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

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

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


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#NXNE Recap: Thursday

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 was late to the NXNE festivities this year because I had to prioritize trying to get a job (shout out to my maybe future potential employers) and my Trivia Team (shout out to The Dirty Pillows) before I could check out any cool bands. In the immortal words of Blink 182, “I guess this is growing up.”

After surviving three job interviews in one afternoon with only a shred of my dignity intact, the only thing I wanted to do was drink. I was really hoping to score some free beer, as last year it was promised to me, but not delivered. Last year I tweeted that a certain band was so shiteous that they were driving me to alcohol poisoning and they responded back that they would buy me shots. I’m still waiting to take you up on that offer, Elephant Stone!

Other than pour free booze down my gullet, my other goal of NXNE is to see as many 90s revival bands as possible, which is why I parked it over at the Horseshoe for the evening as the one and only Bran Van 3000 were headlining. Before they took the stage, I had facetiously tweeted “Retweet if you only came to the Horseshoe tonight to hear Drinking in L.A.” but then came to the startling realization that no one in the audience was there ironically. I had grossly underestimated Bran Van’s lasting cultural legacy because everyone was freaking their freak during their set. Freaking their freak, might I add, to the point that there was almost a full-out brawl in the front row between two photographers arguing over media pass hierarchy that almost hindered my enjoyment of Drinking in L.A. Key word there being almost because not even outbursts of violence can detract from the sweetness of hearing a 1997 one hit wonder live in 2012.


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Jane's Party. Photo by Aviva Cohen.

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Army Girls. Photo by Aviva Cohen.

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Show at Jang Bang on Thursday. Photo by Aviva Cohen.

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Army Girls. Photo by Aviva Cohen.

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Cold Warps at Jang Bang. Photo by Aviva Cohen.

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Crowd on the island for Dusted. Photo by Aviva Cohen.

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Dusted. Photo by Aviva Cohen.

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Dusted. Photo by Aviva Cohen.

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Hooded Fang at the Horseshoe. Photo by Aviva Cohen.

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PS I Love You at the Horseshoe. Photo by Aviva Cohen.

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Photo by Aviva Cohen.

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Photo by Aviva Cohen.

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Bad Bad Not Good. Photo by Aviva Cohen.

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Bad Bad Not Good. Photo by Aviva Cohen.


why is my hair-shield not working?
my most valuable superpower, my do-not-disturb sign
it’s not been working
tech-support, can you fix?

we start with hanlan’s & some island magic;
see j.a.m for tell of the actual show, the dog, the free cal
oh. j.a.m here means jess.aviva.melody

my favourite part about the island was the walk to & from the ferrydock
which i think was j.a.m’s least favourite part
but from their misery came comedy
which filled the hole i suffered from having missed the comedy shows i wanted to see
oh, ladystache


you know what i like about double venues
if you’re not digging something but your friends are
you can discreetly change floors & maybe find something more your speed
a show i’ve seen this year already, but if i liked it the first time

know what doesn’t work for me w/ double vens
noise bleeding
the bloody noise bleed


oh my stars, cousins
cousins, you guys
but you know, the merch table wasn’t being manned & boy, that got my goat
left with my dark heart full but my knotty hands empty

you know what i just thought, i wouldn’t be surprised if brian borcherdt’s from nova scotia
know what i did next? looked it up.

the second viewing of dusted wasn’t planned but rather an auspicious last minute change in sched
***if you haven’t figured it out yet, you go, live show first full album listen later
for this one especially

if there is a support beam at a show venue i will lean against it
the chillest lone wolf
& when the long hair curtain is drawn, it’s best to leave the wolfdottir alone
small-talkers mean well, i know that
they mean to rescue you from loneliness, to be a friend when you haven’t any around
nice, but no thanks, okay?
& there were friends around somewhere
but zoning out is a solo activity

with my hair defender busted, i tried all my other special repellents
dagger eyes, unresponsiveness, genuine dorkiness
that’s where you work in references to harry potter, star trek, cartoons
no matter how much of a stretch it takes
y’know, i can be rather un-charming when need be
& needn’t be

anyway, a place to bury strangers came to my protection
they were like
small-talk, fog outta here!

