Suoni per il Popolo, Montreal’s premier experimental music festival, has been dedicated to showcasing the weird, the fringe, the avant-garde and the just plain out-there for over ten years. Part of their mandate is to dissolve musical borders and genres and to promote a culture of collaboration. The result is a truly diverse collection of performances with some surprising combinations. This year’s festival runs from June 4 to June 22 and includes workshops and art exhibits as well as nightly musical performances.
Today we’re presenting only a small sample of musical acts participating in the festival but you can see the full calendar here.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4
Crosss — Halifax-born, Toronto-based — blend elements of metal, sludge, doom, psychedelia and grunge. Going over to the dark side can be overwhelming if you’re not already into that but Crosss extend a sweet invitation and gently pull you in. They’re joined by the unabashedly poppy Sheer Agony and new Montreal punk band Shitsu.
Show starts at 9 p.m., $6 at the door.
THURSDAY, JUNE 5
It feels like they’ve been around forever but USA Out Of Vietnam will be launching their debut album Crashing Diseases and Incurable Airplanes Thursday. Blending elements of drone, dream pop and psych, the band favours lush harmonies and infectious melodies and takes the time to build them up properly. Toronto garage rock band Public Animal and electronic pop songstress Marie Davidson open up the show.
Show starts at 8:30 p.m., $8 in advance through Suoni per il Popolo or $10 at the door.
FRIDAY, JUNE 6
Montrealer Steve Bates is an audio/visual artist whose work often explores our relationship with time. He also runs The Dim Coast, a space dedicated to experiments with sound. Seijiro Murayama is a Japan-based percussionist who focuses on improvisation and electroacoustic, conceptual compositions. They first played together at the legendary Rhiz club, Vienna’s go-to venue for experimental electronic music. The duo are joined by Sam Shalabi — composer, guitarist and oud player (Land of Kush and Shalabi Effect) — and Stefan Christoff — pianist, journalist and activist. Their work is a mix of Western free jazz improvisation and makam, a system of melody types used in Turkish classical music.
Show starts at 8:30 p.m., $12 at the door or online via Suoni per il Popolo.
MONDAY, JUNE 9
Brooklyn-based weirdo-punk band Parquet Courts have been steadily rising in popularity since they broke onto the scene in 2010. Sunbathing Animal, their third album, drops today.
Show starts at 9 p.m., $15 at the door or online via Suoni per il Popolo.
TUESDAY, JUNE 10
It’s been 12 years since the last Die Like A Dog performance, back when the group was a quartet. This time around, German free jazz legend Peter Brötzmann is joined by double-bassist William Parker and percussionist Hamid Drake.
Show starts at 8 p.m., $28 at the door or online via Suoni per il Popolo.
FRIDAY, JUNE 13
Ought released their debut full-length album, More Than Any Other Day, via Constellation Records this past April and have since received widespread critical acclaim. They are joined by no-wave, afro-beat, trance-pop outfit Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche and experimental noise band Harsh Reality. Read Pamela Fillion’s interview with Ought.
Show starts at 8:30 p.m., $10 at the door or online via Suoni per il Popolo.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18
Omar Souleyman‘s story is the stuff of legends and I won’t do it justice in three lines of description that I’ve confined myself to here. Basically, he’s a Syrian artist whose sound blends traditional Middle Eastern folk music, Shaabi (a form of working-class Egyptian street music) and electronic elements. He built up his fame performing at weddings throughout the Middle East, recording over 500 cassettes in the process. He was picked up by North American label Sublime Frequencies and released his first studio album, Wenu Wenu, produced by Four Tet’s Kieran Hebden.
Show starts at 8:30 p.m., $25 at the door or online via Suoni per il Popolo.
SATURDAY, JUNE 21
Jerusalem In My Heart live is a totally immersive audio/visual experience. The group makes modern experimental Arabic music, blending traditional sounds and melodies with contemporary electronic elements.
Show starts at 8 p.m., $15 at the door or online via Suoni per il Popolo.