I was destined to piddle away another NXNE season due to its ability to overwhelm and fluster me every year (the same is true for Luminato, Nuit Blanche, etc.). "650 bands in five days!!" it boasts. Gah. It might only be humanly possible to see about 5% of this music festival, and how does one really narrow it down?! I attempted to plan a trip to Trinity Bellwoods for some picnic-ing and music in the park on Saturday, but I had no luck recruiting anyone. We also realized too late that we had missed Sloan and Meligrove Band earlier in the week. It was looking like I would let NXNE slip by again.
However, thanks to the label, we snagged two last-minute one-day wristbands for yesterday. I found the website to be daunting but managed to pick 2 bands we wanted to see. They were playing at the SAME bloody time on opposite ends of the city. Drat. Alex also wanted to see Iggy Pop in Yonge/Dundas Square, but yet again, at the same time. Alex let me have have my #1 pick ('cause he's just so great that way) and we caught Library Voices at the coveted 9pm timeslot at the Horseshoe.
I had been DYING to see them (can't you tell? they get a lot of mentions here) and was so pleased that we did. Coincidentally, Sweet Thing is actually playing a show with them this Thursday in London! I'm not sure I'll make it, so I was happy to catch last night's performance. Love. My new (2nd) favourite band, perhaps? They played songs from their new album, Denim on Denim, but their EP song Step Off the Map and Float is still the clear winner. "Float! Float! Float!"
[ sipping soda-pop at BQM, between venues ]
Hannah Georgas was to follow them, and we should have caught her set, but we assumed we were late to meet the guys for an MMVA pre-party (we were, in fact, early). I actually managed to attain Plus One status for this event, even though an MMVA invite was impossible. (Alex is there now, probably falling in love with Katy Perry, while I blog in underwear again. *sigh* :)
[ The MMVA set-up, wreaking havoc on Queen West ]
In true music-industry private-party fashion, the MMVA pre-party - a four-venue swank-fest - strived for indie cool and effortlessness. The haughty PR rep gave it away, though: this was a BIG over-planned ordeal, worthy of a ridiculous class-system of wristband privileges. PR Queen Bee, drunk on power, denied us drink tickets while glancing almost disgustedly at our green wristbands. There was no lack of these tickets floating around, though, (we didn't pay for one drink) making the entire charade completely pointless.
[ Pre-partying at the Umbra Concept store ]
I don't mean to be so judgmental. It's true that I should be grateful for the invite. In fact, I met some great people, including the so-nice guys of San Sebastien, and did have tons of fun. I just can't help but giggle at how pretentious and uptight these people can get. Professional partying is a very serious business, I guess.
[ Tyler awkwardly hugging the right side of my frame. OK, truth is, I cut Alex out for blinking :) ]
We started at the Umbra Concept store, where we met Hot Hot Heat's guitarist. He just happened to be chatting with Michael Maxxis, the director recently signed on to tackle Sweet Thing's Change of Seasons video! The video will shoot in LA in the end (after being changed from Philly and NYC) in mid-July. Alex will strangely be spending another of my birthdays out of the country (but do I really need to celebrate year 31 anyway?). This is looking like life from now on.
At the first stop, the guys opted out of a red carpet appearance, due to some confusion about who/where/what (you really don't want to have to ASK for a red carpet moment). But I got mine!
Last night had another perk: My one-woman Lonely Bandwives Club Band may be expanding. Could it be? I met some other "plus ones" last night; girls that may or may not officially qualify as "girlfriends", but I'll take what I can get. I am maybe a bit too excited that someone else other than Alex may be verging on relationship status. Eek! As Tyler put it "female energy". Yes, this boys' club needs it. I think I might play it cool this time, and not try to get my hopes up. My quota of ex-band-girlfriend-friends is filled up, and I don't need to get attached before I know how serious things are...
After Umbra, we caught Raveonettes (and a set by the girl below...didn't catch her name) at a weird Queen West building that formerly housed Baskin Robbins and other fast-food outlets, but was now a gutted warehouse-like space. The band was technically good, but Alex and I were fading fast and my well-heeled feet looked great but were secretly plotting against me to amputate themselves at the ankle. Style over comfort has a 2-hour shelf-life once you hit your 30s. Beware.
[ Mystery Opener...? and The Raveonettes ]
We ended the night with 2am Kraft Dinner while watching the end of Mean Girls. Would it be wrong to say that it was one of the night's highlights?
Update: Alex just called from the MMVAs to say he's trying to weasel someone into giving him an extra wristband for the after-party so that I can join him. Guess Katy Perry has nothing on me. What-what.
(P.S. Listening to Hannah Georgas right now and am girl-crushing. Really wishing we'd stuck around for her set...)