Entries tagged with: m for montreal
by Bill Pearis
Montreal trio Le Couleur take elements of disco, electro and francophone styles, add a bit of glitter and voila: an appealing, danceable sound. The group have a couple records out already, most recently 2013's Voyage Love, and will be back with a new EP, titled Dolce Desir, in February. (Pre-order it now.) The single from it, "Concerto Rock," is out this week and is a sleek little groover, part Giorgio Moroder, part Francoise Hardy. The video, directed by Ganesh Baron Aloir and Julien Manaud, makes its premiere in this post and you can watch it below.
Heat @ Union Pool during CMJ (more by Amanda Hatfield)
M for Montreal was just here for CMJ, hosting a nine-hour showcase on Friday (10/24) at Arlene's Grocery with Lydia Ainsworth, HEAT, Homeshake, The Muscadettes and more. If you went, how was it? Those artists and a lot more will also be playing the ninth edition of the actual M for Montreal festival which happens in the Quebec city from November 19-22. Like the last few years, the first two days of M are more of an industry event with only "official selection" showcases, including performances by Operators, BADBADNOTGOOD, Ainsworth, July Talk, HEAT and more. Then on the weekend it moves into proper festival mode with shows all over the city and bands from all over the world, including Thee Oh Sees, Wrekmeister Harmonies, Toro Y Moi side project Les Sins, The Blind Shake, Nils Frahm, PyPy, Moon King, and lots more.
by Bill Pearis
Lydia Ainsworth is based in Toronto these days but has spent time in both Montreal and New York City as a music student. It was while at NYU that she began delving into pop music. She spent two years working on her debut album, Right from Real, which was just released on Arbutus, home of Grimes. Being on the same label and also making electronic-y music, Ainsworth has gotten compared to Claire Boucher, but beyond superficial similarities, their music is pretty different. (Purity Ring is closer, as is, at times, Enya.) Right to Real shows off her composer / arranger skills (it's cinematic stuff), as well as her versatile voice. But you wouldn't put it on at a club -- though a couple songs are ripe for remixing. You can stream some of it below.
Ainsworth will be here for CMJ and she's currently got six shows lined up:
Thursday October 23rd @ Baby's All Right | Gorilla Vs. Bear showcaseLineups for the shows are listed below.
Friday October 24th @ Pianos | Planetary Radio day party FREE
Friday October 24th @ Arlene's Grocery | M For Montreal showcase
Friday October 24th @ Glasslands | Popgun showcase
Saturday October 25th @ Death by Audio | Arbutus Records showcase
Sunday October 26th @ Babycastles | Cardinal PR day show
The M for Montreal show, their annual CMJ poutine party, also features Homeshake, The Posterz, Solids, Heat, Lisa Leblac, Vesuvio Solo, The Muscadettes and a l l i e. That's not the only show the M folks are doing this year. On Tuesday, October 21 at Baby's All Right at midnight (so technically 10/22 morning) M4M will throw a late-night party with Honey, Homeshake, Calvin Love, The Mystery Lights, and OJ Pimpson. It goes till the wee hours and is FREE.
Speaking of Arbutus, the Montreal label is also throwing a free day party with Cascine Records on October 25 at Wythe Hotel's rooftop Ides bar with DJ sets from TOPS, Blue Hawaii, Erika Spring, No Excuses, and Wildarms. Cascine and Arbutus will also have a special show on Newtown Radio on October 20 from 9 - 11 PM.
CMJ lineups for shows mentioned above, as well as flyers and Lydia Ainsworth's partial album stream, below.
photos by Maximillian G. San Juan / M for Montreal; words by Bill Pearis
Duchess Says @ Cabaret Underworld, 11/22/2013
M for Montreal and Brooklyn Vegan have partnered for shows/parties at CMJ, SXSW, The Great Escape and more, but this was the first year we actually presented a show at M for Montreal. The fest, now in its eighth year, happened over the weekend and our show (co-presented with CMJ) happened at the grungy Cabaret Underworld on Friday (11/22) with an all-Montreal line-up of We are Wolves, Duchess Says and Solids.
I've seen electropunks Duchess Says a number of times over the years, though mostly with US crowds in half-filled rooms where mischievous dynamo singer Annie-Claude heads into to the crowd to mess with people who don't know what to expect. This show, everyone at the way-sold-out Underworld knew what to expect and were ready to pay Annie-Claude's insanity in kind. This was easily one of the most sweaty, bonkers shows for me in recent memory (mind you I don't go to that many shows with bonkers potential anymore). I don't think there was any point where someone wasn't aloft. Except for when Annie-Claude had everyone hunch down on the floor and she covered the crowd with a giant piece of blue paper.