aptbs is the colour of my heart
major misses: irvine welsh’s ecstasy



Tell me. What’s the logic in making everyone line up for wristbands to something they RSVP’d to (“but not guaranteed!”) don’t get them in, make them wait forever, put them on a people barge to an island, and then make them walk so far all the way across the island to be corralled in a patch of grass? Free tacos, beer and backpacks, that’s what. Oh and nice music. Nice people were all corralled together. I cracked jokes of a hipster massacre, and actually made yahlehly catch her breath in fear. Oops. And why write “BONFIRE!” with an arrow on the pavement in chalk so far into the walk? It’s a wonder we got there in the first place. The walk to the show (to see Dusted) was quite the journey (also when you’re freaking out about if there wouldn’t be a washroom around, tmi) but the walk back was quite pleasant. I was armed with my free neon purple backpack (why I grab free shit, I don’t know) and more of a lighthearted spirit of going back to the mainland to see more music. I don’t care for Smith Westerns, but Dusted is absolutely fantastic. On our trek, we spotted a couple who had likely just gotten engaged, with roses, champagne and nice outfits and their phones clasped to their faces excitedly calling others. Why do people do that? Get engaged and then immediately slap their phones to their face to tell others? Maybe they tweeted it. Also included on walk back: somehow not being able to read the “clothing optional beach” sign and looking like i was making fun of it in front of guys who were headed that way / yahlehly taking “stupid blurry” photos of everyone and so many jazz hands comments while walking alongside the route that a big party boat was on.

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The people barge. "We're like animals being herded on a boat!" "We ARE animals herded on a boat."

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BONFIRE that way. Thank you for writing it about fifteen minutes into our walk.

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"You're taking a damn shadow photo aren't you."

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seen here: line for free make-your-own-tacos

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"WE'RE ENGAGED!!" *jess takes sneaky photo*

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happy campers y & a

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you have to take one of these photos every time you're on the boat. required.

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poll: how should i classily beat up my neon purple backpack?

Back to the mainland, too late to see Stella Ella Ola at 9, sorrowed. Instead, three streetcars later, the Staticypack of us ended up at the El Mocambo. Aviva peaced out almost as soon as we got there, and Melody moved right up to the front with Carmel and David. yahlehly, as mentioned above, moved upstairs. I watched Army Girls with a fondness. I saw them almost a year ago, the place was almost empty, and now they were playing to a packed crowd. New material, new tricks (nice one with the guitar over your shoulders, Carmen, also your ice cream jokes) and same lovely sound. Like a little bird with an edge, flying away from the pack. Speaking of pack, I had to find a way to put my nice backpack into the damned neon purple backpack for the night, and that’s always fun on sore feet.

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Go Carmen

Over to the Velvet Underground for Cousins. Glorious, sweet, garage rock. Everything blended together for me because I hadn’t known their stuff prior to earlier in the afternoon, but oh it was a comfortable, fuzzy place to be in. I’m looking forward to getting to know them better. It was too bad nobody was manning the merch though and that we were in a rush.

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we should be swimmingggg *

Onwards, limping, to the Rivoli, where they said they were at capacity but really were not, of course. And of course as Carmel, Shawn and I were waiting, Cam strolled straight in with his “ARTISTe” badge. Zulu Winter, everybody, a lovely band from London who make music right up my chilly, dark, angle-atory alley. (That sounds gross. Basically I like Foals and bands who sound like them, although nobody as much as them.) So Zulu are clearly tight for a band who only started this year, they were on the ball. Practiced. So stylish. Bone structure. Hair cuts. Shoes. But this isn’t Chartattack and I’m not grading how hipster their hair and shoes were. But I did notice. I also noticed the bassist’s thrusts with every note, and wondered how much focus that would take to keep that going AND play an entire set. I wonder. But I grooved with every moment of their set, even the last song, “Silver Tongue,” which I still am that annoying person who cannot get over how much it sounds like their favourite Little Dragon songs. SERIOUSLY it drives me bananas. I kept my cool though. One last stop after their set was Wendy Versus at the Cameron House, a Toronto band for who I think I’ve seen every show of theirs this year. They’re getting better and better, but unfortunately I was yawning and falling closer and closer to sleep at that point. At least I could sit down. Geez, shoes. Does anyone actually have a nice pair of shoes they like, that look nice, and are comfortable? Let me know where you got them.

And now, to Friday, the day of set complications I’ll have to figure out… and maybe ride my bike… *note to yourself: check to make sure I’m alive*


Theme:  Organization

I’m all about organization. I like plans, lists, schedules; anything that assures that things are in order. But, for some reason, I found myself completely unorganized and unprepared for NXNE. My schedules were partially figured out and I didn’t even have time to post my tentative sked on Facebook so I could coordinate with friends. These are the telltale signs of a pending panic attack waiting to happen.

