A failed first date with Passovah’s Noah Bick

Ahead of his promotion company’s fifth anniversary bash at Il Motore tomorrow night, Noah Bick shares his Fleetwood Mac fantasies, alternate career plans for Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury, feelings about Mile End’s best hairdo and beard and so much more.

Noah Bick, due back on the planet Earth

All musical roads in this town pass through Noah Bick. Still in his early 20s, Bick runs local promotion company Passovah Productions. He’s also an assistant with Pop Montreal, production manager at Blue Skies Turn Black and a familiar face to anyone who’s even been to a show. Despite having the invigorating stench of the rock ’n’ roll life on him at all hours, he’s a level-headed gent usually more content to withdraw into the background, except when he’s dazzling the nostalgic masses with his ’90s R&B and hip hop DJ sets.

Unlike most of his musical peers, he’s a true-blue Montrealer with proud NDG roots, although these days he resides in Villeray. We recently grabbed a booth at one of his favourite nesting spots, Nouveau Palais on Bernard, to reflect on five years of show promoting. Here’s a sampling of the best of a conversation Bick himself described as a failed first date.

Erik Leijon: Goals for this upcoming Passovah show?
Noah Bick: My dream for the show is all the artists performing have been collaborating behind my back and are going to play “Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac. Or “This Must Be the Place” by Talking Heads — either one. I also hope I don’t get sued for the Passovah t-shirt. I made 50 t-shirts with Woody Allen’s face and the name of every band that’s performed a Passovah show on it.

EL: Ever get on stage and perform yourself?
NB: I sang a bit of Taylor Swifter at the Cult MTL Halloween party at Royal Phoenix. I played one show with a band in high school, but I didn’t really do much of anything. My role was very minimal in the band. I played keyboard. Next to nothing in terms of sonic contribution.

EL: If you could bring back any Montreal band from the dead, which one would it be?
NB: Telefauna. To see Adam Waito rap. The pride of Thunder Bay.

EL: Who deserves more hype around here?
NB: Freelove Fenner. Why? Because they’re sick nasty, bro.

EL: Best haircut in Montreal?
NB: Marc St. Louis of Valleys.

EL: Best beard?
NB: Pietro Amato of the Luyas.

EL: If you could create a power trio with any three members, who would you choose?
NB: Spencer Krug [of Moonface/ex-Wolf Parade] on vocals. Marnie Stern on guitar. DJ Jeremy Gara [of Arcade Fire] on drums.

NB (now asking and answering his own question): If I ran a coffee shop, which member of Arcade Fire would work there? Tim Kingsbury, I think. I’m a Tim guy. Jeremy Gara is a friendly man; I would want him in front of my coffee shop.

EL: Ever play basketball with Arcade Fire?
NB: No, I played hockey with Tim Kinsgbury —that’s my athletic connection to Arcade Fire. I’ve played hockey with Arlen Thompson of Wolf Parade. I also help organize the Mile End ball hockey association. That’s my indie rock sporting experience.

EL: If you could DJ anywhere, where would it be?
NB: With Jay-Z at the 40/40 club, with ESPN on the screen.

NB (unprompted): I eat Pakistani food multiple times a week. I go to this place on Jarry, called Sana. I love it. It’s sick.

EL: What would be in a Noah Bick sandwich?
NB: The bread would be naan, saag peneer, karela, or bitter gourd, chick peas.

EL: Is that just what you order at Sana?
NB: No, never tried that.

EL: Drink of choice?
NB: Grolsch, Red Stripe.

EL: And when you want to go fancy?
NB: Red Stripe. It’s the ecological footprint: Moosehead, Grolsch, Red Stripe.

EL: Last Bell Centre show you went to?
NB: It might have been Janet Jackson. Weird night in my life, for non-Janet Jackson-related business. I was more interested in this non-Janet Jackson woman than she was with me.

NB: Highlight of my career? Being in Canadian Jewish News. I was hungry for the steak, a young gun.

EL: You use “dot com” as a suffix a lot, like “let’s hang out dot com.” What’s up with that?
NB: I don’t claim to have originated it, but I say dot com a lot. The rule is just add it to anything, I also use dot tumblr dot com, dot ca, any sort of thing. Anything goes in this town.

EL: Ever appear in someone’s music video?
NB: I was in a Reversing Falls video, and I’m wearing weird pants. I’m thinking about filming a video for How Sad about me going on dates with dogs. Being in date situations with dogs. I love dogs. Not sexually.

EL: Ever had to fulfill a weird band request?
NB: When we did Sufjan Stevens, I had to find a blanket or sheet to transport a piano in. It was the first day of their tour. We ended up going to the Bay.

EL: Nineties guilty pleasure?
NB: I’m a ’90s DJ. I’ve got tonnes. Let me turn it around and ask you a question: in purgatory, if you could only listen to “Doctor Jones” by Aqua or any Danko Jones song for an eternity, which would you choose? ■

Passovah 5 w/ Miracle Fortress, Young Galaxy, How Sad & more happens at Il Motore (179 Jean-Talon W.) on Friday, Feb. 22, $8/$10

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