Pre-Pop gets heavy

Traditionally, the week before Pop is a calm before the storm, with most clubs laying low before the festival crush, but this year things are already heating up in local venues. Here’s a quick look at the week pre-Pop.

We are on the cusp of my favourite time of year, when the best fest this city has to offer happens: Pop Montreal. Unlike most festivals, Pop has proven that they’re able to attract acts both large and up-and-coming, pushing an eclectic booking policy to please any music fan, as well as keeping at a healthy arm’s length from mass corporate sponsorship. Over the years, the festival has gained ground internationally while indulging their obvious love and passion for music. In short, if there isn’t at least a handful of shows that has you doing cartwheels of glee, you better check your pulse.

Traditionally, the week before Pop is a calm before the storm, with most clubs laying low before the festival crush, but this year things are already heating up in local venues. Here’s a quick look at the week pre-Pop.

Wednesday – One of the best shows this week is Mount Eerie, Wyrd Visions and one of my favourite local bands, thisquietarmy. Turn on, tune in and drone out.

As I mentioned a couple of columns ago, there is a truly amazing DJ scene happening in Montreal right now, with passionate peeps manning the wheels of steel in our fair burg. An event all heshers, rivet heads and other fans of shearing heaviosity will not want to miss is the metal night hosted by Matt Butcher at one of the best venues in the city, Katacombes.

Thursday – A big show for people who want to dig into the rich history of Montreal’s first wave of punk rock is the Normals album launch at Casa, with solid support of the Rejectors and the Visitation. If you’re wondering whether these Geritol punks can still bare their fangs, rest assured. Their show at Barfly a year ago, when they leapt on stage after Nils FC, was a stunner.

My pick of the week is the epic post-rock of Japan’s Mono, which will reduce Il Motore to a shimmering puddle, with Chris Brokaw as the sweat act. If you have never had the immense pleasure of seeing Mono expertly commandeer a climbing crescendo, you cannot miss this. Afterwards, get down to Salon Officiel for their long-standing On the Rocks night with resident DJ Pat Dynamite and guests Mat C (Malajube), Seba and Melissa Blais.

Friday – Those who pine for the pre-grunge days of Florida-born death metal should merrily skip on down to Foufounes to catch the Carnival of Death tour, with legends Obituary, Broken Hope, Decrepit Birth, Jungle Rot and Encrust.

Friday night also marks the official name change of Uncle Bad Touch as they abbreviate their pottymouth moniker to UBT#, at Casa. Better get down early if you want to squeeze into this one. Filling out the bill is le Kid and Man Legs.
Another reason to hit Casa is DJ Bloodshot Bill, who’ll be filling up the non-venue side to spin the raunchiest rock ’n’ roll ever to be pressed into the grooves. A packed Friday night to say the least, but a fuggin’ rad time is guaranteed.

However, this very site takes over Il Motore on Friday for a special Cult MTL party. You can shake it like a bowl of soup with DJs Brace, ParkLife, the Salivation Army, Toboggan and of course the Cult MTL staff in the selector position.

Saturday – Oddly enough, this Saturday is a little quiet, so why not make it down to Nouveau Palais and tuck into some fine grub for their weekly Nouveau Palooza night. Expect everything from krautrock to power pop served up piping hot by DJs Mitz & Seez.

Sunday – If you like a little twang but can’t stand the current sad state of country, catch the real deal, the Sonny Best Band, when they launch an eponymous record at Divan Orange with the Jimmyriggers and Sunfields.

Monday – Monday night is particularly packed this week, with the technical-styled ballast of Scale the Summit shaking the foundation of la Sala Rossa with Trioscapes and guests. As good as this promises to be, though, you’ll find me turning into an oozy mess when the droney soundscapes of Aun liquefy my marrow at Casa with (sic), Jen Morris and Erick d’Orion and Mazen Kerbaj. thisquietarmy and Aun in the same week? Pinch me!

If that wasn’t enough, my favourite DJ in town, Nao Idenitificado, will be playing the best of minimal synth, prog and psych on the bar side of Casa. Watch this space for an announcement about Nao Identificado’s event at Notre Dame des Quilles. ■

Current obsession: Swans, The Seer (still)

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