The oldest old-school rapper and The National are two of our Friday picks.
How was everyone’s first full night at NXNE? Was the Social Distortion show wet enough for you? Did someone block your view with an umbrella? Don’t worry. Tonight is supposed to be much nicer. Here’s our rundown of what to see.
Friday, June 14, 9 p.m.
Yonge Dundas Square (1 Dundas Street East)
The National returns to Toronto with its new record, Trouble Will Find Me, already flying off (e-)shelves. Husky baritone Matt Berninger and his bandmates will play for free at the “centre of Toronto,” Yonge-Dundas Square. This is one of just a handful of shows that could conceivably outdraw last year’s free Flaming Lips gig.
Go if: Crescendo Rock is just the rock for you.
Friday, June 14, 10 p.m.
The Hideout (484 Queen St. W.)
Saskatoon’s Shooting Guns might hail from the frozen tundra of our most rectangular prairie province, but its sound is vast, buttery, and full of sweet, hot smoke. With bits of drone, stoner metal, and sludge mixed into each track, the group’s compelling and hallucinatory record, Born To Deal in Magic: 1952-1976, earned it a spot on last year’s Polaris Prize long list. Expect this NXNE performance to be heavy, psychedelic, and remarkably dense.
Go if: You like your riffs fat, fuzzed and deliciously droning.
(Natalie Zina Walschots)
Friday, June 14, 1 a.m.
The Horseshoe Tavern (370 Queen Street West)
It’s probably a bit of a stretch to call Blowfly a hip-hop artist, but for NXNE’s purposes he doesn’t really fit anywhere else. The masked soul singer from the ‘60s and ‘70s is often considered to be the first-ever rapper because of his penchant for almost mind-blowingly filthy rhyming couplets.
Go if: You want to hear a really filthy version of the alphabet song.