NXNE 2009: Thursday throwdown
- June 18, 2009 6:59 PM |
- By Arts Online
Illustration by Jillian Tamaki
The clouds are gathering overhead as I write this. I'm just hoping the torrential downpour manages to hold off until, say, 10:45. By then, Atlanta, GA psych-damaged rockers Black Lips should be wrapping things up at the open-air Yonge-Dundas Square.
The Black Lips are one act I'm hoping to see tonight. In fact, I'm using their 10 pm set as a sort of base around which I can strategically plan the evening's club crawl. Rule 1 in NXNE planning: take careful note of geography and be realistic about travel times in order to avoid disappointment. Yonge and Dundas is at the easternmost end of the NXNE grid, which means it'd be a poor move on my part to try and make it to any west-skewing hot ticket events immediately before or after 10 pm.
Luckily, Timber Timbre -- a local-ish guy who performs a kind of haunted swamp-folk, sung in a captivatingly froggy voice -- plays the Courthouse (just a hop, skip and a jump away from Y-D Square) at 9 pm (if you believe the supposedly up-to-the-minute online schedule; my printed program says otherwise, but I'm gonna trust the site). That's where I'm hoping to start my night.
Post-Lips, I'm thinking of checking out Kyrie Kristmanson over at the Free Times Cafe. A friend of mine tipped me off to the Ottawa singer-songwriter, who he claims has an enchanted/enchanting voice and a rare gift for unconventional melody. Apparently she has a background in Medieval music. Other good-looking bets for the 11 pm timeslot: The United Steel Workers of Montreal, who can always be counted on for a swingin' country hoedown (they're at the Horseshoe), or Austin, TX, outfit Built By Snow, who play addictively hooky keyboard-driven indie pop (at the Boat).
At midnight, The King Khan & BBQ Show (read: boisterous, swaggering garagey rock 'n' soul) is up at the Horseshoe, and BC's You Say Party! We Say Die! will be using their punchy synth-pop anthems to inspire spontaneous pogoing downstairs at the El Mocambo. Those averse to sweating might be more inclined to head to the Drake Underground, where Ottawa indie rockers Amos the Transparent will be showcasing their winsome folksy pop songs. After that, things are looking a bit fuzzy, but I suspect I'll hang out at the El Mo post-YSP!WSD! and catch some of Green Go's set. The exuberant Guelph crew have received some extremely favourable reviews for their fizzy synth-based dance-rock anthems.
Any other suggestions?
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