While this year’s line-up at Osheaga is heavy on the electronic and hip hop acts, there are still plenty of bands for those of you who want to rock out. And personally, while it’s nice to have the mix, sometimes you just want to rock out.

Here my picks for the best indie rock performers playing Osheaga this year:

Real Estate

Indie pop sensations Real Estate have found themselves at a crossroads with their last LP, with longtime lead guitarist Matt Mondanile leaving the band, but still have the chops to take it all the way.

In Mind (2017), their fourth studio album and one recorded in the absence of Mondanile, shows the band is still very viable. With this album taking them in new directions, the future looks for Real Estate.

Sunday, August 4, 4:30pm @ National Bank Stage

Mac Demarco

I was supposed to avoid writing about the headliners, and let’s face it Mac Demarco is a headliner even if he isn’t the top bill. He has played shows in front of tens of thousands, spawned a resurgence in semi-psychedelic lo-fi sound (and many have tired to copy his trademark sound), and he smokes the king of all cigarettes, Viceroy.

His lo-fi sound started in Mile End but has now reached the four quadrants of the world. And boy has it been one long strange trip.

He’s known for being an oddball and goofing around on stage, so expect to see some serious antics! But his unique sound gives him the tight niche of laid back slacker rock that is just very compelling and very good.

Sunday, August 5, 5:15pm @ Bell Alt TV River Stage

Teke:: Teke

The eclectic coming together of musicians from well-known Montreal bands (Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra, Boogat, Pawa) created Japanese-influenced post-punk psychorockers Teke:: Teke.

If you yen for some traditional Japaneese  surf rock infusion then this might be the band for you.

Friday, August 2 3:45 @ Perrier Tree Stage


Montreal Art rock band Braids will take the stage a year after winning the Juno for Best Alternative Rock group.

They got me with their 80s electronic beats over Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s vocals, which can be pretty haunting at times especially when infused with some pretty interesting vocal effects.

Sunday, August 4th, 1pm @ Honda Valley Stage

Kurt Vile and the Violators

I’ve been a fan of Kurt Vile ever since the first time I saw him play at Casa del Popolo. He was alone at the time playing his guitar with crazy pedal effects and his sweet nasal voice. Sufficed to say, I was pretty impressed.

His lo-fi sound and voice fills the psychedelia of his songs with wry, sardonic lyrics. His last album Lotta Sea Lice, co-written with Courtney Barnette, was truly inspiring and now he’ll be on stage with the Violators, a band that adds overall emphasis to his unique style.

Friday August 2, 8:15pm @ Honda Valley Stage

We Are Monroe

If you really need to rock out at Osheaga this year then check out Montreal’s own We Are Monroe. They are part classic rock with a new twist Their singer brings a great voice in the singing style of The Black Keys complimented by some terrific backup guitar.

Friday August 2, 2:20pm @ Perrier Tree Stage


Part metal, part rock, this band knows how to riff out an amazingly catchy song. They flew under the radar for a long time until Rolling Stone magazine called them one of the top 10 artists you need to know.

Now, with their new album out Hear Me Out (2019), they are set to go on tour with The Who later this year. Catch them while you can.

Saturday, August 3, 8:40pm @ Perier Stage

Osheaga runs Friday August 2nd to Sunday August 4th at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Tickets available through Osheaga.com

Featured Image Courtesy of Laura Fedele/WFUV

It’s summer in the city and things are about to get really hot, and I do mean in the regards to the Montreal music scene. If these upcoming show are any indication of the weather then I predict it’s going to be a very hot, sunny and sultry season. So now’s the time to get your suntan lotion and earplugs ready, here are your shows this week:

Festival SOIR Kicks Off

The festival SOIR will kick off this weekend along Mount-Royal. It encompasses 15 businesses that will “navigate through and between unsettling expositions, distinguished performances and immersive construct. ”

Tonight Montreal chef extraordinaire with a voice of an angel, Beaver Sheppard, will be playing with his band Co/ntry along with Petra Glynt and Birds of Paradise, a trippy art pop duo.

Petra Glynt’s art rock will take you in all kinds of interesting directions. You won’t know if you listening to it standing up or upside-down.

Birds of Paradise, Co/ntry and Petra Glynt perform at L’escogriffe, 4467 St Denis, on Friday June 22 at 10pm. Tickets are $12 and available at lepointedevant.com

The festival SOIR is running until the August 10th. You can check out there variety of performances at soirmtl.com

The Brie Face

If you’re down to see some great hard rock/nouveau punk this weekend then Bistro de Paris is the place to be as The Brie Face will be blasting their audience with punk and hard sensibility.

The Brie Face perform with Cardiff Giant and Pirate Radio at Bisto de Paris, 4536 Saint-Denis, on Saturday, June 23, 9pm. Tickets are $6 and available at the door

Aaron Allen & the Small City Saints

This Saturday check out Aaron Allen play songs from his latest album Judgement Day.He has been lauded for paving a new path for modern country music, while paying homage to its traditions.

Aaron Allen & The Small City Saints perform with Ivan Rivers and Pat Fockler at Barfly, 4062A S-Laurent, Friday June 22, 9pm.

Chad Valley

The electronic sounds of Chad Valley have been called ethereal and mysterious or as I like to call it: The perfect summer music. He’ll be playing with Aquarius dreams.

Chad Valley performs with Aquarius Dreams at Quai des Brumes, 4481 St-Denis, Tuesday June 26, 9pm. Tickets available through Indie Montreal for $12 or $15 at the door.

* 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. Our week goes from Thursday to Wednesday, so let us know by the preceding Sunday, though not too much in advance, or you may get lost in the shuffle. We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!

