This is a musicblog. Every weekday we post a couple of mp3s and write about them. Songs are only kept online for a short time. This is a page from our archives and thus the mp3s linked to may not longer be available. Visit our front page for new songs and words.

September 29, 2014


Patrick Fitzgerald's flowers

Grass Widow - "Time Could Bend". "There are six ways to sing," the teacher told her. And so for the next two years, she learned the six ways: highsinging, lowsinging, clearvoice, falsetto, nightingale, hog. Every week, she studied the six forms; with lectures, in workshops, at home with a textbook and a tape-recorder. Her notes were smudged phrases, blotted treble-clefs. Her meals were composed of simple, separate elements: starches, proteins, fibre. Sometimes, for dessert, she would prepare a perfectly-layered yoghurt parfait. The woman dreamed of voices - separate voices, harmonizing voices, overlapping voices. She dreamed of clearvoice that was lowsinging, falsetto gone hog. She imagined her teacher looking through a telescope, staring at the moon. "Sing like a moonbeam," he said, "a moonbeam through a lens." [buy

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 11:09 AM | Comments (1)

September 26, 2014


Hani Zahra - "Ma's In A Vaze"

Hani Zahra are different shapes of sticky rice, and they're in hidden places all over. You find them and it's food.

release show tomorrow at The Knitting Factory

Posted by Dan at 2:37 PM | Comments (2)


By Nicolas Amori

Jeff Bird - "Souvenir Flutes". A baby blue tug goes putting down the Amazon. It is a battered boat, seaweed-stained, but its tiller still works, its radio, its hand-cranked orange juicer. There is a crew of three: a captain, a navigator, a cook. One of them is a ghost; they know one of them is a ghost, hear the rattling chains every night, but the other two haven't figured out which of them it is. At every meal, at every anchor, every time they spy another ship on the river or a bird of paradise on the shore, two are thinking, Are you a ghost are you a ghost are you a ghost are you a ghost? The third, the ghost himself, is not thinking anything. He is the perfect imitation of a man, afloat on the water, travelling somewhere. He sups with the humans, plays cards, talks dreamily about family back home, their distant destination. When they go to sleep he lifts his phantom chains, rattles them, stalks the deck. He feels lucky to be here, where it is humid and noisy, where the air smells of red flowers. The insects are chittering. The birds call. Around dawn, three men will sit up in their cots and stare across the room at each other and wonder.

[Jeff Bird plays music with Cowboy Junkies and a thousand other people. He also plays the theremin. "Souvenir Flutes" is from Rhythm & Entertainment. More music here.]

(image by Nicolas Amori)

Posted by Sean at 11:22 AM | Comments (2)

September 22, 2014


by anne deniau

Thus Owls - "As Long As We Try A Little". How far do you have to go before the world changes? A train bulleting through landscape; a balloon rising through jungle canopy; a drill boring through ice. Maybe the light begins to change, before the breakthrough, and you know you are close. Maybe there are sounds, promising Soon... But maybe not. Maybe the light changes but the world dos not. You can't know when the transition will occur, the change of state, until suddenly the lake has turned to ice or the world to fire. Suddenly you are in our out of love. "As Long As We Try A Little" is just voices and piano, a woman answering herself. There are some warning murmurs but truly nothing happens until everything happens. The train skids onto snow; the balloon crosses into monsoon; the drill hits frothing water, wagging anemone, coral. [buy]

(photo by anne deniau)

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September 18, 2014



Sun Kil Moon - "By The Time That I Awoke" (live at Haldern Pop Festival 2014). I have no recording of Sun Kil Moon's Wednesday night performance at Pop Montreal. Their "By The Time That I Awoke" sounded nothing like the album version, which Mark Kozelek made with Jimmy LaValle. This was a greater wonder, a gift sent out into a darkened hall, a comet in a Montreal autumn. Instead of cascading computer synths, Sun Kil Moon gave galloping drums, glimmering piano, a blade-edged bass guitar. Kozelek stood with one hand in his jean pocket and sang into a handheld microphone. He sang and shouted, crooned and shouted, bathed in swaying reverb. The darkened hall, the comet, the Montreal autumn - everything felt buffeted by that swaying, disembodied reverb. Sometimes it was hard to know if we were listening to a moving music or ourselves being moved through the music, our spirits pulled roughly across another material, water or glass or smoke. The song stopped and it started again. We understood some lines and others came across all blurred, incomprehensible, their meaning reduced to intonation. Kozelek's music has always been a lesson in the way intonation can overwhelm: as Red House Painters, as Sun Kil Moon, as himself, he sang in a voice that sounded almost like a moan. He sang in a voice like a right hook gliding steadily through space. We never saw it coming; we never saw it 'til we were hit, 'til it knocked us down.

