NXNE announced new bold names this week for 2013's festival, including Wintersleep, Odonis Odonis, Fat Tony, Braids, Dan Deacon and Blue Hawaii, among others. Wading through the nearly 1,000 acts that will play over seven days is a challenge, but the festival's NXNE Schedulizer (nxne.com) is back to ensure you see your Digits and Dirty Names, Decent Lovers and the Dying Arts without missing a, ahem, beat. In addition to the art, film, music and comedy offerings, artist Melissa Auf der Maur will host Women In Music: More Than Ever Before, a panel featuring Montreal shoegazers No Joy.
We're thrilled to learn that Martha Johnson's first-ever solo album is on its way. Scheduled for release through Muffin Music on June 26, Solo · One features the Martha and the Muffins musician's unique voice and art-pop tunes, plus appearances by Ron Sexsmith, the Wilderness of Manitoba's Will Whitwham, Grand Analog's Alister Johnson and Hill Kourkoutis.
Still at Johnson's side is Muffins bandmate Mark Gane, who wrote the new wave act's biggest hit, Echo Beach. If you've been hankering to hear that tune, you're in luck. She'll join on-the-rise local dream-pop band Beliefs for a cover of it for NOW's 50:50 video series, in which local bands play songs from our list of Toronto's 50 Best Albums. Visit nowtoronto.com/5050 next week for a look.
A successful PledgeMusic campaign helped see Johnson's album to fruition, and 10 per cent of the campaign's proceeds go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. It's a charity close to Johnson's heart - she was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease over a decade ago. The album release show is at the Rivoli on June 25.
In this week's Sore Thumbs column on nowtoronto.com, games columnist Zack Kotzer looks at Montreal noise rock duo Yamantaka//Sonic Titan's efforts to crowd-fund a new game they're developing - and scoring - called Your Task//Shoot Things.