This week we’ll check in with Nomadic Massive who launch their new album tonight, I try to make a segue-way from hip hop to punk rock, Pierre Kwender’s music is compared to soup, I excessively brag about my clearly very average ability to search for things on the internet and much more!

Nomadic Massive Album launch

Tonight you can head down to Groove Nation where Montreal Hip Hop mainstays Nomadic Massive will be hosting and event to release their latest album The Big Band Theory. Around since 2004, the multiethnic – multilingual supergroup has been touring and performing with the best of them for the past three years but tonight they’re back home to give the local scene a first listen to their newest tracks.

They’ve already released a few singles and if the rest of the album sounds like this we’re in for quite a ride. Check out the groovy, trumpet heavy Any Sound to see what I mean.

Nomadic Massive release their album at  Groove Nation, 410 Rachel East,  Thursday, June 2nd, 9:00pm (Doors at 8:00pm), $10.

Naive Melodie

This Saturday you can multitask by combining your dancing, your donating money to a good cause and your ‘trying to look cool by showing up at the same party where members of Arcade Fire are also partying all into one evening. That’s because Win Butler, Herve K, Regine Chassagne and D.L. Jones have combined forces to host a dance party at the Théâtre Fairmount in order to raise funds for an organization dedicated to helping rebuild Haiti.

The show promises performances by Windows 98 (the not so cryptic DJ name of Mr. Butler), LexisPierre KwendersRa Ra BandKassedo and Surprise Guests.

Wanting to crack the code of who the “surprise guest” could be I set off on an epic journey through the deep web to uncover the mystery. Turns out the first thing you get when you search this event on facebook is a post by organizer D.L. Jones promising that “Kid Koala will be leading a conga line with his portable turntable.”

Surprise guests or not, the scheduled performers should be enough to peak your interest. Keep an eye out for Pierre Kwenders, the Congolese-Canadian singer-rapper who performs in four different languages and seamlessly blends styles from all over the world into one yummy bowl of musical soup. Mmmmmmmm soup.

Windows 98, Lexis, Pierre Kwenders, Ra Ra Band, Kassedo and Surprise Guests play Théâtre Fairmount, 5240 Avenue du Parc,  Saturday, June 4th, 10:00pm (till 3:00am), $10 at the door or through the box office.

N.Y.C Punk Showcase

On a completely unrelated note, on Friday you can head over to Casa Del Popolo to check out the very accurately named N.Y.C Punk Showcase. A trio of New York’s finest punk bands (Mommy, Haram and Nandas) will be teaming up with two local acts (Gazm and Faze) to give you a whole lot of punk rock for only ten bucks!

I’ve now said punk three times in two sentences (make that 4-in-3, 5 if you count the title) in an attempt to drive home the very straightforward theme of this show. To further illustrate, here’s a song that’s less than a minute and a half long by this week’s “coolest band you’ve never heard of” Montreal’s own Gasm.

Mommy, Haram, Nandas, Gazm and Faze play Casa Del Popolo, 4873 Boulevard St-Laurent, Friday, June 3rd, 10:00pm (Doors at 9:00pm), $10. Tickets at the door or through lifttckt.

Cherry Chérie + Samuele

If you’re into rockabilly then on Saturday you can swing (pun somewhat intended) by Divan Orange where Cherry Chérie will be playing as part of an Indiemontreal / Fringefest showcase. The event will most certainly have a 50’s dance vibe so no sitting in the corner staring at your shoes!

Joining them on stage will be singer/songwriter Samuele whose blusey rock style will also transport you back in time a little and fit in nicely with the style of the evening.

Cherry Chérie and Samuele play Le Divan Orange, 4234 Boulevard St-Laurent, Saturday, June 4th, 9:30pm (Doors at 8:30pm), $10 at the Door or through Indiemontreal box office.

Know a band or an artist that should be featured in Shows This Week? Maybe a show FTB should cover, too? Let us know at We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!

This week we’ve got a good mix of big shows, crazy parties and a few gravely voiced singer/songwriter references. Read on friends and find out what you’ll be doing this weekend.

Father John Misty

The big show of the week has got to be Joshua Tillman, a.k.a. Father John Misty who will be stopping by Metropolis tonight to bring his “Post-modern Self-reflexive Semi-Ironic Renunciation of Originality” to the stage. You have to love how musicians describe themselves.

