Static does NXNE: 2013

Though we did not put out a NXNE-themed issue this year, we still took part in their festivities! Here’s editor Jessica’s 2013 festival experience.

While my co-editors were off enjoying more of the fest for other publications (grrr), I still got to see a good handful of interesting acts. I also was able to bring Static to the week in a couple ways!

Throughout the week, we dropped off Issue 7 zines around the central-west end of the city. Did anybody grab one? What do you think?

Anyways, the music!

On Thursday, I went to the May Cafe for the groovy electronic rock band Mesa Mesa (disclosure: a member of the band is a Static contributor / also in a relationship with me). It was upsetting to see that there was no sound tech working there that night, so they had some difficulties at first. But they regained their stride once it was fixed. What’s interesting after seeing them a bunch of times now, is that each time the songs are somewhat different. The band is constantly figuring out new ways to express themselves and get their work out in new ways, so you never really know what it’s going to be like.

weaves nxne


On Friday, I headed to the BLK BOX first for Weaves. I’ve been interested in checking them out since Rattail is no longer, and Jasmyn Burke is a really cool singer. I wasn’t able to stay for the whole set because they went on a tad late, but the 15 or so minutes I did get to see, I was into. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, I was expecting something a bit funkier for some reason, but I sure was drawn in to the wails of Burke and the guitars.

buke and gase nxne

Buke & Gase

Then I headed over to the Horseshoe for Buke and Gase, one of my newest favourite bands. I love them more and more with each listen. From their really smart lyrics to their DIY instruments to their matching names (Aron and Arone) to their lovable demeanour, I’m pretty smitten. They are still touring this year’s General Dome, an excellent album that will be high on my year-end list. They seemed to have a few sound difficulties setting up and throughout, but they took it like quiet champs. Their music is perfect for when you’re feeling like you’re on an anxiety battleground (and I sure did after trying to bike through the city since it was also Taste of Little Italy aka traffic ridiculousness on a Friday night), letting out those hesitant demons into really satisfying squeals.

why nxne


After they finished, I got stuck while up at the front since it felt like a hoard of people swarmed for the next band, WHY?. I’ve heard the name around for years, and really enjoyed Josiah Wolf’s side project a few years ago, so I decided to stay. From the few songs I have heard, I thought it would be entirely hip-hop, but I was wrong. It was more sing-a-long type hop rock with some rapping here and there. They clearly have a huge fanbase, people were going nuts! It was enjoyable enough but I obviously would have liked it more if I knew their music.

luyas nxne

what i could not barely see of the luyas

From there, I headed over to Sneaky Dee’s for The Luyas. I wasn’t optimistic on getting in after last year’s ‘let’s make everyone wait outside in weird lines for over and hour and then they’ll get inside and realize it’s empty’ stunt, but somehow I got in right away and it was pretty packed up there. I keep meaning to check out the Luyas more than the occasional listen, and know I like their sound, so I was glad to at least be there even though I couldn’t see them at all from where I was standing. They’ve got a really interesting sound that’s tailored around the singer’s dreamy high voice and from what I heard, the set was really good. I definitely want to check them out at a proper show the next time they’re here.

static zine nxne 2013

we accidentally left this there.wooops.

static zine nxne 2013

aviva doodling at our table

static zine nxne 2013

view from the table of the indie label market

On Saturday, co-editor Aviva and I tabled for Static Zine at NXNE and Broken Pencil’s small press fair on the Ryerson campus. It was weird returning to my alma mater (I’m still jealous they got to close Gould Street and got all the better food options and a Balzac’s after I graduated). It was a beautiful day and we were sitting with wonderful zine compatriots from the Toronto Zine Library, Clapboard House, The Continuist, Paper Pusher, Papirmasse, Little Brother, Koyama Press and more. We were across from the Indie Label Market, so we were graced to watch Kevin Drew signing records all afternoon. It was a fun experience but maybe not in the best location, so there weren’t a lot of people there. We did get a good number of names on our mailing list (hi, new people! thank you!) though. Looking forward to what can be done with this next year. We were happy to be involved and get out Issue 7 more!

brazos nxne


villagers nxne

everyone sitting on the great hall floor waiting for Villagers

Villagers nxne


At night, I headed over to the Great Hall for Brazos and Villagers. During Brazos, people began sitting on the floor. It was Saturday, the end of the fest, so fuck it. Brazos are really good – pretty music from Brooklyn, so we all sat there in a nice daze. I do kind of have an inkling they’ll get really big with some sort of commercial jingle soon and then they’ll be all over the place and I can’t stand to hear the song anymore, though. Anyways, enjoyable! Unfortunately, right after their set, someone walked right out of the venue with their vintage bass. It does seem quite easy that someone could do that, especially if they have an artist NXNE badge around their neck. More security needed for sure! So because of this, apparently everyone was looking for the bass, which made Ireland’s Villagers start their set at 12:30 instead of 12. We all thought they would only be able to play for a few minutes in the allotted schedule, but they went ahead with their planned set and I’m so glad. It was beautiful, heart-felt and fun. It’s too bad we couldn’t see what would have been a full set since they’re touring for this year’s {Awayland}, but it was still a great taste of their show.

issue 7 launch

cupcakes on cupcakes

pat lepoidevin

Pat LePoidevin

Sarah Pinder

Sarah Pinder

Patti Cake

Patti Cake

Jessica Westhead

Jessica Westhead

Misha Bower

Misha Bower



On Sunday, we had our launch party! Unfortunately, we were scared off by morning rain and dooming forecasts, so we moved the party to The Central, who were very lovely and helpful. (Of course, it ended up being beautiful outside all day, sorry everyone. We learned our lesson.) Pat LePoidevin, Patti Cake and EONS performed wonderful music and Sarah Pinder, Jessica Westhead and Misha Bower read interesting and entertaining stories. We had cupcakes and free zines and lots of great people celebrating with us, so thank you to whoever came!

A lot of bands I mentioned are on the Issue 7 mixtape – so go give’r a download and check them out!

#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

PHOTOS: Issue 2′s Bonfire Launch Party

static zine bonfire

On October 20, we had a bonfire in Dufferin Grove to celebrate the launch of our second issue. We roasted marshmallows for smores, everyone got to see the issue for the first time and we enjoyed performances by Anthony Damiao, Shawn Clarke, The Fires Of, Parks & Rec and The Wilderness of Manitoba.

Check out our photos from the launch.

blogTO even came to check it out – here’s their recap.

Issue 1 goes into final production mode

Melody 3

Berry 1

Greer 1

Aviva 1

jessica 1

Catherine 1

Last night was the final production night! Melody finished her second article, Berry laid down her page (and Greer added some artwork), Aviva seemingly destroyed her page (but didn’t), I put my touches on the cover and editorial page (while Aviva fell asleep) and Catherine ogled over her layout by Juliana. It was successful and there were plenty of high-fives. AND NOW WE ARE DONE. And taking it to the printers today. GET PSYCHED, guys.

We’ll be unveiling cool details all week… :)