What to do, what to do… I know: check out some of these shows this week.


New Moon Psychedelic Mass: NooM + Light Bulb Alley + Bearmace + Hoax @ Café Cleopatra (upstairs)

A new monthly event comes to us from the collective known as Witching Hour Events. To be held every new moon cycle, events feature short works by local filmmakers, performances by local bands of every genre, multimedia activities and visual arts. The event’s creators say it’s all in the spirit of exchanging ideas and information and sharing creative experiences to inspire change.

This version will feature performances by NooM, Light Bulb Alley, Bearmace, and Hoax. Attendees are even encouraged to bring a small instrument or other sound-making device to use during a short jam to honour the new moon.

Dressing like an alien for this edition is also encouraged.

Free before 10 p.m., $5 after.

Pierre-Guy Blanchard, Jérémi Roy and Sam Shalabi trio @ Bethlehem XXX (6568 boul. Saint-Laurent)

Members of Land of Kush, PACHA, and part of the Constellation Records family, the trio will perform an early set at a Little Italy food joint owned by musician, artist and chef Beaver Sheppard.

Show starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m., $7.


Trade Secrets + Archery Guild + Formalists + Blood @ Brasserie Beaubien

Doors at 9 p.m., $5.


Lymbyc Systym + Arms and Sleepers + Atsuko Chiba @ Il Motore

Doors open at 8:30 p.m., $10/$12.

Bass Drum of Death + Alex Calder @ Casa del Popolo

Doors open at 8 p.m., $8/$10.

Last Friday, January 10th, La Sala Rossa was packed to the brim with a hearty audience of local musicians,  radio hosts, artists and eclectic bands of music lovers ready for the release of local wave makers Archery Guild’s sophomore album: Manitòk.


Launching the evening with spirited gusto was The Walls are Blonde, a solo project by artist David Kleiser of Toronto/Montreal band Blood. Kleiser also happens to be the illustrator behind the amazing cover art for Manitòk. His stage presence has a spellbinding quality, gathering the attention of newcomers to the guitar and melody. He weaves in a way that frankly leaves me with unshakeable envy. The Walls are Blonde was joined by buds to end his set, jolting everyone into a sing along with a rendition of Dreams by The Cranberries.

Next up was Snooker Emporium, whom I’d never seen live and frankly (read:wrongly) underestimated. The projections playing during Snooker Emporiums set led to a kind of revelry. Blending several genres, there were elements of a psychedelic (trippy) nature that added a laid back quality to their more mercurial rock moments. Overall, Snooker Emporium played a tight, well-rehearsed set and has earned a spot on my radar as a very promising local act.

Up next was the main event, Archery Guild, the seven-piece headed by the ever-magnetic Michael Cota took to the stage to present Manitòk, a concept album based on a dream-legend envisioned and realized by Cota. There is a definite transformation of their sound since Archery Guild’s last album, DIN. The energetic chaos and noise elements of the former have made way for a still energetic but slightly pop and cleaner sound. The arrangements are stellar, the musicians talented, and the melodies are catchy. Favourite tunes: Blood Comfort and Cold Trail.

The visual performance intertwined with the musical to such a degree that I felt transfixed – audiovisual high. The group’s attire was amazing (hand sewn by Cota): tunics ranging in colours and hues, face paints, colourful and wild hair, and most stunning of all, Cota pantsless in a super sweet red tunic.

Avatars for the characters of the album’s journey, they turned the stage into a mythical place; the band became a sort of musical tribe with one foot in the dreamworld of Manitok and the other on Sala Rossa’s stage playing for a euphoric crowd. They blew it out of the water.


By the time latest act Look Vibrant to the stage, I was sweaty, sporting a huge grin and definitely distracted by Dionysus. I’ll have to see them play another show before giving my two cents.

Like Snooker Emporium, I distinctly remembering feeling like I’d misread them based on virtual first impressions. Lessons learned. One, I need to re-calibrate my musical compass and two, I need to try and not party as hard when reviewing evenings of kick ass musical debauchery.

SEE THEM NEXT: Archery Guild is playing a show on January 31st , 2014 at Brasserie Beaubien with Trade Secrets and Blood. See the event page for more details.

There’s a ton of shows this week so no excuses!


The Whiskey Chase @ Hémisphère Gauche

Montreal band The Whiskey Chase are launching their new EP Sucker for the Underdog tonight. They’re being supported by a slew of bands specializing in that early 00s punk sound: Fate Hope Glory, Unsung, Dutch Nuggets and Defy Defeat.