Openers Solids, newly signed to Fat Possum, had the crowd going too, providing their own light show in the form of two painter lights -- one hanging over the band, the other over the crowd. Both were swatted at and swinging for most of the set. They get compared to Japandroids a lot -- similar two-piece setup -- but Solids lean a little more indie rock. They're also little less intense, but just as loud and I thought their set was pretty terrific.
After the intensity of Duchess Says' set, I fought my way to the back of Underworld and never made it back up close for We Are Wolves set -- which was a little theatrical, with masks and props to go along with their gothy, synth leanings. But the crowd was into it.
You can read recaps of M for Montreal day 1 HERE and day 2 HERE, plus check out a few photos from Mac DeMarco's closing-night set HERE. More pics of Duchess Says and Solids (none of We Are Wolves, unfortunately) below...
photos by Ellie Pritts; words by Bill Pearis
Mac DeMarco @ Club Soda, MTL 11/23/2013
Mac DeMarco and his band played the 2013 M for Montreal twice last week. First, as Walter TV, where Mac just plays bass, with Pierce McGarry on vocals and guitar. Then on Saturday night, he headlined (and sold out) the 1000-capacity Club Soda. Both shows were completely bananas, featuring constant stage diving and crowd surfing, male nudity and other shenanigans. (Club Soda also got impromptu covers "Takin' Care of Business," "Message in a Bottle," "Enter Sandman," and "Stairway to Heaven" in addition to Mac-penned favorites.) Pictures from Club Soda are in this post.
After a tour of Asia and Australia, Mac's Walter TV buds are moving to Los Angeles to be a band full-time while Mac is living in Brooklyn for a while. His third album, due out next year on Captured Tracks, is in the can. We might get a taste of LP#3 here in NYC when Mac DeMarco plays a solo set at Brooklyn Night Bazaar on January 10, with Delicate Steve, Hunters and C/T domo Mike Sniper on DJ duty. Like all Brooklyn Night Bazaar shows, it's free.
That's part of a weekend presented by Panache Booking. The next night (1/11) features Imperial Teen, Dot Wiggin Band, Arp, and Juan Wauters.
by Bill Pearis
TOPS / Foxtrott @ M for Montreal 11/21/2013
Day 2 of M for Montreal featured five bands in their evening "official selection" which was again held at Casa Del Popolo and La Sala Rossa which are across the street from each other on St. Laurent Blvd. The night started strong with Foxtrott, aka Marie-Hélène L. Delorme, whose Shields EP is full of extremely catchy, quirky dancepop. (Stream it below, it's good.) For her live performance she was backed by a French horn (though a different one than she had at CMJ) which at times seemed to take the part that a guitar might've. We got a few new songs that I thought were as good as anything on the EP. Her music, I think, would work well in a more fleshed out band line-up but she held her own well. A live video of Foxtrott at Pop Montreal is below too.
Over at Sala Rossa it was TOPS who I've seen a number of times (they were at CMJ too), including when they used to be called Silly Kissers. They've grown a lot as a band -- and are now signed to Arbutus (aka Grimes' label) -- and have quite a few solid songs, many of which have an early '80s Fleetwood Mac vibe to them. There is also a dimestore quality to them which is kind of charming, but I wondered what they might sound like with fuller arrangements.
Back at Casa, it was MTL duo Solar Year whose ethereal brand of electronic music is icy with vocals that work like an instrument more than something where lyrics are important. They played against slow-motion projections of some palatial estate -- shades of Matthew Barney's Cremaster -- and, for it being as chilled-out as it was, I thought they were great. Their new album, Waverly, came out over the summer and you can stream it at Rdio.
Next was Odonis Odonis at Sala Rossa, who I've also seen a few times but am very into their gothy, post-punk garage which they play at maximum volume. While it's easy to describe them as I did in the last sentence, they don't exactly sound like anybody else and get better every time I see them. Great set.
