Show Alert: Hey Rosetta! @ the Magic Stick

Tues., Jun. 28
w/ the Prime Ministers (Detroit)

One of our favourite bands return, this time as the headliner at the Magic Stick in Detroit, after a too-short set last September opening for Hot Hot Heat (really, we're over it now). In our humble opinion, Hey Rosetta!, from St. John's, Newfoundland, make some of the most beautiful music around. Polaris voters seem to agree. Into Your Lungs (and around in your heart, and on through your blood) was on the 2009 short list; this year's Seeds is already on the 2011 long list. But don't take our word for it:

Can't make it to Detroit? Here are more upcoming tour dates.

June 29 - BEACHLAND BALLROOM & TAVERN, Cleveland, OH - 8:00 pm - ALL AGES
July 1 – DOWNSVIEW PARK, Toronto, ON – 4:45 pm *CANADA DAY^
July 7 – SHAW PARK, Winnipeg, MB – 7:00 pm^
July 8 – LEBRETON FLATS, Ottawa, ON – 9:00 pm *BLUESFEST
July 14 – NORTHLANDS GROUNDS, Edmonton, AB – 6:00 pm^
July 15 – DEER LAKE PARK, Vancouver BC – 6:00 pm w/The Tragically Hip
July 16 - MAIN STREET STATION, Breckenridge, CO - 8:00 pm
July 29 – NORTH BAY WATERFRONT, North Bay, ON – 9:00 pm w/City & Colour
July 30 – PARC JEAN DRAPEAU, Montreal, PQ – *OSHEAGA
July 31 – GLASGOW SQUARE THEATRE – New Glasgow, NS – 10:25 pm
August 2 – PRINCE EDWARD PLAZA, St. John’s NF – 9:30 pm w/Plants and Animals
August 6 – CREDIT UNION PLACE, Summerside, PEI – 9:00 pm
August 7 – ALDERNEY LANDING, Dartmouth, NS – *MFEST
August 15 – WOODY POINT HERITAGE THEATRE, Woody Point, NF – 8:00 pm
August 16 – WOODY POINT HERITAGE THEATRE, Woody Point, NF – 8:00 pm
August 17 – WOODY POINT HERITAGE THEATRE, Woody Point, NF – 8:00 pm

^ w/Broken Social Scene and The Tragically Hip

Show Review: Wax redux

We enjoyed Wax Mannequin's show at the Phog so much in February, we decided to make a run up to Narnia, uh, Sarnia at the end of May to see him again at Paddy Flaherty's. Unfortunately, a cool, rainy night kept us indoors, but then again, if we'd been outside on the patio, we wouldn't have gotten to see Wax bring down the house.

We jest about the whole Narnia/Sarnia thing, but a Wax Mannequin performance is a little like being in a fantasy land, between the handfuls of crystals, dark fairytale and fairytruth music and body bags full of balloons. Except this time, as Wax was hanging the bag, the shelf over the stage area he tried to affix it to split and gave way, and a treasure trove of bar bric-a-brac crashed down.

The rest of the show was anything but anticlimatic, as Wax delivered a jaunty set that included hits from his latest album, Saxon, plus, to the delight of the audience, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" and "The Log Driver's Waltz." Even Paddy's sound man seemed to enjoy himself, despite the bag of ice on his head from the wreck of the shelf.

Photos: Russ Gordon/N2D Images

Juniors Boys + Miracle Fortress @ the Crofoot

Sat., Jun. 25 in the Pike Room

For some reason, for us the name "Junior Boys" evokes a country band, but nothing could be further from the truth. From their website:

"But then Junior Boys, as their three albums to date (2004’s Last Exit, So This Is Goodbye from 2006 (editor's note: which made the 2007 Polaris short list) and Begone Dull Care from 2009) attest, are not like other outfits. Musically, they marry everything from post punk, disco, techno, R’n’B and electronica with soul, dubstep, house, splintered pop and traces of world music into one cohesive whole. They are at once warm and inviting, yet ice cool; clever but instantly accessible; mercurial and utterly fascinating – all descriptions that go some way to defining their most comprehensive musical statement to date, It’s All True."

