Forget The Box’s weekly Arts Calendar is back for its last November edition. Take a look at these excellent events if you’re looking for fun and inexpensive things to check out!

As always; if you’re interested in going to one of these events and want to cover it for us, send a message  or leave a comment below.

Beaux Dégâts #45 – Tap Water Jam MTL + Ella Grave showcase

Beaux Dégâts is a time-honoured Montreal tradition that combines improvisation in musical and fine arts to create a unique organic event space. From their Facebook page:

“Beaux Dégâts tries to make a parallel between the reality of street artists and the Fine Arts. It is here to bring back what has been ignored for too long by art institutions and return to the street artist’s reality: the importance of community, sharing, accessibility and uniqueness.

For two hours, six teams of artists will improvise 8ft X 8ft murals on different themes given on the night. Each team will have to research and find visual references to create a production in front of public. All mediums except spray cans are allowed. During the evening, the public will vote for it’s favorite mural using their empty Pabst beer cans. The team that will collect the most cans will win the right to paint over the other artists work if they wish.”

Beaux Dégâts #45: Live Improvised Painting and Music – Wednesday, Nov 30, Foufounes Electriques, 8pm-1am. Entrance: 5$

The Crossing presented by Cinema Politica Concordia

Cinema Politica is a media arts, non-profit network of community and campus locals that screen independent political film and video by Canadian and international artists throughout Canada and abroad. It is volunteer-run and all screenings are by donation.


The film that Cinema Politica is screening this Monday, The Crossing, “takes us along on one of the most dangerous journeys of our time with a group of Syrians fleeing war and persecution, crossing a sea, two continents and five countries, searching for a home to rekindle the greatest thing they have lost – Hope.”

The Crossing screening @ Cinema Politica Concordia, 1455 de Maisonneuve Boulevard W, Room H-110, Monday, 7pm. Entrance by Donation

50/50 presented at Mainline Theatre

50/50 is a novel concept; a half-scripted, half-improvised live comedy show! This show was a major hit at Just For Laughs 2016 and will not be back for four months – definitely catch this if you can at the Mainline Theatre.


Coming off a sellout show at OFF-JFL/Zoofest this past July, 50/50 returns with a new cast blending talented actors and hilarious comedians. In each of the show’s nine scenes, a prepared actor who has learned lines off a real script is paired with an improviser who has no prior knowledge of what the actor has rehearsed.

50/50 @ Mainline Theatre, 3997 boul St-Laurent. Wednesday, November 30th, 8pm. $15 (students/seniors/QDF Members $12)

Is there an event that should be featured in Shows This Week? Maybe something FTB should cover, too? Let us know at We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!

Light Fires opened with red pumps and karate kicks and JD Samson & MEN closed with some electro bliss, but the real jewel was sitting right in the interstice. Diamond Bones is a Montreal dream pop trio with an indie edge: Michelle Bensimon, Lana Cooney and Isabelle Banos took the stage shoeless before a packed house at Il Motore on Saturday night.

These gals paint in big, plangent soundscapes. One thing that struck me right away was the depth of their sound. I was talking to a guy in the crowd about how technology has really widened the palette of frequencies at the songwriter’s disposal. I have to agree. Diamond Bones uses this wider field very well: long smoky synths counter-pointed by up-tempo drumming and poppy arpeggios create this delicious emotional tension. They also sing harmony. Did I mention that I like this band?

Halfway through their set, I slalomed toward the stage to get some photos and Banos announced that they’d just finished recording their first album earlier that day. That’s a bit of a tricky statement though— we all know what production’s like: it never ends. But when I cornered Cooney after the show she said it wouldn’t be too long before the album dropped.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this trio only becomes tighter and more successful as they evolve. I’m really looking forward to this release. For now I’ll keep spinning that sorrowfully catchy ‘Home is Where’ track off of Bandcamp until my downstairs neighbours bang on their ceiling with a broom.

Photo by Jesse Anger

This Thursday, December 5, Montreal instrumental collective Sweet Mother Logic are going out with a bang.