After that was Toronto's Born Ruffians but I snuck out to catch UK band Temples over at Cafe Campus where I made it in time for half their set. Armed with 12-string guitars and Mark Bolan hair, I am a sucker for this sort of Byrdsy/Kinksy/glammy type of Britpop and on singles "Shelter Song" and "Keep in the Dark" they do it very well. The band just announced their debut album, Sun Structures, will be out in February and you can stream their new single "Mesmerize" below. Their first North American tour has them in NYC next week: Bowery Ballroom on November 25. (tickets) and Union Pool on November 26. (tickets)
My Thursday afternoon was also spent at Cafe Campus where its two stages were showcasing more commercially-minded pop -- some veering into Michael Buble territory -- the best of which was definitely Groenland whose music was on the orchestral side with strings and horns and a singer who played a ukulele and sounded more than a little like Adele.
Tonight (11/22), M for Montreal expands into M Fest with shows all over the city. That includes the BrooklynVegan co-presented show with We Are Wolves, Duchess Says and Solids at Cabaret Underworld, which is sold out.
by Bill Pearis
Murray Lightburn @ M for Montreal 11/20/2013
Here I am again at M for Montreal, the now eight annual edition that is part music festival and part industry conference. Right now it is more of the latter, with "international delegates" (of which I am one) in from around the world attending panel discussions, sanctioned schmoozathons and seeing the night's "official selection" of bands. Over the weekend it becomes M Fest and more resembles CMJ or Pop Montreal, with bands playing at a variety of clubs across the city.
Last night six bands played in the "official selection" at Casa Del Popolo and La Sala Rossa which is right across the street. The night started at Casa with Dusted, a new-ish project from Holy Fuck's Brian Borcherdt and drummer Leon Taheny. With Dusted, Borcherdt trades electronics for a more traditional rock format. Though the setup usually means bluesy garage, Dusted are much more atmospheric and emotive. The set started a little rocky, but the duo found their footing and the last couple songs were quite good. You can stream Dusted's debut album, Total Dust, below.
Shuffling over to Sala Rossa, it was very new, very young MTL band Seoul, who I was told had formed just a few months ago and had played less than 10 shows total. Dominick had caught them at Pop Montreal last month and told me they were good and I might like them and I did. "I hear there are a lot of people in from out of town," the keyboardist told the crowd. "Just like a bar mitzvah. Please enjoy our special day." Young they may be, but they really seemed to have it together, making airy, crystaline pop that was funky and soulful in an '80s kind of way. Wild Nothing is an obvious current comparison but my mind drifted to actual Reagan-era Prefab Sprout and The Blue Nile. You can stream "Stay With Us," the only song they've offered up the public so far, below.
Back at Casa, it was Black Atlass, aka Montreal based Alex Fleming who is a neo-R&B crooner, a la Sampha, Sam Smith, or The XX. The performance was just Fleming and a guy providing the beats, and I liked the production work in general (it's on the lo-fi side, but never what I'd call murky) but am not a fan of shows like this and it takes someone with supercharisma to pull it off. Black Atlass' video for "Paris" is below.
I don't know if I'd call what Majical Cloudz singer Devon Welsh has "supercharisma" but his performance style is utterly magnetic and had the liquored-up crowd of industry folk hushed for their entire set. Welsh's performance style almost borders on spoken word, punctuating accented sylables with a downward stab of his clenched fist, and sometimes stomping, not so much for percussion as emotion. Intense. Check out photos from Majical Cloudz recent set at Glasslands here.
In between those two, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan played over at La Sala Rossa and, having seen them twice last month during CMJ, I will admit to being checked out a little. But I do like what they do. The evening ended, officially, with a theatrical performance from Murray Lightburn who has fronted The Dears since before Montreal became a "thing." Lightburn's first solo album, MASS:LIGHT, came out earlier this year and while the songs are his typical anthemic style, musically its pretty much a synthpop album.
For the show, his only backing was two singers wearing masks and angel wings, with jingle bells on staff as occasional percussion. Lightburn, meanwhile, was all in black wearing an eyepatch with a light on it. With a carefully lit stage, he was cast in silhouette the whole time. At one point he knelt by the monitors, and someone wearing a pig mask came out and draped a cloak over him. It was at this point I thought "oh boy this is going to get good" hoping things would go full Phantom of the Paradise, but that was as kooky as the night got. If you're going to have something like that happen, personally I feel like you gotta follow-through and gleefully drive the train off the rails. That said, Lightburn does possess that supercharisma gene, and his voice remains a weapon of choice.
Thursday's official selection includes Born Ruffians, Odonis Odonis and Solar Year -- and I'll be spending the afternoon watching a bunch of bands I know zilcho about, which can be exciting -- so look forward to a report on that (and more of my signature blurry iPhone pics) to come.
