nxne 2009 guide

NXNE Party Guide 2009

NXNE officially rolls into town this Wednesday for its 15th year, ready to transform small stages all over Toronto into the ultimate music, film and party conference. Based out of the new Hyatt Regency on King, NXNE includes over 500 bands at 50 venues, along with conference panels and film screenings - which can make the festival somewhat difficult to plan for!

It's going to be an awesome week of music-fueled madness, so we've hand-picked some of the best in our NXNE 2009 Party Guide. This will give you the inside track on NXNE 2009's hottest events, plus a small taste of what sort of coverage to expect from the blogTO team.

Throughout North by North East, there are several venues that are sure bets for spotting artists and some of the best festival content. You can see a complete schedule here, or just try these hot spots - you'll want to hit these key venues at some point during NXNE:

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The Horseshoe Tavern
Needless to say, this is one of the hottest stages at NXNE - you could park yourself at the Horseshoe for the next week and still experience some of the best talent coming through the city.

The Rivoli sessions take place in the early evening at this venue, focusing on the business and networking aspects of music management. At night, expect some of the biggest bands at the festival to take over the stage.

Yonge and Dundas Square
Thursday through Sunday afternoon, the Square will host free shows that'll make sure everyone gets a taste of NXNE talent. There are other free shows at Union, various parks, and at the Airport.

Hyatt Regency on King
Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoon, catch artists playing on the intimate NXPO stage located inside the Hyatt Regency.

With 50 venues mostly open 'till 4am, your NXNE wristband has a lot to offer; make sure to get around and see more than just these few venues!

After scouring the seemingly endless event schedule, we've also narrowed down some of the best official and unofficial parties you won't want to miss.

Wednesday June 17th:

The Official Opening Night Gala (@Berkeley Church) will kick off the conference, featuring artists from the Northern Ink Xposure Tattoo Expo. However, it is invite only.

The Broken Social Scene Bio book release (@The Courthouse) will feature Apostle of Hustle, Jason Collett, Years, Happiness Project, and a surprise guest... our money's on BSS.

Woodhands, lioness, DJ Tricky Carrera and others (@Drake Underground) are a great electronic bet for a kick off party, plus upstairs check out other artists like Fucked Up and Geoff Snack in the Lounge.

NXNE Unofficial 8 DJ Party (@The Social) will party hard until 4am, featuring NROTB, Gingy, TMDP and more.

Thursday June 18th:

NXNE Town Hall (@Second City, 2pm) is an in-depth panel about the future of the music business, with representatives from all aspects of the industry. A good lead in to the 'invite only' Music Makes It Reunion (@Rivoli) at 5pm.

Oh No Forest Fires and Amos the Transparent (@Drake Underground) head up a host of alternative rock starting at 10pm.

Flotilla and Rah Rah (@Rancho Relaxo) lead in to a night of pop and mellow rock starting at 9pm.

You Say Party, We Say Die! (@El Mocambo, downstairs) roll in from BC to get the party started, taking the stage at midnight right after Natalie Portman's Shaved Head (more than just an awesome name!).

Elephant Stone and Kill the Lights (@Supermarket) round out the later end of Thursday's offerings, bringing their psychedelic rock sounds to the stage around midnight.

Friday June 19th:

Kick things off a little earlier with The Junction and Green Go (@Mill St. Brewpub) at 1pm, conveniently located in a brewery to make sure the weekend starts right.

Pants and Tie and Prizzy Prizzy Please (@Whippersnapper Gallery) bring their unique sound to this gallery space later in the evening, starting around 11pm.

Pop, rock, and borderline punk band Change of Heart reunites (@The Horseshoe) on stage at midnight. The band originally formed in '82 and disbanded in '97 after seven albums, so this show is sure to bring out a hardcore crowd of die hard fans.

Supernova's Unofficial NXNE Showcase (@Poor Alex Theatre) will feature late night performances by Pirate Love, Kill the Lights and Goodbye Beatdown, plus a live film shoot for a movie on the new music scene.

Saturday June 20th:

Virtual Rock-Off (@Yonge-Dundas square) will kick off the afternoon, awarding $100,000 to the best 'virtual' rock band finalist that evening. Not a bad pay off for playing Rock Band on stage!

The Dudes and Said the Whale (@Reverb) head up a very respectable night of Canadian pop rock, with a hip hop finish by Grand Analog at 1am.

The Parkdale Hookers, Pasenger and Seven Levels (@Black Bull) will set the stage for an evening of power punk transitioning to smooth folk rock at the heart of Queen West.

Cut Throat Kids, Dig it Up and 40 Thieves (@Kathedral) will pack some serious punk into NXNE offerings, starting at 8pm.

Fake Blood, DJ Barletta and NastyNav (@Wrongbar) are guaranteed to bring the party through to 4am, plus this pricey event is free with your NXNE wristband.

Electric Youth's Unofficial NXNE Showcase (@State Theatre) will present NXNE DJ Fraggle Rock, Kid Legit and more... plus a Tiki-patio pre-party if you RSVP here.

Sunday June 21st:

Megan Hamilton and The Volunteer Canola and Olenka and the Autumn Lovers (@Bread and Circus) will head up an early evening of new folk rock.

The Beat Battle Competition (@Revival) runs from 4-8pm, followed by Mantis & Justis, Notes to Self and other local hip hop.

Definitely try to hit up the 8pm set by Wu-tang's GZA (@Yonge-Dundas square) - even though it's only a 40 minute performance, it's a great way to kick off the final night.

Diamond Rings, PS I Love You and Nich Worby (@Rivoli) will offer up a classic 'good times' alt rock ending to NXNE.

And finally, VISION (@CiRCA). This MMVA/NIX after party of epic proportion will feature DJ sets from Lights, K-OS, Lil' Jax, plus George Petit (Alexisonfire), Eon Sinclaire (Bedouin Soundclash), Tim And Dave (The Stills), and Skate For Cancer's Rob Dyer.


Remember, this is only a small slice of the NXNE pie... be sure to check out the whole schedule and explore something new at this year's conference; it's one of the only opportunities to see talented big sound bands play at these intimate Toronto venues. Happy NXNE-ing!

Photos: nowhere3 (top) and ryancouldrey (others)

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