About a Face: Ally and Taylor Frankel of Nudestix
Taylor: Our beauty icons are really natural-looking girls. Cara Delevingne, Miranda Kerr, and Shailene Woodley.
Bryan Lee O'Malley's next book Seconds isn't out until 2014, but the Scott Pilgrim author has released a few sketches of the book's primary character, Hazel, who looks destined to become a certified comic style icon. O'Malley is very active on his Tumblr and in the past has written about finding character style inspiration in the fashion blogosphere. Early looks at Seconds seem to indicate the book may be grounded more in the "real world" than the superhero universe of Scott Pilgrim. Superpowers or not, Hazel looks to have the cozy-cute-girl (swoon) game on lock. —Angelo
You've probably seen Séamus Gallagher's comics reblogged constantly all across Tumblr these days, which isn't surprising because they're totally hilarious. His hand-drawn comics and illustrations are often cynical jabs and parodies of pop culture fandom, from those who loathe Macklemore to Twin Peaks die hard fans, which makes his witty sense of humor completely relatable. —Hazel
Saturday gleamed of daytime merrymaking. There was not a single event that seemed missable. But since we cannot (yet) willfully clone ourselves to attend and experience multiple things at the same time, difficult decisions had to be made. —Katie
In the morning, the NXNE Indie Market took place at Ryerson University. Small presses, independent publications, and record labels lined Gould Street, attracting curious passers-by and sleep-deprived festival attendees. While at the quad, visual artists put various works on display.
Managed to snap some style shots of those who braved the morning light for the market. (Hey, 10:30am is early in festival-time!)
Even Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew, Justin Peroff, and Brendan Canning were there, manning the Arts & Crafts table like it was no big thing.
Later, AUX hosted their day party in the front room of The Garrison with Cousins, CTZNSHP, and Weaves--who all proved to be just as exciting in natural lighting!
With NXNE taking up most of our lives in this hectic June window, it's easy to filter out events that are non-music related which is something to be mindful about!
You could miss really great moments, like, I don't know, bumping into Marina Abramovic on the street? Witnessing John Malkovich save a life?! (In the latter case, though, I trust that you, too, would jump in and help, instead of gawk at the scene. Right? Right.)
That said, the moment I refused to miss that day was Jordaan Mason's book launch at Glad Day for his debut novel, The Skin Team. I haven't read the whole thing yet, but judging from the readings, the universe is in for a literary treat.
And of course, NXNE 2013 would not have been done right without catching Villagers at all. Brooklyn-based Brazos played just before the Dubliners at the Great Hall and got the crowd all comfortable in floor-sitting positions--something that just needs to happen more often, especially in the midst of a bustling festival week.
And as expected, Villagers tugged at everyone's heartstrings, even compelling from the crowd a sweet sing-along to "Becoming A Jackal".
(Buke & Gase)
Too many things were happening all over the city this past week. Full blocks, streets, major intersections were temporarily been shut down not just for NXNE but also for food, arts festivals, and Psy-hosting, Taylor Swift–attending award shows. Here's what went down! —Carmel
The National played a free show at Yonge-Dundas Square, steps away from our flagship store! Crowds were spilling out everywhere, so it made sense to take a couple of snaps.
With very limited commuting available and unrelenting traffic that only doubled up your cab fare, the travelling choice on hand was your own pair of legs.
(Buke & Gase)
From Yonge and Dundas, walked all the way to the Horseshoe for the Brooklyn-based Buke & Gase—a choice mostly made out of convenience. But what started off to be just a simple respite from walking turned out to be quite pleasant. The musical duo toted handmade instruments, skilfully playing tunes so sweet it nearly gave me a toothache. It should also be noted how watching them was kind of mesmerizing, in a way where your curiosity is piqued and your interest-levels tugged higher with each strumming of a string.
The UO x NXNE secret guests at Sneaky Dee's for the night were Majical Cloudz. It was an intense set, full of emotion-driven force and zeal, and I was glad to finally witness Devon Welsh perform. At one point, he sat on the floor (right next to me) and remained there for most of the night, with everyone else also sitting. It felt like the band and crowd were all part of one very important art piece.
One of our other secret shows for the night was Dan Deacon. He played an enthusiastic, dance-filled set in The Drake Hotel, and even though he had some problems with his equipment, he still turned out an amazing show.
He was even kind enough to let us bug him afterward for a Vine post! We asked him how to make new friends, right as some drunk dude was totally trying to make him his new friend.
