Entries tagged with: Half Moon Run
photos by Ellie Pritts
Outkast / Nick Cave / Modest Mouse
Headliner OutKast took the stage with a more pertinent query: "Are you ready for the greatest rap group of all time?" It was classic rap hype, and yet as the ensuing 90 minutes proved, the recently reunited duo of Big Boi and Andre 3000 has earned the right to include itself in the ranks of the hip hop elite. Not only did these guys show no rust, they reminded us what made them great since their first album, Southernplayalisticadillacmusik, was released 20 years ago: a dynamic and utterly complementary MC team blessed with rare musicality, lyrical ingenuity and stylistic audacity. From frenetic opener Bombs Over Baghdad to the understatedly anthemic Wheelz of Steel, civil rights party jam Rosa Parks and the song that made them a household name, Ms. Jackson, they were at once authoritatively engaging and sonically adventurous. Sure, there were hits, lots - including irresistible genre-bender Hey Ya! (delivered by André 3000 with a line of female fans dancing on stage - cheesy, but effective), sly boast So Fresh, So Clean, and the beautifully sleepy Elevators - but it's all relative. At its best, OutKast mixed cool and creativity like nobody's business. [Montreal Gazette]Taking place over the same weekend as Lollapalooza, and boasting a similarly huge lineup, Montreal's annual music festival Osheaga went down over this past weekend (August 1-3). The stacked festival included sets from Outkast, Jack White, The Replacements (with Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong), Arctic Monkeys, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Modest Mouse, Danny Brown, Mac Demarco, Against Me!, The Dismemberment Plan, Haim and many more. Pictures of some of those artists, and a bunch of others, are in this post.
They continue below...
The National / M.I.A. / Deafheaven / crowd
For a moment there, it looked like The National's headlining set at Sasquatch - one of the band's biggest shows to date - was going to be underwhelming. For the first twenty minutes, the band felt too mellow, and frontman Matt Berninger, disinterested. And then, after "Don't Swallow The Cap", a switch seemingly went off in Berninger's head, and suddenly a middling National show turned into an outstanding, headlining-worthy triumph. After a furious "Afraid of Everyone", Berninger threw the first of many wine glasses (and later, bottles) into the air, walking away as it shattered on the ground. By the time he'd gotten to the always-intense "Squalor Victoria", he'd thrown his first microphone. By the end of main set closer "Mr. November", he'd attacked a stage banner, drank more wine, thrown a stage light, drank even more wine, dove into the crowd, crowdsurfed back, screamed at a sidestage LED screen, gone back into the crowd, drank wine (just to spit it out), and smashed whatever glass remained at that point. [KEXP]We've already posted day 1 pictures of Washington state's 2014 Sasquatch music festival, and here's a set of day 2 (5/24), including shots of The National, Cut Copy, Tyler the Creator, Austra, M.I.A., Panda Bear, Neko Case, Washed Out, Deafheaven, Violent Femmes, The Dodos, First Aid Kit and more. Pictures continue below...
Phoenix @ Barclays Center, 2013 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
As you may know, the 2014 Governors Ball happens at Randall's Island from June 6-8. Individual day line-ups have been announced with Outkast, Phoenix and TV on the Radio headlining Friday (6/6), Jack White, The Strokes and Skrillex headlining Saturday (6/7), and Vampire Weekend and Axwell ^ Ingrosso headining Sunday (6/8). You can check each day's full line-up (though set times are still TBA) below.
Additionally, individual day tickets go on sale this Friday (4/4) at noon, with a limited Citi cardmember presale beginning Wednesday (4/2) at 10 AM.
Daily Governors Ball 2014 lineups below...
Montreal's Osheaga Festival is returning this year from August 1 - 3 at Parc Jean-Drapeau. The lineup was just announced and includes Outkast, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, The Replacements, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Modest Mouse, Local Natives, Haim, SBTRKT (who's streaming a new EP), Pusha T, Gogol Bordello, Cut Copy, Flume, Chance the Rapper, Gesaffelstein, Danny Brown, Four Tet, Volcano Choir, Against Me!, Joey Bada$$, Jon Hopkins, Kevin Drew, Duke Dumont, Shlohmo, The Dismemberment Plan, Courtney Barnett, Hospitality, The Men and more. Tickets are on sale now.
