Just when you thought festival season was over with the sad demise of our balmier season, it so happens that it just pulled up its collar and braved the elements. M for Montreal is now in its 12th season and I reckon I probably reported on it in its first season. Although there are indeed shows happening, the real dealio with M is that it is kind of geared more towards the outside music industry as opposed to the local live music fan. Not to say they didn’t come up with at least a couple of rad shows, but the majority of em just ain’t puttin’ the guac on my burrito once again.
The truly awesome gigs may seem slim this week as M definitely has a tight grip on the city — it started Wednesday and winds up on Saturday. If you are actually interested in workshops like “Mental health for managers,” going one on one with members of Factor, Mikey’s hangover tour of Montreal etc, or just think I’m a curmudgeon relic (you would be correct, Poindexter), knock yer noggin out and check their website for the schedule.
Here’s the slim pickins, kids:
Friday: As the majority of Montreal clubs gets weak in the knees for tepid pop tailor made for the Q radio show, you can cleanse yourself in excessive heavyiosity and ballast driven prog with the instrumental trio Squalor with They Grieve, Vile Creature and Nightwitches at Atomic Café, tucked away in the darkest depths of Harshologa. 3606 Ontario E., 8 p.m., $12
One of the jewels in M’s crown would be the glimmering pop of Alvvays at Club Soda, with Kiwi Jr. If you dig the better days of Creation Records, you just might dig Alvvays’s deep dive into all things reverb. 1225 St-Laurent, 10 p.m., $26
Saturday: Easily the best gig of M for Montreal and the big pick of the week would be the much-needed return of psych warlords Yamantaka // Sonic Titan at le Ministère with Florda Well and Graham Van Pelt. This is guaranteed to leave you in a puddle. 4521 St-Laurent, 10 p.m., $12
Another true highlight of M is the much ballyhooed local band Security, who will turn it up to 11 at Casa with Blanka, Freak Heat Waves and DJ Ellise Barbara keeping things spinning. 4873 St-Laurent, 10 p.m., $12
For a night with decidedly less decibel blast, you can make it to Quai des Brumes to catch Vancouver’s the Courtneys with Brooklyn’s Grim Streaker, Incredible Woman and Deaf (also part of M fest). 4481 St-Denis, 10 p.m., $12
If you just want to get wasted and have your ears blown out with some killer metal, head down to Barfly to catch a tribute to Motörhead, Över the Töp, opening up for the rifftastic Painbow. Bring earplugs. 4062 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $10
Current Obsession: Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, SRB box set