M for Montreal 2012: day 3 review (Pat Jordache, PyPy, Yardlets, Cousins + more)
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.