Check out the complete lineup below...
Toronto's Field Trip Festival began last year as a celebration of label Arts & Crafts' 10th anniversary. It's returning again this year, happening June 7 & 8 at Fort York & Garrison Common with Broken Social Scene headlining once again, but will expand beyond the Arts & Crafts roster. Interpol, The Kills, the reunited Constantines, CHVRCHES, Fucked Up, Washed Out, Lord Huron, Austra are among the other bands playing the 2014 edition. Tickets, in a variety of packages, are on sale now.
Full announced line-up is below.
Sasquatch! Music Festival is returning for two weekends in 2014 to The Gorge in Quincy, Washington, and the lineups (which are different both weekends) have just been announced. The May lineup (5/23 - 5/25, aka Memorial Day Weekend) includes Outkast, The National, Queens of the Stone Age, M.I.A., Haim, Neko Case, Foals, Cut Copy, Violent Femmes, Elbow, Mogwai, Tyler the Creator, Chance the Rapper, Rudimental, Phantogram, tUnE-yArDs, First Aid Kit, Rodriguez, AlunaGeorge, Panda Bear, Phosphorescent, Bob Mould, Washed Out, Austra, Parquet Courts, Deafheaven, Big Freedia, Liars, Waxahatchee, Tacocat, Princess (feat. Maya Rudolph), Bridget Everett, Eric Andre and more.
The July lineup (7/4 - 7/6, aka Independence Day Weekend) includes Soundgarden, Kraftwerk, New Order, Frank Ocean, Royksopp + Robyn, Neutral Milk Hotel, Spoon, Broken Bells, Tegan & Sara, Local Natives, Gogol Bordello, Rhye, Black Angels, Deltron 3030, The Horrors, Junip, The Notwist, Kurt Vile, Talib Kweli, of Montreal, Action Bronson, Punch Brothers, Sharon Van Etten, Casey Veggies, RL Grime, Fuck Buttons, Courtney Barnett, Cloud Nothings, Foxygen, Palma Violets, Mikal Cronin, Mac DeMarco, Jon Hopkins, Gold Panda, Majical Cloudz, Duke Dumont, Oneohtrix Point Never, Death, Black Prairie, Latryx, Metz, John Grant, Reigning Sound, Young & Sick, Chad VanGaalen, Mutual Benefit, Helms Alee, Demetri Martin, Eugene Mirman, Kurt Braunohler, John Hodgman and more. There will also be fireworks for the 4th of July.
Tickets (including a 2-weekend pass option) go on sale Saturday at 10 AM.
Full lineups for both weekends below...
Governors Ball 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
We already knew that Outkast would be headlining this year's Governors Ball music festival, which goes down on NYC's Randall's Island from June 6-8, and now, one day after the lineup of Firefly Fest was announced, and a few days after we found out who was playing Coachella, the full lineup has been announced. It includes Jack White, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, Interpol, TV on the Radio, Julian Casablancas, Disclosure, Spoon, Broken Bells, Damon Albarn, James Blake, Neko Case, The Kills, Grimes, Janelle Monae, Tyler the Creator, Washed Out, Earl Sweatshirt, Kurt Vile, Chance the Rapper, Deafheaven, Run the Jewels and many more.
UPDATE: The Strokes are playing too!
Tickets go on sale today (1/15) at 3 PM. Full lineup and flyer below...
Half Moon Run at Austin's Stubbs in June (more by Sarah Frankie Linder)
Montreal's Half Moon Run have been touring relentlessly since the release of their debut album and are one of the many bands who will descend on NYC next month for CMJ 2013. They'll probably be playing a few times, like most bands do these days, but their major bow during the week happens October 19 at Bowery Ballroom headlining the Paradigm Agency showcase that also features MisterWives, Gospels, and Flagship. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (9/6) at noon with an AmEx presale beginning Wednesday (9/4) at noon.
That show is part of a fall tour with MisterWives. They've also go European dates after that and all are listed below.
