Entries tagged with: Esmerine
by Bill Pearis
Suuns at Casa Del Popolo, 11/14/2012
The 2012 M for Montreal festival kicked off last night in its namesake city with a pair of conjoined shows at La Sala Rossa and Casa Del Popolo which is just across the street on Saint Laurent Boulevard. The evening began with instrumental quartet Esmerine whose neo-classical sound included cello, an orchestral xylophone (which was sometimes bowed) and elaborate projections that were somewhere between shadow puppet theatre and animation. I have a feeling the short set times M allows (most bands got 25 minutes) was a hindrance for Esmerine whose music hinted at Godspeed builds... but without that type of explosive payoff. Would love to see a proper set.
Blue Hawaii at Casa Del Popolo, 11/14/2012
Next I shuffled across the street to catch duo Blue Hawaii, featuring Raphaelle Standell-Preston from Braids on vocals/loop pedals and Alexander Cowan who manned a bank of samplers. I'd missed them at CMJ (and at our own CMJ show in 2011) and am usually a little wary of electronic acts like this in a live setting but the two managed to be pretty compelling, thanks in no small part to the stage presence of Raph who clearly enjoys being able to move around more, even if her repeated tries at getting the crowd of "international delegates" (journalists, music supervisors, etc) to dance. Certainly the music warranted it, their upcoming album Untogether imagines a world where the Cocteau Twins were produced by The Aphex Twin. There's also a sonic similarity to many of their Abutus Records labelmates (Grimes, D'Eon) but Blue Hawaii have their own sound.
Eight and a Half at Sala Rossa, 11/14/2012
Back over at Sala Rossa, it was Eight and a Half, a project from Dave Hamelin and Liam O'Neil of The Stills along with Justin Peroff of Broken Social Scene. Their debut album came out earlier this year and is pretty good, with the kind of drama the Stills were known but set against throbbing analog synths. Live, it was a little underwhelming though Hamelin gave it his best, still swinging for the bleachers, persona-wise, throwing himself into his guitar in a way maybe the music didn't warrant. Or maybe it was just the crowd.
Mozart's Sister @ Sala Rossa, 11/14/2012
Next up was Mozart's Sister, the solo project from Caila Thompson-Hannant of Think About Life (and Shapes and Sizes before that) which brings and electro twist to R&B style pop. Anyone who has seen her other bands live before knows she has an amazing set of pipes and a magnetic stage presence to match, which is more than enough to carry the minimal live show which included a guy on bass and a second singer (last night was the debut of this configuration). It was also enough to make up for the sound issues that were clearly frustrating the hell out of Thompson-Hannant, who cracked jokes through her annoyance.
by Bill Pearis
The seventh annual M for Montreal festival happens next week (November 14 - 17) in its namesake Canadian city. Previous years, M4M has featured mainly Montreal (and other parts of Canada) artists, being showcased to a group of "international delgates" (talent buyers, journalists, music supervisors, tour agenents and other industry types) in a tightly controlled set of shows, this year's fest expands its scope with nearly 100 performer at 16 venues, giving it more of an actual festival feel than an industry conference that has music showcases the public could by tickets to.
The line-up is much more global this year as well, with musicians from France, Iceland and, for the first time, the United States playing alongside bands from all over Canada. Artists playing the 2012 edition include Death Grips, Of Monsters and Men, Mac DeMarco, Suuns, Mykki Blanco, Sun Airway, A Place To Bury Strangers, Cadence Weapon, Memoryhouse, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Bleeding Rainbow and Blue Hawaii. Full list of performers is below and daily schedule is here and advance tickets to shows and panel discussions are available.
If you want a taste of Montreal this week in NYC, beyond the snow we're currently experiencing, Montreal rapper Cadence Weapon plays Glasslands on Friday (11/9) with Fat Tony. Tickets are still available. Cadence Weapon tour dates are listed below.