Since the release of their debut EP Ascension Island in 2008, the 5-piece band have crafted their signature sound from a blend of pop melodies and complex classical compositions. They’ve received acclaim from The Gazette and the now-defunct Montreal Mirror. Their music has been featured on CBC and has been used as the soundtrack to National Geographic channel’s adventure travel show Departures. They’ve also played some of Montreal’s best festivals including POP, Fringe, and MEG.

Despite all they’ve accomplished in the last few years, the band has decided that it’s time to call it quits.

“Collectively we decided to focus on other aspects of our lives,” said Justin Wright, cellist and manager for Sweet Mother Logic, adding that new school programs and other creative projects have gotten in the way leaving less time to devote to the band.

The decision is one that’s bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s clear that Wright and his fellow musicians really care about this project. The experimental nature of the band have led them to develop a proclivity for collaboration; the band often had guest musicians perform with them live.

It has also affected the way they write music.

“We have a very egalitarian approach to songwriting,” Wright said. “We always do it as a group. Any time someone has an idea, our policy is to try it and at the end, we’ll all know for sure whether we like it or not. The interesting thing that we’ve learned is that, a lot of the time, we have the same idea.” strange-family

On the other hand, the end of this project means they each have more time to devote to other artistic endeavors, some that may have been on the backburner for a while. Wright said they’ll all continue to play music in some form or another, possibly with each other at times.

Wright has another project going, one that he started before Sweet Mother Logic decided to end. He describes this project as somewhat of a reaction to what Sweet Mother Logic was all about.

“It’s very stripped-down. All the things that were logistically complicated or frustrating about [playing in Sweet Mother Logic], it’s the opposite with this one,” he said.

Although Thursday’s show will be their final performance as Sweet Mother Logic, Wright said that the band might decide to get together again, possibly in another form, at some point in the future.

“We want to record and release what we’ve been writing,” he said. “We might have a different name or different band members, but we’ll pick it up again in some way.”

Catch Sweet Mother Logic’s final performance Thursday, December 5 at La Sala Rossa with Holobody.

“Take some acid.”

Words of advice from Tasha Class about her upcoming show on November 6. Tasha plays drums for Melted Faces, a band that got their start in a backyard in Vancouver.

“My drummer [at the time] lived there. It was this crazy house. The landlord was like, a crackhead. They had bedbugs for a while,” she described. “All of a sudden, there’d be 20 people in the backyard just watching us play. It was pretty fun.”

It was clear upon meeting Class that she has a lot of fun with her music. When asked about her first show with Montreal band UUBBUURRUU, who performed as part of Montreal Psych Fest last month, she said “It was crazy. We practiced right beforehand and we drank a bunch of whiskey. None of us had slept, at all, from the night before, ’cause Melted Faces played at 5 in the morning.”

While fun is an important aspect of Class’ music career, she does work very hard. She does management and promotion work for Melted Faces and takes her job very seriously.

“I’m a real tough-ass chick,” she said. “I really believe in getting my band the most bars have to offer, whatever it is. You have to get paid, you need money for traveling if you’re a touring band, you need places to sleep, you need to have beer at the bar to get drunk, you know. You gotta have your shit together.”

Tasha and Melted Faces frontman, Sean, moved to Montreal from Vancouver a few years after forming.

“It’s way easier here, way easier,” said Class on breaking into the music scene. “In Vancouver it was such a small scene. I found it was all the same bands playing in the same venues every weekend. I dunno, it was kinda cliquey. There was like, the ‘cool scene’ of kids. We’ve got cliques here for sure, but it’s more welcoming. Montreal really welcomed us. We’ve played great shows with great crowds, we’ve played shitty shows with like two people there. It’s really easy to book a gig here.”

Class’ advice for new Montreal bands: “I’d just say contact venues. All you got to do is contact the booking manager for a venue and they tell you what night is available. Then you contact bands that are similar to your sound and boom, you got a show. It’s pretty simple. You run your own door, and generally if you make enough money from the bar then you won’t have to pay for the venue, so it’s pretty awesome.”

Check out Melted Faces and Montreal duo The Dahlias on November 6 at Divan Orange.

