Monday, June 13
EAGULLS w/ The Effens, Several Futures (Legendary Horseshoe) Monday, June 13 — UK rockers The Eagulls live-out-of-Leeds return to NXNE after killing it at Yonge Dundas Square in 2014 (pictured here photo by Exclaim!).
Post-punk or just plain punk this frenzied five-piece have a bad attitude that has seen them create social media madness. Pitchfork says, “There’s more to these melodic punks than their fuck the world attitude.”
We think somebody listened to their parents’ record collection because there’s tons of 80s and 90s influences here, Cure anyone? At times morose, other times majestic swirling guitars and a bad attitude drive their sound to the top. Get your Horseshoe tickets before they sellout as they tour promoting their new disc Ullages.
Tuesday, June 14
MSTRKFT w/Bulkhead, LOLAA (Legendary Horseshoe) Tuesday, June 14 — This show sold out fast as Toronto clearly loves this hometown electronic duo. the band was started in 2005 by Jesse F. Keelor from Death From Above 1979 and Al-P (Alex Puodziukas) who had produced Death and was also a member of Mississauga electro-pop group Girlsareshort.They’ve been hired to do re-mixes for Kylie Minogue, Katy Perry, Justice, Bloc Party, Metric and many more.
MOVING UNITS w/Peers, Dead Projectionist (Silver Dollar) Tuesday, June 14 – We looked for positive Pitchfork coverage of this LA trio but the Fork stuck it in them so deep they accuse them of both being “too late to the dance punk game” and being “one of the dance punk revivals earliest progenitors.”
WTF? We defer to legendary Silver Dollar programmer Dan Burke who stands by these LA ass kickers. This band is so bad ass they split in two in 2012 but then agreed to have two outfits tour as Moving Units, that’s a lot of moving. See the band with the most original members, well , most of the original members at the original Silver Dollar.
Wednesday, June 15
THE JOY FORMIDABLE (Mod Club) Wednesday, June 15 – As dreamy as a pile of grey clouds moving through the green mountains of their Welsh home land, couple Rhiannon “Ritzy” Bryan on guitar and vocals and bassist Rhydian Davies have been at the core of Joy since 2007.
Joined by Matthew Thomas on drums, The Joy Formidable churn out guitar drenched dream pop with ethereal vocals and rock solid guitar riffs.
And they may have recorded the saddest Christmas song ever, “My Beer Drunk Soul Is Sadder Than a Hundred Dead Christmas Trees.”
We guarantee you’ll be smiling at their Mod Club NXNE show.
TUNS w/Only Yours, Kiwi Jr. (Garrison) Wednesday, June 15 — Canadians are too polite to call a band a super group but if we were down with such bravado, we’d declare TUNS as one. Key players from the hot 90s Halifax indie rock scene come together for pure power pop pleasure. Chris Murphy bespectacled bassist/vocalist from Sloan joins Superfriendz/Flashing Lights kingpin Matt Murphy and Inbreds front man Mike O’Neill.
More grizzled members of NXNE’s programming team regale us with tales of searching through mail bags (mail bags!?) in the first days of the fest and pulling out cassettes (cassettes!?) from an Halifax indie label called Murderrecords. And what treasures they found and these three guys were in the middle of it. Did Halifax become the new Seattle? Umm, maybe not but these musicians became important players on the Canadian scene and we at NXNE are proud to present their latest, irresistible efforts.
Thursday, June 16
VOGUE DOTS w/Walrus, Partner, Mardeen (Sneaky Dee’s) Thursday, June 16 – Sound technicians by day, transplanted New Brunswickians (Is that how you say it?) Babette Hayward and Tynan Dunfield are keeping Halifax, their new home, funky claims VICE’s Noisey.
They create heavily layered and textured dream pop and, according to Noisey they’ll be “one of the country’s next East Coast breakaways”. Love the hockey reference.
If you ask Vogue Dots, the band is “at it’s most mild, boredom and at it’s most intense, anguish.”
We’’ll give the last word to Noisey to describe listening to Vogue Dots, “Envision yourself on a sail boat and night drinking whiskey and pomegranate juice, playing a game of Kill-Fuck-Mary before taking all of your clothes off and diving into the ocean.”
Everyone into the pool!
