Entries tagged with: Random Recipe
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
As I mentioned briefly yesterday, I'm heading out to the M for Montreal festival which happens tonight through Saturday (11/16 - 19). This is the 6th Edition of the fest, and the fourth that I've attended. Once a showcase for up-and-coming Montreal bands that the festival organizers deemed "export-ready" and that took place primarily at one club (the two-stage Juste Pour Rire), M4M has expanded to include other parts of Canada in the last few years.
Juste Pour Rire closed shortly after last year's festival, so this year has expanded to other venues while also widening in scope. They've partnered with other international festivals (Osheaga, CMJ, SXSW) and have more bands than ever (including a few not from Canada). Bands this year include M83, Karkwa, The Barr Brothers, Active Child, Bran Van 3000 (remember "Drinking in L.A."?), CLAASS, Misteur Valaire, Anoraak, Random Recipe and the debut of Absolutely Free, the new band from 4/5s of DD/MM/YYYY. Full line-up is here.
In total there's nearly 60 bands playing, which might not seem like a crazy amount for a festival. But M for Montreal is designed with little to no overlap, so if you attend the whole thing you see all the bands. It's going to be a busy week. Look for more coverage (including my lovely point-and-shoot photography) coming later this week.
by Bill Pearis
There was a smattering of band performances throughout the day Friday -- anywhere they could cram them it felt like at times -- before the night's "official selection." Honestly, I wasn't really psyched at seeing a band at 2 in the afternoon when I'd rather go record shopping or, say, getting lunch but Newfoundland's Hey Rosetta! turned out to be worth the detour. "We're usually a lot louder than this," singer Tim Baker admitted, but the less-electric approach to this performance made it kind of special. Hushed vocals, strings and soaring choruses... the band's sweeping orchestrated sound definitely held our attention. The band's last album made the Polaris 2008 shortlist and their third album, Seeds, will be out in February 2011.
A couple hours later we were taken to the the Chapel historique du Bon-Pasteur for an event called M for Martini where we were plied with said drinks while watching four more intimate-style performances, including the Dylan-esque Courtney Wing, all-girl country band Ladies of the Canyon, and the art folk of Lief Vollebekk.
The only band to really leave an impression on me was Ensemble, the brainchild of Oliveir Alary whose baroque sound is akin to early Broadcast or '60s cult band The United States of America. We only get three songs -- including a brilliant reworking of UB40's 1980 single "Food for Thought" -- and they're maybe the only band of the week whose set I wanted to be longer. Ensemble's new album, Excerpts, is out early next year but you can download its first single, "D'Avalanches," for free if you give them your email address.
After a very heavy, very French meal we headed back to Just Pour Rire (which apparently is closing soon) for what was probably the single-best night of music at M for Montreal. The evening began with Molly Rankin who is descended from Canadian Rock Royalty. (The Rankin Family were folk megastars in the '90s. No those words aren't mutually exclusive. It's Canada.) Backed by members of The Stills, her music is charming, clever, heart-on-the-sleeve pop. A nice way to start the night.
Next up were The Barr Brothers. Andrew and Brad are both also in The Slip but under the family name they are much folkier, but still experimental. Usually when I see an acoustic guitar and a harmonica stand, I'm looking for the exit but they really knocked me back. Brad Barr entered the stage tugging on a string on his acoustic guitar as if he'd broken one on the way out. It was actually a loop of wire, filament, something that worked like a bow, giving the guitar a woozy, somnambulant quality. The band also has a full-time harpist. Most of their set is on the quiet side, but they go full-on Who for one song. One of the best surprises of the fest.
Shuffling over to Just Pour Rire's other stage, we then saw Metz, who kept getting compared to Fucked Up but that seemed more because they're also from Toronto and are making in-your-face noise punk. To my ears it's more the kind of noise you got from Amphetamine Reptile in the '90s. They are loud and spazzy and sludgy and pretty awesome. Check out an MP3 at the top of this post and there's video from their M set at the bottom.
Continuing on, Valleys were next who've played Brooklyn enough times (and I've written about them plenty already) that I should've already seen them but this was my first time. Their debut album was kind of Saddle Creek-y methadone folk kind of stuff, really good, but they have evolved into something louder, more sinister since then. Intense, even without percussion, but when they do break out the drums it's like scream therapy. Check out "Ordinary Dream" from their new Stoner EP which is out now on Semprini.
This flowed nicely into Suuns' set (pronounced "Soons"), definitely the most well-recieved of the night. This was my third time seeing them -- they played the official BV showcase at CMJ you may remember -- and they just get better every time. Singer Ben Shemie is a pretty intesnse frontman, especially when the band locks into a Kraut-y groovy. He bends over, laying into his guitar and leaves the planet.
Final act of the night was Random Recipe who are kind of folk, kind of hip hop, and definitely popular with Montreal locals. Their single "Shipwreck" is okay but overall I don't really get why the crowd is going so wild. I ask a local who shares my indifference. His answer: "Montreal is a really weird place."
More pictures from the whole day and the Metz video below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: PS I Love You - Facelove (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: PS I Love You - 2012 (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Suuns - Arena (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Suuns - Up Past the Nursery (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The High Dials - Chinese Boxes (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Elephant Stone - I am Blind (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: No Joy - Headless (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Parallels - Find the Fire (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Hot Panda - Mindlessnesslessness (MP3)
There's never any shortage of Canadians at CMJ but this year... there seems like more than usual. So lets get to it.