The former member of Fleet Foxes, Saxon Shore and about ten other indie rock bands I’ve sort-of-kind-of-hear-of has been flying solo for a number of years now and his latest album (and title track) I Love You Honeybear has been met with widespread acclaim by both important critics and, more importantly, Me.

Mr. Misty nicely combines modern indie rock sounds with lyrics that have a Leonard Cohen-esque style of storytelling (gravely voiced singer/songwriter reference #1). This show should appeal to both the hipster and the hippie in you, so what are you waiting for!

Father John Misty plays Metropolis, Thursday, April 21st, 8pm (doors 6:30pm), $32 to 44. Tickets available through ticketmaster.

Mad Decent House Party

If you’re looking to start the weekend off early then head over to Newspeak tonight and catch Walshy Fire (of Major Lazer) Zubi and M. Bootyspoon who are performing as part of the event Mad Decent House Party.

Want to know more? Well lucky for you FTB recently sat down with organizer DL Jones for an exclusive Behind The Scene interview.

Walshy Fire, Zubi and M. Bootyspoon play Newspeak, 1403 Sainte Élisabeth, Thursday April 21st, 10:00pm, $15, 18+. Tickets available through Newspeak box office.

Bad Uncle-The Crooked Brothers-Speedy Johnson

Set to release their new album entitled Theodore this May, Montreal-based Bad Uncle takes to the Divan Orange stage this Friday to perform some of the new tracks.

According to the band, the new release promises to be “tales of hot tub massacre, parasite love and creatures hatched in the center of the Earth.” I would personally describe their previous recordings as “Tom Waits unsuccessfully trying to return soup at a deli while someone plays accordion in the corner” (gravely voiced singer/songwriter reference #2).

Author’s note: I love Tom Waits, accordions, most soups and some delis.

Supported by The Crooked Brothers and Speedy Johnson, who will be debuting his new video The Pleasure Loving King, this show is a must see for lovers of the local music scene.

Bad Uncle with openers The Crooked Brothers and Speedy Johnson perform at Divan Orange, 4234 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Friday, April 22, Doors 9pm, show 9:30pm, $10. Tickets at the door.

Weatherman-Amir Amiri

This week’s coolest band you’ve probably never hear of goes to Chicago based trio Weatherman who are set to hit Le Cagibi’s stage this Monday with local act Amir Amiri. Weatherman is pianist/vocalist Annie Higgins, drummer Jason Toth and Joshua Dumas on exploratory electronics. Add all that up and you get richly layered hypnotic music which doesn’t feel like it was made by only three people.

So far they’ve only released a handful of tracks, my favourite being a live version of the song Outlaw:

So if you want to hear more than their online catalog has to offer I guess you’ll have to get off your butt and head down to see them!

Weatherman and Amir Amiri play Le Cagibi, 5490 St Laurent , Monday, April 25th,

* Featured image of Bad Uncle:

Know a band or an artist that should be featured in Shows This Week? Maybe a show FTB should cover, too? Let us know at We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!

* Featured image by Sylvain Granier, the t-shirt DL Jones is wearing is a collaboration between Jones, Mad Decent, and Off The Hook, available at Off the Hook Downtown, 1021 St-Catherine Ouest

Over the next few months, Ford Donovan will be catching-up with some of the most influential culture-makers in the Montreal music scene with a central question in mind: “What makes Montreal’s music and entertainment industry tick?” Using a combination of old metro cards, loose change, and pleading with cab drivers, Ford will trek around Montreal to talk to artists, record execs, and event planners about what they do to help make Montreal one of the best and brightest artistic scenes in the world.

Today’s guest is one of the biggest names in Montreal’s entertainment and nightlife landscape, DL Jones. Leading the charge for Diplo’s label Mad Decent in Montreal, as well as working with Arcade Fire on the fundraising event series Naïve Melodie, DL is a busy guy who takes his ‘fun’ very seriously. I met-up with him at Café Olimpico for an Americano (no milk or sugar) and a discussion about his role at Mad Decent, the importance of creative relationships, and the “meaning of cool.”

