Happy springtime everyone! While it’s still cold and there’s snow on the ground you can feel comforted by the fact that at least in name the season has changed. So put on your slightly less bulky coat and your more fashionable winter boots and head out this week for a show or two. Here’s some ideas.

 

Distroboto Sweet Sixteen Party and Fundraiser

This Sunday Casa del Popolo is hosting a special event to both celebrate the fact that Distroboto turns  sixteen and to raise funds for the non-profit art distributor. Re-purposing old cigarette machines into art dispensers has caught the eye of many (including us at FTB) over the years but the cost of doing business means that sometimes crowd funding is needed.

The music for the evening will be provided by OSB, GMACKRR, fourthousandblackbirds and Alexandre St-Onge and they suggest a donation of $8. This has to be the easiest and most enjoyable way to do a good deed this week!

Distroboto Fundraiser plays Casa del Popolo, 4873 Boulevard St-Laurent, Sunday, March 26th, 9:00pm, $8 (suggested) at the door.

Zucchero

Next Tuesday the Olympia will be hosting an evening with Italian blues legend Zucchero when he stops in as part of his Black Cat World Tour in support of his 2016 album by the same name. While we commonly associate The Blues with US-based artists, Zucchero’s career has always broken that mold in a big way.

Spanning four decades and having success internationally, it’s safe to say his music has always has a level of “cross over appeal” to the point where hits don’t necessarily have to be sung in English. This show is not to be missed if you want to see a masterclass in blues rock.

Zucchero plays L’Olympia de Montréal, 1004 Ste-Catherine East, Tuesday, March 28th, 8:00pm (Doors at 7:00), $54.50 – $89.50 available through the box office.

Eric John Kaiser

Next Tuesday you can head down to Le Verre Bouteille and check out French born Portland based singer/songwriter Eric John Kaiser who is touring Quebec for the first time and having his launch party for his new album Made in Gaspésie. The title is pretty on the nose since the album was recorded in the region and is indicative of the mix between French Chansonnier and American Bluesman that marks Kaiser as an artist.

If you live outside of Montreal we’ve got good news because Eric will be touring the province as a whole, so check out his events page for dates and details. However, if you come to this show  you can get excited about the fact that it’s free!

Eric John Kaiser plays Le Verre Bouteille, 2112, avenue du Mont-Royal East, Tuesday, March 28th, 7:00pm (Doors at 6:00), free.

 

High Waters + Artifice Palace + Pallice

Saturday you can get your indie rock fix by heading over to La Vitrola where three great Canadian acts in the form of are High Waters, Artifice Palace and Pallice are taking to the stage as part of a Blue Skies Turn Black showcase. This show has a solid lineup top to bottom and considering it’s only $7.50 to get in, it’s highly recommended for anyone who’s feeling a bit financially challenged at the moment.

High Waters, Artifice Palace and Pallice play La Vitrola, 4602 Boulevard St-Laurent, Saturday, March 25th, 9:00pm (Dorrs at 8:30) $7.50 through the box office or $10 at the door.

* Featured image by Radical Montreal

* 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 music@forgetthebox.net. We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!

For this edition of Montreal Music Shows This Week we’ve got a 90s icon, some indie folk mainstays and an out-of-town music festival coming to the city. Let’s get started:

Matthew Good

For any Canadian kid who grew up in the 90’s there’s really no introduction needed, for the rest of you start with Underdogs and go from there. A quick recap of more recent history: as of 2002 Matt dropped the “band” part of the name and has been officially solo. What didn’t stop was his commitment to writing, music, speaking out about politics and championing a variety of social causes.

Still going strong, Good released Chaotic Neutral back in 2015 which has his signature sound all over it. More recently nostalgia seekers can check out I Miss New Wave: Beautiful Midnight Revisited which is a re-recording of five tracks from the iconic 1999 album of the same name.

Matthew Good plays Théâtre Corona, 2490 Notre-Dame West, Saturday, March 18th, 8:00pm (Doors at 7:00), $35.50 through box office or $40.50 on the day of the show.

Great Lake Swimmers + Megan Bonnell

Next Wednesday you can head over to Sala Rosa where Toronto based Indie/Folk/Rock mainstays Great Lake Swimmers will be kicking off their spring east coast tour right here in our fair city. With six full length albums and four EPs under their belt there will be no lack of catalogue to choose from for this show.

Their most recent release A Forest Of Arms  is everything we’ve come to know and love about the group and something you should pick up if you haven’t already. Rather than a single song here’s a beautifully shot and recorded full concert video to give you an idea of what to expect.

Great Lake Swimmers and  Megan Bonnell play La Sala Rossa, 4848 boul. Saint-Laurent, Wednesday, March 22nd, 9:00pm (Doors at 7:30), $17 through box office, 18+.

The Shazamy Awards

If you’re a regular attendee of Shazamfest or have always been curious about the annual out-of-town event, then head down to Matahari Loft this Saturday for The Shazamy Awards. In addition to giving out awards for Most Glamorous Skater, Best Underwear and Most Likely To Get Lost In The Woods, there will, of course, be performances.