The Canadian music community can be pretty close-knit. For instance, did you know that Phil Shearing, singer/guitarist from Paddle to the Sea, once had Hollerado play on his lawn while on tour. He passed a hat around while his friend gave them smores. This is just one example the comradery of Canadian bands, helping each other out.

More than just being about the music community, Canadian Music Week is an expression of how healthy, vibrant and eclectic our homegrown music industry is — and one of those local bands that stands out when we talk about Canadian Music is Paddle to the Sea. Perhaps one of the hardest working bands I know.

Paddle to the Sea features: the aforementioned Philip Shearing (vocals and guitar), Jeff Bulgarelli (vocals and bass), and Shawn Murray on drums and vocals.

The three-piece just released Insert Home Delete End a very impressive album filled with power-pop and grinding grunge. You can describe their music as a reinvention of the raw 90s sound. Give a listen to Castaway and Butter You Up.

Paddle to the Sea will be taking their wild horse and pony show to the Bovine Sex Club in Toronto, for a Tuesday April 18th show with will also feature: Lauren Spike, The Huaraches and The Extorverts. I had a chance to speak with them before they left for the show:

If you’re in Toronto this week check out their latest show  Tickets are available online or you can buy them at the door here’s the Facebook page for more information. Also give a listen Paddle’s newest tracks Arrow and Skipping Stone on BandCamp.

Hope you have an umbrella because in between all the rainstorms it looks like we’ve got another great week of music ahead of us. Here are some of your options for the next seven days.

John K. Samson +  Michael Feuerstack

On Thursday singer/songwriter John K. Samson is playing a show at Théâtre Fairmount in support of his second album Winter Wheat released last October. While his career as a solo artist is fairly new, you might know John as the frontman of Canadian Indie rock band The Weakerthans who were part of the Canadian music scene from 1997 until they decided to go on hiatus in 2014.

Joining Samson will be local talent Michael Feuerstack who has also been in the game for quite a while now under a different name. You might know him as Snailhouse, the moniker he used for a number of years before re-branding to his real name.

Regardless of the labels they’re currently going by, both these guys create great music with memorable lyrics. Give a listen to the track Postdoc Blues off John’s latest album to see what I mean.

John K. Samson and Michael Feuerstack play Théâtre Fairmount, 5240 Avenue du Parc, Thursday, April 6th, 8:30pm (Doors at 7:30), $25 to $20 +s.c available through the box office.


Allison Crutchfield and The Fizz + Vagabon + Empath

Also on Thursday you can stop by La Vitrola for an evening of Indie Rock presented by Suoni Per Il Popolo and CKUT with three great acts from south of the border in the form of Allison Crutchfield and the FizzVagabon and Empath.

Headliner Allison Crutchfield’s latest album Tourist in This Town was released in January and it’s really worth a listen all the way through. Or just go to the show and you can get the live version!

 Allison Crutchfield and The Fizz, Vagabon and Empath play La Vitrola, 4602 Boulevard St. Laurent, Thursday, April 6th, 9:00pm, $12 available through the box office.


Carlos Núñez

Sunday night Nuits d’Afrique will be hosting an evening with Spanish bagpiper Carlos Núñez who is coming to town for the last stop on his springtime tour through North America. The Galician multi-instrumentalist is well known for breaking down barriers between music styles. Most commonly associated with playing Celtic music, Núñez’s songs also draw heavily on his Latin roots and classical music.

This tour is also a celebration of Carlos’s illustrious career. It’s been twenty years since the release of his debut album Brotherhood of Stars and since then there has been no slowing down. He’s released an impressive ten more albums and done countless tours all over the globe in that time.

Carlos Núñez plays Théâtre Fairmount, 5240 Avenue du Parc, Sunday, April 9th, 8:30pm, $38.40 available through the box office.


North Country Towers + Isaak Salomon + Eva Foote

On Sunday Casa Del Popolo will be hosting folk performers North Country Towers who invite you to enjoy the nice spring weather (I guess they like rain) we’ve been having and come see a show. Actually Sunday is supposed to be the one sunny day this week so the thought of getting out of the house and seeing three acts for only eight bucks seems like a great way to spend the day.

North Country Towers, Isaak Salomon and Eva Foote Casa play Casa del Popolo, 4848 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Sunday, April 9th, 8:00pm (Doors at 7:30), $8 available at the door.


For those who don’t want to go home Sunday, you can just stay at Casa Del Popolo till Monday night when Quebec City based band L O S will be playing in support of their recently released first album Big Surf. When the word “Surf” is in the title of an album, it’s hard to prevent certain preconceptions of what it’s going to sound like to pop into your head. In this case you’d be dead wrong.

The vibe of Big Surf is a lot more mellow than you’d expect from a musical standpoint and a lot deeper and sophisticated in terms of the lyrics. Give them a listen and if it’s your thing then head down on Monday, tickets are only five dollars!

L O S plays Casa del Popolo, 4848 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Monday, April 10th, 9:00pm, $5 available at the door.

* Featured image of Alison Crutchfield via Twitter

* 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!

With Chanda M’s debut album being released tomorrow, Indie Montreal and Forget The Box are proud to give you an exclusive early listen. We’d also like to offer you a chance to win free tickets to the album launch tomorrow, November 12th at La Vitrola (contest info below the music).

Chanda M’s ambient electronic aesthetic has been called one powerfully composed audio experience. Her bewitching vocal style has often been compared to Kate Bush St. Vincent and Bat for Lashes.

While Icons of Dreams EP is her debut, the sharp electronic and will make you feel like you’re traversing through auditory ether. It shows a beauty and composure that you’d normally hear from a seasoned performer, a certain maturity that you don’t normally expect from a debut.