The 2013 CMJ Music Marathon happens from October 15 - 19 at clubs all over New York City. As we've been tweeting about at @BVCMJ, tonight (8/27), the CMJ folks held an announcement party at Bowery Electric with live performances from Weekend and Magic Man.
They also announced their initial line-up for this year's fest, which includes Kevin Drew, The Long Winters, Real Estate, Obits, The Dismemberment Plan (Terminal 5), Pelican (who are playing both of our Invisible Oranges showcases at Saint Vitus), Jacco Gardner, Good Riddance, Godflesh, Eagulls, the Pendu Sound showcase, and many more.
We'll have a set of pics from Weekend and Magic Man soon, but for now peruse the full initial CMJ 2013 line-up below.
Half Moon Run @ Stubb's in Austin on Monday (more by Sarah Frankie Linder)
As mentioned, Montreal's Half Moon Run will be in town this week for two headlining NYC shows: Glasslands on Friday (6/7) with Young Unknows (tickets) and Mercury Lounge on Monday (6/10) with Oceanographer (tickets). Both are much, much smaller venues than most of dates they've had on their current North American tour which has been spent opening for Glassnote labelmates Mumford & Sons and Of Monsters and Men (who play Governors Ball on Friday). Their tour with that Icelandic band hit Austin earlier this week (6/3) and you can check out a full set of pictures from that at BV Austin.
Half Moon Run's 2012 debut album, Dark Eyes, is being re-released on Glassnote July 23, with a bit of a spit-shine from Spoon cohort Jim Eno and a few tracks being swapped out. You can stream one of the new tracks from it, "Unofferable," below and download it from HMR's bandcamp.
All upcoming Half Moon Run tour dates are listed below...
Lollapalooza 2012 (more by James Richards IV)
After it was already confirmed that Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, The Postal Service, The National, The Killers, and Mumford and Sons were playing Lollapalooza 2013, a pretty promising leak came which appeared to potentially reveal the rest of the lineup, and it turns out that leak was real.
In addition to the previously mentioned artists, Lollapalooza will include Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Kendrick Lamar, Grizzly Bear, The Cure, New Order, Baroness, Beach House, Cat Power, Death Grips, Jessie Ware, Father John Misty, DIIV, Wavves, Alt-J, Hot Chip, Disclosure, Baauer, Palma Violets, Angel Haze, Band of Horses, Crystal Castles and many others.
Lollapalooza goes down in Chicago from August 2 - 4 in Grant Park. Single day passes go on sale Wednesday (4/3) at 10 AM.
Full day-by-day lineup below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Half Moon Run @ BVSXSW 2013
Montreal's Half Moon Run have played BV SXSW day parties the last two years, playing our Friday show this year and pictures from their set are in this post. The band's debut album, Dark Eyes, is getting reissued in America on Glassnote (home of Phoenix, CHVRCHES and more) which should bring their harmony-laden songs to a lot more ears. You can stream it below.
Meanwhile, the band are going out on tour with their new labelmates Mumford & Sons this summer, as well as dates with Of Monsters and Men. Amongst these big, big shows Half Moon Run will play two headlining club dates in NYC: June 7 at Glasslands and June 10 at Mercury Lounge. Tickets to Glasslands and tickets to Mercury Lounge go on sale Friday (4/5) at noon. All tour dates are listed below.
photos by Sarah Frankie Linder
Polyphonic Spree/Thermals/Diamond Rings
The Main was packed for our Friday SXSWS day party (3/15). That includes the the actual stage, as all 23 members of The Polyphonic Spree on hand to headline. The Spree's joyous set ended with their cover of Nirvana's "Lithium" that had the whole place singing. Diamond Rings -- who now count Miracle Fortress/Think About Life's Graham Van Pelt as a touring memeber -- tore the place up too with one of the most fun sets on our stage this week. So did The Thermals, for that matter. The Main also saw sets from UK neo-postpunk act TOY, Swedish pop vets Shout Out Louds, Akron/Family, and Montreal's Half Moon Run. The Jr. stage was curated by our loud brethren at Invisible Oranges (and Heavy Dicks) and will have pics of that carnage soon. Meanwhile, dig into more of Friday's action from The Main below.
