Posted in music | pictures on December 1, 2009

by Bill Pearis

Le Matos
M for Montreal

Last year when I went to M for Montreal, I didn't know any of the bands going in, which made it sort of exciting, with no preconceived notions from hype or un-hype. This time, though, I had heard many of the bands at M, as well as having seen a handful of them before. At Friday's sélection officielle at club Just Pour Rire (10/20), I'd seen half of the bands before, and the other half I'd given at least a cursory listen.

The best surprise of the night was electronic trio Le Matos who are kind of Montreal's Simian Mobile Disco, and tore the place up with a blinding set of squelchy techno. I mean blinding literally: surrounded by a ring of versatile "light pillars" (my term) you could barely see the musicians. Most of my pictures were either a giant block of bright color or completely black thanks to the strobes. If you've seen SMD's live set, it was definitely influenced by that but Le Matos took it full circle. While their music feels a little 2007, but in the moment, at maximum volume and with that light show, it was kind of awesome and the crowd was eating it up like so much sugary cereal. They are getting a lot of remix work, so look out for these guys next year.

My favorite non-surprise was probably Parlovr who I caught at CMJ about a month ago and was impressed by then. Even more so now. The band's self-titled, self-released 2008 album does not do them justice, making them sound like a Wolf Parade Jr. Live, Parlovr are way more energetic, fun and melodic -- though it may have also had something to do with a fair amount of new material in their set. Singers Louis Jackson and Alex Cooper semi face each other from opposite sides of the stage rocking back and forth like manic Drinking Birds, flipping their '90s skate rat hair around, while mountain man drummer Jeremy MacCuish holds down the beat. They clearly enjoy playing, and it's a lot of fun to watch too. New album due early next year apparently.

Also impressive live are Toronto's DD/MM/YYYY who have clearly gotten much tighter than the last time I saw them (Don Pedro's, like three years ago). It's proggy-mathy, but bordering on chaos too. I'm not that crazy about their records -- a little too much going on at one time for my poppier tastes -- but I'd go see them again, no question.

The rest of the evening's bands were a little underwhelming. Silly Kissers didn't wear mime makeup this time (like they did at CMJ) which is a definite plus, but I really don't think they are "export ready." Which is not a dis. Their low fi, cutesy (sometimes charming) version of '80s synthpop would be more at home at a house party rather than with the fancy lights at Juste Pour Rire -- though a special appearance from Cadence Weapon (his second of the fest) added cred.

Neither Two Hours Traffic (Weezer-ish power pop) or Silver Starling (who sounded like a more commercially-minded Arcade Fire) did much for me.

The night ended with a "surprise" performance by BEAST, which wasn't that much of a surprise as one of M's organizers is their manager, but it was a welcome finish to Friday. Like Think About Life, seeing BEAST in front of an adoring Montreal crowd is a completely different experience from seeing them in skeptical New York. This was my fourth time seeing them (previously, most recently at the Brooklyn Vegan day party during CMJ), and though their set has pretty much remained the same since this time last year, they do it so well. singer Betti Bonifassi has such magnetism - it's still fun. And the crowd was going crazy for them. They brought down the house.

The previous night's review and pics are HERE. More pictures from night two, and video of Parlovr's performance are below...

Two Hours Traffic...

M for Montreal

M for Montreal

Silly Kissers...

M for Montreal

M for Montreal

DD/MM/YYYY...

M for Montreal

M for Montreal

Parlovr...

M for Montreal

M for Montreal

Silver Starling...

M for Montreal

Le Matos...

M for Montreal

Beast...

M for Montreal

Parlovr @ M for Montreal 2009

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Comments (2)

le mehtos

Posted by Anonymous | December 1, 2009 11:12 PM

DD/MehM/YYYY

A little too much going on for your poppy taste, indeed!

Posted by Anonymous | December 2, 2009 12:46 AM

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