Hollerado (January 16)December was a busy month for Canadian rockers Hollerado. After winning the $250,000 grand prize in Ottawa’s Live 88.5 “Big Money Shot,” the foursome went on tour in China. This month sees them playing the Gala at La Sala Benefit Concert for CMETrust, along with TONSTARTSSBANDHT, The Pop Winds, and Homosexual Cops. Seemingly non-stop touring has paid off for Hollerado, letting them build a well-deserved reputation as a talented, energetic, up-and-coming band. If you haven’t seen these boys yet, you’re missing out on what fun rock should be. Plus, proceeds from the show go to Canada-Mathare Education Trust, a charity that funds scholarships for students from the Mathare slum outside Nairobi, Kenya. @ La Sala Rossa.
Dinosaur Jr. (January 23)In the beginning – before the word “grunge” meant anything more than what built up in your carburetor and skinny plaid-shirted singers with holes in their jeans roamed the earth – there was the time of the Dinosaur. Of course, any modern-day hipster worth their weight in skinny ties already knows about Dinosaur Jr. It’s not difficult, considering they’ve been around since 1984 (originally sans-“Jr.”). Lead singer/guitarist J Mascis pioneered a guitar sound that can only be described as grimy and filthy, straddling the border between giving you goosebumps and tinnitus – so why can’t we stop listening? 2009’s release, Farm, sounds as if it’s out to prove that the band has stayed as rough and strangely addictive as ever. @ Club Soda.
Switchfoot (January 23)God’s favourite alt-rock band, San Diego’s Switchfoot, is more than a Christian group that have reached the mainstream. In fact, they’re against people describing their music as “Christian rock,” yet they don’t deny their involvement in the scene (and it doesn’t stop my iTunes from filing their album under “Gospel & Religious”). Their music is characterized by high-energy guitar and drums mixed with pop rock vocals, sometimes reminiscent of early 2000s pop-punk (Story of the Year and Yellowcard come to mind). They also have the ability to weave pretty, heartfelt ballads into their albums, which stand out from the majority of their songs. @ Just for Laughs.