#NXNE: Wednesday’s Recap

Static Zine has a team of six writers/photographers/thought collectors roaming the streets of Toronto for NXNE. We will not be posting concert reviews. You don’t need to read any more of those. We will be posting our experiences: what we find, what we see and what we hear. There will be reports from Jessica, Melody, Aviva, Carmel, Yahlehly and Michelle.

Keep up to date with our photos on our Facebook page.




I’m going to get my simple & sappy post of the week out of the way now.

I’m a certain kind of neurotic when it comes to planning our shows, to be honest. But things always work out and go so swimmingly that I always leave feelin pretty good. But I felt great during our in-store at Of a Kind today, and still do. Mark of an awesome show! We had amazing music, great friends, new friends, zines aplenty, happy beer bellies and people buying the store’s lovely vintagey/vinaly things.

static zine of a kind nxne jessica lewis

We had The Dead Ships play their first ever show outside of LA, outside of USA. In Of a Kind! I hope they felt it was a nice welcome. Two very sweet Californian dudes who play soothing blues-rock with some catchy pop choruses. There was even apparently a noise compliant from two blocks away! And BRAVES, our hometown pals who are still kind of our little kept secret – nothing to see or hear of them on the web… yet – seemed to grab everybody and shake em a bit. And lastly, Indian Wars came from their flight from Vancouver to jangle the right amount of roots rock into the evening. Each band is super talented and so entertaining in their own ways, I’m glad we could mesh that all together and that everyone seemed to dig them.

dead ships nxne jessica lewis static zine of a kind

braves nxne jessica lewis static zine of a kind

indian wars nxne jessica lewis static zine of a kind

We’re so glad to have partnered with Of a Kind, as it was a lovely shindig. The vibes were warm and fun and I was in my zine happy place. We got great feedback on the new issue and everyone was abuzz to kick off NXNE with us. So thank you so much to everyone involved: the bands, Of a Kind and you! And if you have yet to check out Of a Kind *please* do so, it’s a gorgeous store full of gorgeous clothes, accessories and vinyl. They’re having two more big instore events on Saturday and Sunday, so… go!

static zine of a kind nxne jessica lewis store

static zine dog of a kind nxne jessica lewis

Once everyone parted ways from the store, I walked on over to find where Melody, Aviva and Rob went. Where’d they go? Pizza Pizza by the Drake. I had just made fun of the pizza for tasting like cardboard to my Vancouver house guest for the week, Kirk, and yet here I was. Blasted Torontonian. But we had a nice powwow on the state of pop music and journalism and for once those topics were a nice decompresser. Yeah, I don’t know how. Then my aching feet got me back over to Dundas and Ossington after that, to the sweet blissful tune of “FREEEE ICE CREEEEAAAAM!!” and the view of so many twentysomethings running across traffic in order to get that tasty free Ben & Jerry treat. I waited in line with a smirk on my face and texted Melody gloating (turns out the free ice cream truck was at the Drake where they were too) but her reactions are always great when ice cream is involved. But I only had one little thing of ice cream and an hour’s worth of free time. Turns out Yahlehly was on her way, and her arrival granted me another ice cream. So we took them into the Garrison as an excuse to rest our feet before Silkken Laumann played.

ice cream text melody jessica nxne

Watching Silkken Laumann was a wonderful experience. First, they had a great Genesis-lyric’d introduction by a man who was holding a broom and referring to the band as the female rower champion they’re named after (I wondered if she has a Google Alert for her name and is now finding out about them – so hi Silkken!). There were pretty lights projected onto them the whole time (and all the other bands of course) – very kaleidoscopic.. twirling, changing, LED lights, the whole shebang. Silkken Laumann are fairly new for a band, and I was so excited to see them. I’ve loved singer Rolf’s band The Acorn for years, and have actually been really looking forward to him doing this more dancy project. I remember seeing The Acorn a few CMWs ago, and they rocked out and seemed to love it, but I didn’t see as much enthusiasm the last time The Acorn came around. So it’s good to see the energy back again for him, in music that’s fun and cheeky (“this song is a song about getting dumped! dance for getting dumped!” or something along those lines) in the synths, guitar and drums balance they have, but his dreamy vocals add to it even more. I watched the way people would sway — a group of people in the front finally let themselves into their dance moves after a few songs, Yahlehly perched on the wall’s bench, eyes closed at one point, hair falling in front of her face, this guy dancing in ways that seemed to only go to the direction of where his hair was pointing, etc. The atmosphere felt ripe and enjoyed. The whole setting just worked to everyone’s advantage. I’m excited for what’s to come for this band.

silkken laumann nxne jessica lewis

After watching a bit of Teenanger, we left, sore feet and all. I cursed the fact that I decided against riding my bike for the millionth time today. And now I must sleep.

UPDATE: Next morning…:

nxne jess coffee


the dead ships static zine of a kind nxne aviva cohen

The Dead Ships. Photo by Aviva Cohen.

braves static zine of a kind nxne aviva cohen

Braves. Photo by Aviva Cohen.

victor braves static zine of a kind nxne aviva cohen

Braves. Photo by Aviva Cohen.

indian wars static zine of a kind nxne aviva cohen

Indian Wars. Photo by Aviva Cohen.

Eternal Summers static zine nxne aviva cohen

Eternal Summers. Photo by Aviva Cohen.


Theme: Kicking ass, conquering fears

We’re all burdened by fears; some stemming from horrific childhood experiences and some that just can’t be explained. But music festivals have no place for such things. A place like North By Northeast is an opportunity for spontaneity, fun and open-mindedness. So, with that in mind, I tackled day one of the week-long fest with fists pumping the air and a brain void of fear.