THE HUNNA w/ First Ghost, Midday Swim(The Rivoli) Thursday, June 16 – Consequence of Sound calls The Hunna a “Rising UK four piece who know how to roll out arena ready feel good jams. Nothing but pure energy and positivity.”
We’ve got to agree. The Hunna pump out catchy, greasy pop that’s anthemic and hooky. The Rivoli crowd will be singing along to songs they have never heard before. A young band on the way up.
PERE UBU w/Motherhood (Lee’s Palace) Thursday, June 16 — David Thomas brings his legendary Cleveland avant-garage band Pere Ubu for a sizzling set at Lee’s Palace. He’s calling it the North American Coed Jail Tour and the band promises to play tunes exclusively from their influential and essential 1975 to 1982 recordings. Pere Ubu is releasing two box sets of music from that era as well.
KING KHAN AND THE SHRINES w/Tang Soleil (Legendary Horseshoe) Thursday, June 16 – The King has been an NXNE favourite, and favourite of festivals word wide with this twisted, punk-drenched soul revue.
While sometimes touring his scaled down BBQ show, we just saw that at Lyon’s Nuit Sonores event in May, he is bringing the full Shrines show packed with horns, dancers and good times. King Khan is a Canadian with Indian heritage now currently based in Berlin when he’s home from almost constant touring.
Apple Music says of the King, “ One of the most colourful and exciting performers in the Indie underground. He plays classic soul and funk with hints of garage punk attitude. A soul revue at CBGBs.”
His shows are sweaty and satisfying, good time extravaganzas.
STONEFIELD w/Towers, Billy Moon (Silver Dollar) Thursday, June 16 — Stonefield is a hard rocking band from Australia made up of four sisters: Amy, Hannah, Sarah and Holly Findlay from a small town in rural Victoria.
Sometimes called glam rockers the band writes all their own music although they do occasional covers including Whole Lotta Love and Magic Carpet Ride.
BIONIC w/USA Out of Vietnam, The Yardlets (The Garrison) Thursday, June 16 – Yup, we got this Quebec hard rockin punk super-group to reunite for NXNE, no biggie.
One time Doughboy Jonathan Cummings fronts this bad ass band with bigger beards than the San Jose Sharks in the playoffs. He’s joined by Tim Dwyer, Paul Julius and Toronto-based legend Ian Blurton.
The Edmonton Journals says they create “a pile driving brand of rock akin to MC5 meets Black Flag.” Ben Rayner at the Toronto Star says “ music as pure physical force, played with as much humour as uncompromising brutality.”
And what does the Toronto Sun have to say about this blistering band? “Music is stunningly loud, ugly as their beards and beautiful as only a pumped-up Southern-punk-groove-metal-Lemmy-monster could be. Are they the best live band in Canada? If not, I don’t know who is.”
Drinks will be spilled and ear drums will be challenged.
SATE (fka Saidah Baba Talibah) w/Bamboo, Luke Austin Band(Bovine Sex Club) Thursday, June 16 – Many lay claim to being born with the blues but as the daughter of Canada’s “First Lady of the Blues” Salome Bey, Saideh Baba Talibah or SATE can fairly take this title.
Bad ass and biting SATE puts blues in a blender and grinds it up with hard rock and punk. NOW Magazine says SATE delivers “heavy metal tinged blues rock and has a tornado of stage presence.”
VICE Noisey says she has “incredible pipes” and only the brave and the crazy will stand centre stage at this inevitably crucial Bovine Sex Club NXNE show.
INDIGENOUS MUSIC SHOWCASE with Digging Roots, Shawnee, Mariame and DJ Shubb (Great Hall) Thursday, June 16 — Digging Roots is a Juno winning husband and wife team of Raven Kenetakta and ShoShona Kish who belnd, folk rock, pop, blues and hip hop. They’ve worked with Tanya Tagaq, DJ Bear Witness from A Tribe Called Red and Kinnie Starr.
Toronto-based Mohawk rocker who blends country and soul into her compelling mix, Shawnee has been making music since she was a kid, her first gig as a young teen was as a Shania Twain tribute act. She was a contestant on Canadian Idol and is an LGBT activist who shared the New York City Pride stage with Lady Gaga. DJ Shubb from A Tribe Called Red will also be part of this stellar show.