In addition to the music, Onkyo was there, sampling their new headphones which hit stores next month. mophie maker of invaluable iPhone chargers, were giving away discount cards good at their pop-up shop which was set up right across the street on Red River.We were also serving complimentary Jameson, and Zico coconut water, free vegan queso and chips from Food For Lovers, and free vegan breakfast tacos from Pink Avocado. We also had BrooklynVegan t-shirts for the first 50 people in the door, thanks to American Apparel. Also thanks to our other sponsors, M for Montreal, Korg, Vox, Blackstar, Creative Recreation, Signazon, ASCAP, MailChimp and Redigi.
Today (3/16) is the final free BV SXSW day party at The Main and The Jr. The fun starts at noon CDT and The Main stage is co-presented by our friends at Pianos and features Unknown Mortal Orchestra, A Place to Bury Strangers, Austra, Foxygen, Palma Violets, Autre Ne Veut and Empress of. The Jr stage has King Tuff, Dodrums, MS MR, The Orwells, Peace (UK), Feathers, White Lung, and TEEN. That is a pretty amazing line-up if we do say so ourselves.
And tonight is the offical BrooklynVegan/Invisible Oranges SXSW showcase with KEN Mode (who replace Pinkish Black), Homewrecker, Full of Hell, Mutilation Rights, John Baizley, and Pallbearer. If you're in Austin, come on down!
As you know, BrooklynVegan is returning to Austin for SXSW this year and throwing four days of day parties at The Main & The Jr aka 603 Red River Street at the corner of 6th aka the old Emo's location. Those happen Wed (3/13), Thurs, Fri and Saturday (3/16). All shows are 100% FREE with RSVP.
Frightened Rabbit @ T5, Nov. 2010 (more by Lionel Bergeron)
SXSW has just announced another round of bands for the 2013 edition of the annual music festival that will happen March 12 - 17. This brings the total current number of acts to around 1300. Someome of the highlights include Vampire Weekend, Frightened Rabbit, The Thermals, Black Lips, Camera Obscura, Merchandise, Bleached, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Eagles of Death Metal, Parenthetical Girls, Indians, Night Beds, IO Echo, KEN Mode, Prince Paul, Pure Bathing Culture, Sepalcure, UK motorik post-punks TOY, Finnish instrumentalists K-X-P, Toronto's Moon King, UK indie rockers Splashh (not Brooklyn Splash with one "h") and loads more. Head to BV Austin for the whole Round 3 list.
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.
The full list of artists confirmed for the 2012 CMJ Music Marathon so far is below...
by BIll Pearis
Half Moon Run at Hotel Vegan, SXSW 2012 (more by Tim Griffin)
Montreal's Half Moon Run have been tapped to open on Metric's upcoming North American tour which includes a stop at Radio City Music Hall on September 23 to which tickets are still available. All Metric/Half Moon Run tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
The band won over crowds at the 2011 M for Montreal and have since played BV / M for Montreal shows at SXSW and the Great Escape festival. Their debut album Dark Eyes came out earlier this year, mingling '60s folk rock harmonies and modern dynamics and percussion, and you can stream the whole thing at the bottom of this post. If you're going to see Metric on this tour, definitely go early and catch them.
There's a few open dates after the Radio City show, maybe Half Moon Run will add a smaller show while they're in town? We can hope. Tour dates and album stream are below.
We just posted about Austra who's coming back to North America (including 9/19 at Music Hall of Williamsburg) after a tour of Europe. She's also one of many artists playing the 2012 Osheaga Festival in Montreal which happens August 3 - 5. Tickets are still available for the three-day event.
In addition to Austra, Osheaga plays host to The Black Keys, Snoop Dogg, Justice, Metric (who play Radio City Music Hall soon), Sigur Ros (who play Prospect Park and are streaming their new LP), Florence & The Machine (who plays Jones Beach this summer), The Weeknd, Passion Pit (who play Governor's Ball soon), The Jesus & Mary Chain, MGMT, Santigold (who just played Irving), Zola Jesus (who just played the Guggenheim) and many many more.
Full Osheaga lineup is below.
