This Week in Music: Drake, Skrillex does Cherry Beach, Tanya Tagaq, Pharmakon, nxnfail, Caribou, Kevin Drew
This Week in Music rounds up the latest news, releases and concerts coming to Toronto.
Skrillex plays Cherry Beach
Late on the drop here (puns): Skrillex showed up to DJ a special set at Cherry Beach the Sunday before last (check out some pics on DJ Mag), and threw up this Instagram of some aliens chilling in new Toronto gallery/venue 8-11 too. Will Toronto warm up to Skrillex now, or is Cherry Beach's vibe like totally over? (Sure, nah.)
NXNE unfamiliar with prominent Toronto music blog
When Aaron Levin of Weird Canada tweeted that it was an #nxnfail that Joe Strutt of the Mechanical Forest Sound blog (@TowerofBabbling on Twitter) didn't receive a media pass to NXNE, I doubt he expected NXNE's Festival Director Christopher Roberts to appear and verify NXNE's lack of interest in fostering Toronto's music scene. Roberts seems unaware of Strut's dedication (you know him as that guy at every show) or his crucial recordings of live sets at surprisingly decent quality - many new bands rely on Strut's recordings before they manage to make their own, and Pleasence Records just released a compilation of his recordings.
As Ketamines's Paul Lawton, radio show Halifax Is Burning, and blogger Candace Shaw joined the conversation to express concerns after Roberts tweeted "Entry sales are up 4x over last year at a higher price point" when NXNE still offers wristbands rather than payment to smaller acts, Roberts seemed oblivious to concerns, cheekily thanking concerned voices for their "support," proclaiming atheism in a conversation about indie music (?) and retorting "Nx (sic) isn't a democracy. You don't get a say in how it's run. But I accept your apologies." For a fest branding itself as world class, the online spectacle was as embarrassing and concerning as Strutt's exclusion from the media list. While the fest touts itself as "indie," the divide between commercialized indieTM and actual independent culture seems wider by the day.
Update: NXNE has now granted Mechanical Forest Sound media accred. Good on them for listening.
New Toronto songs and vids
This Week in Drake
Drake's new track "0 to 100" produced by Boi-1da throws a nod to Tinder, making Toronto swipers stop and wonder why Drake hasn't popped up in their radius. Maybe his default pic is a car? Nobody got time for that.
Kevin Drew - You in Your Were (feat. Zach Galifianakis & Feist)
Comedian Zach Galifianakis and Feist are in this Funny or Die debut-ing video. Galifianakis is all like "nobody likes good music anymore" which positions Drew as a shining beacon of musical integrity, gimmick's played out but here we go. Give tweeting about your Field Trip mems a rest and watch if you haven't yet. #Beards.
The Airplane Boys (APB) - On The Low
The chorus sounds like muppets are singing and in general it sounds like APB need chiller lady friends. Guys, set some boundaries.
This week's hot ticket concerts
Tanya Tagaq / June 10 / 8pm / David Pecaut Square / Free
Performing for free thanks to Luminato, there's nothing about contemporary Yellowknife throat singer Tanya Tagaq that isn't mind blowing. Her voice runs from guttural growls to sensual R&B hooks emphasized by high pitched notes and, eventually, bone chilling screams. You'll want to check her feet for effects pedals, but there won't be any - this is amazing magic. Check out our review of her show with Lido Pimienta last month here. Buffy Sainte-Marie opens at 8pm.
Pharmakon / June 12 / 9pm / S.H.I.B.G.B's / 225 Geary Ave (Middle Door) / $10
Sacred Bones has posted one of my favorite quotes of all time in relation to a band on their page for NYC noise/experimental artist Pharmakon: "Her music may be as cuddly as a trepanning drill." Fans of the weird and all things scuzz, art, and underground will want to check this one out. SINS and Spore are also on the line up, so you know this night is going to be memories.
NXNE / multiple venues / June 13 - 22
We'll post our festival previews (and free events round up) later this week and next.
Local hot ticket
Hiawatha / June 14 / Handlebar (159 Augusta) / 9pm / $5
Want to keep your music local? It's a pretty good plan this Saturday - catch Voidfolk, Alpha Strategy, and Retired play with Hiawatha (Last Gang Records) aka Egyptrixx (David Psutka) and Cameron Gilpin. Inyrdisk's Kevin Hainey is DJ-ing - have you seen this guy's record collection? Un. Real.
Recently announced concerts
What we got up to this week
Photo of Pharmakon by Margaret Chardiet
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