Saturday’s NXNE picks: Handsome Furs, Memoryhouse, Chad VanGaalen and more
Tonight is the unofficial last hurrah for the North by Northeast faithful—and that means it’s going to be a good one. The bars are open until 4 a.m. and the concert lineup is chock full of quality acts. We have vacation brain just thinking about it (this weekend is supposed to be sunny after all), so here are a few of our favourite summer picks. The best part: they’re all on one sweet day. Check out selections for Saturday, after the jump.
It’s already been quite a year for the Montreal-via-Calgary band: they released a full-length record, toured North America and landed on the long list for the 2011 Polaris Prize. We think the acclaim is deserved, too. Check out “Lemonades” and “Glass Deers” if you want to find out for yourself—or just go see the show. 11 p.m. The Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. W., 416-537-0803.
2. Concert- Chad VanGaalen
Chad VanGaalen has been a hot commodity on the Canadian music scene for a while now—you may remember 2008’s “Willow Tree,” or his 2009 Polaris Prize–short-listed album Soft Airplane—but despite his previous success it took some serious self-editing to produce this year’s Diaper Island. But don’t let the title dissuade you. This album delivers exactly what makes VanGaalen a great musician: deeply personal songs, soaring vocals and guitar-driven tracks stick. 12 a.m. The Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. W., 416-537-0803.
Montreal’s Claire Boucher is Grimes, an experimental pop project with influences varying from R&B to goth music to “medieval organum”(whatever that is). But her music is perhaps best described as ethereal beat-driven electronic pop—or something like that. Catch one or both of her sets tonight. 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. 918 Bathurst, 918 Bathurst St., 416-538–0868 (first show); The Great Hall, 1087 Queen St. W., 416-537-0803 (second show).
Memoryhouse recently signed to Sub Pop Records—home to Beach House, Blitzen Trapper, Fleet Foxes and Iron and Wine—making them the unofficial pride of Guelph. Initially a project for Evan Abeele and Denise Nouvion to escape a bad case of the winter blues, the band’s music is hazy and hallucinatory, a sentiment captured perfectly in this music video. 1 a.m. Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W., 416-532-1598.
5. Concert—Handsome Furs
When Dan Boeckner announced earlier this year that Wolf Parade is retiring (at least for the time being), fans were understandably disappointed. At least until it became clear that Boeckner made the decision in order to focus on Handsome Furs with wife Alexei Perry. Their new album, Sound Kapital, was written on the road and will be released on June 28—be prepared for lots of new material later tonight. 1 a.m. The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St. W., 416-519-9439.