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article imageOp-Ed: Highlights of Toronto's North-By-Northeast Festival

By Bryen Dunn     Jun 12, 2012 in Entertainment
Toronto - North-by-Northeast takes over the streets of Toronto from June 11th to 17th with nearly 800 bands from around the world playing dozens of venues across the city.
In addition there are over 40 music related films screening, a slew of interactive networking workshops, celebrity showcases, and parties, parties, parties.
The most difficult thing about festivals like this is planning out your schedule and trying to keep to it. Word of advice – plan your schedule and be satisfied if you make it to half of what you wanted to see. The other time should be spent catching bands you never heard of, watching a film that you just stumbled upon, or taking time for a drink with one of the thousands of fellow music lovers that invade the city.
As usual, this year there will be four nights of free concerts at Yonge-Dundas Square, with the likes of Bad Religion, Flaming Lips, Matthew Good, and Raekwon & Ghostface Killah. There will also be many official and unofficial parties happening, such as the M for Montreal Bruise Cruise, the Audio Blood & Bonsound Rooftop Riot, VICE Magazine Bonfire, the Jägermeister Boneyard BBQ, and the Pretty Pretty & Wa Magazine NXNEXPERIMENT II. Most require just a simple RSVP for entry and often have free music, free food, free swag, and free booze!
As for live acts to catch here’s my ten recommendations for 2012.
1. Friends – Brooklyn band lays down heavy bass dub disco ala ESG style
2. Bleached – girl duo create 60’s shag doo-wop punk sounds for a summer romance
3. DJ Jonathan Toubin –returns after his near fatal injury delivering his brand of soul-rock
4. Bram Van 3000 – back on the scene after “Drinkin in LA” in the late 90’s
5. Creature – Montreal dance project with an infectious beat-happy groove
6. Spooky Rueben – expect the unexpected from quirky and kooky outfit
7. Dead City Beat – lofi drone from London, Ontario mixing various noises and sounds
8. FU - inventive Japanese opera-rock trio has to be heard to be experienced
9. Ivan Julian - founding member of the Voidoids and a recording member of the Clash
10. A Place To Bury Strangers – straight ahead rock and roll, loud as it gets
As for the film component, make sure you catch at least one of the following five picks.
1. Ecstasy – first chance to see Irvine’s Welsh’s new flick, already a hit in the UK
2. Jobriath AD – great documentary about an unknown glam-rock musician
3. Disposable Film Festival – selection of innovative low budget shorts from unknowns
4. Genius Within: The Inner Life Of Glenn Gould – spotlight on Canadian icon
5. Addictions – everyone has them in this age of technology and instant gratification
Live music typically begins around 8pm and can go as late as 4am for venues with late licenses. Various festival passes are available allowing entry to most everything based on capacity, or patrons have the option to pay at the door of each venue. There’s also a film festival pass or individual tickets. All ticket info can be found here,
Full music line up is here and full film details here.
Be sure to rest up in advance and stay hydrated throughout as this event packs a wallop!
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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