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The Lumineers at Edgefest 2013

Have you ever been to an outdoor festival that should have been rained out? Have you ever stood in a field with thousands of other sopping wet party-goers waiting for the last band of the day, thinking to yourself, ‘I’ve got this far. I can make it another hour’? Last night Edgefest was nearly obliterated by the rain. Rivers of rain and cried tears pooled in the park’s crevices, wet teenagers who couldn’t feel anything anymore anyway huddled under tarp that they ripped down from the fencing, and I actually…

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NXNE Day 3: July Talk at The Mod Club

Light floods out into the crowd in thick beams. I immediately notice the bed on stage. I had the pleasure of walking to the gig with a girl whose friend had set the stage up. She said to look out for it, that all the stage hands had been wondering what it was going to be used for…. The energy swells and the band makes their way into the flooding lights. This is my first time hearing July Talk, they are the only band that has been recommended to me…

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NXNE Day 2: Dan Deacon at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, June 13th

Layers and layers of sound. Never have you heard so much sound at the same time and wanted more. Deacon’s show is extremely interactive, he plays from the floor, engaging the audience to hold props. Usually light reflecting gear of some sort. Is it a rubber chicken he’s fist pumping with? Who cares!? I’m drinking pint glasses of his Kool-Aid. I chase music. I can boast more notches than on the average belt, but I have never seen a show like this. The closest I have ever come was the…

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NXNE Day 1: The Damn Truth at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, June 13th

Up tempo, happy, raging, guttural, thick, moving, waves, thrash, guitar, who is that chick? Symbol, shudder, hum, Janis, symbol again, pause, bass, more bass, Black Sabbath, she sings, pen down, pay attention, drum kit, close your eyes, I’m freaking out (Ode to Jimi Hendrix.) It was the simple repetitious base line that got to me first, reminiscent of the Technicolor age of folk; but that broke out into millennial guitar which said innovation, not revival…until the drums broke through the background and met the thunderous vocals at the front of…

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NXNE Day 1: This Hisses at Hard Luck Bar, June 12th

The Hard Luck Bar on Dundas St. W, Toronto is everything you would expect from a venue with a long history of disseminating punk and metal out into gentile streets of Toronto. Many a hard noted band has played here. Audiences have called out for the black musical vapor to pour onto them, contracted hepatitis and gotten pregnant here; this is the place to witness to magical underbelly of today’s burgeoning post-punk scene. This Hisses is such a band. Though I’m sure they would prefer not to be labeled, as…

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Summer Camp Music Festival 2013 Review

Every year upon leaving Summer Camp there is a strange sense of accomplishment for simply having survived the weekend at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, IL.  Last year it was a matter of avoiding dehydration and dust bowl conditions as temperatures neared triple digits.  This year the temperature swung 60 degrees downward, hitting 39 on Thursday night.  By the end of the weekend the chilly Thursday night was a distant memory, overshadowed by the heavy rain that fell Saturday followed by the near monsoon that caused cancellations Sunday night. That…

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Laura Stevenson – Wheels album review

Here are some words Stevenson uses to describe herself on her website: “My mom would find me in my room, looking out the window, out at the street, singing by myself, sometimes crying,” she laughs, “I was a weird kid.” “An unfunny Woody Allen.” “…she spent her afternoons singing in four different choral groups, exploring a growing love for acapella. “Big time nerd stuff,” as she recalls, lamenting that there wasn’t a show like Glee around to validate her when she was in the thick of it.” I like her…

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Sasquatch 2013 Day One: Poppin’ Collars and Droppin’… Bridges?

Temperature, precipitation, personal hygiene: these things mean little to the seasoned festival goer. Walking in through the gates of Sasquatch this year, I simultaneously felt nostalgia and excitement (with a hint of nausea as a particularly ripe gentleman blew past me screaming Bloody Mary) knowing that the world of large scale festivals in an enigma, shrouded in furry animal suits, just waiting to shock the feint of heart. The drive down from Vancouver to The Gorge Amphitheatre is one that, although prepared for by the onslaught of news stories the…

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Kate Nash Album & Tour Wrap Party

To celebrate the end of the North American leg of her tour, Kate Nash held a joint album & tour wrap party at Norwood Arts Club in New York. As a Nash fan, I had quite high hopes for the event but was left a bit disappointed, though not necessarily through any fault of Nash’s. The night began with a smaller group gathered for two screenings. First up was a clip from “Girl Rising,” a documentary that’s segmented into chapters, each focusing on one girl and her quest for education…

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Let’s Reflect: Tales of a SXSW Virgin

For the weeks leading up to my trip to Austin, when anyone asked me if I was going to SXSW I would simply shrug my shoulders and quietly say “yes” then quickly change the subject of conversation. It’s not that I wasn’t excited to go to Texas for the conference, I just hadn’t had a clue what to expect and for a control freak like me, that doesn’t really fly in my world. So when I began making a list of bands I was interested in seeing a cocktail of…

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