North By Northeast NXNE 2012 – June 14 Concert Recap

NXNE 2012: Recap of June 14 2012
June 14 2012North By Northeast (NXNE) took over Toronto’s bars and clubs last night for a second night with a full slate of musical options. NXNE is in it’s 18th year and features 780 bands and 40 movies over 7 days.
Our coverage of NXNE began with Emerging Artist Spotlight interviews with:
These are all bands we strongly endorse. There are simply way too many other bands to see so a bit of research is needed to make sure you see the bands that suit your taste. We published a handy guide of our picks here in a simple to use .pdf document that can be printed and carried along as you bar hop.
Day 1 of our musical journey brought us 13 bands, and now on Day 2 we saw 14 more bands on our Rock N Roll pilgrimage.  In alphabetical order here is what we saw:
Always: “Mysterious new Toronto quintet.”  – From the NXNE bio of the band. Nice 80’s sound had a rather large audience dancing away. Great sound.
Always at NXNE 2012
Beliefs: “Very, very good local quintet falling somewhere between ‘Isn’t Anything’-era My Bloody Valentine , Sonic Youth’s art-grunge and Beach House’s stadium sized plaintives. Soon to deservedly be on every A&R person’s radar.” – From the NXNE bio of the band. Another packed house downstairs at The El Mocambo for an early set from the Beliefs who impressed us with their raw but yet polished sound of grungy rock.
Belief at NXNE 2012
Black Owls: “Soul stirring, classic Midwest melodic rock powered by 70s Americana gas and 60s British Invasion power.” – From the NXNE bio of the band. We also interviewed the band as part of our Emerging Artist Spotlight here. Old school classic rock at its best. Unfortunately The Hideout didn’t have a large audience for this band, but we didnt mind as we got a perfect view of the band.
Black Owls at NXNE 2012
Boxer The Horse:”Charlottetown quartet take their Pixies, Dylan and Kinks influence and mix them up with some ramshackle Year Punk Broke spirit and carefree Pavement melodies.” – From the NXNE bio of the band. First set of the night upstairs at The El Mocambo, which was unfortunate as they didnt have a big crowd to play to. Everyone there was rocking out though and the band gave a stellar performance.
Boxer the Horse at NXNE 2012
Champion Lover: “Danceable garage’n’roll group who are former members of Toronto’s Black Devils Brigade and aren’t afraid to take their funk-rock INXS.” – From the NXNE bio of the band. Rancho Relaxo was packed for this gig and even though it was quite early in the evening the audience was rowdy and really loving the really loud set delivered by the band. 
Champion Lover at NXNE 2012
Cousins: “A bare bones garage group inspired by ‘scraps of paper written by children and news stories about teens smashing cars’ and sounding like those picks of the new lo-fi movement, Times New Viking and Wavves.” – From the NXNE bio of the band. A duo from Halifax with a wide loud sound. Not sure if The Black Keys inspired them, but they definitely did pack a punch just like the Keys.
Cousins at NXNE 2012
The Cunninghams: “Crowd pleasing, idol baiting rock from a band combining the most covetable aspects of Jimi Hendrix, Sting, Elvis, Mick Jagger, S.R.V. and Bono into one eightlegged stage show. – From the NXNE bio of the band.” – From the NXE bio of the band. All four of the dudes wore ties and dress shorts but the outfits didn’t prevent them from rocking and rocking hard.
The Cunninghams at NXNE 2012
The Dead Ships:“Crisp graveyard-pop and blues inflected garage-rock from a no-nonsense LA guitar and drums duo.” – From the NXNE bio of the band. Not a duo tonight but a trio and they were awesome. This band really put on a show and brought some sweet rock to the Bovine during their gig.
The Dead Ships at NXNE 2012
Decent Lovers: “Twee Mountain Goats or Neutral Milk Hotel frivolous folk-pop from an Asheville trio and fronted by an Elvis Costello look-and-sound-a-like.” – From the NXNE bio of the band. This band were the most different sounding than the rest of the bands we saw tonight in a good sense. Folky-rock-psychadelia radio friendly mix of sounds was a refreshing change of pace.
