Tower Montreal shows


The Noise Not Borders Fest & more sick Montreal shows if you’re skipping Osheaga

PLUS Wet Leg and Idles are the only bands worth seeing at Parc Jean-Drapeau this weekend, and luckily they’re both playing Sunday.

Alrighty, it’s that time of the year again, and we all know that the elephant in the room this weekend is Osheaga. Admittedly, every time it comes around, I yammer on about how much I hate festivals. To be honest, even watching a band in a room bigger than MTelus makes me break out in hives. Between the Johnny-on-the-Spots, warm overpriced beers, cold overpriced food, tepid music fans who don’t even know who is on the bill lining up in the beating sun for the overflowing chemical toilets — hey, what’s not to love?!

Thankfully, though, there are (ahem) exactly two bands, that are both playing on Sunday, that demand your attention. Idles, by a country mile, will be the best live band to witness throughout the whole fest. This band plays for keeps and will leave marks. But of course there is a rub here: The problem with Idles is, as devastatingly good as they are when stomping the pines, they are still at least a record away from greatness as their late ’90s influences are still showing.

The other band that dares to flirt with greatness is internet sensation Wet Leg. You have been warned, and ferkrist’s sake, remember your sunscreen. 

Most bands, clubs and promoters steer clear of the commercial suicide of trying to go up against the Behemoth that is Osheaga, but again there are absolute barn stormers this week that will be filled to the gills by punters who don’t even know there was an outdoor fest happening in town. Also, slide directly down to Friday’s announcement for what could very well prove to be the biggest surprise of the month. 

Thursday: If you were all hot and horny about seeing Arcade Fire, you obviously have no idea at all that the real festival happening over the weekend at la Sala Rossa is Noise Not Borders. Getting things lubed up for the weekend will be a killer punk/metal DJ night at Casa with DJ Ultratumba and DJ Motherspace. If you’re lucky, you could swap some spit with a fellow punker on the famed Casa makeout couch. Hotsy totsy! Best of all this is completely free. 4871 St-Laurent, 10 p.m., free

Friday: As I previously mentioned, there is a just a shit-ton of punk bands playing over the Noise Not Borders festival being hosted at Sala over the weekend. Headlining the respective nights will be  Colombia’s Lupus and Caverna. Other bands getting messy over the weekend will be Porvenir Oscuro, Namataysa Ingay, Material Support, Hysteric Polemic and more, more, more. If you think punk died in ’83 (and, uh, you might be half right), this fest should prove that the sprit is still very much alive, with the community even more iron clad and the consciousness even more instilled. Instead of saving your bucks by going to one night, just spring for both Friday and Saturday night. Again, this is happening at the always swell Sala. 4848 St-Laurent, 6 p.m. both nights, $36.14 per night, weekend pass $63.14 

On a totally different cerebral psych tip, you can catch the spacey rock of Technicolor Blood, the weirdo psych of O Town’s Slow Dawn and the post-rock know-how of the Flares at l’Esco. Attendees of last weekend’s Distorsion psych fest, take note. 4461 St-Denis, 9 p.m., $10 

My promised big surprise of the week will go to New York’s proto thrashers Tower, who have now turned into my new Bandcamp obsession. If you like falsetto vocals that could make Halford turn green with envy, guitar solos that can break glass, the kind of propulsive metal that ruled the roost before Cliff even donned his first pair of bell bottoms, this gig is for you. These are some hipster Brooklyn types that were weaned on UFO records and definitely have a couple of fringed leather jackets hiding in their closets — they should be headlining Osheaga, by Jimmy! Best of all, this all happening at Turbo Haüs and it’s (gulp) — free!!! If you have an itch for the teething days of metal this will be your long, deep scratch. 

Saturday: Go to the Noise Not Borders Fest show at Sala, how many times do I have to tell you? GAAAAAWWWWD!!!

This would have easily been by big pick of the week if not for the Tower gig on Friday. But those of you who are looking to explore the outer limits of their mind you will want to dive deep into the cool waters of Shy, Low who are guaranteed to freak yer beak. The real winner here though is the inclusion of drone warrior thisquietarmy, who will play a somewhat rare local show. If you have not caught this pedal-pushing, mellow Duderooni, you really shouldn’t miss this. In the sweat act slot at le Ritz are the fine purveyors of shoegaze, Pnoom. 179 Jean-Talon W., 7 p.m., $17

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