Pop Montreal

Preview: Pop Montreal [Sept. 29 – Oct. 3, 2010]

Posted on by Paul in Pop Montreal | 4 Comments

So it’s that time of year again – time for Pop Montreal, now in it’s 9th year and still bringing you a fine selection of bands old and new.  The Panic Manual will be there and as a service to those of you who will also be attending, here are the bands that I think are worth seeing.  Perhaps you will agree.

Wednesday, Sept. 29

Menomena/Suckers/Tu Fawning @ Sala Rossa:  Ricky’s a big fan of  Suckers and I’ve heard a bit of buzz about Menomena.

Glen Matlock @ Divan Orange:  The original bassist for the Sex Pistols will be playing tunes from his latest album Born Running.  Who knows, maybe he’ll throw in a Sex Pistols or Rich Kids tune along the way.

Gigi French @ Quai des Brunes:  This woman has been through 1000 musical identities before stopping at her current incarnation as a jazzy French pop singer.  Her song Jardinier is kind of catchy.  Check her out before she changes genres again.

Look At What The Light Did Now @ Ukranian Federation: Or if you’re in the mood to sit back and enjoy a film, why not check out Anthony Seck’s documentary about the making of Feist’s The Reminder?

Thursday, October 30

Karkwa @ Metropolis:  If you’re an anglophone from outside Quebec, you’re probably wondering who the hell those guys were who won the Polaris Prize this year.  Well, it’s these guys.  Check them out to see if they’ve got the goods live.

SappyFest Suitcase @ Cagibi: So many great performers in this showcase presented by the Sackville, NB based Sappyfest, mostly of the solo singer/songwriter variety.  Shotgun Jimmie, Dan Romano, Fred Squire and Snailhouse are all great. 

The Hoa Hoa’s @ L’Abreuvoir:  The Toronto band plays a sort of shoegazey, melodic brand of psych rock that draws from a wide range of influences spanning from the ’60s to the ’80s and ’90s and beyond.  They’re part of a pretty interesting bill featuring among others Turbogeist (featuring the son of a Rolling Stone) and a band called USA Out Of Vietnam, who are worth seeing for their retro-protesty name alone and for the fact that they have no website or Myspace or anything.  Perhaps they are luddites.  Or time-travelling 1960s war protesters who don’t understand what this “internet” thing is all about.

Municipal Waste @ Club Soda: I can’t let a festival like this go by without checking out just a little bit of metal and these guys seem like just what the doctor ordered.  The Richmond, Virginia based band’s form of retro-thrash has been dubbed “party metal,” their press photo has them all wearing bathrobes for some reason, and drummer Dave Witte is pretty much amazing.  Joining them will be Detroit hardcore legends Negative Approach, who are also worth a looksee.

Bear In Heaven @ La Sala Rossa:  An indie rock band from Brooklyn is not such a rare thing these days, but they’ve got a pretty interesting sound and they’re proof that bands haven’t run out of animal based names yet.

Van Dyke Parks/Clare and the Reasons @ Ukranian Federation:  This guy has worked with Brian Wilson (and had his lyrics poo pooed by Mike Love, perhaps the douchiest of The Beach Boys), arranged for Joanna Newsom, and cowrote the songs for the Popeye movie (which is kind of an odd film, but totally worth watching).  He’s a pop legend of sorts and well worth checking out.

Friday, Oct 1

Danielson/Deerhoof @ La Tulipe:  Two bands that are definitely originals.  Expect some interesting stuff sonically.

The xx @ Place des Arts:  If you can show me photographic evidence of this band smiling at their show even once, I will totally buy you a beer. 

Swans @ Le National:  These guys are legends.  Their new album, My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky is really good too.  I expect  this one to get pretty noisy.  Get there early for opener Lily Fawn, who usually wears antlers when she performs.  Strangely, she’ll also be opening for Fred Penner on Sunday.  That shows she’s diverse.

Technical Kidman @ 3 Minots:  For the name alone.

