NXNE Q&A Preview: The Ugly Club

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


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

The Ugly Club are from Brooklyn and play the Hideout on June 20th at 10pm.

So this probably has been asked a few times..what’s with the name?

The origin of the name isn’t interesting; a friend made it up and we stole it because it wasn’t being used. However, the name has been helpful because it either makes people compliment us and say we’re actually quite beautiful (obviously) or it strikes a curious chord in people and they need to find out what The Ugly Club is…a band, a label, a gang, etc.

Since this is such a twitter world, can you describe your band in 140 characters or less?

The most influential music since The Bodyguard soundtrack.

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 our second year at NXNE and this time I plan on catching more shows and enjoying the time off in Toronto instead of going to panels and boring stuff.

What other bands are you looking forward to seeing at NXNE?

St. Vincent of course, who we will miss because we play around the same time, Spoon, Snowmine who I think is a hugely underrated band from Brooklyn, and maybe a few others.

What do you think is your band’s greatest strengths? and also, what is your greatest weakness?

Our greatest strength is definitely a genuine friendship, because without that it’d be miserable…being in a band is hard. Also, everyone is in it for music, no bullshit. Our greatest weakness is the reality of working around day jobs, we’d be much stronger if we could cut those chains and just go all in.

What is the best merch your band has?

RE: Our icy blue 7″ single. Obviously just such a cool collectors item. Check it out: http://companyinkrecords.limitedrun.com/products/504607-the-ugly-club-loosen-up

The Ugly Club are from Brooklyn and play the Hideout on June 20th at 10pm.

NXNE Review: Evan Dando, June 15, The Rivoli

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

evan dando

I’ll say this for Evan Dando: he’s economical. During his midnight set at The Rivoli, he kept the banter to a minimum and subscribed to the “less talk, more rock” motto for the duration of his set, cramming as many tunes in as possible. “Can you put some more echo on the vocals or reverb or something weird?” asked Dando a couple of songs into the set.  ” More. More.” he added as the sound guy compiled to his demand.  It was probably one of the few times I remember him saying more than a few words between songs.  But the songs, of course, were what people came here to hear and when you’ve only got a 40something minute set to fill, I guess it makes sense to give the people what they want.  Some of the highlights of his set were “The Outdoor Type,” “It’s A Shame About Ray,” “My Drug Buddy,” and a cover of “Long Black Limousine,” the latter making explicit the country undertones that came through in many of Dando’s own songs throughout the night.

One of the songs that definitely stood out to me was his performance of “Why Do You Do This To Yourself.”  Not because lyrics such as “You stayed awake for 14 days and then you slept a week” would be easily related to later that night as I struggled to stay awake and catch Greys‘ 3AM set time while wishing I could sleep for a week.  No, the reason they resonated with me on this evening is because they reminded me of what happened immediately before Dando’s set.  On my way to The Rivoli, I decided that the Spadina streetcar would be my best bet to get there.  This would turn out to be maybe not the quickest route but certainly the most interesting.

As the streetcar made it’s way out of the station, the driver stopped, announcing that we would have to remain there until they dealt with an individual who had seemingly gotten so drunk that he wandered into the streetcar tunnel and was having himself a nap by the side of the tracks.  Keep in mind this was only just shortly after 11:00 on a Saturday night.  I was mostly bemused by this as I didn’t have anything that I needed to see in the 11:00 slot, but other riders were getting more agitated since they probably had some terrible dance club to get to.  I did feel bad for the two guys I talked to who were missing out on Shannon and The Clams at The Silver Dollar.  I hope they got to see at least some of it.  As for the guy sleeping on the track?  He eventually got up and wandered away somewhere, perhaps to be taken into TTC custody or something.  I hope things worked out OK for him too.  Why do you do this to yourself indeed?


NXNE Review: Human Human, Teen Violence and Naked People, June 15

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


I thought I had a packed schedule this night, but it turns out I had only chosen bands to see at 11pm, since I was tired from traveling all day to farmland, I figured that was okay since I was starting super early.