[audio source / buy albums by Mark Kozelek]

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at 11:44 AM | Comments (2)

September 16, 2014

No More Honey

Blonde Redhead - "No More Honey"

Edmund was breaking into Alison's house. They hadn't spoken, not face-to-face, in a year-and-a-half. They'd seen each other in the sides of their eyes, in the peripheral run-off of looking at their son Frank. But not face-to-face. And now Edmund was putting a garden stone through the back porch window. "Paid for that window anyway," he thought, as he wrapped his jacket around his hand and cleared out the jagged edges from the frame. He pushed his body carefully through the opening and was suddenly reminded of his stomach, bloated from beer and not much else. It was hard to tell when he'd started to sweat; was it after five minutes of struggling in the window opening, wondering how his legs must look out the back? or was it the very minute he decided to come to the backyard with bad intentions? Finally his gut, which was now compacted into his body like overpacked luggage, let loose over the edge of the frame inside and his legs crumpled in a paralyzed slump to the floor. Edmund rose with a kind of triumph particular to the slow-boiled criminal: little victories, the clear-and-present-fuck-you. He was in, and he could do whatever he wanted, for a little while.


Posted by Dan at 10:56 PM | Comments (1)

September 15, 2014


Snowstorm by Thomas Eberwein / Thomas Traum and Tim Gfrerer

Rob Schwimmer - "Stormy Weather". In places, Schwimmer's solo piano version of "Stormy Weather" feels easy-breezy, comfortable. At other times it is full of disquiet: a life, a song, undone at the seams. A storm rolls in, streaked with lightning, and it begins to rain. There is dissonance and coda, a saunter smearing sideways. There is playfulness and droop. There is not heartbreak, I don't think; but acceleration, deceleration, flagging spirits, decay. Entropy at work on a spirit, weariness on a soul. All that loveliness, fragile as a cloud.

[Rob Schwimmer is one of the world's finest thereminists. This song does not feature theremin; other songs on Beyond the Sky do. Buy it.]


Montrealers: Join me (for part of this week at least) at Pop Montreal. My guide to the festival is here.

Toronto: Hope you'll consider coming to see me at this weekend's Word on the Street festival. I'll be reading from Us Conductors and/or talking with panelists at two events on Sunday, September 21 - noon and 4:45 pm. And signing books, too! It's free. Details here.

(image source)

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September 11, 2014


Candy floss

Miracle Fortress - "Let Me Be The 1". Just a damn splendour of a track; "Let Me Be The 1" unites all of Graham Van Pelt's recent feints, forays and experiments, from Five Roses' sumptuous romanticism to Inside Touch's sleek dance pulse. On these early listens it feels more adventurous and more successful than 2011's Was I The Wave?: listen to all that space, the way it weirdly winds from Fleetwood Mac to Studio to something that's almost piano house. It's a song with a sharply angled vocal hook & yet also four minutes of wide open space, synths and fingersnaps, a sunsetting fadeout. It's a song with its own mirror-image, its own afterhour denouement; an inhalation and an exhalation, or just a hand in a hand.

I love "Let Me Be The 1"'s patience, and its nerve. I love its love. I love that it is not rushing; but it's ready to. It's practiced. It's in its blocks. It's ready.

[Miracle Fortress's third album has yet to be announced.]

(photo source unknown)

Posted by Sean at 4:45 PM | Comments (2)

September 8, 2014


Pop Montreal 2014

Pop Montreal, the city's most terrific music festival, returns this month. It's a five-day bash that transforms the town into a showcase for dazzling artists from across Quebec, North America and beyond. Although I'm personally going to miss a big chunk of it (Toronto, I hope you'll come see me), I wanted to give Said the Gramophone readers some hints for navigating Pop Monty's legions of shows.