FORD: What would you say DL are the core factors that give life to Mad Decent, both inside the context of Montreal, but also beyond it?

DL: Well… I’d say it’s kind of when you get things coming out of left field. The creativity of everything we do… It’s just kind of thinking outside of the box; from the presentation and aesthetic, to the music itself. It’s really hard to peg just one factor. A lot of the artists you’ll see on the label are working in different styles and genres.

FORD: Well, what in your mind defines coming out of left field? I feel like that sensation is different for everyone, so what does it mean to you?

DL: I think one factor is that when you hear something, your first reaction is like, “What the fuck!” [Laughs] But in a good way! It’s like you can feel your brain trying to process the sound and it’s saying, “Okay, this is something new.” When you hear something that sounds too familiar, your brain kind of goes on autopilot. But when you hear something new, the reaction in your head is unmistakable.

FORD: What would you say that you value most about the Mad Decent community? That could be anything from the people that you work with, to the artists that you work with, the events you organize…

DL: I think it’s exactly how you put it – it’s a community. Internationally, those little pockets that Diplo’s developed all over the world kind of shows how we’re all like-minded people. You know, the label just started block parties in India – that’s pretty far away. But when you look at the footage from the party, you see that these are kids goin’ off the same way we do. To be able to reach those pockets all over the world, and to find communities that all appreciate this kind of music, and can get turnt to it just the same, is pretty cool.

FORD: When did you first get involved?

DL: That was about eight years ago. Diplo’s first show in Montreal was with Chromeo, actually. And we met, and kind of hit it off, and I took him to an after party. I had just started doing parties during that time as well, and just kept in touch. And I’ve been doing most of his bookings here since. It kind of evolved naturally.

mad decent

FORD: It seemed to just grow out of a personal relationship, a friendship.

DL: Yeah, totally.

FORD: Would you say that personal connection is important with the people that you work with?

DL: I think it’s the most important thing. When you build that friendship, that’s when things get really exciting, you can really vibe with someone. If it’s too much of a formal situation, you’re not as driven to “get weird.”

FORD: So I guess it’s kind of good to move past those initial formalities.

DL: It’s hard to put those crazy and fun ideals on a resume. When you already have that bridge built with someone, there’s that rapport that’s a bit more immediate.

FORD: It’s also sort of an intangible thing though, isn’t it? Like, you can’t really force creativity.

DL: Yeah, exactly.

FORD: In what ways would you say that your position ‘changes’ at Mad Decent? At a more corporate institution, tasks and roles are very much assigned. I’m wondering in what ways a creative enterprise works differently?

DL: My job, first and foremost, is to blow it up here as much as possible. Slowly but surely, I’m able to introduce acts that I think are cool, with an emphasis on Montreal artists, trying to further diversify the label, and at the same time, trying to expand our image as much as possible.

FORD: It’s interesting you’ve mentioned the word ‘cool’ a few times. It seems that a big part of your job is to make a call on what’s cool and what’s not. How does that decision-making process even work?

DL: The best I could do with that is just to say that it’s all a matter of gut feeling. I’ve been doing parties for a while now, and if I get excited about something – even though it’s super subjective – that’s what I go with.

FORD: So after that initial gut feeling, what’s the next step?

DL: You just get a feeling about something, and then you try to see how you can spread that gospel. When I’m excited about something, it’s a big part of my job to make everybody else excited, too.

FORD: Kind of the age-old question, but from your perspective, do you find that the business side and the cultural-artistic side of the entertainment industry are constantly at odds with each other?

DL: Yeah, it’s kind of an age-old thing. You basically keep trying to convince a group of people that something’s cool, and once it is, they try to take it away from you. But you don’t want to be a ‘bandwagoner’ either, you know? In terms of trends, you kind of just always want to be on the forefront of everything. By definition, being at the forefront of something means constantly trying to convince people that something’s about to pop off. Really, it’s just a bunch of factors both on the business and artistic side of things, and my job is just to try and make everything gel.

FORD: Why might Montreal be such a constant hub for creativity?

DL: Well, for one, it’s a very transient city. Rent is very cheap. I think a lot of artists can live here and not have to do that much in terms of finding another job to pay the bills. It’s also close to New York, it’s close to Toronto, and so the actual location of the city is really important, too. There’s a pretty tight community here. I think artists support each other well, so that’s a big factor.

