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Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

There's A Lot To Do

So the 2007 edition of NxNE kicks off tomorrow evening (if you don’t count the satellite “NxNExtra” shows) and I must say I’m more excited about this year’s lineup than I’ve been before. Of course, I’ll be missing many of the bands who’ve piqued my interest because I haven’t yet mastered the art of being in three places at once, but as a matter of principle, it’s a good sign for the fest.

One act that’s coming to town who might be flying under the radar but are worthy of note are North Carolina’s Schooner. I caught them at Pop Montreal last October and just got a copy of their new record Hold On Too Tight, due out on August 21. Live, they demonstrated a good blend of classic 50s and 60s pop traits combined with some of the college rock skronk that put their home state on the music map in the 90s.

The album, on the other hand, still combines those same ingredients but in markedly different proportions. Though still pop to the core, there’s a much stronger Motown and Stax vibe throughout with some orchestral flourishes and the occasional foray into gently twangy country, all anchored by Reid Johnson’s weary croon. But what I found to stand out the most was just how beautifully downbeat the record is, an impression bolstered in no small part to the deliberate haziness of the production. Even when things get uptempo, there’s a glumness that I personally find quite appealing. The best parallel I can offer is that at their best moments, they sound like a bummed-out Saturday Looks Good To Me. This is definitely meant as a compliment.

They’re playing on Saturday night at C’est What, 10PM. Check them out.

MP3: Schooner – “There’s Enough To Do”
MP3: Schooner – “They Always Do”
MySpace: Schooner

As for the rest of the fest, I’ll repost the rough list of names I put up a few weeks ago, with some additions and edits (Nicole Atkins & The Sea are no longer at the Reverb on Friday night, so that’s one I won’t feel bad about missing but they will still be at Lee’s Palace on Monday night with The Long Blondes). My Thursday will pretty much find me fixed at the Horseshoe and Friday is overbooked as is (see below) but Saturday is still a bit up in the air, mainly due to logistics. I’ll figure that out later, I guess. But also refer to NOW‘s festival preview and note that Torontoist has begun offering day-by-day recommendations.

Thursday, June 7

Future Clouds & Radar @ The Horseshoe – 9PM
Les Breastfeeders @ The Boat – 10PM
Sea Wolf @ The Horseshoe – 10PM
Kathleen Edwards @ Lee’s Palace – 10PM
Woodpigeon @ The Drake Underground – 11PM
Buffalo Tom @ The Horseshoe – 12AM
Jason Falkner @ The Reverb – 12AM
The Parkas @ The Dakota Tavern – 12AM
A Northern Chorus @ Sneaky Dee’s – 12AM
Justin Rutledge @ Lee’s Palace – 12AM
Royal Wood @ The Gladstone – 12AM
Adam Franklin @ The Reverb – 1AM
Blue Rodeo @ Lee’s Palace – 3AM

Friday, June 8

The Pantones @ The Savannah – 9PM
Sunparlour Players @ Lee’s Palace – 9PM
The Vulcan Dub Squad @ Holy Joe’s – 11PM
Carmen Elle @ The Free Times Cafe – 11PM
Handsome Furs @ The Comfort Zone – 12AM
Jesse Malin @ The Reverb – 12AM
The Sadies @ Lee’s Palace – 12AM
Therapy? @ The El Mocambo – 12AM
Love Kills @ Clinton’s – 1AM
Jenn Grant @ C’est What – 1AM
John Doe @ Lee’s Palace – 1AM

Saturday, June 9

Ohbijou @ The Horseshoe – 10PM
Schooner @ C’est What – 10PM
She Keeps Bees @ Holy Joe’s – 10PM
Fjord Rowboat @ The Reverb – 11PM
Fox Jaws @ The Dakota Tavern – 11PM
The Coast @ The Boat – 11PM
Man In Gray @ The Kathedral – 11PM
Great Northern @ Lee’s Palace – 12AM
Urge Overkill @ Lee’s Palace – 1AM

And looking to some of the NxNExt showcases (the festival-affiliated shows featuring international/touring bands that allow a limited number of wristbands and passes admission), Harp and NOW have features on Dinosaur Jr, playing at the Phoenix on Friday night. It’s an early show, but probably not early enough to realistically allow me to pull off the double-header with the Voxtrot show at Sneaky Dee’s that I’d hoped to accomplish (to say nothing of the toll it’d take on my limited energy). I’m not taking it off my calendar just yet but I’m thinking that I may end up having to bail on J and gang. Alas.

And speaking of Voxtrot (who’re also doing an early show at Sneaks on Friday), Austin360 has an interview with the band while Daytrotter one-ups them with an interview AND a downloadable session.

Also on the Daytrotter trip, The Broken West were also in their studios recently and have an interview and session for your seeing and hearing pleasure. The Broken West are at Lee’s Palace on Sunday night opening for Fountains Of Wayne – also a NxNExt show if you want to squeeze a little more out of your wristband.

By : Frank Yang at 8:22 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Blackie O says:

    That’s so awesome that Urge Overkill is back together. I think they have a new album coming out this year.

  2. Samantha Johns says:

    I’m SO looking forward to Great Northern. If they’re as great live as they are on the record, we’re in for a TREAT!

  3. Sam says:

    Downtown Harvest (one of my favorite bands) is also playing on June 7th at Holy Joes.

    http://www.myspace.com/down

  4. mike says:

    Thanks for the Schooner tip. A definite maybe. Gotta come with a plan soon because I need decide if buying an NXNE wristband is worth it this year for me, but yes, this year seems to be a lot better in term of interesting acts.

  5. Jenna says:

    Completely off topic…I just looked at some of your vacation shots. I was literally just in Prague, Vienna and Budapest myself in mid-May with a couple of friends so it neat to see your pictures having been so recently myself. I loved Prague as well, thought Vienna was getting too cosmopolitan (was my 2nd time there) and I’ll have to differ on Budapest with you (I loved it). The Hungarians were super friendly to us: the train, metro and tram folks were pretty patient with us. Then again, our hotel rocked. If you ever get a chance, I think you should give it a second chance.

  6. redslime says:

    Skip seeing Royal Wood. Trust me on that one.