Friday, June 17
EXCLAIM PRESENTS KAMASI WASHINGTON w/DJ John Kong (Danforth Music Hall) Friday, June 17 — Kamasi Washington is a jazz sax player who has played with: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Lauryn Hill, Nas, Snoop Dog, Chaka Khan, Flying Lotus and many more.
Washington played sax on Kendrick Lamar’s recent hit disc To Pimp a Butterfly.
This show is selling fast with only a few tickets left, will definitely be an NXNE highlight.
BILLIONS SHOWCASE featuring COLD SPECKS, DIANA and Escondido (Lee’s Palace) Friday, June 17 — Cold Specks appears on a packed Billions showcase that also features indie rock darlings Diana.
Cold Specks is the stage name for singer-songwriter Ladan Hussein and her dreamy music is sometimes called doom-soul. She’s based in Toronto and has two excellent albums on Arts and Crafts records.
RADIOACTIVITY w/Bad Sports, Big Eyes, Lord Almightys (Silver Dollar) Friday, June 17 – Pop punk powerhouses from Fort Worth, Texas, Radioactivity will have a Chernobyl effect on fans of explosive rock power.
Mark Ryan from Masked Men is at the nuclear core of this band that VICE’s Noisey calls a “pop-kissed punk masterstroke.” We just know its kick ass and catchy. Come check them out or Dan Burke will put you in a head lock.
PACQUIN SHOWCASE featuring NQ ARBUCKLE, Sun K, Shred Kelly, Duotang, Taylor Knox
(Legendary Horseshoe) Friday, June 17 — Unless Wikipedia is full of shit, one member of this band is a former bullfighter.Non-bullfighter and front man Neville Quinlan has been pumping out power pop for years. Nominated for two Juno awards, but yet to win, NQ fronts a star lineup of Toronto players at this Paquin Showcase show.
Veteran Winnipeg power pop duo Duo -Tang make a special NXNE return after a years long hiatus. Folk rockers from Fernie, Shred Kelly proudly declare their high energy “Stoke Folk” is certain to fill the Horseshoe dance floor for a sweaty, fun filled June night in Toronto. Wrapping up the night are dynamic newcomers, Sun K, whose folk fueled rock draws on classic Canadian singer-writer royalty as an influence for a sometimes hard rocking sound that still sounds fresh.
BRY WEBB and THE TIMS play the songs of The Replacements (Adelaide Hall) Friday, June 17 — Bry Webb was lead singer for the legendary Constantines from 1999 to 2010 when he left the band to spend more time with his family. Webb has stayed busy in the music biz including releasing solo work and guesting with Feist among others. Webb is joined by Vish Khanna, Mike Deane and Jenny Mitchell to salute the Minneapolis alt rock pioneers.
THE BRAINS w/ The Beatdown, K-Man, Dig It Up, Danny Rebel (Hard Luck) Friday, June 17 – This Quebec-based band puts the psycho in psycho-billy with their energy packed tunes that straddle hard rock and greasy 50s tinged rock and roll.
One critic said, “ Some of the highest-energy music ever produced by guitars, drum and stand up bass.”
You’ll be putting bees’ wax in your hair, gel is so non-environmental, and wanting to hang with Teddy Fury, greatest bartender ever from the Horseshoe before this gig wraps up.
Saturday, June 18
UTA Showcase w/ ADAM BALDWIN, OBGMs, BIRDS OF BELLWOODS, JESSE MACCORMACK, LAURA SAUVAGE (Lee’s Palace) Saturday, June 18 – Dartmouth, Nova Scotia–based singer-songwriter Adam Baldwin is a longtime keyboard player in the Matt Mays band. He started solo work in 2013 and quickly picked up a pack of music awards for his first disc.He’s touring his latest album, out in June called No Telling When which he recorded with members of The Sam Roberts Band, Alvvays and July Talk. His soulful, sensual heartfelt sound assures Baldwin a long stay at centre stage. Up-and-coming Toronto punks OBGMs are still pumped about their self-titled 2014 debut and are determined to get the Lee’s crowd up on their feet early. The fast-breaking, fueled Birds of Bellwoods are self-described as “four men making handsome music with lush harmonies. Exclaim! says they have “Combustible floor stompers and sweet love sings” and Blog TO gushes, “the group has staked out a place amongst the city’s most talented emerging songwriters.”
Nova Scotia-based singer-songwriter Jon Bryant joins the packed bill along with Montreal’s Jesse McCormack and New Brunswick rockers Motorleague.