She’ll be launching the EP tomorrow night at La Vitrola. You can win a pair of tickets simply by subscribing to the Forget the Box email list (you also get the latest updates from your favorite Montreal News, Politics and Culture website). We’ll be sending details on how to win the tickets via email early tomorrow.

* Chanda M “Icons of Dreams” EP Launch Party, Saturday, November 12, 8pm, La Vitrola, 4602 St-Laurent

If you do miss her tomorrow night, be sure to catch her in Ottawa on at Live in Elgin on November 19th.

“Have you heard the news?

I am bigger than ants!”  – ‘Big Gigantic Body’, The Anthony Hansen Problem

There is nothing in the city right now like The Anthony Hansen Problem. Despite being a newly formed act, they came in at #9 for both “freakiest” and “most pretentious” musical act in CULTMTL’s Best Of Montreal 2016 poll.

When, in mid July, I made my way to Casa del Popolo to see The Anthony Hansen Problem play alongside BoyJune (now Beloveds), The Island of Misfit Toys and Commander Clark’s band, I had no idea just how much fun I’d be having. This show with its greatly slotted bill was hands down the best musical time I’ve had in years.13690888_10102605839847987_3461689634366204884_o

Part performance art and part brazen ego comedy pop rock, The Anthony Hansen problem is is a hard act to describe. A friend of mine, Cas Kaplan of Boyfriends, aptly describes them as ‘absurdist new wave’ and ‘glamaged’.

Recently transitioned from solo act to three man show, The Anthony Hansen Problem is Anthony Hansen (keys, vox), Noemie Kinney of Nanimal (bass), and Evan Magoni of Boyfriends (drums). The decision to switch from one man show to a trio was one that Hansen made after carefully consideration:

“I definitely had a period where I kind of stopped playing for a while and tried to rethink my approach because in as much that people told me it was entertaining to see me doing the one man thing I knew I couldn’t sustain it,” he explains, “It wasn’t any fun and I’m basically enjoying myself a lot more now that I have people to bounce ideas off of and it just it feels less like I’m dwelling within an echo chamber.”

One of the major factors for the switch was the limitations brought on by using a backing track:

“The backing track is not gonna stop, it’s not gonna allow you to banter with the audience. I was sort of really shooting myself in the foot because I was just putting songs back to back to back and not giving myself any breathing room. People even told me they couldn’t tell where one thing ended and other began the pace was way too manic. I think this is the issue when I generally do projects entirely on my own I just get so kind of, I topple over under the weight of my own ambition when I don’t have people to reign me in.”

Hansen met Magoni and Kinney through musical circles whereby they found mutual admiration of each other’s musical stylings and that the two genuinely liked what he referred to as his ridiculous songs.

“For this specific project, I build off of what strikes me as an interesting phrase,” Hansen describes, “I’m taking one specific phrase that sounds like it could be a hook in a song and then just constructing lyrics around it. A lot of times what I do is I’ll take that phrase, write free associatively based on what it makes me think of, and then loosely organize that into a song like structure. That’s part of why a lot of my songs involve me talking and not really rhyming, because most of what I write is stream of consciousness and then edited together after the fact.”

Of the performance and pretentious aspects of his project,  whereby each song seems to come from a very odd backstory, Hansen remarks:

“I tend to write in character a lot and a lot of the characters I write for are unreliable narrators so it’s essentially just you know and like, I remember Andrew (Boyfriends, Smokes) said that the song All This Techonology is Making Us Antisocial made him think of just being trapped in a car, some vehicle, with someone who is talking At you and not registering your discomfort.”

He adds,  “There is a lot of that in my music. I think it gives me a freedom to write from the perspective of people who don’t, I guess, have the same social inhibitions that I do. It’s a way of embodying things that I could not get away with in my normal life. Just being this like very strange, very alienating kind of figure. It’s fun to sort of play with that and just you know, write as someone who deliberately breeches social boundaries within a performance context.”

In terms of what is next for The Anthony Hansen Problem, Hansen says he is really enjoying the band’s current momentum. They’ve played three shows in three weeks and are about to head into the studio to record.

“To be honest,  I like working quickly, you know, just keeping things moving. I’m really someone who can’t relax or stay still so I kind of constantly have to be tinkering with things. I mean, that’s the goal as much as anything is to just always have this outlet that I can turn towards and if other people like it that’s great too.”

“I can promise you though,” he adds with a playful grin spreading across his face, “if someone comes along with like a shit ton of money to give us, we are going to sell out all the way. I’m just gonna start making the worst and most vacuous music I possibly can. Probably break up. Then go on a reunion tour that outlasts how long we stayed together originally.”

Catch The Anthony Hansen Problem at Barfly tonight, August 8, 2016. Show starts at 9pm. 7$

Starting tonight and for the next four days, Kickdrum presents a Summer Marathon featuring 50 local acts in 16 shows. A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hanging out at Kitsuné’s cozy terrace, drinking coffee, and chatting with Kickdrum founder and director Joshua Spencer.

joshIn the couple of years that Kickdrum has been active, the company has changed and grown considerably to become one of Montreal’s local music’s main current supporters. Its Summer Marathon is a sort of love letter to the creativity and range of local talent.

Spencer, at the helm and heart of Kickdrum, recounts the project’s early origins when he and his band were looking to release new music and, as a recent business school graduate, he’d been assigned to find a way to market it. As a student, Spencer spent much of his time avoiding the stress vibes of the library, studying in independent cafés instead. This is where inspiration struck:

“Once I was at these cafes I realized most of the baristas are artists or musicians themselves. Everyone who is in there is either a student or an artist and the communities combine and interconnect so well. So I thought, hey, there’s a great opportunity to take what Starbucks and iTunes are doing on a very corporate level and doing it extremely local. So I tried that for a little while but the way I was trying to deliver it wasn’t the best and a little too involved. It was too complicated for the café owner and all parties involved for it to run in a sustainable way.”