But, in keeping with my rule of spontaneity, I decided to tackle day two of the festival with last minute decisions and generally just feeling things out.

After toiling with the idea of the going to Toronto Island for a free Dusted and the Smith Westerns show all day, I jumped in a cab and headed towards the docks. Little did I realize that the one thing that was more unorganized than me were the people behind this show. The lineup for RSVPs was unnecessarily long (what was the point in RSVPing to a free event, especially when these RSVPs didn’t even guarantee you entry?) and the trek to the venue after the ferry ride took an additional half an hour. And no, it’s not because I’m a slow walker.

That being said, the free tacos, free beer and even free backpacks (thanks, Jansport!) kind of made up for it. What can I say, people like their free things. But also, it was nice to get away from the bustling city for a few hours and clear my head of my stress. For a few hours, I got to hang out on an island and just have fun with friends instead of frantically flipping through the NXNE schedule, trying to figure out where I need to run to next.

Back on land, though, decisions were made and I capped off my night at three venues – El Mocambo for Army Girls, The Garrison for The Black Belles and Wrongbar for Purity Ring. I’m embarrassed to admit but it was my first time seeing Army Girls after missing them a million times in the past year or so. They definitely lived up to all of my expectations and I’m definitely onboard to make them the biggest band ever. That’s one thing I’d jump on organizing ASAP.


NXNE Thursday began with me wandering around like a stray cat. I was turned away from the Smith Westerns/Dusted island show, which I later discovered meant missing out on free backpacks. My plan B was Julie Doiron at Trinity Bellwoods, which I also found myself too late for.

Before the festival started, I thought I created a pretty pared down schedule, with deliberate overlaps meant for changes of mind, heart and whatever else. Anyway, I ended up at the El Mo a lot earlier than planned. After a few minutes in the downstairs room, I already wanted to go home, take a nap, then curl up and watch Buffy… or you know, write my damn essay. But the misery didn’t last, thank goodness.

Upstairs, Boxer the Horse were being delightful and fun. My only regret was not going up sooner. I only caught the tail-end of their set.

Then, I asked a few more people to empty out their pockets:

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Joe, Mechanical Forest Sound: notebook, camera, wallet, recording gear

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Pete, Sticky Magazine: earplugs, phone, Sticky Magazine stickers, cards, keys, camera gear (in bag)

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Aaron: keys, loose change, wallet, pills, phone, contacts

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Andy, Army Girls: keys attached to an awesome keychain and a drink ticket

[at the Rivoli…]

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Will, Zulu Winter: a 4-month old guitar pick, which Will was particularly proud of, wallet, lighter, and loose change of different currencies; He was in the UK, France, Ireland, America, and now Canada all in the span of a week, he explained.

Throughout the night, I also ended up taking photos of shoes.

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This guy from Jane’s Party had these really striking red moccasin loafers, which I tried but failed to capture.

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Rituals at the El Mo

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I particularly liked that the guys from Zulu Winter all had English weather-beaten footwear. Too bad the lighting/photos didn’t capture all that character.

And saving the best for last…

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Carmen Elle from Army Girls’ shoes. I’ve had terrible timing and have always missed the opportunity to see them before. I had Red Bull just before their set, so I was ready for them to melt my face off.

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army girls carmen elle static zine nxne shoes

I was thinking of maybe altering the spelling of my name. Instead of Carmel, I could be Carmelle… then maybe I could be closer to being almost as cool as Carmen Elle.

Download Issue 4′s Mixtape: NXNE 2012 Edition

static mix art by greer brabazon

art by Greer Brabazon

Here it is, the fourth issue’s mixtape! Free songs of bands playing NXNE!



1. “Keep it Low” by The Hundred in the Hands

2. “Silver Tongue” by Zulu Winter

3. “Chained Together” by Mozart’s Sister

4. “How Long Have You Known” by DIIV

5. “Automocar” by The Danks

6. “Searching Through the Past” by Bleached

7. “Dark Forces” by Jeans Boots

8. “Little Poems” by Rah Rah

9. “Holding Onto Something” by Parlovr

10. “Good Day at the Races” by Hollerado

11. “Open Your Heart” by The Men

12. “Negative Space” by METZ

13. “Murder 1″ by WAZU

14. “(Into the) Atmosphere” by Dusted

15. “Mean Sun” by Brasstronaut

16. “The Fall” by Warm Myth