Jason is back for a new season of the FTB Podcast! Panelists Mirna Djukic and Cem Ertekin discuss the Dakota Access Pipeline, the problems happening within the Canadian Green Party with an interview from Quebec Green Leader Alex Tyrrell and our News Roundup segment. Plus the Community Calendar and Predictions!

Host: Jason C. McLean
Producer: Hannah Besseau
Production Assistant: Enzo Sabbagha


Mirna Djukic: FTB News Contributor

Cem Ertekin: FTB Managing Editor


*Alex Tyrrell interview and Pipeline Report by Hannah Besseau

Microphone image: Ernest Duffoo / Flickr Creative Commons

Panelists Katie Nelson and Jerry Gabriel discuss Homa Hoodfar’s detention in Iran, Stella’s campaign against the abolition of sex work and various topics from the news of the week. Plus the Community Calendar and Predictions!

Host: Jason C. McLean
Producer: Hannah Besseau
Production Assistant: Enzo Sabbagha


Katie Nelson: Concordia student

Jerry Gabriel: FTB contributor


*Homa Hoodfar Report by Hannah Besseau

*Stella Interview by Enzo Sabbagha

Microphone image: Ernest Duffoo / Flickr Creative Commons

In this week’s installment I’ll be giving you three options to kick off your weekend. So tell your roommate you’ll be using the dancing shoes on Friday, they can have the pj’s. All are reasonably priced, have Montreal based talent involved and want you to be friends with them. Well maybe not the last one.

Pif Paf Hangover – Lost Cousins

Head over to the Divan Orange Friday night and you’ll get a good dose of electro pop courtesy of Pif Paf Hangover. The Montreal based duo composed of Max O Finn and Emmanuel C Boucher are currently working on their second album which should be out sometime in 2016.

If you’re curious about the new music you should know they’ve promised to play some of the new stuff on Friday. Here’s a teaser:

They’ll be joined by Kingston based indie rockers Lost Cousins who win this week’s prize for coolest band you’ve probably never hear of. We can fix that real quick though, just click play… just click play… doooooo it… (seriously though, this is a pretty great video for a very catchy track).

Pif Paf Hangover with Lost Cousins perform at Divan Orange, 4234 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Friday, April 29, doors 8:30pm, show 9:30pm, $10 in advance, $12 at the door, 18+. Buy tickets through Indiemontreal.

Citylake – Let Us Out – The van Arks

On Friday you can also head over to Atomic Cafe and check out Citylake, Let Us Out and The van Arks. This trio of local bands promises to give an energetic and inspired night full of new and sometimes improvised music. Here are some recent live tracks the bands have posted in anticipation of the show.


If you want to know more you’re in luck since FTB recently sat down with Citylake frontman Martin Saint for an exclusive interview.

Citylake, Let Us Out and The van Arks perform at Atomic Cafe,
3606 Ontario East, Friday, April 29th, doors 9pm, show 9:30pm, $5. Tickets at the door.

Finger Eleven with Special Guests: Polista and Men & Company

The big rock show of the night is certainly taking place over at the Théâtre Fairmount where Finger Eleven will be performing a mix of new material and classic hits. The band, formerly known under the best 90’s band name ever the Rainbow Butt Monkeys, have been doing this for a long time now and certainly won’t fail to impress.

Just as exciting is that they’ve asked two local acts, Polista and Men & Company to support them. Lovers of the big guitar sound take note, this is the show for you.

Finger Eleven with special guests Polista and Men & Company play Théâtre Fairmount, Friday, April 29th, doors 8:00pm, show 9:00pm, $20. Tickets available through Théâtre Fairmount box office.

Featured image: Lost Cousins via Instagram

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 music@forgetthebox.net. We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!

It’s a typical Montreal summer night, meaning I’m hanging out with the members of Lightbulb Alley behind a dumpster in the Mile End and we’ve got a 12-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon, half gone.

Drummer Martin Barrette is going through a pile of shirts in his suitcase that has DYLAN and SONIC YOUTH written on it in Sharpie. Their guitar player and vocalist, Alexandre Ferrara, hasn’t shown up yet so to kill time, front man Allister Booth is improvising Irish tunes for me, something about pretty lasses and being drunk. They tell me they’ve been drinking since noon. I try to catch up.

“This isn’t going to be a walk in the park, is it,” Booth says. “More like a walk on the moon.”