It's hard to document events without ever mentioning the weather when they play such a significant role--like a villain in a story. But if said villain is terrifically-developed, it's also hard not to grow fond of him/her/it--as people do with Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, Spike or Dru in Buffy, Frankenstein, Professor Snape… you get the idea. I had a point there somewhere.
Instead of letting the rain soak festival spirits, Toronto pretty much embraced the atmospheric villainy. In between intermittent pouring, the guys behind Young Lions Music Club & Live in Bellwoods pulled off yet another Great Heart success at Trinity Bellwoods.
Headed again to the Arts & Crafts Pop Up a few blocks down, this time to see Toronto's Alvvays and Prince Edward Island's Boxer the Horse.
(Boxer the Horse)
And also managed to snap some rain-embracing style from festival-goers!
Brooklyn's Black Marble was also playing just a few steps away at the Blk Box. Caught them just before heading to the Comfort Zone for Braids. And unsurprisingly, so did every other festival-goer, it seemed. The queue outside took a fair bit, but whoever chose the venue for the Montreal-based band definitely had the right idea. Braids' music perfectly blended with the eerie glow-in-the-dark lighting.
My only regret that evening: not wearing a Picnic at Hanging Rock–dress!
Mikal Cronin was conveniently playing next door at the Silver Dollar, which proved to be my favourite set of the festival so far. Not only was the band great to watch but the crowd also held up its end of showing genuine fervour!
(The Soft Moon)
Around 2 A.M. one of our secret shows, The Soft Moon, went on at The Horseshoe Tavern and totally blew the crowd away.
At the end of the night, it just feels right to see broken guitar strings. —Carmel
Bear Mountain, one of the bands performing at our NXNE store showcase later today in Toronto, spoke to us about Canadian stereotypes, their intense show visuals, and whether or not they'd let Miley chill with them.
Interview by Katie Gregory
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
I would say our music blends a lot different genres and styles, but is mainly influenced by dance music. We are a live band that plays dance inspired music, with lots of vocals over top.
How did you guys all meet? What made you want to start a band?
Greg and I are brothers, and we’ve played in bands since we were teenagers. Kyle and I met in University and played in a prog punk band together. After that band broke up, I started making making beats on my laptop, and showed them to Kyle a few years later. I also made an acoustic guitar/vocal record, and we saw an opportunity to blend the styles of music.
How long have you all been playing music?
We’ve all been playing music since we were kids, and I think we all have wanted to play in bands for as long as we can remember. The four of us have been playing together for about 8 months, but Bear Mountain has been around for about two years. Kenji doesn’t even play music, however. He’s the fourth member of our band and he is on stage with us projecting live visuals and manipulating them in real time. Kenji saw us play live once, and he showed us what he was capable of visually. We asked him to join the band, and that’s when everything really came together.
You guys were just at Gov Ball in NYC, right? How was that? Heard the mud got crazy!
Yes, the mud was insane. We were lucky because we were playing under a tent, and a lot of people came under the tent to stay dry. It worked out for us because we had a huge crowd.
What are you most excited for with NXNE?
To be in Toronto! We all love Toronto and haven’t been back in a while, so we’re really excited to just be here and hang out in the city.
Who are the other acts you’re most excited to check out?
I think we’re all excited to see Fucked Up. They're a great band and we want to see them. Also I really want to see Boyz Noise.
Are you planning to go to any after parties?
Some of our friends are DJ’ing after our show at Wrongbar on Friday, and they definitely bring the party.
Can you tell us one thing about Canada that’s totally just a stereotype? And one thing about Canada that you wish everyone knew?
Do people think we’re all lumberjacks? It’s only sorta true. I wish everyone knew that Canada has some of the most beautiful women in the world. And that’s the truth.
What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened at one of your shows? Any stressful equipment or fan meltdowns?
There have definitely been some stressful moments with broken gear or gear not working. Our setup is sometimes intricate, so we need to trust that it’s going to work, but nothing too bad. Kenji’s visual setup is also pretty intricate, so we’ve learned to set up in 10 minutes. In terms of craziest things, we were playing at this place in Montauk, NY a few weeks ago, and Courtney Love got up on stage after our set and played an acoustic set...that was something.
Do you guys have any awesome summer travel plans? How do you get to all your shows?
