Zoilus by Carl Wilson

NXNoEffin’ Way!

May 14th, 2009

The Homosexuals? The Sonics? Not to mention GZA, AIDS Wolf, Black Lips, King Khan, DAT Politics, Japanther, Cool Kids, Matt & Kim, Health, Pterodactyl, Timber Timbre, Kyrie Kristmanson, to name a few? Do Make Say Think, Final Fantasy and Robert Lippock providing the soundtrack to an outdoor screening of a 1919 German horror film? A website that seems to be working? And rather attractive posters and graphics? … This is not the NXNE we’ve known and barely tolerated.

After nearly a decade of complaining about the way Toronto’s music-showcase festivals are shown up by those in Montreal and Halifax, I have to admit that the 2009 edition - June 17-21, many details announced this week, looks set at last to prove me wrong when I said in the Globe five years ago or so:

“At NXNE, despite organizers’ best efforts, the program ends up dominated by an unseemly desperation to please talent agencies and corporate labels. Getting the city as wrapped up in live music as in a major sports event, as happens each year in Austin, seems an impossible dream.”

Well, that last bit probably holds. But while this has been evolving for several years, and stylistic diversity remains somewhat wanting, I can’t deny that I’m more excited by this year’s lineup than I am critical, and that’s a fresh, welcome sensation.

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  2. Matt Collins says:

    This is the first time I have been excited about any NXNE events since Pere Ubu played a mid-afternoon outdoor set on John street in 1998! Was there some sort of coup at the organization?

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