The AUX guide to NXNE 2014: Our strategic picks for Wednesday, June 18

June 17, 2014

We’ve been arranging and re-arranging our schedules since last week, and the day’s finally come: NXNE Music kicks off in earnest today, unleashing a series of stress-inducing schedule conflicts, under-the-radar parties, and liver-busting shows. NXNE has grown visibly this year—I mean, damn, Fleshlight’s a sponsor?—and while bigger isn’t always better, at its core, the festival’s unveiled one of its strongest music programs ever.

So, get prepared for a long five days, Toronto. There will be times you’ll want to drink the night away—a good thing, considering those extended, 4 a.m. last calls. There’ll be times you’ll want to curl up into a hung over, over-extended, hyper-stimulated ball. There’ll be times you want to be entertained by gimmicks. There’ll be times you want to do anything but listen to music. So, we’ve assembled a strategically situational package of recommends—enjoy!


The gimmick of the night

Har Mar Superstar. It’s not that seeing someone roll around in their underwear on the streetcar is a rarity so much as the chance to see it on purpose is, and in the first of his two shows tonight Ron Jeremy doppelganger Har Mar Superstar is sure to do just that. Before his midnight set at Lee’s Palace, the R&B crooner will be on the MiO Squirtcar—a grossly named streetcar stage that’ll be roving around the city the next few days. (9:30 p.m. at MiO Squirtcar @ Dufferin)(TM)


Who to see if you want to get a drink on

Monomyth. Mint Records continues their quiet renaissance with Monomyth, one of Halifax’s most beloved acts. Though the band began as a lo-fi, gazed-out pop act, Saturnalia Regalia!, set for release in July, is brimming with classic-rock riffery, sunshine-filled guitar leads, and the chilled-out vocals of long-tressed frontman Josh Salter. It’s already our soundtrack to the summer, and by that, we mean our soundtrack to drinking wayyyy too many Pilsner tall cans. (8:00 p.m. at the Drake Hotel Underground; 11:00 p.m. at Handlebar.) (MT)


Who too see if you have a hangover

Dude, hungover already? You’re in for a long week. (TM)


Best Canadian band you might not have heard of

Old and Weird. It’s a golden night for Halifax bands—no surprise, really, considering the Halifax Pop Explosion host their showcase at Handlebar, in Kensington Market. And one of the finest acts on display promises to be Old and Weird, whose purposefully messy, D.I.Y. approach to pop had us naming them one of the country’s best jangle-pop bands. (10 p.m. at Handlebar.) (MT)

[bandcamp id=”3849738021″]


The most buzz-worthy show

[list_caption]Photo by Mathew Morand[/list_caption]

Greys. The first of their three shows this week, Greys are flying fast on the energy of their newly minted album If Anything, a quick-rising debut released yesterday that’s as hard hitting as it is hype-worthy. They’re on at midnight, but be sure to get their early to make sure you don’t miss out on Toronto’s next big thing. (Midnight at Smiling Buddha)(TM)

[bandcamp id=”1586008946″]


The show you won’t get into, but you should try nonetheless

Autre Ne Veut. If scorching, emotional, future R&B’s your jam, there’s absolutely no way you should miss Autre Ne Veut. Still, good luck getting into the show. Arthur Ashin—the former roommate of mindfucking electronic artist Oneohtrix Point Never—put out one of the most beloved LPs of 2013 in Anxiety, and his scorchingly visceral live show is so legendary, he was chosen as one of the last acts to play at Brooklyn’s legendary 285 Kent. Start lining up now. (12 a.m. at Tattoo.) (MT)


One non-musical NXNE thing you should do today

Grind My Tinder. Let’s face it: You’ve used Tinder. And maybe you’ve used Grindr. And maybe you’re telling yourselves you only tried it because your friends pressured you, and maybe you never meant to actually meet up with that weirdo you woke up next to a few hours later. And maybe you should get the fuck over it and go to this presentation, which intends to contextualize the ubiquity and awkwardness of dating apps. (3 p.m., Regency C @ Hyatt Hotel)(TM)


One band AUX fully, completely endorses

Listen, we’re usually very sensitive about conflicts of interest. But this category—a band we fully endorse—invites nepotism. So we’re giving in. Today, we endorse Old English, which features ever-talented, ever-handsome AUX designer Daniel Halyburton on guitar. The atmospheric Toronto outfit dropped the shapeshifting Prose and Kahns album last year—which was recorded in Canada, the U.S., and Britain—and no, we’re not kidding when we call the band shapeshifting: At any given time, the band can swell from a quintet to a nine-piece onstage. Bonus: Old English share the stage tonight with Technical Kidman, a noisy electronic trio we named one of Montreal’s best new bands. (11:00 p.m., Baltic Avenue.)(MT)

[bandcamp id=”93124414″]

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