7 acts to see at NXNE

There are 1000 bands playing NXNE this year, and this is the first time I’ve heard of Tourism Toronto championing the growing festival and music scene here as a major attraction. So, before NXNE becomes the monster that is SXSW, you might enjoy some of its remaining intimacy — and the fact Canadian bands still rule the schedule. Get a wristband here, and consider the following Can-con acts.

1. Montreal jealousy

The name Majical Cloudz aside, singer-songwriter Devon Welsh’s “existential meta-pop” is a serious contender. He has a deep, anguishy voice, and is now signed to Matador. Yet another act lifted by Grimes’ magical touch and Montreal label Arbutus in his humble beginnings.

Majical Cloudz plays Saturday June 15 @ BLK BOX, 12 a.m.


2. Retro, B-movie

We’ve been following grimey post-punks Ell V Gore – fronted by local scenester and Pretty Pretty label head Elliot Jones – for a while, and they’ve finally released their debut EP, Sex Static. Already lauded by a bunch of music-snob sites, the EP’s out this month on Bad Actors, label of Fucked Up’s most prolific member Ben Cook.

Ell V Gore play Blk Box June 13 at 11 pm and the Garrison June 16 at 10 pm


3. Weedeaters

Saskatchewan’s critically acclaimed Shooting Guns invite you to sit back, light one up, and hallucinate (or meditate) on their thick, slow-grind, doom metal, while the world implodes around you.

Shooting Guns plays Friday June 14 @ The Hideout, 10p.m.


4. Earnest rhyme

Montreal’s Jai Nitai Lotus is all about producing and rapping over “timeless” music. He’s got jazz, he’s got soul. He’s experimental and intellectual, and at age 31 he’s just coming into his prime.

Jai Nitai Lotus plays Thurs. June 13 @ Nocturne, 12am


5. Heavy, raw

Nü Sensae, shrieking garage punk duo from Vancouver, whose sophomore release “Sundowning” made them critic darlings last summer.

Nu Sensae play Friday June 14, 12am, @ Parts n Labour


6. Precious, artsy

Lush, looping vocals define the new project of Braids singer Raphaelle Standel-Preston — called Blue Hawaii, who Polaris prize jurors have taken note of with the release of their debut album on Arbutus records. The Montreal label’s showcase at The Comfort Zone will also feature up-and-coming mustachioed crooner Sean Nicholas Savage.

Blue Hawaii play Thursday June 13 @ Comfort Zone


7. Blogger-friendly, ADD

Halifax producer Ryan Hemsworth has caught the attention of U.S. rappers and the electronic music elite over the past two years for his ablility to tactfully remix everything from Backstreet boys to Danny Brown. Plus, he’s apparently moving to Toronto this weekend, so let’s give him a warm welcome.

Wil McCarley

I’m Wil McCarley, a photoStacy2grapher based in Amarillo Texas specializing in commercial photography and portraits.

Every photograph I take is the result of many years learning and gaining experience in bringing out the best in someone or something. A photograph is not just a piece of paper, it’s a moment frozen in time that is priceless. I believe your photographic images should capture that essence which is truly you. There’s only one person in this world like you. You have your own unique look, personality, taste and style.  Capturing that essence takes artistry, preparation, and time. I take the time to see the things that make you special, and create images that reflect your spirit. 

Mares of Thrace The Pilgrimage

Album Review: Mares of Thrace “The Pilgrimage” is the most evil thing

Tearing out of the gate with all the fury and ferocity of their fire-breathing, flesh-eating namesakes, Calgary doom-noise duo (and newest members of Sonic Unyon Metal) Mares of Thrace have unleashed the follow-up to their critically-acclaimed 2010 debut The Moulting. Titled The Pilgrimage and broken into three acts thematically tied to the biblical story of King David and his seduction of Bathsheba, this record is without a doubt one of the most evil things I have ever had the privilege to listen to.

Seriously. It’s this and Reign in Blood.

The duo’s sound has been refined quite a bit since The Moulting. The former bassist in Juno-winning metallers KEN Mode, Thérèse Lanz’s uses a super-modded baritone guitar (complete with a bass pickup designed by Converge’s Kurt Ballou). It’s an instrument capable of sounding crushing, crunchy and perfectly melodic all within the same song. Stefani MacKichon’s pounding, jazz-trained drum attack also demands some serious kudos, but Mares of Thrace have axed some of the more experimental breakdowns that could be found on The Moulting in favour of a more consistent assault on the eardrums. Lanz’s vocals are perfect for the kind of rabid-animal sound the band’s music creates, and she shifts effortlessly between her hardcore-influenced screams and a damn impressive death growl.

