Wednesday, June 26, 2013

NXNE 2013 Pt. III

...In which we find our resident asshole hero taking to the stage himself.

The Penske File
California Deathrays
CHAMPION LOVER (that's me!)
Another City
1992 Toronto Blue Jays
The Dan Greer Band

@ Rancho Relaxo

So by this point in the festival you can imagine we were feeling a little burnt out. So, what better time to have to play a set right?
FULL DISCLOSURE-if you're looking for an un-biased review then fuck off. All reviews are biased in one form or another but yes, I do happen to be friends with people in these bands. For the record you should know that a big part of our ethos here is that if you don't like our music, don't come see us. Friend or otherwise. Save your time and money and go support something you enjoy. If you're really a friend we can still hang. We apply the same philosophy to bands we see. If I'm not feeling the music, there's a good chance you won't catch me at your show. Don't take it personal. (Note: it could also mean I'm fucking busy. Still don't get all worked up over it, Boo.)

So TPF were quite good. I didn't get to hear all of their set because we had some gear things to worry about (we'd set up a projection show for our set during load-in and it took like 45 minutes just to mount the projector due to you know some whatever-ness). Punky, good melodies, lots of stage presence. Wish I'd seen more.

California Deathrays (whom I'd never seen before) were FUCKING AWESOME. Why? They did something that I love which is incredibly hard to pull off without seeming contrived or gimmicky. They have created their own sort of mythology: check their individual FB accounts and you'll see that they're last names are all Deathray (so Daryl Deathray, Buford Deathray and Nikki Deathray or, depending on where FB puts the middle name, Ray Death, which is better?) the band's description is:

Below radioactive knolls, downwind from the glowing toxins of melted nuclear reactors and spent rocket engines... the death rays of California.

Additionally they have a stomper of a song that goes "...We are the Deathrays...of CALIFOOOOOOORNIAAAAAAAAAA". I love that. It doesn't seem like much (it isn't) but not becoming a total punchline of a band with something like this is very tricky. The band seem to really know who they are and what they want to sound like which is rarer than you'd think. Also they fucking shredded live. Heavy kinda desert rock with major guitar-face and sick drumming. Like a rawer QOTSA. Tell your friends. Cali D-rays for life.

CHAMPION LOVER-not much to say here. I'm on stage so I have no idea what it looks/sounds like from the crowd. I can tell you how hot it was on stage (drummer Rico said he thought at one point he was going to puke.) And how because of the projector we'd turned out the house lights which meant I was totally blind. Folks seems to be into the light show though. My man Romar (the absolute best) hooked it up and it certainly felt like it added a new dimension. Glad I remembered to wear earplugs too. After seeing D Unit though I want to always run a second amp-my drummer doesn't though because it's a fuckaround hauling that much gear in his little car. Also sound guy Cam did a great job. Ask Dan Wolovick for his info.

But yeah we pretty much killed it.

Another City. I have to say I haven't seen them more than once and not for a couple years-but, uh, YEAH. Rad, solid punk/pop with a slice of country and shredding solos. That looks less impressive on paper-really check them out online and go see them if you even remotely like their music. On stage they are a fucking riot. I was hoping for more broken stuff, or Rob Ford jokes, but whatever. Bunch of barefoot hippies. I would say more but I don't want to ruin it for you. Just go. FUCKING TRUST ME. (Note: due to aforementioned heat, part of the beauty of their set was watching the sweat on singer Ben's shirt shoulders slowly meet up with the sweat around his shirt neck. I recommend gambling on it. Priceless. Also they did a shit-hot cover of The Shins' Simple Song. Legit.)

1992 Toronto Blue Jays. Ditto for them the rehearsal space. HOLY...SHIT. Like 70s biker rock? ME TOO. While they're still feeling shit out (1st show as 3some and only their like 3rd or 4th show EVAR) man they are coming along nicely. What's that they say about getting to Carnegie Hall? Anyway, go see them too. Hug Blake before the show, mind you. Sweaty bastard too, him. (Note: one of the lesser appreciated things about these guys is that, awesome as their name is, it's a bit of a mouthful and as such a host of short forms have appeared-my favourite being The '92 BJs. So much lols. Also, an awesome "LET'S GO BLUE JAYS" chant got started up in the crowd at the beginning of their set, and drummer Blake led in with the first couplet from OK Blue Jays. FOR REAL.)

The DGB. What more can you say about Dan Greer? He's becoming a legend. He wears the shades on stage, he's got the Flaming Lips light show at his feet, he dresses like a school teacher (as mentioned on the See You Next Wednesday podcaset, ep. 69) he LIKES TO PARTY... and his music is pretty fucking rad too. It's party rock. That sounds like a back-handed compliment. Don't get it twisted bruv it isn't meant as one. Dan is about letting the good times roll, and he does. With aplomb. And, I'm assuming, controlled substances lots of sugar.

So that's it. Another year another NXNE. Fuck. Now what?

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