As I've said before, Pop Montreal is our SXSW, our ATP, hundreds of musicians piling into venues across the city, from churches to concert-halls, conjuring rackets. Gigs are complimented by films, dance-parties, dozens of free talks, events, barbecues, craft-fairs and froo-fra. No matter your budget, there is delirious racket to be found.

After years of doing Pop, I feel the important thing is to seek out the most extra-ordinary moments. That's the key thing - the extra ordinary. Many of Pop's shows are like any other - a major or mid-level indie touring act, visiting town for an evening show. I say: during Pop, don't waste your time on that shit. This year, for instance, forget about Panda Bear, Mutual Benefit or even Timber Timbre. Skip Against Me, unless you're a massive Against Me fan. Instead, seek out the stranger things. The one-offs, rare bookings, alternative venues, or perfect mixed bills. The showcases that pack a gang of friends into a single room, capturing an autumn moment that'll never be repeated. And don't run around so much that you don't have any fun.

This Guide
As always, this Guide is my guide to Pop. It's not a universal guide. It is personal, subjective, honest. I recommend the things I love, the things I am curious about. And I leave out the things - even if they're highly touted - for which I'd have to fake excitement. Take everything with seas of salt.

I made similar guides in 2008 and 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and in 2008 also wrote up my experiences for McSweeney's.

If you're a visitor to Montreal, please take advantage of the city's Bixi bike rental system. Please also look at the sidebar on the right, where Said the Gramophone has some local recommendations (they're mostly restaurants).

How to Use This Guide
I suggest you use this guide in conjunction with the schedule on Pop's great new website. (It's particularly handy to sort the schedule by venue.) I think there's good app stuff too, but I don't have a smartphone so you're on yr own.

Pop HQ
If I refer to Pop HQ, I am referring to their registration/box-office/symposium/gallery space at L'ancienne École des beaux-arts de Montréal, located at 3450 St-Urbain, corner of Sherbrooke.

Tickets and Passes

  1. Free stuff. Lots of Pop is completely free. There are afternoon concerts, art openings, barbecues, installations, record and craft fairs, as well as workshops, lectures and conversations between artists. The free Symposium - the name for Pop's "conference" component - is very often my favourite part of the whole festival: all these remarkable events - hilarious and interesting conversations, demos, jams, with some of the fest's biggest artists. Symposium programming is tragically underattended: don't miss it.
  2. Buy tickets. Most Pop concerts are like any other concerts, year-round: you can buy tickets at the door, online, or at the record shops listed here. Almost everything's cheaper if you buy it in advance. Setting aside the free shows, most gigs cost between $10 and $30, which typically includes a bill of two to four bands. Buying tickets is really the simplest way to do Pop - figure out the concerts you want to see, buy the ticket, show up. For $10 you can also get a one-day Pop Hopper upgrade to any ticket. (See below.)
  3. Pop Hopper upgrades. When you buy a Pop Montreal concert ticket, $10 more will net you a one-day Pop Hopper pass for the same date. These passes are for people who wish to skim and graze between shows, visiting several venues in a single night. Pop Hopper passes don't guarantee access - most concerts have a certain allotment of Pop Hoppers they will allow in, and some high-end gigs won't allow any Pop Hoppers at all. Please note: Pop Hopper upgrades require planning. You can only buy them when buying tickets online, or by dropping by Pop HQ, 12pm-8pm.
  4. Discovery pass. New this year is Pop's $50 Discovery Pass. Each of these things gives you $50 credit toward any Pop concerts, plus free entrance to one Little Burgundy late show (like Twin Shadow, Mozart's Sister or JJ Fad) and one free beer.
  5. Super Pass. For $300, do more or less whatever the hell you want.

Recommendations over several days
Besides the concerts and Symposium events, Pop has a couple more important segments. Crucially, there's Art Pop, with visual arts exhibitions which are mostly on all week, and Film Pop, with a series of specially curated movies. I've only recommended a couple Film Pop events below, so if you're a cinephile be sure to browse the listings yourself.

