Concerts Concerts NXNE 2010: Imaginary Cities, Young Galaxy, and Dinosaur Bones

NXNE 2010: Imaginary Cities, Young Galaxy, and Dinosaur Bones

Young Galaxy at The Mod Club
Imaginary Cities, Young Galaxy, Dinosaur Bones
Toronto, Ontario
June 17, 2010

Review by: Jen Polk, Pete Nema
Photos by: Pete Nema

My Thursday started relatively early: 8pm at The Mod Club. But photographer Pete Nema beat me to it, checking out Imaginary Cities (at 7pm) before I arrived. After Young Galaxy's set there was plenty of time for me to head over to the Horseshoe for Dinosaur Bones.

Imaginary Cities

[Pete] The Mod Club started out the night with Winnipeg-based Imaginary Cities, a project formed by Rusty Matyas (The Waking Eyes) and Marti Sarbit (The Solutions). There is some good blood behind them, in the form of Stephen Carroll from The Weakerthans who manages the band. Rusty is a dexterous musical talent, which is as visible as part of Imaginary Cities as it is when he tours with The Weakerthans or as it was with The Waking Eyes. Marti's vocals vary between incredibly clean to purposefully soulful. There is a five song EP available for download from their website.

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Young Galaxy

The first band of the evening for me [Jen] was Montreal group Young Galaxy. I went to the Mod Club — where they were opening for The Besnard Lakes— without much foreknowledge of the band, other than having heard and enjoyed some of their recorded output, and having heard good things. Their newer material has more of an 80s flair than their older songs, moving them slightly away from their former Britpop sound. It all came across as rather shiny, but without much punchiness. And the band's performance matched their sound: the men who flanked female lead Catherine McCandless hardly moved at all. She was appropriately attired in a shimmery dress which played off some of the images being show from three large screens at back and to both sides of the large stage. The band's songs didn't grab me, and that being the case, neither did the quartet's performance. I can see how their moody pop would appeal to others, and there were plenty on hand to check them out even so early in the night. What I remember most was how good McCandless sounded. Oh, and the bubbles that were suddenly everywhere.

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Dinosaur Bones

My second stop Thursday evening was the Horseshoe Tavern, where a stacked showcase was beginning with one of my local rock favourites, Dinosaur Bones. I've seen this band a bunch of times over the past couple of years, and have enjoyed seeing them earn themselves an enthusiastic following here in Toronto and elsewhere. Given that, and a spot at the Horseshoe, I was surprised at the small crowd in evidence when I arrived. But I needn't have worried. Soon enough the place was feeling much fuller. And by the second song in, I was thrilled I'd come. Festivals like this can be a great time to check out new-to-me bands, but I know that if I go too long without a really satisfying set, I'll be grumpy. Thank you, Dinosaur Bones, for keeping me cheery. The band's rocking set included some new songs, one of which really impressed me. The awesome "Ice Hotels" and fan-favourite "N.Y.E." were other highlights. Look for the band's full-length debut to come out sometime soon.

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Music: N.Y.E.
Video: Ice Hotels