Thursday, 23 June 2011

NXNE 2011 Review

I was a little under the weather this year so I didn't get to see as many bands this year as I usually do, also I wanted to see the Three Blue Teardrops on Saturday. There were also a couple of long lineups I didn't have the patience for, however I actually got to see most of what I really wanted wanted.

Pick up press pass on Wednesday. Actually there have been films showing since Monday, including ---- but they don't issue press passes until Wednesday so I don't get to see them. Why do you always do stuff like this NXNE? Really, there is always some sort of completely avoidable scheduling fuck up every single year. Anyway there is only one actual show this night.

The Drive-By Truckers ~ The Phoenix;

One of the best Southern Rock bands around today, they're tight, play well and have some good songs. I just wish I could remember more of them after-wards. I wish they had more personality. And I wish they would rock out more. Still those who like the genre like them a whole lot.


The Descendants ~ Dundas Square ~ 9pm;

Easily the most popular show of the weekend, with people literally coming in for miles around, I ran into people I haven't seen in a decade. Milo and the boys are still as rock solid and tight as ever. And the toughest nerds in punk rock. At some point somebody through a bottle and hit Milo right in the head, drawing blood even. Hey asshole! This is a free show for fuck sakes. Shouldn't you be in Vancouver celebrating your teams ability to choke like George Bush on a pretzel? Sorry where was I? Oh right Milo; anyway he continued on as if nothing happened. Not only did he not miss a beat but he never even mentioned it after the song was done. Now if that had been Mike Ness or Glen Danzig they would have stopped the show for half an hour while they harangued the crowd about how they were punk rock while you were in kindergarten.Speaking of which Milo brought his two young kids on stage to read the Descendants Ten Commandments to the crowd; to wit,
Adorable Young Daughter; "Thou shall not partake of death"
Milo; "Uh no sweetie, that's decaff"
Yes well, It's still good advice though.

Take Drugs ~ The Bovine ~ 10pm;
So-so local punk band in that grey area between early hardcore and old school punk.

Darlings of Chelsea ~ The Bovine ~ 11pm;
These local guys are always a solid trash punk band. I really must get a cd at some point.

CJ Ramone ~ The Bovine ~ 12am
As one of the last standing Ramones, albeit one of the least important ones, CJ knows where his bread is buttered. All Ramones songs all the time. Reminds me of the version of The Misfits that has been touring for the last several years now featuring fellow bassist Jerry Only (finally living up to his name). Still even though unlike CJ Jerry actually played on the original songs CJ pulls this of with less embarrassment. Must be the makeup.

Komunga ~ The Hard Luck ~ 2am
Formed by the singer of the late lamented Brown Hornets. The Hornets were a blues/r&b garage band with a smoking love show that never really translated in the studio. The new band is more 1970's Grand Funk with less swagger and more volume. We'll see.


CATL ~ BBQ at Casa Del CATL;
CATL put on a BBQ and played a few acoustic blues numbers, they should really add that into their live set. Col. Tom Parker from the late lamented Backstabbers played a few old timey country numbers as well and a low key good time was had by all.

The BB Guns ~ The Silver Dollar 11am;
Another most girl garage band. Featuring the guitarist from the late Machetes. I saw them last year time when they had the worst amp malfunction I've ever heard but I was assured that wouldn't happen again. And it didn't. They were in fact better than White Eyes or The Dum Dum Girls with more melody and variety.

White Eyes ~ The Bovine 12am;
A band from Taiwan getting some buzz. They are indeed loud and intense and they do indeed have an attractive scantily clad girl singer. But to me they sound like every other buzz band from the orient that comes here every couple of years; a whole lot of distorted guitar, driving bass and a singer's indecipherable caterwauling which may or may not be in English. See also; Guitar Wolf, The Zoo Bombs, Melt Banana, Jittering Jim. I don't know if all bands in Asia are like this or lust the ones who come here. Probably the latter. Also as usual the audience is full of Asian students who I never see at another gigs.

The Dum Dum Girls ~ The El Mocambo (secret show) ~ 1am;
Another band getting some buzz right now. An all girl four piece dressed all in black playing mid tempo droney guitar pop. There pretty cool alright but I couldn't help but notice that all their songs are exactly the same. Seriously, Alana, guitarist from the BB Guns comes over and asks my opinion; "I like them enough but all their songs are the same". "They are using all the same chords!" She says, "Really, they are just changing the placement a bit or using a capo". Also while they have two guitars they are both playing the same chords as well. I note that they are also using the same Mo Tucker drum pattern in every song as well. We wonder how they are going to last long term if they don't start to change it up a bit. Oh well she assures me they are very nice.


Devo ~ Dundas Square;
I only caught the last few songs so no "Whip It" or "Satisfaction". I have to admit I've never seen them before and had no idea they were so rockist. I swear one of their songs lifted a riff from a Black Sabbath song. Yes they did wear the black jumpsuits. No conehead hats though. Apparently those got lost before I got there.

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