Photo by Skylar Boushell for Melted Faces.

Dress up and go see these shows this week!


Ed Banger Records 10 Year Anniversary: Justice + Breakbot + Busy P @ Metropolis

French electronic music label Ed Banger is celebrating its 10 years of existence with a massive world tour featuring some of the best artists on the label. Show starts at 10 p.m. and runs until 3 a.m.

Bearmace + Jesus Horse @ TRH Bar

If electro is not your thing, head over to TRH Bar at 3699 St-Laurent for the excellent thrashy punk outfit Bearmace. At $2, this show is the steal of the week!

Witching Hour Events presents Halloween Magic Costume Dance Party @ Cabaret du Mile End

The first-ever Witching Hour Event will feature three short band sets by Nirvana tribute band April Hate, NooM and Death Proof as well as DJ sets and a crafts bazaar.


POP Montreal Halloween Massacre: Each Other + Renegades of Funk + WZaarD + Filthy Haanz @ Industries Nomad

The event features Each Other (“the shitty Beatles”), RATM cover band Renegades of Funk, WZaarD, and Filthy Haanz, as well as DJs and surprises.

Halloween in the Satosphere: Poirier + Prison Garde + Jake Williams @ S.A.T.

This yearly event makes the most of the Société des arts technologiques’ domed screen. Music courtesy of DJs Poirier, Prison Garde and the UK’s Jake Williams.

Dia de los Muertos @ Crobar

If you want a Halloween party full of thrills and chills that will give you the biggest bang for your buck, it’s Crobar’s Dia de los Muertos event. It features a really long and diverse list of attractions including food, a bake sale, psychic readings, traditional Halloween and Day of the Dead games, a costume contest (prizes include a bottle of real mead and Crystal Skull Vodka), a snake charmer, knife juggling, piñatas, a traditional Day of the Dead altar, a burlesque show, and, believe it or not, more. Activities from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. are free, $10 cover charge after 9. Check the link above for a detailed schedule.

Support the local music scene! Go see these shows this week.


CJLO 15th/5th Anniversary Party: Wintersleep + Fucked Up + Cadence Weapon @ S.A.T.

It’s a happy 15th/5th birthday this Friday for local indie radio station CJLO 1690 AM. The Concordia University radio station was formed in 1998 and at first could only be heard within the university and online. In 2008, CJLO started broadcasting from 1690 AM which allowed it to reach audiences as far away as Burlington, VT. It has since won a bunch of CMJ awards including “Biggest Champions of the Local Scene” in 2012 and “Station of the Year” in 2010.

For its birthday party, the good people at CJLO have booked a diverse lineup of acclaimed Canadian acts. Starting off the show is Edmonton native Cadence Weapon. The three-time Polaris nominee released Hope In Dirt City a little over a year ago and is currently working on his 5th full-length album here in Montreal.

The second act on the bill is Toronto’s Fucked Up. The hardcore punk outfit won the Polaris prize in 2009 for their opus The Chemistry of Common Life. Although they are considered a punk band, their fresh approach to creating music has allowed them to maintain an originality that is rarer and rarer in the punk and hardcore genres.

Juno Award-winning Wintersleep from Halifax close off the show. In the ten years they’ve been a band, Wintersleep have released five full-length albums, toured across North America, Europe and the United Kingdom, and have performed on The Late Show with David Letterman.


King Khan and The Shrines + Hellshovel + Vomit Squad @ La Tulipe

The legendary King Khan and The Shrines are back after a six-year hiatus with their latest release Idle No More. Blending elements of psychedelic, soul, garage rock and R&B, King Khan and The Shrines are a bangin’ musical sensation that is even more fun when experienced live.

Opening are the equally quirky and psychedelic garage-influenced Hellshovel and dummy punk surf rockers Vomit Squad.


Yamantaka // Sonic Titan + Tired @ Cabaret du Mile End

The phenomenal Yamantaka // Sonic Titan are releasing their already highly-acclaimed new album UZU on October 29. Their unique blend of indigenous music, performance art, opera, and rock have made them one of the most talked-about bands in the local scene this year. Their live show is an immersive experience, entrancing the listener and making the audience feel like nothing exists outside of the performance.