Saturday, Oct. 2

Marnie Stern @ Cabaret Juste Pour Rire:  Marnie Stern is a ridiculously good guitar player.  One might even say she shreds.  And her songs are quite good too – quirky and noisy, yet kind of poppy too.  Parlovr are on this bill as well and they put on a great show.

Atari Teenage Riot @ Foufounes Electriques:  I haven’t listened to Alec Empire’s insanely over the top digital hardcore band in a long time but I recall liking their stuff quite a bit back in the day.  Hopefully they play “Deutchland (Has Gotta Die).”  Opening for them will be Montreal Nintendo Orkestar.  They make music using two Nintendo DS units. 

Light Fires @ Divan Orange: Gentleman Reg and Ohbijou’s James Bunton play electro-pop.

Solange: Sadly, what would have been one of the highlights is just not gonna happen.  Beyonce’s less famous yet arguably more interesting sister has cancelled her appearance at Pop Montreal.  Too bad.

Sunday, Oct. 3

Sacred Sunday @ Ukranian Federation:  Yes, Patrick Watson and friends will be playing gospel music.  This should prove to be interesting, especially since one of these friends is Klezmer/Hip Hop guy Socalled.

Immolation/Vader @ Foufounes Electriques:  Or if your Sunday music tastes veer less toward the heavenly and more towards the blasphemous, check out some old school death metal.


Concert Review – Andrew Vincent and The Pack A.D. @ Pop Montreal [Oct 1st, Petit Campus]

Posted on by Wade in Concerts, Everything, Pop Montreal | 1 Comment

Andrew Vincent writes funny, sincere songs that we as Canucks can relate to. Take for instance his song Canadian Dream. Every time I hear it I think of my friends back in New Brunswick, my days at University and moving to a new city. Andrew was playing in Montreal as part of a Kelp Records and Mint Records showcase.

When I arrived at Petit Campus, Andrew was on stage with his ukulele and was being backed up by Joh Bartlett on drums. Even in the quietness of his songs, they still managed to rock and get me tapping my toes. Lyrically, Andrew just seems to be able to connect with his audience. For example, his song, Going Out Tonight can conjur up memories of getting drunk with buddies and just hanging out on a Friday night. I posted Canadian Dream at the end of this post. You owe it to yourself to give it a whirl.

In preparing this review, I emailed Joh Bartlett at Kelp requesting an MP3 from Andrew Vincent to post with this entry. Here is the response I got back:

I’m out @ hockey, but AV if you’re at a computer, can you send this??

Yes, indeed. THAT is the Canadian Dream. Good work Jon.

After Andrews’ set I was ready to jet to another venue when I ran into Yvette Ray, the publicist for Mint Records. She sends us periodic updates about new Mint releases and tour dates from time to time. I also believe that she is the only band representative to contact us here at the Panic Manual and tell us to pull an MP3 from our site. I think she is over it now since she offered to buy me a drink. She convinced me to stick around and check out The Pack A.D., who were closing out the night at Petit Campus. Before this night I was familiar with the music of The Pack A.D. and I wouldn’t have said that I was a big fan.

As soon as The Pack A.D. took the stage, I knew that this was going to be a different show. The drummer Maya Miller yelled something like “We’re drunk, and it sounds awful, but screw it, we’re going to play anyway”, and with that she proceeded to beat the shit out of her drum kit while Becky Black beat the shit out of her guitar.

The show that The Pack A.D. put on for the 30-40 of us in attendance was amazing. Maybe this is typical of their show, I don’t know, but it was pretty cool. I don’t know what songs they played, but it was loud and there was lots of feedback. Becky whaled on her guitar and screamed into the microphone, song after song after song. At one point half way through a particularly loud song, she stopped playing, lifted her guitar off her shoulder and hurled it across the stage. She then calmly walked back, picked up her second guitar and finished the song. Yeah.

Their performance demanded the attention of everybody in the room. It was as if I was driving past a car wreck, and couldn’t look away. For a two piece it rocked.

