NXNE: Young and Sexy, June 13, Sneaky Dees

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

Toronto – Paparazzi. Star Wars Kid. These two things dominated the Young and Sexy NXNE showcase on Friday, June 13. Young and Sexy is indie band from Vancouver that features the musical stylings of one Lucy Brain and one Paul Hixon. Theres also a guitarist, drummer and bass. They don’t sound that much like a west coast band, opting for more guitar layering and vocal interplay rather then all out poppy soundss that other bands from the West coast seem to have. They are not really young and sexy either. I would venture to think most of them are approaching 30 or over that mark. Just sayin.

To the asshole photographer at the Young and Sexy show. You are an asshole. I don’t know what made you think you had the right to hop all over the front end of the stage like a jackrabbit on cocaine and holding the camera a few inches from Lucy Brain’s face to get that candid music shot. You should be lucky that the band is so laid back, if that was say, Akon you were photographing, he would have body slammed you into the crowd quicker then you can say flickr.

Star Wars Kid:
So thru out the Y&S set, there was a dude off to the side who was really, really, really into the band. He would do all these dances to the songs that can be best described as a retard having a seizure. It was rather distracting. It’s hard to criticize someone who’s genuinely enthusiastic about the show, but you can tell that the band was a bit distracted as well. Maybe it was a family member or something. I don’t know. I wished I had a video camera, cos that would have been a top video on youtube fo shizzle. All I needed to do was to put a lightsaber graphic on him and he would have made the next Weezer video.

So there you have it, between wanting to kick the photographer and watching the star wars kid doing his interpretive dancing, you can tell why these two mitigating factors single handedly stole all the attention from what was a good, but not spectacular Y&S show. Everyone was distracted by these two things, and it was only when Y&S whipped out the song ‘Television’ that things started to settle down. But by then, it was too late.


NXNE: Great Lake Swimmers, Reverb, June 13

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

Toronto – I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t really know much about Great Lake Swimmers. In fact, I pretty much knew nothing about any of the bands I saw this weekend. Maybe that’s a good thing, it’s a fresh view on these bands that many bloggers swoon about. What I did know was this: The Great Lake Swimmers are an extremely popular Toronto band that focuses on the mellower-folky side of rock. They are led by Tony Dekker, who a friend of mine wants to stalk, and they are championed by CBC Radio 3, the source of cool for many people. So it was with this knowledge that I brought to the Reverb on Friday night for their NXNE showcase.

The Reverb is a funny place. The only other time I was there was to see Feist as part of NXNE a few years ago, and that show was so packed I felt like a Chinese immigrant on a cargo ship. This time around, the place was not as packed and from what I gather, the Reverb is a nice quiet intimate place. The stage dominates the middle of the area, and there are three bar areas and I think you can get a good view from everywhere. Not too bad for a venue located at Hobo corner.

The threesome took the stage quietly at around 10:00 after the CBC dude introduced them. At this point the place was filling up, only the people who got here around 10 were all soaked from the monsoon that was outside. Nothing like a packed house full of rain drenched people to make the place smell all nice and rosy. In a very business like manner, the band started playing a song. probably off their most recent album – Onigiara. There was an acoustic guitar, a banjo and a drum. I think this was the instruments du jour.

What can I say? the dude has a soothing voice and he knows how to use an acoustic guitar. The next fourty minutes demonstrated the bands excellent skillz at ze acoustic folk rock. It was mostly a mellow affair, although towards the end, the drums were a little faster, the guitar a little stronger and the sound a bit more rockier, leading some librarians to saying ‘now this… is a rock show’. Whatever. I think the show was pretty good and if you like stuff like Iron and Wine, and Sir Sufjan, then Great Lake Swimmers is right down your alley.

You can stream the Great Lake Swimmers album here. Stream…Lake…get it? haha.

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