Photo by L.P. Maurice for POP Montreal

Don’t miss these shows this week!


Goblin + Secret Chiefs 3 @ Le National

Legendary Italian prog-rock band Goblin is coming to Montreal for the first time EVER. That’s pretty remarkable considering they’ve been around since the early 70s.

Goblin rose to fame in 1975 after scoring Dario Argento’s film Profondo Rosso. They quickly became synonymous with the great Italian horror films of the late 70s and 80s, providing soundtracks to films like George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, Lucio Fulci’s City of the Living Dead and Zombi 2 and other films by Argento including the 1977 masterpiece Suspiria.

Openers Secret Chiefs 3 are legendary in their own right. Band mastermind Trey Spruance is the former guitarist of Mr. Bungle and Faith No More.

The word ‘eclectic’ is thrown around a lot in music writing but Secret Chiefs 3 draw inspiration from an all–encompassing range of sources including 60s surf rock, Middle Eastern and Asian folk music, death metal, soundtracks from Western genre films by Ennio Morricone, electronic music… The list goes on but you get the idea.

Montreal Psych Fest [October 10 to 13] @ various venues

Thursday also marks the start of the 2nd annual Montreal Psych Fest with a party and show at Barfly.

The festival celebrates psychedelic music in all its forms, from sunny 60s-influenced psychedelic pop, to more progressive, experimental sounds. Festival preview coming soon!


Indian Handcrafts + Jimmy Target & The Triggers

This is your chance to catch the two Ontario natives behind Indian Handcrafts at such a small venue before it’s too late to do so. Their popularity has been rising exponentially since their first full-length release just a year ago. They’re signed to Sargent House, which has a reputation for turning out high-quality, influential acts like Russian Circles and Red Fang.

Just by listening to their record, Civil Disobedience for Losers, you can tell they come from frozen lands. The album is the perfect soundtrack for driving your beat-up clunker across dangerously icy Canadian highways during a blizzard in the middle of the night.

California-based record store and label Burger Records has become an important institution for contemporary garage rock, post-punk and neo-psychedelic music. Burger bands have a penchant for adopting old-school aesthetics and sounds. The label is credited for the current cassette tape obsession in Orange County that has since spread across the U. S., helped along with “A Tape A Day, OK??” whereby the label released a new tape from a different band every day of the month of January.

Burgerama started out in 2012 as an annual festival in California. They’ve since brought Burgerama to other cities including Paris, Stockholm, Milan, Melbourne and Tel Aviv. This fall, they launched the first-ever North American Burgerama Caravan of Stars Tour, which they equate to “the greatness of a traveling In-N-Out Burger (if only that was a real thing).” Tonight, we’re promised a caravan and some Burger stars when the tour stops in Montreal for a show at Il Motore.

The lineup features Pangea, The Cosmonauts, Gap Dream, and headliners The Growlers. Show is at 8 p.m., $16 at the door.

The Growlers are a self-described “beach goth” band that blends elements of 60s pop, psychedelia, and surf rock.

One man outfit Gap Dream blends garage and krautrock influences to create a unique sound that can’t be tied to any time, place or genre.

The Cosmonauts blend drone-pop and fuzzy guitars to create a sound that they describe as a glimpse into Southern Californian drug-addled rock ‘n’ roll of the 21st century.

Together PANGEA (formerly known simply as Pangea) started off as a collection of recordings done on a 4-track tape machine when lead singer William Keegan was but a teenager. They’ve since played shows with the likes of Wavves, The Black Lips, and King Khan & The Shrines.

When it comes to the live concert experience, we expect a lot from the artists up on stage. But what about the crowd? If we demand that an audience display as much energy and excitement as we’ve come to expect from our favourite bands, every show would be like the ORG713 show that happened at Sala Rossa last Thursday.

Most of the crowd were very happily and exuberantly dancing along to every song. As one girl at the show put it, it was as if they were all competing to see who can dance in the most psychotic fashion. Indeed, most people looked like they had lost their minds from sheer joy and good times.

