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 We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!

This past Wednesday I sauntered on over to St-Urbain street to pick up my POP Montreal press pass. If you’ve never been ‘popping’, I can understand how one might be wary about the expenses surrounding such an endeavor. But I’d encourage anyone in Montreal in September at least to drop by Pop headquarters.

I began my POP 2015 experience by wandering around the free activities HQ has to offer including art shows, panels, and of course, music. As I shoved a hot dog and beer into my face like the classy lady that I am, I was entertained by Montreal Band Nancy Pants. They’re a perfect hybrid of pop and punk sensibilities, or “dirty pop” as my friend Google tells me they like to be called.

Whatever labels they give themselves, the band was giving it their all and clearly very excited to be there. I would recommend giving their single Happy a listen, and I look forward to seeing them again at some point in the future. Sadly that was my extent of music on the first day, because well when you’re in your thirties and have to get up at 5:30 a.m. for work, sleep becomes more appealing than a party.

I continued my Pop adventure on Thursday night by doing one of my favourite activities; seeing a movie. While one wouldn’t naturally associate a music festival with film, Film Pop (movies with a clear musical influence) has been a part of the festival for a long time (since the beginning? Now I’m ashamed at my clear lack of knowledge about Pop history). The film I saw was about this small Montreal band, you may have heard of them – Arcade Fire.

The Reflektor Tapes is footage that was taken of the band during the course of their latest album, 2013’s Reflector. The film cuts back and forth as the band conceives, records and tours the album. I went into the experience hoping to get some sort of insight into what a monumental task it must be for band with that level of fame to work and tour an album.

If you were hoping for the same, I believe the expression I’m looking for is “you’re shit out of luck.” The Reflektor Tapes is far more an art film then documentary. Not that I didn’t enjoy the screening. The film is beautiful to look at, and its high energy leaves one feeling oddly inspired even though you don’t quite understand what you just watched. It perfectly complimented what followed the screening.

Fueled by the energy of the screening and dance party that followed, I wandered down St-Laurent. After the high-art vibe of Arcade Fire at The Rialto, I was in the mood for something a little trashier, and settled on my favorite hole in the wall, St-Laurent bar Barfly. While I was kind of hoping for some punk band I could mosh along to, instead I was treated to the low-key French folk singer Clemence Freschard.

At first listen her songs are silly and simplistic. Chees and Crackers. Freschard crooned to the shamefully small crowd at Barfly. But then, as the song progressed, you become totally enchanted with her style and she hooks you in. Freschard was in fact a perfect way to close off a night of Pop, and I hummed her addictive choruses all the way home.

Recently, I trekked northwards  to The Plant, for a pre-show interview with fuzzy dirty pop band Nancy Pants, who were launching their full length album Total Nancy Pants.  When I arrived, members of the opening acts (Heathers and Special Noise) were hanging out, eating some grub, setting up merch and blowing up and strewing up colourful balloons. Minutes before the show began, Adam Waito, Ohara Hale, Jeremy MacCuish and I huddled behind the venue kitchen, drinks in hand, to chat about how the three of them came to join musical forces, their songwriting and recording process for Total Nancy Pants and for some silliness and lots of laughs.

The Nancy Pants origin story goes as follows:  Hale and Waito — who are both visual artists — have, over the years, often travelled and tabled at comic and crafting fairs together.

“In the summer we went to TCAF, which is the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, and we were like let’s make a band!” Hale recounted and remembers how the two had originally jokingly considered calling the band Psychic Sluts. Although the name didn’t stick, the idea of starting a band did and they reached out to MacCuish, whom Hale and Waito knew from his other musical projects (Smokes, Parlovr):

“Ohara sent me a really really long email [everybody laughs] with the mission statement for Psychic Sluts,” MacCuish said, “and then like a day later she’s like ‘ok, none of that’ but be in the band still [laughs].”

“Ohara’s emails tend to be really long with lots of capital letters and exclamation points,” Waito said.

“It’s amazing [laughs] it holds your attention,” MacCuish added.

“It worked!” Hale said.

When they got together for their first band practice, MacCuish recalls that he didn’t know what to expect but that things instantly ignited.

“Everything happened really fast with this band,” Hale explained. Quickly after their first practice, they recorded their jams (on a phone) and put up demos right away.




As for the name, Nancy Pants, Hale and Waito came up with the name together. Hale, whose favourite tape is an old Roy Orbison cassette which for a long time was played on a loop in her kitchen, liked the name Nancy since it reminded her of a strong and positive name, evoking Nancy Sinatra and the confidence anthem “These Boots are Made for Walking.” Waito added the Pants portion of the name, recalling his first punk band back in high school who were called The Pants. Waito noted the way in which there was a lack of inhibition and reckless fun to playing with The Pants, elements that he has found again in playing with Nancy Pants. Hale agreed, pointed to the balloons, and added “that’s why it looks like prom in here! It’s kind of our high school band but now. The band I would have liked to have in high school.”

In terms of inspirations fuelling Nancy Pants’ sound and aesthetic, Waito explained:

“Speaking for myself, and I dunno if this is true for you guys but I feel like I just kind of do what feels right. It’s like okay: I have a bass, I got some distortion, I got this super bombastic drummer and Ohara. What makes sense here? It feels like everyone is following their heart. I definitely am drawing from a lot of punk rock stuff that’s swirling around in my psyche but there isn’t a lot of conscious drawing for me.”

