NORTH BY NORTHEAST 2010

 BY: FRIDAE MATTAS 

PHOTO BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

 Right in the middle of my review for Jersey Boys I felt I needed to stop and jibber about North By Northeast 2010  first. North By Northeast is a Music Festival and Conference that is held every year in Toronto since 1994. Let’s get to the point, first band I missed and that was Mudhoney but I mangaed to reach just in time for  ‘X The Band’  who were headlining that night at Yonge Dundas Square. They were in the first wave of American Punk back in the 70’s and consider themselves legends. They are Exene Cervenka – Vocals, John Doe – Bass/Vocals, Billy Zoom – Guitar and don Drums DJ Bonebrake. The sound was so bad I couldn’t hear the vocals and I’m sure that’s how the rest of the show panned out as well. After the third track as usual I floated away those were the rules and they weren’t GZA. My video camera is nothing hi-tech but the sound is Dolby digital and does what it needs to do well. I was hoping Fridae Cam could at least pick up the vocals my ears couldn’t hear. Nope! As I played back the footage even when you could hear the vocals they were just not good enough to make the cut. The band played well but the music needs to be revamped if they plan on staying afloat. X wasn’t the only band that didn’t make the cut, there were so many bands I saw this year who were not even compelling enough for an honorable mention.  

PHOTO BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

 As always you can find the links to all the mentioned artists at the end of the article along with the slideshow of photographs and linkies to the videos. The next mission was to see “Terracotta Pigeons” from Darwin Australia; they played at the Bovine Sex Club Thursday June 17th. Steven Smith is the bands creator; he rocks the cans while singing. In my life I’ve only seen two other bands with the drummer as the lead singer, this year at NXNE there were three bands with a singing drummer. Terracotta Pigeons were alright, I liked a few of their songs but they need to work on timing and tightening up the band to make it sound a little more fluid. Vocals could also use some work, a few pitchy notes my ears heard. I do give him credit, it is harder to play the drums and sing than most of the other combos. Terracotta Pigeons are still unsigned but probably won’t be for too long. Could not stay for the whole set as always with every music festival, a little here, a little there, we had to migrate checking other venues and bands to see if their music was poppin’. Nothing was really any good! For me its still so very strange and forever will be bizarre to not cross over to Queen Street’s southeast corner at Bathurst and pop into the Kathedral, Reverb or Holy Joe’s, boooo!

PHOTO BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

We eventually ended up seeing ‘The Junction from Brampton Ontario. I’ve never seen them live before but I do remember their publicist sending me a press release recently. One of my homies who floated with also told me about The Junction, he harassed the shit out of us to go check them out at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern. (Laughs) he didn’t bother us too much I’m just playin’ (Laughs). The Junction is: Michael “Tip” Taylor on Drums, Matt Jameson – Bass and Brent Jackson – Vocals/Guitar. They hit the stage; the crowd was already hyper and drunk from the previous band ‘The Ghost Is Dancing’. Not bad from what I caught in the last track of their set. Surprisingly people stuck around to see ‘The Junction’ the last band of the night, the Shoe did have a 4am last call as did most of the venues. The music was upbeat poppy rock; the crowd clearly enjoyed the sounds as they were dancing everywhere. It was a bit difficult to film because of all the people crowding the stage, I only filmed one track and stayed for most of the set which was entertaining. Vocals were a little off key in a few tunes but it also seemed as if he was nervous. Guitar and Bass sounded great as did the beat, everything was solid.

PHOTO BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

It started out a little slow for me on Friday June 18th, wandered over to NXNE HQ handed out some super ghetto FridaeTV flyers but did not hit up any conferences. Later I was notified of a Red Bull party with an open Grey Goose bar! Now, that my friends, is something you simply can’t refuse! They say it was the biggest NXNE yet but I don’t know about that, you’d think people who love music would be hitting up NXNE.

Nope!  

ALL PHOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

 Yes, the Yonge Dundas Square FREE shows pulled in a crowd. Think that people would come check out a few other shows after, since there are over 500 bands playing at venues across the city. But that’s not the case here, people would rather line up days before an award show just to get a glimpse of Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber than check a budding Indie band.  