As with Shazamfest itself, this event will feature burlesque courtesy of Ottawa’s Koston Kreme and Sherbrooke’s Cheri Coquette and, of course, musical performances. Theatre Ste-Catherine’s house band The Firing Squad, DJ Raymond, Da Joint Doctor will all be performing, as will Static Gold’s lead singer (currently seen on La Voix) Zaya Solange:

The Shazamy Awards, Saturday, March 18, 8pm, The Matahari Loft, 1673 Mont-Royal Ave E, $10, tickets available through ShazamFest.com

* Featured image courtesy Great Lake Swimmers

* 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 music@forgetthebox.net. We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!

Happy Spring Break to those who celebrate the occasion! There’s some great shows going on this week both big and small and an important tribute taking place at Crobar this weekend that those in the music community wont want to miss.

So if you’re looking to hit up a show then look no further!

Dinosaur Jr. + Public Access TV

Head over to the Théâtre Corona on Thursday night and check out alt rock royalty in the form of Dinosaur Jr. who kick off a month long North American tour right here in our fair city. These guys are still going strong having released their eleventh full length studio album Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not last year.

Joining them will be New York post-punk rockers Public Access TV  who you should really get to know if you don’t already. In the meantime here is the just released video by Dinosaur Jr. which documents the band’s life on the road in its present state.

Dinosaur Jr. and Public Access tv play Théâtre Corona, 2490 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Thursday, March 9th, 8:30pm (Doors at 7:30), $27 through the box office or $30 at the door, all ages.

RobFest 2017

This weekend Crobar will be hosting the second annual RobFest, a three day event of “Local Music and Live Painting”  put on by GrimeyMTL in order to commemorate the life of the dear departed “Bubs” the former owner of the establishment who passed away suddenly back in 2015. There will be 25 bands hitting the stage in fast succession on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, so check out the event page for a more detailed look at the lineup.

Adding another level to all the mayhem will be that fact that there is also live painting which will be taking place throughout the bar on all three days. The intention is to create a mural in honour of Bubs as well as other pieces.

It should also be noted that despite the insane amount of stuff going on, tickets are being kept to a very reasonable $7 for one night or $15 for the whole weekend.

 

RobFest with various artists plays Crobar, 1221 Crescent Street, Friday, March 10th to Sunday March 12th, 7:00pm (Friday and Saturday), 5:00pm (Sunday) $7 (for the day) $15 (for the weekend) only at the door.

 

Harrow Fair

On Thursday night Canadian Folk/Country/Rock duo Miranda Mulholland and Andrew Penner, who go by the name Harrow Fair, will be coming to Pointe Claire for a special intimate house concert. They released their debut album Call To Arms in October of 2016 which has been picking up steam ever since and so they have decided to take the show on the road for a North American tour with three stops on consecutive days here in Quebec.

While big venues and blaring music has its place, there’s something to be said for a more intimate approach to the concert experience. There’s even going to be a potluck dinner before the show! Space will obviously be very limited and only people who buy tickets in advance will be let in so check out the event page for more details.

Also check out this recently released version of Wicked Game which should give you a good indication of the power and intensity of this duo.

Harrow Fair play House Concert, Thursday, March 9th, 7:30pm (potluck at 6:00pm), $20 for adults, $10 for children available through box office.

 

The Good Ol’ Blues Brothers Boys Band + Slamboni + The Brieface + The Whiskey Chase + Taken for Granted

On Saturday, Crobar is hosting a full evening of rock and roll hosted by Vendetta Management and Entertainment  with no less than five bands set to take the stage. So check out The Good Ol’ Blues Brothers Boys Band, The Brieface, The Whiskey Chase, Taken for Granted and this week’s winner of coolest band name Slamboni who are coming all the way from Toronto to play some ska for you!

 The Good Ol’ Blues Brothers Boys Band, Slamboni, The Brieface, The Whiskey Chase, Taken for Granted play Piranha Bar, 680 Sainte-Catherine St. West, Saturday, March 11th, 8:00pm (Doors at 7:00), $10 in advance or $12 at the door.

* Featured image courtesy Harrow Fair

* 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 music@forgetthebox.net. We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!

Back in 1960s America there were three major news networks NBC, CBS and ABC, though as one talking head says in reference to ABC, “There are three networks but if there were four, they’d be fourth.” At the time, networks still provided gavel-to-gavel coverage of political party conventions, but ABC, lacking the resources the other two major networks had, was only able show a few hours of political party conventions in the evening.

To save their struggling network, they would have to do something drastic, something that had never been done before. And that is exactly what they did during the 1968 conventions, hiring the flamboyant left-wing author Gore Vidal and ultra-conservative editor of the right-wing magazine, National Review, William F. Buckley to debate in a ten-night after convention special.

This event is said to be the first real attempt at political punditry and this documentary is a behind the scenes look at it. Set across actual archival footage of the debates, the film is both a character exploration of Buckley and Vidal themselves as well as a fascinating examination of how punditry became the way it is today.

