On tap this week, we check in with the boys from A Devil’s Din who are set to launch their second album, excessive use of the backslash occurs in describing Mykki Blanco, relief is offered to allergy sufferers and two songs are reviewed based on their drum fills. With all that promised how can you not read on!

A Devil’s Din Skylight Record Launch and Listening Party

If you’re looking for something to do tonight then look no further than O Patro Vys where local prog/psch rockers A Devil’s Din will be launching their second album Skylight in style with a listening party.

Along with a CD of the aforementioned album, if you show up you’ll get music (in the form of Light Bulb Alley’s own Jimmi Quinn spinning some tunes), art (in the form of Hyperdoodling), magic (could be a joke, not sure), and a vegan buffet (definitely not a joke, vegans never joke about a good buffet).

To wet your appetite FTB has secured the rights to the exclusive premier of the new track Phaze Ulysses and I must say if the rest of the album sounds like this, it’s in your interest to pick up a copy. Lovers of a good drum fill (something which is a lost art in modern pop music) will especially take note of this driving powerful tune.

A Devil’s Din release their album Skylight at O Patro Vys, 356 ave Mont-Royal East, Thursday, May 26th, 8:00pm, $10, 18+.

Courtney Barnett

On Sunday you can head over to the Metropolis and see Melbourne native and recent Grammy nominee, Courtney Barnett. After the success of her first full length album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit the singer songwriter has been on quite a high and that has manifested itself into a North American tour.

Known for a deadpan delivery of lyrics that have a storytelling wit, Barnett has a way of capturing the listener and drawing them into the song with her. For any sufferer of allergies I suggest you check out the track Avant Gardener as it might become your personal anthem.

Courtney Barnett plays Metropolis, 59 Sainte-Catherine East, Sunday, May 29th, 8:00pm (Doors at 6:30), $29 ($32 at the doors), buy tickets through Metropolis box office.

Mykki Blanco + Doldrums + Gayance + River Lance

If you’re looking for a great dance/hip hop show (for a great price too!) you can go see Mykki Blanco at Théâtre Fairmount this Friday. The American rapper/writer/activist/performance artist/clearly very busy individual who is impossible to sum up in a sentence is on tour right now and not to be missed.

Joining Blanco on stage will be a trio of other performers, Doldrums, Gayance and River Lance making this a very full evening of music that will most likely inspire you to get up and dance. Actually, why wait till Friday, check out this new track from Doldrums and get up and dance now.

Mykki Blanco, Doldrums, Gayance and River Lance play Théâtre Fairmount, 5240 Avenue du Parc, Friday, May 27th, 9:00pm (Doors at 8:00), $20, buy tickets through Théâtre Fairmount box office or at the door, 18+.

Ought + Palm + Complications + The Submissives

If you want to get your indie rock on this week I suggest you head down to the Matahari Loft on Saturday where a (mostly) local collection of artists will be hitting the stage for a jam packed night of tunes. Back home after a brief but hectic US tour this month, this week’s “coolest band you should have heard of” Ought will be headlining the event.

Joining them will be the lone out of towers Palm and two more local acts Complications and The Submissives.  With the styles of these bands being difficult to classify and very different from one another this is by far the most eclectic show this week.

Actually you can hear a wide variety of styles in just one track by Palm. Yet again we find a tune dripping with sweet juicy drum fills which I know we all enjoy. Mmmmmmm drum fills….

Ought, Palm, Complications and The Submissives play Matahari Loft, 1673 Mount Royal East, Saturday, May 28th, 9:30pm (Doors at 9:00), $10, buy tickets through lfttckt.

The forecast reveals an incoming hurricane of pop heading straight for Montreal from September 16 to 20th. Umbrellas will do nothing for you; give in and embrace the vibrant shower of art and rock.

Pop Montreal is coming. <3

With over 400 artists involved, we’ve got you covered with our top 10 picks from this year’s program:


#10. TASSEOMANCY Tasseomancy-374x595

Website: http://tasseoblog.tumblr.com

Bonus: Holy Data!

