younger brother suffers one slap too many from her abusive boyfriend (James Russo).

Older sister Sandra plays mother to Linda and their younger brother at home, yet is the attention-seeking pathological liar at school; Beth is the Goth whose uncanny resemblance to Nancy of The Craft goes right down to the manic gaze. They come to the conclusion that euthanizing their mother would alleviate everyone’s misery (including hers).

Any potential for an in-depth examination of the adolescent psyche pushed to its limits goes unmet, though not for lack of trying.

Stanley M. Brooks’s directorial debut’s attempt to make sense of what happened falters by laboring to tick every item off the timeline checklist instead of focusing on who these Bathtub Girls were underneath the dysfunction. Without that who, we can’t comprehend the extent of the why.

But there is fleeting beauty in the subtle gestures by the lead actresses — both departing from the charming, blissfully youthful roles that put them on the map — especially when the story pauses to hone in on the sisters’ uniquely strong bond, which is unmarred by awkwardly staged scenes at a house party or their shared, oddly glowing imagined iteration of Linda as a perfect mother.

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Cowboy Junkies

Toronto’s Cowboy Junkies prove that Canadian country and blues can be just as achy breaky as the American varietal. Instead of insistent honky-tonk or cowboy influences, though, Cowboy Junkies rely on the more languid, ethereal end of the spectrum. At the heart of the group are three Timmins siblings — Michael, Peter, and lead singer Margo — and it was covers like their rendition of the Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane” that got them radio play. Reaching peak popularity in the ’90s, the Junkies continued to release albums well into the late 2000s. Expect bristly, alt-country melodies with Margo’s ghostly alto floating above.

Wed., March 5, 8 p.m., 2014

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Egyptrixx+Sinden

With his 2010 EP “The Only Way Up,” Egyptrixx helped shape the amorphous yet distinctive and influential London label Night Slugs. After taking some time off to record psychedelic grooves as Hiawatha, the Toronto-based producer is back with a new full-length, A/B Til Infinity. His affinity for black metal can be heard in the record’s sheared edges and steel-to-steel clanging, embellished with dripping rain and siren wails. While often challenging, Egyptrixx’s tracks always materialize into music to dance to, or at least get lost in.

Fri., Feb. 7, 11:30 p.m., 2014

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Prism House+Foxes in Fiction

Local blog and event curators Audiofemme are holding a showcase at Spike Hill on Thursday, January 16. The lineup includes local acts like 19-year-old Ellen Kempner who’s a student at Sarah Lawrence and the driving force behind the sharp, clamorous project Palehound. Foxes in Fiction, the Bushwick by way of Toronto experimental sampling project of Toronto Warren Hildebrand will also be performing. The full lineup includes Crooked Tails, XNY, Daytona, Prism House and a DJ Set by Steevee Dee.

Thu., Jan. 16, 7 p.m., 2014

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If I Were You Does Screwball Comedy, Canadian Style

Featuring adultery without the naughty bits, a wife-mistress rivalry, and a couple of nursing-home deaths, If I Were You is a screwball comedy for Canadians—not LOL funny, but as crazy as you might expect Toronto to get. Using whip-smart wordplay from writer-director Joan Carr-Wiggin (A Previous Engagement), Marcia Gay Harden does a star turn in versatility. Forget “mash-up”—Harden works many modes, side-by-side and within each other. So polite that she races off in embarrassment after spotting her husband (Joseph Kell) at a compromising lunch with a gorgeous young thing, her Madelyn turns events to her advantage and ends up with three men drooling over her—a nice brains-trumps-cute trick from a starchy matron in sensible heels—even as she fends off Leonor Watling’s charmingly ditzy Lucy. Female bonding rules, but without the programmed feel of Just Between Friends, an earlier prototype. Aidan Quinn is debonair in a small but pivotal role. And a far-fetched plot thread trails the women to an amateur theatrical production, making Madelyn a moving female King Lear. Screwball is logic-immune, of course, and the play does echo the betrayal theme, as well as providing Quinn with what so far is 2013’s best one-liner.

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APOCALYPSE NOW

Earnestness has never come easily to the five smarmy imps who make up Toronto’s prog-punk collective Fucked Up, and now that they’re celebrating “Human Deadline Day,” they’re not showing any signs of late-hour introspection. The group’s members—who have become critical 
darlings for evolving from gravel-throated Black Flag sound-alikes into a quirky, heavy prog group capable of writing smart rock operas like last year’s David Comes to Life—have said they booked today’s show in “Earth’s capital” to ensure that it would be “wherever the party is when the shit all hits the universal fan.” But since Fucked Up’s singer has a reputation of charging the audience like a cannonball and 
throwing cereal on his fans, who’s to say it won’t all start here? Joining them for the apocalypse are indie-punks Lemuria, punks Night Birds, and indie rockers 
Parquet Courts.

Fri., Dec. 21, 7 p.m., 2012

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ONE LAST DANCE?

As silly as all the hype around the supposedly impending apocalypse might be, if it offers us an occasion to drink top-shelf liquor and dance around like fools, then why not pretend? Tonight, Webster Hall’s Girls & Boys party offers perhaps the city’s best place to do just that, celebrating (?) the 
occasion with sets from Toronto bass DJs Zeds Dead and the mysterious UZ, whose pseudonymous productions have done as much as any to define the sound of 2012’s trendiest genre, trap rave. Of course, if the world is supposed to go up in flames at 11:11, then why are they waiting until 10 to start the party?

Fri., Dec. 21, 10 p.m., 2012

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RAW POWER

With an arsenal containing squealing feedback, hyper-charged cymbal crashes, and vocalist-guitarist Alex Edkins’s worn-ragged vocal chords, Toronto trio METZ turned heads at last month’s CMJ festival as they tortured various New York venues’ speaker systems. The secret to their appeal is the way their abrasive instrument abuse somehow comes across as accessible enough to have found them a home on Nirvana’s pre-fame record label, Sub Pop, but without compromising any of their gnarly, gritty, drooling primal paroxysms. Their self-titled debut seethes with the sort of electric charge that powered the best and dingiest acts to emerge in the mid-’80s pig-fuck music scene (Big Black, Pussy Galore) but never so much as to become utterly nauseating. It’s a delicate balance, and it’s one that METZ—capital letters and all—somehow maintains. With Hunters.

Mon., Nov. 19, 9:30 p.m., 2012

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WICKED GAMES

Last year, Toronto’s the Weeknd shook up r&b with a self-released mixtape trilogy (in order of both quality and chronology: House of Balloons, Thursday, Echoes of Silence) that basked in their own brooding mysteriousness, focusing less on the party or after-party than the lonely 4:30 a.m. comedown. This year, he climbed the charts with his guest vocals on fellow Torontonian Drake’s “Crew Love” and brought his show on the road, playing three New York shows before those mixtapes get their proper release. The show should be a good time, but we can’t make any promises about what will go on later.

Thu., Oct. 25, 9 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 26, 9 p.m., 2012