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NOW doesn't put its stamp of approval on a group of artists lightly.
Every act has to be buzzy and relevant. The music has to be dope. There has to be something for every fan. The live show prospectus must be diverse and engaging. Oh, and the venue should have lots of historical import.
Check, check, check, check and check. On June 13, NOW presents a collection of NXNE's most anticipated performers - hailing from Tampa, Florida, our own backyard, the west coast of North America and points in between - at the Horseshoe.
Local dreamy duo Moon King set the tone for a night of hair-down, hands-up spectating with their blend of upbeat instrumentation and layered vocal harmonies - making a lot of noise (for just two musicians) that you can't quite categorize.
Local art pop foursome Diana follow. Catch them while you can - they recently signed to Paper Bag in Canada and Jagjaguwar south of the border, and the release of their first full-length on August 20 will mean bigger venues and long stints away.
All the way from the Sunshine State, Merchandise bring a unique blend of post-punk, shoegaze and jazz influences (all from a former hardcore frontman with a not-quite-as-polished-as-Bublé voice). Intrigued? Us, too.
Baltimore electronic experimentalist Dan Deacon is famous for his audience participation, so expect the unexpected. For his last major tour, he invented a smartphone app.
Hopefully, Deacon's set will introduce you to your neighbour, because you might be moshing alongside him when one of the noisiest and most aggressive bands from Vancouver's ever-more-burgeoning punk scene - Nü Sensae - appears.
As NOW reported last time the band was in town, both Andrea Lukic's gnarly vocals and Daniel Pitout's it's-all-a-blur lightning drumming will put a spell on you.
Not to be outdone, the Soft Moon will pummel you with deeply evocative fuzz and buried, echoey vocals. Oakland's post-punk, er, darlings, thrive live: Rob Robinson, the band's fourth member, is in charge of visuals, solely. It's worth staying up past your bedtime.