Buckley once asked if there was anyone he would consider not debating and responded: “A communist or Gore Vidal.” In a brilliant and conniving move, ABC asked the two to come on and they agreed. The reason was quite simple: because they actually wanted to destroy each other as Christoper Hitchens notes in the film:  “There was nothing feigned about the mutual antipathy, they really did despise each other.”

It became clear early on in the debates that it was not about the convention but about how both men saw the state of America at the time and how their political philosophy fit (or didn’t) into the landscape of political rhetoric – and both these men disagreed vehemently with the other. This point reaches its apex when Buckley, upon being called a “crypto-nazi” by Vidal, responds with the threat of physical violence on live television.

That instance of a violent threat would haunt Buckley for the rest of his life, eternally being dumbfounded as to why he reacted the way he did. In Vidal’s mind, after that moment he had won.

The point that directors Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville are trying to make in Best of Enemies is quite clear and is well-taken and a valid one: there has been a degeneration in political coverage, having morphed into vapid shouting matches. Watching CNN, one would be hard-pressed to disagree with this point, but there is indeed something lacking in their argument.

The real focus of the film clearly is to look at how we argue about politics not about the content of those arguments. As Ben Burgis from Counterpunch says in his article about the film: “you can’t separate the two without being misleading.” Yes, Buckley was intemperate but the content of his arguments was toxic.

In the film, Vidal wants to paint Buckley as racist but we are not sure why. We know Buckley may have said troubling things about the civil rights movement, but that is about it. What we do not know is the examples of white supremacist policies he wrote about in the National Review. The film lacks a lot of context in that regard in more ways than one.

The film almost falls short of wanting to go back to a period where the centrist, status quo media ruled the airwaves (it, of course, still kind of does, but not to the extent it did in the 60s). The film decries ABC’s move as a move towards the destruction of television discourse, but I would argue that it might have served to expand debate. It also, of course, has its negatives as we all know.

In sum, the critique falls somewhat short as we are left with little context for both men’s political ideologies, but that is of course not the point of the film. Despite this, it is an entertaining film and an interesting look at the relationship of both men who absolutely despised each other as well as an interesting story of television history that deserves to be watched.

Feature image courtesy of ABC 

 

Jazz fans were treated to quite the evening of music last Saturday when guitar legend Al Di Meola took to the stage at Salle Pierre Mercure for a full evening of music. Being the only act on the bill can be a daunting task for some, but when you have over 40 years of material to choose from the only problem is finding the right mix of tunes to play.

Most of the evening was spent bouncing back and forth between celebrating Al’s classic album Elegant Gypsy which turns 40 this year and playing some of the newer tracks off of his most recent release Elysium. With the exception of the first few songs of the second set, this was a mostly electric guitar night featuring the full band… and what a band it was!

Its core was a powerful rhythm section composed of Luis Alicea on drums, Elias Tona on bass and percussionist Gumbi Ortiz whose high energy and constant movement around the stage brought both his fellow musicians and the crowd to life.

Rouding out the lineup were pianist Philippe Saisse and violinist Evan Garr who stood out as a force to be reckoned with in the future. On many of the songs Garr would share the solo duties and could clearly hold his own as a master of speed and technique.

The story of how Garr came to be up on stage with one of his idols is inspiring and has a Montreal connection. Watch the clip below for the story in Al’s own words and a small example of Garr’s brilliance at playing the violin.

As great as the backing band was, this show was a brilliant example of Di Meola’s mastery of his craft. A performer who has never shyed away from complexity, speed and technical wizardry, this performance pushed the limits of how well someone can play music live.

Although clearly a jazz-latin style performer, it was interesting to see a little bit of rock and roll as a root influence. One such example is Al’s re-imagining of some Beatles tunes, most notably the famous McCartney guitar ballad Blackbird which he played as a solo acoustic number on Saturday. There was also a brief full band version of the Zeppelin classic Black Dog with Garr doing his “Robert Plant impression” by substituting the lead vocal part for violin.

If you missed it don’t fret. Al has a long time love affair with Montreal and is a good friend of the Jazzfest, so there will certainly be more chances to catch him in the future.

* Photos by Stephanie Laughlin

Happy fake spring everyone! It’s that week of the year when it sort of, kind of, somewhat feels like spring so people go a little crazy after all the hibernation. My personal favorite is guessing how many people you’ll see in shorts on any given outing.

So enjoy it while it lasts and head out for some live music. Here are some good choices for you this weekend.

 

Al Di Meola

One of the highlights of the week will be when legendary jazz-latin fusion guitarist Al Di Meola takes to the stage at Salle Pierre-Mercure on Saturday night. His current tour is in support of his most recent album Elysium while at the same time paying homage to the album Elegant Gypsy which turns 40 this year.

Regulars of the jazzfest should know Di Meola very well, he won the Miles Davis Award back in 2015 for his lifetime of work and is a staple of the jazz community. Spending an evening with this master of both the electric and acoustic guitar is well worth it of you want to see a true professional who is still at the top of his game.

