as the North By Northeast festival continues to evolve, new components are constantly added to the mix. Year seven is no different, combining familiar events with new ideas and elements. Here's the best of this year's fest.
WHITE RIBBON CONCERT
The annual show benefiting the White Ribbon Campaign to end violence against women again kicks of NXNE on June 5. Tea Party singer Jeff Martin hosts (see interview, page 53), and his guests include Jim Cuddy, Moist's David Usher, Matthew Good and Static to Silence's Todd Kerns. There's also a silent auction for swag autographed by Noel Gallagher, Foo Fighters and INXS. First 200 wristband holders get in free. $20 advance, $25 at the door. Phoenix Concert Theatre (410 Sherbourne). Doors 8 pm.
NXNE pays overdue attention to electronic music with a free, two-night outdoor party June 8 and 9 in the parking lot at Richmond and John. Techno glam superstar Keoki, Roy Davis Jr., Matt C, Paul Walker, Peter & Tyrone, Mark Masters, Greg Gow and others spin, as will the winner of the first annual NXNE DJ Search. The party runs from 6 pm to 1 am Friday, 4 pm to 1 am Saturday.
NXNE CONFERENCE KEYNOTE ADDRESS
Music conferences and seminars can be dead boring for those not actively involved in the industry, but the 2001 keynote speech by Danny Goldberg could actually be worth checking out. Goldberg was formerly the head of Mercury, Warner Brothers and Atlantic Records, VP of Led Zeppelin's Swan Song imprint and the management man behind the rise of Nirvana, Beck and the Beastie Boys. He's currently in charge of Artemis records (Kittie, Steve Earle). Depending on how frank he is, Goldberg's talk on the relationship between artists and the business of music could be gold. June 8. Holiday Inn (370 King West). Conference pass $250.
This year NXNE 2001 introduces the SoundVision 01 film festival and conference. Simpsons scorer Alf Clausen will be interviewed while films including the Austin rockumentary Rock Opera, the futuristic feature Southlander, with, among others, Beth Orton, Bob Dylan documentary Look Back, Don't Look Back and the women- in-music film For The Love Of Rock show at the Bloor Cinema (506 Bloor West). Screenings are free with an NXNE wristband, while SV01 conference passes are $99.
BEST UNSIGNED BAND AWARD
Once again, the folks who go out and see the bands at NXNE are asked to vote on the best unsigned band they see over the three nights. The winner gets three days of studio time at Umbrella Sound and a CD pressed up and distributed by Universal Music Canada. The winner will be announced after the festival ends.
RISING STARS AWARD
Slightly less democratic but still worth noting is the NXNE/Galaxie Music Rising Stars Award. Industry insiders pick the Canadian act "most likely to succeed" and give it a head start with $3,000 and a pre-festival nod. The winner's announced two weeks before the festival kicks off.