Toronto is undoubtedly abuzz this week, and while a good portion of that buzz can be attributed to its many diverse neighbo(u)rhoods flaunting their national pride during World Cup, there’s much to be said for the city’s NXNE festival, which takes over 50 venues for seven days, with music, film, and all sorts of music-related goings on.

First, the quick bummer news: Recent heat-bringer Dominique Young Unique—we found out as we tried to schedule an interview with her—had to pull out of the proceedings after losing her voice nights before.


Okay, now onto the good stuff: Aside from amazing weather, a sweet serving of Smoke’s poutine, and a John Doe hotel-elevator run-in, Thursday’s highlights for us would definitely include Toronto faves DD/MM/YYYY , who ripped through a 35-minute set at The Garrison. All angular synth, guitar, and drum noise from five youngsters taking a page from the book of Don Caballero and Lightning Bolt, it was loud, hot, and sticky enough to send us up the street for a cold one at The Communist’s Daughter, a cozy Little Portugal hole in the wall frequented by the likes of Metric and Broken Social Scene, before heading across the way to try (unsuccessfully) to catch a secret set by—whatdya know—Broken Social Scene.


The city granted NXNE a special drink-’til-4 a.m. license, so a 2 a.m. set by XLR8R regular FaltyDL at The Drake Underground seemed a proper end to the night (note to other cities: 4 a.m. last calls are a good idea during rock fests). To know Drew “FaltyDL” Lustman is to know that you never know what to expect from one of his club sets—he can get a crowd grooving in fewer 16 bars, or he can intentionally clear a lame-ass dancefloor with an intense jungle assault. Last night he got off on the good foot, with a DJ Nate juke track kicking off his set, and keeping the smallish crowd sufficiently pumped til the wee hours.

Check back here Monday for a full weekend-long wrap-up from Toronto.