Entries tagged with: Socalled
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.
words and photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
Patrick Watson's Sacred Sunday
The afternoon of day 5, the final day, at Pop Montreal 2010 (catch up with day 1, day 2, day 3, and day 4) was a toss up between children's entertainer, Fred Penner and friends, or Patrick Watson's Sacred Sunday. With promises of pieces by Arvo Pärt and Bach and artists like Socalled and Brad Barr (from the Slip) along with Patrick Watson in a venue like Ukrainian Federation, it was an easy sell.
I walked into Pärt's "Fratres for String Quartet" and stayed until the end. In between it was an eclectic mix of religious and not-quite-religious songs with a rotating cast of performers. Watson's piano arrangement of "The Lord's Prayer" was beautiful as was Barr leading a re-worked version of Bach's "St. Matthew's Passion". Josh Dolgin of Socalled remembered Lhasa with a Kurt Weill cover. (Mary Margaret O'Hara mentioned Lhasa on Saturday night and it's clear not just by the tributes but in conversations over the course of the festival she is deeply missed by those she touched in the city she called home.) The event closed with everyone involved joining Watson for a rousing, uplifting version of "Old Time Religion." For even the most nonreligious it was hard not to be moved as people clapped, and Watson encouraged the audience with his megaphone. Early on, Socalled's Katie Moore said at the start or her version of "Satisfied Mind" something to the effect that all good religious songs should make you feel good about yourself. Well, the Ukrainian Federation was packed and as the "congregation" filed out there was no shortage of people, even a full 30 minutes after the event, walking - some even skipping - away singing the chorus to "Old Time Religion" and feeling very good about themselves.
I'd like to say that the festival ended on a high note, and maybe if I wasn't airport bound at 3:30am, it would have. Then I would have made it to the closing party headlined by Big Freedia at Espace Reunion. But the logistics were too great to overcome so my festival would come to an end at Casa del Popolo for Film School, Depreciation Guild and if I could swing it, Scout Niblett across the boulevard at Sala Rossa. Not entirely excited about what I had heard from Montreal's Receivers, I arrived an hour late, just in time for... Receivers. The entire show was pushed back as Film School were delayed at the border. So, Receivers were on and the venue was full but even live they failed to impress. It was uninspired shoegaze and the most underwhelming set of the festival. Depreciation Guild were next and when one of the band members said to the in-over-his-head sound guy, "We've lost all power on stage," things looked to get even worse. The power was eventually recovered, but clearly things were not right as band members continued to ask for more vocals. The Brooklyn band soldiered on and were tight and energetic but on a Sunday night, and late at that, the crowd had thinned and gave little back.
I skipped over to Sala Rossa, presented to me as the 'Bowery Ballroom of Montreal', to catch some of Scout Niblett. She was already into her set and had the crowd fully cast. Her hushed, sparse vocals gave way to vicious guitar and heavy metal-drumming on "Hot To Death" and everything felt more sinister with the velvet red background and decor. The evening looked to be turning.
However, by the time I got back to Casa del Popolo I imagined Film School would already be on, but they were still pulling everything together and apparently having more sound issues. By the time they started it was well over an hour from their original start time and the crowd had thinned a bit more. They started strong and sounded good until Greg Bertens' mic went out during the second song. A verbal back and forth with the sound guy, who looked shattered at this point, culminated in Bretens, no doubt frustrated from the delays at the border and scurrying to get to the venue, telling him he should just "leave the board." They played the song over with the mic working this time and carried on but the vocals were still way down and it marred what had the potential to be a great set. And what should have been a positive end to a very enjoyable festival.
Until next year. More pictures from Sunday, and a video from the Patrick Watson church show, below...
words & photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
La pluie. It just wont stop. From sun up to sundown and well into the night here in Montreal the rain continued, making the second day of Pop Montreal (Thursday, September 30th) , and everyone attending, a soggy mess. Buses were crowded, Bixi (the public bike racks that blanket the city) were not an option. It was taxis or hoofing it.
The rain forced the "Pop BBQ" indoors and up Boulevard St. Laurent to the Barfly where Lost In The Trees were first up. The set times were moved up an hour and upon arriving there were maybe 20 people in the bar. Nestled back in the corner the seven-member ensemble performed, without microphones. It had the feeling of a Take Away show with people carrying on quiet conversations, watching the band or sitting at the bar nursing a beer. After playing a raucous sold-out show the night before it had to be just a bit disappointing for the band. But you wouldn't know it by how they sounded.
