O for OM

Find the best bets for real rock ‘n’ roll at this week’s M for Montreal festival + OM, the Helio Sequence, Trash Talk, Funerary Call, Dany Laj and the Looks

Once again, the M for Montreal festival lays down its stakes this week, running tomorrow through Saturday. Truthfully, the industry-fuelled hubbub fest hardly has me pinching myself, but like the previous six M4M editions, still offers a little meat off of its bone. Here are a couple of guaranteed barnstormers that M has squeezed into its programming:

Friday – One of Montreal’s most interesting psych/Krautrock bands, Suuns, headline at Sala with Memory House, Sun Airway and D’Eon. Afterwards, you can head across the street to Casa to catch DJ sets from Jagjaguwar’s Chris Swanson and Sub Pop’s Tony Kiewel.

At l’Esco, you can squeeze in for a night coordinated with local radio station CJLO (1690AM). Filling the joint to the brim will be Solids, USA out of Vietnam [Ed.’s note: that’s Jonathan’s band, people!], Dig It Up, Young Lungs, Kestrals, Aim Low and Echo Beach.

Hitting one of the best rooms in the city, Club Lambi, is the new supergroup consisting of members of Red Mass and Duchess Says, namely Pypy, playing with Yardlets and Cousins.

Saturday – At l’Esco, you can catch the garage stomp of le Kid et les Marinellis with Mak and Gazoline. Definitely scoop up le Kid’s new jammer, les Jolies Filles, off their merch table.

At Katacombes, Duchess Says shares the stage with Vulgar, You! and Montreal legends the Nils FC.

If you were lucky enough to have been at the Plant this past summer to catch the drone of Man Forever (headed up by Oneida’s Kid Millions and fleshed out by members of the Besnard Lakes and Suuns), you are not going to want to miss this transmission of transcendence at Casa. Opening are Odonis Odonis, Moon King and Goose Hut.

The Man Forever show is definitely something to be excited about, but this is going to be a hard sell, as one of Montreal’s best bands, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, will lay down its theatre/prog/psych directly across the street at Sala, with the searing pop noise of A Place to Bury Strangers, Bleeding Rainbow and CTZNSP.


Suuns, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, A Place to Bury Strangers and Man Forever are indeed some heavy hitters, but there is still plenty happening around town apart from M — including my pick for gig of the week:

Tuesday – If you like your dream pop dense and stacked, you’ll want to check out Sub Pop’s the Helio Sequence with guests Ramona Falls and Small Teeth at Il Motore.

Wednesday – Easily the most mismatched bill of the week would be when the hipster hop of Mellowhype shares the stage with the PBR punk of Trash Talk at Il Motore. This would ring a little bit strange, but Trash Talk’s hardcore has just found a home at hip hop label Odd Future, so…

Friday – For a night of devastating heaviosity, demented digitalism and psych-folk, you can head down to the ex-Zoobizarre, CFC (6388 St-Hubert), to catch Funerary Call, Menace Ruine (!!!!) and Havan.

On a completely different tip, you can hit Barfly to catch power poppers Dany Laj and the Looks (think the Nerves, the Figgs), who launch their EP Telepathic Voices with support from their Barfly buds Half Measures.

Saturday – For a truly tribal/industrial pummelling, you can catch the second performance over the weekend from local musical miscreants Strongboss (think early Swans, SPK) with Femminielli, J Fm and Babi Audi at la Brique.

Monday – As promised, my pick of the week sneaks in right at the end with the make-up show for OM happening at Il Motore. This duo, featuring a member of Sleep and a member of Grails/Holy Suns, is going to be nothing short of spectacular. Their latest record, Advaitic Songs, is one of the best psych-fuelled trance jams of the year, but it’s in the live setting that this band takes on true spiritual ascension. With the recent inclusion of vocalist Robert Lowe (aka Lichens) to the OM ranks, this should prove to be one of the shows of the year. DO NOT MISS!!!!

If you want to make a night of it, you can head down to Casa after OM to catch one of my favourite DJs in the city, Nao Identificado. Expect obscure sides of psych, minimalist Moog-fuelled electronics, Krautrock, film soundtracks, prog and everything else that goes great with cheap pints and a plate of nachos. ■

Current Obsession: Om, Advaitic Songs


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