POP Montreal and Passovah present :Holy Data, L.A Foster, Kurvi Tasch, Tasseomancy + Wake Island – Saturday 19 September 2015– Divan Orange – Doors 7:30pm  / Show at 8 pm – Tickets 10 $



Website: https://www.facebook.com/thecribs

POP Montreal and Arts & Crafts present: The Cribs + Farao + Absolutely Free + invités – Saturday September 19th 2015– Théâtre Fairmount – Montreal – Doors 8:30 PM / Show 9:30 PM- $18 in advance / $20 at the door


Website: http://anamaigrounds.tumblr.com

POP Montreal presents: The Besnard Lakes Are The 17-Piece Band + guests –Friday, September 18th, 2015-Rialto Hall (upstairs) — Doors 8:30 PM / Show 9:30 PM- Tickets $20



Website: https://megabog.bandcamp.com

Mild High Club + Mega Bog + Rakam + Bile Sister + Tess Roby, Saturday, September 19, Casa del Popolo, Doors 8pm / Show 8:30pm – $10 in advance/ $12 at the door



Website: https://www.facebook.com/hualimusic

BONUS: Ariana Molly!

POP Montreal and Maison Sociale present: Ariana Molly + Hua Li + Prismhouse + guest- Friday, September 18th, 2015 – Maison Sociale (5386 St-Laurent)  – Show 12 am FREE!



POP Montreal presents: Ought + guests – Thursday, September 17th, 2015 – Ukrainian Federation (5213 rue Hutchison), Doors 7 pm / Show 8 pm, Tickets $15

Check out our interview with Ought!



Website: https://boyhoodsongs.bandcamp.com/

POP Montreal, Debaser, E-Tron and Analogue Addiction present: The Beverleys + Fet.Nat + Hilotrons + Boyhood + Mono No Aware – Wednesday September 16th 2015 – l’Escogriffe – Montreal, Doors 7:30PM / Show 8:30PM, $10 at the door




BONUS: Corinna Rose!

POP Montreal and Indie Montreal present: Static Gold + Po Lazarus + First You Get The Sugar + Corinna Rose  – Thursday, September 17th, 2015 – L’Hémisphère Gauche (221 Beaubien East) Doors 8 pm / Show 8:30 pm Tickets $10 in av / $12 at the door



Website: http://babesintoyland.com

Bonus: Cheap Wig!

POP Montréal and Greenland present: Babes in Toyland + Cheap Wig + Hand Cream – Théâtre Rialto :: Salle St-Ambroise –-Montreal –Saturday September 19th 2015– Doors 7PM / Show 8PM- $27 Doors 7 pm / Show 8 pm –Tickets $27



Website: http://towandauniverse.tumblr.com

POP Montreal, Loose Fit Collective and Annie present: New Fries + Steve Jr + Towanda + JLK + In Hock – Thursday September 17th 2015 – Brasserie Beaubien – Doors 8PM / Show 9PM – $10 at the door



5. Puces POP presents: The Puces POP Arts & Crafts Fair Thursday, September 17th to Sunday, September  20th, 2015 160 St-Viateur East – 2nd floor Thursday – Friday: 5 pm to 9 pm Saturday – Sunday: 11 a to 6 pm Opening party Thursday at 5 pm

4. Art POP, CKUT and Archive Montreal present: Montreal Shows 1965-1975: Posters, Photos and Ephemera Wednesday, September 16th to Sunday, September 20th , 2015 Vernissage: Wednesday, September 16th, 6 pm POP Quarters (3450 St-Urbain) Wed – Thu – Fri: 11 am to 8 pm Sat – Sun: 11 am to 6 pm – FREE!

3. POP Symposium and The Indigenous Studies Program at the McGill
Institute for the Study of Canada present
: Indigenous Beats Friday, September 18th, 2015 POP Quarters (3450 St-Urbain) Talk 11:30 am – FREE!

