The biggest problem with NXNE this year: Too many options. The weekend lineup is the prime example. From a steller free stage at Yonge-Dundas sqaure to both local and foreign legends to bands you’ve never heard of that just might blow you away, your biggest burden as a concert goer is figuring out where to be and when. Luckily, you read Provocative Penguin.
Featured: Plants & Animals followed by Matt Good @ Yonge-Dundas Square 8:30-11pm
If you’ve never seen Plants & Animals before, you need to do yourself a favour. They’re the kind of band who thrive on live performance. In fact, it wasn’t until their latest album The End of That that they actually composed their music and lyrics before jamming it out on a record. I’m not going to lie, that was probably a mistake. The End of That may be the end of them, but having seen them live last month, I know they’ve still got a stage show that will at the very least keep you entertained. It may also inspire you to write fan mail to your new favourite band to plead with them not to break up.
Friday’s Top Picks
9pm – Die Mannequin @ Mod Club Theatre
Say what you will about their recorded music (I know I’ve said a few not-so-great things in the past), Die Mannequin is quite simply awesome on stage. Having accidentally checked them out during last year’s festivities, I learned that the album surely does not make the band.
10pm – Bass Drum of Death @ Wrongbar
Have you got found yet?
10pm – Art Vs. Science @ The Garrison
The single below is probably this Aussie-group’s best song. But if you’re ready to dance-rock your face off by ten tonight, there’s no better place to be.
11pm – Friends @ Lee’s Palace
This might be the sexiest half-hour of the weekend. Brooklyn’s Friends is bringing disco back, and it isn’t at all scary.
11pm – Utidur @ The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom
Think of Beirut instrumentals with pleasant, poppy lyrics.
12am – Phedre @ Sneaky Dee’s
Toronto epics Hooded Fang combine forces with Doldrums with craft bizarre, haunting and catchy tunes. This show might get weird.
1am – The Noble Thiefs @ The Annex Live
Class yourself up a bit and get sway-happy to some blues with Winnipeg’s noblest thieves. You might want to wear a tie or something.
2am – aRTIST oF tHE yEAR @ El Mocambo (Upstairs)
By now, your hopefully ready to get your dance on. This Montreal act is bound to please even the most jaded of concert goers.
3:10am – Sara Hennessey @ Monarch Tavern
This is a great opportunity to take in one of the great non-music events at NXNE this year. Not only is Sara Hennessey hilarious while sober, you are most likely shit-faced by now, so she’ll be a zillion times funnier. Also, when you have the time you should check out a free web-series she put out last year, Goodbye Sara Hennessey, 6 whimsical shorts featuring Sara getting broken up with and attempting to change her life for the better by being ridiculous.
NXNE is our bitch-lover this year. There will be a new roundup and recap every day til Sunday. Stay tuned to Provocative Penguin for a brand of unrefined good taste you can’t get elsewhere.