05. 27. 14. 03:46 pm

Film – Vann “Piano Man” Walls: The Spirit of R&B


Vann “Piano Man” Walls was an influential American rhythm and blues piano player, songwriter, studio musician, and professional recording artist. He was a long-standing session player for Atlantic Records, appearing on hits by artists including Big Joe Turner, Ruth Brown, and The Clovers.

Vann “Piano Man” Walls: The Spirit of R&B is a film for anyone interested in rhythm and blues, the father of rock n’ roll.

Ahead of its Canadian premiere at NXNE, videographer Jean-François Hayeur followed director Steven Morris to Memphis for the American premiere of his film. See his footage of the trip below & visit the film’s official website for more details.

Van “Piano Man” Wall: The Spirit of R&B screens at NXNE 2014 on Sunday, June 15 at 12:30 pm at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. More details on the schedulizer.

NXNE Film wristbands are available here. Individual tickets for the film are also available via the Bloor Cinema.

Film – Vann “Piano Man” Walls: The Spirit of R&B was originally published on NXNE

05. 21. 14. 04:42 pm

Maica Mia – “Wish” on Exclaim! TV


Our friends at Exclaim! caught up with Maica Mia recently, giving us all a preview of  what’s to come at NXNE 2014. Read the post below (or be a purist and check it out on their website) & make sure to add the Montreal trio to your schedule.

Maica Mia “Wish” on Exclaim! TV
By Bradley Zorgdrager

Montreal’s Maica Mia are offering fans a unique experience to watch them record a live album at Breakglass Studios on June 14th. That live session album will be the follow-up to Des Era, the group’s first as a trio after adding Mauro Pezzente of Godspeed You! Black Emperor on bass. The album features a song entitled “Wish,” which the original duo performed for us in an Exclaim! TV session.

The urgency of the performance is accentuated by the purposefully shaky, VHS-quality of the filming, which hypnotizes over the course of its seven-minutes.

A North By Northeast performance will find the group invading Toronto venue the Garrison, presumably in full band form. For now, watch the streamlined version of the band perform live for Exclaim! TV in the player below.

Filmed by Roberto Granados-Ocon
Audio by Nash Bussieres
Edited by Tiana Feng

Maica Mia – “Wish” on Exclaim! TV was originally published on NXNE

05. 13. 14. 01:32 pm

NXNE Art’s Top Picks from OCAD’s 99th Annual Grad Exhibit

The NXNE Art team battled the Sharp Centre for Design’s relentless staircases to take in the creative forces coming out of OCAD. From May 1st-4th, OCAD University celebrated the graduating class of 2014 with its 99th annual graduate exhibition, one of the city’s biggest art events of the year. The work of more than 600 students was displayed across all floors that showcased illustrators, photographers, sculptors, and designers. Here are our top picks from the night.


Hudson Christie, www.hudsonchristie.com

Winner of the Illustration Medal at OCAD University for his thesis, Work-Life Balance, Christie’s playful clay scenes are injected with a humour that is both charming and sinnister.


Jen Schenkel, www.jenschenkel.ca

Critical of pop culture’s portrayal of beauty, Schenkel applied her graphic design skills to turn the tables on major beauty advertising campaigns. Using guerilla techniques, Schenkel assured that consumers are conscious of the real servings of self-esteem issues and anxiety they are buying with every product.


Suharu Ogawa, www.suharuogawa.com

Toronto-based illustrator originally from Japan, Ogawa ditched a life of books to pursue her passion for illustration. Her whimsical observations transform everyday scenes into a beautiful commentary that lend advice that too many people today ignore.


Sarah Elizabeth, www.freshly-toasted.com

Sarah Elizabeth’s thesis, CannaBliss, stood out as a well researched and marketable product for a budding industry. Taking a lead from legalized states such as Washington and Colorado, and the legalization of marijuana for medical use across North America, Sarah Elizabeth has designed a product to market marijuana for controlled and safe use for ailments such as headaches and sleep disorders. This is a moneymaker and we commend Sarah Elizabeth for keeping ahead of the curve.