The Gallwasp by Mares of Thrace

Tracks like The Gallwasp really define what makes Mares of Thrace such a pleasure. It begins with a slow, lurching riff that violently gives way to MacKichon’s relentless pounding of the drum and Lanz’s horrific shrieks and roars. This is strongly-flavoured extreme metal and it tastes so good (though I suspect if Mares of Thrace were a beverage, it would be a rather noxious flesh and blood puree).

The duo still find opportunities to play with their sound – a too-rare thing in modern heavy metal. The centrepiece of Act III’s The Three-Legged Courtesanis a thoroughly sinister-sounding riff that reminds me of the kind of void-evoking doom metal that Pallbearer recently mastered so perfectly. Make no mistake though, Mares of Thrace are all about throwing you into the fire, and there’s no shortage of wailing and gnashing of teeth on The Pilgrimage.

If you’ve read our coverage, you might remember my bellyaching about the lack of attention paid to metal in the Canadian music industry. The Pilgrimage could potentially do everything to change that. This album is all venom, fury and fire. Let’s hope it peaks the interest of the metalheads on the Polaris Prize jury this year.

Barranquilla Colombia

Barranquilla Colombia has no established record of the its foundation, but residents traditionally commemorate the city’s anniversary on April 7. That same date in 1913 Barranquilla was legally established as a village.

Being Colombia’s first port and thanks to its level of industrialization and modernity, Barranquilla is often referred to as La Puerta de Oro de Colombia (Colombia’s Golden Gate) and as La Arenosa (The Sandy City). Also, South America’s first airport ever, Enrnesto Cortissoz international Airport, was built in Barranquilla in 1919 and is the world’s second oldest commercial airline still in business. Avianca Airlines was founded in this city as well.

Barranquilla is the biggest city in the Atlantic coast of Colombia and it’s the country’s fourth largest city after Bogota, Medellin and Cali.

Geography and Climate

The highest point you’ll find in Barranquilla is at 142 meters above sea level with temperatures around 32 degrees Celsius all year long thanks to its location along the coast. Throughout the day, temperature can change thanks to the strong winds the city receives between late November and early April. Rainy season takes place between April and June and from August to November.

Barranquilla’s Carnival

Throughout the years the city has developed business and commercial business especially during times of carnival and the end of the year when it receives a large amount of visitors.

Carnival takes place and lasts 4 days leading to “Ash Wednesday” which is a Catholic Religion festivity that takes place in February or early March. In Barranquilla Colombia you will find the best hotels in the north of the city near the business districts and shopping centers along with other small budget hotels and inns. They all ready up for the high season so they all provide the best service possible for everyone who visits.

During the carnival you get the chance to witness a musical competition where important national and international bands compete in different categories for the legendary Golden Congo. You get to listen to salsa merengue and vallenato which are very popular music genres in Colombia.


As mentioned before, the northern part of Barranquilla Colombia houses the best neighborhoods, shopping centers and parks. The variety of hotel branches affects the prices and provides more options for you to plan your vacation and not hurt your pocket. Neighbor villages that are located no more than one hour away by road offer camping facilities and hiking trips.

The Zoo in Barranquilla holds both native and exotic animal species while emphasizing in Colombian fauna and promoting the protection of endangered animal species. You can also visit “the mouth of the Magdalena River” which is often referred to as “Bocas de Ceniza”. This is the access to the port of Barranquilla where you can ride small boats along the river and visit the restaurants long its shores.

Dentata’s got bite


Dentata’s got bite3 a.m. is no time to begin writing. But Canadian Music Week has had me up all night, bouncing from one sweaty, gross venue to the next. I guess many of us will have to do the same thing today. It’ll be a tough slog. Toronto’s Dentata aremuch tougher than that. In fact, they’re the most hard-bitten thing you’re likely to hear during CMW. In what seems to be a nebulous mix of indie rock bands and singer-songwriters (and I must stress I love seeing these artists as well), Dentata are mean, scary, and rough.

Their sound reminds me of the earliest of Hole records, back when Courtney Love had Kurt Cobain writing her songs and she still seemed to possess an ounce or two of credibility. They play a thick, heavy version of gothic punk that demanded I follow them up with a serving of Black Sabbath and Black Flag.

Dentata have been making the rounds in the Toronto scene for a while now. We covered them back in 2011 as one of our bands to watch. Since then they’ve gone through a line-up change (their drummer left the band this year) and they’re hard at work on an EP. What you really need to know is that that this kind of blistering punk is rare these days, and Dentata are making a great brand of raw, aggressive music.

They attracted the attention of filmmaker Richard Kern, who’s work with artists like Henry Rollins and Sonic Youth makes Dentata seem like a natural fit. The video for Earwig (above) was released earlier this year, and makes the most of the band’s sex appeal (Ha. As if Kern is interested in doing anything else).  Yeah, Dentata are a pretty sexy band, but there’s a great sound behind their image, and their music is what makes Dentata so intense on stage.

Seriously. If nothing else, they have a great name.