We’re playing Lollapalooza in July, and then going to Mexico at the end of August! We’re really excited to tour Mexico and play Kenji’s hometown of Guadalajara. We usually tour in our Van, Nebby, and we’ve covered a lot of ground in that Van. It’s cozy, but comfortable.
Did you see that video of Miley Cyrus on stage with Juicy J? Would you ever let Miley get up on stage with you?
Helllllls ya we would. How could we say no to that? I would get in the studio with Miley too. I think that would be pretty dope.
This week we are up in beautiful Toronto for NXNE! There's a ton (like, ton) of cool shows going on, so you'll also be seeing guest blogger and Toronto native Carmel helping us out on some posts! We are all gonna have to be on top of our energy drink game if we want to keep up with everything that's happening. Since arriving yesterday we've been too busy to stuff our faces with poutine (soon), but we did make sure we had plenty of time to check out one of our secret shows, Merchandise, at Parts and Labor. Here's our recap! (And follow our Twitter to see what else we'll be up to.) —Katie
When we first got to Parts and Labor it was packed! Since we were early, we got to catch Milk Music's set and they were totally awesome. I'd been meaning to see them for a while, but they had never played near me, so it's like the fates aligned.
Seriously, if you get the chance to see Milk Music live, you definitely should. They put on an incredible show, and everyone was super into it. (Got a little warm, if you can't tell.)
After Milk Music ended their set, Carson Cox, frontman of Merchandise, came out for their secret set and was like, "Yo, it's my birthday! I'm drinking!" And everyone cheered. Happy birthday, dude!
Merchandise also put on a fantastic show. By the time they were a couple songs in, everyone was moshing like crazy and I was hiding behind a speaker because I am a delicate infant. Like, I would seriously like to give it up for how enthusiastic (drunk?) the crowd was the whole time.
At this point, everyone was going crazy. Carson threw his guitar down on the stage and hopped out into the crowd with all the fans. And that shirt? Stay young indeed, my friend. MAY WE ALL STAY YOUNG FOREVER.
People were 100% committed to this show, crowd-surfing every chance they got, even though the ceilings were probably no higher than 7 feet.
After the show ended we hunted everyone down to get this Merchandise and Milk Music hybrid band picture. Birthday boy on the right was having a blast and a half. Good job being handsome and talented, everyone.
It's like you're right up in the action, right? If only we could have .gif-ed the moment when Carson jumped out into the crowd. Thanks for an awesome show, guys! And everyone else, stay tuned for more posts from NXNE - we've got a lot more planned and we can't wait!
Our guest blogger Carmel hit up a bunch of NXNE shows yesterday, including one of our secret shows, Nu Sensae, and reported back with a quick recap of everything that went on! Choosing what bands to see every day is proving an impossible mission and it's only going to get more hectic from here on out. We can't wait!
(Secret show performers, Nu Sensae)
The city is yet to see much of summer this year. I don't know about you, but the grey, nippy outdoors is making me feel like we're running around Edinburgh rather than Toronto in high summer. Luckily we saw a bit of sun yesterday!
NXNE kicks off next week, and our 2nd annual FREE day show is happening on June 14 at the Queen St., Toronto, Urban Outfitters store. The shows start at noon and there will be plenty of bands to keep you dancing, like Decades, Bear Mountain, Beach Day, Still Corners, and Dusted. It's a great way to kick off all the awesome NXNE events!
Event starts at noon on June 14 at the Urban Outfitters located at 481 Queen St., West Toronto, Ontario. —Katie
Bad Day, the Toronto-based interview and editorial magazine, has made its archive of back issues available online. The issues, which feature style icons like Glenn O'Brien and Charlotte Gainsbourg, actors such as Jason Schwartzman and James Franco, and low-key fashion shoots with skinny naked chicks, are mostly out of print and being made available digitally for the first time. Check out the archive for some of the best, minimalist print design I've seen in awhile. —Angelo
Graphic designer Geoff McFetridge has a new solo show in Toronto at the Cooper Cole gallery (1161 Dundas St West), running now until the 8 of December. Always insanely graphic, this show features acrylic paintings and a limited run of screen prints. Though McFetridge is from Canada, this is his first solo show there. Definitely a must see for anyone close to the area. Check out more work from the show here. -Lorin
I can't sign on to Tumblr these days without seeing more and more adorable drawings by teen girls on the web, and Ella of Skellaton is one of those rad girls. Her pastel colored Kawaii aesthetic would make even Sailor Moon jealous. - Hazel