2. Kids POP presents: Film Animation Workshop Sunday, September 20th, 2015 POP Quarters (3450 St-Urbain) Workshop 11 am to 1 pm Ages 6 and up, registration required. Email kids@popmontreal.com with child’s name and age – FREE!

1. Film POP and CISM present: Showgirls (Paul Verhoeven | USA, 1995 | 131 min.) – 20thanniversary screening! Friday, September 18th, 2015 Cinéma L’Amour (4015 Saint-Laurent) Screening 11:59 pm – Tickets $10, on sale August 28th

Full Program Available at: popmontreal.com

Stop fucking around and go see these shows this week!


CRABE + Comma + Girl Arm @ Casa del Popolo

Anti-folk, un-wave, normal Montreal punk band CRABE recently released their fourth full-length Anti-Vague. This duo is really stirring shit up: they’ve been featured on music nerd god Anthony Fantano’s blog The Needle Drop as well as Le Canal Auditif’s 50 best albums of 2014 so far.

Doors open at 8:30 p.m., $8.


Conduct + No Aloha + Tunic + Feefawfum @ Brasserie Beaubien

Show starts at 8 p.m., PWYC (suggested donation $5 to $10).


Solids + Weed + The Nymphets @ Turbo Haus

Show starts at 9 p.m., tickets cost $10 and are available online via Blue Skies Turn Black.

Ought + Dub Thompson + Cheap Wig @ Casa del Popolo

Doors open at 8 p.m., $13 at the door or $10 in advance via Blue Skies Turn Black.


Viet Cong + TV Ghost + Corridor @ Divan Orange

Doors open at 8 p.m., $13 at the door or $10 in advance via Blue Skies Turn Black.


Eddie Paul + Light Bulb Alley + Madcooks + Trove @ Cabaret Playhouse

Show starts at 9 p.m., $7.

As light spring rains welcome the heat of the summer sun, I made my way to Little Italy to meet with three members of one of Montreal’s most talked about indie bands: Ought.

Ought began in 2011 when New Hampshire transplant Tim Beeler (guitar, vocals), New Jersey native Matt May (keyboards) and Australian expat Tim Keen (drums, violin) began jamming together in their apartment turned practice space on Mont-Royal. Soon thereafter, Ben Stidworthy — a friend of the trio’s roommates from Portland, Oregon — joined them on bass.

It was in that same Mont-Royal apartment that Ought played their first show as well as recorded their first EP. The name of the band emerged during these times in a moment of miscommunication when Tim Keen jokingly suggested “Art” which the members misheard as “Ought”.

“We liked it because it didn’t sound like any particular style of music and it didn’t evoke anything particular,” May explained.

Ought has previously spoken of the relationship between their music and the agitprop expression and mobilization times of the printemps érable, a time during which most members were students at McGill. Beeler studied Cultural Studies and Communications, Stidworthy majored in Religious Studies and May in Sociology and History.

“The way we’ve talked about it has generally been that the energy of it and going out on night marches and different degrees of participation,” May summed up. “I don’t think we had any strong effect on that, we didn’t, is just the easy way to say it. As people we were just part of it, when the march would come by our house we’d go out and walk with casseroles. I think the relationships that were established and again, the energy of being around a lot of people who had different ideas of what to do but had similar feelings of either outrage, frustration, anger, disappointment. That kind of tension and excitement definitely inspired us.”


Last January, Ought signed with Constellation Records and recently launched their LP More Than Any Other Day which they recorded at Hotel2Tango with sound engineer Radwan Moumneh. May recalled the excitement over signing with Constellation Records.

“I was very excited because for me they are the label, the one that I want to work with. They put out consistently good stuff, and great politics and conveniently in Montreal. Just really nice people,” he said.

These days, Ought is getting ready to go on back to back tours: a short East Coast tour followed by a US/Canada tour, a European tour and more TBA.

“We’re really excited to play a lot of shows. Part of the excitement for me is to see friends we haven’t seen in a while. We’re going to play a lot and hopefully not destroy ourselves,” said May.

