A melange of sounds at NXNE ’13

YDS-June2010-By-Phil-Brennen

This will be my first time at NXNE as I moved to Toronto this past fall. I’m feeling super blessed to be in a city offering up some great acts, and even more excited to be able to check ’em out for Forget The Box and report back to you. Here’s who I’m looking forward to sharing some time and space with:

Joey Bada$$

Born in ‘95, Bada$$ isn’t even old enough to drink in his own country. Yet he’s already pumping out beats that remind me of A Tribe Called Quest. This dude is heading for something big. He’ll be playing the night of Saturday, June 15 at Wrongbar at 1 a.m. He’s also doing a free show at Yonge and Dundas Sunday, June 16 at 8 p.m. See if he offers up a different sound to each crowd.

Check out ‘Survival Tactics’, the first release off his solo album 1999. Dope.

 

Blue Hawaii

Fun, dreamlike pop songs are always good to sway your body to. That’s exactly what I plan on doing Thursday night at 1 a.m. at the Comfort Zone to Blue Hawaii’s yummy sounds. Formed by former Braids member Raphaelle Standell-Preston and Alex Cowan, Blue Hawaii is based in Montreal. The duo recorded their most recent album Untogether in separation, an increasingly common occurrence for modern music makers. Bliss.

 

Dan Deacon

One of the greatest things about living in Toronto and attending a festival is the chance to see and experience someone people have constantly been telling you to check out. Dan Deacon is one of them for me. Watching the ‘True Thrush’ video had my head bobbing within 20 seconds. I can already tell from Dan’s handclapping, positive vibe that I am going to thoroughly enjoy myself Thursday night at the Horseshoe show at 12 a.m. From what I’ve read, he’s pretty big on incorporating the audience into the show. If that reflects anything like a Rich Aucoin show, count this gal in! Hehe.

 

Majical Cloudz

Always on the search to bless my ears and warm my heart with mystical musical melodies, a customer at my work pointed out Majical Cloudz. She saw them in Brooklyn the week prior and seemed really excited that I may get to see them in Toronto this week. This gal was visiting for the Field Trip fest. I ran into her again after my shift at the festival grounds so I feel like it’s an omen. I will probably fall in love with Majical Cloudz Saturday at 12 a.m. at BLKBOX. Anyone that features Grimes on their track is a-ok in my books! MAGIC!

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Villagers

I’d love to hear me some beautiful singer/songwriter music from Ireland, the land of rolling green hills and adorable accents. I’ll be at Sidedoor (Soho House) Saturday, June 15 at 8 p.m. Headed by Conor O’Brien, Villagers have two albums: Becoming a Jackal and their latest {Awayland} released in January of this year. Their first album was critically praised, obtaining a Mercury Prize Nomination and an Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically. They have a song called ‘In a Newfound Land You Are Free.’ I mean come onnnnn people! Sláinte!

 

Smif-N-Wessun

A hip hop duo from Brooklyn comprising of Tek and Steele will hit up the Drake Saturday, June 15 at 11 p.m. They will also grace the YDS stage prior to Joey Bada$$ Sunday night at 7 p.m. The duo has been around for about a decade now. They first appeared on Black Moon’s album Enta da Stage and went on to release their first single ‘Bucktown’ in early ’94. They plan to release a new album, titled In God We Trust, this fall. They deliver some sweet, classic, old school rap which still resonates with listeners a decade after their first release. See you on the d-floor.

 

Coeur de Pirate

Une chanteuse française? Mais oui! There’s nothing sultrier than hearing a gorgeous female voice whispering out some lyrics in French. Coeur de Pirate is the solo project of Beatrice Martin from Montreal. She is only 23, a new momma, and has two albums to her name! You go girl! Her latest, highly anticipated album Blonde was co-produced by Martin herself and Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire). Catch her performance Thursday, June 13 at the Great Hall at 11 p.m. Formidable!

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Ludacris

Does this even need a reason? See y’all at YDS Sunday night at 9 p.m. for the festival’s headliner who is guaranteed to have the entire city bouncing and grinding. Props to anyone who dresses like a baby in his music video. LUDAAA!  

 

Santiago x The Natural

They’ve got a fresh hip hop sound that tastes like it has some rock influences and instantly gives you headrockin’, booty bouncing vibes. The duo is comprised of Native American singer/songwriter Santiago and rapper The Natural. Both held previous careers that make for interesting inspirations to artists who wish to follow their dreams: Santiago was previously an architect and The Natural was a lawyer. They recently opened for Talib Kweli and will be performing Wednesday, June 12 at 11 p.m. at the Crawford. Court adjourned.

 

Willie Stratton & The Boarding Party

Mmmm East Coasters! I lived in Halifax for the past eight years and witnessed an evolution of the music scene in the city that keeps pumping out incredible acts. I first heard and saw Willie Stratton open for Becky Siamon at the Company House in the north end of Halifax. I strongly remember being blown away, feeling so touched by their harmonies, lyrics of the trees and water, and Grace Stratton’s drum playing/gorgeous voice. Hot damn. I can’t wait to listen to some Halifax bred goodness Wednesday night at 10 p.m. at the Handlebar. Do yourselves a favour and join me to kick the festival off right. You’ll be oh so happy. Chills!

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Enjoy NXNE peeps! See y’all in line, on the dance floor, and in the pizza line at 3 a.m.

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