Concerts

NXNE Day 1: Foxtrott, Mexican Slang, Grand Splendid

Posted on by Ricky in Everything, North By Northeast | Leave a comment

1x1.trans NXNE Day 1: Foxtrott, Mexican Slang, Grand Splendid

Alright, It’s NXNE time. First night of NXNE is always quiet and this was no exception. Let’s take a look at some acts that we saw.

Foxtrott (10 pm, Mod Club)

A solo project from Montreal, Foxtrott did not let the sparse crowd at the Mod Club affect her show. Accompanied by another female on the French Horns, the two played a prolific set that introduced the crowd to Foxtrott’s blend of nostalgic dark electronic arrangements that serve as a backdrop to Marie-Hélène L. Delorme’s powerful vocals. The addition of the French horn live added an extra hint of pizazz to the show. I’m a sucker for this type of music and Foxtrott was no exception.

1x1.trans NXNE Day 1: Foxtrott, Mexican Slang, Grand Splendid

Mexican Slang (11 pm, Smiling Buddha)

Not sure why the Smiling Buddha is the home of so many shows this year, the sight lines in that place are horrible and I’m 6’1. The seeming destination for fans of the harder rock this year, I will admit I felt quite old walking into this place. Age issues aside, Toronto trio Mexican Slang played the exact type of rock that the tattooed youth of today have been concerning themselves with. Aggressive but catchy at the same time, Mexican Slang’s calling card in their psych-garage punk rock tunes is lead singer’s Annabelle Lee powerful voice. The set was over as quickly as it began, which left me wanting a bit more. I was only halfway through my beer. But I guess that’s how the old saying goes. This band has a song called Shit Destroyer. Need I say more?

1x1.trans NXNE Day 1: Foxtrott, Mexican Slang, Grand Splendid

Grand Splendid (Midnight, Baltic Avenue)

My entire goals for NXNE is to start out far and gradually make my way home. Wednesday night was a success as my last stop was at the Laser palace aka Baltic Avenue to check out Montreal band Grand Splendid. Sounding a bit like Teenage Fanclub, the band displayed some smooth harmonies and hooks during their set, which had a heavy dose of poppy, happy guitar rock. The band started off the set playing to a pretty empty crowd but with each track, more and more people moved up front. Pretty good confirmation that Grand Splendid is off to a good festival start.

NXNE Q&A Preview: Tei-Shi

Posted on by Ricky in North By Northeast | Leave a comment

1x1.trans NXNE Q&A Preview: Tei Shi

As part of our NXNE coverage, we held a series of Q&A with some bands performing during the festival.

Tei-Shi is a Vancouver based R&B singer aiming to move your body when she plays the Wrongbar at 9 pm on Friday June 20th

Since this is such a twitter world, can you describe yourself in 140 characters or less?
The fairy from Zelda meets Pinky, from The Pinky and The Brain. Meets Daria.

Is this your first NXNE? If so, what are your expectations for it? If not, what did you learn from last time that’ll improve your experience this time?
This is indeed my first time at NXNE! I try to go into everything with little preconceived expectation, and I actually have no idea what NXNE will be like, but I’m definitely expecting to have a great time and be surrounded by some great music. If it’s anything like SXSW, it will be a little stressful and intense, but very fun and relaxed at the same time. This time I’ll only be playing two shows, versus six at SXSW, so I expect to maximize the fun and minimize the stress!

What other bands are you looking forward to seeing at NXNE?
I would love to see Tune-Yards, St. Vincent and Danny Brown.

What do you think is your greatest strengths? and also, what is your greatest weakness?
A big strength I would say, is that I have a very clear sense of self–I have a strong sense of who I am as a person. A big weakness would probably be that I can be pretty lazy when it comes to things I don’t want to do, so in those situations I tend to want things quickly without putting the time and thought into them. As a result I can be quite impulsive.

NXNE Q&A Preview: Gold Beach

Posted on by Ricky in North By Northeast | Leave a comment

1x1.trans NXNE Q&A Preview: Gold Beach

As part of our NXNE coverage, we held a series of Q&A with some bands performing during the festival.

Gold Beach is a solo act from one of my favorite American cities – Austin, Texas. They/He has a new album out and wants to soundtrack your summer.

Is this your first NXNE? If so, what are your expectations for it? If not, what did you learn from last time that’ll improve your experience this time?
Yes, this is the first time for NXNE this year and my expectations are very high. i’m excited about the overlap in the different arts at the festival. also excited to visit the Gardiner Museum. i’m sure it will come and go quickly.

What other bands are you looking forward to seeing at NXNE?
Definitely mutual benefit. also, kc accidental, dana falconbery. would love to catch a few hip hop shows as well, but i’m still exploring the various acts performing.

What do you think is your band’s greatest strengths? and also, what is your greatest weakness?
Strengths: sense of space, strong performances. evolving sound.
Weaknesses: sense of space, strong performances, evolving sound

What is the best merch your band has?
A t-rex head on our shirts! looks like THIS

What’s with all the bands with the word Beach in their names lately?
Beach house and who else? i don’t know..pretty sure our music sounds different.

Concert Review: Sylvan Esso, tUnE-yArDs, June 13, 9:30 Club

Posted on by halley in Concerts | Leave a comment

1x1.trans Concert Review: Sylvan Esso, tUnE yArDs, June 13, 9:30 Club

Sylvan Esso is the cure.

Though those words are tUnE-yArDs’, I can only agree as I listen to Sylvan Esso at the office Monday morning as a type of self-soothing mechanism to cope with the passing of the weekend. The electro-pop duo of Amelia Meath & Nick Sanborn are hypnotic, soothing, and sleek. The group delivers its highly synthesized sound in all its integrity live, though the performance is a bit understated – almost unassuming when compared to other, more ostentatious singer-and-producer-acts. Overall, I super enjoyed the opener, and it’s obvious tUnE-yArDs appreciates the two as an up and coming act worth investing in.

tUnE-yArDs, aka Merrill Garbus, for her part, is anything but understated. Even if you weren’t already aware of Garbus’ penchant for face paint, crazy costumes, and out-of-this-world hair styles, you may have gotten an inkling from the crowd anxiously anticipating her appearance at the 9:30 Club. Balloon hats were a must-have, face paint was abundant, and clown suits were common. While Garbus has recently taken some criticism for her experimentation in mainstream pop sound, I thought she (and her awesome back up dancers and band) pulled the effort off well. Her new songs are, admittedly, more repetitive and cohesive than some of the CRAZY sounds heard on her original album, but I would never label them as boring or generic. “Hey Life” on Nikki Nack really rocked my socks. Unlike Sylvan Esso, whose challenge, in my opinion, is matching their live renditions to their impeccably sleek recorded tracks, tUnE-yArDs presents the opposite scenario: her charisma and unforgettable persona often make her live renditions more enjoyable than recorded. But, again, relistening on Monday morning, I’m rocking just as hard to “Hey Life” on Spotify as I was at the 9:30 Club. Of course, at the end of the day, “Gangsta” is still my favorite track.

Overall, two great acts, off the beaten path, definitely worth a listen. And a look if they’re live in your town.