NXNE 2011: Let the planning begin

Launched today: the NXNE Schedulizer
Log on, choose your must-see NXNE music shows,
film screenings, or interactive presentations
and create a personalized schedule.
Find it at www.nxne.com

Show Alert: Wax Mannequin @ Paddy Flaherty's (Sarnia)

Fri., May 27, 10:00 p.m., Paddy Flaherty's
Opening: the Unknown Culprits (Toronto, alt rock/blues)

The year is approaching the halfway mark, and although we still have a lot of bands to see (especially with the NXNE bonanza approaching), Wax Mannequin (Hamilton) remains one of our top shows of 2011 (show review here). We'll be making the trip to Sarnia to see what Wax has up his sleeve and on his mind this time.

The Ruby Spirit

Submitted to CBC Radio 3 as one of the Top 5 Gigs of the Weekend
The Ruby Spirit play @ Phog Lounge this Sat.

"With their unique combination of modern indie rock, cabaret, and 60s psychedelia, this five-piece outfit has gained a growing reputation for transforming local gigs into mesmerizing stage performances."

NXNE announces additions to lineup

Best tweet we saw that day: "NXNE gets Fucked Up."

And Allie Hughes, the Handsome Furs, Matters (formerly the D'urbervilles), Diamond Rings, We Were Lovers, Ox, and more. These are some of the latest additions from the CBC Radio 3 roster of artists performing at NXNE. No schedules are available yet (Fucked Up is playing a free show at Younge-Dundas Square), but you can view the list of musical artists here.

Scroll down for more photos.

Allie Hughes

We Were Lovers

Photos: Russ Gordon

Show Alert: The Wilderness Of Manitoba

Adam's Loft, Sarnia, ON

The Wilderness of Manitoba soar in an atmosphere of ethereal sound, mythology and Tibetan singing bowls. As a multiphonic instrument, the singing bowl is both complement to and beautiful metaphor for the Wilderness of Manitoba's incredible vocal harmonies, courtesy of Stefan Banjevic, Scott Bouwmeester, Melissa Dalton, Sean Lancaric and Will Whitwham and their various instrumental talents. We were especially impressed with Lancaric's unique approach to drums/percussion. Their talents aren't limited to music; Dalton created the art and cover design of their full-length album, When You Left the Fire.  Via N2D

Photos: Russ Gordon

Artwalk band schedule now available

Artwalk - Jun. 4-5, 2011 - Sarnia, Ont.
arts - entertainment - culture

Sat., Jun. 4: North Stage

1:00 - Maylee Todd
2:00 - Harlan Pepper
4:00 - The Rest
5:00 - Elliott BROOD

(Elliott BROOD is also playing a show Saturday night at Paddy Flaherty's)

Sun., Jun. 5: North Stage

3:00 - Olenka & the Autumn Lovers

Show Review: "It's going to be fuse-blowing"

N2D have had a lot of interesting conversations with border guards when crossing. Several have involved replying to this question: "What band are you seeing tonight?"

The answer on Tue., Apr. 19: "Gobble Gobble and Rich Aucoin." It's a good thing we didn't know about the Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt, and even better that we didn't have to try to describe what we were about to see (and do) because it will be hard enough here. "It's going to be mind-blowing," said S2W. "It's going to be fuse-blowing," said Phog Lounge co-owner Frank Incitti, watching Terror Pigeon piece together a lighting set-up that looked like a high school science project.

While no fuses were blown in the making of this show, the predictable was. After a short prelude of compelling compositions on a Roland 303 by Windsor's (wh)y.m.e.(??) (Murad Erzinclioglu of Windsor Zene and founder of FAM Fest), the evening transitioned from passive listening to full-blown interactive theater, beginning with the Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt of Nashville (yes, that Nashville).

With a lighted plastic snowman as back-up, singer Neil Fridd offered costumes to the audience, donned a rainbow muumuu himself and belted out a set of energetic, quirky pop. At one point a conga line of conjoined audience members wearing blazers strung together by lights snaked through the Phog. The big finale was a big love-in beneath a huge quilt, preschool-style. What else would you expect from a band whose latest album is titled I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU AND I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU! HAVE AN AWESOME DAY! HAVE THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE!!

Touring in support of the EP Public Publication, Rich Aucoin (Halifax) puts on a more polished but equally interactive performance of dance-electro pop. Instead of suitcases full of hardware store lighting, Aucoin uses a projection screen and edited videos ranging from the absurd to sing-along lyrics to scenes from  How the Grinch Stole Christmas (which syncs, a la Dark Side of the Moon/the Wizard of Oz, with his previous EP, Personal Publication), as a backdrop. His R3 page notes that his mission is "to create a euphoric communal experience." Using charisma, encouragement, confetti, group chorus and a coloured parachute (and drummer Joel Waddell, doing double duty that night for Aucoin and Terror Pigeon), mission accomplished.

From interactive theater, Gobble Gobble (Edmonton)-- the Frankenstein brainchild of Cecil Frena, with Calvin McElroy, Corin Roddick and Graham Nickle-- took the crowd to a surreal kind of primal-tribal-mystical Roman theater set to experimental, futurist pop. With Frena at the microphone and keyboards/synth and Roddick at the drums, instead bringing the crowd to the show, McElroy and Nickle brought the show to the crowd. Shirtless, in pink tutus, on drywall stilts, they roamed the room, thrusting strange objects out for people to touch, engaging in a mock battle with shovels. Weird and campy performance art? Sure. But make no mistake, the music is brilliant. You can download Gobble Gobble's most recent 7", Wrinklecarver and the full-length Neon Graveyard for free on their Bandcamp page.