Do your holiday shopping early: Pop's massive, excellent art&craft fair, Puces Pop, takes place Friday (14h-20h), Saturday and Sunday (11h-18h) in the Église Saint-Denis (5075 rue Rivard - by Laurier metro). Those days there's also a record fair in the basement of the Ukrainian Federation (Sat-Sun, 11h-18h). Finally, if you're a parent, do look into the often-overlooked Kids Pop.

Daily Event Recommendations
Most days, I break things down as follows:

Anchor your evening:The ticketed shows that deserve your doubloons, usually including several acts.


The night's other best sets, for those with slimmer wallets, super passes, Pop Hoppers, or a sense of adventure.

Roll the dice:

The day's foremost curiosities and gambles - could-be treasures and maybe-flops.

And then a list of the day's highlights, as far as I can tell. It's important to note I am not listing entire bills - just my highlights. So check the program for full set-times.

I highly recommend everything on these lists, but everything listed in bold is CAN'T MISS.

This list has been made using the Pop's updated online schedule of September 5. All dates/times are as best as I know. Updated September 15 with James Murphy/Win Butler DJ sets, and Sunday BBQ.

Top Six

  1. Maher Shalal Hash Baz, at Casa on Sunday, 9/21;
  2. The Unicorns and friends, at Metropolis on Sunday, 9/21;
  3. Noni Wo, Nancy Pants, Maica Mia, Daniel Isaiah and Holy Data, in a free afternoon showcase at the Divan Orange, Saturday 9/20;
  4. Carla Bozulich and Ought, at the Piccolo Rialto on Thursday, 9/18;
  5. Myriam Gendron and Sarah Neufeld, at the Ubisoft Roof on Saturday, 9/20; and
  6. Sun Kil Moon and James Irwin, at the Ukrainian Federation on Wednesday, 9/17.

Wednesday, September 17

Anchor your evening:Two fine options:
  • Oblique folk music at the Ukrainian Federation: Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek returns to Montreal at long, long last. I'm a huge fan of Sun Kil Moon's debut, and of Kozelek's work as Red House Painters; for years, I've been asking Pop to bring him to town. Still, I'm keeping my expectations low: he is a cranky genius. (With opener James Irwin, a local gem.)
  • Balattou's diverse, cheap, DIY party. With Light Fires' fabulous femme-pop and Young Paris's relentlessly energetic hip-hop. In that magic, mirrored space, these sets are going to be incredible.
Roam:You can't go wrong by starting Pop 2014 with free drinks and arguing about records. Visit the launch party then stick around to hear critics (including grand jurist Lorraine Carpenter) discussing which album should win Canada's most important music prize. And at 7:30, more great thinky times: Montreal's mensch/super-producer Howard Bilerman, chatting with the legendary engineer Steve Albini.

Come nightfall, we'd be fools to miss Big Brave - heavy and minimal, the city's most exciting new rock band. And I'm delighted to welcome back the World Provider's burnished, clever synth-pop.

Roll the dice:

Kid Congo Powers has played with everyone from the Cramps to the Fall to the Bad Seeds. Pop promises "a geisterbahn into the hypnagogic". OK!

16h30 - Polaris music prize Salon [Pop HQ - free]
18h - Opening party (free beer, music, art) [Pop HQ - free]
18h30 - James Irwin [Nouveau Palais - free]
19h30 - Steve Albini in Coversation with Howard Bilerman [Pop HQ - free]
21h - James Irwin [Ukrainian Federation - $30]
21h - Gabriel Lambert Trio [Café Resonance - $7]
21h30 - Light Fires [Balattou - $10]
12h - OHARA [Quai des Brumes - $10]
22h - Sun Kil Moon [Ukrainian Federation - $30]
22h - Daniel Isaiah [Nouveau Palais - free]
23h - Kid Congo Powers & the Pink Monkey [Divan Orange - $10]
23h30 - Big Brave [L'Escogriffe - $10]
00h - The World Provider [Casa del Popolo - $10]
00h30 - Young Paris [Balattou - $10]

Thursday, September 18

Anchor your evening:The bizarre basement at Piccolo Rialto is going to be a devastating place on Thursday. It's hard for me to imagine how Carla Bozulich can open a show, with her songs like beautiful wrecks. But she will. And then a homecoming for one of the city's most buzzed-about groups, a band that's only kinda from Montreal but who will be embraced as returning kin; and Ought are great, chugging and charismatic, like Pulp if they were signed to Dischord Records in 2012.


