Thursday, June 12th, 2008

City Of Noise

Photo via

So here we are with another NXNE upon us, and like in past years, I grumble about the lineup, agonize about whether to see the up-and-coming local/Canadian talent or the big-name import marquee acts and seriously consider just crawling under the covers and sleeping through the whole thing. But after seeking a balance between those considerations as well as the logistics of getting from venue A to venue B in the 15 minutes or so between sets, I’ve come up with the following plan for the coming days (with a number of alternates which I won’t bother to post). A lot of unknown quantities here that made the cut because I liked or was at least intrigued by a MySpace stream or something – it could lead to something great, or it could be bitterly disappointing. Who knows. But there’s at least one band each night that I fully expect to make the evening worthwhile so if some of the others step up, that’s just gravy.

One of the unfamiliar acts I’ve got some hopes for is The Summerlad out of Calgary, who’re at the Boat on the Thursday night. The samples I’ve heard totally run the gamut from drawn-out Floyd-ian space rock to razor-edged post-punk, and surely somewhere in between those two extremes is something I can get into, right? We’ll see. Chart recently talked to the band about their split musical personalities and Vue also ran a feature.

Anyway, if you’re wondering where I’ll be through the weekend, it’ll be approximately here:

Thursday, June 12:
8PM – Key Witness @ The Velvet Underground
9PM – The Summerlad @ The Boat
10PM – Rah Rah @ The Boat
11PM – The Rural Alberta Advantage @ The Boat
12AM – Great Bloomers @ Supermarket

Friday, June 13:
5:10PM – Camp Radio @ Global Backpackers
5:45PM – HILOTRONS @ Global Backpackers
6:10PM – The Blood Lines @ Global Backpackers
9PM – Oh No Forest Fires @ The Kathedral
11PM – Bionic @ Lee’s Palace
12AM – The Besnard Lakes @ Lee’s Palace
1AM – Swervedriver @ Lee’s Palace

Saturday, June 14:
8PM – Grace Emilys @ Neutral
10PM – 6 Day Riot @ The Cameron House
11PM – Static Of The Gods @ The Cameron House
12AM – Miss Derringer @ Lee’s Palace
1AM – Redd Kross @ Lee’s Palace

MP3: Key Witness – “Perchance To Dream”
MP3: The Summerlad – “City Of Noise”
MP3: Rah Rah – “Duet For GP And Emmylou”
MP3: The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Don’t Haunt This Place”
MP3: Camp Radio – “Cons At The New Moon”
MP3: HILOTRONS – “Dominika”
MP3: The Blood Lines – “Modern Science”
MP3: Oh No Forest Fires – “We Fit Our Charm”
MP3: The Besnard Lakes – “And You Lied To Me”
MP3: Swervedriver – “Last Train To Satansville” (live at Maxwell’s)
MP3: Grace Emilys – “Falling Down The Stairs”
MP3: Static Of The Gos – “City Is Closed”
MP3: Miss Derringer – “Black Tears”

Also with the NxNE previews are The Toronto Sun, Thick Specs with a three-parter, Torontoist, The National Post and NOW, who as a festival sponsor think that everything is wonderful. eye has suggestions on doing the festival on the cheap (read: free) and along the same lines, Wolves & Hawks & Kites have rounded up a list of all the in-stores going on during NxNE as well, though Sonic Boom has since added The Hot Springs to the Friday evening bill at 6:30PM and Julie Doiron on Saturday at 6PM.

Fog City Journal, The Toronto Star and Exclaim! talk to Adam Franklin of Swervedriver. It should be noted that he’ll be half of a 7″ coming out later this Summer on White Whale Records wherein he covers Wolf Parade’s “Shine A Light” and Wolf Parader Dan Boeckner covers a to-be-determined Swervedriver song under the Handsome Furs handle. More details at Chart and you can stream the Adam Franklin track here as well as purchase it on iTunes.

The Toronto Sun talks to Sloan’s Jay Ferguson about Parallel Play and in response to Mike’s question in the comments yesterday, now that the dust has settled it looks like their only NxNE is tonight at Mod – no Lee’s, no Dundas Square.

Chart and eye talk to Young & Sexy, who occupy the 11PM slot at Sneaky Dee’s on Friday night.

Forest City Lovers have a new video from Haunting Moon Sinking. They’re be at the Tranzac tonight – not a NxNE show but if you’re not otherwise committed, definitely worth your time.

Video: Forest City Lovers – “Pirates!”

JAM talks to Constantines’ about how Kensington Market influenced Kensington Heights. They’re playing day one of V Fest on September 6.

Canuck digital retailer has expanded with a new video site dedicated largely to Can-con, appropriately named There’s videos and exclusive features and sessions – worth a bookmark. And don’t forget their monthly free digital mix tape.

And whilst I’m on a Canadian theme, I should probably post my first ballot for this year’s Polaris Music Prize. While some jurors have been agonizing over their selections and engaging in strategic voting (which I’ve never understood – either the concept or the point), I just compiled a list of all the eligible records I owned or had heard enough to offer a reasonably informed opinion about and picked the five that were my favourites. Easy, right? That said, I didn’t really expect a few of them (at least) to make the top 40 long list and now that I’ve seen it (and will link it when it’s published publicly later today) and it looks like I’ve got to pick a couple new records for the second ballot, which is a shame. There’s records I like alright that still qualify but nothing I’m really passionate about. Anyway, I went with the following:

1. Basia Bulat / Oh My Darling
2. Amos The Transparent / Everything I’ve Forgotten To Forget
3. The Rural Alberta Advantage / Hometowns
4. The Acorn / Glory Hope Mountain
5. Two Hours Traffic / Little Jabs

Big surprises, eh? Update: Long list is now public on the Polaris site.

By : Frank Yang at 8:33 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Tualla says:

    Nice pics Frank!

    Just thinking about this the other day. If I had a vote, I would lead a highly political and mud flinging campaign for Corb Lund’s Horse Soldier, Horse Soldier.

    The swift boating of Amos, Basia, and Rolf would be merciless.

  2. AK says:

    interesting polaris long list

    really quite surprised that Amos The Transparent didn’t make it…

    Wintersleep deserves to bag the top prize this year
    curious, how many albums do you get to vote for out of the 40 now for the second ballot

  3. Bo says:

    If ya get the chance, check out Miss Derringer. They’re really fun.

  4. matthew says:

    It’s too bad Amos didn’t make it, but I’m not shocked…not enough online people had votes!
    As for the rest of the long list, I completely see where you’re coming from. I love the Plants & Animals album, and I’m glad that Two Hours Traffic are still around for me to vote for, but after them, it’s lots of albums I found pleasant, but nothing I really loved…