Streams and videos from Dusted, Seoul, Black Atlas and Murray Lightburn, below...
by Bill Pearis
Wlalter TV @ M for Montreal - 11/20/13
The eighth annual M for Montreal is currently underway in Montreal, having begun yesterday (11/20). After the first night's official music showcase ended, there was an afterparty at Casa which featured a completely off-the-rails set by Walter TV which basically is Mac DeMarco and his band in another configuration, with Pierce McGarry on vocals and guitar. This was a party crowd and I'm pretty sure their was no time during their wild set where there wasn't someone crowd surfing or someone about to stage dive. The night ended with a sing-along-cover of Jane's Addiction's "Jane Says." Check out our full review of M for Montreal day 1.
Walter TV are set to release a new album called BLESSED at some point in the near future, which will follow 2012's APPETITE cassette. They just made a video for "Paranormal Witness" off of the upcoming album, which you can watch, along with a stream of APPETITE and a video from that release, below...
Montreal band Solids released their debut LP, Blame Confusion, last month in Canada. (You can stream it below.) For those looking to physical procure a copy in America, the duo just announced that they've signed with Fat Possum who will release the record stateside on February 8.
Folks in the Northeast can see them live this week on their tour with Native. That tour hits NYC on Wednesday (11/13) at Saint Vitus with locals Bennio Qwerty playing as well. Tickets are still available.
Next week the band will be back in Montreal where they'll be part of the 2013 M for Montreal. Specifically they'll be playing Cabaret Underworld on November 22 with Duchess Says and We Are Wolves, a show that BrooklynVegan is presenting with CMJ. If you're in Montreal that night, do come! Tickets are still available.
All tour dates are listed, along with the steams, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield; words by Bill Pearis
YT//ST / Foxxtrott @ Arlene's Grocery 10/29/2013
The 2013 M for Montreal happens at various clubs across its namesake city from November 20 - 23. Like last year, in addition to it's industry conference/showcase side earlier in the week, the Friday and Saturday shows are part of M Fest which like a smaller scale CMJ or Pop Montreal with over 75 bands playing over those two days. This year's bands include Mac DeMarco, Born Ruffians, The Dears' Murray Lightburn, Thundercat, Thus:Owls, Laura Mvula, Young Galaxy, Pat Jordache, A Wilhelm Scream, Grand Analog, High Dials, Damien Robitaille, The Damn Truth, Kandle and more.
After partnering with the M folks at CMJ, SXSW and other festivals, BrooklynVegan will be co-presenting (with CMJ) our first show at the actual M for Montreal with We Are Wolves, Duchess Says (who've played M/BV shows at CMJ and SXSW) and Solids (who we've written about) at Cabaret Underworld on November 22. This will be the first time in ages that We Are Wolves and Duchess Says shared a bill together in Montreal. Tickets are on sale now, and the poster for that show is below.
You can check out the full M for Montreal line-up below and tickets for some of the other shows are on sale too. We'll be there the whole week so look for coverage then.
Some of the artists playing this year's fest were down for CMJ a couple weeks ago, playing the official M for Montreal showcase which happened at Arlene's Grocery on October 18. Our photographer was there for Yamantaka // Sonic Titan (who played our party earlier in the day), and A K U A, plus Kandle (who played last year's M) and Foxtrott (who we've written about), both of whom will play M for Montreal. Pictures from their sets are in this post. Later in the night there were sets from Pat Jordache and related soft rock project CAMP, and others.
Full list of M for Montreal 2013 peformers, the flyer for the BV presented show, and more pics from the M4M CMJ showcase, below...
by Bill Pearis
Our friends at M for Montreal will be down for CMJ again for their showcase which, as in years past, happens at Arlene's Grocery on October 18 with Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, TOPS, Pat Jordache, CAMP, Kandle, A K U A and Foxtrott. Tickets are $10 at the door, or you can get in with a CMJ badge or Evening Showcase Pass (based on capacity, of course).
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, who formed in Montreal but now reside in Toronto, are probably the best-known band on the bill, and will release their new album, UZU, on October 29. The multi-hyphenate band are better known for their theatrical live shows which you should witness if you can. They're on
late at 1 AM. UPDATE: YT//ST are now playing at 10 PM. They play 285 Kent at 1 AM later that night (see below).
