FuseBox Radio Broadcast Coverage: North by Northeast (NXNE) 2012

What's up to our BlackRadioIsBack.com and FuseBox Radio Broadcast family!

It's been a while (due to a LOT of good things going on behind the scenes with FuseBox Media with some structural changes and projects) since we've written an article here on the site, but it's for a pretty great reason.

During the week of June 11 - 17, 2012, we were able to touch base with our musical Canadian family in Toronto for the yearly North by Northeast Festivals & Conference (NXNE).

Now in their 18th year of existence, this event puts on a ton of showcases featuring interesting international music artists all over Toronto, a film festival as well as offering up a lot of diverse discussion in panels during their NXNE Interactive portion.

Yours truly in Press/Media Mode during NXNE 2012

After being on the Megabus for over 10 hours & crossing the Canadian border into Ontario (broke balling, but it got me from the DC Metro area and back in one piece), I was pretty much in constant motion the second I arrived in the city of Toronto.

From running around to the numerous afternoon and nighttime musical showcases of Rock, Bluegrass, Hip-Hop, Electro and Soul throughout town, to spending an absurd amount of money in the fantastic record stores that seemed to be everywhere and the NXNE Record Fair, meeting up with folks to interview, getting ready to represent the FuseBox Radio Broadcast on the turntables and checking out the film festival and panels, sleep was basically not a real option.

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Some of the Toronto Subway System....(WAY better to ride this, the streetcars & the buses to get around easily around town than dropping WAY too much money in cab fare)



Various Views & Blocks in Downtown Toronto

However, I can't really complain about that at all. I can honestly say whatever type of music that anyone would like was on display somewhere during NXNE - and even during some of the unrelated events in town, such as a Michael Franti & Spearhead show I literally stumbled onto happening for free in one of the  city parks after attending one showcase.

Unlike some music festivals which seem to spend more time hyping up the "big"/mainstream music acts and just tossing some other random boring performers as filler in between their sets, NXNE was like an oasis of cool indie music in the middle of a sonic desert of Billboard Top 100 acts and hipster music blog audio.

NXNE is a HUGE event, but in it's own way, feels intimate.

The staff at the locations I attended - from free events, to "secret showcases" to spots with cover charges - were very friendly and helpful. It also greatly helped that majority of attendees seemed to just at NXNE it for a good time and to cop a good drink (or 6), some tasty eats and smoke cigarettes of tobacco and plant varieties. Poseurs and cornballs were at a low, thank the Higher Power.

There were some dope indie Canadian acts I was able to check out live (Tasha The Amazon, Rich Kidd, Tre MissionBrasstronaut really stick out) as well as some fly talent from States I wasn't familiar with until attending this event (Brooklyn35 Collective, B L A C K I E, Gangstagrass) and was blown away by the joyful, energetic stage show of the dance rock crew Art Vs. Science.

"KMS: Jewish Negros"

The NXNE Film Festival portion I was able to check out as stellar. Film festivals by nature seem to be a crap shoot but looks like folks lucked with with these movies one was able to see.

Seeing the respective music documentaries KMS: Jewish Negros (startling film about an Ethiopian Jew Isreali Hip-Hop crew dealing with their music careers, race & class issues in Israel and more) and Fugitives: Wax Live (amusing story about Baltimore, MD Def Jam signee Wax - now signed to Def Jam & his misadventures in Canada trying to perform at a rap show) was both entertaining and enlightening. 

Overall, if people are burned out by paint-by-numbers festivals or are getting a bit jaded by your favorite music/film festival of choice becoming too commercialized & dry, I'd HIGHLY recommend getting your passport in order and hitting up NXNE. 

Good music, films, panels and people were in effect to build with while not totally destroying your budget for the next 6 month or feeling like any time was wasted - can't ask for much more.. I'm really looking forward to attending this cool event again in 2013.

Below, we have some video coverage of some awesome music groups we saw perform live at NXNE as well as various pictures & such...check everything out and enjoy!

And soon we'll also have an special edition of the syndicated FuseBox Radio Broadcast with DJ Fusion & Jon Judah highlighting some of the great musicians at NXNE 2012 via interviews & music!

For more information about NXNE, go to their official website at http://www.NXNE.com.

* The FuseBox Radio Broadcast was able to represent in artist mode on the turntables at a few events...including at Urban Outfitters and one awesome surprise opportunity during the closing day at Yonge-Dundas Square in between great Hip-Hop acts like Killer Mike, Action Bronson, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah & more)

Pop/Rock/Jazz Group Brasstronaut Performing At Yonge-Dundas Square

Video: FuseBox Radio NXNE 2012 Coverage: Brasstronaut (Live)

Dance/Rock/Elctro Band Art Vs. Science Closing Out Their Performance At Yonge-Dundas Square

Video: FuseBox Radio NXNE 2012 Coverage: Art vs. Science (Live)

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Gangstagrass NXNE 2012 Showcase Pictures

Video: FuseBox Radio NXNE 2012 Coverage: Gangstagrass Showcase (featuring Folk Band I AM Love, Hip-Hop crew Brooklyn35 Collective & Bluegrass/Hip-Hop crew Gangstagrass)

Hip-Hop MC Action Bronson Performing Live at Yonge-Dundas Square

Hip-Hop MC Killer Mike Performing Live at Yonge-Dundas Square

Hip-Hop MC Raekwon Backstage before performance with Ghostface Killah at Yonge-Dundas Square

Hip-Hop MCs Raekwon & Ghostface Killah (Wu-Tang Clan) Performing Live at Yonge-Dundas Square

Me, Myself & I in DJ Fusion mode DJing on Stage at Yonge-Dundas Square

NXNE 2012 Performance Poster Hying Up The FuseBox Radio Broadcast amongst other great Indie Music Acts

Urban Outfitters x NXNE 2012: Live @ UO feat. DJ Fusion (FuseBox Radio Broadcast), Bowly, Beta Frontiers & More from Sean L T Cartwright on Vimeo.