Photos: Russ Gordon


Congratulations to our RAA set list winner

Dirk of New Baltimore, jojodillon on the CBC Radio 3 blog, was the first to correctly answer the question:

What is the name of the Windsor restaurant where Amy Cole of the Rural Alberta Advantage had dinner the night of the show? The World Marathon Restaurant. (The answer was available here.)

He wins the Rural Alberta Advantage set list from their show at the Phog Lounge on Sun., Mar. 27. Thanks for playing, Dirk, and for reading N2DS2W.

Win a GENUINE Rural Alberta Advantage Set List!

Okay, so it's not a trip to Europe, a new flat-screen TV, or even a free CD. But it is a genuine set list from the Rural Alberta Advantage show in March at Phog Lounge, and it can be yours if you're the first person to e-mail us the correct answer to this question:

What is the name of the Windsor restaurant where Amy Cole of the Rural Alberta Advantage had dinner the night of the show?

Artwalk (Sarnia) announces band lineup

We had Artwalk (Jun. 4-5) on our radar as soon as we learned that Elliott BROOD and Harlan Pepper were scheduled to perform. After seeing the lineup, now that blip is the size of a 747. There are no times listed yet, but R3 artists we know and love include, in addition to BROOD and Harlan Pepper, the Rest, Olenka & the Autumn Lovers and Maylee Todd.

Show Alert: Rebekah Higgs w/Crissi Cochrane @ Phog Lounge Thurs, May 5

Rebekah Higgs To Release Upcoming LP On Hidden Pony, Announces May Tour Dates To Celebrate

With the dust still settling on the success of her Little Voice  EP, Rebekah Higgs is pleased to announce that her sophomore full length album is set to come out on Hidden Pony sometime this summer. Known for their recent success with such artists as Said The WhaleJeremy Fisher and Imaginary Cities, Hidden Pony is equally ecstatic to be working with Rebekah and welcomes her to the label.

"It's great to be joining Hidden Pony. They are a young label, with a young team, full of energy, exuberance, and a love for music and a passion for what they do. As an artist you couldn't hope for more."

"We're so very excited to be working with Rebekah. Everyone at Hidden Pony loves the record and we think it fits in perfectly with the aesthetic that we've tried to develop. We're thrilled to welcome her to our amazing family."

In the meantime, Rebekah Higgs will be hitting the road for most of May to celebrate, including a performance at the Long Live The Queen Festival in Halifax, an event that she helps curate. The release date, album title and artwork for Rebekah’s upcoming LP will be announced soon.

Long Live The Queen Festivalhttp://longlivethequeen.ca/ 

Visit Hidden Pony:  http://www.hiddenpony.ca/ 

Crissi Cochrane (Halifax/Windsor) opens.  A CJAM Jammy "Best Local Band/Musician" award winner, her voice is as lovely as the little birds she crafts.

The Meligrove Band "Really Want It"

"Is it cool to be creepy?"

That was the theme of today's Lanarama show on CBC Radio 3; if this new video from the Meligrove Band (Toronto) is any indication, the answer is yes:

The Meligrove Band - Really Want It from The Cobourg Boys on Vimeo.

"Really Want It" is off of the Meligrove Band's most recent album, Shimmering Lights (available for only $9 from their website). We saw them last October as part of a great Devil Night's show at the Majestic Cafe, several weeks after Shimmering Lights, the band's fifth album, was released. Seven months later, it still has legs.

Thanks to Adrienne Uselman of Rock Steady Music

Show review: Young Rival

So there we were: at Boogie Fever in Ferndale for a 50th birthday party on a Friday night, watching Cindy Lauper and Gap Band videos and 50-something women dancing under the disco lights while all the men stared from the bar. N2D turned to S2W and said "You know, we can still make the Young Rival show at Phog Lounge." A half hour later we were in Windsor, watching a 20-something opening band-- Elk (St. Catherine's/Welland)-- and a 20-something audience clearly geeked for a 50s-infused alt pop/rock band: Young Rival (Hamilton).

This was the third time we've seen Young Rival-- Aron D'alesio (guitar and lead vocals), John Smith (bass, vocals) and Noah Fralick (drums, vocals)-- and their due is overdue. We first saw them last August when they closed out Phog Phest 2. We'd hauled all the way from a race that day at Michigan International Speedway and it was more than worth the trip to hear them. A month later, we were back at Phog for the Pack a.d./Young Rival show.

The April 15th show marked almost to the day the release of Young Rival's self-titled first full-length album last year. Since then singles from both the album and their previous EP, featuring their retro sound and reverb vocals, have been in regular rotation on CBC Radio 3. Judging from the near-Beatlesque fervor of some of the ladies in the audience, Young Rival has been on regular rotation on their iPods. Authentic? You bet.

Photos: Russ Gordon

Show alert: the Deep Dark Woods w/ Shuyler Jansen @ Phog Lounge, Tues. May 3

"Melancholy" is how a friend and fellow blogger described the Deep Dark Woods (Saskatoon). "Despite the dark themes," reads the band's R3 page, "the heaviness never overwhelms the music's playfulness. An utterly fun rhythm section, brilliant guitar work, and eerily rich harmonies drive the songs."

We think that's pretty accurate, but we'll let you decide: "Charlie's (Is Coming Down)"
"All the Money I Had is Gone"

We're guessing we might hear some new songs, as the Deep Dark Woods hasn't released an album since 2009 (Winter Hours), the follow-up to 2007's Hang Me, Oh Hang Me, which followed their debut EP in 2006.

Folk/rock singer Shuyler Jansen, also of Saskatoon, is touring with the Deep Dark Woods.

Listen: "Brand New Wick"

Opening: Dave Russell (Windsor)