ALL PHOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

 Cyrus and Bieber were appearing at the Much Music Video Awards on the 20th. They were working on the set up the whole week, this is the second year they’ve had the MMVA’s during NXNE. I so should have taken the Much staff NXNE passes when a volunteer asked me if I worked for Much Music but I didn’t because I don’t work there and I would rather not. 

ALL PHOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

I really don’t like people telling me what to do, especially if I can do everything myself, I am boss at FridaeTV and that’s how it’s always going to be. I choose the content and if it happens to be ass that’s all on me, everyone has their different tastes. Would rather be shot than cover redundant mainstream super ass like Cyrus or have a fake reality show like the ones MTV has on rerun all day. Where’s the music? The GOOD music?

FridaeTV was created to help indie bands and artists that I thought had something unique obtain some exposure, if I could with one video sway a signing that is always awesome! FridaeTV has evolved into more than just Indie band pimping since its inception in 2008. In just a few short years, there have been so many talented artists that I filmed, shot and jibbered with, Fashion shows and Festivals covered, along with interesting random things I’ve come across. There are almost Four Hundred videos on FridaeTV YouTube and now that I’m working on the full website, it’s going to be interesting to see how the future unfolds! I am a very artistic person who likes fascinating off the wall energies; I also love effervescent beings and creations. Everyone has their guilty pleasures!    

 

ALL PHOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

The usual spots like “The Hideout”, “Rivoli” and “Horseshoe” were rammed but not as overly packed as last year. The Bovine was so easy this year, no lines nothing. Last year it was bitch to get into with these crazy lines, it didn’t matter if you had a pass or not. Enough about that let’s get back to the open bar Red Bull Party where “Hot Hot Heat” a band of four larries from Vancouver, BC was to rock out. ‘Hot Hot Heat’ is Steve Bays – Vocals/Keyboards, Paul Hawley – Drums, Luke Paquin – Guitar, and Parker Bossley – Bass. I was going in blind, had yet to see this band live but as always I was curious to find out how it went down, you must try everything once. A couple from of our crew migrated elsewhere and a few of us stayed behind to catch the performance. The band set up in a corner; there wasn’t a “stage” just a space they had with speakers and gear. The Red Bull Toronto HQ is fabulous and has my name all over it! The only thing missing from making it the perfect spot is a patio of sorts.

ALL PHOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

 

Once the band started to play I noticed the guitar sounded a little funky, by funky I mean out of tune. He eventually fixed it and started to blend in with the rest of the band. Vocals were not up to par especially for a signed band, pitchy too often. If you can’t sing better than I, there is no point in you wasting my time. Always give people credit for being unique and if their vocals aren’t that great it’s okay as long as you have a distinctive interesting sound, nobody is perfect. There was no excuse for Bays except the playing of the keyboard but it’s not like they were complex Beethoven tunes. When he did migrate away, the vocals were still unsteadily unpleasant. Another issue was enunciation; the lyrics were mumbled, could not understand a word he was saying unless it was the chorus but only because the same words were repeated. Right in the middle of a song it went pitch black, the power cut out! The emergency lights kicked in for the time being but boo for the band their set was squashed, no power! I would go check Hot Hot Heat again only because they were cut off, everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. 

ALL PHOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

A few more drinks and off it was to the El Mocambo (ELMO) to check ‘White Cowbell Oklahoma’  yeah, that didn’t happen for me.    

 

ALL PHOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

 When we reached, the Elmo it was rammed! No way was I going to get into that crowd and try getting some decent footage! I twas hopeless, I watched a minute of the set from the large open window before migrating over to the Supermarket for ‘The Envy’ 

 I haven’t seen those larries play since I first saw them rock out, when they opened for ‘Art of Dying’ in Peterborough at The Montreal House last year. ’The Envy’ is the first band Gene Simmons of Kiss signed onto his recently resurrected record label  “Simmons Records” affiliated with Remedy Music/Universal Canada. The band was then a little rough around the edges but had extreme talent especially vocals. Now they are exactly what a major band needs to be, entertaining, vibrant and talented. The Envy has an incredibly bright future ahead of them with their debut record in the works and their tour with Kiss only a week away; this band is going places. 

