Cedric Burnside Montreal Jazz Fest

Cedric Burnside will deliver the real deal at the Jazz Fest tonight

PLUS 4 more Montreal shows you need to see this week.

If you’re wondering why there is suddenly a throng of people walking around town in loud sports clothes and fanny packs, looking slightly stunned, you don’t have to set your watch to know that another edition of the Jazz Fest is underway. While most attendees are fans of tepid music at best, that doesn’t stop ‘em from lapping up that Jazz Fest merch while getting downright jumpy to go see that band that does the “Drinkin’ in L.A.” song. God love each and every one of ‘em, and I don my cap to the organizers who unwittingly hired a bunch of my friends to help hump gear and make things happen behind the scenes — cha-ching! Hidden in the drek, though, there are always some great gems, and this year is no different. The two best giggers at Jazz Fest are both happening on Friday. 

Friday: Baboom! Jazz Fest proves it’s not all a bunch of tired pop clap-trap on the start of the weekend with not one but two shows from blues royalty Cedric Burnside. If you’re as old and crotchety as I am, you may have chanced upon Cedric’s uncle R.L. “Well, well, well” Burnside at Café Campus when he proved that the blues was indeed alive and well in the early oughts. Cedric was sitting on a stool behind the tubs and was apparently taking notes because he’s able to lay down a heartbreaking down-beat and a joyous rave-up as well as his dearly departed uncle (well, almost). I know most blues in 2022 sounds like shiddy beer commercials, but I promise you that Cedric plays the real Southern-baked blues that few can deliver. He’s played every weekend at Junior Kimbrough’s famous juke joint and toured with the real deal bluesman R.L. Burnside, so do not miss! There are two shows, too, so you can see him twice in one night. Rogers Stage, 9 p.m. & 11 p.m.

The Jazz Fest continues to kick ass (I can’t believe I just wrote that) with the return of our hometown motorik beat kings Suuns, who will prove why they are still fucking great to a crowd of people who smell like too much sun screen. Bring your fanny pack and a pair of Oakleys so you can fit in. Also, figure out a way to sneak in your own hooch or prepare to pay through the nose for crap beer. Club Montreal TD Les Nocturnes, 11 p.m.

For those who think I’ve lost my mind for plugging all of this Jazz Fest biz, I will steer this rusty crate a little off the beaten path. I expect all of you to show up at l’Esco to see Tragedy: All Metal Tribute to the Bee Gees and Beyond. True, this is a little late after the Foo Fighters essentially did the same thing a year or so ago — I’m not a fan at all but have to admit they absolutely nailed it. All fussing aside, though, there’s beer on tap, Bee Gees songs done metal and it’s at l’Esco — uh, what is there to think about here? 4461 St-Denis, 8 p.m., $21.75

Egads, Friday is definitely crammed this week with yet another gig happening at the almighty Casa. Things were dicey there for awhile, but it looks like one of the best rooms in the city is merely bloodied, not unbowed, and will play host to thousands more shows. The fine k7 label Mouth of Madness has curated a great night of death metal with the totally metal monikered band name Serpent Corpse (hotsy totsy!!), Disembodiment (really? That wasn’t already taken?) and Infección. 4873 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $13

Wednesday: Finally rounding out the Hammer of the Mods week is the return of Toronto punkers Fucked Up, who will be performing their panoramic punk rock opera record David Comes to Life in its entirety. Much like how the mere mention of bands like Deafheaven and Liturgy will make most dyed in the wool black metalists break out in hives and start spilling their vitriol on nerdy metal forums (is there any other kind of metal forum?), Fucked Up are definitely kept at an arm’s length by the punker than thou set. It’s a shame, really, as these puds can really lay down the piss and vinegar while also possessing the ability to jettison “punk rock” out of its myopic tight clutches. Hmmm, challenging preexisting musical orders….isn’t that what punk rock is supposed to do? 

Current Obsession: Fleetwood Mac, The Pious Bird of Good Omen

For more Montreal music coverage, please visit the Music section.