Summer is always filled with dreams of finding new music or revisiting your favourites. It’s like musicians hide all winter, in their little or big spaces, working hard away at whipping up new music for the coming Spring and Summer seasons. And as Summer creeps towards us, so do all the music festivals that tag onto these hot, steamy months.
NXNE may have started Monday, June 11, but most of the bands aren’t hitting the outskirts of Toronto until today. So, we figured we’d wait for everyone to get in, get settled and strapped up…and ready to play.
So who are we going to see? Here’s some of who we have in mind:
FTB Kicks it Thursday
Dusted & Smith Westerns @ 5:30 @ Artscape Gibraltar Point
Tonight we’re heading to the VICE show, presented by JANSPORT. It’s an early show at 5:30pm, but the lineup looks stellar. We’ve got Smith Westerns and Dusted. Have you heard Dusted yet? Oh, and the catchline for this show: Bands and a Bonfire Under a Big Sky. Aren’t city bonfires illegal? Oh VICE.
Anyway, Dusted is Brian Borcherdt’s memorizing and haunting new project. Over the last decade Brian was performing as the frontman for Holy Fuck. Then I guess he woke up one morning and was like, “time for change, these pancakes aren’t doing it anymore.” I don’t know if that’s true, to be honest, I just made that up, but it’s very possible. Either way, Dusted sounds ear promising, and is the complete opposite to Holy Fuck.
To complement those ghostly haunting sounds we’ve got the Smith Westerns. These kids hail from Chicago, Illinois, and are more upbeat than Dusted, but still have a dreamy feeling to them. Which is good because too many ghosts and not enough dreams can lead you down a dark drunk path to sleeping on your porch. No, I’m not speaking from experience…heh.
Ain’t No Party Like a Friday Party
Friday’s going to be a bit different because most of the shows don’t start until 7pm. But here’s what we are thinking…
The Stogies @ The Hideout OR Writers’ Stike @ The Painted Lady – both @ 8pm
Hit up The Hideout at 8pm to check out The Stogies or Writers’ Strike at The Painted Lady. Both shows are 8pm, and I’m having a hard time picking between the two bands. Both come from Canada’s Ocean Playground (that’s what it says on the Nova Scotia license plate), but the two bands are very different. The Stogies are rockers, and Writers’ Strike are indie kings. So basically it’s going to come down to what we’re in the mood for. Options are my favourite.
Plants and Animals @ Dundas Square – FREE show @ 9:30pm
Then I’m going to pull a fast one and hit up Plants and Animals. Usually we don’t cover the big shows because we try to showcase the little guys, but…my heart aches for Plants and Animals. They’re one of my favourite bands of all time, and well, can you keep a secret? I’ve never seen them live. Breaks your heart, I know. BUT! That’s why I’m heading their way for a free show at Dundas Square at 9:30pm. You can follow along my Twitter (@doublecass) as I pour my heart as the play.
All Day and All Night Saturday
Saturday is going to be a gong show. The bands start playing as early as 1pm, and don’t stop until Toronto shuts down at 3am. Of course, we’re probably not going to be ready to hit the town at 1pm in the afternoon, so let’s start at 4pm.
Alphabot! @ Redpath Stage – Harbour Front @ 4:15pm
First up for All Day and All Night Saturday is Toronto’s own, Alphabot!. These guys are corky, fun and full of colour. They’ve got this 90s vibe, mixed with just the right amount of sugar and flat pop.
Harper Blynn @ Dakota Tavern @ 10pm
This foursome of boys, Harper Blynn, come New York, and are supposed to have expensive, catchy pop hooks. Seriously, this is what Time Out New York said about them: “If pop hooks were Monopoly money, this foursome would be buying hotels on Park Place by now.” That sounds like fun to me. I wonder what Monopoly would be like if music was its currency? Hmmm…
Twitter Gong Show @ LOT 100 @ 11pm
Sometimes you need to spice it up, and what’s better than a comedy act about Twitter? Maybe a comedy act about Facebook. But, I’m sure that’s been done. Anyway, Twitter Gong Show is suppose to be a comedy show featuring various comedians pulling jokes and picking fun from a live Twitter feed. It’s hosted by Mark Debonis, not sure who that is but here’s an image that comes up when you Google him…
Well that’s just a little bit of who and what we’re going to be seeing. As always, you can expect random moments and newly found bands as we run around Toronto for NXNE. Check out the full NXNE schedule on their website, and make sure to follow us along on Twitter @forgetthebox for tweeting good times.