NXNE 2010: What's in store for Friday night
- June 18, 2010 4:10 PM |
- By Lee Ferguson
With bar hours extended until 4 a.m. at key music venues around town, and several high-profile acts all slated in the festival's coveted late-night time slots, Fridays at NXNE can sometimes take a little planning and a whole lot of stamina.
Accordingly, I'm going to try to conserve energy by starting things off on a subdued note tonight at the Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, where three highly touted Canadian acts promise to offer up some sounds to soothe my eardrums - which are still bleeding a bit (in the best way) post-X.
Guelph trio Mathemagic takes to the Gladstone stage at 9 p.m., and though I don't have much to go on other than a few tracks on their MySpace page, so far, the band's lighter-than-dream-whip synth rock suggests they will make good on their promise to give audiences a "Healing and Easy Listening" experience. Sign me up!
Immediately following Mathemagic, two acts I keep meaning to catch will be appearing at the same venue: Ghost Bees, the delicate, folky sister act from Halifax play at 9 p.m. and Timber Timbre, who've developed a huge following after wowing audiences at NXNE 2009, are on at 10. Though I might have to cut out on the latter a bit early to prevent logistical nightmares, I'm dying to experience the Toronto three-piece's atmospheric, southern gothic-y brand of folk and blues.
At 11 p.m., there is an embarrassment of riches on offer at venues across T.O., and I'm still having trouble deciding which show to hit. Should I see if lightening strikes twice by catching X's John Doe and Exene Cervenka at The Great Hall? Or sample the dazzling glam rock of Diamond Rings at Wrongbar?
Judging from a few of the HEALTH-y lineups I encountered for later sets last night, something tells me that if I'm intending to see some of the more buzzed-about shows, I'd better show up well before 11, at a venue that will make it worth my while.
With that in mind, my choices are currently narrowed down to two options. I can venture over to Lee's Palace to check out Wavves (11p.m.), a San Diego outfit, whose distortion-heavy brand of sunshine-y pop is right up my alley. Added bonus: Wavves will be followed by Japandroids, the Vancouver-based guitar-drum duo whose Post-Nothing was one of my favourite debuts of '09. Both of these bands, known for their energetic live shows, should serve as a much-needed B12 shot before I hit the late-late-night sets at this year's fest.
Alternately, curiosity just might lead me in search of more tinitus-inducing fun at Comfort Zone, where the very hyped London, U.K. noise band, Comanechi, will begin playing at 11. Based on the few videos I've tracked down on YouTube (see above), Comanechi's drummer-vocalist Akiko Matsuura looks like the kind of unpredictable (vaguely unhinged?) hellcat capable of creating all kinds of "I can't believe I just saw that" moments in a live show, which is always what I'm after at NXNE. Added bonus: Toronto favourites The Two Koreas will play their brand of wicked smart post-punk at midnight - always a treat.
Where I actually wind up tonight is still anyone's guess. As is often the case at NXNE, the final decision will probably be determined by mood. Do I want light or dark? Muted or noise? I'll check back in tomorrow to let you know how it all panned out...
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