Decent Lovers at NXNE 2012
Elk: “Killer Niagara-region garage-rock for fans of the Stones, Kinks, Who and anyone else who’s treading the stylish/trashy tightrope.” – From the NXNE bio of the band. The El Mocambo was really shaking for this band who delivered the goods!
Elk at NXNE 2012
Gloryhound: “Equally soaked in testosterone and feedback, swaggering Halifaxian quartet Gloryhound are from the righteously dogmatic, stacks-not-Macs stable of proper rock bands which – when done this well – are painfully hard to ignore. For fans of The Clash and The Ramones.” – From the NXNE bio of the band. Really big sound and a really enthusiastic crowd at the Bovine. This band has clearly the skills and on stage persona to make it big and the one group we saw tonight which we thought had the best chance of filling larger venues in the very near future.
Gloryhound at NXNE 2012
Grounders: “Blending the textural intricacies of shoegaze and psychedelic rock with the heartfelt simplicity of folk and Americana, Grounders make chiming guitar led hypnosis in a Deerhunter or Grizzly Bear style.” – From the NXNE bio of the band. Really cool band which at one point had 2 dudes playing around with the electronic sound machines. Reminded us alot of a My Morning Jacket (which is the highest compliment we can give).
Grounders at NXNE 2012
Jane’s Party: “Offering up a folksier version of the usual hip-pop formula, these hometowners mix hazy McCartney melodies and ‘Pet Sounds’ doo wops with a driving rhythm section and a Phoenix-esque bluster.” – From the NXNE bio of the band. The band delivered some very catchy tunes that although we had never heard before had the magic touch of almost seeming familiar. Great tempo and style. Well done guys!
Jane’s Party at NXNE 2012
The Lad Classic: “Catchy modern funky-rockers who – if it hadn’t been done before – would sound like Chris Cornell fronting Rage Against The Machine.” – From the NXNE bio of the band. This band rocked! Plain and simple. Very charismatic quartet that filled The Hideout for their set. We were impressed by the wall of sound that the drums and bass provided, the slick guitar playing and the excellent vocals. One of the best gigs of the night!
The Lad Classic at NXNE 2012
Verdict: Tonight we saw 14 more bands to make our total 27 bands seen at NXNE 2012 so far and this turned out to be a great night of music.Every act we saw was very impressive but just for fun  here are our mentions for “gig of the night” from the T-Mak World NXNE team.
Steve: Last night at NXNE, there were the Black Owls and then there was everyone else. For me, the Black Owls are like a cross between the Talking Heads and the Tragically Hip led by frontman David Butler whose quirky vocals brought images of David Byrne. Incredible performance and I’m looking forward to following them in the future. My pick for “gig of the night” goes to Black Owls.
John: Decent Lovers hit NXNE festival with a series of punchy ethereal jams led by willowy frontman Elijah Wyman. Melding melodic down beats with unconventional lyrics was the highlight of the Thursday circuit for me. My pick for “gig of the night” goes to Decent Lovers.
Terry: Images of Neil Young meets Black Sabbath meets Bob Dylan meets The Who. Blahhh, why try and define their sound. They are the Black Owls and they are classic rock made for the current decade. Along from a great set, we spent some time with the band and they are 5 of the nicest dudes I have ever hung out with. My pick for “gig of the night” goes to Black Owls.
Tonight (Friday June 15th) we will be seeing a ton more bands with the highlight and most anticipated show for us being our strongest “must see” recommendation, TimeGiant taking the stage at 10pm at the Supermarket. When we asked TimeGiant‘s frontman Tyrone Buccione what we can expect tonight he told us:
It’s going to be pretty loud and lots of fun. Expect lots of hair, dueling guitar solos and Queen-esque harmonies. Caution: Your face might melt!

 Bring it Tyrone – we can take it!

Black Owls winner of our “gig of the night” mention for NXNE 2012

Cheers to our “gig of the night” band the Black Owls at NXNE 2012
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