On the other hand, Miracle Fortress sound just like what you might expect: psychedelic alt-rock. The solo side project of Graham Van Pelt of Think About Life , Miracle Fortress has been getting a lot of deserved buzz, and his second album, Was It The Wave? made this year's Polaris long list.

We did this @ NXNE...

Writing about Canadian indie music and being huge fans of CBC Radio 3 go hand in hand, right? That's what we thought as we joined Vish Khanna for a special #R3NXNE edition of the Breakfast Club.

Launches Thursdays: 4 AM-7 AM PST 
Repeats Saturdays: 4 AM-7 AM PST

"To the people who stole my Les Paul..."

This is a moment that makes blood boil, evokes anger and sympathy, and makes you just shake your head. Stealing musical instruments? We don't care if you're stealing from Alex Lifeson, Alex Chilton or Alex Wright, how can you take the very tool that allows this artist to do his job, raise a family and provide this planet with wonderful music? You will never sell what you stole for a good price because of the many thousands of us that are watching. You will never play it in public, and the fact that you stole this makes us think you do not have the talent to play in public. Do the right thing and return it, NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

Photos of the Les Paul are at the bottom of the craigslist post.

My Son the Hurricane: TO show + new video

If you happen to live in the Toronto area, or simply never left NXNE 2011, put this one on your Friday night calendar: brasshop group My Son the Hurricane are playing El Mocambo on Jun. 24 (doors at 9 p.m.). They are performing third, at 11 p.m., after March Forth and the Movement Fam, and before What She Said.

We saw My Son the Hurricane here in Windsor when they opened for D-Sisive and became instant fans of MC Jacob Bergma's rap backed by one heck of a big brass band. If you're not familiar with My Son the Hurricane, here's a just-released video for "Pushing Up Daisies," (featuring Nigel Williams of Pocket Dwellers), off their new album, You Can't Do This. Brass in pocket, indeed.

NXNE 2011: Our Top 10 Performers

Jesuslesfilles @ The Garrison

We have lots to share with you from NXNE 2011; this is just the first salvo. While we work on more detailed reports, reviews and thoughts on everything from the music to the venues to our tips for surviving NXNE, and Russ works on going through 1,500 photos, we thought we'd start by listing our top 10 favourite bands/artists out of the 22 total we saw spread over three days.

Elephant Stone: The sitar. Rishi Dhir. Dreamy psychedelic pop. Amazing.
The Two Koreas: Smart, sharp punk-pop wearing skinny jeans and white loafers.
The Pack a.d.: TO was on fire.
catl: They can give us the blues any time.
Les Jupes: Give this band a place to prosper and we'll eat right from their hand.
Allie Hughes: This fraulein delivers a show like no one else.
The Most Serene Republic: Sign us up as citizens.
One Hundred Dollars: Worth every dollar and more.
Slow down, Molasses: Smiled through their whole set.
Jenn Grant: One of Canada's darlings, and for good reason. Bonus: Buck 65 joined Grant for "Paper Airplanes."
Braids: Fronted by another tour-de-force of a female singer, they delivered a non-stop wave of sound that  swept us up.

Yes, we can count. That was 11.

Show Alert: Miesha & the Spanks @ Phog Lounge

Tues., Jun. 14
with Enjoy Your Pumas (Winnipeg)

We've had a running joke here for a while now after reading somewhere that Michiganians pronounce "garage" as "graage." No matter how we may pronounce it, Detroit is the birthplace of the White Stripes; we know garage rock. If you know it and love it too, you'll like Miesha & the Spanks (Calgary) performing their version of Windsor's Phog Lounge as they tour in support of their second full-length album, Gods of Love.