NXNE Art’s Top Picks from OCAD’s 99th Annual Grad Exhibit was originally published on NXNE

05. 08. 14. 12:00 pm ♥ 1

NXNE Interactive Third Announce

NXNE Interactive is shaping up to be one of those can’t-miss, really-need-to-be-there sort of things – and we’re not just saying that because we’ve been working hard on pulling together a list of speakers, presenters, thinkers, and media moguls headed to the festival. Really. This year, we’ve curated one-of-a-kind talks from people who have a lot to say and a lot of experience working in and on: Music, Inspiration, Disruption, Discussion, and Creation.

We’ve already announced some of the people you can see at this year’s session over here: http://nxne.com/interactive/speakers, but if that wasn’t enough to fill your insatiable desire for learning – now we’ve got even more to tell you about.

Also heading to NXNE Interactive:

  • Mick Ebeling: The founder and CEO of Not Impossible returns to NXNE Interactive to give another inspiring talk. Last time, we heard about the incredible EyeWriter; now, he’ll tell us all about Project Daniel – a mission to print 3D hands for children in Africa – and how the maker community is rewriting the story of access. Presented by Say Media.
  • Scott Lamb: Take a break from all those Buzzfeed quizzes because the company’s vice president of international will be at NXNE Interactive, answering the question: “Where the fuck do ideas come from?” We don’t know about the rest of you, but usually we answer that question with “Buzzfeed.”
  • strong>Vanessa Thomas: If you’re in need of a new playlist for any situation of your life, then hopefully you’ve realized how amazing Songza is. Their managing director will be at NXNE Interactive to talk about the company and its huge online influence.
  • Golriz Lucina: From a best-selling book to “making stuff that matters.” SoulPancake’s creative director talks about digital disruption, what the site is hoping to accomplish, and how you can get involved.
  • Sakchin Bessette: If you were paying attention, we teased this out yesterday in our Art announcement. Moment Factory’s co-founder and creative director will speak about the company’s “WE DO IT IN PUBLIC” mantra.
  • Silona Bonewald
  • Ever wanted to be a Jedi? Emotiv’s product and community director will present live demos of brain controlled objects. Just don’t be a Darth, okay?

Hear from all of the above (and much, much more) at NXNE Interactive, June 17-21, 2014.

To access the keynotes, panels, and presentations, make sure you pick up the NXNE Interactive Badge or NXNE Platinum Badge.

NXNE Interactive Third Announce was originally published on NXNE

05. 05. 14. 10:54 am ♥ 1

Spotlight: Pif Paf Hangover


If you’re joining us in mourning the loss of our Raptors’ playoff hopes, we’ll recommend a dance party to get out all those emotions inevitably tied to a hashtag like #WeTheNorth. This aforementioned dance party comes care of Montreal, a town that’s probably dancing for another reason (aka one that rhymes with Manley Cup.) Here’s why you should be excited for Pif Paf Hangover at NXNE 2014.

Formed: 2009
Band Members: Max O Finn (vocals & guitar) / Gab Hardy (bass & vocals) / François Lelièvre (drums) / Emmanuel Boucher (keys & vocals)
From: Montreal-via-St-Jérôme
Album(s): Curry Love (2014)
For Fans Of: Artist of the Year, Metronomy, MGMT, robots dancing the robot
Talking Point: They’ve self-described their band via their choice of album cover, defining their identity as “a red-headed gay Jesus.” And if you’re wondering why they named their album Curry Love, there’s apparently two explanations. The Montreal Gazette got the G-rated version (“Our music is like a blend of different spices that make a whole.”) If you want the less family friendly version, you’ll probably need to ask them yourself…

More on Pif Paf Hangover on Facebook, Twitter, and bandcamp.

Tickets for NXNE 2014 are available here.

Spotlight: Pif Paf Hangover was originally published on NXNE

05. 27. 14. 02:51 pm

Showcase: M for Montreal & 159 Manning BBQ – June 20


Our amis at M for Montreal have teamed up with us for the sixth annual – and first NXNE official159 Manning BBQ. You can find us hanging out all day Friday at the infamous Dundas and Bathurst location, with doors opening at noon and three stages (curated by Timothy A. McCready and Justin Peroff) to keep you entertained.

