It’s verging on disgusting how little I actually know about the new face of Montreal’s own city hall when I can now name practically every councillor in Toronto.
But here’s a start: congrats to Under Pressure founder and street culture activist Sterling Downey, who won a council seat for his riding in Verdun after a hard-stompin’ campaign, and was sworn in yesterday with the city’s newest elected officials in a ceremony at the Bonsecours Market. Here’s hoping the walls of city hall, his party Projet Montréal, and the constituents he represents will be marked accordingly by his style.
Before we get to the shows, just a quick nod to the fact that this November seems record for local rap releases. Several new albums are out now by some of Montreal’s best at it and it just don’t stop this weekend, with Saturday’s double launch party at le Belmont, where Full Course and CeasRock each chuck the deuce.
Next week, the Shine will bring you a round-up of said new titles to burn some bandwidth and/or bitcoin on. Meanwhile, party on.
Friday: Tonight’s got you on sensory overload with choice. Start your evening with a little class at Station 16 and Hip Hop Wanted Dead or Alive, artist Brian Finn’s exhibit of a decade’s worth of work and over 100 hip hop artists depicted by his hand. Live music pops with rapper Big Bricc (of Underground Realroad), who launches his solo debut, Journey Through the Lower City, in tandem with tonight’s vernissage. More guests and afterparty deets can be found on FB. 3523 St-Laurent, 7:30 p.m., free
For those about to dance and get twisted, tonight is your Rapture. Dig the playlist Rapture DJs Mayday and Vincent Pryce put together for Cult MTL, and then go get your rugged on with them later. 1403 Ste-Elisabeth, 10 p.m., $5
Also to be considered are the considerable programming powers of Machinedrum and Star Slinger, now moved to the SAT, with guests Nick Hook and Ango. If you like your beats with a bit more bap and a little less boom, this is up your alley. And for the record, I’m not even sure what that meant, but I just thought it sounded cool. 1201 St-Laurent, 10 p.m., $21.50
Further uptown, Cadence Weapon and Babu Audi keep it Hydromatic. “Deep low mutated rappers trapped inside of computers” is one of their own cool-sounding descriptors for the Royal Phoenix monthly. 5788 St-Laurent, 10 p.m., $5
Saturday: As mentioned, Full Course and CeasRock each launch new projects at le Belmont with Kings High, their dual concept show with guests Northern Lights, L.E.S., Simahlak and host the Narcicyst. See my interview with the kings here, and see Cult MTL’s Facebook and Twitter feeds now for a chance to win a pair of tickets and an event-emblemized limited-edition crown tuque.
Meanwhile, this other guy Mac Miller has his own little show down at l’Olympia, too. 1004 Ste-Catherine E., 8:30 p.m., $60/$95 (VIP)
In the southwest, meanwhile, Saintwoods’ Pop-Up Party # 5 pops off at Notorious, local hip hop entrepreneur Corey Shapiro’s high-end new barbershop in St-Henri, with Da-P and High Klassified on the scissors and razors tonight. 4677 Notre-Dame W., 11 p.m.
Sunday: The Kalmunity Jazz Project has been breaking in new digs for its long-standing Sunday weekly, now at Resonance Café, which I’m overdue in reporting. I hope Sunday night jazz doesn’t bug the neighbours there as much as Tuesday night hip hop on the Main does. 5175A Parc, 9 p.m., $8
Tuesday: Excuse me? N.O.R.E is coming to le Belmont?!? Shit, that even caught me off guard. Is anyone else old enough to remember back when he was still just “Noreaga,” wasn’t considered a reggaeton artist, and was supposed to play at a rave here (I believe it was Cream – that long ago) but instead he went on the lam in the U.S. on some crime shit? That happened. He has appeared here since, but rarely, so if you’re up on classic East Coast shit, get excited. 4483 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $20/$25
Thursday: Piranha Bar brings you more live local rap with a showcase featuring Taigenz, Travis Nichols, Purpsy Purps, Woods, Beatbox RJ and more. FYI, Woods is that dude who steps to you all over town, beatboxes, raps and hustles CDs downtown. There should be more of him. I love that dude. 680 Ste-Catherine W., 8 p.m., $5/$8