NXNE Preview: Paul’s Picks

Toronto – North By Northeast starts tomorrow.  The city will be full of music lovers checking out shows and drinking ’til 4 am.  And most of them probably want to go to the same shows as you.  I’m sorry, but it’s true.  That’s why it’s always good to have a backup.  Ricky already advised in his NXNE commandments of the value of knowing what else is going on at nearby venues if your plans get changed.  So I’m here to talk about some of the more interesting acts – a few of the big ticket bands, but also a lot of the somewhat lesser known.  Here goes:


I guess this is the first official night of the fest.  It’s pretty slim pickings, but there’s a few things going on if you’re looking.

Eagles of Death Metal are the big ticket show of the night.  They’re playing The Phoenix, first 200 passes get in and since there’s not a whole heck of a lot going on otherwise, it’s a pretty safe bet those 200 slots will be filled.  If you don’t get in, you can console yourself with the knowledge that Josh Homme won’t even be there, as he’s too busy hanging out with Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones anyways. 

Also of note are Cavaliers!, a fine alt-county outfit who’ll be playing The Bovine at 10:00.  Their sound is reminiscent of Ryan Adams and The Jayhawks, full of sweet harmonies and a bunch of guitar solos.


Andy Kim:  Andy Kim!  Rock Me Gently! Sugar Sugar!  Need I say more?  OK, I will – once upon a time, Mr. Andy Kim briefly went by the stage name of Baron Longfellow!  For no apparent reason.  How cool is that?  He’s playing at 8:00 as part of the Outlaws And Gunslingers showcase at Lee’s Palace, along with a bunch of rootsy singer-songwriter types like Jim Cuddy, O Susanna, Justin Rutledge and The Beauties.

Teen Tits Wild Wives:  Wrongbar, 10:00.  Don’t know much about them, but with a name like that, they must be worth seeing.

Another Blue Door:  Comfort Zone, 11:00.  They’re from The Shwa and they list Pavement and Big Star as influences.  Good enough for me.

Walter Schreifels: Legendary in hardcore circles, the former frontman of Youth of Today, Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand and Rival Schools will be doing the folksinger thing at The Bovine in the wee small hours (AKA 2:00 am).  I was a big fan of Quicksand back in the day and will definitely be checking this one out … unless I get too sleepy.

CBC2 Showcase, The RivoliZeus, Buck 65, Grand Analog, and a couple other performers I’m not familiar with.  Zeus is a pretty tight band and Buck is always entertaining.  This should be a good one.

Misfits @ The Opera House:  If you really want to see Jerry Only covering up his bald spot with a devilock combover, go right ahead.  First 50 passholders get in. 


Best Coast and The Soft Pack are playing The Garrison at 11:00 and 12:00 respectively.  Both bands are playing at least one more show elsewhere during the festival, so if you don’t get in to this one, you can always try another night.

The lineup at The Silver Dollar Room is pretty solid tonight.  In fact, Silver Dollar showcases are always pretty good.  Say what you will about Dan Burke, but the man knows how to book a great lineup.  Austin’s Strange Boys are playing their brand of R&b-ish garage rock Thursday through Saturday at The Dollar, plus a show at The Garrison.  Also on the bill tonight are By Divine Right, WOMEN, and Murder Ford Monument, who are described in their NXNE bio as sounding like The National and Explosions In The Sky.  And they’re driving all the way from Montreal to play one show at 3:00 AM.  The least you could do is stop by for a few songs. 


Some guy named Iggy is playing Yonge Dundas Square.  Will it be as good as his brilliant performance as the Al Martino loving ice rink operator in Snow Day?  One can only hope. 

Library Voices:  The Horseshoe Tavern, 9:00.  Library Voices are awesome – fun, poppy tunes full of synths and saxes with multiple vocalists with songs about Kurt Vonnegut.  So good.

The High Dials: Rancho Relaxo, 12:00.  Fine Montreal psych rock.


De La Soul.  Yonge Dundas Square.  Be there

And that’s about it.  Enjoy.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts, Everything, North By Northeast