The night may have ended in tragedy (we wound up at Rockette, as you do, watching the cool kids dry hump to a DJ’s version of 80’s pop) but it began at The Helm. Or, rather, the alleyway behind The Helm. And before we all got blind drunk and started running down the street, singing Irish tunes and picking up chicks, I had a chat with Lightbulb Alley about their label, their tunes, and the threesome they plan on having in Switzerland:

Caile Donaldson: Tell me your darkest secrets. Let’s go. Right now.

Allister Booth: My darkest secret is that I always wanted to be a banker and cut my hair.

Martin Barrette: When I was younger, I tried to have sex with my babysitter. But it was awkward because she was a friend of my mother’s.

Alexandre Ferrera: For me, I have fucked up dreams. All the time.

CD: What are you, a Pisces?

AF: No. A lion and a Cancer. Split.

CD: Cool. So who does what? What do you guys play?

AB: I play the tambourine and the triangle. And I tap dance. I’m one of the better triangle players in the country. I’ve won awards. My name is Allister.

MB: I play drums. And I want to sing, someday.

AF: I play guitar and I sing.

CD: Why Montreal? Why are you guys here making music, you know, as opposed to another city?

AB: Montreal is just another fork in the road. It’s a place where a lot of cool musicians are, and the women are cool too. You can’t deny that. Come on, everyone knows it.

CD: You two are from Montreal, right? (Barette and Ferrera. Booth hails from Yellowknife.)

AF: Yeah. [Montreal] is also a good place to play. You have a lot of venues.

AB: We play a lot of different places, a lot of nooks and crannies.

CD: What do you all love about being in Montreal then? What’s your favorite part?

AF: I think it’s the people.

AB: Yeah, the people are pretty rock n’ roll. Pretty happy to dance. It’s such a good feeling when you see people dancing and having a good time. It’s like a boomerang of energy.

MB: The cool thing about playing in Montreal is [that it is] a really European city. You have the style [of that] when you play [here]. People understand what you try to do, what kind of vibe you want to put into your show.

CD: What’s been the weirdest show you guys have ever played?

AB: Playhouse.

MB: Playhouse.

AF: Drugs.

AB: We were on psychedelics…It was a poison night.

CD: A poison night?

AB: The main manager of [Cabaret Playhouse] was like attacking us, trying to say we were fucked up. And I said, “No, you’re fucked up. We’re bringing people to your venue, and whether you wanna book us or not, fuck you.”

MB: Exactly.

CD: Okay, but what made it weird, just the fact that he was in your face?

AB: Everyone was dancing, everyone was having a good time, but we were out of tune, we were drunk, maybe something else…We just were having too good of a time.

AF: Strings broke, the amps were too loud…

AB: We were smashing the guitars…

MB: But people like us, so, you know…

CD: You guys play a lot of shows here in Montreal, I’ve noticed. Why?

AB: I think that generally a lot of people have a fear of playing too many shows, but we play a lot because we want to always be available to our fan base and we tend to not have that fear, which is a status quo. It’s like a rule for a lot of [bands] to only have a show a month, but we have a lot of fun and people come to our shows because it’s like a party. One friend told me that he comes to our shows because he always gets laid every time he comes.

CD: I know I get laid every time I come to your shows.

AB: Good.

CD: Do you guys spend a lot of time in the studio too, or does most of your time go into performances?

AB: We play more shows than we practice, but when we play, that is just like practice.

MB: That’s why we want to do so many shows: to get people that we don’t know [to come] and also to practice.

CD: Let’s talk about your label.

AB: Well, we have a record label in Montreal who we had our first album with, it’s called Ricochet Sound [and is] the same label that The Gruesomes [are signed to]; they’re one of the most popular garage punk bands in Canada. Period…kind of the coolest guys ever.

CD: Who is? You are the coolest or they are?

AB: Oh, we are. The Gruesomes are overrated. Ah, I’m just joking. But yeah, we have a record label in Nottingham, No Way Out Records, and…

CD: Wait, who are you signed with though?

AB: Ricochet Sound.

CD: How did that happen? Tell me about that.

AB: Originally, Ray Biffin [from Ricochet Sound] came down [to our show] and bought us a bunch of beer and one of our albums. He was really cool and he said, “I just wanna sign you guys.” This was at Crobar. It was like in the movies.

CD: How do you guys write songs? How does it work between you?

AF: First, it’s Allister that starts with the riff and the song, and I have my songs too, but we play more of Allister’s songs because he’s spent seven years writing them…

AB: Yeah, Lightbulb Alley has been around for seven years. I think, overall, it’s best to do a little heroin and write a song, you know. The thing is, Alex has really cool songs, Martin has really cool songs, I have like, mediocre songs, and we’ve become a band. One of us will play a song and if the other members like it, we’ll go with it. We write alone and then bring it to the band.