He added that he very much looks forward to seeing friends along the way including members of Femmaggots.

Tim Beeler and members of Ought have been involved in community radio resulting in what Beeler calls an “organic interaction with performing live.”

Beyond Ought, each of the guys have solo or other musical projects: Beeler has a folk music solo project along with working sound at Cagibi and for the Loose-Fit collective, May has solo ambient and folk projects, Stidworthy has a pop electronic project, and Keen also plays in Mands and records bands. Keen and May started a tape label called Misery Loves Company.

Ought “The Weather Song” from Constellation Records on Vimeo.

Since the summer is the perfect season for guilty pleasures, I asked Ought what theirs are.

“I only have pleasures,” Stidworthy joked with a smile stretching across of his face.

Beeler named chocolate almonds which despite trying to curb sugar he gives into.

A tangent conversation brought to light Stidworthy’s guilty pleasure, Pastis, which he described as an ‘herbal bouquet’.

“It’s an anise aperitif. Anise is a seed that tastes like licorice. Pastis is the ouzo of the South of France. A lot of Mediterranean countries have their own anise drink. I get it because it tastes really nice, you drink it with water, and it’s 45%,” Stidworthy described.

“I think mine will be eating other people’s chips,” May explained. “When someone buys group chips and I end up eating almost all of them, which happens a lot. The sheer volume of chips is my guilty pleasure.”

In terms of Ought’s songwriting process Beeler described:

“Everything comes out of collaborative songwriting. I think we work best when we have a really long practice and we maybe fine-tune a couple songs we’ve been working on and then jam a lot. Songs come out of someone doing something interesting and we’ll gravitate towards it. Pretty much, everything on the record comes out of something very similar to that. The only song that is kind of an exception is ‘Around Again’ just because we wrote it two weeks before the record was recorded. The only difference is that we hadn’t played it live yet and that’s normally part of our process: playing things live quite a bit and then they’ll change. We’ve got some new stuff that we’re working on.”

In terms of what the band members musical influences and tastes are, the answers were quite varied.

May said he listens to a lot of ambient, noise, Magik Markers, Sonic Youth and all of their friends’ bands: Lungbutter, Harsh Reality, Fakes. Cymbals Eat Guitars is a band that he thinks about a lot. Stidworthy explained that he didn’t play bass seriously before Ought and so his roots are more firmly in playing the guitar, riffs, and chord progressions. For influences he named Django Reinhardt, Paul Simonon of the Clash, and Graham Coxon of Blur.

“Noel Gallagher of Oasis said that Graham Coxon is the best guitarist of that generation which is probably true, in my opinion,” Stidworthy added. “Listening to his guitar playing is what made me wanna get a Telecaster when I was a kid and started to think about ways to be weird in riff-making and chord progressions.”

As for Beeler, he humbly added: “I didn’t own an electric guitar for a very long time and the first time I had an electric guitar I played it like an acoustic guitar. I don’t think I’m very helpful as far as inserting influences around the aura surrounding our band. I really like roots, blues music and I like a lot of different things. As far as electric stuff, I like noisy melodic music, I like Sonic Youth too.”

I asked them if there are any bands that they disagree on as a band to which Stidworthy quickly answered:


Both Beeler and May gasped: “You don’t like Beyoncé!”

More Than Any Other Day is out now on Constellation Records. Ought perform Friday, June 13 at Casa del Popolo with Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche and Harsh Reality as part of Suoni per il Popolo. Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased online.

suoni per il popolo

Suoni per il Popolo, Montreal’s premier experimental music festival, has been dedicated to showcasing the weird, the fringe, the avant-garde and the just plain out-there for over ten years. Part of their mandate is to dissolve musical borders and genres and to promote a culture of collaboration. The result is a truly diverse collection of performances with some surprising combinations. This year’s festival runs from June 4 to June 22 and includes workshops and art exhibits as well as nightly musical performances.

Today we’re presenting only a small sample of musical acts participating in the festival but you can see the full calendar here.


