Trade Secrets appeared on my radar when they performed alongside Two-Year Carnival and The This Many Boyfriend’s Club (whom I had recently interviewed) at l’Abysnthe. Needless to say, I was impressed and increasingly curious when TVM and local radio CKUT shot a live performance of Trade Secret’s single ‘On the Road’:

On Tuesday April 9, I met up with Trade Secrets at Bifteck shortly after one of their practice session for beers, lots of laughs, and great discussions about the local liminal music scenes. Introducing the musicians of Trade Secrets: Taylor Evans (bass), Taylor Berce (vocals, guitar), Chris Taggesell (guitar), and Kyle Jacques (drums). Taylor B., Chris, and Kyle met at Gardner Hall, a McGill University student residence, where their first musical incarnation took the form of a Weezer cover band (mostly stuff from Weezer’s Pinkerton album). For their first gig, they carried their instruments into the residence’s communal washroom, posted ‘out of order’ signs on the doors, strung up some Christmas lights, and partied away with their fellow floor mates. Last September, Taylor E., whom they met through mutual friends, joined them and soon thereafter, Trade Secrets began.

3368701088-1Last January they launched their first EP No Relation at Psychic City, their jam space where they sometimes hold musical parties with other local bands. Happy with the reaction to their tunes, Trade Secrets is ready to move forward with new material as they continue to perform (after an unfortunate upcoming short summer hiatus). Their EP has a recognizably lo-fi 90s alt rock feel and of the tracks  “Gonna Die” and “Nocturnal” take the lead. No Relation is perfect for the thawing of winter for those who are looking forward to dancing, romancin’ and having some burrs in the sun.

In terms of inspiration and influence, the band members have a hodge podge of muses: Kyle used to play in a hardcore band called Oceans, Taylor B. likes folk rock as does Taylor E., who also has a strong inclination towards the music of Prince, and Chris is into metal and psychedelic music. This isn’t an Achilles heel, but rather they balance each other out and what makes their sound unique is the way in which their contributions come together: “The music that we make comes out sounding like a band that none of us really particularly identify with,” said Kyle, “all of the bands people would compare us to aren’t necessarily any of our favorite bands, but it’s where we end up when we play together.” The band has common ground over the songs of their youth, Weezer, The Pixies, Modest Mouse, and their round up song: “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears.

“My self-realization is that when I was young I thought that what I wanted was to get interviewed by someone on Much Music, but I realized that it’s more fun to play in dingy bars and have interviews in dingy bars”, said Kyle as we discussed the changes in the music industry in the last fifteen years. “It used to be that everything had to be mediated through a third party,” Talor B. continued, “Now with this sort of decentralization, it’s easier to form informal communities.” Chris noted the important aspect of meeting people through playing shows and through music and the kind of spaces that this can create. Performing live is an important factor in entering the Montreal music scene, which they see as having a great grassroots component which is the fulcrum of its accessibility.

Venues we’re an interesting topic of conversation for a band that recognizes the importance of supporting those DIY and band friendly spaces. Taylor E. recounted that his favorite show took place at a small cafe in Kingston called The Sleepless Goat where they played with Sweet Jets for the local crowd. The cafe transformed into a great venue where everyone had a blast, until the cops showed up to break up the party. Nodding towards band friendly places like Barfly and L’Absynthe, Taylor B added that “the music community is built on bands setting up shows themselves and that’s only going to happen if costs are friendly and more bars are open to this.” Chris agreed, adding that his favourite shows have been at their jam space Psychic City where they not only played but organized the show.

ts2“I think there’s an unfortunate trade off between intimacy and legitimacy when you play a show. You want the intimacy of a house party, because that’s where you are directly with people. But then you don’t want to be the band that JUST plays house parties. Unfortunately, the larger more legitimate venues you play, you get farther and farther away from the audience,” Taylor B elaborated, “There’s a discernible difference between  being on level with people when you play and being on a stage above them. I think we are trying to find the in between.”

