Show Alert: Join us in the Parlovr

Thurs., Jun. 28
Parlovr, Hooded Fang and Goose Hut
Magic Stick Lounge, Detroit

Montreal's Parlovr pop back into Detroit with their Pop Off Tour, supported by Hooded Fang (Toronto) and quirky Goose Hut, also from Montreal. Parlovr have already popped off a 2012 Polaris long list nomination for their new album, Kook Soul. Here's our show review from last year; we're big fans of their original alt rock.

We caught Hooded Fang at NXNE 2011, as part of the CBC Radio 3 showcase. In that incarnation they delivered listener favourites like "Tosta Mista" and "Promised Land," from the album Tosta Mista, characterized by a retro indie pop sound that sounds like it would be best coming from a car radio on a summer's night. The lineup has changed considerably since then; we're looking forward to seeing the results.

Goose Hut is new to us, but we like what we've heard so far. From their Tumblr:

"Goose Hut started out in the summer of 2011 in Montreal... quickly morphed into a band playing tunes tailored towards live performance: fun, hook-laden, and driven by an old-school punk rock attitude. There's an underlying sombre tone to the lyrics, but having those themes juxtaposed with relentlessly energetic music makes for an explosive combination."You can get their four-track EP, throw it at your dads house, for NYOP at their Bandcamp page.

Show Alert: A Windsor Two-For

Weds., Jun. 27

Belle Plaine
Photo- Courtesy of Belle Plaine
Phog Lounge
w/ Erin Gignac

Loon Choir
Photo- Russ Gordon/N2D Images
FM Lounge

What happens when two bands you have to see are playing the same night?

You go to both, of course.

It might take a bit of hustle, but there's no way we'd miss either one of these bands. For one, fellow CBC Radio 3 friends play in them-- kidcauley on violin in Ottawa's Loon Choir, bassish (who even wrote her thesis on the Radio 3 community) on bass in Saskatchewan's Belle Plaine. For another, we just saw Loon Choir at NXNE; they were easily one of our top shows. And this is what Carolyn Mark had to say about Belle Plaine's vintage, 1940s-inspired sound: "Belle Plaine is a national treasure - a true Canadian. She can sing like a hot-damn."


Loon Choir, from their new full-length album, All Boats Don't Rise: "Bison"

Belle Plaine: "Waikiki"

Show Alert: Hey Rosetta! play Detroit Friday

Fri., Jun. 22
Magic Stick Lounge, Detroit
With Boy Wonders ~ tickets $10

When we found out an acquaintance from Minneapolis was attending this year's Bonnaroo in Nashville, Tenn., we of course told her to be sure to see Hey Rosetta! from St. John's, Newfoundland, and to tell them we said hi. "In college I worked at the campus radio station and I remember getting a promo copy of their first full-length," she said. "I'm excited to see how they've changed since then."

We were excited she had heard of Hey Rosetta!, and even more excited they're back in Detroit at the Magic Stick. The only thing that's changed since is that first album they've only gotten better with time, as last year's Seeds was every bit as impressive as Into Your Lungs. Give this great alt rock band as warm a welcome as this one.

Show Alert: Great Lake Swimmers at the Ark

Weds., Jun. 20
The Ark, Ann Arbor
Doors at 7:30, show starts at 8:00 p.m. ~ tickets $15

On the heels of yet another Polaris nomination for their new album, New Wild Everywhere, the Great Lake Swimmers return to Ann Arbor, Mich. Here's our show review from last August. If you're still not convinced there's no better way to spend your Wednesday evening in the company of beautiful folk music, check out their video below for one of our favourite GLS songs.

NXNE 2012, Day One (Jun. 13): meets, greets and beats

We hadn't been in the city 24 hours before we'd made a new friend from Germany, enjoyed a conversation with a double amputee panhandler, hugged countless CBC Radio 3 blogger friends and heard three great bands.

Hello, NXNE 2012.

Our first trip to the band buffet was for Ottawa's Loon Choir, whose members include Radio 3 blogger kidcauley on violin. Despite the fact that they started off their set with "Nowhere to Go," from their just-released album Fire Poems,we think this band is definitely going somewhere good. Their lively art pop/rock reminded us of a double layer cake: two violinists, two guitarists, two keyboardists (on a Yamaha and a Korg), frosted in the middle by bass and drums and on the outside by main vocalists Derek Atkinson (who delivers lyrics with the intensity of a Baptist preacher) and Nicole Yates. Loon Choir is no boxed mix-- they are a from-scratch gourmet treat. Our pick for song most likely to be a hit single from Fire Poems? "Bison."

We caught up with Fernie, B.C.'s Shred Kelly next,  fresh off traveling across Canada with Tracks on Tracks. One of our top shows from 2011, we've been telling everyone about them ever since, and pretty much everyone who got to hear their "stoke folk" either on the train or at the Tracks on Tracks showcase earlier that evening, told us what we already knew: they are a rollicking good time. They played a few songs off of their new album, due out next month, and they're just as stoked as Goodbye July. We'll be saying hello to them in mid-July when they return to Windsor's Phog Lounge.

It's always a scramble for bands with only 20 minutes between sets, and, well, shit happens. Unfortunately it happened to Saskatoon's We Were Lovers, the charming and talented  duo of Elsa Gebremichael and Ash Lamothe. After two false starts of one of their most popular songs, "Partners in Crime," a monitor overload left Gebremichael with less volume than she liked. It bothered her more than us; We Were Lovers still managed a solid set of electronic dance/pop, and Gebremichael's voice still soared, both reasons we were happy to have the opportunity to see them again after their show in 2010 at the Phog.