Crosss + Sheer Agony + Shitsu @ La Vitrola

Crosss — Halifax-born, Toronto-based — blend elements of metal, sludge, doom, psychedelia and grunge. Going over to the dark side can be overwhelming if you’re not already into that but Crosss extend a sweet invitation and gently pull you in. They’re joined by the unabashedly poppy Sheer Agony and new Montreal punk band Shitsu.

Show starts at 9 p.m., $6 at the door.


USA Out Of Vietnam + Public Animal + Marie Davidson @ La Sala Rossa

It feels like they’ve been around forever but USA Out Of Vietnam will be launching their debut album Crashing Diseases and Incurable Airplanes Thursday. Blending elements of drone, dream pop and psych, the band favours lush harmonies and infectious melodies and takes the time to build them up properly. Toronto garage rock band Public Animal and electronic pop songstress Marie Davidson open up the show.

Show starts at 8:30 p.m., $8 in advance through Suoni per il Popolo or $10 at the door. 


Steve Bates & Seijiro Murayama + Sam Shalabi & Stefan Christoff @ Casa del Popolo

Montrealer Steve Bates is an audio/visual artist whose work often explores our relationship with time. He also runs The Dim Coast, a space dedicated to experiments with sound. Seijiro Murayama is a Japan-based percussionist who focuses on improvisation and electroacoustic, conceptual compositions. They first played together at the legendary Rhiz club, Vienna’s go-to venue for experimental electronic music. The duo are joined by Sam Shalabi — composer, guitarist and oud player (Land of Kush and Shalabi Effect) — and Stefan Christoff — pianist, journalist and activist. Their work is a mix of Western free jazz improvisation and makam, a system of melody types used in Turkish classical music.

Show starts at 8:30 p.m., $12 at the door or online via Suoni per il Popolo


Parquet Courts + Tyvek + Protomartyr + Heat @ Il Motore

Brooklyn-based weirdo-punk band Parquet Courts have been steadily rising in popularity since they broke onto the scene in 2010. Sunbathing Animal, their third album, drops today.

Show starts at 9 p.m., $15 at the door or online via Suoni per il Popolo.


Die Like A Dog Trio (Brötzmann, Parker, Drake) @ La Sala Rossa

It’s been 12 years since the last Die Like A Dog performance, back when the group was a quartet. This time around, German free jazz legend Peter Brötzmann is joined by double-bassist William Parker and percussionist Hamid Drake.

Show starts at 8 p.m., $28 at the door or online via Suoni per il Popolo.


Ought + Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche + Harsh Reality @ Casa del Popolo

Ought released their debut full-length album, More Than Any Other Day, via Constellation Records this past April and have since received widespread critical acclaim. They are joined by no-wave, afro-beat, trance-pop outfit Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche and experimental noise band Harsh Reality. Read Pamela Fillion’s interview with Ought.

Show starts at 8:30 p.m., $10 at the door or online via Suoni per il Popolo.


Omar Souleyman + d’Eon + Nouveau Zodiaque @ La Sala Rossa

Omar Souleyman‘s story is the stuff of legends and I won’t do it justice in three lines of description that I’ve confined myself to here. Basically, he’s a Syrian artist whose sound blends traditional Middle Eastern folk music, Shaabi (a form of working-class Egyptian street music) and electronic elements. He built up his fame performing at weddings throughout the Middle East, recording over 500 cassettes in the process. He was picked up by North American label Sublime Frequencies and released his first studio album, Wenu Wenu, produced by Four Tet’s Kieran Hebden.

Show starts at 8:30 p.m., $25 at the door or online via Suoni per il Popolo.


Jerusalem In My Heart + Morphosis + Charles Cohen @ Usine C

Jerusalem In My Heart live is a totally immersive audio/visual experience. The group makes modern experimental Arabic music, blending traditional sounds and melodies with contemporary electronic elements.

Show starts at 8 p.m., $15 at the door or online via Suoni per il Popolo.