FAIRMOUNTS! FULL LENGTH! Put it in my eaarrrrrrrrrrrrrs!

I've only seen the FAIRMOUNTS play once, POSSIBLY twice though I'm not quite sure.. I have the memory of a drunk goldfish unfortunately.
I do clearly recall seeing them semi-recently at the Bovine, and I was super impressed by the perfect pop punk they pumped out.
-- tongue twister? --
Not that any of this matters because I'm reviewing their debut full-length album right now, but what I'm trying to say is that they were great live the one (maybe two) time(s) I saw them but that wasn't much of an indication of what to expect on CD. Sometimes seeing a band kill it live kinda ruins the experience of listening to their album for the first time because it can't ever measure up to seeing them in person.

NXNE - Episode 2013: Sarah's Final Thought

Another NXNE has come and gone, but this time it's left in slightly less of a blur than other years.
2013 was a year of half sober shows, which is far different than my usual 100% of shows seen whilst drunk.
This was not by choice.
And, unfortunately, it did dampen my experience... but that might have been caused by the reasoning behind my sobriety....which can only be described as a shit show of Sarah luck.
If you can even call it luck....curse is more like it.
Just as I settled down Monday night for my ONE relaxing day of doing nothing except wind down from an awesome weekend of punk shows in Toronto and S.C.E.N.E. Fest..... BAM, the Sarah curse had something else in store for me!
My cat Simon, or as I like to call him 'Slimy' / 'Slimon' / 'Sir Slimington', got really sick and needed to be cabbed all the way uptown to see the emergency vet at 1am. I brought him home because I couldn't afford to keep him overnight or the time to pick him up so far away, but Tuesday morning he was even worse off and I had to emit him to my normal vet for 2 days, and a fucking lot of money.
Not only did it cost me every penny I had to my name, which meant absolutely no drinking for most of NXNE, but his condition also demanded a lot of monitoring and time spent at home during the busiest time of the festival, unfortunately keeping me from traveling to venues too far away certain days...
I was also stuck with my bike as my only option for transportation, and of course it had to rain a bunch during the festival which also kept me stuck close to home.
That said, thank fuck for Lee's Palace and a bunch of good shit happening there.
It almost made up for all my stress, which awkwardly enough had my body cyst'd up like crazy, which ... if you're a) not a girl or b) not a girl who has ever had to experience a cyst... it's quite possibly the WORST pain I've ever felt in my life, and I've broken a ton of bones including my collar bone which was a huge bitch.
Cysts basically feel like there's a war in your hip/stomach... shooting, stabbing, bombing, just pure assassination of an entire race that makes up your insides. Holy hell does it ever suck. At times so bad that you can't move. UGH.
I can't believe I'm talking about this, super emburrrrasssing, but it plays a huge part in my NXNE experience this year.
I look forward to this festival because of the number of bands on the line up each year that I've NEVER heard of before. It's always a great opportunity to experience new music if you're willing to just randomly turn up at venues without any schedule in mind.
That was my plan, until my curse limited what I could see, where I could go and when I could go out.
What a bummer!
Bums aside, I did get to see some really great stuff.
Highlights included the epic FLAG show, The Delinquints comeback, experiencing Ian Blurton's new band Public Animal and finally getting the chance to catch YELLOWTEETH live since missing them at Sappyfest some years back.
So although I didn't get to see nearly as much as I wanted, or discover any of the new awesome bands the festival had to offer, the shows I did see made up for it all. Except for one... but you'll have to read my individual NXNE band reviews for more on that....

Until next year, hasta la vista NXNE!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

NXNE 2013: Cafeine @ Lee's Palace

Well there's no contest when it comes to the WORST BAND (that I saw, or maybe in general even) at this years NXNE.
That shitcake goes to Cafeine, orrr Xavier Cafeine,

He's the cancer, and we're the cure... apparently.
Well I agree with the whole cancer thing... ear cancer.
But really though, cancer is a super serious matter not to be joked about.
Or sung about... jerk.
His outfit, however, is a different story.
'This Killers ripoff band brought to you by Hot Topic'!
All I have to say about his set was:
a) proof white men can't dance
b) I'd rather eat poutine than watch him.
And eat poutine I did.
And by poutine I mean RINGTINE.
You heard me.
And THAT, my friend, was delicious.

My main damie Chris was with me during this Hot Topic delivery truck crash of a set and he described it best, perhaps with some influence from the cheesy ringtine, 'it sounded like somebody took a ripe dump on the stage and hooked a PA system up to it' .

You hear that folks!? A RIPE DUMP.
I think he's being too kind..

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

NXNE 2013: Delinquints @ Bovine

There's nothing like a great fucking punk show in the midst of a semi-mainstream music festival.
Especially when it's featuring an amazing punk band who haven't played in a couple of years as far as I know.
I almost didn't make it down to the Bovine to see Delinquints reunite because of my sick cat and having to work the next day... but my decision to go was probably the best choice I've made in weeks.
The Bovine was packed, and everybody was going crazy for every song.
If I had money I would have been drunk, and if I had been drunk I would have totally moshed.
Even sober I was jonesing to get into the pit.
But I'm a lazy fuck.
So instead I just watched.
And although a close call, I think Delinquints blew YELLOWTEEH right out of the water for best show at NXNE.
They KILLED it.