We got caught in massive traffic coming back to the city and I was cutting it really close to Human Human’s 8pm start time at Supermarket.

I raced in the house, did the ‘key area’ shower,  you all know what I mean there, and hopped on my bike and raced up Lansdowne to College Street, only to discover that traffic was closed off due to the festival happening in Little Italy I forgot about, CURSES! I quickly re-routed to Dundas and by the time I showed up at Supermarket it was 8:05pm and I was  a disgusting sweat-ball. Luckily for me they hadn’t started the set yet!

Human Human

Human Human: Not new on the music making scene, they started together in 2005 under the name Girl, but have now reformed as Human Human. These guys only have a 4 song EP currently out, and if you’re like me, you’ll have listened to those four songs about 50 times each. These guys are a perfect mix of Echo and the Bunnymen, Pulp and Psychedelic Furs all put together. Their sound could fit perfectly into any John Hughes films right in those key moments where the guy gets the girl, or Judd Nelson pumps his fist in the air. A four piece, all clad in white jeans and military-esque white button up jackets, they emerged on stage to play to a crowd of maybe 10 people. I was very happy to be one of those ten. I wondered to myself how much these guys practiced because their shit was TIGHT.

The marching band drums, the synth perfectly placed to accent the excellent guitar and bass work, the songs are larger than life, and were definitely way too large for that small venue and amount of people. When Human Human play, you can picture them on stage at an outdoor music festival playing to 10,000 people and, imagining that in a room with just 10 people there, you know they’re destined for success.

Their build-ups infect you, and you can get lost in their music, just completely unaware of what’s going on as they hypnotize you with their addicting pop sounds and hooks. I cannot stress enough checking these guys out before it costs a cheap arm and a leg to see them.

After Human Human it was clear I wouldn’t enjoy anything half as much as that. I wanted to stick around at that showcase but my friends were headed to the Painted Lady and I was tired of going it solo so…

Teen Violence

Teen Violence: First off, excellent band name. Teen Violence was already on Painted Lady’s very small stage when I arrived.  They were a throwback to the California surf-punk days of the 90’s mixed with heavy 60’s influence. Their songs were short, to the point and a lot of fun. Had it been a bigger space with a bigger crowd with some bigger drinks in me, it would’ve made for a good dance party.

After Teen Violence, the night became sort of a bust. We headed down to the A&C pop up to see Majical Cloudz, but he had cancelled due to voice problems and wanting to do his set at BLK Box as best he could. We all parted ways and I decided to see what was happening at Great Hall/BLK Box.

I managed to catch the last two songs by Chad Valley, which were parfait, and sensual. Headed upstairs to catch a bit of a solo act, caught a really odd but hilarious naked dance party, I would post the photos of that here, but.. I’ll save you the trauma.

Planned on heading to the Garrison after, but NXNE tweeted how big the line was and I ended up passing out to Star Wars at home.

NXNE “Chart Attack Style” 11 word Reviews: Roseville Band, Brazos, Villagers, CTZNSHP

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


NXNE has come and gone, and as a music fan, I’ve always been interested in other people’s opinions of the event. What were there standouts? What did they think of shows? How was their overall experience? I’m always interested. Another thing I am constantly intrigued by is efficiency. Maybe it’s because it is a part of my real life job, so when I saw Chart Attack‘s coverage of NXNE, I thought it was undoubtedly a perfect marriage of the two: Feelings + Efficiency. Their ten words reviews reminded me of Buzzfeed articles, but with even less words. Ever so inspired, I decided to also do this for a few bands I saw. Since I’m competitive, I decided to do 11 words to Chart’s 10 words. With an additional 10% more content, I hope that I can further convey how I felt at these shows.

Roseville Band, Dakota Tavern


Rollicking Four Piece Welsh band rocks out with 90’s sounding anthems

Our Founders, Great Hall


Empty Great Hall, not empty sound. Sleepy synth sounds pleases ear.

Brazos, Great Hall


Austin indie pop band had bass stolen, also stolen: our hearts.

Villagers, Great Hall


Irish folk band starts half hour late, tells stories, sound great.

CTZNSHP, Garrison