I forgot to mention, in the post with the new Grimes video today, that BrooklynVegan & M For Montreal are proud to present a show with the Montreal artist THIS FRIDAY NIGHT (5/11) in Brighton, UK as part of the three-day Great Escape Festival that begins today (5/10). Taking place at Digital, our full show lineup is Grimes, YACHT, Brooklyn band My Best Fiend and Montreal trio Half Moon Run who we also hosted on the M For Montreal co-presented day of Hotel Vegan at SXSW this year. If you're over in that part of the world right now, we hope to see you there.
Other acts playing the Great Escape this weekend include Friends, The Twilight Sad, EMA, The Temper Trap, The Black Belles, Gaz Coombes, We Are Augustines, Kwes, St Lucia, Body Language, Devin, The Front Bottoms, Cloud Nothings, Haim, Pond, Wild Belles, S.C.U.M, We Are Scientists, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Kids in Glass Houses. Booka Shade, Mystery Jets, Dry The River, Alabama Shakes, Django Django, Doldroms, and many more.
As you can see in the flyer above, M For Montreal is also throwing an event at the festival's "Canada House" on Saturday as well. M For Montreal's own festival goes down in Montreal in November. Tickets are on sale now. (also: Mikey from M For Montreal is up for an award at the Great Escape. Vote and find more info HERE).
Grimes also has a big NYC show scheduled this summer.
the flyer (with most of the bands playing on it)
BrooklynVegan is proud to team up with M for Montreal again for a FREE Day Party in Austin on Thursday, March 15th from noon-7pm at Hotel Vegan (one of BrooklynVegan's FOUR DAYS in the venue located at 1500 E. 6th St.).
I'll let this full three-stage lineup speak for itself...
Stage 1 (Hotel Vegas Outside)That's all Austin bands on the BV Austin stage. It's going to a very great day
12:00 Of Monsters & Men
12:45 Glen Hansard (of Swell Season & the Frames)
1:30 We Are Serenades (formerly Serenades, mem. Shout Out Louds)
3:00 Korallreven (mem. of the Radio Dept)
4:30 The Drums
5:15 The Wedding Present
6:15 This Will Destroy You
Stage 2 (Hotel Vegas Inside)
12:00 Half Moon Run
1:30 Cold Specks
2:15 Cymbals Eat Guitars
3:00 The Velvet Teen
3:45 Yellow Ostrich
4:30 The Jealous Sound
Stage 3 (Volstead) (BV Austin stage)
12:15 Love Inks
2:30 Ringo Deathstarr
3:15 Silent Diane
4:00 The Young
In addition to the completely free lineup of 24 bands playing on THREE stages, we will also have complimentary drinks courtesy of HobNob Wines, the official wine parter of our entire week of FREE PARTIES at Hotel Vegan (check out HobNob's Facebook page for free music downloads), and a hosted bar courtesy of Sailor Jerry
Special thanks to all of our partners and sponsors for making this party possible - including Vox, Blackstar and Korg, our official backline partners, as well as ASCAP, HobNob Wines, NadaMoo!, Sailor Jerry and M for Montreal! And special thanks to GBH Design for making our awesome flyer!
This is the first full day at Hotel Vegan announced. 2/3 of the Wednesday lineup is HERE. Friday and Saturday coming shortly.
photos by Alexandre Bédard; words & additional photos by Bill Pearis
The final day of M for Montreal is traditionally the busiest, with an entire afternoon of Francophone bands and then the big show at the Metropolis theater. This year was even more packed, with a second tiny stage that was for "international delegates" only in Metropolis' Savoy Room to keep us entertained between acts at the main show.
Our badges also got us in to see M83 who were playing around the corner from the Metropolis at Société des arts technologiques (Le SAT) which was without a doubt the best show of the weekend. M83 play two sold-out shows in NYC this week: tonight (11/22) at Webster Hall and tomorrow (11/23) at Music Hall of Williamsburg. I'm a pretty casual fan of the band but the combination of great material, a fantastic live band (including keyboardist/vocalist Morgan Kibby), plus a killer light show and sound added up to one of the best shows of the year. The crowd was way into it and you couldn't not be swept along. If you can weasel yourself into one of these shows, I highly recommend doing so as M83 are firing on all cylinders right now. Not sure how much of the light show was M83's and how much was the venue's but it certainly made a giant impact for those of us who didn't force our way to the front.
