True, the big-daddy of fall music festivals — POP Montreal, marking its 18th edition this year — has taken over the majority of local haunts, but it’s not the only fest in town this weekend.
The Varning From Montreal festival is getting underway tonight at Katacombes. Over 13 years, Varning has become one of the biggest underground punk festivals around and is a product of hardcore’s far reach to places like Chile, China and Columbia, with bands travelling from all over the world to play this truly grassroots event. Most shows sell out the day-of, so going up against POP Montreal with two fingers in the air definitely gets my respect. To Janick and crew — try and get some sleep if you can.
POP and Varning aside, there are even more shows happening around town, including some action at Turbo Haüs, who celebrate their first year at their current digs.
Thursday: If you think live music is total bullshit, you can listen to post-punk records spun by DJ Napoleon and DJ Speechless at Cabaret Berlin flying under the flag of their new weekly Are You Electric? 1661 Ste-Catherine E., 9 p.m., $5
If you remember when Jailhouse Rock Café was the main game in town, and the Bifteck was sort of cool, you will want to check out Blinker the Star, headlining at POP Montreal show at Petit Campus with Jet Black and Hildeguard. 57 Prince-Arthur E., 8 p.m., $15
Also on the POP scene, if you wanted to catch Laurie Anderson’s talk at Never Apart but didn’t snag tickets, you are fucked as it’s sold out (as was her show at the Rialto last night), but fear not as you can make it to le Ministère to catch Japan’s cute as fuck Shonen Knife with Nobro, Pony and Zinnia. 4521 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $18/$20
Varning kicks off tonight at Katacombes with Ignorantes, Final, Pawns, Option, Vaxine, Arseholes, Hundred Steeples and Vitex. 1635 St-Laurent, 6:30 p.m., $20/$25
Friday: The Varning matinee show is happening at Turbo Haüs with Absout, Olor A Muerte, After and Sights of War. 2040 St-Denis, 1:30 p.m., $12
If you want to keep your Varning running solid you can make it just down the street after the matinee to Katacombes to catch Ferocious X Napalm Raid, Mueco, Pisser, Saccage, Skumstrike and Fractured. 1635 St-Laurent, 7:30 p.m., $25/$30
Celebrating the first anniversary of Turbo Haüs’s Latin Quarter digs will be Shards, Tunic and Jesus Horse — and me, Montreal’s only topless DJ spinning the punk rock, disco and whatever the fuck I feel like on the bar side. You are an Angel Witch!!! 2040 St-Denis, 7 p.m., $10/$15
My old buddies Nashville Pussy are gonna show you young ’uns the strength of the riff when they play POP with local potty mouths Vulgar Deli and Don Jamieson at Petit Campus. 57 Prince-Arthur E., 7 p.m., $25.50
Kooky funsters Plants and Animals better bring the heat when they play at Cinema l’Amour for POP Montreal, because openers Crabe are a tough act to follow. Bet you thought I was gonna make a porno joke here huh?! Just to prove you are not my real Dad, no porno joke for you!!! 4015 St-Laurent, 10:30 p.m., $10
Going toe to toe with the full frontal rock power of Nashville Pussy (who are playing just down the street) is the high-octane riffage of Ashtray Heart, with Screaming Demons and Stand Alone at Barfly. 4062A St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $10
If you were hoping to see Conversations with Nick Cave at the St-Jean-Baptiste Church, you will have to just watch it on YouTube like the rest of us as it is long sold out.
Saturday: The Saturday matinee for Varning is happening at Dézéry Square with Dogma, Peace Talks, Etorbo and Last Rockers. 3250 Ste-Catherine E., 2 p.m., free
In yet more punk-rock matinee news, you can help celebrate 20 years of the Sainte Catherines, who will come out of the moth balls for a POP Montreal show at the Mile End Skatepark with Naya Ali, les Mains Sales and Conditions Apply. Cloutier/St-Laurent, 12 p.m., free
This is gonna be a long day/night if you really want to get all the Varning you can in with Kataombes starting up after the matinee with Irreal, Headsplitters, Apara, Ultrarat, Death Exclamation, Illicit and Snara. 1635 St-Laurent, 6:30 p.m., $25/$30
Varning will really get messy at the afterparty at Traxide with Blix, Dictation, Warkrusher. Ask a punk for the location, 2:30 a.m., $12
Ending a long hiatus is the almighty Kataklysm, who will shake off the cobwebs at Corona with Exhorder, Krisiun and Hatchet. 2490 Notre-Dame W., 6 p.m., $35.50
The Godfathers of hardcore Agnostic Front are back at Foufs (natch) with the heavy fucking support of legends Prong with Offside. 87 Ste-Catherine E., 6 p.m., $26
Sunday: Booking Stax soul legend Mavis Staples is a feather in the cap for POP Montreal. She’ll have you levitating on this Sabbath day gig in the classy surroundings of the Rialto with Clerel with Hanorah. 5723 Parc, 7 p.m., $50
Monday: Metal warriors will want to drag their hairy knuckles to Foufs to catch Warbringer with Enforcer. 87 Ste-Catherine E., 7:30 p.m., $25/$28
Tuesday: It seems like more and more ’90s bands are coming out of the woodwork for nostalgia tours every month, but Stereolab are sure to dazzle with their amazing blips and bleeps at Corona, with support from Marker Starling. 2490 Notre-Dame W., 7 p.m., $38/$43
Wednesday: If you were at the Sainte Catherines’ 20th anniversary gig, chances are pretty high you will be at the mall punk show at Club Soda featuring greying-around-the-temples skate punk of Strung Out with the Casualties. 1225 St-Laurent, 7 p.m., $33.50
Finally, those who enjoy all shades of black will want to be at la Vitrola to sway to the sounds of Ceremony with Collapsing Scenery and Scheintot. 4602 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $15/$18
Current Obsession: Lee Scratch Perry, Apeology