In keeping with my tendency for bad puns, I asked the band to trade some secrets with us: “We have a bizarre insane addiction to the Simpson, it infiltrates everything we do,” said Taylor B. When asked which characters from the show they would be, Trade Secrets named: Carl Carlson, Hank Scorpio, Max Power, and Homer Simpson’s Stock Broker.

Catch Trade Secrets Saturday at the CJLO fundraiser (Turbo Haüs: 1180 rue St-Antoine, room 408) where they will be performing alongside The This Many Boyfriends Club, with whom a small friendly rivalry is burgeoning: “Can we get on print that The This Many Boyfriend’s Club has the best rhythm section in Montreal?” asked Kyle who explained that he has taken Evan Magoni (drummer of TTMBC) up on a friendly drum duel. We hope to get an invite.

We’d like to thank Trade Secrets for geeking out about music stuffs with us.

If you’re a fan of engaging, progressive indie rock, consider heading out to Quai des Brumes this coming Thursday November 8th to see the Maritime-born Coyote play.

Featuring a line-up of boys that all hail either from Prince Edward Island or Nova Scotia, Coyote is an emerging group full of youth and talent. The five-piece formed roughly two years ago in Charlottetown, P.E.I, and they bring a Maritime rock element to their danceable indie-flavoured tunes.

Lead by Josh Carter’s unique and powerful tenor and the harmonies packed around it, Coyote’s songs are generally light-hearted and tightly-arranged, featuring a good mix of acoustic and electric sounds. The lyrics the boys belt out can be based on lofty concepts or very specific images, but are, either way, usually easy to identify with. The musical arrangements themselves are backed by solid beats and well-timed tempo switches designed to grab and hold the audience.

If you’re a fan of Modest Mouse, Paper Lions, or Kings of Leon, there’s a good chance you’ll find something to love in Coyote’s style.

They’re also known for giving an energetic live show, so stop by Quai des Brumes on Thursday night to take it in, and to give these Maritime boys a boost on their way across Canada!


*Quai des Brumes is located at 4481 Rue Saint Denis

Tickets are $10 at the door, $8 in advance


Bear Hands

It’s already March and you know what that means? That means at the end of the month Forget The Box will be venturing to Toronto for an overdose of music, film and very little sleep. For the past week, I’ve been listening to a lot of the artists that will be playing at CMW. Some of them are very talented but let’s be honest, there’s only so much time and you can’t catch everything. So, here’s a little introduction and my opinions on what’s not to be missed!


Alex the Great: Four boys coming from Brighton, Uk who make beautiful indie-folk music. It could hardly fail. Track to check out: The Saint pt. III.

Gold & Youth: I totally fell in love with their new single Time to Kill, that appears on their first full length to be released on the label Arts and Crafts. Gareth Jones (Depeche Mode, Wire, Interpol) is in charge of mixing the album. Something about them reminds me of TV on the Radio at their best. Track to check: Time to kill.

Bare Wires: Tight jeans, leather jacket and rock music written under the Californian sun? The perfect mix to have hipster chicks clap in their hands and throw their panties on the stage. Track to check: Don’t ever change

Bear Hands: After having spent the past years opening for bands like the XX, Vampire Weekend, and MGMT we can say 2012 should be their breakthough year. Track to check: Crime pays.

Electronic music/hip-hop

Ali Shaheed Muhammad: When one guy from A Tribe Called Quest is doing a DJ set, one must attend.

Housse de Racket: fresh sensation discovered by Kitsuné records. They’re not re-inventing the wheel but they should show you a good time. Track to check: Roman

Kon (fron kon & amir): heading from Brooklyn, this guy can teach you a lot about disco, funk and soul. For those who like to spent their whole week-ends in record stores in search of rarities. Here’s a video to get to know the guy.