In June, 2015, with a PA system in tow, Spencer starting putting on small shows using the connections he’d built with café owners. Kickdrum began offering intimate setting shows with backyard events at Café Santropol and a bi-weekly series at Blanc de Blanc.

“We did A LOT of café shows in the last summer,” Spencer recounts, “then towards the end, in August, a band and I mutually approached each other for management. At this point, I really wanted to get into managing artists. Soon after, I picked up a second band and, in the fall, picked up a third band along with a solo artist.”

While managing these bands, Spencer starting to branch outside of his café network to book shows at places like Casa del Popolo, Divan Orange and Cagibi. He began noticing a space for promoting and booking independent bands that he felt only a few groups were actively doing (groups like Passovah, BTSB, Evenko, and Analog Addiction). Adding another promoter and booker to the mix could only serve to benefit of local musicians across the board, especially as different scenes interact and blend in novel ways.

Kickdrum also produces a series of music videos called the Klatsch Sessions that showcases local talent, although the series has taken a backseat during Summer Marathon preparation. On top of that, one of Kickdrum’s other offerings comes in the form of curation of playlists and mix tapes featuring hundreds of local acts:

“For people to listen more locally, it’s a matter of making it easy to find. So if you can just know that Kickdrum works with almost 100% local Montreal acts and every couple of weeks there is a new playlist. There is an infinite amount of bands. You can listen through for hours and hours and discover 100+ local independent bands and they are all sort of genres anything from soul and jazz to electronic to noise rock. For me, it’s awesome. I love sharing these playlists and seeing people respond and clasp on to local bands.”

In January 2016, Kickdrum hosted its first music festival which was inspired as a “big middle finger to winter” and a desire to hear music in intimate spaces where people could converse away from blaring music and less alcohol focused. It was the first festival Spencer organized, and in the heart of winter, which he feels he has learned a lot from the experience.

This week Kickdrum presents its first Summer Marathon. Knowing that Montreal is spilling over with festivals during the summer, Spencer wanted to put something on that was affordable and with a uniquely local emphasis.

The Summer Marathon offers four shows a day. Every day there is an outdoor show at Blanc de Blanc and one Le Cagibi show, with more full venue sound shows at La Vitrola, Casa del Popolo, and/or Bar Le Ritz.

“One of the bands I’m really excited about is How Sad,” Spencer says excitedly, “I caught his last show at Divan Orange and it was really great. He is playing on the last day, he is kind of the finale show playing at Divan Orange with Our Book & The Authors and Isabelle Young.”

“We have a franco show on July 13th with Samuele, Mon Doux Saigner, Helena Deland, and Claude l’Anthrope at Bar Le Ritz PDB. We have those four to kick it off. It’s going to be unreal.”

Of the 50 bands playing, the Summer Marathon d’Été offers bands that Kickdrum has worked with before along with a slew of newcomers. Additionally, as a commitment Spencer made on International Women’s Day, in putting together the short fest he has prioritized having more diverse gender representation of artists selected.

“There are so many good ones! I’m really pumped for, another band I’ve worked with before, but I really dig is CO / NTRY,” he exclaims, “Beaver Sheppard is in it. They call themselves sleazeway. It’s total sleazewave. It’s very synth y and guitar but then like, yeah, it’s grimey. They are playing with Wake Island and Smokes, one of my favourite Montreal bands, and Tracer Flare. That’s gonna be a really cool show.”

“The most different shows, there are two that stand out of me. The hardest show of the festival is definitely going to be NOBRO and Nanimal at Casa. Then the other show that stands out is The LYONZ, my favourite rapper/producer in Montreal, and then Raveen, mix between James Blake and Caribou so electronic and soul and then we have Static Gold and Heaven Tide both electro soul afro funk sorta thing.”

Spencer’s passion for the artists he has worked with and supported through Kickdrum shines through. Throughout the interview, he beams when talking about different local acts participating in the Summer Marathon.

Spencer’s other main passion is environmental policy and activism and so Spencer has found a way to bring these two passions together: the Kickdrum Summer Marathon has teamed up with an organization called Plus One so that one dollar from each ticket sale go towards USC Canada’s Seeds of Survival program. The marathon will also feature a screening of the climate documentary The Cross of the Moment at Nomad Live (129 Van Horne).

You can purchase tickets and find out more at kickdrum.info


On tap this time around: I completely ignore the last few days of the Jazzfest and give you some great date ideas for a rainy Saturday night, tell you the best places to rock out for the next week and feebly attempt deep musical analysis.

Also keep an eye out for FTB’s preview/review of KickDrum Summer Marathon which is a brand new fest here in Montreal that’s six days, seven venues and over 50 bands worth of  “100% Montreal-based artists.”

Abigail & Bliss + The History of Gunpowder

At this time of year The Main is usually abuzz with festivals, street fairs and general night time rowdiness. If you’re around on Saturday night I suggest detouring over to Prince Arthur, finding a nice bring your own wine place for dinner (author’s recommendation: Le Square) and then heading to Petit Campus to check out Abigail & Bliss

This local act has been around since 2010 and have recently released their first full length album. Here’s the track Night Bus which for me brings back memories of taking the 356 home after a big night out. Maybe you took a different bus route but the experience for everyone seems to be the same.

Joining them on stage will be the self proclaimed “six-piece freak out orchestra” The History of Gunpowder. If that doesn’t sound crazy enough they’ve decided to enlist the help of two local burlesque dancers Fifi Fantôme and Sugar Vixen to add to the live show insanity.

Abigail & Bliss and The History of Gunpowder play Petit Campus, 57 Prince-Arthur Est, Saturday, July 9th, 10:00pm (Doors at 9:0pm), $10.

