MOST PEOPLE, DEL BEL and FRESH SNOW at Creatures Creating (822 Dundas West), Saturday (June 15), 9 pm, NXNE wristband or $12. nxne.com.
It's a bit of a surprise to see Wavelength curating a trio of showcases at this year's NXNE. Sure, the overload of music and styles fits the 13-year-old music series' genre-bridging mandate, but when it comes to festivals, it tends to operate on its own, uh, wavelength.
Wavelength has two festivals of its own - the annual anniversary celebration in the winter and the ALL CAPS! bash on Toronto Island in the summer - and strives to create immersive, inclusive environments that feel like their own odd little gatherings of open-minded music fans rather than just one part of bigger city-wide fests.
But it's found a way to put its stamp on NXNE. Taking over the little-used Creatures Creating gallery at what co-founder Jonathan Bunce calls "East Dundas West" and filling it with General Chaos's swirling psychedelic visuals, visible from the street, the three nights boast all-local cards of emerging, off-kilter talent. But the Saturday showcase is a landmark for the series.
It's the first stop on the inaugural Wavelength Roadshow tour and features three acts - the spooky, cinematic Del Bel, Krautrocking Fresh Snow and lushly psychedelic Most People - from Wavelength's Incubator program. The program offers close guidance and mentorship to select bands on everything from management to artwork.
"These are the bands we're most excited about, so to give them a hand and take them on the road with us is amazing," says Bunce. "It gives us a chance to be champions of local artists on a more direct level."