Photos: Russ Gordon/N2D Images

On Our List to See @NXNE

The Unquiet Dead
Fri., Jun. 15 8:00 PM  
Cadillac Lounge
Queen & Dufferin

 Photo by Russ Gordon/N2D Images

Indie folk/world/blues from Windsor, Ontario, featuring various past and present members of such esteemed Windsor acts as The Golden Hands Before God, Magic Hall of Mirrors, Two For The Cascade and Surdaster.

Daren Dobsky Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin, Tabla
Jamie Greer Vocals, Percussion
Gary J. Van Lare Bass, Vocals
Jason P. Testawich Mandolin, Guitar, Accordian
Louis Cooney Drums
Jesse Kustra Electric Guitar
Josh Fraser Banjo
Holly Brush Percussion
Loice Mutuma Percussion, Vocals

Show Alert: Wax and Spookey Ruben are DoneFor

Sat., Jun. 9
Phog Lounge, Windsor
Wax Mannequin, Spookey Ruben and the DoneFors

Shopping the other day, we perked up when we heard Cowboy Junkies over the store radio. Not that unusual, as they get commercial air play. Then Kathleen Edwards came on, and we had to ask the clerk: what are you listening to? "Oh, something on Sirius, I think."

We knew it wasn't CBC Radio 3, but that didn't stop us from launching into our spiel. "If you like Canadian indie..." Oh yeah, she said, and ticked off the usual suspects. "I like Tegan & Sara, Arcade Fire, Sam Roberts..."

Before we'd spent a cent, we closed the deal with an N2DS2W card and the following advice: check out our show calendar to discover other great Canadian indie acts playing Windsor/Detroit that you'll likely never hear on 89X or 93.9 The River, like this great line-up at Windsor's Phog Lounge tonight: the always entertaining and original Wax Mannequin, the equally unique and eccentric pop-rock of Toronto's Spookey Ruben and the DoneFors' "Canadiana Vanguard," also via Toronto.

On Our List to See @NXNE

Ottawa's Loon Choir is comprised of Derek Atkinson, Brad Sheffield, Dan Larmour, Nicole Yates, Jamie LeClair, Julien Jacobi and Kathleen Cauley.

Wed. 6/13  9 PM 
The Loon Choir
The Boat
Augusta between Bathurst & Spadina (just north of Grange)

Where N2D will be at NXNE 2012

We're less than a week away from the start of NXNE, Toronto's northern sister festival to SXSW: seven days of music (650 bands), interactive and film (40). This year, in addition to meeting up with even more friends and CBC Radio 3 bloggers and listeners, N2DS2W has added some interactive sessions to our "North by" schedule. Here are some of our picks and plans beginning Weds., Jun. 13. We've learned to play things by ear (tres apropros for a music festival, no?), so you'll see multiple bands in some time slots. You can check out all of these bands at CBC Radio 3 and their listing on the NXNE site. If you're attending and haven't already, check out the NXNE new and improved Schedulizer.

Weds., Jun. 13

2 p.m. - Interactive session: Punk: A Not so Unbiased Take on How it Shaped All Modern Music (Speaker/Panelist Damian Abraham, lead singer of Fucked Up)

3:15 p.m. - Interactive session: Living In The Map: Adventures In Making Detroit A More User-Friendly City

8:15 p.m. - Shred Kelly @ Gladstone Hotel (Tracks on Tracks showcase, $15 without a wristband)

9:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. - We'll be on The Boat for Loon Choir, Knock Knock Ginger and We Were Lovers

Thurs., Jun. 14

2 p.m. - Interactive sessions, The Rise of the 'Artistpreneur' & Entertainment Industry 2.0 (Speaker(s)/Panelists: Alex Metcalfe, D-Sisive, Matt Fullbrook, Jayson Gaignard)

8:00 p.m. - Boxer the Horse @ El Mocambo

9:00 p.m. - Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers @ Horseshoe, Stella Ella Ola (Hollerado members' side project) @ Velvet Underground, Hooded Fang @ Horseshoe

10:00 p.m. - Bishop Morocco @ Rivoli, the weather station @ Great Hall

11:00 p.m. -  Papermaps @ Rancho Relaxo, Spookey Ruben @ Great Hall, Gold & Youth @ Rivoli

12:00 a.m. - Dusted @ El Mocambo, Jenny Berkel @ Free Times Cafe

1:00 a.m. - Julie Doiron @ Great Hall, Bran Van 3000 @ Horseshoe, Creature @ Painted Lady

Fri., Jun. 15

8:00 p.m. - The Unquiet Dead @ Cadillac Lounge, Erin Passmore @ Dakota Tavern, Octoberman @ Gladstone Hotel

9:00 p.m. - Goose Hut @ Silver Dollar, Bidiniband @ Horseshoe

10:00 p.m. - The Danks @ Dakota Tavern, Foam Lake @ Rancho Relaxo, Hooded Fang @ Silver Dollar, Two Koreas @ Velvet Underground

11:00 p.m. - The Provincial Archive @ Painted Lady, Elephant Stone @ Dakota Tavern, Parlovr @ Silver Dollar

12:00 a.m. - Brasstronaut @ Gladstone Hotel

2:00 a.m. - Cobra & Vulture @ Cameron House

Sat., Jun. 16

2:00 and 3:30 p.m. - Masia One and Gregory Pepper & His Problems @ Harbourfront Red Path Stage

9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. - Poor Young Things, Special Guest, The Lumineers, Young Empires, catl, Fast Romantics and Mad ones @ Horseshoe (CBC Radio 3 Showcase)

10:00 p.m. - Jeans Boots @ The Central

11:00 p.m. - Little Foot Long Foot @ Bovine Sex Club