Tag Archives: nxne2015

Warpaint at NXNE 2015

Watching a band like Warpaint live brings all of your solitary iPod and at home listening to their music together.  It’s overwhelming, stunning and transcendental.  Warpaint was (hands down) the highlight of NXNE 2015.

Adelaide Hall in Toronto was to capacity last night.  The audience was there to witness Warpaint in the best intimate space in the city of the moment.  As I looked around the space, people danced to tunes like ‘Love is to Die’, ‘Elephants’, ‘Composure’, ‘Disco//Very-Keep it Healthy’.  They were ‘feeling it’.  It was worth the wait.  Smiles, laughter, high fiving neighbours and all the while inhaling the effervescent groove being laid down by Emily, Jenny Lee, Stella and Theresa.

If you weren’t dancing during the girls set or at least swaying to (as their Facebook page describes) – ‘smooth and smoky’ grooves, you weren’t doing it right.  Why even bother taking up the space?  Adelaide Hall had to turn away folks who arrived last minute  – Warpaint is now a hot ticket.

Warpaint formed in Los Angeles on Valentine’s Day 2004. The original lineup consisted of childhood friends Theresa Wayman and Emily Kokal alongside sisters Shannyn Sossamon and Jenny Lee Lindberg. The band played in the Los Angeles area for three years, writing songs (“Stars”, “Beetles”, and “Elephants”) which would eventually comprise their debut EP.

Warpaint’s Rough Trade Sessions is a must have for any music fan.  It’s full of stripped down nuances you may miss during their live shows.  It goes by too quickly when you see them live as evidenced last night.  Sometimes you want the cake’s sweetness to last forever and it doesn’t.  You need a take home.

NME has described their style as “Intermittently emerging from plaintive moods into harder rocking, they play expansive, lushly-harmonic psych-rock songs with enough time-changes to satisfy even the most beardy prog-rock bong-tokers.”

Warpaint’s sounds familiar.  Is that why we like them?  Perhaps, but that said, their sound fits perfectly into the fabric of our daily listening.  It’s effortless, sombre interludes, ache filling, reggae tones, a deep rock underbelly and anthem swooning.  Their music taps into thoughts, feelings and physical tension that we may have buried or have a hard time communicating.

NXNE 2015 did right in presenting Warpaint last night.  They embody NXNE’s spirit.  As they continue to climb and provide eager audiences with music that is genuinely poetically transformative – take the time to see them when they come to your town and reflect on their musical message.  You will be changed.

Check out Thirty Four Flavour’s Facebook Page for Exclusive Video captured at their NXNE Adelaide Hall performance.  https://www.facebook.com/thirtyfourflavours?ref=bookmarks


Ibeyi at NXNE 2015

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Ibeyi is a French-Cuban musical duo consisting of twin sisters, Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz. The duo sings in English and Yoruba, — a Nigerian language their ancestors spoke before being brought to Cuba by the Spanish to be made slaves in the 1700s — though Lisa’s is the lead voice. Naomi plays traditional Cuban percussion instruments cajón and Batá drum, while Lisa also plays piano.

Ibeyi is pronounced ee-bey-ee. In the Yoruba language this translates as “twins” as the ladies were to educate the audience with a *snap* last night.  Even in the midst of some tech issues – the genuine smiles, laughter and sweetness emanating from these two on stage was palatable.  How could we not fall in love?

You may think you are not keen on Yoruba, French, and Afro-Cuban jazz infused samples with traditional instruments – but once you are in, these twins will make you swoon, weep and smile for days.  I’m still smiling.



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This year, the headquarters for NXNE is located in a shiny new place – conveniently right near the bustling, hustling intersection of Queen and Spadina. Stop by to say hi, pickup your badge or wristband, and experience some of the great extra events/films/comedy programming NXNE has on the schedule.

Check out http://nxne.com/nxne-hub/ for more info in the days ahead!

Let’s do this!