CD: Let’s talk about Anachronik Music Festival. Was this your first year playing the festival?

AB: It was our first year [playing] with this formation of Lightbulb Alley.

CD: How was the experience?

AB: It was like any other show, in a way, but it was kind of exciting [because] there were a lot of people there who we really respect in the Montreal music scene, like our friend David Hener from The Cheap Thrills, and a bunch of other people, like the band Deluxe, another band we’ll be playing with…

AF: And it was cool because people were skateboarding around…

lightbulb alley CD: Oh, you played at TRH-Bar?

AF: Yeah, TRH-Bar.

AB: It’s just nice to know that you have respect from people that you really look up to, and all these musicians are coming to our show…it’s nice.

CD: You guys think you’ll play Anachronik next year?

AF: We’d like that.

AB: Well, you know, we’re moving onto bigger things. Lollapalooza is our first priority. I’m just joking. We’d love to play [Anachronik]. We’ll always play it.

CD: What are you listening to right now? Today.

AF: Today? Rolling Stones.

CD: The Stones? Seriously? Which album?

AF: Sticky Fingers.

AB: I listen to absolutely nothing. But sometimes I listen to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly soundtrack.

CD: Nice, I love that soundtrack.

AB: Yeah, I always listen to that.

MB: Me, I listen to the album by Tiny Tim called God Bless Tiny Tim.

CD: What?

MB: I just make food and cook to this music. It’s amazing. I love it.

CD: Very therapeutic, I’m sure. Alright, so if you guys could jam with any musician today, like a current musician, who would you want to jam with?

AF: Charles Manson.

CD: Good choice.

AB: I would jam with Paul Butterfield. But he’s dead.

CD: Well, then you fucked up. You have to pick someone who’s not dead.

AB: I’d like to jam with Paul Butterfield’s ghost.

CD: And Martin?

MB: I’ll jam with…

CD: No more ghosts.

MB: Okay, seriously, I’d jam with Roger Waters. Or Barack Obama. At the White House.

CD: I didn’t know he was a musician.

AB: How about Robin Williams?

CD: No, man, leave him alone. May he rest in peace. What’s your favorite music festival in Montreal right now?

AB: Little Italy Festival.

AF: Montreal Psych Fest.

MB: Yeah, I say the psych fest, too.

AB: They do a good job. We played there one time.

CD: Oh yeah? Which year?

AB: The first one.

CD: You guys playing this year?

AB: Nah. But [Montreal Psych Fest] books good bands and they try really hard. And [the festival] is kind of a grassroots sort of development. I really like what they’re trying to do.

10622262_682332808524798_2045114374_nCD: Definitely. What’s happening in the next little while for you guys?

MB: I really want to have a threesome.

AF: I think we have to continue to do shows, put out the album, and it’s going to work.

AB: We’re going to New York and we’re playing shows with bands like Quitty and the Don’ts, and the Recordettes, and we also want to go to Switzerland and France…

CD: So specific. Why Switzerland?

AB: There were some people asking us to play in Switzerland. And have a threesome. So we’re ready to go.

CD: Nice. So you’re coming out with a new album?

AB: Yeah, at Christmastime. For the family to enjoy under the Christmas tree.

CD: What’s with the band name? Lightbulb Alley? Why?

AB: Lightbulb is our inspiration. And Alley is our desperation. Lightbulb is life. Alley is death.

CD: Alright.

AF: For me, it’s when you die…

CD: Yes?

AF: …and you’re walking over the next elevation…

CD: Yes!

AF: …to the next brand new world!

MB: For me, it’s sexual.

CD: Amazing. Thank you, boys.


Photos by Caile Donaldson.

What do you get when you blend the creative outlets of short film, music and literature? You get the conglomerate known as Hollis Quarterly: as ambitious as it is inspiring, Ontario native Brandon Shantz is the brains behind what has become, literally, a symphony.

Taking his anecdotes and turning them into short films (I recommend checking out Poor Shrooms), taking his songs and turning them into wild live performances, and taking his concepts and turning them into a novel about a 24-year old man set on self-immolating at Disney World, that, in a nutshell, is the merry-go-round of Hollis Quarterly.