Show starts at 8:30 p.m., tickets cost $7.

Archery Guild @ La Sala Rossa

Archery Guild are releasing their follow-up to the very excellent Din. Joining them onstage are Snooker Emporium, Look Vibrant and The Walls are Blonde.

Doors open at 8:30 p.m., tickets cost $5 or PWYC.

Glorious Moonrockets + Teen Seizure + Melted Faces @ Quai des Brumes

Doors open at 9 p.m., tickets cost $7.


Wax Mannequin + Nick Ferrio & His Feelings + The Sin and the Swoon @ Casa del Popolo

Doors open at 9 p.m., tickets cost $10.

Crazy Knows Crazy + Animal Ethics + Crimes + Superstitions + The Faggots @ Katacombes

Doors open at 9 p.m., tickets cost $5.


Friend of All the World + Heirloom + No Family @ Casa del Popolo

Show starts at 9 p.m., tickets cost $8.


Mutual Benefit @ Il Motore

Doors open at 8 p.m., tickets cost $12.


Land of Kush @ La Sala Rossa

Montreal’s Land of Kush are officially launching their album The Big Mango, which was released in October. They’re an experimental collective heavily influenced by the Egyptian orchestras of the 70s and are absolutely not to be missed (especially since they only put on shows about once a year, if we’re lucky).

Show starts at 9 p.m., tickets cost $15.

Ice storms.

Triple pant layers for slippery grocery shopping trips.

Post-holiday back to the grind panic attacks.

Sound familiar?

I’m slowly working my way into a winter funk and I am sure I’m not alone in this.  Here’s what I’m betting on as the perfect remedy:

Rx –  One vigorous dose of Archery Guild’s launch of their sophomore album Manitòk  this Friday.


For those of you unfamiliar with these Montreal music makers, Archery Guild is an experimental indie rock band. Their line up currently includes Michael Cota (vox, guitar, synth), Marshall Vaillancourt (drums), Tristan Giardini (Bass), Mariah Andrews (trumpet, synth, vibraphone), Ian Gibbons (cello), Huei Lin (sax) and Casimir Kaplan (guitar).

Archery Guild is known for their dynamic wall of sound and their joyful cacophonous melodies. I greatly anticipate experiencing their new tracks and haven’t looked forward to a show like this in quite some time.

This line up of local musicians is pretty sweet: I’ve seen experimental psychedelic pop act The Walls are Blonde and enjoyed their tunes and stage performance thoroughly. I’ve yet to see Montreal’s psychedelic prog surf rockers Snooker Emporium and noise pop duo Look Vibrant live.

See you there. I’ll be the head bobbing, feet swaying gal wearing wool socks. Don’t be shy, come say hi.

Get ready and have a listen:

When it comes to the live concert experience, we expect a lot from the artists up on stage. But what about the crowd? If we demand that an audience display as much energy and excitement as we’ve come to expect from our favourite bands, every show would be like the ORG713 show that happened at Sala Rossa last Thursday.

Most of the crowd were very happily and exuberantly dancing along to every song. As one girl at the show put it, it was as if they were all competing to see who can dance in the most psychotic fashion. Indeed, most people looked like they had lost their minds from sheer joy and good times.

This much frenetic, arrhythmic movement is usually reserved for the most brutal heavy metal mosh pits. But there was a style and grace to the dancing people not present at louder, heavier shows.

The show featured Montreal bands The Haiduks, Blood and Archery Guild. Headlining was Toronto-based psychedelic outfit Ostrich Tuning.

The Haiduks’ psychedelic 60s pop started the show off on the right foot. Their warm sound has a tendency to envelop you in a fuzzy blanket of comfort and make you feel a little zoned-out and loopy.

Just when you were feeling nice and relaxed, spanking-new band Blood took the stage. Founding member and show organizer David Kleiser describes Blood as “Elephant 6 forming a KC and the Sunshine Band cover band.” This is when the crazy dancing started. The lights were off and some very trippy footage from obscure old films was playing on a big screen behind the band.

The captivating visuals continued when Archery Guild took the stage. The lights were back on and all nine (and sometimes ten) band members could be properly seen. Sala Rossa is a great venue to see bands with big lineups and even bigger sounds. There’s something about the way those chandeliers and the velvety red curtains get reflected in brass instruments. It makes you feel like you’re in another time.