I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

NXNE 2013: Public Animal @ Lee's Palace

HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK
HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK
HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK
HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK
HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK
HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK
HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK
HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK
HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK
HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK
My guitarist god, my musical idol, and all around the coolest dude in life, Ian Blurton, has a new band called Public Animal.
They played their first show EVER during NXNE, and it was by far my favourite North By experience of the entire festival.
I was so excited for this that I almost couldn't contain myself as they were setting up. I was literally jumping up and down like a little kid in line for ice cream with tons upon tons of sprinkles.
And by little kid I mean me now in life.
Their set was everything I had hoped for (even though I had NO idea what to expect) and way fucking more. It was classicrocknrollmetal-riffic, almost Black Sabbath-like, and heavier than an Elephant standing on top of another elephant, surfing on a big blue whale.
See for yourself:
HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK
HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK
HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK HOLY FUCK
All hail Ian Blurton.
GOD.
Guitar god at least.
He played with his freakin' mouth....
COME ON!
Mind = Blown.
Vag = Blown.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

NXNE 2013: Lydia Loveless @ Lee's Palace

Not something I will go out of my way to see again, but a great filler band to keep my attention as I waited impatiently for Ian Blurton's new band to hit the stage.
The drummer looked super stoked to be there and I had old men dancing all around me.
I had never heard of Lydia Loveless until this show.
To be honest the name is kind of boring and didn't jump out at me as something I would want to check out.
It screams 'drab country'.
But NXNE is about experiencing new artists and seeing musicians you normally wouldn't pay to see for the first time.
She/they were playing between a friends band and my idol, Ian Blurton, so I decided to stick it out and see what happened.
I was right about the country, but it was way less drab than I expected.
It was actually pretty rockin'.
With Marty from Supersuckers on guitar, this female-fronted country rock band featuring Weird Al on stand-up bass (kidding, he just had great hair like Weird Al) was almost borderline rockabilly/punkabilly at times.
I'd like to dub it... cuntrock! And I don't mean that in a bad way.
She had a great voice, and the bass player was fucking fantastic to watch handle an instrument about as big to him as his hair was to his head.
Not something I will go out of my way to see again, but a great filler band to keep my attention as I waited impatiently for Ian Blurton's new band to hit the stage. CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

NXNE 2013: Teenage X @ Lee's Palace

They got added to the line up last minute and they had to compete with Social Distortion at Yonge & Dundas Square for FREE.
But that didn't stop Teenage X from giving it their all!!!
They played to a handful of people as if they were entertaining tens of thousands at the ACC.
This is a band that I could probably see any time here in Toronto, in fact I've booked them in a couple of shows myself, and yet I was still super stoked to go see them playing NXNE.
In all the times I've watched them I've never been bored, never been disappointed, and ALWAYS had my socks rocked right off my feet.
This time was no exception.


I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

NXNE 2013: YELLOWTEETH @ The Boat

I had been waiting for the day to come when I could finally see YELLOWTEETH after missing them at Sappyfest last year and having to endure so many conversations about how fucking awesome their performance was for the rest of the festival.

When I found out they were playing NXNE I was about as ecstatic as a young girl who has found a pony under her pillow from the 'Tooth Fairy' instead of a measly buck.
And luckily the pony didn't suffocate before I woke up to find him, no siree nag, my little pony was as healthy as ever and took me on the ride of my life.
All of which is referring to the show YELLOWTEETH put on, if you can't tell.
Honestly one of the best, if not THE best, set I saw at North By.
They rocked out with both cocks AND tits out, and even got down and dirty on the ground in order to rock out even harder.



I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

NXNE 2013: Reuben and the Dark @ Horseshoe Tavern

The whole harmony-filled, slow, drum-driven indie rock is a phase I haven't touched on lately so I really didn't think Reuben and the Dark would be my type of thing.. especially live.
Quite the contrary, my dear Reuben.
What I witnessed on stage can only be compared to that part in Angels In The Outfield when the angels swoop in to work their magic...

(Skip ahead to 0:35!)
Only in this case there was no train wreck of a team (band) to fix, but just an empty stage that lit up with their presence and lonely instruments that radiated miracles once played.
It truly felt as if I were watching a bunch of angels performing the soundtrack to heaven right before my eyes.
And my favourite part, the stand-up drummer, sounded like he was god of thunder, so powerful he could not sit the whole performance.
COOLBEANSTALK!


