Ain’t No Love
This city loves its festivals, and this festival loves the sound of the city. M for Montreal’s raison d’être is fêting 514, pimping local bands to high-powered international delegates (and scrappy foreign journalists, too), alongside a sprinkling of acts from down the 401, one from Philly, a couple from NYC and one from the far reaches of the continent (and possibly the stratosphere), Sacramento, CA.
M’s seventh edition begins today and runs through Saturday night, and although the showcases happening tonight and tomorrow night are sold out, there’s plenty to see in the afternoon and on the weekend. Here’ a list of M 2012 bands that Cult MTL‘s music team is losing bodily fluids to. Bring a change of underwear, seriously.
Ain’t No Love People might look at you funny if you say their name too fast, but there is no way you can screw yourself in the ass by sharing an evening of hip hop re-appropriation with the decadent, dubbed-out dance party that is Ain’t No Love. Bang-on raps, saucy beats and the incredible range of vocalist Saidah Bowen are all great reasons to saddle up and boogie down to their production. (Darcy MacDonald) Café Campus, Thursday, Nov. 15, 3:15 p.m., free
HONHEEHONHEE The Montreal quintet with the unfortunate name of HONHEEHONHEE produce infinitely hummable tunes (don’t believe me? Check out their track “A. Is For Animal” and get back to me) that sound even better live, their set full of jangly guitars and tuneful yelps. Playing a rare daytime slot as part of the Bande à Part showcase, Hx4 may make you consider cutting out of work early to catch them. (Brian Hastie) Petit Campus, Thursday Nov. 15, 3:40 p.m., free
Young Rival I recently sang the praises of this Hamilton act in Today’s Sounds, but it bears repeating that these guys are the shit. And they’ve been working hard at it for years — they adopted a new moniker in 2010 (they were previously Ride Theory), released a strong self-titled garage rock LP and pushed their sound further with their latest record, Stay Young. Negotiating the smooth with the angular, the stark with the ornamented and the retro with the modern isn’t easy, but these guys do it up right. (Lorraine Carpenter) Café Campus, Friday. Nov. 16, 12:30 p.m., free / Divan Orange, Saturday, Nov. 17, 9 p.m., $10
D’Eon Think Phil Collins with a bank of swirly keyboards backing him. D’Eon’s synth orchestrations combine his R&B vocal stylings with ethereal keyboard work that evokes a feeling of inner peace, as well incorporating tight drum programming that displays hints of jungle music. Concerned with matters of spirituality as well as technology, his music can be taken at face value as catchy fare. Catch him opening for Suuns. (BH) La Sala Rossa, Friday Nov. 16, 9 p.m., $11.50
Sun Airway Philadelphia’s got a spectacularly stacked musical heritage, ranging from mainstream pop to soul to jazz to hip hop. It hasn’t been a hub for indie/alt music, however, which is part of the reason why these guys stand out. That and their gorgeous, catchy, washed out, danceable, noisy tunes — the kind collected on their recent Dead Oceans release, Soft Fall. If ever there’s a Ph for Philly, Sun Airway are obvious headliners. (LC) La Sala Rossa, Friday, Nov. 16, 9 p.m., $11.50
Dig It Up Undoubtedly one of the heavier acts of the fest, 514 natives Dig It Up bring their melodic hardcore musings (à la Bronx/Every Time I Die) to l’Escogriffe as part of the Safe in Sound showcase. Currently prepping their first proper studio album, the quintet is sure to turn the bar into a sweaty mess with their brand of sing-along anthems and tales of booze-filled woe. (BH) L’Escogriffe, Friday Nov. 16, 11:59 p.m., $10
Loud Lary Ajust It had to be a matter of time before Quebec’s ’80s cock rock hangover sought a hair-of-the-dog remedy in hip hop. Now before you judge that idea on merit alone, go listen to the group’s Gullywood LP, one of the finest local rap releases of the year, and ask yourself: was this not worth 25 years of Poison T-shirts and Kiss reunion shows? Whatever they’re putting in the JD out in Hochelaga, shit gets you crunk as fuck. (DM) Petit Campus, Saturday, Nov. 17, 3 p.m., free
Death Grips The Sacramento psych-ward-core aggressivists are down a live player since last they stomped through MTL, but by all accounts, the show is no less frenetic. Drummer Zach Hill and rapper Ride have two new LPs’ worth of system-shockers in their holsters since last time around. Expect the fastest drumming you have ever witnessed live, and get ready to mosh your sneakers to a rubbery pulp as the Grips display to us once again just how hard love can hurt. (DM) Corona Theatre, Saturday, Nov. 17, 8 p.m., $17
CTZNSHP This self-described “haze rock” trio operate at the crossroads of post-punk, shoegaze and indie pop. You’ll hear echoes of the Jesus Mary Chain’s rich density and the Cure’s minor-key romance, but CTZNSHP’s songs are fitted with crucial pop arcs that relieve some of the nihilism and sadness that those bands held at their core. Get to the Yamantaka //Sonic Titan show early for these openers and be ready to swoon as your ears absorb their sweet six-string action. (LC) La Sala Rossa, Saturday, Nov. 17, 9 p.m., $11.50