"A song after my own heart... Calgary's own power-garage band, Miesha & The Spanks- conjuring up musical images of the greatest and most harmonic tunes of The Runaways." Grant Lawrence, CBC Radio 3 host and member of the infamous Smugglers, on new single "Leather Jacket" (Gods Of Love)

CBC Radio 3 Showcase @ NXNE

The culmination of the biggest R3 blogger/listener meet-up in history will be the Sirius/CBC Radio 3 NXNE Showcase, hosted by Craig Norris, on Sat., Jun. 18 at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. The official Twitter hashtag is #R3NXNE. Can't be there in person? It will be broadcast live on CBC Radio 3. Here's the lineup:

  9 p.m. - Teenage Kicks
10 p.m. - Hooded Fang
11 p.m. - Jenn Grant
12 a.m. - Dinosaur Bones
                                                                                        1 a.m. - One Hundred Dollars
                                                                                        2 a.m. - Wildlife
                                                                                        3 a.m. - Commandeers

Manitoba Music Showcase @ NXNE

Toronto, ON – May 26, 2011 – Hot on the heels of their CMW Showcase back in March, Manitoba Music is hitting Toronto again – this time for NXNE. On Thursday, June 16 some of Manitoba’s finest will take the stage at the Gladstone Hotel Ballroom. The night will feature five acts – Surf-Noir rockers This Hisses, Polaris long-lister Greg MacPherson, indie rock outfit The Details, psychedelic Les Jupes, and electro-dance DJ Cyclist.

Les Jupes
Manitoba Music Showcase @ NXNE
Thursday, June 16 – Gladstone Hotel Ballroom
9:00pm – This Hisses
10:00pm – Greg MacPherson
11:00pm – The Details
12:00am – Les Jupes
(N2DS2W attending; here's our show review from Les Jupes' March show at the Phog Lounge)
1:00am – Cyclist

Other Manitoba Bands playing NXNE
The Seed Organization – June 15 @ Lula Lounge – 11:30pm (Balanced Records Showcase) 
Joe Silva  - June 15 @ Lula Lounge – 1:00am (Balanced Records Showcase)
Gt. DANE  - June 16 @ Bread & Circus – 8:00pm
Goldenboy – June 16 @ The Supermarket – 9:00pm
Magnum K.I. – June 16 @ Crawford – 10:00pm
Imaginary Cities – June 16 @ Rivoli – 11:00pm
Enjoy Your Pumas – June 17 @ Sneaky Dee’s – 9:00pm
Ian La Rue & the Heartbeat City – June 17 @ Bread & Circus – 11:00pm
Ingrid Gatin – June 17 @ The Painted Lady – 11:00pm
Abstract Artform – June 17 @ Crawford – 12:00am

Thanks to Joanne Setterington of Indoor Recess.

10,000 maniacs?

Yeah, we know, it's just a number. But we wanted to take a moment and say thank you to everyone who visits, and hopefully reads, Go NORTH to Detroit, SOUTH to Windsor. Because you helped us surpass 10,000 page views in less than a year.

As always, it's all about the music. Canadian indie music. And it's our privilege to bring it to you from our little corner of the world.

Where N2DS2W will be at NXNE

Wanna know where you can meet us at NXNE? Here's our planned show schedule. For links to the bands and maps to the venues (except for the Live at Bellwoods series), visit and click on "Schedule."

Thurs., Jun. 16:

  2:00 p.m. Steam Whistle tour
  4:00 p.m. Live at Bellwoods, Trinity Bellwoods Park
  8:00 p.m. Ruth Minnikin, Dakota Tavern
  9:00 p.m. The Luyas, the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern
11:00 p.m. P.S. I Love You, the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern OR Allie Hughes, Wrongbar
12:00 a.m. Les Jupes, the Gladstone Hotel
  1:00 a.m. Bruce Peninsula, the Rivoli

Fri., Jun. 17:

  4:00 p.m. Live at Bellwoods, Trinity Bellwoods Park
  7:00 p.m. Library Voices, Mod Club
  8:00 p.m. The Most Serene Republic, Mod Club
10:00 p.m. Elephant Stone, the Garrison
11:00 p.m. Braids, the Garrison
12:00 a.m. Carolyn Mark, the Dakota Tavern (if time permits)
  1:00 a.m. the Pack a.d., the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern

Sat., Jun. 18:

11:00 a.m. Moniski's (CBC Radio 3 Fan of the Year!) NXNE/Goodbye Picnic, Trinity Bellwoods Park
  2:30 - 4:30 p.m., Live at Bellwoods, Trinity Bellwoods Park
  9:00 p.m. catl, Silver Dollar Room
10:00 p.m. Hooded Fang, the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern (CBC Radio 3 Showcase)
11:00 p.m. Jenn Grant, the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern
12:00 a.m. Dinosaur Bones, the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern OR Papermaps, the Rivoli
  1:00 a.m. One Hundred Dollars, the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern
  2:00 a.m. Wildlife, the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern

D-Sisive, Muneshine on SOCAN panel at NXNE

SOCAN will once again participate in a handful of events and activities at the 2011 edition of the North by Northeast Music, Interactive and Film Festival and Conference, which takes place June 13-19 in Toronto.

SOCAN will maintain a booth at the host hotel, the Hyatt Regency Toronto on King, as part of the NXPO Music & Lifestyle trade show, June 16-17, from noon to 5:00 p.m.. SOCAN members, conference delegates and wristband holders will be able to drop by at their convenience and speak to a SOCAN representative.

SOCAN will also present a panel, “Digital Beats & Tweets: How Technology is Changing the Face of Hip-Hop." Hosted by SOCAN Education and Outreach Manager Rodney Murphy, the session will feature panelists D-Sisive (artist), Muneshine (artist/producer), Saukrates (artist), and T-Minus (producer). Come and hear how emerging technologies within the music business are leveling the playing field. It doesn’t matter what genre or niche you’re working, those on top of technology are on top of the game. Learn how the hottest beat-makers in the world are mastering their craft and co-writing songs for the world’s hottest rappers. Learn how to clear samples, create your own samples, get your beats placed, network with social media, and use the latest software and equipment to become one of Canada’s next hot producers. The event will take place Thurs., June 16, from 2:15 - 3:15 p.m., at Regency Room B in the host hotel. 

Show Alert: Sam Roberts Band w/ Zeus @ St. Andrews Hall

One of us has been anticipating this show for a long time. That would be Yort, who's always considered Sam Roberts her "gateway drug" to Canadian indie music, and whose very first Canadian indie show was the Sam Roberts Band with Mother Mother back in February 2009 at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit.

The Juno award winner returns this Wednesday to the same venue, with a new album-- Collider-- and another great opening band, Zeus, whose album Say Us made the Polaris Music Prize long list in 2010.

Sam Roberts Band, "Fixed to Ruin," from Love at the End of the World
Zeus, "Kindergarten," from Say Us

Show Alert: Artwalk (Sarnia), Jun. 4-5

If for whatever reason late night shows aren't for you, Sarnia's Artwalk is the perfect occasion to catch some great Canadian indie bands long before bedtime. And enjoy them with your kids as well, beginning with Maylee Todd at 1:00 p.m. on the North Stage, and ending with a bang at 5:00 p.m. when one of our favourites, Elliott BROOD take the stage. In between, we're looking forward to hearing Harlan Pepper sing about Great Lakes (2:00 p.m.), the Rest perform Modern Time Travel (4:00 p.m.), and meeting fellow CBC Radio 3 blogger RedVinyl. Don't miss Olenka & the Autumn Lovers on Sunday (3:00).

Show Review: Hopped Up

Within a week's time, we realized we saw something we'd never seen before: five bands/artists (beginning with this show on Apr. 19), and not a traditional guitar-bass-drum combo among them. Not that we have anything against guitar-bass-drum combos, we love plenty of them. But change is good and something D-Sisively different was welcome.