FORD: And finally, what is your favourite song, favourite album, and favourite artist?

DL: That’s a tough one! Album, I’d probably say Illmatic, artist I’d say Marvin Gaye, and song – that one I’ll have to get back to you on. Actually, I’m listening to that new Kanye album a lot right now. It’s great, because it’s kind of a mish-mash of everything he’s done so far.

A big thank you goes out to DL for taking the time to sit down with Forget The Box. Look out for the next Mad Decent House Party on April 21st at Newspeak, featuring Walshy Fire of Major Lazer

On Friday, January 22nd and Saturday, January 23rd, I attended the Entertainment Management Conference, held at Sid Lee’s in Downtown Montreal. Now in its fourth year, the event was designed to allow emerging young professionals in on some of the trade secrets “behind the business that fuels culture.”

Run by a talented cast of students from McGill’s Desautels Management program, and backed by corporate sponsor Evenko, the event included a series of panels from professionals in Montreal’s music, film, nightlife, gaming, arts and media scenes. On top of that, the two day event included a series of workshops, as well as the opportunity for these young-entrepreneurs to network with professionals. The event provided a unique, immersive experience into the multi-faceted world of the entertainment industry.

As a student who is just about to graduate from McGill, I was hoping the event would give me something, anything, to hang onto as I wade into the uncertain world of “finding employment.”

Forget the Box’s Editor-In-Chief Jason McLean was a panelist during the Media portion of the event, and spoke at length about the challenges that online publications face in not only getting their message across, but also, building a brand and an ‘image’ in an online world that is over-saturated with content. In other words, how do we distinguish “good content” from “bad content?”

Jason’s point was a salient one, and resonated with me for much of the day. Now more than ever, the entertainment industry feels overloaded with “noise.” Take, for example, the insane social media buzz over Kanye’s new album– initially titled Swish, then Waves and finally, The Life of Pablo — which had most of the internet in a frenzy.

While people today are debating over whether Kanye actually ‘dissed’ Taylor Swift on his new track Famous, I got to wondering how much of the buzz surrounding the album’s internet campaign actually merited my time, or was worthy of my attention. Can we really classify Kanye’s latest album release as a solely ‘musical’ enterprise, when clearly, there are so many social and artistic dimensions at play? And at the end of the day, how am I to decide if Kanye’s hyping good content or bad content?

The EMC NIghtlife Panel (l-r) moderator Moderator Oriane Rosner, Noah Bick Creative Director of Passovah Productions, club owner Zach Macklovitch and nightlife promoter DL Jones (photo via EMC on Instagram)
The EMC NIghtlife Panel (l-r) moderator Moderator Oriane Rosner, Noah Bick Creative Director of Passovah Productions, club owner Zach Macklovitch and nightlife promoter DL Jones (photo via EMC on Instagram)

Over and over again, panelists from all corners of the entertainment industry– from Arbutus Records’ Sebastian Cowan, to Mad Decent’s DL Jones– stressed the importance of the network, that is, the face-to-face connection when promoting a party, an album, or a film. As the panelists spoke throughout the day, they consistently reminded us that nothing in the entertainment industry happens without a direct connection between the fan and the artist.

The event’s emphasis on forging personal connections was perhaps the greatest piece of advice that I took away from my time at the EMC 2016. In an age filled with more noise than ever, the panelists urging us to focus on the personal when building a career, of meeting directly with professionals and building relationships, is a crucial thing to note. And of course, their in-person presence at the event really drove that point home.

The professionals speaking at this year’s EMC were consistent in their message of how to make sense of a world filled with way-too-much information; of how to distinguish the things we like from the things we don’t, so we can learn to build our own careers. The message was simple, keep it personal. I’d like to thank all of the hard-working students and sponsors who made this year’s event an enriching experience: the Entertainment Management Conference is undoubtedly good content.

* Featured Image: EMC Media Panel (l-r) moderator Sean Finnell, Jason C. McLean, Editor-in-Chief of Forget the Box, JP Desjardins, CEO of Wallrus and Martin Spalding, VP and GM of local radio and TV for Bell Media. Image via EMC on Instagram