There were a couple other bands who played the final night of M who are swinging through NYC soon so let's hit them first. Karkwa headlined the Metropolis event, which might have even been a small show for them. Even before winning the Polaris Prize last year for their album Les Chemins de Verre, Karkwa were selling out 3000 capacity venues in Montreal. Which makes the fact they're playing Rockwood Music Hall on December 8 all the more crazy. There has to be fans driving down from Montreal for the chance to see them in such a tiny space.
I saw Karkwa at M for Montreal three years ago when I dubbed them French-Canadian Radiohead but that tag doesn't really stick so much anymore. With Les Chemins de Verre the band have more easily digestible song structure but retain that soaring, widescreen sound. Yes, they sing in French which is the main reason why America has yet to care, but if you can listen to Sigur Ros and not worry about what they're saying, you can do it here. Karkwa are compelling live, absolutely worth checking out in such an intimate setting.
The Barr Brothers
The Barr Brothers were the other highlight of the Metropolis show. I was impressed last year, but the band have just gotten better as performers thanks to near-constant touring. That touring brings them to Joe's Pub on December 7 and Union Pool on December 8.
While not the type of music I normally listen to (KEXP/KCRW alt-folk), there is no denying they're skilled songwriters and a knockout live band. And clever arrangers too, prone to inventive instrumentation. In addition to a full-time harpist, Andrew Barr plays a "threaded" acoustic guitar which allows for a bowed-like sound, and homemade guitars and banjos. They really are great live and it won't be long before they are playing much bigger venues.
The rest of the Metropolis show was filled with Big In Montreal acts: Stonesy rockers Galaxie, Random Recipe's crunchy hip hop, the lovely and talented Marie-Pierre Arthur (very Patrick Watson-ish), and Arianne Moffat.
Half Moon Run
In the Savoy Room, the "international delegates" got a second shot at seeing Half Moon Run who had wowed a lot of folks the day before. The room was packed for them and it's rare that a crowd of industry folk demand an encore but we did just that. Expect to be hearing a lot more about this trio soon.
The Savoy Room also had two sets for D'Eon who looked like Andrew WK but but whose music was an eccentric mashup of slo-jam R&B, mid-90s jungle, '80s New Beat and goth. It was weird, fun, most of the room was not paying attention but I kinda loved it. You can stream his album Palinopsia at the bottom of this post and D'Eon's got a split-12" out now with Grimes as well. Look out for this guy.
During the day Saturday was the annual Francophone showcase at Cafe Campus featuring eight bands, none of whom sang in English. Highlights were Fanny Bloom who fronts the kitschy, very French-sounding La Paterie Rose but whose solo material (the album's out early next year) was much to my taste. She's a real charmer.
I also liked Karim Oullet who opened the show and brought a bit of world music flair to his set. We also got the kooky hip hop group Alclaire Ensemble who all wore silk masks; the Franco-Celtic sounds of Canailles; Alfa Rococco who are like a Montreal Roxette (sort of, less cheese though); Peter Peter who reminded me of The Gin Blossoms (a little dull); Jimmy Hunt played Chanson-style folk (pretty good); and Alexandre Désilets whose set I missed due to a need for food. It's hard to pay attention on an empty stomach.
More photos from M for Montreal's Saturday showcases, a stream of the D'Eon album and tour dates for Karkwa and The Barr Brothers are below...
By Bill Pearis
Half Moon Run
As an "international delegate" at M for Montreal, by Friday you start to get a little worn out. Your day is booked with meet-ups, panels, something called "speed schmoozing" and loads of bands. Most of it's fun or interesting but I went to sneak a catnap on Friday afternoon and ended up sleeping through one whole showcase. (Sorry, I.No and Bobby Bazini.)