So many incredible one-two punches tonight:I'm also really smitten with recent noise-pop from Petra Glynt and Look Vibrant, and despite my mixed feelings about Alden Penner's new LP, his last solo gig was awesome. Besides: treat it as a warmup for Sunday's Unicorns reunion.

Roll the dice:

Cooking with Steve Albini? Beyond that, there's a beautiful riddle to Pale Eyes' Colin Stetson-sampling rock, and Mozart Sister's midnight set will probably melt us all to pieces.

13h - Stop Being an Idiot and Make Every Show of Your Tour Count panel [Pop HQ - free]
13h30 - Cooking demo with Steve Albini [SAT FoodLAB - $25]
19h - Look Vibrant [Divan Orange - $8]
20h - Silverkeys [Cagibi - $10]
21h - Nancy Pants [Cagibi - $10]

20h - Against Me! [Metropolis - $27]
20h30 - Monomyth [L'Escogriffe - $10]
21h30 - Nap Eyes [L'Escogriffe - $10]
21h30 - Carla Bozulich [Piccolo Rialto - $12]
22h - Petra Glynt [La Vitrola - $10]

22h - Pale Eyes [Il Motoro/Le Ritz - $10]
22h30 - Ought [Piccolo Rialto - $12]
23h - Alden Penner [Sala Rossa - $12]
23h15 - The Mouthbreathers [Brasserie Beaubien - $10]

00h - Kappa Chow [Brasserie Beaubien - $10]
00h - Monomyth [Barfly - $10]
00h - Mozart's Sister [Le Late Night Little Burgundy - $15]

Friday, September 19

Anchor your evening:A night of showcases:
  • Paper Bag Records have programmed a great showcase of Canadian indie rock, featuring PS I Love You, the Rural Alberta Advantage, the sinuous pop of Mozart's Sister, and a debut for Wayne Petti's Grey Lands project;
  • There's also very cool stuff happening at La Vitrola, where Wavelength have put together two of Toronto's best weird-pop acts, Petra Glynt and Bernice, with artists including Montreal's terrific Maica Mia (who recalls Cat Power at her electric barest).
  • And at Sala Rossa, local label Arbutus Records negotiates its awkward pubescence by celebrating a roster that includes new signee Lydia Ainsworth, who makes midnight electropop, and slinky indie rock by TOPS. Doldrums DJs to close the night.
Roam:Rain the Color of Blue With a Little Red In It is a Touareg reimagining of Purple Rain, starring Mdou Moctar. Do I need to say anything more? I'll see you there. (Alas, this screening has been postponed.) I strongly encourage you to slip in to see Li'l Andy's country set, or to dive deep into the challenging, rewarding work of Damon & Naomi.
Roll the dice:
Ronnie Spector's Beyond the Beehive talk, mixing archival materials with music and recollections, might be splendid indeed. (Too bad it's so pricy.)

13h - Diamond Bones [Parc de la Petite-Italie - free]
16h - James Irwin [Empire Exchange - free]
16h15 - Phil Collins + Damon & Naomi artist talk [Pop HQ - free]
16h30 - Scott Rodger lecture/interview [Pop HQ - free]
18h - Rain the Color of Blue With a Little Red In It screening [De Seve cinema]
20h - Li'l Andy [Petit Campus - $10]
20h - Damon & Naomi soundtrack Fortune [Pop HQ - $15]
20h30 - Ronnie Spector's Beyond the Beehive [Rialto - $35]
21h - Grey Lands [Cabaret du Mile End - $16]
21h15 - Bernice [La Vitrola - $10]
22h - Mozart's Sister [Cabaret du Mile End - $16]
22h - Soul Khan [SAT - $25]
22h30 - MORI [Cabaret Playhouse - $10]
22h45 - Lydia Ainsworth [Sala Rossa - $?]
22h45 - Maica Mia [La Vitrola - $10]