In all honesty, I missed Ostrich Tuning’s set. The show started well past the advertised start time of 8 p.m. and I wasn’t able to stay until the end. I can imagine how their darker, moodier brand of psychedelic indie rock brought the entire evening to a beautiful culmination.

This video nicely captures the essence of the show, minus the amazing music.

ORG is a multimedia creative collective made up of musicians, artists and filmmakers. They regularly schedule events to showcase music, zines, comics, posters and other pieces of art from members and friends. To read more about the collective, see Pamela Fillion’s interview with David Kleiser.

Archery Guild

Photos by Bianca David.

GHOST LIGHTS – SALTWATER (November 27, 2013)

Folk /  Indie Rock / West Coast Acoustic

The first time I heard this EP a couple months ago, I couldn’t help singing along with it out loud. I then met Noah Cebuliak (guitar, voice) of Ghost Lights when he played a set at a show organized for the debut of my small band. Within seconds, he had the audience in a trance, eyes closed, smiles content and longing hearts. There is something in Ghost Lights’ tunes that is hard to pinpoint. Ghost lights is atmospheric, recalling the wilderness that inspires Cebuliak who is from British Columbia. In trying to find artists to compare Ghost Lights to, the closest I could come up with was a little of The Barr Brothers, a bit o’ local wonder Joe Grass and a more stripped to the bone version of Patrick Watson’s early work. “Babble from a Beehive” and “Fog Chief” are our favourites from Saltwater which is a strong debut EP that showcases strong talent for poetic lyrics and beckoning melodies. Recommended for drinking iced tea on the patio with a loved one.

HEAR THE MUSIC:  ghostlights.bandcamp.com

SEE THEM LIVE: Next Show on June 3rd with WILDERLING & ANNA SCOUTEN at O Patro Vys

(Facebook Event)


Album-Launch-Poster-662x1024CINEMA L’AMOUR – LIMITATIONS (May 31, 2013)

Loop Rock / Alternative Rock / Avant garde 

I’ve been keeping an eye on Montreal-based Cinema L’Amour since they played their first show and impressed me beyond words. Since then, I’ve been anticipating the release of their first full-length album with some impatience. Limitations is finally here and it kicks ass. Limitations boldly showcases the band’s last four years of composing and touring across the country and was well worth the wait. The two piece usually performs with only one guitar, one drum kit, and an impressive loop pedal board to create an array of textures. On the album, these familiar songs are transformed into something even more complex as Saxophone, Trumpet, Tuba, and Cello (to name a few) are added to the mix. Cinema L’Amour’s talent presented in Limitations is unique and incredibly driven: a combination that will bring these guys places. Since Cinema L’Amour plays with textures and rhythms with a fervoursly dynamic kind of song engineering there is not one comparison that can do these guys justice: there’s a little bit of Buke and Gase, a speck of early Incubus, some funk elements right alongside some harder rock, at times in the same song. Our favourites are “Dedicated” and “Oh So Much”. These guys also throw amazing shows and bonanzas. Recommended at any point: day or night.

HEAR THE MUSIC: cinemalamourtheband.bandcamp.com

SEE THEM LIVE: Album Launch on May 31st with SAXSYNDRUM & LOOSESTRIFE at Brasserie Beaubien

(Facebook event)


4543903ARCHERY GUILD – DIN (May 28, 2013)

Experimental / Rock / Pop

I’ve been hearing about this band nonstop for the last year or so. They’ve been called a powerful “wall of sound” by some of my most trusted musical informants. I’ve had the opportunity to hear them live once and it was pretty grand and it was then I realized what my friends had meant: this band has nine core members and an additional armory of friends who join them on stage to produce a cacophony of sounds woven together by a melody. There’s joy to the energetic chaos that ensues from Archery Guild’s music. It’s difficult to listen to DIN without getting up and dancing or getting pumped up to do something exciting in the city. It’s pretty hard to find what band Archery Guild sounds like (especially since I don’t listen to that much experimental rock) but I’d say it’s kind of like the misfit child of Sunset Rubdown and Arcade Fire. Our favourites are “Juslyk” and “Swimmin’ Out”. Recommended for hearing live or dancing to during party times.

HEAR THE MUSIC: archeryguild.bandcamp.com

SEE THEM LIVE: Album Launch on May 28th with CHOSES SAUVAGES at Casa Del Popolo

(Facebook Event)