But there was a lot of good in what I did see, including what most agreed was the best new band of the week, Half Moon Run. The Montreal trio match songwriting (and harmonies) of '60s folk rock with the atmospherics of Radiohead. A little too like Radiohead occasionally, but for the most part Half Moon Run had found their own way. I was instantly impressed but it took me a day to get their name right: I tweeted praise for something called Full Moon Circle, which I later realized was partially from one of their songs "Full Circle." (That song and another are streaming at the bottom of this post.) Maybe the name's not so memorable but their music sure was.
Buddy McNeil and the Magic Mirrors
The afternoon show Half Moon Run were part of also featured Buddy McNeil and the Magic Mirrors, punchy twang-n-roll dressed in Nautical outfits; Toronto four-piece The Midway State who make commercial-sounding alt-rock (clearly talented but definitely MOR); and the widescreen roar that was Passwords, who all the Brit journalists in attendance seemed to go gaga for.
After the unplanned three-hour konk-out and some much-needed dinner it was off to La Sala Rossa again for the official evening showcase, which was co-presented by CMJ. Hollerado headlined the show and are a lot of fun. And know their way around a giant hooks, the kind that would've made them hugely popular in the mid-'90s. Songs like "Americanarama" and "Juliette" (from their debut Record in a Bag) would've fit perfectly in between "Seether" and "Sucked Out" on a mixtape. As it is, Hollerado are merely Very Popular in Canada and fans are vocal and rowdy in a good-natured way. The band encourage it with confetti cannons, glowing beach balls and a cover of "Fat Bottom Girls." They also had awesome t-shirts at the merch table co-opting the Wu-Tang Clan logo and the Heisenberg sketch the Cousins pray to in Breaking Bad.
The showcase also had Parlovr on the bill who I've seen a handful of times over the last three years and have become a really solid live band. There's a lot of flying hair and the drummer is crazy tall with long arms flying the whole time. I'm not sure they have yet to write a song as catchy as "Heaven/Hell" which opens their set. If they have, they're not playing it yet.
Uncle Bad Touch
Also on the La Sala Rossa bill: Montreal's Uncle Bad Touch who recently signed to JEFF the Brotherhood's Infinity Cat label and that probably tells you a lot about their sound. (Riffy, sneery, Nuggets-y party rock.) For those in NYC, Uncle Bad Touch play Death By Audio on November 29.
We also got duo TONSSTARTBANDHT who started off Animal Collectively but became progressively more prone to dissonance. I still don't know how to pronounce their name.
Like the previous night, they had us running across the street to Casa Del Popolo to see more bands. Toronto's Doldrums (aka Alrick Woodhead) was wonderfully ADD, twiddling knobs, hammering sample triggers and pacing around the stage. Too many ideas crammed into one 20-minute set? Maybe, but it was exciting seeing talent that is only just now beginning to show its potential.
The other band at Casa Del Popolo was Candian/Swedish combo Thus:Owls, the only band of the week to use a colon in their name. The band stay busy in Montreal, backing Patrick Watson and Marie Pierre Arthur (who would play the next night). Here, fronted by harpsichord-wielding Erika Angell, they are delicate and stirring and swoony. Angell's got some pipes.
After the Salla Rosa show, we headed over to the late-night after party at Club Soda, one of Montreal's many amazing venues. (Seriously, no city I've visited has more clubs with great sound, great lighting and intelligent layout as Montreal.) I walked in about three songs into Plaster's set which was pretty great. Squelchy and banging, they do live dance music right. If there was a little more flow in their set, they'd give Soulwax a run for their money.
Next was Misteur Valaire who some of you may have seen at one of our day parties during SXSW this year. Seeing them on their home turf, however, is something else. Montreal loves Misteur Valaire who, like a lot of groups genuinely popular with the locals, come with a thick slice of fromage coating everything they do. They definitely put on a show, complete with costume changes. Hipster nerd Franco-Canadian boy band who have serious musical chops applied totally in the pursuit of a good time. The crowd was going mental for the entire set, which didn't finish till 2AM.
At that point I was finished and left before Bran Van 3000 started, choosing instead sweet sleep.
Click through for a few more pictures from Friday's showcases, plus the Half Moon Run streaming player and some video of Hollerado and TONSTARTSSBANDHT in action.