This Week in Music: NXNE Radius Clause, Digital Dreams, Polaris, DETH, Austra, Stella Ella Ola, Beck
This Week in Music rounds up the latest news, releases and concerts coming to Toronto.
NXNE lifts radius clause, admits it was just messing with CMW all along
NXNE announced the lifting of the radius clause (which didn't allow any band playing NXNE to play in Toronto 45 days before the festival, and which they have strictly enforced) moments before the beginning of a filler Interactive panel I was involved with criticizing the festival for said radius clause - and at least a dozen other concerns (more on that tomorrow).
The announcement was worded thus: "CMW and NXNE Team Up To Build A Stronger Music Community- Radius Clause Lifted," proving NXNE director Christopher Roberts was dishonest to Chart Attack when he claimed the radius clause had nothing to do with CMW. Turns out it had everything to do with the competing fest, and NX didn't care who it trod on in its quest to dominate the local music scene. Remember that next year when you're deciding if you should spend your hard earned cash on a wristband or, say, several amazing DIY shows and the records on the merch table.
We'll be rounding up our highlights and lowlights from NXNE tomorrow.
Polaris Prize long list announced
The Polaris Prize list of a year's worth of Canadian albums showing artistic merit is out and it's pretty predictable - if you're a music journalist or you've been paying attention to Canadian music this year. Jokes have been flying re: Toronto's dominance of the list, with Drake, Austra, DIANA, Fresh Snow, BADBADNOTGOOD, Odonis Odonis, Bry Webb, PUP, AroarA, Owen Pallett (still ours, sorry MTL), The Strumbellas, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan (half ours? totally ours?) and even The Darcys (hair flip!) all making the list. Plus Jessy Lanza and Shad, because Hamilton and London are our snuggle buddies. Stream the nominees on Songza here. The short list will be announced July 15 at The Drake Hotel.
DETH Records sampler
The Kensington Market gutter goth scene has organized, and SINS' DETH Records contains the 50-shades-of-black, NSFW ooze these digital witches have been brewing: Toronto's back alley dark electronic is not your grandma's stuffy goth. (To lighten the mood, talk to DETH about cute baby animals and you will not be disappointed.) SARIN, Distraksjon, Human Performance Lab, S!NS, Vierance, HUREN, and more are riding the coldwave on the only compilation that matters this summer. Bring on the sunshine.
New Toronto songs & vids
Distraksjon - Occlusion
NSFW. NSFW. NSFW. Distraksjon's video for this DETH Records comp single features a regular day in a local factory basement sex dungeon. Just kidding, somebody better call ghost busters before we all end up with goat heads, severed hearts, and robotic intestines. I'm putting this first because, full disclosure, there's a 3D-scanned cameo clip of director Nathanial Addison cutting my eye out with a knife in this video. The things I do for you, Toronto.
ABP - Scarborough Kids
Hip hop duo Airplane Boys dropped an entire album for free last week and one of its strongest tracks "Scarborough Kids" is their next single. The black and white, neighbourhood traversing video knocks on "Lovers in a Dangerous Time"'s door but shares the block. Scarborough is officially cool - catch up, Etobicoke.
Austra - Habitat
This new video from holographic-fog goths Austra for the culty title track of their new ep Habitat (stream it here) is one of their strongest yet - some definite My Own Private Idaho vibes here. Pop music needs more sexy songs about brothers, yeah?
Stella Ella Ola - Peter Sellers
This song is about having cameras and making films - and hey, you can make pretty much anything out of cardboard. Toronto Island is looking pretty good, and so is this Wedge(circa when that was a thing)-ready indie vid.
This week's hot tickets
Pride runs until June 29 and the parties and performances will be non stop until the closing ceremonies which will feature Tegan and Sara, Rich Aucoin, and more. Check out our list of Pride Parties here.
Beck / June 27 / 7pm / Sony Centre (1 Front St. East) / $50-80
Opinions in my friends pool are divided on the quality of the new Beck album Morning Phase. I must have been born a little too late, because people having opinions on Beck strikes me as fishy.
Digital Dreams / June 28 and 29 / Flats at Ontario Place / 2 pm / $220
Via our dance writer Benjamin Boles: Even if you're a veteran dance music snob, you still have to admit that there are some great acts mixed in with the mega-festival cheese at this year's Digital Dreams. Where else could you see names like Danny Tenaglia, Deep Dish, Art Department, Justice, Victor Calderone, Nicole Moudaber, Green Velvet, Andy C and more all playing at one event?
Local hot ticket
A PSYCHIC EUPHORIA
Little Ghøs† of The RGB Collective is hosting this party at Smiling Buddha that is so psychedelic that I can't really relate it to you properly without us both candy flipping and promising to always be connected in a corner of the Buddha basement first. STÜKA (noise/drone/industrial), CHOBO (yeah, BB writes for us), Petra Glynt (yeah, I write about her every week) and more are upstairs. What's going on downstairs? I'm not sure what writing is, your face is a butterfly.
Recently announced concerts
- SSION / July 3 / AGO
- SINS / July 12 / Silver Dollar
- Ought / July 25 / Silver Dollar
- Constantines / Oct 2 / Danforth Music Hall
- Banks / Oct 3 / The Phoenix
What we got up to this week
- Spiritualized cherry-picks wide catalog at Massey Hall
- This is how to throw a party on the Toronto Islands
- The top 5 shows to see at the Toronto Jazz Festival 2014
- Why Buzz Records are buzzing at NXNE (and beyond)
- Hedley wins over Drake at 2014 MMVAs
- Rick Ross an unapologetic shill-out at the Kool Haus
- This Toronto concert venue is also an epic house party
Digital Dreams photo by Brian Morton