Al Di Meola plays Salle Pierre-Mercure, 300 Boulevard de Maisonneuve E, Saturday, February 25th, 8:00pm, $69.36 – $ 213.07 available through box office.

Emmett McCleary + Sweat + BBQT

On Friday La Vitrola will be hosting a “kickoff party” for Montreal based singer/songwriter Emmett McCleary who will be heading out on a brief but jam packed tour the very next day. His latest track Dream Lover is insanely catchy and currently stuck in my head. Give it a listen, it will most likely get stuck in yours.

Joining Emmett will be Sweat and winner of this week’s most clever band name BBQT.  Say it out loud and you’ll get it, or listen to their self titled track below. Fun and catchy is the name of the game for this show and with three bands for only eight bucks this is a great option for you to consider if you’re looking for something on Friday night and are a little financially challenged.

Emmett McCleary, Sweat and BBQT play La Vitrola, 4602 Boulevard St. Laurent, Friday, February 24th, 9:00pm, $8 / PWYC at the door.

 

 

Kinouk + Cold Folks + Ashpants

On Saturday Fattal is lending its stage to punk rock of the acoustic variety (a.k.a folk punk) with Kinouk, Cold Folks and Ashpants set to play fun, fast, energetic tunes that won’t make your ears bleed. This is perfect for all the old curmudgeons of the world who like to stand up to the establishment at reasonable volumes.

If you don’t know much about these bands or this style of music then give a listen to this live track by Cold Folks. A fun song to begin with, it also features a kazoo solo! Something the world needs more of at this moment in time.

Kinouk, Cold Folks and Ashpants play Fattel, Saturday, February 25th, 10:00pm, $5 / PWYC at the door.

* Featured image courtesy Al Di Meola

* 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 music@forgetthebox.net. We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!

Have you ever thought to yourself: what would happen if I mixed one of the worst disasters in human history with an anthropomorphic rapping dog and shoddy animation? Well fret not because Titanic: The Legend Goes On… answers your question in every sense of the word!

The cockamamie project was conceived by Italian director Camillo Teti. Not much is known about him but his other well-known films (if you can call them that) include Bye Bye Vietnam and College Girl Goes on Vacation.  Don’t those titles just scream brilliance?

This movie is so unbelievable that many people even question its existence. But don’t worry, lucky for you it indeed exists.

To start let’s look at the tagline for this movie: “A full-length animated feature, based on the legend of the Titanic.” Ah yes, the LEGEND of the Titanic. All those deaths, that giant sinking ship, all a made-up story. A good start. I don’t want to start off this review giving you a biased opinion and all but it’s kind of difficult not to.

So the movie begins with our female protagonist, Angelica, rowing in a lifeboat, behind her the sinking RMS Titanic. Yes, from the start we all already know how the movie will end. That is some stellar storytelling. We are then led into Angelica’s flashback, where the real film begins (rendering the opening sequence kind of useless).

Next, we are  met with Angelica (in the real opening scene?) with her stepmother and two evil stepsisters…Sound familiar? This movie is just a heaping pile of recycled Disney stories. In fact, every character in this movie seems to be a rip-off of another Disney character: Cinderella, the mice from An American Tail, Cruella DeVille.

It’s as if this director thought: How about I take a bunch of Disney cartoon characters and put them on the Titanic. Genius. There is also a musical troupe of racially insensitive Mexican mice. A necessary addition to any film about a tragic human disaster.

Anyways, the movie has something to do with Angelica’s locket being stolen and her trying to find it, I guess. As the film moves forward we are met with her creepy American Psycho-esque love interest, William, who, after their first encounter, finds it okay to aggressively rub Angelica’s hand. And from that moment on, they are in love…like ten minutes into the film.

There are so many different subplots going on at once it’s hard to keep track of who the characters are and what the movie is actually about. Sometimes there are stories that start to develop in one scene and then nothing follows from it or we never see the characters again.

The pinnacle awful movie moment in the film however is most probably the scene with the aforementioned rapping dog (shown below for your viewing pleasure). Why is there a rapping dog on the Titanic? Who the hell knows. Maybe there weren’t enough talking animals. Unfortunately though, this pooch only makes one appearance in the film so clap along with those poorly animated spaghetti fingers for as long as you can.

I mean, this movie is so bad that there is actually  a thread on IMDB for the film called: “Say something positive about this movie.” Some of the positive things include: “This movie has united people in how horrible it is” and “Camilo Teti hasn’t made anything since 2007, that’s positive.”

BUT WAIT! Don’t be sad if you haven’t gotten your fill of animated Titanic movies. There are two other ones directed by another Italian director. Yes that’s right, not just one but TWO. Both include, a giant octopus who tries to put the Titanic back together again. Why Italy? Why?

An actual scene from one of the other animated Titanic films.

You won’t actually get the full experience of this film until you see it, but I assure you it’ll make you wish the Titanic would hit the iceberg sooner.

Feature image courtesy of  Camilo Teti

Forget the Box and Indie Montreal are proud to present the exclusive Canadian video premier of Psychocide’s Mr Suit.

