North By North East: The week of never-ending musical explosions taking over every massive venue and spilling out of every hidden corner. When I wasn’t laying blissfully in the grass while being serenaded acoustically at Live in Bellwoods, I roamed around checking out awesome indie band showcases for NXNE that were slightly off the beaten path, yet no less great. And had shorter lines for beer and bathrooms. Booya!

NXNEXPERIMENT II, presented by Elliot Jones, Patrick McGuire, Pretty Pretty record label and The Wa Magazine is in its second year of NXNE Day Party takeover. It has made light-speed progress, getting a reputation for an event not to be missed by music peeps and those who just like fun tymes. Held in a Kensington Market alley-hideaway off Augusta Ave amongst army surplus stores and Mexican food shops, the scorching sun baked the day away. Dan Burke waved hello at the door and 10 bands of local and far away talent took to two stages, with three DJs from 1pm – 11pm. Perfect place to make an empanada pitstop, drop your bike down, and check out some cool bands like Toronto/Montreal’s Prince Innocence (pictured below, see the chick with the red hair) or Mississippi’s Bass Drum of Death, pictured performing below (and nice hair guys, be still my beating metronome!) I sleuthed (fave word of the season so far) my way into the sheltered brick garage to de-bake, and was met with a second bar, various cozy window ledges and attractive people. And was it sectioned off with a red velvet rope or was that a heat-stroked hallucination? 

I kinda felt like I was in this never-before-seen episode of 90210, the original series, where all the cool kids get kicked out of West Beverley High and go to another part of town to dance around being super pretty in dresses they made and tattoos they gave to themselves and 6 inch spiky platforms. It was basically all like Emily Valentine’s spinoff show, with an amazing soundtrack. Shout-outs to the guy with the diva-umbrella, it was one part necessity, one part style.

To scope out the full lineup, check back on the post-mortem Facebook event page. 

~ Becca Lemire

Photos by Becca Lemire (Click to Enlarge)