North By Northeast 2013 Band Recommendations (NXNE 2013)

Toronto’s version of Austin’s SXSW – North By Northeast – is finally about to kick off. I know Canada gets mocked for being cold, but I think Austin in March is going to be warmer than June in Toronto, based on the insanely cool weather we’ve had in 2013. But we’re not here to talk about the cool weather, we’re here to talk about hot bands (worst segue ever?).

NXNE is here starting today, but the music doesn’t kick off until Wednesday. There are WAY too many bands for you to see, so let PeteHatesMusic tell you about some of the better ones. We’re not perfect, despite the certificate saying so in my office, so apologies for some of the awesome bands that we might have missed. Without further adieu, our picks for NXNE 2013. Check out our playlist, handmade just for you (well, for me, but pretend it’s for you). Note: schedule subject to change – always double check that shit.

Like Canadian Music Week, PeteHatesMusic is an accredited media outlet and we’ll have a reviewer and a photographer at shows across the city. So say hello, and check back here for great pics and some average, two syllable words. We love tweets, too – @PeteHatesMusic.


I’ll fully admit that my heart isn’t in the first night of the festival, only because I’m seeing CHVRCHES yet again. Hey, they were our first video interview, and you never forget your first. But some acts you should check out include:

Rituals (from Toronto) – The Shop at Parts and Labours at 10pm

Calexico (from Tuscon, Arizona, USA) – Your wristband won’t get you into this one at Mod Club at 10pm.

Mozart’s Sister (from Montreal) – Rivoli at 11pm. Granted I only know one song, but it’s a good one.

Reuben & The Dark (from Calgary) – The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern at 11pm. A new signing by Arts & Crafts.

Yup, I made four recommendations with two pairs at the same time, and I won’t be at any of them. This post can only go up from here…


Inlet Sound (from Toronto) – Playing Cameron House at 8pm. We caught them at Canadian Music Week, and recommend you do the same (at NXNE not CMW, unless you have a time machine)

Animal Parts (from Toronto) – Playing Dakota Tavern at 8pm

Loon Choir (from Ottawa) – At The Great Hall at 9pm. Rich saw them at the Ottawa Bluesfest last year and highly recommended them.

BRAIDS (from Montreal) – Playing Comfort Zone at 11pm

Sunclef + Peroff (from Toronto) – Part of the URBNET showcase at Sneaky Dee’s, at 12am. It’s Toronto producer Sunclef with Broken Social Scene / Eight and a Half drummer Justin Peroff.

Pick A Piper (from Toronto) – The Painted Lady at 2am (also Friday at Comfort Zone at 11pm). It’s another band from Caribou drummer Brad Weber.


Still Corners (from London, UK) – Urban Outfitters (Queen St W just west of Spadina) at 3pm and The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern at 10pm

The National (from Brooklyn, USA) – Yonge-Dundas Square at 9:10pm (free show!). This will be RAMMED. Stay away (if only so I can get to the front)

The National – Don’t Swallow the Cap

St. Lucia (from St. Lucia Brooklyn) – Wrongbar at 12am

Gold & Youth (from Vancouver) – BLK BOX at 1am. Check out our interview with the band, too.

Gold & Youth – Jewel

The Luyas (from Montreal) – Sneaky Dee’s at 1am


Mikal Cronin (from San Francisco, USA) – Part of the awesome Bruise Cruise on Lake Ontario at 3:20pm. Also playing a residency of sorts at the Silver Dollar at 12am Thursday and Friday, and then 1am on Saturday.

Villagers (from Dublin, Ireland) – Sidedoor (part of the Soho House) at 8pm, and also The Great Hall at 12am

The BB Guns (from Toronto) – Lee’s Palace at 9pm. We recommended them yet missed them for Canadian Music Week. Hoping to make amends this week.

Eight and a Half (from Toronto) – BLK BOX at 11pm. We were previously impressed with them when they opened for the Jezabels. Some math: Justin Peroff of Broken Social Scene + Dave Hamelin and Liam O’Neil of The Stills = Eight and a Half.

Majical Cloudz (from Montreal) – BLK BOX at 12am. The video below is brilliant.

Majical Cloudz – Childhood’s End

Sunday – I recommend sleep. Or Ludacris (if he’s your style) who is replacing Big Boi, who would’ve been a must-see.

Check out the NXNE poster of marquee performers below, to perhaps compliment the PeteHatesMusic suggestions above. And of course, check out our playlist below.

NXNE 2013 poster

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