23h - Diamond Bones [Divan Orange - $15]
23h - PS I Love You [Cabaret du Mile End - $16]
23h15 - Timber Timbre [Metropolis - $30]
23h30 - Petra Glynt [La Vitrola - $10]
00h - The Rural Alberta Advantage [Cabaret du Mile End - $16]
00h15 - TOPS [Sala Rossa - $?]
1h - Construction & Destruction [O Patro Vys - $10]
1h30 - Hilotrons [Cabaret Playhouse - $10]
2h - Twin Shadow [Le Late Night Little Burgundy - $15]

Saturday, September 20

Anchor your day:Saturday boasts a cornucopia of riches!
  • The line-up involves too many acts to highlight them all in the listings below, but Saturday's free, all-day Passovah showcase at Divan Orange is just incredible. A slate of so many awesome things, all of which deserve your time, and all of which I've recommended seeing at other times during the festival. Just come and see them all today: Maica Mia, Noni Wo, Daniel Isaiah, Nancy Pants, Holy Data (new from Ancient Kids' Jordan Robson Cramer).
  • In the early evening, there's a stunning pairing on the Ubisoft Roof: Myriam Gendron, who made an incredible record turning Dorothy Parker's prose into folk songs, and Arcade Fire's Sarah Neufeld, whose debut (instrumental) solo album is a work of quiet, humble wonder.
  • Later, another Arcade Fire-ee, Richard Reed Parry, is presenting his solo work - in this case, recent classical compositions - at the Red Roof church. Esmerine open. This will be a great show.
  • And one more Saturday concert is a feat of programming: beloved local singer Katie Moore appears with outsider folkie Diane Cluck, plus North Carolina country duo Hiss Golden Messenger.
  • Later that night, the city's hippest new label showcases four of its acts, all of which blend louche pop, nimble guitars, and psychedelic quiver: Noni Wo, Pat Jordache, the Group Sound, and Vesuvio Solo. Recommended.
Roam:Don't overlook another marvelous Fixture Records showcase, with bending electric treasures like Brave Radar and Freelove Fenner, plus the Dot Wiggin Band, led by a former member of the Shaggs. Have lunch at Nouveau Palais, with the Sin and the Swoon's perfect country harmonies. Spill into the city's most famous cabaret with the riotous Orkestar Kriminal. Drop in oh WHY?. If you missed Big Brave on Thursday, catch them tonight in even grimmer environs. Dance with Prison Garde and Black Atlass at the Belmont. And some great stuff at Symposium today, including the 13h30 panel ft emissaries from Weird Canada, Constellation and Misery Loves Company.

Roll the dice:

Speaking of the Symposium - Josh Dolgin is moderating a psychedelic keyboard masterclass with Ethiopian-born Hailu Mergia. You can attend a talk by JJ Fad, too - or else just drop in much, much later, when the groundbreaking rap trio will perform "Supersonic" and more. Their openers seem great too.

Finally, the day's third batch of newlyfancy-free Arcade Fire members will be playing basketball with Bon Iver and some NBA stars at the McGill gym. No word yet about half-time entertainment or organ music. (Honestly, this event's highlight is rarely the game.) All proceeds to charity.

12h - Cash Music panel [Pop HQ - free]
13h - Dance workshop with Brontez Purnell Dance Company [Pop HQ - free]
13h - Conversation with JJ Fad [Pop HQ - free]
13h - The Sin and the Swoon [Nouveau Palais - free]
13h30 - Are We All Digital Sharecroppers Now? panel [Pop HQ - free]
14h - Maica Mia [Divan Orange - PWYC]
14h30 - Haili Mergia soul-jazz masterclass with Socalled [Pop HQ - free]
14h30 - Pop vs Jock celebrity basketball game [McGill Sports Centre - $20]

15h - Noni Wo [Divan Orange - PWYC]
16h - Bernice [Empire Exchange - free]
16h - Daniel Isaiah [Divan Orange - PWYC]
17h - Nancy Pants [Divan Orange - PWYC]
17h - Symposium keynote with music exec Danny Goldberg [Pop HQ - free]
18h - Myriam Gendron [Ubisoft Roof - $23]
19h - Sarah Neufeld [Ubisoft Roof - $23]