YT//ST are also playing at least two other shows during CMJ: the Panache showcase at Knitting Factory on October 16 with Jacco Gardner, Saint Rich, U.S. GIrls, Slim Twig, and Arp (tickets); and the unofficial Pitchfork show with Speedy Ortiz, Priests, Joanna Gruesome, Perfect Pussy, Eleanor Friedberger (solo), and Courtney Barnett (tickets). (Currently both P4K and M have Y//ST's settimes as 1 AM, some shifting will likely happen at Arlene's.) After CMJ, they'll play Basilica Hudson on Halloween, which sounds like a pretty good time, too.
TOPS played CMJ last year and are working on the follow-up to 2012's Tender Opposites which came out on Arbutus Records (Grimes, Doldrums, Blue Hawaii). You can stream that, in all it's lite R&B indiepop splendour, below.
It's been almost two years since Pat Jordache last played NYC and they've undergone a somewhat radical reinvention since then into dark postpunk territory, though not your average influences, pulling from Jah Wobble style dub, and mid-'80s 4AD (to my ears at least). You can stream their three digital singles from this year below ("O.M.O." is excellent). You can also catch Pat Jordache at Silent Barn on October 17 with CAMP (who also play the M showcase) and Chicago's J Fernandez. More info on that show here.
Pat also plays in CAMP, who share a similar vibe, with some slinky funk -- complete with '80s-style watery bass, -- on their track "Little Boy Blue," which reminds me of, um, Kajagoogoo. (In a good way? Maybe Japan is a more palatable comparison.) You can stream it below.
Kandle is Kandle Osborne whose father, Ben, is the singer of long-running extremely popular (in Canada) Canadian band 54-40. Sam Golberg of Broken Social Scene produced her debut EP (streamable below) and plays in her live band.
A K U A spent time recently as one of Solange's backup singers and, recently, has been collaborating with Twin Shadow drummer Andy Bauer, the results of which can be heard on this year's One's Company EP, which you can stream some of below.
As for Foxtrott, that is the name Marie-Hélène L. Delorme records under. Her music is definitely dance pop but don't look to compare her to other one-named Montreal singers -- it draws from a variety of global influences and is pretty good. Judge for yourself: a few tracks are streamable below.
As M for Montreal has done every year, the night starts off with a "poutine party" that is free and open to the public. During that time (5 - 7 PM) there are a couple Francophone acts playing, Quebec city rapper Webster and VioleTT Pi.
Song streams, videos, and the M for Montreal showcase schedule below...
photos by David Andrako
We already posted pictures of the Mikal Cronin/Shannon & the Clams show from day 3 (6/15) of Toronto festival NXNE, and that same day we also caught Mikal on the annual M for Montreal / Panache Bruise Cruise during NXNE with Toronto locals Odonis Odonis, Montreal's We Are Wolves, and rapper Fat Tony (who also played Yonge-Dundas Square). PIctures from that Bruise Cruise are in this post.
Mikal Cronin is currently in NYC and will be playing live at the Pitchfork offices at 3 PM today (6/19) which will be webcast live. WATCH IT BELOW.
Coachella 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Multi venue UK festival The Great Escape began today (5/15). The big lineup includes Brooklyn's Parquet Courts, Phosphorescent, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, a keynote speech by Billy Bragg, a set by Mikal Cronin who is one of ten acts this year that NME says you have to see, and much more. Head to Brighthelm Center on 5/16 for a show BrooklynVegan is co-presenting with M For Montreal with AA Wallace, Husky Rescue, Blue Hawaii, How to Dress Well, Phantom and Cloud Boat. The flyer for that is below.
In other festival news, Sasquatch is right around the corner, Lollapalooza has announced set times, Bonnaroo announced theirs earlier this month, Austin City Limits recently announced their lineup, Governors Ball recently announced the schedule and is basically sold out, GoogaMooga is this weekend in Prospect Park, and FYF Fest, which recently announced its lineup, goes on sale Thursday.
Our Great Escape flyer is below...
by Bill Pearis
PyPy at Club Lambi, 11/16/2012
Freedom...horrible freedom! One thing M for Montreal, part festival part industry conference, was previously known for was its tightly-controlled schedule. There was one show a night with two stages and attendees saw all the bands, no overlap. And while this was still the case for the first two nights of the 2012 edition, Friday and Saturday saw the launch of the M Fest which had shows at about ten different venues each night. So for the first time in the five years I've attended this fest I had to make up my own mind about what to see.
