The merits of NXNE are up for debate, but what isn't are the great new Canada-based bands and musicians that play every year. We've assembled a series of mini-profiles of some smaller acts you should check out.
Language Arts make weird, jolly and ornate pop music. They play The Silver Dollar tonight at 10PM with You'll Never Get To Heaven and Seoul.
What do you play?
A beautiful guitar that is green and gold and my vocal chords, in a band called Language Arts. It has been described as art-pop, prog rock and sometimes even hip hop, but I think it depends on the song. It is composed with a classical type of organization (Kristen) but has the antics of jazz schoolers Neil MacIntosh (drums), Joel Visentin (keys) and Soren Nissen (bass) contributing to the sound.
Where are you from and what's your favourite thing to do there?
I come from the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, Neil comes from Dartmouth, Joel comes from Winnipeg and Soren comes from Saskatoon. We're a band of nice and overly polite people. We're all based out of Toronto, though, where there's lots of other nice people.
What were you doing before you started answering these questions?
I was practicing for the show on my own, trying to sing with a pretty bad head and chest cold and starting to get worried that I will get more sick and not better before our show. Before that I was eating Ramen that I made for my roommate and I, from scratch. It was good.
How should we prepare for your NXNE show?
We are playing mostly new songs. Some of which have never been performed before. We are playing without our bass player since he can't come, so we're all multi-tasking to fill in the parts, especially Joel, he is playing keys and synth bass. Laura Anderson will be joining us on vocals. She's got a beautiful voice. We are lucky to have her. Be prepared for fun experiements, new sounds and us giving you our best taste of the newer material.
What present should a fan bring for you to the gig to show their appreciation?
A short written story about something you did that was nice and good. Post-It sized works best, I don't want to take up too much of your time.
What's your favourite show you've ever played?
Our album release at the Horseshoe Tavern on April 10th. We were sharing a lot of love on stage and with the amazing audience. It was bliss.
What's your favourite thing on the Internet right now?
Sadly I am addicted to reading my horoscopes because I want to know what the future holds. Aparently it is going to be pretty good... Otherwise, I like testing out music I have never heard before, so I can add more records to my wish list.
Who are you most excited to see at NXNE and why?
Gee... so many! Viet Cong, Mutual Benefit, Dan2Man (at Laugh Sabbath), Low, St. Vincent, Perfect Pussy, Spoon, METZ...
Viet Cong is one of my favorite things happening in Canada right now.
Perfect Pussy is getting a lot of buzz over not a lot of time, so I want to know what their show is like.
St. Vincent and Spoon are an obvious choice.
What's your favourite summer activity?
Going to my family cottage on Prince Edward Island to see my parents, sisters, nephews, aunts/uncles and cousins! It is the most magical place in the world.
Are you working on any new music? Describe its sound using a food analogy.
Yes, we have a new record written! It is like a small breakfast burrito with a smoothie. I am basically describing a tasty breakfast from Sadies Diner here... All of the essential elements rolled up or mixed up into a spicy (burrito) or sweet (smoothie) variety of fun and satisfaction. How's that for a marketing ploy?
What artist perk do you wish NXNE gave out?
Free breakfast from Sadie's Diner!
Post a YouTube video that's the opposite of your band