I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

NXNE 2013: Thomas D'Arcy @ Lee's Palace

Wow.
I've heard the name Thomas D'Arcy all over the place and yet I had no idea that it would be something that would appeal to me.
I'm not sure what he was all about previous to this NXNE show I saw because apparently it was his second with this particular band.
And this band was about 60% of why I loved it.
And 40% of that 60% goes straight to the goofy guitarist.
By golly I sure loved watching him.
The rest of the dudes deserve way more than the 20% I'm giving them here but trust me, I'm only doing it because I'm far too lazy to go more in-depth with math right now.
Captain Keys, the drummer, the bassist... all were fucking fantastic.
But the guitarist just happened to charm the pants right off me when he went on a mad hunt for the tambourine mid song and realized how funny it was as he struggled to open its case while singing backup into the mic at the appropriate times. He finally got it out and used it beautifully, and even managed to hit his guitar solo following that whole procedure.
AMAZEBALLS.
Sorry, I almost forgot that this band is called THOMAS D'ARCY, so I should probably talk about him.
He deserves 40% as well, the set of pipes on him was astounding, and (especially after watching Cafeine) his on stage presence was hypnotizing. This guy was born for the stage.
I'd like to call their music indie-cruise-rock, simply because their keyboardist was wearing a fitting hat for that genre.
However, it was more like a combination of Queens Of The Stone Age, The Knack and Hot Hot Heat, if that makes any sense at all.
Either way, it made my ear holes wet.



CLICK HERE FOR SOME CRAPPY PHOTOS!

I'm Sarah. I do what I want.


NXNE 2013: FLAG @ Opera House

Mother Fucking FLAG.
As in, Black Flag's better half now.
Seeing them perform live before my eyes for the first time in my life was bittersweet.
It was a huge dream come true, yes, but for that reason it was also a let down....
I mean.. I wish I had seen them in their prime because, well, now they're kinda partied out.
Keith - who I saw recently with OFF! work his ass off on stage - did not seem to care enough to give it his all this show. I know that regardless of his age he can still rock the fuck out, but this particular night he appeared to see his performance as a job, not a passion.
But I guess who can blame him after all these years.
Dez, however, made up for it whenever he jumped on the mic.
And Chuck, well, Chuck was just the most entertaining dude ever on stage. I fucking love that guy.
All in all it was the show of a lifetime, with all of Black Flag's greatest hits pumped out for the audiences pleasure, and I wouldn't trade the experience for the world.



I'm Sarah. I do what I want.

Anxiety Attack Recordings Presents: Southern Ontario Summer 2013 Punk Compilation

It seems that thanks to sites such as Bandcamp.com, punk compilations are back in full swing!
Maybe they never left, maybe it was I who stopped paying attention, but as far as I'm concerned there hasn't really been a solid comp since I was in high school.
This year.... 2013.... I am going to dub 'A New Hope for the Return of Compilations STRIKING BACK'... or something like that.
Introducing...:

THIS makes me proud to be an Ontario-an. ?
Such a lovely mix of great punk bands in Ontario... and not just one style either, you've got a variety of poppy to maximum rock and roll, and they all go together like rama lama lama ke ding a de dinga a dong.
Although I've already heard of about 90% of these bands, the chosen tracks make this a collection of the best of the best.
It features all of my favourite local bands like Brutal Youth, School Damage, Plan 37, The Victim Party, Fairmounts, Careers In Science...and I could keep going. There's only one track that I would skip every time in this list. And I won't even tell you who it is, because that makes it way more fun for me. But seriously, 1 out of 26, well that ain't bad.
Not only does it have all my old favs, but I also discovered a few new ones in the 10% I haven't heard of before.
Like Permanent Bastards. I actually have listened to them before but stupidly I completely forgot they existed. Hearing "Bloody Mary" come on just reminded me how fucking good they are, and I haven't stopped listening to them since.
Stuff like this is great for work, it takes away all the pressure to think of who you want to listen to, all you have to do is press play and you've already got a great mix at your fingertips. One that requires no thought or effort on your part.
And I love things that allow me to be lazy!
AND I love Ontario punk rock.
Win, win.

MAY THE COMPILATIONS STAY WITH YOU, ONTARIO.

TRACKLISTING:
1. Black Cat Attack - Phasers Set To Thrill
2. Machine Gun Dolly - That's Who We Are
3. Plan 37 - On The Run
4. The Fairmounts - Devlin McGreggor
5. The Victim Party - Andrew Harris
6. The Class Assassins - The Addiction
7. Teenage X - Yesterday's Makeup
8. Maximum RNR - Attack Panther
9. Brutal Youth - Shortcut Pt2
10. The Lucky Ones - Monday Night At Carlton Heights
11. South End - East End Skids
12. School Damage - Can't Get Off
13. Sinkin' Ships - Running And Jumping
14. Saint Alvia - The Commute
15. Permanent Bastards - Bloody Mary
16. The Penske File - The Valley
17. Summer Of 92 - South Simcoe New Tecumseth Home
18. Born Wrong - Burn a Debt
19. Careers In Science - Locals News
20. Wasted Potential - Is This Show All Ages
21. The Rotten - Punks Dead Redux
22. Sluts On 45 - I Like You (So Lets Party)
23. Bourbon DK - Pride Without Prejudice
24. Skullians - Over The Edge
25. Unbelievers - I Don't Like You
26. Steel Town Spoilers - Wartime



Anxiety Attack Recordings www.anxietyattackrecordings.bandcamp.com www.anxietyattackrecordings.wordpress.com