Nicolas Jaar: Let’s put it that way: if there’s one act not to be missed during CMW it’s Nicolas Jaar. This guy has a special sensibility and can mix electronic music with jazz and soul. If you haven’t discovered him yet I urge to get his record Space is Only Noise. Track to check out: Keep me there

That’s about it for my “serious” suggestions. One last thing though. On the first day of the festival, CMW will feature a special Korean night with K-pop wave. I’ve looked at some videos from the artists featured and OMG! Justin Timberlake gone Korean? Menga Spice Girls? I say yes! To this!

What can you expect at a Lachine Canal Pirate Party? Maybe a few pirates prancing around with loot, eventually forming a conga line and   dancing off the plank?

Ahoy Matey! These are not  your father’s scurvy ridden, sea motion addled pirates. These pirates like to party-down!

The Pirates of the Lachine Canal are a community based promotions group with a focus on the south west of Montreal (encompassing the neighbourhoods of St. Henri, Griffintown, Verdun, Pointe St-Charles, Ville-Emard, Little Burgundy and N.D.G.)–the group started so musicians and hipsters who lived in the south west would have a venue to hang out, perform and listen to great music.

From there it developed into a thriving underground music scene, and brought a now flourishing nightlife to the area.

There wasn’t   much to do in terms of nightlife before the mid 2000’s in the southwest. The pirates have brought  fun, parties, good music, good times, and a more or less buccaneer attitude to the music scene;   sailing around the marginal regions, treading darker, more experimental waters.

Oh, you might remember the days of their live outdoor shows. Unfortunately Parks Canada had their way and interfered during an outdoor premiere Bar-B-Q. So now, most of their shows are held inside.

As a production company they have been quite successful. Some of the bands they have promoted in the past have gone on to great things. You’ve probably heard of a few of these names: Jay Reatard, Times New Vikings, Tyvek, Clockcleaner, Human Eye, Vivian Girls, etc.

Performing this Saturday (May 21) at 9:30 will be : SXW Rager, Fried Alive Membrane boys! Porn Persons and Father Dust.The event is pay-what-you-can and will take place at the Fattal building, 617 St. Remi street (enter through the parking lot and hit the stretch along the train tracks. Beware of the razor sharp fence with vicious barking dogs…Just kidding!)

I’ll meet you at the edge of the Plank. Land Ho!

Photo courtesy of the Montreal Mirror (2008).

This  Friday Night get ready for one very strange trip to the realm of Half-Baked. They’ll be playing live, live, live! For one night, and for one night only!

Are you sick of your parents not letting you eat your breakfast with a fork? Are you tired of the government telling you to pull up your pants?

Then it’s time to come down to St. Denis and listen to a great bands at the always rebellious Esco. Half baked is a francophone band that brings back the fun to strange, and warped music. Hopefully, they will be paying many tunes of their aurally challenging albumn the Century Of Foam for your pleasure (2008).

Are they the rock terrorists that they claim to be? With influences like the Residents, Melvins, Primus, Mr.Bungle, Les Georges Leningrad, Laibach, they are definitely listening to the right type of music to be considered ‘on the margins’.

Their music mixes the genres of punk, rock and power pop music that will make you move to their experimental groove.

Hailing from Sherebrook, Quebec, Half Baked formed in 1998 as a project for high school. Now based in Montreal, they are known for being highly experimental, but with a twist of   loose fun pop, delivering some of the weirdest auditory experiences with their wild and erratic drum solos.

Right by midnight will also be bringing their soothing driving tunes and nineties rock to the mix. Their musicsounds slightly like early Tragically Hip, especially the reaspy voice fo singer/guitarist Charles Downey.   Having just released their Debut self titled album, I am really looking forward to seeing them perform.

Show starts 8:30 pm on Friday, May 6th
@ Esco Bar 4467 St, Denis

Bring your pants!

Advanced tickets are $6 or 4-for-$19 at  or $8 @ the door.

