NXNE is more than a myriad of musical, comedic, and theatrical talent converging on our city for a whirlwind week of rocking out and partying down. NXNE is a showcase of Toronto, and its vast resources of awesome venues and wicked people. NXNE is a chance for people from all over the world to discover what this city has to offer.
Today, I address my favourite NXNEers. You are the ones that traveled here from other provinces, states, or continents. You are the ones who walked away from your day to day lives, said “Fuck it!” and decided to make this a week to write home about. You are the ones I can’t wait to meet as I make my way around the city looking for the best bands and parties. First round is on … Seamus.
The only complaint one can have about NXNE is that there’s no way you can see or do everything you want, there’s just too much going on. The sheer number of venues participating makes it a real challenge; though a huge boon to the cab drivers of this city. Make it easier on yourself tonight, check out a few of these choice venues, and catch some great acts while you’re at it.
Thursday’s Top Picks – Venues
The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern – 370 Queen Street West
The name says it all – Legendary. Even Toronto neophytes know this place, which has hosted untold acts over the decades. Time travel back to the late ‘90s tonight with Bran Van 3000, playing at 1am, or stop in earlier to see Hooded Fang at 10pm – there’s a trombone!
The El Mocombo – 464 Spadina Ave
My first experience with The El Mo was watching a DVD of Stevie Ray Vaughan perform there. Since then, it has also hosted some of the coolest acts (and Provocative Parties) around. Check out Army Girls at 10pm; last night they blew everyone away. Later in the evening, check out A Place To Bury Strangers, a loud New York rock band that sounds like they should have played at The Hacienda. They take the stage at 1am. Afterwards, climb the stairs and see a Provocative Penguin favourite – Jumple, at 2am.
The Drake Hotel Underground – 1150 Queen Street West
OK, admittedly there are some less than kind things one could say about The Drake. It is a Mecca for 905ers, and it does attract a lot of yuppie douches (myself included). However, most of those people stay upstairs, while everyone else parties in the basement. Like it or not, The Drake has quickly become a choice venue in this city, and it does have some good qualities. Check out Toronto’s own Doldrums at 11pm for some bizarre dirty beats.
The Dakota Tavern – 249 Ossington
I fell in love with The Dakota during last year’s NXNE. Generally known for hosting Country acts, this is a great spot to end any night this weekend, as the party goes reliably late. Closing tonight’s festivities are Vancouver’s own Young Liars who play @ 3am. Think Of Montreal, but at The Dakota, so you can drink. This is just the type of upbeat party to keep you moving as the twilight hours descend on the city.
… Even More Top Picks
12am – The Hundred In The Hands @ Wrongbar
Part of this year’s Brooklyn Invasion. Get ready to shimmy-dance in a trance for a half hour.
2am – Lovely Killbots @ The Boat
This is going to be a synth-pop spectacular equipped with live, reactive video projections.
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.
(Pic via BlogTO)