Take your pick of these shows this week!


Fattal Fest 2014 @ Fattal

Nothing marks the end of summer like the outdoor barbecue crusty blowout party that is Fattal Fest. Now in its fifth year, the festival started as a block party of sorts for the residents of the Fattal lofts in St-Henri, a nice little community-oriented get-together with cheap food, beer and punk bands. As the neighbourhood has gentrified in the last few years, the party has become more popular and has grown to include non-St-Henri residents as well. This goes over pretty well with the people I have spoken to in the past who live there as it serves to raise awareness about the socio-political situation at Fattal.

Over the past couple of years, the residents of the Fattal lofts have been battling the city and their landlord, the notorious Sam Fattal – owner of many squalid, derelict buildings and shoddy new condo developments on the island – for their right to live there and not be forced out as the neighbourhood becomes more and more desirable to condo developers.

As the event description is quick to point out, the organizers of the party (mainly Fattal residents and others in the St-Henri punk scene) do not have permission from the city to host this event so they ask everyone to keep to the parking lot, not mill around in the streets, be respectful and pick up after themselves.

Event starts tonight at 7 p.m. and continues Saturday and possibly Sunday, free.

Rae Spoon + Elena Stoodley + Lady Sin Trayda @ La Sala Rossa

Dragonroot Media and The Centre for Gender Advocacy are presenting this show tonight featuring transgender musician and author Rae Spoon. All proceeds will go to fund Dragonroot, a fairly new feminist collective that supports anti-oppressive practices in the media. They have a weekly show on CKUT 90.3 FM Tuesdays from 8:30 to 9 a.m. Shoutout to fellow FTBers Hannah Besseau and Pamela Fillion, who are also behind Dragonroot.

Doors open at 8 p.m., $8 or PWYC.

Wings of Metal Festival: feat. The Skull + Blood Ceremony + Holocaust + ADX & more @ Katacombes

Wings of Metal is an underground metal festival put on by three promoters looking to emulate the style of underground metal festivals that take place in Europe. That means lots of quality bands for a fair price, many of whom are from out of town like Toronto’s Blood Ceremony, Bölzer from Zurich, Edinburgh’s Holocaust and Brooklyn’s Natur, just to name a very few. Many of these bands, even the ones from North America, have a huge following in Europe and rarely come play here so getting to see them all under one roof is pretty special.

Bands play Friday and Saturday and to close off the festival, on Sunday there’s a metal record market followed by a barbecue and a secret show.

Doors open at 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, $45 per day; Metal record market and BBQ Sunday from 2 p.m. followed by a secret show at 6 p.m., $5 entry for the market, $15 for the show.


Piknic Électronik triple edition feat. Jamie XX + Misstress Barbara + Surfing Leons & more @ Parc Jean-Drapeau

The good people behind Piknic are hoping you’ll take advantage of the long weekend to check out at least one of the three editions of Montreal’s favourite summertime electronic party series. Saturday’s edition is a short one (it ends at 8:45 p.m.) with only one stage due to the Arcade Fire show that takes place that night ($10 entry to Piknic upon presentation of an Arcade Fire ticket). Their regular full programming continues on Sunday and Monday.

Shows start Saturday, Sunday and Monday at 2 p.m., $15 at the door.

Eddie Paul @ BBAM! Gallery

Show starts at 3 p.m., free (PWYC).

The 222s + Paddle to the Sea + Arbor Glades @ Piccolo Rialto

Show starts at 9 p.m., $14 at the door.

Elephant Stone + UUBBUURRUU @ l’Escogriffe

Montreal psych rockers Elephant Stone will be launching their third full-length album, The Three Poisons, which is available for streaming in full on their Soundcloud. Then they’re off on tour again (man, do these guys work hard).

Show starts at 9 p.m., $?.


Golden Tombs + Slight + Old Haunt @ Divan Orange

Show starts at 9:30 p.m., $6.


Future Islands + Operators + DJ Disco Phantom @ Metropolis

This show will mark the first time Dan Boeckner’s (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs) new project Operators perform in Montreal. Go see what all the fuss is about and in the meantime, check out this review by Nameless Ponytail of their first release, EP1.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m., $18 in advance via Blue Skies Turn Black or $20 at the door.

Atsuko Chiba + Set and Setting + Christ @ Casa del Popolo

Doors open at 8:30 p.m.; $8 before the end of the first band’s set, $10 after (I can get behind this; support opening bands!).


Full-disclaimer: I have always been a fan of everything Boeckner. This Canadian singer-songwriter has been at the creative co-helm of electronic/pop/alternative rock outfits such as Handsome Furs, Wolf Parade and Divine Fits. The operative word in that last sentence? Co-helm. Alongside the mad Spencer Krug, Boeckner composed half of Wolf Parade. With his ex-wife, the cool and sexy Alexei Perry, they formed Handsome Furs. He very recently collaborated for a very fruitful Divine Fits album, alongside a fresh and focused Britt Daniel, of Spoon critical acclaim. Even at the root of his commercial career, as part of the band Atlas Strategic, Boeckner worked alongside Johnny Pollard.

What makes Boeckner’s latest project, Operators, so curious is that, for the first time since 2000, Boeckner might be the lone operator, pun-intended, of this project. With Sam Brown on percussion and Devojka on synthesizers, this project looks to make Boeckner’s grooves the feature presentation.

Operators’ EP1 opens with it’s single “True”, a very-funky and earnest track about True Love. The second track off this EP, “Book of Love”, starts with synthesizers making sci-fi movie sounds, very much like Sufjan Stevens’s somewhat-cultish odyssey album Age of Adz. This track definitely takes on a more experimental melody than seen in previous Boeckner work and would make for a curious avenue for this band to go down. Buried midway through this release, “Cruel” is closest to the typical Boeckner sound: it’s got some jamming and distorted guitar sounds that pine in-sync with Boeckner’s yearning. And even though they sound great, those guitars make “Cruel” much less danceable. As a result, “Cruel” functions as a sandbar, halting the waves created in the first two tracks, surrendering the dance momentum  and leaving the listener (or dancer-turned-head-bobber) flat-footed for “Ancient”.

With “Ancient”, Boeckner contrasts notions of fate and choice, with a hook that asks “Who put the ancient code in your bones?/Who you gonna love when you make it home?/Who could you love?” Boeckner journeys through time-defying questions over his trademark synthesizer, which eventually gives way to an electronic and percussion-based infectious dance rhythm. It even has a hint of a CHVRCHES rhythm. “Start Again” concludes the EP with vivid, soaring, electronic dreaminess that comes in waves. At the bridge, this track huddles in for sobriety and a touch of nuance before setting off to the dance floor once more.

The most adventurous and well-crafted tracks on this EP, “Book of Love” and “Ancient”, both do an excellent job of melding dance elements into a synth-pop core. Though “Cruel” is a pleasing track itself, it just doesn’t quite fit with the other sounds on this album, and spoils the overall presentation of this EP. Conceptually, Operators strive to take the honest, direct, slightly kitsch synth-pop/rock that is synonymous with Boeckner to a dancehall, and do so with considerable success. This EP, a proof of concept, is still somewhat safe-sounding, and perhaps hesitates to trade in rock/pop sounds for dance sounds; nevertheless, this record is very promising for a future full-length dance exploration by this Boeckner-led group.

Rating: 7/10, Grower-not-a-shower
Essential tracks: “Ancient”, “Cruel”

1. True
2. Book of Love
3. Cruel
4. Ancient
5. Start Again

Operators’ EP1 is out now. They perform Tuesday, September 2 at Metropolis with Future Islands; $18 in advance via Blue Skies Turn Black or $20 at the door.