The Cult + The Damn Truth

Certainly the big show of the week will be taking place at the Metropolis on Sunday night where British rockers The Cult will swinging by our fair city as part of a summer of touring. In February they released their new album Hidden City which holds true to the signature sounds that fans of the band have come to know and love.

Heavy guitars, Morrisonesque vocals and a driving rhythm section will be in abundance on Sunday for you hard rockers to enjoy.

If that wasn’t enough you’ll also get to see local rockers The Damn Truth who are coming out with their new album Devilish Folk on July 8th! A couple weeks ago they released a video for the track Heart Is Cold. Does anyone else think the beginning reminds you a bit of the cheerleaders in the Teen Spirit video?

The Cult and The Damn Truth play Metropolis, 59 St Catherine East, Sunday, July 10th, 8:00pm (Doors at 6:30pm), $48 in advance through box office ($53 at the door).

Ashbringer + Vow of Thorns + Spectral Wound

If you’re into either black metal or partying on Tuesdays (or both, cause who isn’t) then I suggest you head down to Casa Del Popolo and check out Ashbringer, Vow of Thorns and Spectral Wound. This show is not for the weak of ear, expect an intense sonic experience from all three acts.

I particularly like the Ashbringer track Oceans Apart which pulls you in, pushes you away then pulls you back in again. Kinda like and Ocean if you think about it… and there’s my terrible attempt at being deep.

 Ashbringer, Vow of Thorns and Spectral Wound play Casa Del Popolo, 4873 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Tuesday, July 12th, 9:00pm (Doors at 8:00pm), $5.

Grand Splendid + Rust Eden + Das Blankout

For those who were planning on enjoying their Saturday with a nice summer day outside: don’t. It’s supposed to rain and be an overall terribly miserable day, perfect for listening to indie rock at an indoor music venue.

As luck would have it, three local acts of the indie variety (Grand Splendid, Rust Eden and Das Blankout) will be performing that evening at a place with four wall and a roof. Check out the dreamy, intensely eerie track All Good Things for an example of what to expect.

Grand Splendid, Rust Eden and Das Blankout play Casa Del Popolo, 4873 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Saturday, July 9th, 9:00pm (Doors at 8:30pm), $6 in advance through box office ($8 at the door).

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!

This week we’re focused on the local music scene with some great shows that, in some cases, are for very worthy causes. The forecast for this weekend is sexy sunshine all the way through so tell your roommate you’re wearing the flip-flops this weekend cause you’ve got some shows to go to!

Nancy Pants + L.A. Witch + Femme Accident

Head over to L’Escogriffe on Friday and check out Nancy Pants, winner of this week’s coveted “coolest band you should have heard of” award. If you want to know more about this Montreal based trio then check out the exclusive interview they gave to FTB just after the launch of their first album.

Joining them on the stage will be West Coast rockers L.A Witch who are in the midst of ripping through the North East of our continent on tour in support of The Kills. Lucky for us they’ve decided to swing by our fair city to give us a good dose fuzzy reverb.

Rounding out the show will be Femme Accident whose synthy surf rock sound and mellow vocals will be perfect for a warm summer night.

 With a solid lineup top to bottom and tickets being only ten bucks it’s no surprise this show tops our list.

Nancy Pants, L.A. Witch and Femme Accident play l’Escogriffe, 4467 Boul. Saint-Denis,  Friday, May 20th, 9:00pm, $10, 18+.

Syngja Album Launch

Later this month Montreal musicians Syngja are set to release their debut album Lang Amma. Tonight though they will be hitting the Rialto stage for an album release show.

Their music is a combination of new and old: Trippy electronica, psychedelic pop and hypnotizing vocals are mixed with traditional Icelandic folk music and “a cappella tape recordings of Syngja’s Icelandic great-grandmother” to form a mesmerizing and very unique listening experience.

For those looking to see a show outside the rock bar experience, this is the one for you.

Syngja play Théâtre Rialto, 5723 Ave. Du Parc , Thursday, May 19, 9:00pm (Doors 8:30pm), $17.

Fort Mac Fire Fund

I think the title of the show says it all. The recent devastation in and around Fort McMurray has certainly been in the thoughts and minds of people across the country.

Four local acts: Jimmi Quinni (of Light Bulb Alley), Hollis and AmelieGentle Mystic (aka Ceilidh Michelle) and Jesse Chase have taken upon themselves to do a fundraiser for the devastated region. So head down to Chez Boris Friday night to hear some good music for a good cause!

 Jimmi Quinni, Hollis and Amelie, Gentle Mystic and Jesse Chase play Chez Boris , 5151 Parc Ave, Friday, May 20, 8:00pm, pay what you can at the door.

Towanda + Heathers + Five Eyes + Lenition + Big Sissy

Speaking of good causes you can support, why not head down tonight to Brasserie Beaubien where there will be a fundraiser for the Sounding Echo Youth Committee in Attawapiskat. This pay-what-you-can show has a full lineup of five acts: Towanda, Heathers, Five Eyes, Lenition and Big Sissy.

Be advised, the show starts at 9:00 PM and from what I’m getting it’s not a “Montreal Nine” so be on time! I know for some of you it’s hard to get going at that oh-so-early hour, but do try.

 Towanda, Heathers, Five Eyes, Lenition and Big Sissy play  Brasserie Beaubien, 73 Beaubien east, Thursday, May 19th, 9:00 pm (Doors at 8:00pm), pay what you can at the door.

* Featured image of Nancy Pants by Bianca Lecompte

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!

After previewing a bunch of shows for Porchfest last week, for this installment we move back into the more conventional venues where there’s some seriously cool performances going down. Whether it’s surf, psych, punk or for a cause, be prepared for a whole lot of rock n’ roll coming your way.

