Hot Panda

Territorial Pissings 
Remember when we said "Who knew Hot Panda was one of the best high-energy punk bands around?" Here it is.

THIS is what made S2W hand the camera to N2D and mosh.

NXNE 2013: Day 3, part two (and three band tips)

The first show review we ever did for N2DS2W was for the Gregory Pepper/Islands show at the Magic Stick in July 2010. While Islands was great, Pepper and his Problems made an impression we've never forgotten. Three years later they did it again at NXNE at the Silver Dollar. Pepper has presence, voice and a penchant for exploring mortality and immortality ("Dearly Departed") that deserves more the "pinball pop" label in the NXNE guide. The set list also included "Down With The Ship," from Pepper's alter ego and Factor pairing, Common Grackle.

Band tip #1: introduce yourself. Preferably more than once during your set. This may seem elemental, but you'd be surprised how many bands forget. Good thing we already knew Michael Rault (Edmonton, now living in Toronto) took the stage after Gregory Pepper, because he never said who he was. Which is too bad if you're looking for something with rhythm and blues roots that go a little deeper than the current 60s throwback pop craze, like Rault's "Lay Right Down And Die" and "I Wanna Love You."

Usually there are more bands than we have time to see at NXNE, or we have to choose between bands playing at the same time. For whatever reason, we struggled to fill some slots this year. Strangely, Saturday night was one of them, in part because there was no traditional CBC Radio3 showcase. With logistics against us as well, we went off  schedule and decided to see a band we knew only from the Radio 3 blog: PKEW PKEW PKEW (gunshots). So here's band tip #2: never underestimate the power of hanging around on the R3 blog.

We ran into Pete Nema of Sticky Magazine on his way to the same show. His recommendation was good enough for us. But when this Toronto punk band launched into their first song and the crowd was singing along, we knew we were seeing some hometown favourites. How could we not love a band whose lyrics include, "If those were your glory days you must be real shitty now"?

Band tip #3: If you don't have a good hook, you won't catch anything. Just a thought we had listening to the band before Hot Panda at Sneaky Dee's. You're welcome.

You know what they say about meeting your heroes-- or finally getting to see them live. And Hot Panda (Vancouver) is something of a hero to us when it comes to Canadian indie. They embody the best of the genre: fun, quirky, smart, original. When they had to cancel a Detroit show earlier this year, we looked forward to seeing them at NXNE even more.

Some people told us Hot Panda were terrible live when they'd seen them. But we don't let things like that colour our expectations. As it turned out, they were nothing like we expected. In fact, they were not the band we expected to see. Who knew Hot Panda was one of the best high-energy punk bands around? We loved their show so much, we didn't even care they only played one song we actually recognized: "Whale Headed Girl," from Volcano, Bloody Volcano. When they launched into a punked-up cover of Nirvana's "Territorial Pissing," and S2W launched into some of the best moshing N2D has ever seen, our NXNE was complete.

Photos: Russ Gordon/N2D Images

NXNE 2013: Day 3, part one

 Hard to believe summer is drawing to a close... not so hard to believe that with all the shows in between-- Mac DeMarco, Mother Mother, Five Alarm Funk, Home County Music & Art Festival, Aidan Knight, Elephant Stone, Said The Whale-- it's taken us this long to wrap up NXNE 2013.

Every year the Unofficial Radio 3 Listener Picnic gets bigger and better. In 2013, we think we set the bar to a new height, thanks to a listener-turned-blogger NoLongerLurking, who brought the bar, and CBC Radio 3 Host Grant Lawrence, who brought the music. We were way overdue for a female performer to join the musical alumni that's included Wayne Petti and the Matinee. The honour went to Windsor's own Crissi Cochrane. Don't believe this song; she will try to break your heart with her lovely voice and thoughtful composing. Watch for her new album, Little Sway, out this fall.

And watch for the popularity of Toronto's Inlet Sound to spread like ripples on a pond. Led by Michael Wexler's vocals and a heavy dose of mandolin by Steven Gore, the quintet creates music just like their name: folk-rock as bright and sparkling as sunlight on water.

The last time we saw singer-songwriter Adrian Glynn, he was up a tree with Zach Gray of the Zolas. This time his feet were planted on the ground, but there's nothing flat about Glynn. Multi-talented-- he's a writer and actor as well-- he's also a member of The Fugitives. If you're not familiar with Glynn, check out the solo foot-stomper "Mother Mary," and The Fugitives' "Bigger Than Luck."

And then we got married. We couldn't have asked for a better wedding band than Fernie, B.C.'s Shred Kelly. One of our best discoveries of 2011, we've been fans ever since, especially since on of us is a known banjo junkie. The Shreds never fail to deliver a great show, even when competing with a drum band on the other side of the park hill.

Photos: Russ Gordon/N2D Images AND Eric Adams On Special Assignment

Phog Phest 5 is Sat., Sep. 14

Real bathrooms. A real late end time. You can take your alcoholic beverage into the theatres for real. And a real great lineup in two great venues.

This year's Phog Phest 5 moves indoors to the Phog Lounge and three stages in the Capitol Theatre. The $15 advance ticket price ($16+$2 online, $20 at the door) is worth it just for the headliners, a trifecta of Polaris-nominated bands from Montreal : The Besnard Lakes, Suuns and Young Galaxy.

But for that same ticket, you also get more Windsor bands than you have ears for, including The Locusts Have No King, The Blue Stones, Learning, The Vaudevillianaires and many more. Here's the full schedule.

Show Alert: The Pack A.D.

The Pack A.D. @ Villain's Beastro 

Thurs., Sep. 12


 This about covers it. 


 Photos: Russ GordonN2D Images