Cousins at Club Lambi, 11/16/2012
I was going to start the night at Sala Rossa with D'Eon but when I got to the club the schedule had been pushed an hour due to Sun Airway canceling their appearance later in the line-up. So, I headed down Saint Laurent to Club Lambi, a place that felt more like a nightclub than a rock venue, complete with "mandatory coatcheck." First band was Halifax, NS duo Cousins who make garage-y pop with an emphasis on the latter. A little rough around the edges but enthusiastic and they've got some good songs. You can stream their album, The Palm at the End of the Mind, below.
Yardlets at Club Lambi, 11/16/2012
Next up were Yardlets which features vocalists/guitarists Sam Goldberg (who spent time in Broken Social Scene) and Montreal scene vet Jeff Edwards. Backlit with strips of blinding light, Yardlets tore out of the gate and never looked back, playing balls-to-the-wall rock n' roll that could be the soundtrack for a trucker's pill-fueled 72nd hour of being awake. ("Ace of Spades" being played on warped vinyl is a good reference point.) DFA 1979's Sebastian Grangier plays drums on the record (em>Middle Ages is streamable below) but not live, but his replacement seemed just as pummeling. The aural equivalent to a shot of tequila and just what I needed to jump-start the night.
PyPy at Club Lambi, 11/16/2012
Though, honestly, if Yardlets hadn't played, certainly PyPy would've had the same effect. The band formed when Duchess Says and Red Mass shared rehearsal space and some of each decided to jam, the band features both wild-eyed redhead Annie-Claude and Red Mass' Choyce on vocals/guitar, neither of whom shy from the spotlight. No surprise Annie-Claude dominated the proceedings but here she's in relatively restrained mode, meaning she's still going crazy but not totally in-your-face. She even played guitar on one song. Musically, PyPy (yes, pronounced peepee) are almost '60s style acid rock, a lot of soloing and riffs, not so much memorable tunes. But a blast to watch.
USA Out of Vietnam at L'Esco, 11/16/2012
From here we cabbed it over to L'Esco for some heavier sounds via MTL hardcore act Dig it Up and the more mathy USA Out of Vietnam and bearded frontman Jonathan Cummins (formerly of Doughboys and Bionic) greeted the crowd thusly: "Hi we're Grimes. We've changed our sound a little and we hope you like our new direction." Their music is not my thing, but I like their attitude.
Pat Jordache, somewhere in Montreal, 11/16/2012
From here we headed to an afterparty at some DIY space I don't know the name of to catch a very late night (3:30 AM) set from Pat Jordache who played almost exclusively new material. While the PA wasn't doing the band a whole lot of favors, you could still get a feel for Pat's new musical direction, rhythm-heavy post-punk with watery bass and saxaphone that tipped its had toward Eno-era Talking Heads (or The Higsons or Pigbag). I was struggling to keep my eyes open at that point but the new material is very promising (and I liked 2011's Future Songs too). While the album won't be out till next year, Pat just dropped "steps (DAMAGED GOODS)" as an appepitizer and it is very tasty indeed. You can stream it below.
Yan Wagner at Cafe Campus, 11/16/2012
Next up that night... sleep. But earlier I did check out some bands at Cafe Campus during the day, the highlight of which was Parisian electronic artist Yan Wagner (who also played CMJ this year). While his mike-and-samplers setup didn't make for the most exciting live show, his style of electropop falls squarely between Depeche Mode and OMD which pretty much guarantees I'll like. And I did.
After that we were treated to a "headphone concert" by Kid Koala at Le SAT which was a very fun, relaxing way to ease into the evening and you can read about here. You can also read accounts of M for Montreal Day 1 here and Day 2 here. Streams are below.
by Bill Pearis
Kid Koala @ Le SAT, 11/16/2012
In addition to all the other shows during M for Montreal 2012, we were treated to a Friday afternoon performance by Kid Koala at Le SAT. We were handed wireless headphones on the way in and were invited stretch out against long, inflatable tube/cushions that were made just for this performance which was mainly to promote his children's book (and accompanying album), Space Cadet (which he toured earlier this year). Kid Koala (aka Eric San) performed in the middle with a camera on the decks which was projected on three screens around him. He played songs (including a new track with Damon Albarn and Dan the Automator), told stories, read from his book and even donned a Koala suit for his contribution to Yo Gabba Gabba. There were also games and other audience participation moments. It felt more like we were hanging with him in his basement than at a show, and he was an affable host.
