NXNE 2011

NXNE 2011 Preview

NXNE, entering its seventeenth year, gathers artists and bands, both signed and unsigned. And though it's based in Toronto, NXNE celebrates music both local and global, this year featuring acts from North America, England, Austria, Denmark and more. And for five days, audiences can enjoy over 650 bands and 40 films all around the city in over forty different venues.

Here's a rundown of my picks for what to add to your NXNE itinerary. See also yesterday's post on the Top 10 Toronto bands to catch at NXNE.


Nevado Records Showcase @ Rivoli | Doors open at 8PM
Rivoli packs in a great local line-up that includes LOOM, Megan Bonnell, The Meligrove Band and The Paint Movement. And at midnight, Regina's Library Voices take the stage with their bright pop songs, steamrolling audiences close to the stage with their feel-good energy and memorable sets, using six-fold vocalists and an electro-acoustic approach.

M for Montreal Showcase @ Horseshoe Tavern | Doors open at 8PM
At Horseshoe Tavern, Dance Laurie Dance rips open the stage with adrenaline rock, followed by two garage-punk outfits The O Voids and Red Mass. And when the midnight moon rises, Parlovr bring their messy and raw pop songs, right before trio We Are Wolves leave crowds howling with their nocturnal swagger.

Two Way Monologues Showcase @ Rancho Relaxo | Doors open at 7PM
Rancho Relaxo plays host to a number of unsigned local talents, including indie-pop band Young Contrarians and Broken Bricks. Local electro band Girl + the Machine and Ottawa's The Love Machine are scheduled to play mid-showcase before local screamers Black Devils Brigade and Careers in Science end the night on full throttle.


Deerhoof, The Dodos, Gauntlet Hair @ Phoenix Concert Theatre | Doors open at 7PM
The Phoenix hosts one of the most interesting NXNE line-ups this year. Colorado experimental duo Gauntlet Hair opens with explosive rock, a mix of dynamite drums and soaring vocal bursts. Up next, Baroque-pop band The Dodos take flight, in support of the release of their fourth LP No Color. And finally, Deerhoof - a band of noise-rockers/improvisers - take the stage, ready to assemble a rowdy, psychedelic mosh-pit.

NOW Showcase @ Wrongbar | Doors open at 8PM
Wrongbar welcomes one of festival's big names when hometown hardcore-punk heroes Fucked Up takes the stage an hour or so past midnight. But just as special are the bands supporting them. The showcase begins with dream-folk artist Jennifer Castle, followed by Tanika Charles and the Wonderfuls. The always upbeat and theatrical Allie Hughes entertains right before Anagram and Light Fires launch a barrage of synth-based electro. Lucie Tic ends the night with beat throbs and head-rush techno.

We Are Busy Bodies Showcase @ Sneaky Dees | Doors open at 7PM
Take the streetcar down Bathurst/College, where Sneaky Dees hosts a handful of noise-poppers. Start with the tunes of soloist Mike Ferrell, A.K.A. International Zombies of Love. After that, locals Odonis Odonis, Doldrums and Detroit's Child Bite raise the psychedelic distortion stakes. Metz play their melodic discord set before showstoppers DD/MM/YYYY thrash the stage with their epileptic art-wave grooves.

FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2011

Stars, Land of Talk, Diamond Rings @ Yonge-Dundas Square | Begins at 7PM
NXNE continues to gain momentum - and exposure - as Sirius Satellite Radio brings a live-to-air broadcast of the Yonge-Dundas Square show, featuring Toronto's own Diamond Rings and Montreal heavyweights Stars and Land of Talk - one of the festival's must-see events.

Bombs, Superhumanoids, Cults @ Lee's Palace | Doors open at 8PM
Lee's Palace opens its doors for NXNE with a legitimate crop of performers, starting with San Diego brother-duo Writer. Dum Dum Girls and buzz-band Cults will definitely fill in any venue space, but don't be surprised if Vancouver's Dirty Beaches - one of this year's potential Polaris Music Prize winners - steals the show. Superhumanoids and Bombs have also been added to the already-solid line-up.

Musebox Showcase @ The Comfort Zone | Doors open at 7:30PM
Just below The Silver Dollar, locals Little Foot Long Foot kick off the Musebox showcase with hard-hitting blues-rock, followed by New York City bands The Young Things and The Vandelles. But stay a while and catch psychedelic band and local favourites The Hoa Hoa's before Nashville's Heavy Cream churns up one final punk-mosh.


You Look Death.ly Showcase @ The Garrison | Doors open at 8PM
Idiot Glee's piano-pop and synth loops compliment the musical styles that follow when Toronto's Josh Reichmann and Vancouver's No Gold take their turns. At the halfway point of the show, Little Girls enchants with post-punk fuzz that hits the nostalgia sweet spot. And if that's not enough, Montreal husband-wife duo Handsome Furs will send heartbeats and feet jumping just before Vancouver's Makeout Videotape play their threadlike-tropicalia beats. Vancouver's Chains of Love and local grunge-folk band RatTail play in the front room.

Flemish Eye Showcase @ The Great Hall | Doors open at 8PM
The Great Hall offers up a little bit of everything, starting with art-pop trio Duzheknew and folk artist Jennifer Castle. Montreal's Braids weaves electronic arrangements with bombast percussion, creating dreamscapes for their audience, while Chad VanGaalen forms a similar escape into a world inspired by his colourful new LP Diaper Island. Claire Boucher, also known as Grimes, stretches the night with free-flowing, layered dance tunes.

Hot Water Music @ The Opera House | Doors open at 6PM
NXNE and The Opera House welcome UK's Sharks, giving the show a slow build-up before Kitchener, Ontario's Mockingbird Wish Me Luck and New Bedford hardcore-punk band A Wilhelm Scream shift the showcase into turbo mode, and prepares punk fans for a total thrash-out with headliners Hot Water Music.

SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2011

The Pharcyde @ Yonge-Dundas Square | Begins at 4PM
NXNE concludes on Sunday night - and where else to be than at the heart of the city, where hip-hop/rap and R&B take center stage? The list of performers includes the soulful Mamabolo, Grammy Award winners Digable Planets and legends The Pharcyde.


For more info, visit the NXNE website, where you can also create your own personal schedule.

Photo of crowd-surfer (Iggy Pop Concert/ NXNE 2010) by sevres-babylone

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