North By Northeast kicks off tonight with a slew of choices for music fans and while tomorrow it really kicks into high gear, this year's Wednesday night is more robust than previous years. It was surprisingly problem-free picking up my media pass after work today, and this year's NXNE tote bag is nifty (I actually switched all my gear from my messenger bag into the tote bag because I like it that much). Ok, so I'm here in an internet cafe typing out my picks for y'all rather than checking out either of my 8 pm picks, but if I do end up checking anything out tonight, it'll be any number of my picks below:
08 pm - Young Contrarians @ Rancho Relaxo
Local outfit whose NXNE bio describes them as a "...group of soft rockers whose taste for 10cc, Eno and Kate Bush has produced a terrific little ambient pop group". I'm liking what I heard on their MySpace and am sorry I just missed their set.
08 pm - LOOM @ Rivoli
I've not heard about local artist Brooke Manning a.k.a LOOM currently on the roster of local indie label Nevado Records. Delicate vocals combined with atmospheric sometimes droning instrumental accompaniment. Intriguing.
10 pm - Rob Moir @ Dakota Tavern
My first impression was to liken Toronto troubadour Rob Moir to Dallas Green/City and Colour. The singer with guitar thing is so played out but I was really impressed with what I heard from this gent.
Video: Exclaim! TV: Rob Moir - Lost And Found (Like You)
10 pm - Lower Dens @ Garrison
The band name of Baltimore outfit Lower Dens recently in the press and by some of my fellow blogger peers but I still haven't heard a lick of them. But they're playing the Garrison who frequently book buzzy-worthy acts and that's enough that I might check 'em out.
Video: Lower Dens - I Get Nervous (NPR Tiny Desk Concert)
10 pm - The Meligrove Band @ Rivoli
This Mississauga trio's been on the local Toronto scene for years having gone from their east coast pop-influenced beginning towards headier, more psychedelic territory, all the while maintaining a keen ear for melody. The band's most recent effort Shimmering Lights was released last September through Nevado Records in Canada.
Video: The Meligrove Band - "Halflight" (live @ CN Tower)
11 pm - Red Mass @ Horseshoe Tavern
I'm tempted to check out this raucous Montreal psychedelic, garage rock collective again after having witnessed their earth-shattering performance at the Silver Dollar during NXNE in 2009.
11 pm - Ume @ Drake Underground
This Austin, Texas female-led rock trio been simultaneous been making waves and remaining a little under the radar for a few years now. I'm almost expecting them to really hit it big any day now. Maybe it'll be today.
Video: Ume - "The Conductor" (music video)
12 am - Parlovr @ Horseshoe Tavern
Self-described "Sloppy Pop" trio Parlovr (pronounced "parlor") formed in Montreal, Quebec had may a splash on the Canadian music scene a few years ago and somehow I've yet to see them live. I should remedy that but not tonight - I have to work tomorrow unfortunately. Yes, I am wussin' out.
Video: Parlovr - Pen to the Paper (music video)
01 am - The Damn Choir @ Dakota Tavern
Chicago five-piece who are described as cello-laced folk-rock which these days applies to a number of bands. Where in that spectrum do The Damn Choir fall? Make up your own mind.
Video: The Damn Choir - "Noah" (music video)