This four-piece, originally from Brooklyn and now based on Montreal, offer a catchy blend of rock, punk and metal. They will be premiering a new album, Alcohol & Bad Decisions, March 2nd and a related comic book later this spring.

Each song on the album focuses on a different fictional character and the first up, in this new video, is Mr Suit. The band will be officially launching it tomorrow (Saturday, February 18th) at Barfly, 4062A Boul St-Laurent with Young Critters and Call Me Steve, but we have an exclusive first watch.

Enjoy:

This week we’ve got an exclusive video launch with Psychocide to preview and some great bands to take a look at. So if you’ve managed to dig yourself out from under all the snow then we’ve got a few suggestions for some shows to check out this weekend.

Psychocide + Young Critters + Call Me Steve

On Saturday Barfly will be hosting an evening of “punk n’ roll” featuring Psychocide, who will also be using this event to celebrate the release of their new video for the track Mr. Suit. On a completely related note: FTB, in conjunction with IndieMontreal, has secured the rights to the exclusive video premier tomorrow (Friday). So be sure to come back and check that out!

Also set to take the stage on Saturday will be Young Critters and Call Me Steve making this a full evening of music for a highly reasonable price of only five bucks. They’re selling tickets in advance so you might want to get right on that considering Barfly isn’t the biggest of venues and this show is guaranteed to draw some attention.

Psychocide, Young Critters and Call Me Steve play Barfly, 4062A boul. Saint-Laurent, Saturday, February 18th, 8:00pm (Doors at 7:00), $5 in advance through box office or $8 at the door.

 

Elephant Stone + Walrus + Wizaard

With four albums under their belt, Montreal based Elephant Stone have really hit their stride fusing traditional Indian music with pschedelic rock and pop. The results can be seen on their numerous releases and most recently on their album Ship of Fools which came out in 2016.

They’re really worth a listen and if you like what you hear then you’re in luck because they’re playing at Théâtre Fairmount this Saturday accompanied by Walrus and Wizaard. Both these acts are a perfect fit for an evening psych rock. If that’s your thing then we’ll see you there!

Elephant Stone, Walrus and Wizaard play Théâtre Fairmount, 5240 Avenue du Parc, Saturday, February 18th, 8:30pm (Doors at 7:30), $15 in advance through box office or $20 at the door.

 

SonReal + Clairmont The Second

SonReal is returning to Montreal. The Vancouver-based hip hop artist is currently on the No Warm Up Tour in support of his EP The Name.

After playing the Fairmount last September, the Can I Get A Witness artist is heading to La Sala Rossa. He will be joined by Toronto-based artist and producer Clairmont the Second. There is also a VIP option for people interested in meeting SonReal and getting a pre-show warmup concert.

Greenland Productions and Evenko present SonReal with Clairmont the Second at La Sala Rossa, 4848 Boulevard St-Laurent, Tuesday, February 21st, 9:30pm (doors at 8:30pm), $20 in advance, $23.75 at the door ($65 VIP tickets).

* Featured image courtesy of Psychcide

* 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 music@forgetthebox.net. We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!

Welcome to a special Valentine’s Week edition where I will attempt to tie all the shows we’re previewing to the theme of Love despite there being no real link. Before you ask, I am well aware that Valentine’s Day has no real meaning to a lot of people and “Valentine’s Week” certainly isn’t a thing. We’re just having a little fun with a theme so read on!

Benefit Concert for the Syria Crisis Appeal

If you’re looking for good music for a good cause then head over to La Vitrola on Saturday night where Sorry GirlsBo Welland, Tinycastles, Blessings and Trouble Star will be playing a concert to raise funds to benefit the International Committee of the Red Cross’ Syria Crisis Appeal. There is no official cover charge although they do suggest a donation of $10, which is incredibly reasonable considering you’re getting to see five bands.

So for those of you who want to take this opportunity to show some love to your fellow humans this would be a perfect event for you.

Sorry Girls, Bo Welland, Tinycastles, Blessings and Trouble Star play La Vitrola, 4662 boul. Saint-Laurent, Saturday, February 11th, 9:00pm (Doors at 8:30), $10 (suggested).

 

Kinder Morgan Resistance Benefit

Another event this week that will be sending love (and a donation) to a good cause will be taking place on Tuesday at Casa Del Popolo where both musicians and visual artist will be participating in a fundraiser for the T’sleil Waututh, Squamish, and Coldwater Nations legal defense fund. The musicians on tap will be Frankie Teardrop, devo B. with Seb Cowanëoz and Also Also Also while a collection of local artists will be selling their works and donating the proceeds.

The organizers are suggesting a $10 donation but promise all will be welcome regardless of their financial situation. If you want to know more about this cause you should check out the event page for further details.

Frankie Teardrop, devo B. with Seb Cowan, ëoz and Also Also Also play Casa Del Popolo, 4848 boul. Saint-Laurent, Tuesday, February 14th, 8:30pm (Doors at 7:30), $10 (suggested).