After hiding out in the Notman House where registration and the hospitality area are, it was back up the boulevard and a fun, hip-hop set by Montreal's Socalled. "Does anybody want to play bass with Socalled tonight?" asked bandleader Josh Dolgin to the rapidly filling up space. (One of the curious things about some of these shows in Montreal is the way a venue will be nearly empty 10 minutes before a set and by the time a band takes the stage nearly packed.) Two songs in a guy came walking up with a bass and joined right in.
While waiting for Greenland's Nive Nielsen to begin at boutique clothing store next to the Barfly, I popped in to see who was on and was surprised to catch Brooklyn's She Keeps Bees killing it to what appeared to be the same 20 people from a few hours earlier.
Then if was off to see the see Polaris Prize-winners Karkwa. I arrived early and caught most of Montreal's Leif Vollebekk. Sounding a bit like the Bowerbirds with a voice that sounded equal parts Ryan Adams and Andrew Bird, his set was the more impressive of the two bands. And their sounds couldn't have been more differennt. If you stripped away the blistering light show, Karkwa's songs come away a bit less impressive. But from a spectacle standpoint it was worthy and the Montreal crowd was very much in love with them.
A dash through the rain and into The National to close out the evening. I arrived early and caught the last bit of the Black Feelings. Women followed and might have been the highlight of the night. Liars capped the evening and were loud, loud and more loud.
Read about the first day of the festival. HERE. More pictures from the second day below...
by BrooklynVegan Mike
The 7th annual Pop Montreal five-day music festival (the CMJ/SXSW of Montreal) begins October 1st and this will be their most unique year yet. Nick Cave, Hot Chip, Method Man and Redman, The Dodos, The Black Kids, Apostle of Hustle, Julie Doiron,A Place To Bury Strangers, Miracle Fortress, Land of Talk, Laura Marling, The Dears, and Ratatat are some of the big names among the lineup of artists who will overrun all or most of Montreal's clubs for the festival. Pop Montreal always comes through with some classic choices too, and this year is no different with Burt Bacharach, Silver Apples, and Wire playing during the festival. There is also a unique collaborative performance between Owen Pallett, Stef Schneider (Bell Ochestre and The Luyas) Mike Dubue, HILOTRONS and SoCalled, entitled Porn Pop!, which finds the group doing a live score of the gay porno film Cruisin' 57 at one of the last remaining true porno theaters in North America, Cinema L'Amour.
The last few years have seen the festival branch out to other avenues including Film Pop, symposiums on the state of music (with Lydia Lunch and Sister Nancy are a couple of this year's speakers) and Puces Pop, an arts and crafts bazaar. That expansion is going further this year with the announcement of Kids Pop, a series of demonstrations and workshops aimed toward younger Pop Montrealers that will run the entirety of the festival.
Like our CMJ coverage last year, over the next few weeks we'll be highlighting some bands playing the fest that we think might be worth checking out. Also, during the festival, we'll have write ups of the previous days action.
The full Pop Montreal lineup and schedule can be found HERE. A video commercial below...
by BrooklynVegan Mike
This past weekend (Saturday, March 1st to be exact) the 11th Annual Montreal Independent Music Initiative (or MIMI) awards were handed out, celebrating the best in the Montreal local scene. This decade has been pretty good to Montreal music locally and abroad. It was announced that last year saw the most releases (over 350) in the history of the awards. The winners received a sweet, engraved Shure microphone along with some cool perks such as grant money or studio time. Though some of my picks for the awards didn't win (specifically Krista L.L. Muir and Torngat), the artists who did pick up awards were definitely worthy of recognition. Without further adieu, here are the winners....
"Passover starts Monday night at sundown. Many of you will gather with friends and family for 4 cups of wine, 4 questions, and more dry, flat, unleavened bread than you'd care to think about. Socalled's Passover masterpiece: The Socalled Seder: A Hip Hop Haggadah is the perfect antidote to a seder as dry as the matzah you're going to eat. It makes a great Afikomen prize. Whether you drink the 4 cups or not, its a great sountrack to the first week of April." - Only $7.99 in the JDub webstore.