PP Does NXNE 2012 – Wednesday’s Picks

From the intense nostalgia of acts like the Flaming Lips, Bad Religion, Bran Van 3000, Matt Good and Limblifter to the Brooklyn invasion (Friends, A Place to Bury Strangers, The Hundred In The Hands) and just the sheer volume of world-class acts (650) playing shows in a 5 day span, this year’s NXNE is going to light up Toronto. When I say “light up”, I mean like a sociopathic pyro with diplomatic immunity and an endless Zippo collection. Even if the impossible happens and every solid act bombs on stage, 4am last call across the downtown core guarantees a party worth taking the rest of the week off work for.

Provocative Penguin’s Danny DeVito and myself have been preparing for this week since last year, when we shot out into the city like bats who suddenly realized they could see. It was a blur of crazy fun, but this year is gearing up to be much-much better (we have press passes).

Every day, we will be keeping in touch with you, our millions of readers, via Twitter, Facebook and the site itself to provide you with the most rocktastic [sic.] happenings around town. Whether you want to get lost in a fuzz of sick licks, dance or go where the weirdos are, we’ve sifted through the festival’s line up so you don’t have to. We also won’t be wasting your time with overdrawn reviews of shows that have already happened or nonsensical hipster-esque reasons to check someone out (i.e. “They’re so DIY”). Essentially, we hope to offer you the least B.S. for your click and the occasional drunken story/video to help you live vicariously through our iPhones.


Wednesday’s Top Picks…

8pm – Girlfriends and Boyfriends @ Rancho Relaxo

Glam-Pop-Dance. If you’ve ever wished you were partying in the 80s, this is your chance. There’s only so much you can say about this Vancouver trio without showing you. So, here you are:


 8pm – The Effens @ The Boat

If you’re looking to start off your NXNE musical excursion with something a little more experimental, something with noisey guitars but that still manages to maintain it’s pop-sensibilities, then The Effens have you covered.

9pm – Army Girls @ Supermarket

With vocals that could be likened to Emily Haines of Metric and an energentic yet mellow groove, Army Girls might be going somewhere. So, go to them. They’re waiting.

9pm – The Aves @ The Painted Lady

One of the handful of Aussies playing this year’s festival. The Aves jam out infectious tunes with an undeniable Brit-pop feel. Just don’t call them British. They hate that.

 10pm – Snake & Crane @ Rancho Relaxo

I know what you’re thinking. “Where’s all the punky Middle Eastern music?” Well, there’s some at Rancho. Be prepared for a hypnotic ride through fusion rock guitar and world beats when Snake & Crane hit the stage. It’s sure to be a sway-happy time.

 10pm – July Talk @ The Horseshoe

Raspy, sexy and simple.

 11pm – Odd Years @ The Piston

Featuring (at least someone who shares the name of) the frontman for one of Toronto’s least known super groups, MINOTAURS, but on drums, Odd Year’s has a funky-folky sound that feels like it will fit perfectly into the mid-sized back room at the Piston.

 11pm – South of France @ El Mocambo (Upstairs)

South of France is from Colorado. They play feel-good power-pop. The video below is bizarre, charming and retarded.

 12am – Ponctuation @ The Hideout

Fuckin’ rock n’ roll.


1am – Nixon (Formerly Tiny Danza) @ El Mocambo (Upstairs)

High-octane hip hop and soul with a live band. Ahhh, yeah.

1am – Volcano Playground @ El Mocambo (Main Floor)

Do you love dark shoegaze experimental ambient rock and/or smoke a lot of drugs? Then there’s only one place to be at 1am.

2:20am – Bear Mountain @ The Gladstone Ballroom

Still up? Might as well dance the the rest of the night away.


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.

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(Photo by Miriam England)

About Seamus Gearin

Séamus once found a $100 bill and gave it to the first person who passed by. He's regretted it ever since.