Kid Koala is gearing up to tour another project, his new record 12 Bit Blues, and that will hit NYC on November 21 at Music Hall of Williamsburg and tickets are still available.. Like the Space Cadet tour, it's a multimedia extravaganza and promises puppets, dancing girls, robots, a giant cardboard turntable and more (but no headphones, for the audience at least).
A list of all tour dates, along with a full album stream of 12 Bit Blues is below.
by Bill Pearis
Mac DeMarco @ Sala Rossa, 11/15/2012
"Nobody look up my girlfriend's skirt, okay?" Mac DeMarco asked the audience at Sala Rossa as he began his final song. His girlfriend, Kiki, was riding piggyback. She'd was dragged onstage a song earlier to play a game of "catch" where they held onto each other as Mac tipped them into the audience for a double crowd-surf.
So goes a Mac DeMarco show these days, where the onstage antics almost threaten to upstage the music. But, despite all the belch talking and other things, it never does. Mac and his band have toured most of 2012 and all that playing has done wonders for them -- they are tight but lythe around the groove. Songs off the new album ("Viceroy," "Cooking Up Someting Good") sound great and ones of his first album have a life to them than you don't hear on the recordings. And, like at CMJ last month, the Salla Rossa crowd loves him.
PS I Love You @ Sala Rossa, 11/15/2012
Mac was the unintentional headliner of night 2 of M for Montreal which, like the first night, took place at Sala Rossa, a club perched above a tapas restaurant (both of which are owned by some of the Godspeed guys). He got stuck in traffic and PS I Love You, nice guys that they are, switched into undercard slot. After spending half the year trying out a trio version of the group, they are back to their original duo arrangement of Paul Saulnier on vocals/guitar/bass pedals and Benjamin Nelson on drums. Playing most of the show with a double-neck guitar, Saulnier yelped and shredded through their 25-minute set of the catchiest material from the band's two albums, plus a couple new ones (I think). Nelson is a machine behind the kit and the way he hammers on the hi-hat gives the band a New Order-ish backbone which offsets Saulnier's more rock instincts. While I enjoyed seeing them as a trio, it's clear the chemistry is between these two.
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.
Doldrums at MHOW last week (more by Amanda Hatfield)
As mentioned, Doldrums (the project of Airick Woodhead) and Moon King (the project of Airick's brother/collaborator Daniel), who were both just in NYC will return for CMJ. We already know that Doldrums will be playing the Windish showcase at Mercury Lounge on October 17 with Hundred Waters, Strange Talk, High Highs, Mozart's Sister, and more (tickets).
It's now been announced that Doldrums and Moon King will team up for the M for Montreal CMJ showcase on October 19 at Arlene's Grocery. Mozart's Sister (who also shares a bill with Doldrums at the Windish showcase) is on the bill, as is Braids side project Blue Hawaii. The rest of show includes ex-DD/MM/YYYY krautrockers Absolutely Free, Royal Canoe (who are going on tour with Savoir Adore), impressive live dance rock outfit Plaster, TOPS, and Ariane Moffatt. No advance tickets for this one at the moment. You can also try to get in with your CMJ badge.
M For Montreal set times along with a list of all Doldrums dates and a song stream are 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.
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.
photos, audio & video by Josh Winkler InTheMO
M83 @ M For Montreal
M83 arrived in NYC yesterday to perform on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and continue their NYC adventure TONIGHT (11/22) at Webster Hall and Wednesday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Both shows are way sold-out. If you don't have a ticket and aren't up for scouring the secondary market for a pair (if you can even find/afford them there), you can at least watch their performance from Fallon last night. Check that out below.
The NYC dates represent the tail-end of M83's North American tour with Active Child, though the M83 will play a solitary show in Los Angeles in middle January (1/13). Maybe Zola Jesus will show up at that one like she did at a recent show.
M83 recently played Fun Fun Fun Fest and since then Chicago, and even more recently, M for Montreal. Pictures and a video from their Montreal appearance, as well as two live tracks recorded at that show, "Intro" and "Teen Angst" (both of which appear here for the first time), are below.
More M83 tour dates, those song streams and videos, and the video of their Los Angeles performance of "Intro" with Zola Jesus. below....
By Bill Pearis
After two songs of sweating onstage, the drummer for Absolutely Free -- who made their live debut last night at Mile End venue La Salla Rossa -- peeled off his flannel shirt to reveal a Neu! t-shirt underneath. But by that point we already got it, though a Can shirt might have been more to the point.