This much frenetic, arrhythmic movement is usually reserved for the most brutal heavy metal mosh pits. But there was a style and grace to the dancing people not present at louder, heavier shows.

The show featured Montreal bands The Haiduks, Blood and Archery Guild. Headlining was Toronto-based psychedelic outfit Ostrich Tuning.

The Haiduks’ psychedelic 60s pop started the show off on the right foot. Their warm sound has a tendency to envelop you in a fuzzy blanket of comfort and make you feel a little zoned-out and loopy.

Just when you were feeling nice and relaxed, spanking-new band Blood took the stage. Founding member and show organizer David Kleiser describes Blood as “Elephant 6 forming a KC and the Sunshine Band cover band.” This is when the crazy dancing started. The lights were off and some very trippy footage from obscure old films was playing on a big screen behind the band.

The captivating visuals continued when Archery Guild took the stage. The lights were back on and all nine (and sometimes ten) band members could be properly seen. Sala Rossa is a great venue to see bands with big lineups and even bigger sounds. There’s something about the way those chandeliers and the velvety red curtains get reflected in brass instruments. It makes you feel like you’re in another time.

In all honesty, I missed Ostrich Tuning’s set. The show started well past the advertised start time of 8 p.m. and I wasn’t able to stay until the end. I can imagine how their darker, moodier brand of psychedelic indie rock brought the entire evening to a beautiful culmination.

This video nicely captures the essence of the show, minus the amazing music.

ORG is a multimedia creative collective made up of musicians, artists and filmmakers. They regularly schedule events to showcase music, zines, comics, posters and other pieces of art from members and friends. To read more about the collective, see Pamela Fillion’s interview with David Kleiser.

Archery Guild

Photos by Bianca David.

Tonight mega-star M.I.A. will be playing Metropolis. Supporting her performance will be two of the most exciting artists to come out of the New York City music scene in recent years: Le1f and Venus X.

Le1f ‘s rise to fame began with his work producing other hip hop groups such as Das Racist. He released his first solo mixtape, Dark York, in April last year. He has since been getting a lot of attention for being an openly gay rapper, something that, sadly enough, is still not very common. He has collaborated with other boundary-pushing rappers like Mykki Blanco.

His production techniques as well as his lyrics and rapping style are complex and unorthodox. Coupled with a killer sense of personal style and some banging dance moves, Le1f’s talent is unique and refreshing in a genre that continues to be bloated with “gangstas” rapping about “bitches” and money.

“Wut” is the first single released from Dark York.

DJ Venus X started organizing GHE20GOTH1K, underground parties in Brooklyn and the Lower East Side in 2009. She has since played at major events thrown by the likes of Damien Hirst and Terry Richardson.

Venus X thrives on disparate concepts. She has been known to incorporate Al-Jazeera news broadcasts and audio from the Arab Spring into her sets. She has stated that music allows her to be an activist and be political while also making people feel good.

She has a very deep understanding of different kinds of culture and this is reflected in her original approach to music and DJ-ing.

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Le1f and Venus X open for M.I.A. at Metropolis tonight, July 17.

There are few bands that can combine bubbly pop-rock sound, glitter, edgy style, dark or political themes and a healthy dose of feminism so impeccably. Montreal’s Mad June thrives on this total clash of contrasting elements. The results are especially apparent in their live performances, where their infectious songs drive the audience to let go of all inhibitions and join in on their fun.

Fun is the name of the game for the six women who make up Mad June. Though they’ve always been politically minded, lead singer Vanessa McLean said they don’t take themselves as seriously as when they first started out almost eight years ago.

“Now our goal whenever we play a show is to just have as much fun as possible with the crowd,” McLean said.

mad june cafe chaos 1

Mad June works really hard at striving to achieve this goal. They played a show at Café Chaos last week with local bands NIL and Tracer Flare and it was a ridiculously good time. Their energy levels were very high as they performed their catchy, sing-along tunes.

