All-you-can-eat Saturdays

Local bands launch records, close chapters, occupy new venues and play for the benefit of a hurricane-ravaged record label. Plus: the DJ debut of a former Mirror colleague and MTL punk legend and 2013’s first truly stacked Saturday night.

Mid-January tends to be a bit slow in the bars, clubs and music halls, but this week throws a curveball and is guaranteed to offer something for any fan of live music, no matter how you butter yer bread. So rather than sucking up the bandwidth with a long-winded intro, I’ll just put a sock in it and skip right to the shows.

Tuesday – Indie gods the Walkmen pull into town once again at to play Corona, but it’s opener Father John Misty that has me in a true conundrum. His majestic folk/pop record Fear Fun was my second favourite record of 2012, but when I saw him last fall at Cabaret du Mile End, I was gravely disappointed. True, I had run to the venue directly after Swans pummeled every little speck of being in my little black ticker but geez, but the good Father really stunk up a storm. If he was merely having an off night last fall and has shed his bar-band baggage and goofy posing, this could be well worth showing up a little early for.

WednesdayChris Barry, ex-Mirror scribe as well as former singer with legendary MTL glam punks the 222s and rock poseurs 39 Steps, puts on his DJ hat to host Get Back at le Bleury – Bar à Vinyl with guest DJ James Clutch. Expect serious jams of classic punk, snotty garage, freakbeat, raw psych and glam.

Also happening on Wednesday is the immensely talented Joe Grass Band at Divan Orange. Although Grass is comfortable on just about any instrument thrown at him, it’s his guitar pickin’ and careening pedal steel that is just sublime.

Thursday – Thursday night is owned by local collective Orkestar Kriminal, who bring their everything-but-the-kitchen-sink orchestra to Club Lambi. Headed up by Giselle Webber (ex-Hot Springs/Red Mass) and featuring members of CPC Gangbangs and other musical miscreants, they’ll be laying down their unique version of what “world music” could be. Opening is horn-driven dance-party band Brassmob and Ichka.

FridayPypy, easily one of my favourite bands in the city, will pack ’em in at Divan Orange. After witnessing their last show at Casa, I can tell you this is easily the best ticket for the start of the weekend. With a line-up featuring three quarters of Duchess Says and a Red Mass dude in tow, this is grade-A psych-punk aimed equally at hips and between the ears. Opening are Loose Pistons, Wild Domestic and Lonnie in the Garden.

Also happening on Friday is the launch of a new venue: Kathy and Kim, located in the heart of Mile Ex. The tiny room will fill up quick to see Karneef & the Life, Jake Finne, Tii Dii with DJs Cadence Weapon and Thom Gillies.

Saturday – It’s been months since we’ve seen a Saturday night this packed, so better buckle up and don’t wreck yer neck. Hotcha!

A great start to your Saturday night would be to make tracks to Montreal’s Southwest hotspot BBam! Gallery to catch the PopTones Vocal Ensemble at 3 p.m. With live musical backing, this vocal ensemble lays down intricate and complex vocal harmonies on songs by Fleet Foxes, Michael Jackson, the Bee Gees and more.

My pick for this stacked Saturday night would be to get down to Piranha Bar to catch the Great Sabatini’s last show (for a while). I’ve waxed on about this band for years; it’s safe to say that if you like heavy, aggressive music, the Great Sabatini are as good as it gets. Adding further ballast to the bill is Boston’s Hivesmasher, Kennedy and the debut of Animal Ethics Inc.

If not for the Great Sabatini, my pick of the week would be the benefit for über-cool label Norton Records at Quai des Brumes. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Norton’s warehouse was ravaged and they currently need all the help they can get. All proceeds from the benefit will go to replenishing their destroyed stock, as well as printing more covers and washing mildew from damaged vinyl. If you aren’t hip to Norton Records, you truly are L7; they’re the good folks who pressed up sides for Hasil Adkins, the Sonics, Link Wray, Charlie Feathers and a ton of other crucial wax. Pitching in and rolling up their sleeves is the always-incredible Bloodshot Bill with his trusty Hand-Cuffs, Jittery Jack with Miss Amy and freakbeat stompers le Chelsea Beat. Hint: Better bring your dancing shoes for the killer DJ sets between bands.

At l’Esco, you can dig the new jams from Montreal punk institution and BBQ enthusiast Hugo Mudie (the Sainte Catherines, Yesterday’s Ring) when he fronts Miracles with the power pop/punk of the City Streets and Morgan on his ongoing Pouzza weekly.

If you dig your punk rock piped in directly from Dementia 13, don’t miss the disturbing, raucous sounds of Crabe when they launch their new blaster Mort de Fraîche Date at Casa with Montreal’s favourite psych sons, Panopticon Eyelids, and FeeFawFum.

Finally, you can steer yer sleds to the cavernous CFC (ex Zoobizarre) for the amped-up and reverbed-out doo-wop/girl group sounds of Femme Accident, who launch their new record Shiver with Silver Dapple and Leap. ■

Current Obsession: The Sonics, Here Are the Sonics

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