The latest incarnation of Hollis Quarterly was performing on Thursday (August 21st) at Cagibi; I say “latest incarnation” because Hollis Quarterly has seen several aesthetic makeovers throughout the years, from classical backing bands to member changes. With just two weeks of jam sessions under their belt, the performance was a testament to the instrumental skill of its current members (Shantz on guitar and vocals, Frances Lebel on drums and backing vocals, Jevon Ellison on bass and backing vocals and Paul De Rita on lead guitar), as they pulled together a tight set of heavy jams. Songs were laden with lyrical content that ripped at the heart and packed with powerful melodies, leaving plenty of room for beautiful musical sweet spots.

But Hollis Quarterly proves yet again to be in constant flux, a project of tenuous transience, as it has been announced that their bass player will be moving to Australia in ten days.

Says Shantz of the project, “The internet makes it easy to get things out to an audience. I think having reliable releases and innovative, eclectic work in a variety of forms on a ridiculously low budget will attract people. There’s a business model to it as well that I think will be an interesting experiment.” Planning to do seasonal EP releases, accompanied by short film and sections of his novel, he intends to have it all unleashed on the world by Christmas 2015.

Like many Canadian artists, Shantz has been, and will be, using Canadian arts grants to accomplish projects, and if the success of Thursday’s performance is evidence of things to come, this writer suggests keeping an eye on Hollis Quarterly, as this multi-faceted experience unfolds.

I owe Homeshake an apology. When I emailed them, asking if I could come check out the release party for their new double LP, I totally called them “radical muthafuggas.” Although I only curse for colour, they say that familiarity breeds contempt. And so, Homeshake, I’m sorry.

Moving on.

Plastic Factory (like the Captain Beefheart song) is a new local label releasing the aforementioned double LP, and the party for its release is going to be tonight at Drones Club. When I Googled Plastic Factory, some weird shit came up. Like this one thing that says: “Joomla! The dynamic portal engine and content management system.” I guess I should have Googled Plastic Factory RECORDS.

Anyway, forget Google. You know what you should do instead? Go listen to Homeshake’s MUSIC.

You always remember that indelible first impression when a song stopped you dead in your tracks. For me, I was driving up the mountain with someone, case of Pabst between my legs, summer night and setting sun, car window rolled down, warm wind in my face, and he chucked on Moon Woman, off The Homeshake Tape. It was just one of those times.

Now I can’t turn that shit off. Now I can’t put down my guitar. Now I can’t wait for this double LP.

I don’t know why they call it Slacker Rock. I guess we should all feel flattered that someone’s finally validating the way we sleep until noon because we’re up until sunrise doing something weird with a guitar. Slacker Rock. The music of directionless twenty-somethings who drift around, jamming. Too mellow to be punk, too lackadaisical to be included in the phenomenon of every band branding themselves “psychedelic rock,” and too honest to call themselves “garage rock.” (Because who the fuck makes music in a garage? Who even has a garage?)

Homeshake. Go. Listen.

Eddie Paul - Alex Sergerie

Well it took a little while to round up all the photos from Forget The Box’s 5th birthday bash last month but here they are! We’d like to thank everyone who came out to the show and everyone who has supported us over the last five years. We have some personal thanks so let’s get to it:

Chez Nick and Dr. Sugarbottom’s for the excellent refreshments.

O Patro Vys for hosting us.

Seb Black, Eddie Paul, the Emery Street crew, Two-Year Carnival, Ruff Talons and Po Lazarus for their killer sets.

Indie Montreal for putting on the show.

Thanks to Stephanie Laughlin and everyone who helped her put it all together.

Click on the photo to launch the slideshow. Photos by Iana Kazakova and Alex Sergerie.

FTB party photosFTB party photos

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the third best local blog of them all? This week, the Montreal Mirror released it’s annual Best Of Montreal readers poll. Forget The Box placed 3rd in the category of Best Blog! We would like to thank all our readers who voted for us as well as the good people over at the Mirror. Special thanks as well for including a screen shot of our website.

Congrats to all the other blogs that made the list this year. There are a bunch of great blogs on it, and we suggest you check some of these other sites. Here is a screen shot of this year’ BOM Best Blog category (look, it’s a screen shot within a screen shot… trippy).

Look mom! We're number 3!

So to everyone who voted for us, you all rock! A year ago we were a tiny blog working on web-videos with a few writers. We’ve now grown to over two dozen contributors and a publishing schedule of about three posts per day. We try really hard to bring you interesting content and are so proud that you guys have recognized our efforts 🙂

We’d also like to take this chance to give a huge thanks to all the writers, photographers and behind-the-scenes contributors – we lost count at 25 – who really gave Montrealers something to vote for. Congrats to you all and a big thanks to everyone who helped make this happen.

Let’s all keep up the good work!


Oh yes, and we can be stalked, check us out on facebook.