La Luz and Las Rosas

On Monday, Seattle based rockers La Luz are coming to town to give us a good dose of doo wop vocals on top of some seriously mellow surf drip.

While the classic surf sound regularly relegates vocals to catchy one liners, this is not the case with La Luz. Soaring over top all that warm fuzzy reverb you can hear four part vocal harmonies that make this band something very new and different within the genre.

Joining them will be Brooklyn natives (and this week’s coolest band you’ve probably never hear of) Las Rosas. This psych rock trio will suck you in with a mix of trippy riffs and deep grooves setting the table for some very catchy vocals.

These two acts compliment each other quite nicely making this a must see for those who like to go out on Mondays!

La Luz and Las Rosas play Bar le Ritz PDB , 179 Jean-Talon O., Monday, May 16th, 9:30pm (Doors 9pm), $12. Tickets available through ticketsfly or at the door $18, 18+.


Benefit Show for Denis Poitras

If you’re looking for something to do tonight then head over to Katacombs where Le Collectif Stompin’ Trees, Tantquàyêtre, Tempête and Micro Armés will be playing some good music for a good cause.

In 2013 lawyer Denis Poitras had to file for bankrupcy due to the fact that he had taken on too many pro bono cases following the the 2012 student strike. Poitras is now back on his feet but he needs to raise $6700 to re-register with the Quebec bar.

This show hopes to raise as much (if not all) of the money needed. With a suggested donation of $10 to $6700 you can pay what you can and catch some good tunes in the process.

Le Collectif Stompin’ Trees, Tantquàyêtre, Tempête and Micro Armés  play Coop Katacombes, 1635 Boul. Saint-Laurent,  Thursday, May 12th, 9:oopm (Doors 8pm), pay what you can at the door, 18+.

Dead Messenger and Eddie Paul

For those looking for a night of “Rock ‘N’ Roll fury” you’ll want to head over to La Vitrola this Friday (the 13th muahahahah) to catch Dead Messenger and Eddie Paul.

Followers of the Montreal punk scene are already well aware of Dead Messenger (making them this week’s coolest band you have heard of!) and their ability to put on a killer live show. Adding to the evening is the fact that they are set to release their new album The Owl in Daylight on May 30th meaning there’s a very good chance you’ll get to hear some new material.

They’ve already put out two singles, here’s the video for the track In the Dark. 

Making it all the better is that they’ve added well known Montrealer (and good friend of FTB) Eddie Paul to the lineup. Having seen Eddie live a few times I would say he’s a personal favorite of mine since his shows always seem to have an energy that gets passed on to the crowd throughout the performance.


Dead Messenger and Eddie Paul play La Vitrola, 4602 St-Laurent, Friday, May 13th, 9:oopm, 18+.

* Featured image of La Luz playing at Pop Montreal by Bianca Lecompte

This week we have a very special edition of Shows This Week as I preview the Second Annual NDG Porchfest. After a very successful first year this “community music festival held on the front porches of NDG” will be back this weekend with over 70 performances to choose from over two days.

If you’re unfamiliar with the event you should check out FTB’s preview last year that pretty much sums it all up. Rather than speak about the event as a whole I’ve decided to preview five of the acts that are symbolic of the variety and all inclusive nature of this festival.

Martin Goyette

One of the more established acts in this year’s fest is St-Henri born blues singer Martin Goyette. The former competitor on Season Four of La Voix will be sharing his “whisky-throated” voice and soulful harmonica playing to anyone traveling down Wilson Ave. this Sunday.

The Blues on a porch just feels right and when you’ve got one of Quebec’s best in Goyette providing the entertainment in this unique setting you should take advantage!

Martin Goyette plays the porch at 4098 Wilson, Sunday May 8th, 12:00 pm, Free Show.

Bud Rice

It’s good to see that Porchfest doesn’t discriminate against back porches. According to the schedule, Bluesy-Folk singer Bud Rice will be playing in “the lane between Marcil and Oxford,” I’m assuming on his back porch. Or maybe he’s just going to hang out in the middle of the lane and sing some songs.

Perhaps Bud doesn’t have a front porch. Maybe the acoustics are better in the lane. Does it really matter? It’s a show in a lane, what are you waiting for! To get you in the mood for an outdoor show here’s a duet: Bud and a train. Hopefully Bud will be a little warmer on Sunday.

Bud Rice plays the lane between Marcil and Oxford (closest to 2140 Marcil Ave ), Sunday May 8th, 2:00 pm, Free Show.

In The Name of Havoc

While most of the performers are of the blues-folk variety there are some notable exceptions, best exemplified by In The Name of Havoc. This hardcore punk band just released a five song EP and hopefully they will be brightening everyone’s Saturday on Sherbrooke Street with some of the new tracks.

They’re promising an “acoustic set,” most likely to keep the neighbours happy, making this the most all-ages / family friendly punk show of the year.

In The Name of Havoc plays the porch at 5826 Sherbrooke Street West, Saturday May 7th, 1:00 pm, Free Show.

The Record Breakers

The all-ages aspect of this festival applies as much to the bands as the audience. The Record Breakers are a group of teens from the West Island who write their own tunes and throw in some classic covers to boot.

This rock band might be young but their list of musical influences reads like a history of rock and roll: The Beatles, The Who, Rush, Nirvana, Muse, to name a few. This isn’t one of these “they’re good for their age” things either, these kids can play.

The Record Breakers play the porch at 4073 Hingston ave, Saturday May 7th, 1:00 pm, Free Show.

Blue Monkey Project

For those looking for more of a dance groove I would suggest checking out Blue Monkey Project.  With a mix of “funk, soul and rock n’ roll” you can finally dance in the middle of the sidewalk and not look out of place!