As for MacCuish, he pointed to a different kind of muse:

“I think our jam space forms a lot of the sound. Our jam space sounds kind of like a cave. It’s a lot of stone everywhere and so when drumming, I just think of what would sound good. I don’t use the high hats, which I think disturbs that illusion a little bit.  What sounds good in a cave? Just chunks of pedal and low pitch drums, you know. The things that will uphold that illusion is a fun idea, a rock n’ roll band playing subterranean.”

“Yeah, it’s really grungy, it’s perfect,” Hale agreed.

The trio recorded Total Nancy Pants in their jam space with, Waito manning the recording. One aspect of the recording that stands out is that Waito set up one mic from the drum kit, something that Hale referred to jokingly as an ‘infamous’ choice however, noting that this ended up working well for their sound.

“I had never done that before,” Waito explained. “It was interesting because when you move the microphone a half inch and it changes the sound of the whole kit. You kind of have to do a lot of initial setting up and then once you get a sound, it’s like THAT’s your sound and then the drums is just one thing instead of six tracks. I dunno, I don’t think I’ll ever turn back after doing one mic drums, I’m totally into one mic drums now.”

Total Nancy Pants is a much needed vitamin D blast in a a time sorely lacking in sunshine. The album has a definite retro doo wop influence to the lo-fi garage pop rock tracks on the album. Hale’s yelps and vocals become an instrument in and of themselves, adding high octane soprano bursts of colour. There’s a skill to crafting a sound that is fuzzy and dreamy and yet still high in energy: a notable feat by two seasoned songwriters whose vocal interplay is akin to candy, more specifically pop rocks. “Just a Little More,” “Halley’s Comet,” “Prom,” and “Gimme” are favourites.

I asked the trio which of the songs on the album they particularly dig and Waito, deadpan, answered:

“I’m mostly into the songs that I sing on. The other ones I’m not really… they are fine BUT.”

Photos by Bianca Lecompte. 

the growlers

Last Saturday, September 13 The Growlers performed at the newly opened Bar le “Ritz” P.D.B., formerly Il Motore. They’re on tour with West Coast duo (and twin brothers) The Garden. Opening up the show was local band Nancy Pants, a new project by Ohara Hale (Nanimal, Mori), Jeremy MacCuish (The Luggernauts, Shamus, General Rudie, Sugarfoot) and Adam Waito (Adam and The Amethysts, Miracle Fortress).

The Growlers at Bar Le Ritz PBThe Growlers at Bar Le Ritz PB

Click on the photo to launch the slideshow. Photos by Bianca Lecompte. 

Get out there and see these shows this week!


Radio Radio + Dead Obies + Beat Market @ Université de Montréal (Place de la Laurentienne)

Starts at 7 p.m., free.

Alex Pelchat, Eric Lewis, John Heward & friends @ La Poêle

Alex Pelchat is a Montreal experimental musician. Even if you don’t recognize the name, you may be familiar with many of the projects he has a hand in. He plays in Drøm Før Du Dør, *Shining Wizard* and Gens Chrétiens in addition to his solo act. He also helped found the Misery Loves Co. tape label with other Montreal musicians. He has also been a steady fixture of the Montreal improvisational and experimental music scenes, having participated in Mardi Spaghetti — a weekly improvised music series at Le Cagibi that started in 2008 — and organizing Noïsundaéè — another weekly music series showcasing anything that can be described as weird or strange that happens Sunday afternoons at La Plante.

Show starts at 7 p.m., $10 suggested contribution.

10 years of Divan Orange: PyPy + Jesuslesfilles + DJs Bonnes Manières @ Divan Orange

Doors open at 8 p.m., $14 at the door.


Montreal Psych Fest @ La Vitrola

This city’s only festival dedicated exclusively to psychedelic music is back for a third consecutive year. Starting on Friday, this year’s festival presents three nights of performances featuring Pachyderm, The Backhomes, Les Marinellis, Red Mass and The Auras.

Friday and Saturday shows start at 9:30; $10 at the door before 10 p.m., $15 after. Sunday show takes place at l’Escogriffe at 10 p.m., $10. 


Beat Market + Fonkynson + Le Couleur + French Fox @ Bassin Peel

Parcs Canada in collaboration with Lisbon Lux Records are presenting this free, two-day outdoor event showcasing some of the best of the Lisbon Lux roster.

Saturday show takes place from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday show takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., free.

Grump + Bearmace + Perverted Justice @ l’Escogriffe

Doors open at 8 p.m., $5.

The Growlers + The Garden + Nancy Pants @ Bar le “RITZ” P.B.D. (formerly Il Motore)

Doors open at 8 p.m., $15 in advance via Blue Skies Turn Black or at the door.


Russian Circles + The Atlas Moth @ Cabaret du Mile End

Doors open at 8 p.m., $18 in advance via Blue Skies Turn Black or $20 at the door.


Naomi Punk + Harsh Reality + Goddard x Pelchat @ La Plante

Doors open at 9 p.m., $5 or PWYC.


Windhand + All Them Witches + The Great Sabatini + Mountain Dust @ Petit Campus

Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $13 in advance online via Petit Campus and at Soundcentral, Aux 33 Tours or Cheap Thrills; $15 at the door.

Witching Hour presents Filthy Haanz + Nanimal + Superbloom + Primitive Hands @ l’Orage Club Échangiste

Witching Hour is a collective of Montrealers that includes musicians, artists, educators, writers, photographers, filmmakers and activists. All of their events feature live music and electronic DJs to supplement other media being presented, be it film, live body painting or yoga. This event will feature their usual varied lineup of live bands and electronic DJs, plus a body painting presentation, ‘an etheric healing chamber with palm reading and shamanic pracitices’ and much more.

Event starts at 9 p.m., $15 or $5 upon presentation of a POP Montreal festival pass.