Bassist Pascale St-Onge, guitarists Jessica Pion and Tania Dasrochers and keyboardist Sheenah Ko all danced and jumped around while also providing backup vocals.

Even though she was hanging out in back, drummer Lydia Champagne made her presence heard and felt. Her style of drumming is so fast and explosive, I was in total awe of her enormous talent.

McLean was all over the place, running and jumping around the stage, onto the speakers and even into the crowd to dance with fans and friends. She got the crowd to join in on many of the choruses, which are easy to sing along to even if you’re not familiar with their songs.

The grand surprise finale came when several audience members threw glitter confetti into the air and it landed on our sweaty faces and arms. Everyone loved it.

Party atmosphere aside, some of Mad June’s songs aren’t all glitter and bubblegum. For example, their single November has some pretty dark lyrics. But the tempo is upbeat and there’s a ‘La la la’ sing-along chorus.

mad june cafe chaos 2

“I like the drastic mix of that,” McLean said. “I’m going to steal something from Metric here but they said that you can listen to just the lyrics if you want to and go ‘that’s really deep and kind of depressing.’ And if you don’t want to, you can just listen to the music and have fun.”

The thing that strikes most about Mad June when watching them perform is that they are all very comfortable on stage in front of a crowd. You can see it in the way they move and in the way they interact with each other and the crowd.

McLean said having that connection with the audience has always been important to them as an indie band.

“Indie bands need to be really good with their promo. You can’t be lazy,” she said. “Nobody else is going to do it. We’re really active on social media. We try to talk to people as much as possible and be there so when we do have a show, we’re connected with these people.”

Mad June currently has a demo that they put out around 2009. They’re currently working on an album that they expect to release in the spring of 2014. They plan to release a single every few months until then to keep everyone on their toes. Their next one will be released in August.

Photos by Chris Zacchia, for the full set, see our Facebook page

Montreal is just as cool as Brooklyn, according to Steve Ferrara and Amy Priya Santos, the pair collectively known as Sunshine. The two Brooklynites have spent a lot of time traveling back and forth between the two cultural epicentres since their band’s inception in 2009. So much so that Montreal is something of a second home to them and their network of friends has become like family.

“We’ve played other cities but I feel like, outside of our general home base, we have the strongest connection to the Montreal scene as far as our music goes,” Santos said.

The band cites several reasons for this. Logistically, it makes more sense for them to travel here than other cities with similar music scenes like New Orleans or San Francisco.

“It’s probably the closest city out of the New York area that we feel has a really interesting art scene that we can commute to really easily,” said Santos.

MTL INFringefest-010“There are so many intricacies here. I like how people are politically active but they’re also artistic,” Ferrara added.

Additionally, they have built up lasting relationships with many people in the Montreal music scene.  As a matter of fact, the duo have recorded a good part of their forthcoming album here.

Collaboration is an important feature of the band’s music. Santos and Ferrara explained that, in the beginning, it was crucial to establish Sunshine as just the two of them. Without any permanent members other than themselves, the pair were free to collaborate with as many other musicians as possible.

This fluidity has led the band’s music to evolve into an eclectic blend of sounds and influences. The album they are currently working on, which will be their first, will surely showcase all of the diverse musical talent they have chosen to work with. The album will feature trumpets by the Rev. Crawford Forbes; drums by Montreal’s own Joe McLean, among others; conga and harmonica by Aaron Jaekel; organ and slide guitar by Mike Lambert; and more.

Jaekel, Lambert, and McLean recently joined Ferrara and Santos on stage when Sunshine brought their blues-influenced indie rock to Montreal audiences as part of this year’s Infringement Festival. They had everyone in a packed Barfly all riled up and rowdy. The band played their soulful, dance-able songs with contagious energy and exuberance.

Their repertoire consists of a mix of original material and classic songs, such as the one they finished off their Infringement set with to great effect: 60s smash hit These Boots Are Made For Walkin’.

Following their Infringement set, Sunshine headed back to New York to finish recording their album. They expect the album to be ready in the fall, at which point they will be back to play Montreal.

* Photos by Chris Zacchia