 

Andy Black + William Control + Palaye Royale

For anyone looking for more of a Gothic Valentine’s Day you can check out former Black Veil Brides frontman Andy Black (a.k.a Andy Biersack) who released his first solo album last May and is currently on tour in support. Heavily inspired by 80’s synth, Black has departed musically from the glam metal of BVB while still keeping the visual aesthetic the band was well known for.

Joining him on this current tour will be William Control and Palaye Royale who both sonically and visually make sense as opening acts. The venue chosen for this event, the Théâtre Corona, is also the perfect backdrop for the evening. Everything about this show seems very coherent and not to be missed if it’s your type of thing.

Andy Black, William Control and Palaye Royale play Théâtre Corona, 2490 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Tuesday, February 14th, 7:30pm (Doors at 6:30), $32.50 ($36.00 at the Door), tickets through box office.

Metalian + Parasytes + Saccage + Endform

Tonight the Fattal Lofts are unsurprisingly hosting a punk/metal show featuring Metalian, Parasytes, Saccage and Endform. There’s really not much that needs to be said about this one, it starts late, ends late and is sure to be loud and crazy.

Now how to tie this to the theme… ah yes, if you love a good mosh pit and a reasonably priced show this is the Valentine’s week event for you! (Ok this last one was a real stretch, I promise next week’s preview won’t have a mandatory theme)

Metalian, Parasytes, Saccage and Endform play Fattal, Friday February 10th, 10:30pm (Doors at 10), $5.

* Featured image of Andy Black via YouTube

* 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 music@forgetthebox.net. We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!

Happy February everyone! If winter’s getting you down then we have a few show suggestions that might warm you up.

Drive-By Truckers

Nothing gets the blood boiling more nowadays than thinking about politics. For those with a political bent we suggest you head over to Théâtre Corona on Tuesday and check out Southern Rock band Drive-By Truckers who’ve been touring and releasing albums for over twenty years without ever backing down from calling it the way they see it.

Their latest album American Band, their most politically charged to date, was released last September before any votes had even been cast in the U.S election. Listening to it now, some of the tracks seem almost prophetic in their outlook and even more relevant then when they were originally released.

Drive-By Truckers play Théâtre Corona, 2490 Notre-Dame West, Tuesday, February 7th, 8:00pm (Doors at 7:00), $37 in advance through box office, $42 at the door.

 

Rock Around the Clock with The Black Moon Boys

On Saturday night the good people of  Jive Studios are hosting a 50s dance party over at La Sala Rossa. On hand to provide the live entertainment will be Montreal based rockabilly band The Black Moon Boys who are a ready to get everyone jumpin’ and jivin’.

What’s more, if you’re interested but not the best dancer they’re offering two courses (rockabilly jive at 8:30pm or boogie-woogie at 9:00pm) to help you get some moves. This is certainly one fun way to get the blood flowing and keep warm on a cold winter night.

The Black Moon Boys play La Sala Rossa, 4848 boul. Saint-Laurent, Saturday, February 4th, 8:00pm, $15 at the door.

 

Priests + Snail Mail + Fred Thomas

Monday night head down to Casa del Popolo to catch Washington, DC-based punk band Priests. With a very 90s riot grrrl sound, you`re sure to sweat away some of that winter cold.

Baltimore`s Snail Mail and Montreal-based rocker Fred Thomas will open. $1 off every ticket sold will go to the Plus 1 Foundation which aims to raise awareness of the educational challenges faced by communities.

Priests with Snail Mail and Fred Thomas play Casa del Popolo, 4873 boul. Saint-Laurent, Monday, February 6th, 9:30pm, $16 at the door

* Featured image of Drive-By Truckers via NPR

* 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 music@forgetthebox.net. We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!

Don Hertzfeldt is mostly known for his animated short comedy Rejected, a collection of surrealist cartoons aimed at critiquing our consumer society but also to get a good laugh. The short was nominated for an Oscar in 2000. I first discovered Hertzfeldt in the seventh grade randomly coming upon one of his shorts on YouTube:  Ah, L’Amour, a hilariously cynical look at love.

He has not really widely been known for having a serious side because of the fame that he received from this short. Yet he boasts several insightful films like The Meaning of Life and Lily and Jim.  None however in my opinion have been as insightful as It’s Such a Beautiful Day (though I still have yet to see his most recent film World of Tomorrow).

It’s Such a Beautiful Day was actually released separately, first as two short films that came about two years after each other (Everything Will Be OK and I am So Proud of You); the last part, the titular It’s Such a Beautiful Day was added in for the full hour-long film. Despite the separate releases, all three parts seem to flow seamlessly together as though this was always the way it had been.

The film follows stick figure Bill as he struggles with several strange experiences as the omniscient narrator guides us through Bill’s usually mundane existence.

At the beginning, Bill’s life is fairly normal and the film progresses quite normally as well. As the film goes on, however, it begins to become more and more distorted in sync with how Bill views the world. We begin to see bizarre visions, characters with hooks for hands, distorted or deformed faces, etc. The dialogue from the narrator also starts to become more difficult to understand as we begin to see what is actually happening to Bill.

