Our picks for POP Montreal

The 16th annual music fest is on from Sept. 13 to 17.

Kali Uchis
Kali Uchis

Every so often, POP Montreal books a legit Pop-with-a-capital-P act. But even then, the festival does it on its own terms. Cool Colombian-American jack-of-all-trades Kali Uchis has an all-encompassing eye that combines music and visuals into something rather distinct within the loose confines of pop, as evidenced on her hit 2017 video “Tyrant.” Destined for great things (she’s already had major features with Gorillaz and Tyler, the Creator), she plays the festival’s opening party at Théâtre Fairmount. 5240 Parc, Sept. 13, 9 p.m., $18/$20

The following night, Sept. 14, local rap group Dead Obies will test your brand royalty by dropping new merch while simultaneously closing out their Gesamtkunstwerk tour at M Telus (59 Ste-Catherine E., $35.50). Pound an energy drink of your choice afterwards and run up to Piccolo Little Burgundy for a DJ set courtesy of de-groovy one herself, former Deee-Lite frontwoman Lady Miss Kier (5723 Parc, 11:30 p.m., $15)

FYI, Wu-Tang Clan mastermind RZA’s Live from the 36th Chamber of Shaolin film screening/live scoring has been moved to Friday at 4 p.m at Rialto. Anyways, the free presentation has a full RSVP list, so don’t sweat it. If you need a rap legend fix, Mobb Deep’s Havoc plays le Belmont on Thursday, Sept. 14. 4483 St-Laurent, 10 p.m., $20.

Think About Life

Saturday is all about the locals, although we’ll work our way backwards. There are about 150 of us — maybe less, maybe more — who swear on our mothers that Think About Life put on the best show of any Montreal band from the city’s indie rocking glory days of a decade ago. I was a young man prone to hyperbole back in the day, but combing over my old drafts found excessive use of the words “destruction,” “carnage” and “birthday cake” to describe their 2009 POP set at Espace Reunion. Then in 2011, a bunch of us got horrible colds after we stepped out to smoke post-show in our sopping wet moshing clothes after another legendary performance by the band. What I’m saying is, nostalgia’s one hell of a drug. They’ll be playing with Strange Froots, Lunice and Ebhoni at Piccolo Little Burgundy. 5723 Parc, Sept. 16, 11 p.m., free

Elsewhere that night, Duchess Says will tear Bar le Ritz a new one (179 Jean-Talon W., 9 p.m., $20) and Illa J will bring a certain smoothness to Phi Centre (407 St-Pierre, 9 p.m., $21.58). And then there are a couple of stacked local bills: Wake Island, Radiant Baby and so much more at Casa del Popolo (4873 St-Laurent, 8:30 p.m., $10). At the new-and-improved l’Escogriffe, there’s No Aloha, Saxsyndrum, Fleece, the Seams, Nancy Pants and loads more (4461 St-Denis, 8 p.m., $10/$12).

There will not be a dry eye Sunday night at Ukrainian Federation when Mount Eerie takes the stage for what’s sure to be an incredibly poignant and emotional performance. American songwriter Phil Elverum wrote his most recent album, A Crow Looked at Me, while mourning the passing of his wife, Quebec native Geneviève Castrée. The result was a deeply personal work relatable to anyone who’s lost someone close, and it’s the first time Elverum will present the album in his wife’s home province. With Cedric Noel opening. (405 Fairmount W., Sept. 17, 8 p.m., $30)

See the complete POP Montreal program at popmontreal.com and check cultmontreal.com for more preview and review coverage.