POP Montreal was just bananas this year. There was so much to see: parties and weird late nights out with the camera. I am only now, after nearly 5 days, keeping anything like normal hours.

The week started off with a party over at POP central— place was packed when I rolled up on the late side of 7. There were bare lights strung above everyone’s heads downstairs, which made it all a little overt. I headed upstairs where the sub 60 bass was coming from. On the top landing it was dark and I turned the corner right into the last tune of the Young Paris set. I was feeling it, so I stuck around at the jam for a minute afterword and talked about RUN NDG t-shirts with some random guy.

I’d gotten the press lanyard by then, and Flynt Flossy was playing later. Had to go connect with my people for the show, right!? (Read a review of the Turquoise Jeep showcase.)

On Thursday night, I went and checked out that LOC-NAR set at Casa del Popolo. I took Chose Bottine with me — his niece (Tess) plays keys in various projects including LOC-NAR. Now having done a preview of the band already based on my interpretations of their recordings, I was very interested in checking out their set. I was intrigued by the lo-fi style and the strange time signatures. Secondly, this band had a bit of a buzz. Lotsa cool people involved.

The place was packed so I cut hard for the front row so I could photo the group, kind of hard to get balanced for a shot, though! I found Chose Bottine again and just sunk into listening as a musician. The band is really tight, and I don’t mean tight in 4/4 time either. Tonally and energetically this band moves from pop to metallic in a single composition very fluidly. I was also struck by how progressive the tunes were. Nothing dull about how these guys proceed.

Chose Bottine and I were quite impressed. Go check out LOC-NAR live.

Woke up for school feeling like that translucent piece of egg in the pan—

Went downtown Friday night to catch Yoni Wolf. Got totally sidetracked by a few tribespeople and ended up somewhere else. I arrived extremely late and somewhat unbalanced! La Vitrola was bumping with that strange Why? hip hop flavour. No one is as weird on the mic as Yoni Wolf. You got to check him out if you’re unaware. Werd.

The week was wild, the parties were lush and surreal. And I for one sacrificed a few brain cells. But yo! What a job, and what a magical time with my friends covering these acts from Montreal and abroad. The Unicorns closed the week and they get their own article. Shabang!

Photo by Susan Moss courtesy of POP Montreal.

LOC-NAR sound like they’ve been up for days, surviving on a strange combination of substance and Pizza. These guys have termed their take on weird garage psy-pop ‘slackcore’. It don’t get more lo-fi than this— lot’s of space and pacing in these compositions that sound like they’ve been recorded through a tin can on a string.

LOC-NAR is a 5-piece based out of Montreal’s own Plateau. Four of the five band members are Ontarians— Arthur Rossignol is on percussion, Tess Roby on keys and vocals, Andrew McConnell on lead guitar and vocals, Max Murphy on the bass and vocals and New Hampshire import, Jono Currier, also on git and vocals. These guys hooked up through various programs at Concordia University and this project has lots of juice and has produced some good tracks already.


It’s worth noting that everyone is this band is in another band, which is interesting in that it sheds some light on the inner workings of a fertile little pocket of artists here in the city. This is no summiting genius alone talking to God(s) – this is a collective interested in exchanging ideas and influences, and through this exploration producing art.

As far as process goes, it’s McConnell who’s bringing in most of the bare bones skeletons, which the other members flesh out with their own flavour. I talked to McConnell about the nuance of being the catalyst, if he felt any pressure, or if he relished the control… He answered neither of these questions, which is a good thing because almost any answer would have been douchey. Instead, McConnell stressed the idea that LOC-NAR was very much a coming together of friends, and that they have a collective approach to writing and the creative process. It’s a mash-up, and all the more interesting because of it.

Last year they released an EP, Sink of Mayo, which you can listen to via their Bandcamp. Then they put out a couple of singles on compilations. This year they released Sink of Mayo B-sides on tape. Plus in the next while they’ll be dropping a new EP, Hotter Water. This group is getting it in hard in Montreal right now. If you’re down with lo-fi production and fresh tricky lyrics, give these links a spin. And if you don’t catch the inference of the band name you’re slipping right now. W#RD.

LOC-NAR perform as part of POP Montreal Friday, September 19 with 36?, Krill, Brazilian Money and Kurvi Tasch at Casa del Popolo. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., $10 at the door.

* photos by Ellen Belshaw for LOC-NAR