20h - Holy Data [Divan Orange - $10]
20h - Diane Cluck [Ukrainian Federation - $15]
21h - Esmerine [Red Roof - $18]
21h - Hiss Golden Messenger [Ukrainian Federation - $15]
21h - Schoolboy Q [L'Olympia - $85?!!]
21h - Vesuvio Solo [Pop HQ - $10]
22h - Katie Moore [Ukrainian Federation - $15]
22h - Noni Wo [Pop HQ - $10]
22h - Orkestar Kriminal [Cabaret Cleopatra - $12]
22h - Syngja [Cabaret Playhouse - $10]
22h - Richard Reed Parry [Red Roof - $10]
22h - Brave Radar [Sala Rossa - $13]
22h - Li'l Andy [Nouveau Palais - free]
22h - Panda Bear [Rialto - $25]
22h - Pop vs Jock afterparty with James Murphy and DJ Win Butler [SAT - $15]
22h45 - Freelove Fenner [Sala Rossa - $13]
22h30 - Lakes of Canada [Nouveau Palais - free]
23h - Ty Segall [Club Soda - $18]
23h - The Lovely Feathers [Divan Orange - $10]
23h - WHY? [La Vitrola - $18]
23h - Deafheaven [Il Motore/Le Ritz - $20]
23h - Pat Jordache [Banko Gotiti - $10]
23h30 - Dot Wiggin Band [Sala Rossa - $13]
23h40 - Black Atlass [Le Belmont - $?]
00h - Big Brave [Brasserie Beaubien - $10]
00h - Dishwasher [Divan Orange - $10]
1h - Donzelle [Le Late Night Little Burgundy - $15]
1h50 - Prison Garde [Le Belmont - $?]
2h - Nego Mozambique & Zuzuka Poderosa [Cabaret Playhouse - $?]
2h - JJ Fad [Le Late Night Little Burgundy - $15]

Sunday, September 21

Anchor your day:For a brief window, somewhere between Godspeed's glowing, red rockets and Arcade Fire's ice-storm, the Unicorns were the biggest indie band in Montreal. They were ramshackle and cherubic, genius and fuckd, a marriage of tensions that expressed itself as fraying pop. I loved them, and was maddened by them; and when they finally broke up it felt like it had always been an inevitability. Now, after almost a decade in the wilderness, Alden and Nick and Jamie reunite. Metropolis is, I think, the biggest Montreal venue they've ever headlined. They are bringing along Adam Brown, a wiry rocker from forever ago, and Light Fires, the gender-swapping pop-show of Gentleman Reg Vermue. It's going to be great, or terrible, but probably great. I wish I was in Montreal to see it.

Another excellent full set takes place late on Sunday night: Poirier, one of the country's best DJs; vivacious Kinshasa/Montreal soul-pop from Pierre Kwenders; then great calypso courtesy of Calypso Rose and the Polaris-nominated Kobo Town.

Roam:Maher Shalal Hash Baz are one of the great, strange bands of the past 15 years. Born in Japan, based in Scotland, they mix Captain Beefheart's experimentalism with Belle & Sebastian's twee shamble. They are diffuse and brilliant. I've never seen them, but I long to; and at Pop Montreal they will perform in the city's single greatest performance space, doing a show that involves "the live firing of handmade ceramic pieces". This is my number one pick for the 2014 festival.

In addition: Elizabeth Anka Vajagic, an extraordinary singer, returns for a rare performance, alongside Suzanne Vega. And don't forget Stars, who will be playing their dazzling bedroom rock in a tiny, intimate space.

