1 THE LINEUP
Let's be honest: typically, there are a handful of acts you actually want to see during NXNE - and most of them are good local rock bands you can see any given week without having to face the chaos of a major festival. This year, though, some awesome talent is showcasing at the fest.
Punk icon turned country outlaw John Doe (Lee's Palace, Friday, 1 am)? VanCity dance-rock assault force You Say Party! We Say Die! (Horseshoe, Saturday, midnight)? And proving that NXNE is trying to break down the stereotype that it caters to weedy white rocker dudes, acts like killer Tampa hiphop crew Yo Majesty (Drake, Saturday, midnight) don't seem out of place at the fest.
Considering that a wristband runs you a mere $28 - less than you'd pay to see all three of those shows combined - it's hard to go wrong.
This year pretty much everything is licensed. Remember those formerly dry hotel conference sessions, panel discussions and celebrity interviews? Not any more. It's an all-day, all-night party where liquor flows like Willy Wonka's chocolate river. Rock 'n' roll indeed.
Toronto has lots to be proud of, but arguably one of the city's greatest claims to fame is its role as the launch pad for Kids in the Hall, the cult comedy phenomenon without which touchstones like Head-Crushing Man and Chicken Lady would not exist.
And so we celebrate the return of Major Comedic Actor Dave Foley to his old haunt, the Rivoli June 8 and 9, which hosts the T.O. debut of his L.A. lounge act The Tribute (it features two of El Vez's Elvettes!). Better yet, Foley plays shrink during Friday's conference session, mediating between Peaches and her manager.
We already mentioned that the $28 wristband costs less than you'd pay for three shows on an average weekend, right? You also have to factor in the bonus series - a limited number of wristband holders have access to ticketed shows by bands like Dinosaur Jr. , Soundtrack of Our Lives , Peaches , Junior Boys and more.
Unlike other similarly structured festivals, you have a decent chance of actually getting in, especially if you show up on time.
5 INTERVIEWS YOU ACTUALLY GIVE A SHIT ABOUT
Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis facing off with mega-fan and acolyte Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene) and local radio/scene guru Dave Bookman . Punk/film legend Don Letts , grilled by Bruce McDonald , the man behind Hard Core Logo (aka the definitive Canadian rock 'n' road movie). Metal god Rob Halford making rock dreams come true for Metal: A Headbanger's Journey helmer Sam Dunn . Need we say more?
It's the best game in the world. For reals. And this year, to help with your World Cup withdrawal, NXNE is hosting the first annual Put The Boot In footy match. Musicians, media folks, industry suits and real members of the Toronto FC football club hit the field June 10 to raise money for the Right To Play foundation.
Even if you're not into soccer, watching a pack of deathly hungover music biz nerds try to stay upright after three solid days and nights of NXNE insanity should be hysterical.
7 FILMS YOU WANNA SEE
Remember that wristband? It gets you into every screening at 07's NXNE film fest, which includes the North American premiere of Don Letts 's The Good, The Bad & The Queen , the Franz Ferdinand Rock It To Rio movie and the Canadian premiere of Julian Temple 's Glastonbury flick.
8 THE INDIE MUSIC MARKET
Maintaining NXNE's grassroots spirit, the Market gives indie artists a forum for DIY merch-selling and exposure. Oh, and there's a free (and good!) open-air show featuring (really, really) underage rock 'n' rollers the Burning Boyz alongside Barcelona funk fusionists the Pinker Tones and legendary T.O. punks the Diodes , playing their first show in 30 years.
9 PANELS THAT DON'T SUCK
Along with a brand new version of last year's hugely popular NXNE Town Hall , 07 features no-bullshit discussions about why major labels are marching toward their own demise, whether press actually matters and a one-on-one with New York Times interweb golden boy Jonathan Coulton .
10 SOUNDTRACK OF OUR LIVES, CUBED
Big hairy Swedish dudes garage-rocking their hearts out in intimate clubs. Three times. Doesn't get much better than that.