 

PHOTOS BY: BARBARA PAVONE

Next group of larries on the list were not part NXNE although they Underground Realroad’s  first show in Toronto was at Suba Lounge a small venue just west of College and Spadina they are a Hip Hop group from Montreal. I reviewed their record a while back you can find it here. The crowd looked tired not enjoying these other wack MC’s on the stage, it was sad really. As soon as Underground Realroad hit the stage they got the crowd swaying to their beats and filling up the venue with their energy. They interacted with the people, worked with the audio issues pulling of a pretty stable performance. Everyone must check out Underground Realroad. If you’ve notice the change up in photos yeah, kinda left my memory card in my laptop and my still camera doesn’t shoot without one, it’s such a Diva! Thankfully my girl took a few shots of Underground’s performance as I filmed. 

PHOTOS BY: BARBARA PAVONE

 That’s a wrap for Friday it was time to party! Next day I caught the end of a conference then off it was on a musical mission once again! First stop was the Rivoli to check out…

ALL PHOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

Tim Chaisson and his band Morning Fold. One of my friends told me to come see him as I did and glad I did. Tim Chaisson is from Prince Edward Island and his Guitarist Tian Wigmore was fresh from the Hospital with bracelet and everything, talk about trooper. 

Tim is an extremely talented kid he’s only twenty three and a multi-instrumentalist, playing almost every instrument in his set from the Keys to Guitar to the Fiddle which he owned completely! 

ALL PHOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

The band did well not over shadowing the front man; all of their energies complemented one another. The rest of the band is Brien McCarthy on – Bass and Nat Lamoureux on the skins. The music is pop folk but I liked the fiddle fusion with an electric flare. I will definitely check out Tim Chaisson and Morning Fold again!   

ALL PHOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

Wandered over to the Hideout popping into whatever venue was on our way, just to see if there was anything attention-grabbing. Nothing to keep us entertained so off we continued to the Hideout where last year some stupid hoe jacked my three month old IPhone. I’m still not over it and I hope she gets a few more back handed karmic pimp slaps. The band on stage when we walked in was called “Future In Plastics” from Brooklyn, New York. They are a female fronted quintet, Eddie on drums, Coco – Vox/Keys, Paul on the Bass, Culley – Guitar and Jeffrey on the Keyboard. Future in Plastics has been the most eccentric band I have yet to see and Coco is the cutest pregnant singer I have come across. 

ALL PHOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

 It felt as if they belonged in an off  Broadway production, they had this theatrical ambiance about the music. The Guitar did need some work it was a little painful at times and I love the Guitar and when I see a band I need to hear it played properly otherwise I’d rather stay home and play it myself to hear some dire attempt at axe mastering.  

ALL PHOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

  After their set I wandered to a few other venues and eventually migrated back to the Hideout where a band from the Netherlands was rocking out! This band was called “Drive Like Maria”, they had a singing Drummer Bjorn Awouters who switched it up and rocked the axe for a few tunes. The lead guitarist is a female!! Props to her, Nitzan Hoffmann she absolutely shredded those strings her solos were so fascinating to watch and listen to! Now she’s an Axe Mastress! 

ALL PHOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

 And On Bass is Robin Vaan Saaze he did his thing. I really enjoyed their set as did Ballerina Bob! Drive Like Maria were the only band who rocked so hard they inspired Ballerina Bob the drunkest dancer to bust out some leaps and spins. He belongs in the next Flash Dance or Footloose films for sure! (Laughs) 

  

ALL PHOTOS BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

 What did I learn this year at North by Northeast? Nope I won’t gossip although I could have outed Lance Bass ten years before Perez, FridaeTV is strictly about the art, no Perez Hilton bullshit here. It doesn’t matter what you do for people it’s never enough, some are far too desperate and caught up in the hopes of fame and fortune but really it’s a lot of hard work. Some will do anything to get ahead, use as many as they can, you’d be surprised. But In the end, Karma decides whose careers live and whose die, the frauds always falter.

 COPYRIGHT © 2010 FRIDAE MATTAS FOR FRIDAE TV™

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www.youtube.com/FRIDAETV 

FRIDAE TV FACEBOOK 

www.nxne.com 

www.xtheband.com 

www.myspace.com/thejunction 

www.terracottapigeons.com 

www.timchaisson.com 

www.myspace.com/futureinplastics 

www.myspace.com/drivelikemaria 

www.myspace.com/theenvymusic 

www.undergroundrealroad.com 

www.hothotheat.com 

 

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