There’s a lot of things going on in Montreal this Saturday – a lot of big things. We’ve got Nuit Blanche, MONTREAL EN LUMIERE festival, Smoke N’ Mirrors and The 13TH FLOOR with Daniel Bell, the WAWA show…and the list goes on. It’s good thing we like options, god-forbid the only thing going on Saturday night would be Bingo with Grandmamma and her pink-haired lady friends (which to be honest would be pretty fucking awesome). Amongst all these crazy, exciting events happening in Montreal there’s one we should pay particular attention to: the WAWA show.

The WAWA (We Are Women Artists) show is an annual event that happens in Montreal. This year it’s turning six and the line-up is what has us all talking. We’ve got Amanda Mabro, who’s known for her powerful, room shaking voice, Mirjana Milovanovic, a Cirque de Soleil gyspy singer and 2010 Juno award winners, and The Goodlovelies, among others. Those are some pretty good ear and eye pleasing pieces.

So, what is the WAWA show exactly all about? Amanda Mabro, known for memorable and astonishing performances at the 2008 and 2010 Montreal Jazz Festival and at OSHEAGA, will be performing. Her theatrical performance and voice is something that has Canada talking. She’s been busy promoting her own career while helping to show us what else is up with women artists

“I’ve always loved the idea of bringing people together and I love it even more when it involves creative work outside societal norms. Most of the WAWA artists are industry veterans in their own right and I believe they accept to be part of WAWA because it represents something that matters to them too: community and collaboration.” – Amanda Mabro

The WAWA Show, featuring Amanda Mabro is
February 26, 8 p.m. – $25@ Theatre Gesu Centre de créativité

Photos by Eva Blue

There’s times when I shut everything off and think. Forget the words, forget the sounds… just forget everything. Sometimes my brain just needs to be shut the fuck down to operate again. Once I feel
that there is silence I slowly revive the think tank
that is my mind with contemporary and progressive instrumental songs. Reasoning is that life’s my hospital bed and music is the IV keeping me alive, and I sometimes just need to hear something that expands what’s goin’ on in my head without the words.

Instrumental music isn’t for everyone, just like Facebook isn’t for the paranoid. I feel that people see instrumental music as just background noise, like static…but for those who truly understand it, it provides so much more than any chorus could for the brain. Listening to this type of music helps you understand how songs are composed, broken down (pitch, rhythm, tonality…), and how words can greatly effect a song – good or bad. Sometimes you need those words and other times your brain just screams at you, “DUDE, COME ON! I NEED TO WORK A LITTLE MORE!”, because you know what…music is your brains bike, it needs both of the pedals (or lobes) to comprehend what’s going on.

Anyway, enough of my nerdy research excursions, let’s get to the goods…

Sweet Mother Logic is a Montreal based, “genre-bending instrumental free-for-all” music group. Their music style is authentic, progressive and mind wandering. It’s chic instrumental tunes that you can wrap your brain around. It’s the classic music your (someday?) kids are going to say, “What are you listening too? Why ain’t there any words?” and you’re gonna have to say, “It helps me think better.”   When noise becomes overwhelming we turn to simplicity. Although the complex layers of classical instruments mixed with modern music technology contributions aren’t simple, and the songs that Sweet Mother Logic have produced aren’t simple… the creative aspect of the entire band’s sound is simple it’s yours to navigate through (no Google maps included, sorry).

Think, Holy Fuck‘s tunes, minus the raging party sound they project that was ultimately the reason you never got your damage deposit back from your last apartment. Sweet Mother Logic probably always gets their damage deposit back. Their music has a more romantic and melancholic sound that sweeps into your ears and dances with your brain waves. Interpretation is up to you…it’s your own creative dream where your thoughts can passionately run through your head looking for an exit, yet never wanting to leave. It’s musical food for the brain.

Speaking of which….

