Wednesday, June 18, 2014

NXNE 2014: Preview (Part II)

Yesterday, I looked at some of the best showcases to check out if you're staying put. Today, here's a whole list of good stuff to check out if you're hopping from venue to venue. You can always search through the tag cloud at the right to find more stuff about most of these bands.

With NXNE boasting such huge numbers of bands every year, you have to accept that you're not going to see everything — and, realistically, you can't even research everything. At least that's the case for me. But in a general effort to reduce the unknown unknowns, I'm putting down a list of bands that I feel confident recommending for you. These are all bands that I've seen before, many more than once. And to back up my claims, I've included live recordings so you can judge for yourself what you're getting into.


Mod Club Theatre, Friday, June 20 @ 9 PM; Yonge Dundas Square, Saturday, June 21 @ 6:30 PM

After a long wait, the band's album (filled to the brim with C-86 style delights) is getting reissued to a wider audience. For a couple years now, the band has been hanging around the corners of the room like a shy teenager at a sock-hop, but it looks like they're getting ready to leap onto the dancefloor.
Listen! Alvvays - Party Police

Andre Ethier

Smiling Buddha, Thursday, June 19 @ 10 PM

This former Deadly Snake/current painter doesn't take the stage all that much these days, so it's always worth seeking out — especially as he has a whole bunch of as-yet-unreleased songs filling up his set, and some of the city's best musicians playing behind him.
Listen! Andre Ethier - Pride of Egypt

Ark Analog

Wrongbar, Friday, June 20 @ 1 AM; Tattoo, Saturday, June 21 @ 11 PM

There's no laptop and no safety net when Maylee Todd and Woodhands' Dan Werb get together. That means things might just go wrong. But even when they do, they're also going so, so right — which might explain why you're dancing.
Listen! Ark Analog - Was That It?

Army Girls

M-- Squirtcar, Wednesday, June 18 @ 12:30 AM; Lee's Palace, Friday, June 20 @ 9 PM

DIANA's much-lauded album and world-conquering tours were an inconvenient obstacle to local crowds who'd gotten used to a steady stream of bracing sets from Carmen Elle and Andy Smith. But the electric alchemy of an Army Girls show is back on a stage near you. Don't miss one of the city's finer guitar heroes and songwriters in action.
Listen! Army Girls - The End of Days


Silver Dollar Room, Thursday, June 19 @ 2 AM

Late-night specialists B-17 channelled their Stooge wah-ing energy into the psych bursts that populated their album — and then didn't take long to come up with a whole new set's worth of material, which you can check out in their natural environment.
Listen! B-17 - The Girl With the Raven Hair


The Horseshoe Tavern, Saturday, June 21 @ 10:30 PM

The spirit of the Rheostatics lives on in Dave Bidini's band, which freely mixes shaggy rock, epic solos, widescreen Canadiana and prog structures. It might fall down and it might soar away.
Listen! Bidiniband - The Land Is Wild

Bloodshot Bill

M-- Squirtcar, Thursday, June 19 @ 10:30 PM; Lee's Palace, Thursday, June 19 @ 1 AM; M for 159 Manning Friday, June 20 @ 1 PM

With a snort and a holler, Bloodshot Bill evokes the pure greasy spirit of elemental rock'n'roll.
Listen! Bloodshot Bill - Stop!

Carl Didur

NXNE Festival Village at Edward Day Gallery, Sunday, June 22 @ 1 PM

One of the city's true musical geniuses (recently getting some well-deserved attention for his work with Zacht Automaat), Carl Didur constructs folds in the fabric of spacetime with little more than a beat up rhythm machine, vintage synths and a reel to reel unit.
Listen! Carl Didur - [last section]


The Horseshoe Tavern, Wednesday, June 18 @ 10 PM; St. James Gazebo, Saturday, June 21 @ 1 PM)

Fans of the sort of infinitely scalable jangle jams popularized by Real Estate will find a lot to love in this local unit.
Listen! Elsa - In Two

Giant Hand

Handlebar, Friday, June 20 @ 9 PM

Kirk Ramsay sometimes seems to hide in the shadows as much as one of the outcasts that he sings about, but if you can find him on a stage his fragile, intimate, Daniel Johnston-inspired songs will stick with you.
Listen! Giant Hand - unknown

The Golden Dogs

Rivoli, Saturday, June 21 @ 11 PM

Hey: if you can't dig yourself some superbly crafted, Beatles-y power-pop, then just turn in your bellbottoms at the front desk.
Listen! The Golden Dogs - Do It For You


Bovine Sex Club, Wednesday, June 18 @ 11 PM

Seriously committed shredding meets DIY Spinal Tap — witness the spectacle of a party being born all around you.
Listen! HotKid - unknown

The Jessica Stuart Few

Rancho Relaxo, Thursday, June 19 @ 8 PM

A serene island of sophisticated pop, Jessica Stuart's Joni-esque compositions are framed with her beautiful koto playing.
Listen! The Jessica Stuart Few - Kid Dream


