Are all the 2010 Top Ten lists done?

Good.  It's time for our Top Ten Shows of 2010 in (or near) Windsor/Detroit.
(What's a few hundred miles?)
With all the shows we attended in 2010 and all the artists we saw, it's extremely
difficult and almost not fair to pick just ten.
These are NOT in any order, just the best that we saw.

March 5  Phog Lounge

The Wilderness Of Manitoba
Aug 12  Phog Lounge
The Mountains And The Trees
Aug 12  Phog Lounge

Besnard Lakes
June 12  Call The Office
The Pack A.D.
Sept 23  Phog Lounge
Library Voices
June 27  Phog Lounge

Bend Sinister
Sept 16  Phog Lounge

Olenka & the Autumn Lovers
Oct 20  Phog Lounge

Holy Fuck
Sept 26  Magic Stick

Jody Glenham
Oct 31  Phog Lounge

Hannah Georgas
Oct 31  Phog Lounge

Born Ruffians
Oct 30  Majestic Cafe

Raised By Swans
April 16  Phog Lounge
Allie Hughes
Oct 31  Phog Lounge

Gregory Pepper And His Problems
July 13  Magic Stick
June 18  Hard Rock Cafe
Photos: Russ Gordon


Show alert: a Capitol idea-- Elliott BROOD Sat., Jan. 29

If you want a preview of tracks from Elliott BROOD's upcoming album (Six Shooter Records, estimated release in June), join us on Sat., Jan. 29 for their show at Windsor's Capitol Theatre ($18 at the door, or click here for tickets).

They unveiled a few at the New Year's Eve show we attended in Toronto. The BROOD has set high expectations following Mountain Meadows, a 2009 Polaris Prize short-lister, but the raucous crowd at Lee's Palace made it hard to give the new songs a fair listen. Although it's a homecoming show for Windsor natives Mark Sasso and Casey LaForet, the audience should be a little tamer on Saturday-- at least until it's time for BROOD standards "Valley Town" and "Write It All Down For You."

The Capitol is only a few stumbles down from the Phog Lounge. The beleaguered landmark has been in bankruptcy. Here's the latest on the theatre's future; more info and vintage photo of the interior here.

Photos: Russ Gordon

Introducing... our new logo

"Look up. Look waaaaay up." We have a personality now! Well, if you've met us, you know we're already quite the personalities, but now thanks to Windsor writer/director Sean McLeod, our logo reflects that. Canadian. American. Windsor. Detroit. And all Canadian indie music, all the time.

As they say in life, what goes around comes around. McLeod, director of the award-winning video of Yellow Wood's "Chinese Women Unite," contacted Russ to say thanks for his NxEW post about McLeod's efforts to raise money to shoot a video for Pat Robitaille. Russ had tweeted that we were looking for someone to create a logo for N2D, and one day... a logo appeared in our inbox. Thanks, Sean.

If you like our logo, let McLeod know by donating $2 to the Pat Robitaille video project. And if you don't, donate $5.

Calendar correction: Good Lovelies show is Feb. 18

Please note that the Good Lovelies' show at the Ark in Ann Arbor is NOT tonight (Jan. 18). The correct date is Fri., Feb. 18. N2D sincerely regrets the error. We are human, after all.

The Besnard Lakes Are Roaring Tonight

2010 Polaris short listers The Besnard Lakes return to Detroit tonight at the Magic Stick.  

 "...the power of the Besnards’ compositions is far too superior to even suggest that they would borrow a sound. The sheer reality is that the Besnards have created and written a new sound, one that their predecessors should and will honour."
NxEW.  3/13/2010

The Mountains & The Trees and the snow and the ice and the Phog

This Friday marks the return of CBC Radio 3's favourite NL son, The Mountains & The Trees to the Phog Lounge.  A few shows into their "Don't Forget Your Sweater" tour, TM&TT are joined by Toontown's Zachary Lucky and Windsor's (by way of Halifax) Crissi Cochrane.

Don't Forget Your Sweater! from The Mountains & The Trees on Vimeo.

Venue Spotlight: Phog Lounge-- seventh heaven and the next best thing

The exterior suggests a biker bar. Inside is like walking into an off-campus party house: black walls, funky art, show posters, printouts of random in-jokes and witticisms, a motley collection of cast-off chairs and tables, Jenga and Trivial Pursuit if so you desire (and patrons frequently do) with your beer, and if Jon Corbin's on hand, homemade granola, Chex mix or chocolate chip cookies. Your hosts: the staid, soul-patched Frank Incitti and the feisty, passionate, outspoken Tom Lucier.

Welcome to Windsor's Phog Lounge, capacity 60. Now entering their seventh year in business (Happy Birthday Phog!), it's been two years since the Phog won the CBC Radio 3 Searchlight contest for Canada's Best Live Music Venue.What's changed since then?

Well, you can now get the best poutine available in Windsor. Otherwise, not much. Lucier is still booking the Who's Who of Canadian indie (past artists to take the stage include Joel Plaskett, Hannah Georgas, Holy Fuck, Final Fantasy [Owen Pallett], Shad and Patrick Watson), and people are still turning out for them. And Lucier is still lamenting that more people don't turn out for how the Phog really excels: showcasing the next best thing.

It's a no-brainer to shell out the money to see a band or artist with a Polaris Prize short-listed album, proven track record and/or getting the latest buzz. But it takes a leap of faith to invest the time and budget to see a band based on one or two hit singles or one you don't know at all. At Phog, there's a guaranteed return on that investment (usually all of a $5 cover). "I don't book bad bands," says Lucier, and N2D can attest to that. Some of our most memorable and most enjoyable shows last year involved artists we knew little about, had never seen before or even heard of: Allie Hughes, the Locusts Have No King, Raised by Swans, We Were Lovers.

Of course not all these bands will go on to fame and fortune. Especially in Canadian indie band land, that's a relative term anyway. It's all about the thrill of discovery, or as we like to say, it's all about the music. Still, it's pretty cool to be able to say you saw the next Stars at Phog Lounge before anyone knew who they were.

Photos: Russ Gordon