Everything about this movie is unique. From its pacing to its visuals, to its music, it stands out.  In 62 minutes, Hertzfeldt explores themes that some movies try to dissect in three hours. It speaks of things we have all maybe thought of in passing before but have not often explored, such as mortality and the passing of time.

In one of my favorite scenes Bill explains how one of his co-workers sees time based off a physics textbook he once read:

“The passing of time is just an illusion because all of eternity is all happening at once. The past never vanishes away and the future has already happened. All of history is fixed and laid out like an infinite landscape of simultaneous events that we simply happen to travel through in one direction.”

It is these sorts of absurdisms that make the film what it is. It may for some be hard to sit through but do sit through it, it is very worth it.

In It’s Such a Beautiful Day, Hetzfeldt is able to make us feel more for a simplistic stick figure than most films can makes us feel for or relate to actual human beings. The film is more than just a film. It’s an exploration of the nature of human existence and it doesn’t only make us feel but leaves us vulnerable with a lot to think about, about how we live our lives and why we live our lives.

The film can be found on Vimeo, or in parts on YouTube but I recommend watching the full version.

Feature photo courtesy of Don Hertzfeldt

For a while, I had been avoiding comedies, seldom watching them, and often opting for hard-hitting dramas. Perusing through Netflix, however, I came across this one film in the foreign language section, Wild Tales, an Argentinian flick from 2015. I decided to give it a shot and was not disappointed; this was indeed what I needed to start enjoying comedies again.

Wild Tales is unlike any other comedy film as of late bridging together slapstick and black comedy along with important social commentary. It is a film that is evidently being told with great cynicism for Argentinian society after decades of corruption and government incompetence, something many Argentinians can relate to.

It is made up of six vignettes, each more ludicrous than the last. Flight passengers learn they have something in common. A waitress serves food to a notorious gangster from her hometown. A road rage incident gone horribly wrong. A man brought to the mental brink after an unwanted parking fee. A criminal cover-up after a hit and run. A bride and groom have a falling out at their wedding. All of these tales have one central theme: revenge. And it gets served up adequately in each respective story.

 

In director Damian Szifron’s portmanteau of revenge, he finds the surreal in the mundane: in the road rage story a luxury car becomes a deathtrap and in the final wedding story social etiquette is spun on its head. All stories could realistically happen and that’s what makes them all the crazier.

All but one vignette, the cover-up story, stands out as a little more serious than the others but Szifron again does not disappoint and raises the bar to a ridiculous level with the final story about a bourgeois Jewish wedding.

There is a somewhat Quentin Tarantino-esque feel to the film throughout, especially in the third story about road rage, arguably the most violent story but also the most fun and tense one in my opinion.

 

The film has been called one of the most important films to have come out of Argentina in recent years as well as the most successful Argentinian film to have ever been made. It received a ten-minute standing ovation at the 2014 Cannes film festival and has, since its creation, had rave reviews. Which makes me wonder how I had never heard of it until now.

Do yourself a favour, get on your tv or computer and watch this little hidden Netflix gem, it’ll have you laughing, gasping and horrified all at once. Sounds like quite the Saturday night if I do say so myself.

(watch it on Netflix)

Feature image courtesy of Warner Sogefilms

I am an artist, I have been involved with and gone to a lot of art openings. It takes a lot of tedious work to curate and hang, to prepare, to get everything ready for public consumption.

The artist bares it all, it is terrifying, even if you are confident in your work. It is the culmination of months or years of dedication to your subject matter, it is who you are. One does not make art: you give birth to art.

Art openings are supposed to be a celebration of investigation, of the audience questioning and discerning for themselves. Usually they involve looking at art, some contemplation, maybe a paragraph on the wall to read, and oh yeah, wine, lots of wine and frivolity.

Recently I went to several openings, and noticed that I was being just another shitty hipster. I was drinking and laughing while a powerful black woman was literally hanging by her hair. I was white privilege incarnate, I was wrong.

The realization that I was part of the problem forever changed my attitude towards the current state of the art world, and made me look inside myself. Admitting you are wrong is only a small step.

Art is about expression, it is connection, it is the artist figuring out a way into the viewer’s soul. It is a shared experience, it is the extreme beauty and abject darkness made into “stuff” for us to be affected by. Art is what we feel, it is the heartbeat of the universe.

Art does not lie, it doesn’t know how. Are we just afraid of reality? Have I been so bound in my own small world that I did not know I was being just like every other asshole who didn’t pay attention? Apathy is evil.

My friend bared her soul, she spoke of a black woman’s relationship to her hair, and how a Eurocentric society has pressured her and her family to be forever. They conformed to survive, and were forced to abandon their culture and natural state of being to fit in with those who oppressed them, people who look just like me.

I do not want to be the oppressor, but it was happening. It was not until her boyfriend said “finale” that I finally went into the room, I finally listened. Standing in shame in front of her opus. What kind of woman lets another woman suffer alone?

Art is not just another opportunity to jerk ourselves off or flaunt our coolness. Go to an art opening to be with the art, respect the artist by giving your full attention.