Well you still might look out of place but who cares, it’s funk on a porch. Like with everything else in this festival, the conventional rules don’t apply.

Blue Monkey Project plays the porch at 4620 Hingston Ave, Sunday May 8th, 2:00 pm, Free Show.

* Featured image of The Guillaume Jabbour Band playing Porchfest NDG 2015 by Jesse Anger

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!

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: divanorange.org

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!


Canadian electronic music producer, singer/songwriter Annie Sama, better known as APigeon launches her new music video for the song Polyday tonight at O Patro Vys. Come hear a unique blend of electronica, pop and folk from a performer who has been compared to Björk, Feist, and Lykke Li among others.

APigeon Video Launch, Thursday, April 14 at O Patro Vys, 356 Mont-Royal Est, Music Video Premier 8:30pm, show 9pm, Tickets $12

Hommage à Amy Winehouse

This Friday night head over to the Rialto where Jazzy R&B singer Andréa Blaze will be performing a tribute to 27 club member Amy Winehouse. Having left us almost five years ago, it seems that Winehouse’s fans are eager to hear her music performed live again.

Anticipation (and ticket sales) for this show have been steadily growing to the point that a larger venue (The Rialto) was required. With a full band and horn section backing up Blaze’s powerful voice and stage presence this show is not to be missed.

Hommage à Amy Winehouse is @ Rialto Hall, 5711 avenue du Parc, Friday, April 15th, Doors @8pm, $20. Tickets available through the Rialto website

In Her Majesty’s Secret Panties – Candyass Cabaret

Photo by Chris Zacchia
Photo by Chris Zacchia

This Friday you can also head over to Café Cléopatra where Montréal burlesque legends The Candyass Cabaret will be exposing their newest show. Though not actually a music show, per say, it promises to be quite rockin’ so we decided to include it.

This self proclaimed “Ode to the Brits” promises “performers ready to show you their bits ‘n bobs.”
This show also promises the best celebrity cameo of the week as the Queen (a.k.a that lady who’s on our money) is supposed to be dropping by. Which begs the question: are show-goers going to be treated to a royal striptease? All hints seem to lead that way.

Candyass Cabaret is at Café Cléopatra, 1230 boul. Saint-Laurent, Friday, April 15th. Doors @9pm Show @10pm. $10.

Street Rhythm

With sexy spring weather being forecast for this weekend it’s time to stop making excuses and start heading out again! Why stay home this Saturday when you can head over to Barfly where you can check out Street Rhythm, a night showcasing some of the best local indie music.

So come check out The Strange Perception, Attics&Alleys and Keystorm all for the very reasonable price of $5.

Street Rythm, Barfly, 4062A St Laurent, Saturday, April 16th, 8pm, $5, 18+. Tickets at the door.

The Subways

British Indie Pop/Rockers The Subways will be bringing their mix of catchy riffs and power chords to the Fairmount this Monday in support of their new album’s North American release on April 16th.
After four albums and more than a decade this power trio shows no signs of slowing down.

Check out their newest video for the track Dirty Muddy Paws:

The Subways play Théâtre Fairmount, 5240 av du Parc, Monday, April 18th, 9pm (doors 8pm), $20, 18+. Tickets available through the Théâtre Fairmount website

Featured image: The Subways 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!

* 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

If I may, I’d like to begin this review by quoting one of the great art collectives of our generation, Nickelback. Combining the poetic restraint of Keats and the vernacular edge of Ginsberg, lead singer Chad Kroeger once famously said, “We all just wanna be big rockstars, and live in hilltop houses, driving fifteen cars”— Kroeger’s words haunted me on Friday night as I walked home from an evening of music and much, much more at Petit Campus. But let’s backtrack a moment because I need to actually talk about the show first.

As any respectable Catholic would do, I spent the night of Good Friday drinking Four Loko and going to a concert. Playing their first-ever gig in Montreal, Australian indie darlings DMA’s have been getting some serious international buzz recently, including a recent appearance as the musical guest on The Tonight Show.

And for good reason. These young dudes put on a great show. According to an old friend from Sydney (don’t worry Kevin Song, I’m not gonna reveal your identity on the internet), DMA’s are “one of the most sought-after acts” down under, playing “sold out” shows across Sydney, Melbourne and other major Australian cities. Friday night’s show, then, was a strong indication that DMA’s will continue to find success on this continent, too.

Playing songs from their recently released, full-length album Hills End, as well as a selection of tracks from their 2014 EP, the Aussie boys blasted through a setlist that included hits such as Your Low and Laced as well as fan-favourite Delete, which has the sweeping, arena-ready quality of an old Oasis track (Champagne Supernova, anyone?). Self-evident as this observation may be, it also captures the essence of the band.

Indeed, DMA’s wear their 90s Britpop influences on their Adidas tracksuit sleeves. They make no bones about trying to obscure the musical culture that’s brought them into being.

Take lead singer Tommy O’Dell, for example, who is Liam Gallagher reincarnate—Manchester accent and all—when he steps in front of the mic. Or the song Your Low, which (as one savvy Youtube commenter has also noted) sounds an awful-lot like Blur’s hit track Coffee and TV.

DMA’s clear audial and aesthetic allegiance to the 90s UK scene was enough for The Guardian to dub the group “Ausasis” and for the characteristically snobbish Noel Gallagher (of Oasis) to promise he would “boo” the group when he saw them last year (he didn’t).

So yes, DMA’s sound a lot like Oasis, but that’s not a bad thing, is it? It shouldn’t be. Detractors of the group’s sound and style should keep in mind the old adage nothing is original. All artists, in every genre, are products of previous musical traditions. DMA’s just happen to be a little more overt about their sources of inspiration, that’s all.

