It's a truth universally acknowledged that too many bands plus long lines equals less music.

That’s why Metro is here to navigate the metrics of rock for you, to help maximize your exposure to the bands of buzz at this year’s Canadian Music Week. Here’s our hour-by-hour field guide to tonight’s shows that your friends will be talking about tomorrow.

Champion, Beast & Misstress Barbara
Guvernment, 9 p.m.: Un: Globetrotting synth-spinner non-human Misstress Barbara. Deux: Club-thumping Grammy-nominated electro hop duo Beast. Trois: Energetic, guitar quartet-backed electronic rock DJ Champion. This stacked set from Montréal is one of CMW’s strongest, and a sure bet to avoid barhopping and a night full of lineups. Each act still buzzing from albums released in 2009, the trio promises throbbing bass and a sweat-soaked dance floor, en français.


Dan Mangan
The Great Hall, 10 p.m.: The Vancouver-based singer/songwriter with the grizzly voice and bearded perma-grin returns to Toronto for two sets during the fest, the second on Friday at 10 p.m. for the Music BC showcase at Courthouse. Mangan brings his nice guy brand of rootsy indie folkpop, punctuated by playful lyrics that express his Vonnegutian impressions on the folly of life.

Bread and Circus, 11 p.m.: Hailing from Calgary via the Peace Country in northwest Alberta, Ghostkeeper harkens back to the danceable early ’70s with shoulder shifting blues pop. Shane Ghostkeeper and Sarah Houle bring a contemporary rawness to their fun guitar-and-drum numbers (dressed with groove-inducing tambourine, handclaps, ohhs and even ahhs) that glow with humble, mashed up lyrics.

Cadence Weapon
The Garrison, 12 a.m.: It’s a treat to catch Cadence Weapon live these days. The multifaceted rapper is busy waxing away as Edmonton’s poet laureate and defending Douglas Coupland’s Generation X in CBC’s Canada Reads competition. So you don’t want to miss this opportunity to see the smart and speedy Albertan drop his stylized rhymes.

The Besnard Lakes
Horseshoe Tavern, 12:10 a.m.: Anchored by husband and wife songwriting partners Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas, Montréal’s The Besnard Lakes weave musical landscapes with little rock jabs. Playing with elements of shoegaze and progressive rock, the Polaris Music Prize-nominated band builds dreamy atmospheres often reflecting nature, a fitting wind down amid the buoyancy of its bill mates like Magneta Lane, Hollerado and The Great Bloomers.

Catch tomorrow’s edition of Metro for our top Canadian Music Week picks for Friday and Saturday!

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