This Thursday, Feb 3rd at Le Divan Orange, you should save the gravy and poutine, and help your ears and brain to a little Sweet Mother Logic, the ingredients are only going to make you healthier and stronger… seriously, it’s like Subway before Subway became lame (previous experience as a babysitter does not make you a sandwich artist!). Until then check out their self-titled album to help you prep yourself for some brain, biking musical digestion.

Cool beans.

Sweet Mother Logic plays with Michou & Bent by Elephants Thursday, February 3 @ Le Divan Orange. Get advanced tickets for $8 or 4-for-$29 @ It’s 10 bones at the door. Make sure to listen ahead to their album while wearing your helmet and eating cold cuts (or veggies if that’s you thing).

*Image courtesy of:

Photo by Jonny Leather

Whatca you doin this Wednesday evening? Well, if you don’t have plans and are looking to get your boggle head moves on, come see HOORAY FOR EARTH at Sala Rossa.

HOORAY FOR EARTH, based in NYC, formed in 2006 and makes music that sounds like spring bubbles, dancing bones, mixed with cool temperature clubbing.

It’s good club-pop-thrash (as they describe). It’s not the kind that makes you want to rip your hair out and scream silently in the bathroom, while tripping on copious amounts of drugs, questioning your attendance to such a show. Well, thankfully, HOORAY FOR EARTH is just pleasant. Think of a low-key MGMT leaving the glowing country side, moving to NYC and jaunting around town as they sneak in and out venues in a happy-delirious-smiley state. Yea, it’s pretty sweet.

Come hear it for yourself. If you can’t because of other obligations, like washing your hair or cleaning your fridge, check out their EP, Momo or come see them.

Or do all three and just plan your time accordingly.

Anyway, The Concretes (sweetly Swedish) and Receivers (Montreal dwellin’), will also be around doing their wonderful and charming music thing (oh, the excitement is growing).

Cool beans. See you Wednesday.

I like music that sounds like bubbles. HOORAY FOR EARTH @ Sala Rossa. Doors @ 8:30PM. $15.

Band photo courtesy of:

Valleys are a trip. The sweet female vocals mixed with a background of hypnotizing guitar rifts and intense drumming, let your imagination wander around like that kid from Where The Wild Things Are. Their interesting sound is innovative and feels like a dip those crazy fools take at the beginning of every New Year in the freezing cold ocean. It’s strange, beautiful and enchanting. Their new EP Stoner was release November 9, 2010 and can be downloaded via iTunes.

Go into the wild VALLEY this Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 9pm @ Cabaret Juste pour rie via M for Montreal.

Random Recipe
I have a soft spot for female hip-hop artists. I enjoy lady’s who can rhyme, and that’s just what Random Recipe is about fucking awesome beats, mixed with killer-strong lady vocals, lyrics in different languages and a bit of jazz influenced thumping. The Montreal based folk/hip-hop group are that extra spice you include in your best potluck dish, and the spice that everyone wants to know about. Not only does this group get into your bones because they’re music is so damn cool, they also appeal to a large group of people. Their first full length album, Fold it! Mold it! was release on September 23, 2010 and you can download it via their MySpace.

Random Recipe will get your bones jumping on Friday, November 19, 2010 @ 8:30pm @ Cabaret Juste pour rire via M for Montreal.

Pascale Picard Band
Alright, I’m in love with this band. The lead singer reminds me a bit of Ani Difranco (listen to their song Annoying) mixed with Jenn Grant odd combination, I know. Pascale Picard Band plays simple, catchy tunes that sink into your soul (or mine anyway). Based out of Quebec City, these artists combine folksy guitar strums, undercover bass playing and quaint drumming to push the poetry of their music into your ears and heart. Their album, Me, Myself & Us was release in 2007 and has been wowing music lovers ever since. Fall in love with their melodies via their MySpace.

Put your heart back in check on Saturday, November 20 @ 8:30pm when Pascale Picard will take the stage @ Metropolis via M for Montreal.