Double review, sketches and photos: NXNE teaser show with Army Girls, Fresh Snow, Michael Rault and Wish

February 26, 2014

Army Girls sketch drawing by Natascha Malta, Music Vice

Technically, it’s still winter outside in the city of Toronto. But although it may be icy outside, now that we’ve made it over the hump, my mind can’t help but fantasize about  impending summer. Soon the warm weather will once again transform Toronto into my favourite reincarnation of the city;  Toronto, city of festivals.

In particular, I’m really getting pumped for NXNE – which I equate to as the “Christmas Season” for the Toronto music nerd. This year will see the festival celebrate 20 consecutive years of the most exciting (mostly) independent music that Toronto, Canada, & the world has to offer – and the festival will expand it’s programming to 10 days in length. At six days, the festival was already more of a marathon than a sprint. Last year NXNE added a comedy and art stream to the fest, which has also been running a film + interactive program for years. With many bars offering extended hours for the fest, in addition to the slew of music labels and blogs offering daytime parties & BBQs, those surviving the full 10 days will certainly be privy to bragging rights.

In an effort to get the city psyched for the upcoming fest, NXNE offered a free concert last night. On the same day it released a second round of musicians who will be playing the 2014 installation of the fest. This June we can look forward to performances by Spoon, St. Vincent, Tune-Yards, Sleigh Bells, A$AP FERG, METZ, Goat, Tim Hecker, Fuck Buttons, LE1F, ALLVAYS, doomsquad, & many, many others.

The “teaser” show was held at the Garrison, and featured performances by Wish, garage rocker Michael Rault, Wavelength’s Incubator band Fresh Snow, and Army Girls, a rocking female-fronted duo, produced by Ben Cook. The mood of the fete was jovial, as a room full of the scene’s usual suspects speculated on the fest, & bobbed to the Tuesday night musical offering with anticipation.

I was able to catch the free-by-RSVP show at the Garrison with my Music Vice pal Brian Banks, for whom I covered my first NXNE experience in 2010. Last year was really special, as I was invited to participate in the festival’s inaugural art offerings, and under the official NXNE banner began my #Iwanttodrawyourband series – which still continues as an ongoing project. Consecutively, I participated as a volunteer with NXNE for the first time, for their newly added art program. Upping my participation in the fest, really helped me get the most out of my NXNE experience. In an effort to keep the ball rolling, I will be continuing my coverage of the fest via rock & illustrations created on site during the live musical performances.

This year will also be an exciting year because I will be putting together something a little bit bigger for the fest. I can’t give too many details yet as the details are still being finalized, but you can look forward to an announcement about the project in the spring! (And Brian has a new project on the boil, too.) There’s tons of music, and indie & DIY goodness to look forward to in the summer at NXNE. Ten whole days of it! In the meantime, don’t put away your parka and long johns just yet!

© Natascha Malta, Music Vice

Sketches and photos:

Internet links:
Army Girls
Listen to their debut EP Close To The Bone on Bandcamp
Fresh Snow
Michael Rault

Share and discuss using the links below. Follow Music Vice on Twitter at @MusicVice. Long Live Indie.


Brian Banks

Editor and Founder, Music Vice Magazine. Writer. Photographer. Poet. From Scotland. Not Ireland. Proudly based in Toronto, Canada. Rock N' Roll Don't Pay The Rent... 

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One Response to Double review, sketches and photos: NXNE teaser show with Army Girls, Fresh Snow, Michael Rault and Wish

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