Featuring four fifths of DD/MM/YYYY, as Absolutely Free they still make complex, time signature-shifting music, but this was less manic, less skronky with decidedly groovier rhythms. (For me, that's a definitely an "Oh Yeah.") With no recorded music to hear yet and a short 20-minute set, I don't think we've got a full picture of what these guys are capable of, but it was a very promising first show.
La Salla Rossa, which nests on top of a Spanish restaurant with the same name, was host to the night's showcase co-presented by SXSW. We also got the first taste of Cadence Weapon's new album which is due out in January or February -- his first in about three years. With screwed-ish beats (and a little dub reggae), his set was pretty terrific. Dude is confident and funny and drops lines about Lite Brites and had a song that seemed to be entirely about SXSW day parties, not sure if it was made up for the occasion. Best set of the night.
Headliners of the night were Toronto's Young Empires who some cynical types might dub Friendly Foals* and it wouldn't be too off the mark. Big Hooks, anthemic choruses, extra percussion, all very digestible. Young Empires are also pretty slick (and a little bro-y) but they seem destined to become big, at least in a Naked and The Famous kind of way (whose career path they seem to be modeling). Especially once they get around to putting out their debut, due out in January. (I like them better on record than live.)
Night Two opened with Daniel Isiah who is signed to Secret City (the home of Patrick Watson and Plants & Animals) and has an appealing desert twang to his sound (think Chris Isaak or Springsteen's "I'm on Fire") which you can check out on his most recent album, High Twilight. It was a nice start to the evening.
M for Montreal never lets attendees stand still for too long. In between bands at La Salla Rossa, we hopped across the street to affiliated restaurant/venue Case Del Popolo for two Icelandic bands (Iceland Airways co-presented). First were instrumental quartet For a Minor Reflection whose stirring music would be perfect for an Icelandic remake of Friday Night Lights. You've heard this kind of stuff before but they do it well and clearly love playing it.
Of Monsters and Men
The other Icelandic group, Of Monsters and Men, made more of an impression with their stirring folk rock that was augmented by horns and an especially fancy accordion. (It had LED switches on it.) While also similar to a lot of other sweeping ensembles (fill in your favorite here), the songs were memorable and I did wish their set had been a couple songs longer. So it goes with festivals.
Today I'll be seeing Colin Stetson, The Midway State, Hollerado, Parlovr, Thus: Owls (points for colon use), Doldrums, Bran Van 3000, Misteur Valaire and something called Tonstartsbandht, plus about 10 other groups. Hopefully organizers have budgeted time to eat. Look for reports on tonight and tomorrow's M festivities on Monday. Until then, click through for a few more picks from last night's action...
by Bill Pearis
The first night of M for Montreal was a light one. Especially after Duchess Says had to cancel, due to singer Annie-Claude cracking a rib last week after a particularly spirited performance at the record release party for the band's new album In a Fung Day T. (And anyone who's seen Duchess Says knows she's already pretty damn spirited.) Get well soon Annie-Claude!
So we got four bands at club Cafe Campus. Two of them were from France, brought to us by magazine Les Inrockuptibles. Concrete Knives are from Caen, France and make a kind of energetic dance music that is maybe the indie equivilant of the mullet: party in the back (disco rhythm section) business in the front (fuzzed out rock guitars). Ok that doesn't really work either, Concrete Knives are basically a party everywhere and singer Adriene Lepretre is skilled at an early age in the art of working a crowd. (And jumping into one.) Some of the songs are a little samey, but they're young and have a lot of promise.
The other French band was Anoraak who have toured the states a few times. As they've become more of a real band and less of a studio project, their sound has changed too with the more overt Italo disco influences being drowned out by the guitars and drums. It's still very '80s but live Anoraak are closer to Friendly Fires these days, by way of the Drive soundtrack. Pretty good.
Wearing actual anoraks were Montreal's CLAASS (featuring a couple members of We Are Wolves) who played the first M for Montreal I attended in 2008. Fog machines and amplifiers were set to 11 as the band cranked out pulsing, gothy dance music poised somewhere in between gothy minimal wave and house music. Standout song "Run" was kind of soulful too in a TV on the Radio kind of way. My favorite band (and the crowd's too) of the night.
The night ended with Creature who were also on the dancey side of things and had style, skill and energy to spare but it was a little slick for my tastes and definitely lacked in the song department. Maybe in a couple years.
Three more days of M to go. A few more pictures are below