16h - Maher Shalal Hash Baz [Casa Del Popolo - $10]
14h - Personal Archiving for Musicians talk [Pop HQ - free]
14h - All-day BBQ party ft Vesuvio, Inside Touch, Noni Wo, Pat Jordache, etc [5374 Jeanne Mance, enter from alley - free]
15h30 - Origins of the Montreal Underground 1965-1975 panel [Pop HQ - free]
20h - Stars [Studio Breakglass - $?]
20h30 - The Adam Brown [Metropolis - $27]
21h - Elizabeth Anka Vajagic [Ukrainian Federation - $30]
21h05 - Each Other [Metropolis - $27]
21h50 - Light Fires [Metropolis - $27]
22h - Suzanne Vega [Ukrainian Federation - $30]
22h30 - Unicorns [Metropolis - $27]
21h - Ainsley McNeaney [Petit Campus - $12]
21h45 - Kalmunity Jazz Project [Cafe Resonance - $8]
23h - Poirier [Le Late Night Little Burgundy - $15]
00h - Pierre Kwenders [Le Late Night Little Burgundy - $15]
1h - Calypso Rose & Kobo Town [Le Late Night Little Burgundy - $15]

There you have it. Follow me on Twitter for updates as I get them. And I'm sure I've missed tons of great things - leave your own recommendations in the comments.

Posted by Sean at 9:21 AM | Comments (1)

September 5, 2014

Shade Cream


Trans Am - "Night Shift"

You can always tell a replicant because they don't care about breathing. When all is quiet and calm and the fires have died down and the waters rinse the streets, you, a human, can feel yourself breathing. You watch your stomach rise in front of you and even if you don't think it in words, you think it in shapes "ahh, old friend". It's a calm reminder of your animal nature, it's a comfort to re-understand you are never truly at rest. But a replicant does not need to breathe, it merely simulates the rising and falling of the chest to resemble life. And that, for me, is how I've always been able to tell. When it's quiet, look in their eyes, and see that they don't appreciate for one second they're able to inhale the atmosphere. Their electric breath means nothing to them. It's mere decorum. Like a curtsey.

[Buy] | (image by
Tetevi Teteh

Posted by Dan at 6:00 PM | Comments (1)

September 4, 2014


Photo by Nick White

Frankie Cosmos - "Actin Weird". Sometimes the air is like cotton batten and I am also like cotton batten, cotton batten pushing through cotton batten, in rooms made of cotton batten; and the blood is rushing through my veins, roaring in my ears, some strange feeling tickling at my heart. In these moments I wish I had a kitten to play with; something small and ginger, scampering, whose iPhone never rings. [bandcamp]

(photo by Nick White)

Posted by Sean at 3:04 PM | Comments (0)

September 1, 2014


Man at blackboard

Jacno - "Rectangle".

An orderly process, a systematic day. Measure twice, cut once. Marry the correct partner, purchase a solid house, remember to season your cast-iron pans. Check for rust. Knock twice on the watermelon. I recommend products with lifetime warranties. Sometimes the sky is blazed with lightning-bolts and you think, It is ruined, it will never be the same. But the sky is not ruined; it is always mended. Do things right the first time - they will never need doing again.

[buy Jacno's debut, from 1979]

Kool A.D. ft Talib Kweli & Boots Riley - "Hickory".

      "This is my friend Sam."
      "Hi Sam."
      "Sam doesn't speak. He doesn't have a mouth."
      "Oh, right, yeah. I should have noticed that..."
      "Sam's not a person. He's a flavour."
      "Like... a taste?"
      "More than a taste; a flavour. A discrete and particular essence of a taste."
      "He's an abstract concept."
      "He's an abstract concept that's grounded in the real."
      "Like a horizon?"
      "Kind of like a horizon. He is an incredible dancer, an excellent friend, but he has no arms, legs or corporeal presence."
      "He seems nice."
      "We're talking about him like he isn't here! Hahaha!"
      "Hahahahahaha! Hahaha!"
      "I love hanging out with flavours. The best party I've ever been to in my life was at Sam's place. A house-party, but I was pretty much the only guest who wasn't a flavour. Just a whole house full of flavours, flavours in every room. It was euphoric, almost psychedelic. When I woke up the next day I felt like my senses had been scrubbed with grapefruit-juice."
      "That reminds me of this time I went to a party at a saxophone-player's house. Everyone was a saxophone-player. Saxophones everywhere, swinging from everyone's necks."
      "Except you."
      "Yeah, except me. I didn't have a sax to bring. I brought chips."
      "Sometimes I feel sad that Sam can't eat chips."

[thanks Casimir! / bandcamp]

Posted by Sean at 2:00 PM | Comments (0)