NXNE 2013 Best Bets: The Weekend
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NXNE 2013 Best Bets: The Weekend

Here's how to finish strong at this year's festival.

This guy is so stoked for the Sunday night hip-hop show, he can’t even keep it together.

How did everyone enjoy The National? Are there any good day shows we should know about? Let us know. Anyway, here are our selections for Saturday and Sunday.

Tre Mission

When: Saturday, June 15, 9 p.m.
Where: Wrongbar (1279 Queen Street West)

We’ve been pretty high on local MC/producer Tre Mission for about a year now, which is also roughly how long we’d waited for his next mixtape, Malmaison. (The project was supposed to be done in time for last year’s NXNE, but rappers aren’t always huge on punctuality. It came out on Tuesday.) Mission may be one of the most intriguing characters in rap, not only locally, but period. A North American MC who made his mark in the very British grime subgenre, he’s equally comfortable talking street shit or analyzing his own self-doubt, and he does things like rhyme over instrumentals from Jamie xx and sample Imogen Heap.

Go if: You like a mix of sharp wordplay and unexpected influences.

(Chris Dart)

White Lung

When: Saturday, June 15, 11 p.m.
Where: The Horseshoe Taven (370 Queen St. W.)

Vancouver’s White Lung is one of Canada’s aggressive music gems. The band’s last record, Sorry, is an incredible piece of punk songwriting, fusing acerbic wit and relentlessly infectious song structures. Mish Way is a commanding frontwoman (and a great music journalist as well, who broke taboo and reviewed her own record for Vice), and we fully expect this set to steal the show at the incredibly strong punk showcase it’s part of.

Go if: The idea of fast, menacing, yet cerebral punk is irresistible.

(Natalie Zina Waschots)

Ryan Hemsworth

When: Saturday, June 15, 1 a.m.
Where: BLK BOX (1087 Queen Street West)

Halifax producer Ryan Hemsworth is at the forefront of the cloud-rap trend. In the last 12 months, he’s become one of the most sought-after remix artists around, and has reworked songs by everyone from Grimes to Lil B to Lana Del Rey. His original productions blur the lines between rap instrumental and electronic experiments, and his big, expansive soundscapes, dense layers of synths, and dramatic builds work equally well when backed with a house-music thump or a skittering hi-hat.

Go if: You want to see whether his studio wizardry translates to his live shows.

(Chris Dart)

Deniro Farrar

When: Saturday, June 15, 12 a.m.
Where: Wrongbar (1279 Queen Street West)

When: Sunday, June 16, 4 p.m.
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square (1 Dundas Square)

Charlotte’s Deniro Farrar has compared himself to both Tupac Shakur and Charles Manson. He’s dubbed his incongruous, sometimes jarring blend of pretty, ethereal cloud-rap beats and ultra-thuggish rhymes “cult rap.” In short, he’s supremely weird, but he may be one of the more interesting acts at this year’s festival.

Go if: You dig this whole “cloud-rap” thing, but wish it had more edge.

(Chris Dart)


When: Saturday, Jun 15, 12 a.m.
Where: The Garrison (1197 Dundas Street West)

A decade ago, Tangiers were often being mentioned in the same breath as the Strokes (or being unfairly compared to them), and the energetic young post-punk rockers were one of Toronto’s fastest rising rock acts. But Tangiers burned too brightly, and its members scattered to other projects (Josh Reichmann has had a particularly eclectic solo recording career). Now, however, the band has reunited for one hometown show.

Go if: You want to see the original line-up responsible for 2003’s Hot New Spirits rip through those blitzkrieg tunes again.

(Steve Fisher)

Joey Bada$$

When: Saturday, June 15, 1 a.m.
Where: Wrongbar (1279 Queen Street West)

When: Sunday, June 16, 8 p.m.
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square (1 Dundas Square)

Brooklyn-based MC Joey Bada$$ may only be 18, but his style is strangely reminiscent of the classic east-coast MCs of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. His breakout 2012 mixtape, 1999, was filled with with sharp wordplay and sample-heavy beats. Rap nerds have spent years waiting for someone to resurrect “real” New York rap. (The Southern-influenced styles of A$AP Rocky and French Montana don’t really count, area codes be damned.) This guy looks like the man for the job.

Go if: You’re out to see the next big thing.

(Chris Dart)

Fat Tony

When: Sunday, June 16, 6 p.m.
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square (1 Dundas Square)

Houston’s Fat Tony became a blog darling after he released “Hood Party” earlier this year. The song was both a high-impact party jam and a scathing sendup of gentrification. It also did a great job of encapsulating what’s great about Fat Tony: a versatile flow that can go from fast and syncopated to slow and laconic on a dime, as well as scads of smart references. You’re going to like him.

(Chris Dart)

Go if: You’ve recently bought a fixer-upper in a formerly blue-collar neighbourhood.