Tortoise band Montreal shows concert


POP Montreal in full effect and a big concert week for ’90s nostalgia

This week’s concert roundup is jammed with music festival picks, and more metal, punk, indie and fuzzy electronic pop shows coming to town imminently.

Now that sweater weather is upon us, as we are still toying with the idea of getting the scarf out of mothballs, it is most definitely POP Montreal time. The festival started yesterday but things are really picking up as of tonight. As anybody who’s looked at POP’s first post-pandemic schedule knows, this year’s production is definitely scaled back, but still packs some killer shows that are guaranteed to thrill. The fine furry folks of POP will be holding the Rialto captive and using it as their hub, so if you’re looking into checking out some of the industry seminars and roundtables, you’ll want to go to the festival’s website and check out all of the hubbub. 

With POP leaving ample room this year for other local promoters and clubs to do their thing concurrently, there is of course a ton of shows happening away from their beaten path. But in the spirit of being downright wacky, I will list the POP giggers you need to know about first. 

The POP Montreal shows you need to get to

Thursday: All fans of no wave, post-punk and the seeds of the Lower East Side’s Cinema of Transgression movement will want to make it to Cinéma Moderne for a screening of Beth B and Scott B’s 1980 whirlwind film The Offenders. Starring luminaries such as Lydia Lunch and John Lurie, filming for The Offenders would last for a week and then rushes would instantly be shown at Max’s Kansas City on the weekend to finance the next week of filming. If you like a dose of grit in your film, this should be a treat for the eyes. 5150 St-Laurent, 6 p.m., $10

Indigenous freak-out band the Medicine Singers are going to fucking blow minds at outdoor rad space l’Entrepôt ’77 (wear a scarf, dammit!) with Tootard and Denmother. This will be awesome. 77 Bernard, 8 p.m., $21.66

Saturday: My Favourite Prog Band of All Time award would go to Boppin’ Bobby Fripp’s mighty King Crimson and finally their story can now be told. The Canadian premiere of their documentary In the Court of the Crimson King will be screening at Cinéma Moderne and it will be nothing short of mesmerizing. See ya there! 5150 St-Laurent, 6 p.m., $10

Happening just before that is the book launch for The Complete Recordings of Hezekiah Procter at Librairie Résonance. Now call me crazy, but that Procter fella really looks a lot like that Li’l Andy crooner guy…..hmmmmm….. 40 Beaubien E., 5 p.m., free

Besnard Laker Sheenah Ko is probably the hardest working gigger this side of Taylor Hoodlum Stevenson and will lay down the shimmy at Sala with the solid support of Zinnia, Nico Paulo and Best Fern. 4848 St-Laurent, 8 p.m., $14.73

My easy pick of the week comes courtesy of the mighty curators at the POP fest. Anybody who remembers the lovely dub/jazz/rock blasts coming out of Chicago in the mid-’90s will want to march down to the Rialto to really trip out to the dubtastic grooves of Tortoise with Joe Rainey. Is Tortoise’s John McEntire the best drummer of all time? If he isn’t, he’s pretty damn close. If you see Bernard Laker drummer Kevin Laing heaped in a ball while gazing longingly at McEntire and sobbing, best leave him alone as he may be having a religious experience. 5723 Parc, 8:30 p.m., $37.16

Giving that gigger a serious hassle over being the much heralded gig of the week is an appearance by dancehall’s true queen, Sister Nancy, with Mossman, Bambii an Niabi at the comfy confines of Piccolo Rialto. Also, notice the authentic dancehall start time that flies in the face of the recent rash of daylight set times. Ahhh, ferfukkkall, it’s sold out. Sorry, champs. 5711 Parc, 11:30 p.m., Sold Out

Sunday: Winding down POP for another year will be the experimental boogada boogada of Esmerine with Jason Sharp at Sala. 4848 St-Laurent, 8 p.m., $23.08

More must-see Montreal shows apart from POP this week

Thursday: Before they go back to Hali (sorry, not sorry), Halifax’s Botfly bring the noise, erm, uh, post-hardcore to Da Turb with Spite House and Cloned Apparition. 2040 St-Denis, 8 p.m., $12/$15

Friday: For the riff hounds that have nothing to do at POP Montreal this year, I got ya covered. Expect to see a whole bunch of grizzled duders with faded Metal Up Your Ass shirts at MTelus when Testament rip it up with Exodus and Death Angel. Instead of just watching those shiddy Tubi vids of the South Bay Thrash scene of the early ’80s, just go and see the real thing! This is true metal majesty, my fair heshers, so don’t be tardy. 59 Ste-Catherine E., 5:30 p.m. (!), $114.51

If you were hoping to dive into the ultra-heaviosity of Outre-Tombe, Saccage and Infeccion at l’Hémisphère Gauche, you are fucked without a kiss as it is sold out, but fear not…. My power pop band (thelowsixes) will be playing our first show ever (that means we’re going to kind of suck) at the Barfly, and uh, there will be probably be plenty of elbow room. Not only that, but this will also mark the official debut of the Taxi Girls featuring Lynn and Jaimie of Pale Lips. And if that wasn’t enough, myself and Jaimie from WFMU and Taxi Girls will be DJing punk and soul from midnight until Anthony kicks us out. Let’s Get Rad Again!!! 4062A St-Laurent, 9:30 p.m., $10

Sunday: Does anybody remember when the Cancer Bats first came to town and played the friendly punker hole in the wall Fort Moshington on Bleury, where you had to take off your boots at the front door? Nah, didn’t think so. I was there and all of the kids stared at me like I was a member of NAMBLA — it was awesome. Well, they are back in town for probs the 27th time, this time at Foufs with the heavy handed support of Comeback Kid. Fun fact: Cancer Bats’ moniker was a joke and taking a pot-shot at local early aughts noiseniks AIDS Wolf — ’tis true. 87 Ste-Catherine E., 7:30 p.m., $35.54

Okay, Tortoise, Sister Nancy and probably most importantly ME at the Barfly makes for a killer week, but even more killer, especially for those who remember the ’90s, is the absolutely amazing announcement that Stereolab will be doing their polite blips and bleeps at MTelus with Marker Starling. I can’t believe this is not sold out! If you made it this far in the column, get your credit card ready and get ready to click! Do it! DO IT NOW!!! 59 Ste-Catherine E., 8 p.m., $50

Current Obsession: The Modernettes, Teen City

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