NXNE Festival Village at Edward Day Gallery, Thursday, June 19 @ 11 PM

As the strobe lights flicker, you see a figure in leather gloves, hunched over, up to something. It can't be good. Maybe you should get out of here. Fuck that, you know you're going to stay, bub, no matter what he does to you. You came here searching for the menace, and you found it.
Listen! Kontravoid - Expulsions

Maica Mia

The Garrison, Wednesday, June 18 @ 9 PM; Handlebar, Wednesday, June 18 @ 1 AM; NXNE Festival Village at Edward Day Gallery, Thursday, June 19 @ 9 PM

Formerly sleep-rock specialists in the vein of Picastro or Mazzy Star, Montréal's Maica Mia still bring some elements of that, but their recent Des Era adds a bit of rumbling propulsion to their sound.
Listen! Maica Mia - Jonny-o


Baltic Avenue, Thursday, June 19 @ 12 AM

Explore the psych-rock caverns deep under the surface of distant planets. Listen to the mysterious incantations murmuring from distant temples gilded with zinc. Breath the atmosphere — say, does that taste like argon? — of MIMICO.
Listen! Mimico - Doses

Nick Ferrio & His Feelings

The Silver Dollar Room, Wednesday, June 18 @ 9 PM

Peterborough's Nick Ferrio promises a "rock band" version of his countrified laments for his NXNE set, with pals Steve Lambke, Ian Kehoe and Robin Love joining him on stage. But he'll still be evoking the spirit of a wandering troubadour.
Listen! Nick Ferrio - Half the Time

Odonis Odonis

Yonge Dundas Square, Thursday, June 19 @ 5:30 PM; The Garrison, Thursday, June 19 @ 1 AM

Moving up to the big stage at YDS, these surfgaze crunchers will be showing off both their hard boiled and soft boiled sides.
Listen! Odonis Odonis - Muscle

Omar Souleyman

V--- Island, Thursday, June 19 @ 7:15 PM; Yonge Dundas Square, Friday, June 20 @ 6:30 PM

One of the most exciting "gets" for the festival is a Syrian wedding singer, undemonstrative behind his aviator shades, wagging his finger as he declaims his love songs to electronic dabke beats and a snaky synth burble. Hypnotizing, dronified dance grooves, this is a festival must-see.
Listen! Omar Souleyman - Leh Jani

Patti Cake

Silver Dollar Room, Friday, June 20 @ 2 AM

If it's true that sunshine is the best disinfectant, than this ebullient rock'n'soul combo (fronted by Kritty Uranowski) is bound to be good for what ails your spirit.
Listen! Patti Cake - Diamonds

PS I Love You

Mod Club Theatre, Thursday, June 19 @ 9 PM; Bruise Cruise, Saturday, June 21 @ 3:30 PM

Gorgeous guitar solos express everything that's left over from Paul Saulnier's words. There's a new album in the can, so expect to hear some of the ace new material at these shows.
Listen! PS I Love You - In My Mind

Shannon and the Clams

M-- Squirtcar, Thursday, June 19 @ 9:30 PM; Lee's Palace, Thursday, June 19 @ 12 AM

I once saw this band compress Del Shannon's "Runaway" into a pedal-to-floor dragrace here and gone in a manner of seconds. They do that with their own songs, too, leaving sweat-drenched dancefloors in their wake. Turbocharged rock'n'roll joy.
Listen! Shannon and the Clams - unknown

Unfinished Business

Smiling Buddha, Saturday, June 21 @ 6 PM; NXNE Festival Village at Edward Day Gallery, Sunday, June 22 @ 8 PM

Though still in their teens, this trio already has a few years under their belts, performing short songs about epic fails and haunted houses plus a few punk covers that blast like confetti cannons.
Listen! Unfinished Business - Haunted House + Superpowers

Viet Cong

Smiling Buddha, Thursday, June 19 @ 12 AM; The Horseshoe Tavern, Friday, June 20 @ 10 PM

Sporting an impressive Calgary pedigree (members have served in the now-defunct Women and Chad VanGaalen's band), Viet Cong rewire the proto-punk/postpunk past, sounding at some points like Mission of Burma covering "Lady Godiva's Operation" and at others grooving like a Wire-y Psychedelic Furs.
Listen! Viet Cong - Oxygen Feed

You'll Never Get To Heaven

Silver Dollar Room, Thursday, June 19 @ 11 PM

Meditative synth grooves create pensive poptones. DIY and hand-crafted live on stage, this is more head-nodding than body shaking, but the sound will still envelop you most warmly.
Listen! You'll Never Get to Heaven - By This River

Young Mother

Smiling Buddha, Saturday, June 21 @ 12 AM; NXNE Festival Village at Edward Day Gallery, Sunday, June 22 @ 4 PM

After taking some time to focus on the more pop-friendly Blonde Elvis, Jesse James Laderoute returns to his brooding krautrock/postpunk project.
Listen! Young Mother - A Lighter Affair

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