KEXP’s unending quest for new musical discovery takes us to some interesting countries and cities. Last week week, we got a chance to visit Toronto, Ontario, and attend the 2010 North by Northeast conference and even host our own showcase at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern with Elliott Brood, The Ghost Is Dancing, Warpaint, Free Energy, Dinosaur Bones & The Junction. As KEXP listeners, you’re no doubt aware of at least a handful of Canadian bands -- Caribou, The Stills, Tegan & Sara, The Weakerthans, Tokyo Police Club, Skinny Puppy, D.O.A., Holy Fuck, Japandroids, Broken Social Scene, The New Pornographers, Metic, Wolf Parade... and it just keeps going! -- but like any American city, Toronto has its own local scene full of bands nationally, internationally, and more regionally known. The NXNE showcases and related events were a terrific spotlight for all of these bands.
Our own showcase at the Horseshoe was a rousing success. A line formed outside for headliners Elliott Brood, who threw down as raucous a punk/folk set as they ever do. Before them, Toronto buzz band Dinosaur Bones showed what the fuss has been all about with a dynamic blend of melodic Brit pop and punchy garage rock. Two other Toronto bands followed: The Ghost Is Dancing crowded the stage with their half-naked bodies as they played an ecstatic set of energized party music, while The Junction, a local favorite, held the crowd at 2AM with their solid straight-forward rockers. Two U.S. bands rounded out the bill: the all-male Philadelphia rockers Free Energy hyped the crowd with their Ramones-meets-T.Rex stage presence, and the all-female shoegazers Warpaint turned out an enthralling shoegazing jam. Check out our photos from the night:
The Ghost Is Dancing:
All photos by Jim Beckmann and Scott Holpainen. View more here.