1000 bands, 30 films, 150 comedians, 60 Artists… I believe it was Stephen Hawkins who said “ain’t nobody got time for that.” If you thought picking between two stages at a festival was tough, looking at over a dozen shows happening concurrently around the city can get a little overwhelming. As someone who is only casually acquainted with the city’s indy music scene, I’m only familiar with a handful of acts. Fortunately virtually every artist has their own website that gives you a taste of what they do and the nxne comprehensive site includes links to almost all of them. So based on my own research, recommendations of others, the geography of the venues, and a desire to see an eclectic mix of all the festival has to offer, I am putting together a daily itinerary that should help you get the most out of the festival. Choosing what to see at a festival this big is always a bit of a gamble, but I present you with my attempt to count the cards (part 1):
7:00 ATTAGIRL @ May
Getting the earliest possible start with these local boys who have a clean pop sound that will have you singing along the first time you hear it. Music to bop your head to and warm your neck up for some harder stuff later.
8:00 Star and Micey @ Painted Lady
Following the first taste of local talent, head around the corner to catch Star and Micey who hail from Memphis. If the song below is any indication (and I choose to believe that it is), these foot stompin’, hand clapping Yanks are fun bunch with a vibe akin to those lovable Lumineers.
8:45 Aaron Manczyk @ Creatures Creating
The only comedy show on the itinerary tonight is a brief one. Aaron is only scheduled for 15 minutes at Creatures Creating, but I’m sure that in that time half of the creative force behind the Living With Friends webseries will do something you’ve never seen before.
9:00 Hartwell Littlejohn @ Dakota Tavern
Some more Americana, this time from singer/ songwriter Hartwell Littlejohn who comes to us from NYC. Like most shows at the Dakota Tavern, Littlejohn definitely has his country influences but with enough ‘alt’ to make him relevant.
10:00 Youth Season @ Magpie
Some more local talent, Youth Season takes 80’s pop and infuses it with a li’l bit of everything. If Morissey was in town this is what I’d recommend to him.
11:00 The Yips @ Hard Luck Bar
Next try your luck at Hard Luck Bar w/ The Yips, a female-fronted group from Ottawa that adds and extra ‘Yeah’ to what you love about the ‘Yeah Yeah Yeahs”. Unfortunately I couldn’t get their tracks from bandcamp to embed so I’ll just link to it here.
12:00 Marker Starling @ The Piston
Not your typical indy rock fare, this soft voiced guy with a Wurlitzer electric piano accompanied by a 70s Rhythm Ace drum machine will be a welcomed interlude for your ear drums before getting back to the loud stuff.
1:00 Dirty Names @ Measure
Finish off the night with some straight up rock and roll from The Dirty Names who do a pretty damn good job of recreating some Exile-era Stones sounds.
Be sure to rock hard and safe… I’m thinking about some hip hip + docs tomorrow… stay tuned.