And what’s more, DMA’s are reviving a sound that’s essentially been dormant ever since Blur’s 1999 barely-Britpop release, 13. In a time where pop music has pushed guitar-led tunes to the periphery, DMA’s evident embrace of the instrument (there are three guitarists and a bassist in their live act) is a welcome, albeit nostalgic, shift in the sonic tide.

I tried to get a pre-show interview with the band to have an intellectual discussion about the meaning of rock ‘n roll, but I’m sure the band was probably too busy, so I didn’t really hear back from them. Well, I actually heard back from one of their managers, who then proceeded to slow-fade me via email (that is, she replied to my enthusiastic messages with shorter and shorter responses).

So in lieu of an actual interview, I just hung out by the bar after the show, casually sipping from my tepid pitcher of Labatt, channeling Lester Bangs, ready at any moment to confidently state, “Don’t worry guys, I’m with the press.”

In no way, shape, or form did anything remotely that cool happen, but by virtue of there simply being no one else left in Petit Campus at midnight– save for me, my roommate, and the band– I finally got the face-time that I was so desperately craving.

When I introduced myself to acoustic guitarist Johnny Took, he seemed very pleased to meet me (perhaps, though, that was the backstage beers talking), and was happy to hear about my so-called Australian-connection (I tried hard, likely too hard, to impress with my knowledge of Sydney suburbs, and stating repeatedly that ‘I love Hugh Jackman and INXS’). Johnny told me that the band was considering relocating to Los Angeles, and also, I think, something about building a studio in Amsterdam (probably the post-show beers speaking on behalf of my memory).

But my resting persona as a calm, cool and detached journalist eroded almost instantaneously into thirsty fanboy as I proceeded to ask hard-hitting questions such as, “What are you guys doing later, Where are you going later tonight,” and “What bar are you going to later tonight?”

Even though I didn’t realize it at the time, my ‘cover’ was totally blown. So after I helped the band load their gear into the van, I walked with the guys to Biftek (the can’t-miss establishment in Montreal’s vibrant nightlife scene) for a night of further serious journalistic inquiry.

Shockingly– somewhere between us entering the bar and me stepping over to the ATM for several minutes to withdraw cash— the boys from DMA’s had vanished forever, rendered mere spectres of the Montreal night. In other words, I had been aggressively ‘ghosted’ by one of the hottest bands in Australia.

And so, as all good pieces of writing do, I conclude by reflecting upon the lyrics of Nickelback. Despite his bleach-blonde Tarzan locks, Chad Kroeger was actually onto something when he said, “We all just wanna be big rockstars.”

On Friday night, I was a rockstar without a guitar, or a band. But also, and perhaps more realistically, I was a journalist without a pen, or a computer…or a coherent set of questions.

* Image of Bar Bifteck from boulevardsaintlaurent.com

Like music? Live in Montreal (or are visiting)? Looking for something to do over the next seven or eight days? Here are a few suggestions from writers Ford Donovan, Bianca Lecompte and Jason C. McLean:


Hailing from Sydney, Australia, these indie-rockers have made it big ‘down under’ and are looking to continue their success in North America. Nostalgically evoking nearly every aesthetic of early 90s Britpop, from the shimmering guitar leads, to the Oasis-like major key choruses, to the ultra-English attire of sneakers and track suits, DMA’s also inject new life into a musical style that has yet to be revived in the mainstream.

The band’s recent appearance on The Tonight Show is indicative of the potential splash these guys could make in the US and Canada; come to Petit Campus on Friday night to see what all the buzz is about. (FD)

DMA’s play Petit Campus, 57 rue Prince Arthur Est, Friday, March 25th, 9pm (doors 8pm), $12. Tickets available through Greenland or at the door

Young Fathers

It’s hard to define this Scottish quartet in terms of genre. Sometimes Young Fathers are clearly hip-hop, sometimes electronic, and sometimes soul. But that’s the central beauty of the band, they’re almost genre-less. Their biggest hit to date, a booming alt-hip-hop number, Deadlines brings to mind the sounds of a dystopian acapella ensemble in the very best possible way.

For the past several years, they’ve been touring all over the world—venues and festivals both big and small—and are finally making their much-anticipated return to Montreal. I saw these guys for the first time in England last year, and their live performance totally blew me away. Do yourself a huge favour, and check them out next week. (FD)

Young Fathers play Théâtre Fairmount, 5240 av du Parc, Thursday, March 31st, 9pm (doors 8pm), $15 in advance or $18 at the door. Tickets available through Greenland

Grre en famille

Montreal’s Grre en famille already launched their second album Désamorcer la bombeoffer online March 18th, but they’re premiering it officially this Thursday. If you’re looking for a mix of ska and reggae music with a solid Quebecois twist, check out this show. (JCM)

Grre en famille play Le Petit Campus with openers BradyCardie Thursday, March 24th at 9pm. Tickets are $10 at the door

The Goods Homegrown Edition

If you’re looking for a “warm alternative to the average Montreal  night out,” resident DJs Andy Williams and Scott C have been providing just that since 2002 with The Goods Homegrown Edition, a no-frills event featuring funk, soul, jazz, hip hop, afro and latin music. (BL)

The Goods Homegrown Edition is at La Sala Rossa, 4848 boul. Saint-Laurent, Saturday, March 26th. Doors open and music starts at 10:30pm. $10


Blockhead started out as a rapper, but this NYC born and raised performer soon found out that making the beats was his real passion and embarked on a solo instrumental career which brings him to Montreal this weekend. Come hear the unique sounds of this producer/performer, you won’t regret it. (BL)

Blockhead with openers Eliot Lipp and Voyage Funktastique perform at Newspeak, 1403 Sainte Elisabeth, Sunday, March 27, 10pm. $10, tickets available through the Newspeak website

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!