NXNE Showcases

What a week. A new puppy, NXNE, MMVAs and speaking events. In short, Hank—that would be the puppy—is a delight/devil. MMVAs were just what you’d expect, not my favourite, it is what it is. But NXNE is always slightly magical—the city’s distinct music scene and crazies comes alive. It’s refreshing. And I wrote a bunch about the shows I checked out with blogTO. Below is the write-up from my favourite show—none other than the Handsome Furs sweating it out. If you’re interested, though, here’s my write-up for We Are Wolves and PARLOVR and here’s my take on The Most Serene Republic and Art Brut shows. Good times (and beers) were had.

Handsome Furs and Little Girls sweat it out

A balmy-as-all-hell night makes for a sweaty dance party. Especially so when the Handsome Furs are involved. And sweat, oh delicious sweat, we produced.

“I’m your sweaty angel,” Handsome Furs’ Dan Boeckner, drenched, announced to the crowd halfway through Saturday night’s NXNE set at the Garrison. The sweat just added to the intimate set by the husband and wife duo from Montreal. With the band’s third full-length, Sound Kapital, which is much anticipated, coming out next week, the show was a NXNE must-see. (Also, the album art is pretty damn interesting, but NSFW. Fair warning.)

And the Handsome Furs delivered on that must-see factor giving the crowd a brand new setlist of the new electronic pop tunes. And it was shockingly record-quality good for being brand new material. (This is helped by Boeckner being a veteran rocker with Wolf Parade and the drum machines and synths make the job a little easier, of course.) Unlike the first two full-lengths, Sound Kapital abandons the soaring guitars and concentrates on the keys and drum machines. And it’s bloody fun. With a high-energy live show (Alexie Perry pretty much headbanged the whole show), the crowd’s dancing feet were in working order as the beat took hold on “When I Get Back,” the first track. With such infectious synths your foot starts to tap, unknowingly. Then your knee starts jiggling. And then you’re in the air, feet bouncing, hands raised. And then you sweat. Profusely.

The new material is a barrage of heavy bass drums and upbeat, catchy keyboards that sound like it should be coming out of an underground house party in East Europe. But then you have Boeckner’s passionate delivery with lyrics about the future – it’s all earnest and compelling. He sings from deep within. The Handsome Furs, just like Wolf Parade, give everything in their sets. This is manifest in them both being drenched after their all-too-brief 45-minute showcase.

Read the rest of the review on blogTO right here. Enjoy.