Wavelength @ Smiling Buddha (June 17-21)
Put simply, Wavelength knows its shit and will never not book an excellent show, and it’s taking over Smiling Buddha for the entirety of the festival. Lots of Wavelength favourites are scattered across the five nights, from Moonwood to Man Made Hill to Sexy Merlin, as well as general awesomeness from The Holy Gasp, Overnight, Dirty Frigs, Bart, and so many more.
NXNE + Say Media Presents (June 17, Drake Hotel)
The first day of most festivals is a bit sparser on must-see music, but the Drake is bucking that trend with a killer lineup of Diana, Bernice, Prince Innocence and Ginla. Hard to top that.
Halifax Pop Explosion Presents (June 18, Handlebar)
One of Toronto’s most underrated musical venues will be the site of some awesome (mostly) east-coast tunes, from the slick electronics of Vogue Dots to the “hop-on-pop” excellence of Walrus to the uplifting Glory Glory.
The Agency Group Presents (June 18, Sneaky Dee’s)
One of the buzzier showcases this NXNE, Montrealers Jesse Mac Cormack and Folly & The Hunter, who just released their lush album Awake, will be sure to hit you in the feels (as they say) and see if the hazy pop sounds of Grounders really are your soundtrack for the summer.
NXNE & PAPER BAG RECORDS PRESENT: #PPR100 (June 18, Lee’s Palace)
Indie label heavy-weight Paper Bag Records is celebrating their 100th release with a packed NXNE show. With appearances by Woodhands, The Acorn, Cuff the Duke, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, PS I Love You, many, many more AND surprises, this one will be a doozy.
M For 159 Manning (June 19)
If you’ve got a strong constitution, you have the chance to see 15 bands over the course of 12 hours. And it’s no light lineup either — the aforementioned Bart, the recently-reviewed Sasha Chapin and the zany Fat as Fuck are just one-fifth of your options.
Aidan Knight @ MOD Club (June 19)
We don’t hide the fact that we owls are huge fans of Aidan Knight and his band of Friendly Friends. With a new album on the way, (listen to the beautiful lead single here) Knight’s show at the MOD Club is the perfect place to preview his new songs.
Telephone Explosion / Pleasence Records / Weird Canada showcase (June 19, Soybomb)
NXNE just got a lot weirder thanks to this super team’s showcase. Discover some new music with their all Canadian lineup of Moss Lime, who we recently fell in love with, Blonde Elvis, Moon, and DAS RAD. Not feeling too adventurous? DAS RAD are described as “proto-stoner” so you should probably go hear what that sounds like.
Yonge-Dundas Square (June 20)
Normally we’re not one to cheerlead the Yonge & Dundas shows, but boy oh boy is this one of the best bills we’ve ever seen. Sure, the New Pornographers will put on a wonderfully joyous set at 9 p.m., but before that there’s an outrageously good lineup including blog favourites Most People, Pang Attack and Dilly Dally. Whether you’re passing by YDS in the afternoon or settling in for the day, it’s guaranteed to be a great time.
NXNE: Sonic Boom + PPOP Label Fair (June 20, The Garrison)
A heavenly pairing of music buying and music listening, spend your Saturday seeing Hush Pup, Old and Weird, Jennifer Castle and way more perform while browsing through stacks on stacks of music.