PROZZAK (Danforth Music Hall) Saturday, June 18 — This Canadian high-concept band has been delivering hits since 1998. Jay Levine and James Bryan McCollum were in the band The Philosopher Kings when they hatched the Prozzak concept.
Creating two cartoon characters, Simon and Milo, Prozzak uses tunes and cartoons to tell the tales of the two animated pals. McCollum says the band is called Prozzak because their music makes people feel good and happy, like the drug Prozac.
KANDLE AND THE KROOKS w/Cat and the Queen, Michael Rault, Alex Calder, Homeshake (Legendary Horseshoe) Saturday, June 18 – Kandle is the daughter of 54-40 front man Neil Osborne and Dad produced her first disc which also features Broken Social Scene member Sam Goldberg Jr.
Buoyed by the success of her first EP, Kandle left her British Columbia base and set up shop in Montreal where she assembled her band the Krooks that includes Goldberg. Her sound is described as “icy cool” and there’s a sultry, simmering slow burn to her music.
A rising star. Kandle plays as part of a packed bill for the M for Montreal showcase, including Michael Rault who SPIN calls “a standout singer-songwriter who creates psychedelic, sugary sweet pop songs” and Edmonton born, Montreal-based Alex Calder along with Homeshake featuring Mac DeMarko’s guitarist up front.
SCREAMING FEMALES w/ Worriers, Michael Eng (Silver Dollar) Saturday, June 18 – This hard driving New Jersey trio get compared to Dinosaur Jr. and Sleater-Kinney.
The band is almost a decade deep into a career that started ultra-indie but now sees them recording with rock legend Steve Albini.
Marissa Paternoster fronts the Females on guitar and vocals. In 2012, SPIN Magazine declared Paternoster the 77th greatest guitarist of all time, better than 78 we suppose.
BERTRAND BELIN w/Beyries, Matt Holubowski (The Drake) Saturday, June 18 – Bertrand Belin is based in France and brings his boozy baritone for a rare Toronto gig with an early show, doors open at 7, at the Drake.
Brooding and beautiful songs are at the heart of Belin’s rich and sexy sound. The son of a fisherman, Belin grew up on the west coast of France in Brittany in the town of Quiberon. He is six albums deep in a rich musical career.
SO SO GLOS w/ The Big Ups, Honduras, Hobo Lord (Smiling Buddha) Saturday, June 18 – These Brooklyn punks are true DIYers and have launched two all ages venues in their hometown.
Two brothers and a step brother are at the core of this blistering band. Their 2008 EP Tourism/Terrorism picked up an A- rating from legendary rock critic Robert Christgau and won best punk album at the Independent Music Awards.
Their most recent disc Blowout made it to the Top 50 albums of the year lists in both Rolling Stone and Consequence of Sound. They’re now touring in support of their 2016 release Kamikaze.
Sunday, June 19
A-WA w/Kiki Rowe (Mod Club) Sunday, June 19 — These Israeli sisters draw on their Yemenite heritage melding the folk music of Yemen with big dance beats.
Tair, Liron and Tagel Haim grew up in a small village in southern Israel near the Egyptian border.Their home was filled with a diversity of music from hip hop, soul, jazz, reggae, prog rock and traditional sounds. A-WA is the sum of all of these influences and they have been touring non-stop for almost two years getting their sound out.
NAILS w/Full of Hell, God’s Hate, Eternal Sleep (Hard Luck) Sunday, June 19 – This California three piece is a self-described powerviolence band so don’t look for any hymns at this Sunday night show.
Pitchfork says “Nails are making some of the most thrillingly extreme music right now. It’s a chaotic, complex blend of hardcore punk, D-Beat, grindcore, powervoilence and death metal.”
Clearly not for the feint of heart. So are you tough enough for Nails?
BIG THIEF w/Sad Boys Glee Club, Yes We Mystic (The Drake) Sunday, June 19 – Big Thief fan Sharon Van Etten calls their music “a real journey with intelligent stories and twist-and-turn melodies.”
Singer-songwriter-guitarist Adrianne Lenker fronts the Thief and she crafts their brooding, rewarding sound. Lenker says of her band mates, “These guys feel like a pack of wolves at my back. They make the songs howl and bark with a fierce tenderness that gives me courage.”