NXNE: Thursday Night

Must see more music. Must see more music.

Must see more muuuuuuuuuuuusic…

The streets are filled with music zombies. Their wide eyes unfocused, filled with a ravenous hunger for the sight of the next it-band. Their overdeveloped ears are capable of hearing the opening notes of an indie rock song from miles away. They are music–consuming machines.

For a week I am one of those zombies. And I never want to leave the street.

Last night I walked, hunched over, with my arms stretched out in front of me to a venue I had never visited before, The Phoenix. It’s on the east side of the city—it felt strange to crossover to the east side of Yonge. It also felt strange to visit such a large venue. However, music zombies neither entirely deny nor completely embrace popular opinion about music—they always pursue the next thing to fill their music-void.

It was worth the journey to see the Dodos. I first saw this band play as a two-piece at the El Mocambo. One of my favourite Toronto bands that time, Key Witness, opened for them. They traditionally have toured as a two-piece: just a single guitarist and a drummer. The result is mixture of pretty melodies and intense rhythmic drumming which tickles all of my favourite music bones. The Dodos have a new album, which I have not heard before—their music has matured, losing some of its indie-edge. They have added another guitarist, which fills out their sound and allows them to move away from a total reliance rhythm guitar. I can’t wait to get my hands on their new album.

The Dodos

Next up was Deerhoof. I was excited to have an opportunity to catch a band that I have been hearing about for the past few years. I didn’t quite know what to expect when they took the stage—my show companion had informed me that “they play math rock and it might not be my thing”.  He was right it was not my thing. I don’t get very excited by long-jam sessions or by sickly-sweet girl singing. Yet, I’m not even willing to admit that they were good at doing something I just didn’t enjoy. They sounded sloppy and all over the place. I will concede that their drummer is very talented.

Deerhoof, I promise it's them, they're just far away

I hoofed, I mean I trudged slowly, while moaning like a music zombie, back to the westside of the city. I made it to Rancho Relaxo in time to catch Parks and Rec. The band suffered a tragedy a little while ago—losing their singing to a sudden illness. I was pleased to see them playing strong. They sounded tight and induced a slight wave of nostalgia as they brought back memories of early Two Way Monologues showcases.

Parks and Rec

Next I zipped down to the Boat to catch Danielle Duval. In the name of full-disclosure, I went to the set to visit with my old friend Mike Duffield, without actually knowing which of his various projects were playing that night. I was happily surprised in what turned out to be one of the standout moments of the night. Danielle Duval, fronted by the woman of the same name, has revived the process and is having a fucking good time in the process. Their set was full of energy and Duval’s vocals were fantastic. I look forward to seeing what comes next from this band.

Danielle Duval

Last-up for the evening was the Cheap Speakers, who are dear friends and a regular fixture at the Rancho Relaxo. It was heartening to see a wide variety people from the local music community out to support this band. Their set was good—they played a number of songs that I had not heard before, which suggests that a new album is in the works. As always, I wished that I could hear a little more of Natalia’s pretty singing and a little less of Tim’s noodling on the guitar.  Nonetheless, they played a great set and I’m excited to hear their sound continue to grow.

The Cheap Speakers!

Tonight I take my feet back out onto the street.  Hungry for more music.

Must see more music.

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One response to “NXNE: Thursday Night

  1. Pingback: NXNE and Sound of Music Round-up! | Matchless Minds Music

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