NXNE Best Bets: Friday
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NXNE Best Bets: Friday

If you're looking for '90s pop punkers, naked comedians, or Australians, tonight's your night.

Forget compasses, GPS, or helpful Sherpas. From June 11 to 17, Torontoist is here to be your guide to everything NXNE.

Fucked Up's Damian Abraham hosts yesterday's punk rock festivities at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Welcome to NXNE’s hump day. By the time you go to bed tonight, there will be more festival behind you than in front of you. Choose your shows wisely.

DZ Deathrays
Wrongbar (1279 Queen Street West)
9 p.m.

This Aussie two-man art-thrash duo has earned well-deserved comparisons to Toronto’s own Death from Above 1979. Not only do they generate an almost inhuman amount of noise for two people, they also make heavy music you can still dance to.

Go if: There is blood on your hands again, or you if wish there was.

(Chris Dart)

Hooded Fang
The Silver Dollar Room (486 Spadina Avenue)
10 p.m.

We are long-time fans of Hooded Fang, and while we’re still getting used to their new stripped down lineup, sophomore album Tosta Mista‘s crunchier kind of punk-influenced power pop has already wormed its way into our hearts. It’s going to be a busy night for the band: after their Silver Dollar set, they’ll have about an hour to cart their gear west along College Street to Sneaky Dee’s. There, they’ll get into makeup and costume for the Daps Records showcase and play a set as part of their exploding-in-popularity other band, Phedre. (Do yourself a favour, and try and see both.)

Go if: You like your surf-rock spry.

(Steve Fisher)

The Silver Dollar Room (486 Spadina Avenue)
11 p.m.

The Polaris Prize long list came out yesterday, and lo and behold, Parlovr’s sophomore album, Kook Soul, is on it. This comes as no surprise to anyone who’s been following the turbulent-but-productive band since their DIY eponymous debut LP. While it’s never quite fair to a band to hold them up as representative of their city’s music scene, Parlovr are considered potential heirs to Arcade Fire’s crown. They’ve had recent profiles in both the Montreal Mirror and the Montreal Gazette.

Go if: You can look past all the tongue-in-cheek self-descriptions of their sound as “sloppy pop,” “21st century emo,” and even “kook soul,” and see they’re just a great rock-and-roll band who thrive on challenging themselves.

(Steve Fisher)

Smoking Popes
The Great Hall (1087 Queen Street West)
1 a.m.

Here’s an underrated band that the ’90’s forgot. Yes, the pop-punk group, from the suburbs of Chicago, broke up in 1998 when lead singer Josh Caterer converted to Christianity. But, unbeknownst to many, the group reunited in 2005 and has since released two albums that hew closely to the original winning formula. While there are a few songs from the old days that the band no longer plays because they conflict with Caterer’s religion, all of the fan favorites remain part of the set list.

Go if: You have ever wondered what became of those guys who played that song you like on the Clueless soundtrack CD you will never admit to anyone that you actually own.

(Kevin Scott)

John Maus
Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor Street West)
1 a.m.

When you’re the keyboardist for bands like Animal Collective and Ariel Pink, you tend to learn a few things. So to say that expectations are high for this experimental musician’s show would be too obvious. Let’s just say that John Maus—who last performed at the Drake Hotel back in September—can keep his audience captivated. His performance art-like live show is so gleefully all over the place, you just have to see it to believe it.

Go if: You’re looking for an unorthodox show.

(Kyle Bachan)

Strip Comedy
Monarch Tavern (12 Clinton Street)
2 a.m.

Georgea Brooks-Hancock hosts Strip Comedy at the Monarch Tavern.

There will be alcohol, laughs, and late night nudity during what’s likely to be the rowdiest edition of Strip Comedy ever. For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, Strip Comedy is a monthly event hosted by local stand-up Georgea Brooks-Hancock. It’s basically strip poker, but with jokes. Every time a comic’s joke bombs, they have to remove an article of clothing. Diana Love, who’s one of the comedians on the bill, pretty much guaranteed that someone would be getting naked in an interview with Torontoist earlier this week.

Go if: Did I mention alcohol, laughs, and nudity? There is literally no reason for you not to go.

(Chris Dart)

For those of you who don’t feel like running around all night, we’ve taken the liberty of selecting the evening’s best single-venue lineup.

Best Lineup
Sneaky Dee’s (431 College Street)

We’re going to assume that, this being Friday night and all, you’re likely looking to cast off the shackles of the week and throttle into full-on party mode. For those so inclined, Sneaky Dee’s has you covered, as usual. The next Fucked Up may just be playing as part of a hectic lineup that showcases local punk and noise-rock talent like Cartoons (9 p.m.) and Hellaluya (10 p.m.). As a counterbalance to the abundance of screeching guitars, the evening also has hip-hop act Times Neue Roman (2 a.m.) and electronic project Phedre (midnight).

Go if: You’re ready for some chaos.

(Kevin Scott)