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Monday, Jun 17, 2013
After two days heavy with buzz-worthy acts, I decided to get back to basics on Friday night. Southern Ontario has a storied history of gutsy roots acts, and both young and old were on display at venues across Toronto’s Dundas St.

But first, a little further east at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square, was the headline event of NXNE 2013: The National. Finding a spot to park my bike amongst the thousands who’d flocked downtown for the free concert was quite the task, but not nearly as difficult as finding a spot with decent sightlines to catch the band of brothers and the increasingly aged-looking Matt Berninger. Sure, the band’s mix of classics and cuts from their latest, Trouble Will Find Me, was entertaining enough. Yet age has certainly affected this band’s aesthetic, as a hardened realism ends up playing out in tracks like “Graceless”, which sound much more driving than anything they’ve ever done.


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Friday, Jun 14, 2013
A large element of NXNE 2013 involves efforts to re-brand the City of Toronto as one of the great music cities of the world.

4479, a new initiative is “…being led by a growing coalition of music industry leaders, in conjunction with supporters who work in tourism, municipal government and business,” according to Amy Terrill, Vice President Public Affairs at Music Canada. 4479 is part of an ongoing study comparing Toronto to other great music cities, so with that in mind, there was an effort to check out a few local artists as part of Thursday’s festivities.


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Thursday, Jun 13, 2013
On the opening night of the 2013 Nelsonville Music Festival, several attendees reported seeing a meteor or fireball in the sky.

Those who failed to witness the event were transfixed by a comparable burst of energy onstage. Gogol Bordello, Thursday night’s headline act, performed with a level of intensity that was exhausting to watch and difficult to imagine sustaining. That the band is booked through September says a lot about its endurance.


There were other reasons to watch the sky during the weekend, as rain and storms threatened and occasionally interrupted the proceedings. But throughout the four days, the bands, fans, organizers and staff once again contributed to an exceptional festival experience. This year’s lineup was particularly well curated.


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Thursday, Jun 13, 2013
NXNE has always played a vital role in establishing Toronto as one of the world’s premiere music cities, though the 2013 version could not have come at a better time for the city.

With the wounds from epic collapse of the city’s beloved Maple Leafs hockey club finally healed, the city became embroil in the now infamous “Crackgate” scandal. A video of already comical Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack has been rumoured to exist, making Toronto the butt of many a joke.


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Monday, May 20, 2013
Over the course of almost four hours, four collectives, each with special guests, battled to win the audience's applause and the Culture Clash 2013 title.

Repping their differing genres of dance music, the crews/teams of Young Guru & Just Blaze, Que Bajo?!, Federation Sound, and Trouble & Bass competed in the Red Bull Music Academy’s Culture Clash event at Roseland in New York City. Anyone who was slightly interested in hip-hop should have been there as this four hour sweaty dance fest only cost 10 bucks and special guests were anticipated. Each outfit had their own mini stage with speaker systems, and during the various rounds, brought out more guests than I could have possibly expected. Some guests were just there as spectators however—like RBMA alum Flying Lotus, who had done two shows at Terminal 5 a few nights before alongside Thundercat and Ultraísta (a couple of pics from his show are below).


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