One of Montreal’s best little venues is celebrating this weekend

Johnson’s favourite music dive is in birthday mode PLUS a Montreal band needs your help (chugging beers) and the top gigs of the week.

In the three decades and change that I have lived in this fair burg, there is a good chance that if a local watering hole provided a stage for local bands, I have dipped my whiskers in their amber nectar on the reg. As good as the venues and bars are right now, my favourite has always been the threadbare confines of the Barfly.

Without a doubt, this is a barfly’s bar, and the live entertainment can run from acne-ridden kids trying to play the Foo Fighters to some of the best big-band jazz I have ever seen. It is also no secret that a punk show at “the barf” can’t be beat.

This week, Anthony’s hole in the wall celebrates 22 years of pissing off Plateau condo dwellers while serving up suds and providing a stage for the up-and-coming, already-are and always-will-be. Hats off to Gwendolyn, Anthony, Ted, Karmyn, Mikey, Costa, Courtney, Karen and all the staff from the past 22 years. Yee haw!!!

Not only that, but what is sure to be my favourite show of the year is happening tonight!!!!


Thursday: Yep, it’s true, by gummy. One of my favourite bands of all time — Low — will bring out the lump in everybody’s throat at Sala tonight with In/Via. Words cannot really describe the divine musical ascension this mild-mannered trio can deliver, and their new jammer Double Negative is one of their most powerful musical statements. Unfortunately this has long been sold out, but I would highly recommending streaming the new record for the uninitiated and feel the might of surrender.

Metal-heads can drag their knuckles over to Katacombes to catch San Fran’s Light This City, Ventura, California’s Gygax and Signals Over Skies. 1635 St-Laurent, 8 p.m., $12/$15

Friday: Stonery jammers Mountain Dust return to their home away from home (Turbo Haüs) to kick out some jams with their budz Monobrow and Sierra. This all happens early, and then at 11 I will launch my new weekly DJ night Let’s Get Rad Again, where I’ll be spinning Northern soul, punk, post-punk, garage and all the other good shit. 2040 St-Denis, 7p.m., $12/$15

I better be an Argonaut behind the wheels of steel because I’m up against the stiff competition of the loveable-lunk DJ duo the Punk Police, who’ll be schlepping their dusty side of vinyl up the steep stairs of North Star. 3908 St-Laurent, 10 p.m., free

The real Barfly birthday festivities are happening on Saturday night, but if you want to get in on the celebrations early, you can catch Barfly regulars Ashtray Heart, Painbow and Slippery Hitch.  4062A St-Laurent, 9:30 p.m., price unlisted

The beautiful losers behind the promotion company Analogue Addiction will host the Yokofeu show with super secret guests at l’Esco. 4461 St-Denis, 10 p.m., $10

If it wasn’t for the Low show, I would say the definite mandatory show to be at this week is local treasure Bloodshot Bill, who returns from his Japanese tour with his Hubcaps in tow. Opening the night at Katacombes for this greaser are the Lab Ratz and Doghouse Rose. 1635 St-Laurent,  9 p.m., $10/$15

Saturday: Well if you read the reach-around I gave Anthony in the intro (go ahead and get a mental picture, we’ll wait), this is the night you can throw your cap in the air when the nerdy new wave of the Trina Trons have you dancing like a young Belinda Carlisle, Laissez-faire-rock band Speed Fairies open. 4062A St-Laurent, 10 p.m., price unlisted

The doomy and gloomy can sashay to Katacombes for the ever-popular poseur fest Nevermore, featuring DJ Faith, Starchild and Autobahn. Fun fact: If you dress up as a Mario Brother, you will definitely be getting laid in the VIP section. 1635 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $6/$8

A last-minute metal show will be taking over Turbo Haüs when Relapse recording dudes Ecstatic Vision will crush with riffs of gold. Stoner duo Prieur open, alongside Landry and Kurse. 2040 St-Denis, 8 p.m., $10

Finally you can check out some true first-ish wave of punk heroes Stiff Little Fingers with the Mahones at the perfect venue: Foufs. 87 Ste-Catherine E., 8 p.m., $29/$34

Tuesday: As reported on social media two weeks ago, local band Anemone fell victim to theft — the contents of their van were ripped off while on tour with Pond in Portland. There is a Go Fund Me link on the Facebook event page for this show to help replace all of their equipment, and all of tonight’s sales of Boréale and Jagermeister at l’Esco are being donated to the band, so get out and show the world just how much Boréale and Jagermeister one person can drink. Laying down the jams to help out Anemone will be Lemongrab and Sick4467 St-Denis, 8 p.m., $10

Current Obsession: Low, Double Negative