Friday, June 18, 2010

NXNE: Day 2

Day 2 saw me at the Horseshoe Tavern for the KEXP showcase.

I came in about halfway through Dinosaur Bones' set, so unfortunately I don't have a whole lot to say about them except that they're another local band, and I wrote down that I liked them better than the bands I saw last night. They fall pretty neatly into the indie rock category.

Next up was Philadelphia, PA, natives Free Energy. As the name suggests, they're a little bit hippie, a little bit rock and roll. But mostly just the hippie party. Most of the songs feature a very bouncy beat, exclusively major key super-happy-fun-times. I have to admit I was a little sick of all the positivity. I'm always looking for something with a little more bite to it - and boy did I get what I asked for...
Los Angeles, CA, all-girl band Warpaint was exactly what I was craving after the affable good intentions of Free Energy. They were moody, experimental, and completely spot-on. I was impressed with the extended instrument breaks and the sorrowful harmonies. This is the sort of thing that people go to big-box festivals for - the little "aha" moments that assure you it was a good idea to leave the cat home alone for one night. I'll be keeping my eye on this band for the future.

Next up was Elliott Brood, a local band that has been all around the world, but still finds time to play in Toronto all the time. I swear that every time I look at upcoming concert listings I see this band is playing somewhere in Toronto. It's great because the practice really shows in how good their performances are. Indie-Folk is always a fun genre, and it's clear that these guys have earned a good reputation for a reason. They had a solid rapport, both with each other and with the audience. They blended an array of different instruments seamlessly in order to create a full sound, hiding the fact that there was only three of them on stage. They're a worthy band to check out if ever you have the chance.

The Ghost is Dancing is yet another local indie-pop band. Think Broken Social Scene if they mated with The Flaming Lips. The show was full of energy and partial nudity. Also there was crowd surfing. It was fun, if a little loose. Mostly I just wondered why they were so damn familiar. I'm sure I've seen them perform before, but damned if I know where/when. Oh well, in the end I got to (unintentionally) grope the uber-hippie keyboardist's ass while he was crowd surfing, and bob my head to some catchy beats. If anyone finds my (possibly non-existent) memory of seeing them play before, please let me know.

The Junction (from Brampton? That doesn't sound right) closed the night with some solid indie-rocking. Sorry, I only stayed long enough to gather that I liked the sound, but would prefer to sink into an album before committing much open display of love.

FYI: There may not be a NXNE Day 3 post tomorrow as I will be at the Olympic Island concert, hanging out with Broken Social Scene and Pavement. I hear the guys from Beach House will be serving paninis and Timber Timbre will be performing "knock, knock" jokes. Wish you were there.

PS: WTF is up with cute, preppy guys ruining their manliness with prep-school sweaters tied loosely around their shoulders? I must have missed that fashion memo because I'm still in the school that believes that look is (and never was) in style. I've seen this look around, and I don't mean to pick on this random guy (nice ass, btw), but I am perplexed!

1 comment:

Laura said...

I did not catch the show, but you are correct: prep school sweaters tied around the shoulders are never okay. Utter douchebaggery.