Sound Seekers

The Ethics, Garaga, and other great gigs from the Ottawa scene sound-o-meter

Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine.

The 12 days of Bluesfest are likely to attract most music goers in the city to the grounds of the Canadian War Museum. For those who like to get away from the crowds and long beer lineups, there are a bevy of happenings in and around the city. Some picks for the discerning music lover:

The Ethics are (from left): Paul Ross (drums), Marcus Ward (keys), Kevin Hersak (vocals, guitar), Matt Arnold (bass), and Jeff Gleeson (guitar, vocals)

The Ethics make yearning sound beautiful. If there was a spectrum of Ottawa sound, The Ethics would be at the softer end, creating beautiful music for romantically inclined over-thinkers. The title of their forthcoming album says it all: What I Did for Modern Love. It sees the band pick up the pace a bit (still maudlin, but danceable!). Stay tuned for a fall CD release show. Here the new songs this weekend when they play at Irene’s — the Glebe is under construction, so wear your walking shoes to get to this gig. With Royal Ottawa. Saturday, July 9. 9:30 p.m. $6. Irene’s Pub, 885 Bank St.

On the harder, sludgier end of the spectrum of the Ottawa scene sound-o-meter is where you’ll find Garaga. The band comprises a number of punks who have exited the garage so many times that they use a brand name. With The Mnemonics. Friday, July 8. 9:30 p.m. $8. Irene’s Pub, 885 Bank St.

A Tribe Called Red is a trio of Ottawa DJs — Shrub, Bear Witness, and NDN — that blend traditional Pow Wow music with electronic beats. They’re releasing a slate of new tunes, including the popular and hypnotic Red Skin Girl, this weekend at one of their regular Electric Pow Wow parties.
Saturday, July 9. 11 p.m. $5. Babylon, 317 Bank St.


Piknic Electronik Gatineau offers electronic music — and a BBQ. An offshoot of the Montreal summer series, this week’s lineup gives music nerds a chance to connect to the sounds of If Then Do, Olivier Saint-Germain, Kressel, and Likewise.
Sunday, July 10. 2 – 9 p.m. $10, free for kids under 12. River Park, near the Museum of Civilization. (Rain location is at nearby Le Petit Chicago, 5 p.m.-2 a.m.; check the Facebook page by 10 a.m. Sunday for weather updates.)