No need to sneak a flask: this is BYOB. Feeling hungry? Food (from Smokes Signal Barbecue) is just $10 a plate.

159 Manning (159 Manning) | Friday, June 20
12:00 pm – doors open
1:00 pm – Bloodshot Bill (Backyard)
1:45 pm – Beliefs (Living Room)
2:30 pm – Twist (Backyard)
3:15 pm – Soft Hell (Basement)
4:00 pm – a l l i e (Living Room)
4:45 pm – Light Fires (Backyard)
5:30 pm – Death Hymn Number 9 (Basement)
6:15 pm – Sacred Harp Shape Note Singers (Living Room)
7:00 pm – Xiu Xiu (Backyard)
7:45 pm – Invasions (Living Room)
8:30 pm – Canailles (Backyard)
9:15 pm – Old Man Canyon (Living Room)
10:00 pm – KC Accidental (Backyard)

Plus DJ sets by Joel French, Sunclef, Paul Chin, Elaquent, and Gaven Dianda Dream Discs.

You can get in with your Platinum Badge or Music Wristband – but we recommend you arrive early because space is extremely limited and only the first 50 people will get in.

If you absolutely need to be there, a small batch of advanced tickets are also on sale now at Soundscapes and Rotate This for $20. 

More news on 159 Manning (plus information on the June 13 unofficial NXNE kickoff) over here.

Start planning the rest of your NXNE 2014 schedule here.

Showcase: M for Montreal & 159 Manning BBQ – June 20 was originally published on NXNE

05. 14. 14. 09:12 am

Spotlight: Krazy Drayz


If you’re in the mood for rap music this hump day, you’re going to want to pay attention to this – especially if you’re feeling particularly nostalgic for the nineties.

If you know anything about hip hop (or if you even watch The Chappelle Show,) then you probably know about Das EFX and the massive role they played on rap’s sound and the general “-iggedy” dialect. That’s why we’re turning the spotlight on Krazy Drayz –one half of Das EFX and someone you’re definitely going to want to see at NXNE 2014.

Formed: Krazy Drayz was born in 1970, if that counts as being formed. As a rapper, his rise to prominence kicked off in 1992 as half of American hip hop duo Das EFX. While he’d been recording solo material for years, he officially took a break from Das EFX to devote himself to his solo material in 2012.
From: Krazy Drayz originally hails from New Jersey, meeting rap partner Skoob while the two were both at Virginia State University.
Album(s): As a solo artist, he put out Showtime in 2012. Das EFX work includes platinum selling debut Dead Serious (1992), Straight Up Sewaside (1993), Hold It Down (1995), Generation EFX (1998), and How We Do (2003).
For Fans Of: Kriss Kross, Lords of the Underground, Common, early Jay-Z, Smif-n-Wessun
Talking Point: Krazy Drayz is noted for his hugely influential “iggedy sewa style,” consisting of gibberish words, tongue-twisting lyrics, and lots of syllables. For a throwback, you can hear him and the iconic line: “Chiggedy-check yo self before you wriggedy-wreck yo self” on Ice Cube’s 1993 hit “Check Yo Self.”

More on Krazy Drayz online, on Twitter, and at his Facebook.

Tickets for NXNE 2014 are available here.

Spotlight: Krazy Drayz was originally published on NXNE

05. 13. 14. 11:00 am

NXNE Comedy Announce

Want to hear a joke? That’s too bad, because unfortunately we don’t have any. But what we lack in punchlines we at least make up for in announcements – including the NXNE Comedy lineup.

