Melody’s NXNE


[Just to clarify, that photo above was taken on the last day of NXNE when I decided to celebrate with a fried chicken dinner on a rooftop because if you had gone out that many nights in a row, you'd need some fried goodness to congratulate yourself for that many hours of human interaction too. So yes, I swear I saw bands -- more on that below!]

North By Northeast is my favourite time of the year (suck it, Christmas): free BBQs, constantly running into the best of friends and of course the incredible music.

This festival takes you through so many emotions and feelings, as I’m sure human interaction does to one person. Again, did I mention I spend most of my nights eating dinner alone in bed and watching Food Network re-runs? But with every performance, you can leave feeling a different way. That, or my hormones are completely fucked.

Anyway, I will now illustrate my NXNE experience the only way I know how to: through the power of GIFs.

Weaves @ Massey Hall
I had described Weaves’ set, opening for tUnE-yArDs, at Massey Hall as a giant beast tumbling through the elegant, historic theatre space, but I meant that as the biggest of compliments. The band’s sound is clearly so big and, for lack of a better word, so strange, that there’s a bit of oddness to seeing them in such a pristine venue, but when they laid into their songs, they boomed through the space like a monster and as an acquaintance of the Toronto band, I must say I was mighty proud of them.

giphy (4)

tUnE-yArDs @ Massey Hall
One big, massive percussion dance party, which are the best kinds of dance parties. One of the best shows I caught at NXNE.

giphy (3)

St. Vincent @ Yonge-Dundas Square
Seeing St. Vincent is more or less a religious experience wherein Annie Clark performs a sermon of guitar hero proportions. When she stands atop of flight of stairs and stomps down on the beat of “Cheerleader,” you almost feel your knees buckling down. Bow down to the church of St. Vincent!

giphy (2)

Spoon @ Horseshoe
I totally thought I was going to be forced to see Spoon play the claustrophobic Yonge-Dundas Square, but instead, I got to see my ultimate white-guy-indie-rock* crush Spoon play the equally claustrophobic Horseshoe Tavern on the night of my birthday. NXNE, the festival that gives the best birthday gifts ever. (* It’s just the truth. Plus, it’s one of my favourite genres.)

giphy (5)

Beach Day @ St. James Park
A park is almost like a beach, right?


Future Islands @ Tattoo
Duh, this is the only GIF to describe the show.


Kristian’s NXNE

future islands nxne kristian pedersen

Team Static Zine got to cover NXNE 2014! Check out what our team members got up to during the festival. Here’s Kristian’s experience.

After North By Northeast you’ve undoubtedly seen your fair share of concerts, and if you’re anything like us you’re struggling to decide on your favourite. Kristian put together this test to determine your spirit BANDimal.

Which NXNE band are you?

Jessica’s NXNE 2014

Team Static Zine got to cover NXNE 2014! Check out what our team members got up to during the festival. First off, we have Jessica’s experience. 

Weaves, Tobacco and tUnE-yArDs at Massey

static zine nxne

weaves nxne


tuneyards nxne

tuneyards nxne

St. Vincent at Yonge & Dundas Square, Courtney Barnett at Silver

st vincent nxne

static zine nxne


courtney barnett nxne


SATURDAY Luisa Omelian & Simon Amstell at the Great Hall, Courtney Barnett at the Silver Dollar


static zine nxne


static zine nxne

luisa omelian nxne

simon amstell nxne

courtney barnett nxne

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!

Team Static Did Chicago: Melody’s ‘thank you’ notes to the windy city

Static Zine was recently in Chicago for the Chicago Zine Fest to table the 6th issue, Elsewhere, which is all about other places. Managing Editor Melody Lamb recaps the experience below.

melody mcdonalds chicago

In Jimmy Fallon-fashion, I will now take some time and write some thank you notes to the people, places and things of Chicago.

  • Thank you, The Bean, for being a giant outdoor mirror. I was able to check my make-up AND take a photo of myself without looking weird.
  • Thank you, Big Star, for filling our bellies with beer and tacos, all for under $20. You know those commercials where people look at their receipt, think that the cashier forgot to ring in half of their items, and run out before they get caught? That’s exactly how I felt. Except I was too full to run.
  • Thank you, Uncle Frank, for showing us around the city. I will always look at those bridges and think, “that’s where that Transformers scene takes place.”
  • Thank you, Chicago Zine Fair, for being a giant pile of talent.
  • Thank you, cute zine boy, for being the first person to pay for my solo zine, Hello Goodbye. I hope you enjoy my witty stories and don’t judge me too harshly. Also, my Twitter account is on the back on the zine, follow me and be my friend, please.
  • Thank you, Quimby’s, for stealing all our money. I mean, in return for all of the books and zines, but still.
  • Thank you, CTA, for tying your subway lines in a knot and calling it a loop.
  • Thank you, Rock ‘n Roll McDonald’s, for fulfilling all of my wildest fast food dreams. No thank you to the creepy guy working there who stared at me the whole time as I dropped ice cream on my dress.
  • Thank you, Chicago, for being as wonderful as I (don’t) remember. Four-year-old me might not remember much, but 22-year-old me will never forget the wonderful times we had on this trip. See you again in a few months for Pitchfork Fest!