M for Montreal 2017 Thursday: Corridor, Anemone, Pierre Kwenders & more
Thursday night (11/16) in Montreal was cold and rainy/snowy, that yucky “wintery mix” that is not so fun to be out in. On the plus side, I saw one of the best new things I’ve seen at M for Montreal in a while…or NYC for that matter. Corridor are the kind of band I’m prone to like, drawing influences from the warped pop of the post-punk era, mixing nervy, hyper playing with dreamy harmonies and the occasional odd time signature. While they probably own a few copies of XTC’s Drums & Wires and the first Feelies album, it’s merely inspiration — they sound modern, and their creative energy was practically bursting out of them at Cafe Cleopatre on Thursday night. I didn’t even realize as I was watching them that all their songs were in French. Most of their set drew from this year’s Supermercado album and you can stream that in full below.
The showcase at Cafe Cleopatre (which most nights is a strip club / burlesque house) was all of the post-punk / psych variety, and all the acts were good. Anemone, who take their name from a Brian Jonestown Massacre song and just wrapped a tour with Mild High Club, are a bit like Stereolab but with more groovy ’60s baroque pop and less situationalism. Sporting very catchy songs and an engaging frontperson in singer and chief songwriter Chloé Soldevila, Amemone will have their debut album out early next year. Opening the night were The Avulsions who hail from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, which is not really known for it’s music scene, but their dark, brooding sound (think Priests/Protomartyr) has a lot of promise, though they’re not 100% there yet.
As usual, M for Montreal has you ping-ponging between two clubs and across Boulevard Saint-Laurent at Club Soda was a showcase of Franco-Canadian hip hop which, for this American, was mostly a novelty. Headliner Koriass had the large Club Soda crowd bouncing and rapping along, however, and his live band was very tight. (Undercard Lary Kidd, who used a lot of gunshot percussion samples, did zero for me.) The opener, Pierre Kwenders, was the most appealing to me by far, with a mix of afrobeat styles, hip hop and little reggaton. He was good.
Tonight (11/17), M for Montreal shifts from a more industry-focused conclave to more of a citywide music fest, with shows in 20+ venues with performances from Alvvays, Odesza, Del tha Funky Homosapien, UK punks Shame, rising queer riff-rockers Partner, Yonatan Gat, The Darcys, and more. You can check out a few wobbly cameraphone shots from Thursday night in the gallery above and listen to some of the bands who played, below.
You can read about the first night of M for Montreal here.