Over 100 comics are headed to (or, in some cases, staying in) Toronto this June for NXNE Comedy, sponsored by Fleshlight. Among the funny people…

  • The funny mastermind mixing comedy, music, and big hair: Reggie Watts
  • Actor, comedian, writer, and podcaster Marc Maron (as part of NXNE Interactive)
  • English comedian & former Nevermind the Buzzcocks host Simon Amstell
  • Kroll Show‘s Andy Milonakis
  • Velvet Underground cover band The Pizza Underground, taking part in an all-ages show at the Edward Day Gallery on Friday, June 20 (… and yes, there will be free pizza) & a second set later that night at The Great Hall
  • The Kids in the Hall‘s Scott Thompson, fresh off covering the 2014 Winter Olympics for The Colbert Report
  • Match Game‘s Darrin Rose
  • Mark Little, as seen as Simon Hunt on CBC’s Mr. D
  • Dylan Gott, self-described as “Canada’s answer to Garfield”
  • Nigel Grinstead, the 2013 Cream of Comedy winner
  • Canadian Comedy Award winner Steve Patrick Adams
  • Mark DeBonis, winner of the Great Canadian Laugh Off
  • Matt O’Brien, who took home the title of Best Stand Up at the LA Comedy Festival
  • Much Music’s Video on Trial regular Eddie Della Siepe
  • & much more

In partnership with Empire Comedy Live, NXNE Comedy also presents:

  • Kurt Braunohler, host of The K Ohle with Kurt Braunohler podcast
  • American comedian Robert Kelly (not to be confused with the considerably less funny R. Kelly)
  • Just for Laughs Montreal favourite DeAnne Smith

We’re also teaming up again for special festival presentations of:

  • The Canadian Comedy Awards Alumni Show
  • Comedy Records with a selection of shows at Free Times Cafe
  • Rapp Battlez
  • The Fan Fiction Show, presenting Sailor Moon
  • The Epic Nerd Show
  • Raw & Hard
  • Sunday Night Live with The Sketchersons
  • Five nights of comedy at Vapor Central
  • Strip Comedy 

To get in on the laughs, get the NXNE Comedy Wristband. As an added bonus, this also gives you access to Marc Maron’s keynote speech at NXNE Interactive.

If you’re thinking about skipping Marc Maron, you might want to rethink that life choice. Still no? Then maybe you’ll instead want to double up up on the jokes + bands. The NXNE Music Wristband will let you do both. And if you want all of it (and we mean all of it,) then the NXNE Platinum Badge is your best friend.

Tickets for NXNE 2014 are available here.

NXNE Comedy Announce was originally published on NXNE

05. 05. 14. 02:52 pm

NXNE Interactive: Oliver El-Khatib


One of the highlights of watching the Raptors’ playoff run was seeing Drake courtside, cheering on the hometown heroes and occasionally lint rolling his pants. But even beyond the world of organized sport, Drizzy’s undeniably a huge supporter of Toronto and, accompanied by the OVO brand, has helped to grow and shape this city on the national and global scale.

Behind Drake is a team of people making sure it all runs smoothly. This is where Oliver El-Khatib comes in. He’s Drake’s co-manager and is also the founder and creative director of OVO. His work has had a huge impact on our city’s public image and he’s also hugely involved in mentoring kids.

For NXNE Interactive, El-Khatib is making a rare public appearance to give a keynote address. He’ll share insight on the music industry, the development of the OVO brand, and the importance of championing Toronto. 

Specific scheduling details still to be announced, but whether you’re a Drake fan, Toronto supporter, or just interested in general brand/creative development – trust us when we say you’re not going to want to miss this. 

NXNE Interactive Badges are available here.

Photo by Zach Gold

NXNE Interactive: Oliver El-Khatib was originally published on NXNE

04. 30. 14. 01:30 pm

2014 Early Bird Tickets

Lineup Apr30 750x500

Are you ready for June yet? We’re getting there, and we’ve announced a lot of our Music, Film, and Interactive programming. We’ve also got more – including Art and Comedy news – on the way.

NXNE 2014 is going to be big. We’re celebrating 20 years, after all. If you want to experience everything on offer (though when we say “everything,” please keep in mind you’ll either need a clone and/or time machine because it’s otherwise physically impossible) then you’re going to want the NXNE Badge/Wristband.

And what a coincidence – today (Wednesday, April 30th) is your last chance to take advantage of our discounted, early bird pricing. Do yourself a favour and get them while the getting’s good right here.

We’ll be seeing you soon – and if you need more proof about the imminent NXNE Toronto takeover, watch our 2014 trailer below.

2014 Early Bird Tickets was originally published on NXNE