North by Northeast 2013: An Introduction; A plan of attack

Wow. North by Northeast is here again. More than any other festival (minus its American counterpart), this is probably the best festival for our blog. The reason for that being, all the independent talent that’s playing. 3 or 4 of the bands someone here has already written about, and 3 or 4 of the bands we’ve been emailed about, are playing, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, there’s no way in hell I can see them all. (Clearly I need a bigger army, or clones, clones are cool.) I’ll give you my plan of attack, and try and let you in on why I’ve picked who I’ve picked.

Starting on Wednesday, I’ll be seeing at least two shows a night, and not getting home before 1 or 2 in the morning. So far Wednesday seems to favour In My Coma, who’s lead singer/guitar player I had the pleasure of live tweeting the Toronto Maple Leafs Playoff hockey games with, and the Lad Classic who’s acoustic EP still plays in the back of my head. They seem like nice gents too, I’ll let you know. Bands I want to see but might end up leaving out are Calexico and Wind Up Radio Sessions.

Thursday is where it begins to get tricky. The Flatliners play a free show at Yonge and Dundas Square. Inlet Sound play 20 minutes later at Cameron House. Now I’m not sure I know Inlet Sound at all, but they’re name sounds vaguely familiar, I just can’t quite place it, so I’ll check them out, because…why not? And now come the hard decisions 6 bands that I am interested in seeing play at 9pm on Thursday. One of them is Social Distortion, who plays two hours for free at Yonge and Dundas Square. One of them is Mikey Chuck Rivers who our lovely friend Sheldon has already written about. Stella Ella Olla is a cool name, and also a name I’ve heard a few times before (I think they’re friends with Hollerado, but don’t quote me on that). They’re opening for The Dirty Nil, who I was fortunate enough to see play an unreal 2am set at Canadian Music Week, at 10pm at the Silver Dollar Room. If I’m not seeing The Dirty Nil at 10pm, then I’ll be seeing the Knievel Dead. I’m going to dub midnight the friends slot, because the 3 bands I’m considering are all friends. Union Duke who I saw earlier this summer, as well as during Canadian Music Week AND last year’s North by Northeast (gotta be a reason I keep going back, and it’s not just cause I think they’re a handsome bunch), there’s Jane’s Party, who’s brand new album I’ll likely be writing about in a few weeks anyways, their drummer was one of my counselors at summer camp, oh, did I mention, that’s how I know the boys from Union Duke too, and then there’s Olenka and the Autumn Lovers who I befriended when I saw them open for Zeus and Hey Rosetta! at the freshman orientation concert at Fanshawe in September.

Tough call. I’ve forgotten to mention Devin Cuddy at 11, and miesha and the spanks at 12:30, and The Human Orchestra at 2. Okay, let’s face the music here (see what I did there), I won’t make it to 2am. I’ll be at home sleeping and I’ve got too many bands at midnight, so spanks you very much miesha, but I’ll have to catch one of your other two sets (man, aren’t I just the funniest thing?)

And that’s just day two. Without going into too much detail, Friday will feature Wildlife, the National and Sloan, and probably a few other bands, if I survive.

Saturday, you can find me at the Danforth Music Hall seeing Paper Lions, Dinosaur Bones and Wintersleep, and then running off to the South of France, and maybe to see Fucked Up or Meanwood.

I start my Sunday, and last day of the festival off, with the fast and furious Tej Parker, also known as Ludacris. Last year I didn’t make it to Sunday to see Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, I spent the evening not moving because I was far too tired. This year, with a lot more water, and an already busy Sunday of other activities, which will get me out of the hosue, I intend to make up for that.

Something I’m missing? Want to save me some time on an artist I’m planning to see (ie: is there a reason I shouldn’t see someone I’m planning to see), Want to help make some decisions for me, and you can make a good case? Head on over to the Contact page to find 3 different ways you can let me know. Or just comment below.

See you out there on the musical battle field, Toronto!

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