On Thursday (10/21) The M for Montreal folks are back for a second year at Arlene's Grocery with eight diverse bands (not all from MTL) they deem worthy of seeing. The band with the most buzz coming into CMJ is probably Kingston, Ontario PS I Love You who play at 9PM. For a duo, these guys have a pretty giant sound, and their debut LP, Meet Me at Muster Station, recently got a 8.1 on Pitchfork. You can download two tracks from it at the top of this post. PS I Love You are playing five shows this week ( 20th - 23rd) and all dates are at the bottom of this post.
Capping the evening at 1AM are Acadian hip hop group Radio Radio whose album Belmundo Regal was up for this year's prestigious Polaris Prize. (They lost to Karkwa.) You can listen to the whole record via a widget at the bottom of this post. They are, I'm pretty sure, the only act to rap in the Chiac dialect, which is kind of the French Canadian equivalent of Spanglish. I saw them two years ago in Montreal and they were super fun -- even though I had no idea what they were saying. If you have no Last Show tonight, definitely head over to Arlene's Grocery. It's their only CMJ show.
Also playing the M for Montreal show: our good friends The Luyas who will also play our free day party on Friday (their only other show); Red Mass who bring a touch of theatrics to their Damned-esque garage punk; the low fi garagey folk of Uncle Bad Touch (who get the JEFF the Brotherhood Seal of Approval); Vancouver duo The Pack A.D.; and laid back folk-soul-hiphop group Random Recipe (check out their LP widget at the bottom of this post).
If you show up at 6PM you'll be treated to a little pre show action: dream pop outfit Braids and free poutine, the official drunk food of Montreal (though not vegan). Set times for the whole night are at the bottom of this post. Braids play six times this week and all of their shows are listed at the bottom as well.
The biggest bummer about this show is it happens at the same time as the official BrooklynVegan Showcase at Music Hall of Williamsburg. But you can get a taste of Montreal at our show as Suuns are playing at 8:45 PM. You can download two Suuns tracks at the top of this post. If you dig shoegaze, Krautrock, or Clinic, you don't wanna miss this band. I caught them at Mercury Lounge over the summer and was impressed. If you can't make our show but still wanna see Suuns, they also play later Thursday (11:45 PM) at Pianos as part of the Secretly Canadian showcase. Those are their only two shows during CMJ week.
There are more Montreal bands here this week too. One of my favorites, The High Dials, play on Saturday (10/23) at the 269 Bar at 11PM. Their new album, Anthems for Doomed Youth, is another great offering of jangly psychedlia, shoegazy guitars and sunny harmonies. You can download "Chinese Boxes" from it at the top of this post.
You may remember that The High Dials used to have a sitar player who left after the band's first album. That guy, Rishi Dhir, now has his own group, Elephant Stone, whose album The Seven Seas, was up for the 2009 Polaris Prize. Elephant Stone play the Trash Bar on Thursday (10/21, 10PM). If you can't see them then, Elephant Stone will be back in NYC in November.
More Montreal action: No Joy, who split their time between L.A. and MTL and will have your eardrums bleeding from their awesome, sludgy shoegaze. They play seven CMJ week shows, including the BV day party on Saturday (10/23) at Public Assembly. (Official announcement soon.) After CMJ, No Joy head out with Vivian Girls offshoot La Sera (who plays a bunch her own CMJ shows) -- all dates are at the bottom of this post.
Folk band The Barr Brothers play two shows tonight tonight (10/19): Cameo Gallery at 7:30PM and then The Rock Shop at 11PM. They also play tomorrow (10/20, 7PM) at Rockwood Music Hall.
Time, space and sanity doesn't permit me to go through every single Canadian act here for CMJ, but here's a few more of note:
Much-buzzed, glammy, glitzy Diamond Rings plays six CMJ week shows, starting with tomorrow night's (10/20) killer Stereogum/Popgun party at Santos, that also includes Wild Nothing, Tamaryn, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., now-revealed headliner The Drums, and more. (Only $5 with RSVP.) All Diamond Rings CMJ dates, including an Underground Press/Distiller day party at Knitting Factory on Thursday, are at the bottom of this post.
Toronto synth-disco duo Parallels play two shows on Wednesday (10/20): Backstage (formerly the Annex) at 1opm and then 11:45PM at The Bell House (that's gonna be cutting it close). Check out their track "Find the Fire" at the top of this post.
Edmonton, Alberta's cute, frenetic indiepop foursome Hot Panda play two shows on Wednesday (10/20): a day show at Fontanas (2:40PM) and then that night at the Trash Bar (11PM). Check out "Mindlessnesslessness" from the band's new album, How Come I'm Dead? at the top of this post.
Two Hours Traffic hail from Prince Edward Island and traffik (sorry) in Weezer-ish power pop. They play the R Bar on Saturday (10/23) at 9PM.
And Woodhands, from Toronto, will bring their somewhat nerdy, definitely catchy snyth rock to The Bell House for a midnight set.
Tour dates, some flyers, videos, album widgets and other stuff are below.