Full disclosure-- "We usually have guitar and bass," said MC Jacob Bergsma of My Son the Hurricane, a brasshop group from St. Catharine's. A big group, 14 in all, that includes trumpets, trombones, saxophones and the dreadlocked Danno O'Shea on drums. Although there were "only" eight of them at the Phog Lounge on Apr. 26 opening for rapper D-Sisive, they made a big impression with their energy, stage presence and of course, their music. Who knew big band, funk and rap went together so well? We do now.

If you've only been exposed to hip hop and rap on U.S. commercial radio, and like us didn't care for most of what you've heard, try the Canadian version. K'Naan, Shad, Cadence Weapon, More or Les, Buck 65, My Son the Hurricane...and Toronto-based D-Sisive and his good friend Muneshine. Yes, it was buy one rapper get one free that night, two turntables, two microphones and a whole lotta of smart hip hop. D-Sisive's raps are very incisive, with an amazing range of cultural references and samples. You can download his latest album, Jonestown 2: Jimmy Go Bye Bye (produced by Muneshine) at Bandcamp for free. Here's a sample of what you'll hear:


If Kanye, strutted on stage
Suited like Chaplain, in a plague mask
You'd applaud artsome; the Louis Vuitton Don
so beyond his grandfather clock, so avant garde huh?
If Ivory Grand, dropped a jam
about the clothes in his laundry hamper
and shot a video in a laundromat he'd
have teen girls tossin they dirty spandex at him

If Snoop Dogg spit 'West Coast' verbatim
Every top 40 radio station would play it
And every socialite on California sands
would start dancin to the Schwartzman sample
If Jay-Z sampled a Daniel Johnston tune
You'd download Daniel's catalogue of music
Don't, try to deny it, it's probably true
Cause whatever Jigga say you gon' follow, dude

If Akon sang on 'Brian Wilson'
I would've got the whole world to listen
Co-sign will change your whole life, so absurd
I would have won the fuckin Juno I deserved
... OOPS~! If Asher Roth, slapped his palms
against the caps of his knees and rapped for free
Wait, on second thought, it would change nothin
The same shit different country, fuck it

If Gucci Mane wore a toque and glasses
and paid more attention to his music than fashion
Kids would dress for winter
And rock rims with prescription lens in them
IF!! Eminem dropped Mathers, and went 'Jonestown'
the concept would blow
and send fans racin to newspaper stands
to see his Rolling Stone cover with the Kool-Aid Man

If Rick Ross, released 'Ken Park'
Puffy would put up the ducats and pay Harmony Corinne
to direct a, video with hobos on heroin
Midgets on a merry-go-round, bet you would air it then
If 50 Cent wrote 'Boom Baba Boom'
The second verse would be on every blog dispute
An emcee shit talkin Big and 'Pac? No way
Yet every rapper thinks they clever when they shit on Cobain

If Lil Wayne, 'Let the Children Die'
over a million children alive would line up
at midnight with signs at Best Buy to buy
the record Pitchfork rated a 9 - right?!

If Jay Electronica, Jay Elec-KAN-ica
wrote 'Nobody With a Notepad'
You'd go mental over every reference, from Bon Jovi to R. Crumb
From Hussein Folk to John Lennon
If T.I. quoted Hunter S. Thompson's suicide note
Both you and I know
Spin would praise the brillaince of Cliff Harris
But nobody gives a shit when Derek from Canada
does all of the above, at a quality above
not all of the above, but all of the above
but four give or take, dependin on production
While y'all tend to rate, dependin on the country
an emcee resides in, and if I resided in the states
I'd be signed and paid
We all can't be co-signed by Jay, Wayne or Dre
to Wayne Brady choke suffocate the game
I wish I could change somethin to be just like them
To make the whole world love me, just like them
But, if I change, I'll be just like them
And I would no longer be...

Photos: Russ Gordon