Thanks to Jon, Andrew and Yette for the MP3’s

Concert Review – Julie Fader @ Pop Montreal [Oct1st, O Patro Vys]

Posted on by Wade in Concerts, Everything, Pop Montreal | 5 Comments

The show was supposed to take place at a venue called O Patro Vys at 327 Mont-Royal E. When I got to this address, it was apparent that it was not the O Patro Vys. I asked some guy outside smoking if he knew the club I was supposed to be at, and he pointed me across the street, about a half block away. This brings me to another observation about Montreal…people there are really nice. Everybody I talked to was very personable to this white anglo, no matter where I was; at the hostel, on the street, in the train station or buying bagels.

I get to the venue, I order a Cheval Blond and I grab a seat. I had a look around and I noticed Patrick Watson over in the corner. A word to the wise, if you go to a show here in Toronto and you spot Gentleman Reg in the audience, then you can be assured of two things. First, the show is going to be pretty good, and second, of all the other live events going on in the city that night, you chose the right one to go to. I guess in Montreal Patrick Watson acts as a similar barometer for live shows.

Julie Fader, for those of you who don’t know, is the new “it” girl of the CBC Radio 3. During their Polaris Prize coverage a couple of weeks ago, they practically stalked her. She has played with the Great Lake Swimmers, Chad Vangaalen, and Sarah Harmer, and her solo album, Outside In, was produced by Graham Walsh of Holey Fuck. I guess she has a good story.

As for the show, well, let me see. Hmm, I don’t really remember. I recall that she was wearing a white T-shirt and jeans. I remember that one of the other guys on stage was wearing a white Just Friends T-shirt. Did I mention the Cheval Blond and that Patrick Watson was there? Shit, I’m sorry. I don’t remember anything about the show except that I really wanted to see it since the CBC made such a big stink over her. I did leave the venue feeling satisfied, with no negative comments running around in my head. I know that isn’t a ringing endorsement, but really, I can’t remember anything specific about the show. Oh Pop Montreal. Oh Cheval Blond. There was also a lemon in my beer.

If you get a chance, you can buy her new CD from the Hand Drawn Dracula site. The album is assembled by hand and printed on uncoated 18pt 100% Recycled C1S paperboard.

You can catch Julie back in Toronto on October 30th at the El Mocambo with Library Voices and In-Flight Safety

Concert Review – Silly Kissers @ Pop Montreal [Oct 1st, Preloved]

Posted on by Wade in Concerts, Everything, Pop Montreal | 1 Comment

The thing I was looking forward to the most by going to Pop Montreal was being able to check out some Montreal bands. Enter Silly Kissers. Their show was at a clothing store called Preloved. At Preloved, as the name would imply, they take old ties, curtains, sweaters and couch fabric and turn them into new pencil skirts and sweater vests. For all you up and coming bands out there, here is a lesson, retail stores make shitty venues. Unless you are in the front row, you can’t see crap. I got stuck in the back next to some pants that looked like they belonged to Two Face, so I quickly made my move out into the street. The place was packed with early, early twenty-somethings wearing stupid cloths and oversized glasses.

The only thing I knew about Silly Kissers going into the show was that I really liked their song Halloween Summer, which features six girls in the video (HERE). I was pretty surprised when a bunch of dudes and one girl made their way to the front of the store and started playing.

I found out later from one of the guys in Hot Panda that one of the fellas in Silly Kissers is from Edmonton and that they know each other. I was informed that Silly Kissers are nothing but a bunch of punk kids, a conclusion that I had already made up on my own.

Their music was upbeat and a couple of songs were even danceable. After their second song, a tall goof ball in the front row screamed “Play that song that everybody likes”. I thought to myself that no truer statement had ever been yelled at a concert. They then played Halloween Summer and the kids in the front danced, and then I left. I did buy one of their homemade CD’s on my way out. It is pretty good. It has that lo-fi sound that I really dig.

After the Silly Kissers, I got rejected at the Matt and Kim show and then stuffed a Schwartz sandwich into my face before going home to bed.

Apparently, these guys are opening up for the Gossip when they play Montreal on October 13th, and will be at CMJ in New York on October 21st. Check ‘em out.