NXNE Picks: Friday, June 17
Forget compasses, GPS, or helpful Sherpas. From June 13–19 this year, Torontoist is here to be your guide to everything NXNE.
Yes, this is what a Rich Aucoin show actually feels like; this one was at the Drake in February. Photo by Corbin Smith/Torontoist.
If NXNE was like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, then tonight, Night Three, would be juuuuuuuust right. And here’s why:
Diamond Rings/Land of Talk/Stars showcase
Yonge-Dundas Square (10 Dundas Street East), 7:30-11 p.m.
Sure, you probably won’t be privy to the same level of intimacy that’ll be available at dozens of other venues across the city hosting NXNE events. And yes, you’ll probably be subjected to obnoxious advertisements invading your peripheral vision the entire time. But it’s a fairly safe bet you’ll be treated to three excellent acts. Glam rocker Diamond Rings opens the show, and his larger-than-life stage presence will hopefully subdue any apprehension one may have towards the sprawling block-wide venue. Montreal trio Land of Talk has been inching its way out of the shadow of former tour mates Broken Social Scene, so we’re expecting a polished set of whimsical-whilst-powerful folk-rock. And finally, Arts & Crafts outfit Stars boasts a large arsenal of crowd-pleasing tracks, not to mention the always-entertaining playfulness between Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell. Two more reasons why this set rules: it’s free for non-wristband or pass holders, and you still have a lot of hours of music left ahead of you.
Wrongbar (1279 Queen Street West), 11 p.m.
As any episode of Cribs will tell you, the bedroom is where the magic happens. While that’s certainly not always the case, it does apply to Brooklyn’s Julianna Barwick, who recorded her latest album The Magic Place with a loop station and her computer in her bedroom. Her soft, airy, seemingly wordless tracks have been compared to a lot of artists, like Enya, Animal Collective, Brian Eno, and Cocteau Twins, but Barwick’s got some pretty nifty tricks up her sleeve.
Gladstone Hotel Ballroom (1214 Queen Street West), 1 a.m.
Montreal art-rockers The Lovely Feathers had a reputation for manic, spastic performances, and we’re exceedingly intrigued by this new incarnation of the band. Will we see a significant and revitalizing change, as when The Ghost Is Dancing switched over to Powers (who play themselves at the Silver Dollar in the same time slot) at the beginning of the year?
Comfort Zone (486 Spadina Avenue), 1 a.m.
Four-piece from Nashville, TV. Garage meets rebel-rock meets you drinking too many beers and having a lot of fun.
Sneaky Dee’s (431 College Street), 1 a.m.
Toronto alt-country heavies deck themselves out in matching plaid snap-up shirts, do rollicking dad-rock with stupidly catchy choruses, and, in doing so, prove once and for all why a dad is the best kind of parent.
The Garrison (1197 Dundas Street West), 1 a.m.
It’s not like there haven’t been enough chances to see one of Rich Aucoin’s legendary dance-party extravaganzas recently, but just in case you missed them, he’s back at The Garrison tonight in advance of the release of his giant, cross-country, 500-musician album We’re All Dying To Live: Public Publication EP/Over The Top! LP. Expect silly string, streamers, sing-alongs, and sweat.
Sneaky Dee’s (431 College Street), 2 a.m.
Perhaps they aren’t playing the most original music at the festival, but it’s hard to argue that Sheezer, together again now that Laura Barrett has returned from the West Coast, aren’t one of the most enjoyable live draws in town.
Recommendations by Carly Conway, Steve Fisher, Carly Maga, and John Semley, and compiled by Carly Maga.