Hey guys! I'm doing some NXNE stuff and blogging about it right here. This is my first NXNE EVER so I have no idea what I'm doing. I guess the purpose of the blog is for you to learn from my mistakes.
A really good thing to do before you attend a big multi-day festival in Toronto is not lose all your ID. Unfortunately, I did this during a move across town. Fortunately, I have some wrinkles and a generally harried expression most of the time, so I am using these attributes to help get into bars at the moment.
After I picked up my pass on Wednesday afternoon I went to check out a talk with Sam Sutherland, who writes for Exclaim! and just finished a big book about Canadian punk, and Damien Abraham, who is the lead singer of Fucked Up. For an hour or so they talked about their favorite modern punk bands and their enduring influence. Sometimes when two people talk about punk it can be a bit of a dick-measuring contest, but these guys were hilarious as well as being insanely knowledgeable and articulate. Damien told a story about Henry Rollins ignoring him and then later waving to him from the window of his Prius. "I guess I was the guy whose name he wished he could almost quite remember," he said.
In between stories and jokes they played songs. I had heard about Toronto legends the Viletones before but had never listened to their music, and well, now I'm a fan. Also I didn't realize the lead singer, Steven Leckie, is in American Psycho for a minute.
Afterwards I biked over to College Street for a zine launch. I am still a really shitty biker and by the time I got off the bike and entered the store I was panting like George Wendt. The launch was cute and held in a vintage store, the type of place that had pen and ink drawings of James Brown mugshots on the wall:
After awhile I had eaten all the celery and hummus and I realized I couldn't afford to buy records or vintage clothes, so I left. The zine is called Static Zine and it's fun. You can check it out online here.
Then I went home and Eric and I biked over to Parts and Labor to see COLD WARPS!
My old leathery face got us through the door and into some cold beers. Lots of friendly former Haligonians in the crowd. The bar had a nice scuzzy basement-y type feeling that made us feel right at home. Then the band started and we all jumped around and sang along. A guy kept stepping on my feet so I poured my beer on him. AND WE ALL LAUGHED.
Everyone was dancing and sweating. Paul wore a tank top and kept jumping into the crowd and making wry remarks. A guy beside me kept looking around and grinning beatifically, like he couldn't believe this was happening. I feel like Toronto doesn't see many bands like Cold Warps, so when they do, it's twice as fun. Summer's here!
I missed the second band due to smoking and returned for the K Holes - a wonderfully-named group who performed weird swampy noisy songs that reminded me a bit of Siouxie and the Banshee mixed with Fear. I actually don't know if I liked them or not but they were fun to watch.
Then we biked home and I pretty much died, being a) old and b) slightly drunk. Hopefully we will get better at biking as the week progresses, and hopefully I won't get carded! Stay tuned!