Without a doubt, the big gigs coming up are going to be ’77 Montreal and Heavy Montreal, which take over the weekend at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Even if you aren’t as curmudgeonly as me, there is always a fair amount of shite acts that clog up any festival and ’77 and Heavy (like literally all outdoor festivals) have their share of lightweights, but this year both fests boast some serious heavy hitters.
’77 Montreal is definitely gonna be the little cuz to the Heavy behemoth but it’s got some definite don’t miss bands. I suppose the big draw at ’77 is gonna be hardcore bands that many did not have a chance to see in their prime in a small sweaty VFW hall but unfortunately these long in the tooth bands are way past their due date. Have no fear though, as stuck-in-the-middle of bands trying to make money off of their legacy are bands that are just as vital today as they ever were. The big band at ’77 should be the Rezillos, whose “fuck art, let’s dance” war cry flew in the face of ’77 U.K. punk at the time. Not only were the songs fun but also these yobs could play circles around their punker brethren. This should prove to be a blast — expect all of the other bands on the bill to be plunked side-stage during their set.
Another don’t-miss would be Crass’s front man Steve Ignorant and his Paranoid Visions. Ignorant, being the only Crass member stomping the pines this is the closest you will get to seeing Crass, who never ventured outside the U.K. during their heyday.
Finally, kudos to the organizers of ’77 to reunite Mtlhc honchos No Policy, who will prove that punk can indeed be brimming with piss and vinegar while greying around the temples. This is pure Montreal punk history right here. (See our interview between a member of No Policy and Pussy Stench, also playing the festival this year.)
’77 has some solid hits but this year’s Heavy Montreal comes back with a vengeance after taking last year off. The weekend promises probably their most impressive bill yet — it almost has even me making tracks down to Parc Jean-Drapeau. I’m gonna run out of bandwidth here by yammering on about how mighty this year’s Heavy Montreal is, but check it – Saturday: Black metal legends Emperor, Baroness, Witchcraft, Napalm Death and Pallbearer? That line-up is truly the tits.
Making a weekend ticket a no-brainer, Heavy Montreal continues being fuggin’ rad on Sunday with Sleep, Voivod, Nile, Eyehategod and Powertrip. Questions?
Of course, if you are like me and prefer a roof at your gigs, there is still plenty happening outside of ’77 and Heavy.
Friday: If you would like to treat your special sweetie to the most chic digs in town, you will want to squeeze into the VIP section of Bistro de Paris for the post-punk of the Hammer’s TV Freaks with the punk fuggin’ rawk of Uncontrollable Urge and the debut of New Vogue. 4536 St-Denis, 9 p.m., $10
If you want to get your Heavy Montreal started early, you can make it down to Foufs for the first official opening night with Missmayi, Archspire, First Fragment, the Kennedy Veil and Sarah Longfield. 87 Ste-Catherine E., 7 p.m., $20/$24
Saturday: If you thought Bistro de Paris could just use a bit more electronic damage, you can make it down to the chi chi joint to catch 3D Robot Monster, Dead Fibres and Phillipe Vandal. Romance will definitely be in the air. 4536 St-Denis, 10 p.m., price unlisted
Outside of Heavy Montreal my big pick in the bars would be the ’80s electronic soundtrack meets Pretty Hate Machine-era NIN jamz of Pertubator with Das Mortal at Théatre Corona. This could be a perfect precursor before Sleep on Sunday. 2490 Notre-Dame W., 10 p.m., $28/$33
Staying in the realm of electronic blips and beeps jams, you can also catch Montreal electronic legends Rational Youth lay it down with Psyche, Fatal Suit and Non-Lieu at Sala. 4848 St-Laurent, 8 p.m., $12/$15
Tuesday: If you haven’t checked out the weekly series Music Blabber hosted by Ffud’s Mark Goodwin, you can make your maiden voyage to the Barfly to catch his guest Chris Burns, who will play music as well as (gulp) blabber. 4062 St-Laurent, 8 p.m., price unlisted
Current Obsession: Pere Ubu, Dub Housing