Fear number one – socializing. I’m an awkward girl. The thought of socializing and meeting new people makes me want to curl up in a ball and just watch TV shows in bed all day (which I often do), but NXNE throws you into the middle of it all. It’s like the Olympics of interaction for music geeks. But, when thrown into a room full of strangers, I challenged myself to talk to people and channel the most charming person I know. Turns out I have the ability to make friends. NXNE: the festival of epiphanies.

Fear number two – riding a bike. The last time I was on a bike was three years ago at NXNE. I almost hit a woman and had a panic attack riding down Yonge Street. Needless to say, watching me bike is both hilarious and horrifying; the epitome of a train wreck you can’t take your eyes off of. So, naturally, I decided to tackle it again yesterday. Biking around Toronto gives you a whole new sense of belonging in the city and even though it took me twice as long to get from location to location, it was a lot of fun. Sure, I was a sweaty mess and I’m still slower than most cyclists but it felt nice knowing that I conquered my fear of biking (kind of). Biggest feat of all was my decision to hit up Queen Street at the end of the night. Major streets, as it turns out, aren’t as scary as I had imagined. But then again, it was at 1AM.

Fear number three – stopping strangers on the street. I always thought I would be a good street style blogger but then I realized that I don’t have the ability to stop strangers in the middle of the street. Similar to my first fear, new people scare me. But riding off of the high of our Static Zine in-store at Of A Kind, I took this newfound sense of energy and stopped the lead singer of Porcelain Raft outside of the Drake Hotel, where he played later that night. “I’M SEEING YOU LATER TONIGHT.” I screamed. In hindsight, that probably sounded a bit too crazy and excited but he was kind enough to stop and chat for a few minutes. He probably remembered me for the rest of the night as, “Oh no, that crazy girl on the street.” I am okay with that.

Fear number four – walking home at night. This one isn’t particularly new but still horrifying every time I do it. Walking home in the middle of the night in the suburbs is a whole other level of scary. It’s silent and dark, it’s like a scene out of a zombie apocalypse movie and we all know that’s coming soon…

Day one: fears conquered! Now bring on the music, the food, the beer and some more music!


count on the subway service interruptions to eff your sched
the extra hour of detours & some tremendously painful loafers exposed me for the grouch that i am

but not even my elmer fudding mood could ruin the convivial energy of the static zine party
i may have playacted some karate chops behind anyone in my way but no one got hurt

no one likes a complainer so i thought of going home, to bed
but the LOT 100 was closer

underneath the main theatre’s production of that repulsive musical they call Rent, there is a toned down cabaret. a stage for nxne comedy shows.
i walked in to a comic doing the whole ‘if my vagina/asshole could talk’ bit
& i wondered if it was an ‘if my vagina/asshole could talk’ parody bit, which also has been done ad nauseum
but that’s where that ended
from there (say this like a talk show title) it got better
with trevor boris
of course, he could lift up the spirits of a moody lower oss. with his delightfully biting wit
& moments of is it okay to laugh at this? comedy
daffy ducking hilarious
often where there’s trevor boris there’s debra degiovanni, the one-two punch of canadian comedy
her km/h speed is unbelievable, the jokes smacking you pleasantly in the gut & face
her frankness is Loveable, her character easy for this dork to relate to
but 100x more radical
debra degiovanni is the road runner of Canadian stand-up

when i got home at 1am i watched looney tunes & ate raisin toast

up next: the island


My NXNE Wednesday started with pushing against elderly theatre-goers while lugging a pile of books on Albert Camus on King W on my way to the Hyatt to pick up my badge. (The Camus books were borrowed from the library for an essay I am working on for class, and not some over-the-top way of accessorizing. Though lugging it with me all night reminded me of that episode of Daria where her sister Quinn asks her what goes with the existentialist because she wanted to coordinate her outfits.)

After badges were picked up, I squeezed in some time to work on my essay before heading to the Static launch. (The essay is due Monday, and it is not going to write itself! I also have a presentation to prepare for, but NXNE is already draining me up inside already. We shall see if this spiralling will lead to madness later. Will keep you posted.)

Anyway, academic stuff aside, I’ve decided to photograph the contents of people’s pockets throughout NXNE, and here’s what people have shown me:

At the Static launch at Of A Kind…

carmel melody pocket

Melody, Static Zine: earplugs and a phone

carmel aviva pocket

Aviva, Static Zine: anxious hands and crumpled transit tickets/transfers

carmel wini pocket

Wini, Singing Lamb: 2 lip balms, phone, keys, and a reusable bag


carmel david pocket

David: Because, why wouldn’t you carry around your friend’s graduation photo?! –and sundries

carmel rochelle pocket

Rochelle: essentials

[back to pockets…]

carmel felizia pocket

Felizia: a hair tie!

carmel brandon pocket

Brandon: the usual phone, keys, wallet trifecta + ipod, gum, loose change, a pull tab, and a map

carmel brian pocket

Brian: cards stored in a tin cardholder!

carmel alex pocket

Alex, Braves: smoothie bar business card

At the Meligrove after-party:

carmel travis pocket

Travis, The Elwins: a copy of Static and a rock

carmel heather pocket

Heather: a candy wrapper

carmel katie pocket

Katie: vintage earrings and a Werthers Original!

carmel matthew pocket

Matthew, The Elwins: loose change, a lip balm and a card

And a special addition: Kristian//

dead ships nxne kristian

braves nxne