NXNE 2013 Recommendations

June 12, 2013

The National

NORTH BY NORTHEAST music festival in Toronto is. Here are some recommendations of some cool shows to catch at NXNE 2013.

Broken Pencil and NXNE Present Sex and Death: A Night of Readings and Music at Creatures Creating, 822 Dundas St W, Wednesday, June 12
On Wednesday June 12th Broken Pencil, the Canadian magazine dedicated to zine culture, will present a night poetry and music truly in the spirit of NXNE’s multidisciplinary focus. Featuring 2 songwriter/comedy acts (Terry Clement will premiere his solo show before trying it on audiences at Edinburgh’s Fringe Fest), as well as “pinball pop music” from Gregory Pepper. The reading list includes punk writer Liz Worth, Aaron Manczyk, poet & music writer Natalie Zina Walschots, and to my great delight- Joey Comeau of asofterworld.com. Presented at Creatures Creating collective & gallery space, the night promises to both stimulating & a change of pace from the usual music fest experience.

Calexico at Mod Club, Wednesday, June 12 @ 10pm
These desert rockers from Tuscon, AZ caught our collective eye… worth investigating.
Tonstartssbandht – Thursday, June 13 @ BLK BOX, 1 AM & Saturday, June 15 @ Comfort Zone, 12am
Is Saturday stacked or what, folks? There is so much and it is hard to pick! But yeah, the Tonstartssbandht brothers have been pumping out consistently awesome freek music for years, oscillating wildly from abrasive psych-noise to church-pop to whatever you would call “doing covers of songs from the Bambi soundtrack”. It should be wild, if nothing else.
Dan Deacon headlines NOW Showcase at Horseshoe Tavern, Thursday, June 13 @ 12am
The most important thing you need to know about the Thursday night NOW Showcase at the Horseshoe Tavern, is that Baltimore native Dan Deacon is headlining it. Flashback moment. It’s 2009 and Dan Deacon is headlining some of the coolest art parties in the city, via avant garde party host- Primary Colors. Oh Dan, I remember when you swore you’d never play Toronto again after some asshole stole your crystal skull. Thank god that didn’t stick. I feel pretty confident saying this will be the best show you will see at NXNE this year. With support performances from Nu Sensae, Merchandise, Diana, Moon King, and an unannounced special guest (which are almost always worth the mystery).
The National @ Yonge Dundas Square, Friday June 14 @ 9.10pm
There’s a reason why they are NXNE headliners. The National are one of the best bands of the decade. If you are yet to discover them, come experience them live with half of the Toronto downtown population for this free show.
Bruise Cruise- Presented by M for Montreal, Saturday 12:30pm boarding time
If you’re not hitting the daytime parties at NXNE, you’re missing half the fun. The 3rd annual bruise cruise sails out of 207 Queens Q W at 12:30 PM on Saturday June 15th, and is free with your wristband (or a measly tenspot without). Features 3 of the fests must-see acts with performances from Fat Tony, Mikal Cronin, & We Are Wolves.
Henri Faberge – Saturday, June 15 @ Silver Dollar Room – Side Stage, 8:45/9:45 PM
Two and a half weeks into my sixteenth year I saw Henri Faberge and the Adorables play, and it was amazing. They were deliriously weird and fun in a way that no other band I’ve ever seen since has come even close to matching. Their one and only self-titled album is an overlooked masterpiece that I still return to with great, nostalgic verve every couple of months, and Henri doesn’t play shows often. I don’t want to be too specific, other than to say that you should seriously consider starting your Saturday night by catching one of these two sets. Needless to say, I will be going to this.
Majical Cloudz – Saturday, June 15 @ BLK BOX, 12:00 AM
Majical Cloudz have just put out a small sad pillow of an album called Impersonator, and much of it is the sound of an adult finally coming to peace with his own loneliness and insatiable longing for sustained and assured human connection. Ironically enough, that revelation and the music that sprang from it has now found Majical Cloudz great success and admiration, so sometimes the world is hilarious. Frontman Devon Welsh has gotten a lot of press for his stoic, focused intensity at live shows, with several reports of him staring audience members in the eye until they either become uncomfortable and shift away into the anonymity of the crowd or simply break down in tears. To all of which I say: Challenge accepted, my good man. Challenge accepted. (I just wish their only set at the whole festival wasn’t at the same time as Iceage’s only set. If you catch me crying, I will tell you it’s because of that conflict.)
 ©  J. Francis, Music Vice

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J. Francis

J. Francis is a freelance music critic that sprouted like an unsightly growth from the suburbs of the Greater Toronto Area and eventually ended up in Kingston, Ontario. He is a man of deliriously firm, contradictory convictions, with a life-long dream of dismantling high-art/low-art hierarchies. He loves pop music with a passion that many find unsettling and is often mistaken as being somehow ironic or insincere (nothing could be further from the truth). His favourite album is Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell. He knows that you think that's ridiculous. Regardless, he hopes you have a good day.

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