NXNE 2013 is a tough year for the average music enthusiast. There are over 1,000 bands and barely any of them are recognizable. Last year’s headliners were The Flaming Lips, this year it’s The National. Not to come down on The National (though we may later), but that’s a huge leap/drop in recgonizability. However, this isn’t a bad thing. No, not all. It actually makes this year one of the most exciting in recent memory. Simply because you won’t be clamouring to see Men With Hats do their reunion show like in 2011 (it was awesome, by the way) or piling into huge lines to see Phèdre like in 2012 (DIANA/Moon King/Dan Deacon being the exception this time around). Instead, you can set off into the city and go on a true adventure, where you get to see bands you’ve never heard of, go places where you’re not sure what the crowd will be like, and generally get lost in all of the amazing and not-so-amazing things happening all around you.
Nevertheless, you don’t want to go out blind. So, below you will find the expert picks of PP’s most musically informed Penguins.
If we miss anything grand, feel free to post them in the comments just to show us how little we actually know.
Top picks by Penguin…
Ama – Gentleman Reg
W.S. Rivera – Electric Environment
Matt Collins (Comedy) – Ben Beauchemin
Map of venues for tonight’s recommendations…
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11pm – Ben Beauchemin @ The Tranzac (Comedy)
Ben is probably a really funny guy.
10pm – Two Wings @ The Piston
Two Wings – Spooky, medieval psychedelia folk-country from Glasgow. – YS
A country rock n’ twang band from Toronna. As vaguely recalled in Danny D’s recap of NXNE 2011, they were really good! -SG
11pm – Mozart’s Sister @ The Rivoli
Montreal-based one-women band (Caila Thompson-Hannant formerly of Shapes & Sizes), pumping out soulful, nostalgic and chopped jammers. -YS
12am – Gentleman Reg @ The Rivoli
12am – The Electric Environment @ C’est What
1am – Los Oxidados @ The Hideout
Chilled, Mexican Surf Rock. Like [this track] by them but generally mellower. – SG
For more to do check out the PP Guide to NXNE Art