The snacks are there but they are not everything. Yea, vegan cat shaped pizzas are fun, and sometimes art is fun, but other times it is serious.

The complimentary wine doesn’t mean stop looking, it doesn’t mean stop noticing or questioning. Art is not an excuse for social fuckery. Get drunk with ideas.

We are lost, using art for social gain instead of intellectual growth. You must actually show up to make a difference, be present in your community and pay attention to the world at large.

YES, it matters that atrocities are happening all over the world (and right here) while we sit here and complain about nonsense. Art is a record of that suffering, it is a shared feeling, we are transported to a moment or a dream when we view art. Ir is more than just looking, it should be a full all encompassing experience.

A look at my own art made me realize that even though I try to be woke to the evils of the world I still generalize, I still only touch the tip of being political. Art is direct action! Who am I fighting for?

I am not using this opportunity to say something. I need to stop making pretty things and start making change. We are on the verge of an apocalypse and we must actively be there for each other.

Use your power to give voices to the voiceless, a platform to stand on. Never objectify another’s experience by misrepresenting them or speaking for them.

I want this to be a public apology to every artist and subject I have ever disrespected. I promise to pay closer attention and think critically about the art I encounter and make from here on out. I will no longer shuffle off in ignorance, I will be there in silent solidarity. I will give you center stage. I will learn what you are teaching and immerse myself in your ideas.

Art is bigger than us, it is immortal, a record of the current (soon to be past) or already gone. Make art everyday, live it, and become it. Take this time to be present with me and let’s change the world.

 

 

 

Although I like to think of myself as a pretentious film snob who despises the consumerism of Christmas, I do have a soft sport for Christmas movies; they are my guilty pleasure so to speak.

These movies are often put into the broad category of “Christmas movie” while I think that there are a variety of different “Christmas genres” depending on what you’re looking for.

First there are the classics. In this category there are those stories we have all come to know and love from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to It’s a Wonderful Life. All of these are Christmas staples and some of these stories have been around for over 100 years.

My favourite of this category would have to be Charles Dickens’ classic tale A Christmas Carol where we see the miserly Ebeneezer Scrooge visited by three ghosts to warn him of what is to come if he continues his greedy ways.

There have been several different versions of this story throughout the years from the classic 1938 version to the Flinstones version (which isn’t as bad as you might think). My personal favourite, however, is the 1984 version with George C. Scott as Scrooge (the actor who notably refused an Oscar he won for Best Actor in 1970).

The movie is almost like a theatre play with the whole cast giving grandiose and superb performances. Frank Finlay as Jacob Marley’s Ghost and Edward Woodward as the Ghost of Christmas Present are also notable.

Highlights from the film:

Another genre is the Christmas comedy which includes several modern classics. These are stories that have been created with the film. Some of my favourites include Scrooged with Bill Murray (a modern take on A Christmas Carol) and Elf. I think the undisputed Christmas comedy, however, remains the 1989 film National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

First acquainted with the Griswolds in 1983’s National Lampoon’s Vacation, we now get to know the entire extended family. There’s Ccrazy Cousin Eddie, Clark’s dad, Clark Sr. and several other nutty family members.

This is a movie that I can never tire from. All the fantastically exaggerated performances make it too fun to watch. This family is so dysfunctional it can be hard to look away. Here is one very memorable scene, where Clark freaks out after seeing that he will not be getting that Christmas bonus he wanted:

There are other good ones too that I forgot like A Christmas Story! Don’t think I would have forgotten that classic.

Next, there are the animated films. There are the classic claymation ones like Santa Claus is Coming to Town or Frosty the Snowman. I do really enjoy those ones too. One however that truly stands out for its pure creativity is Tim Burton’s 1996 flick The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The story follows Jack Skellington, who is the “master of fright” and plans Halloweentown’s Halloween festivities every year. He is the best at his job but noticeably bored by the repetitiveness of it all and feels empty until he accidentally stumbles into Christmastown and decides to bring Christmas to Halloweentown.

This film just screams of imagination and is truly helped by the likes of Danny Elfman who plays multiple characters. The dark nature of this film will please both children and adults as they sit and enjoy the spooky yet jolly overtones of A Nightmare Before Christmas.

Next there are the action-Christmas movies. To be honest, I am not sure if many Christmas films fit in here. The only one I can really think of is the all-time 1988 classic, Die Hard. You may ask: “Is this really a Christmas movie?” Well it happens during a Christmas party… isn’t that enough?

The story follows John McClane (portrayed by Bruce Willis) as he attends his ex-wife’s Christmas party that eventually gets rudely interrupted by a rag-tag gang of German terrorists led by the evil Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman).

This film is a classic for any holiday occasion and is endlessly entertaining with a barrage of gunfights and explosions, and Alan Rickman’s accent to boot. It is the original action movie. I once got caught watching the first three Die Hards on Christmas Eve with a buddy of mine (best Christmas ever!).

Here is John McClane’s most quoted line from the film:

Lastly, the genre you’ve all been waiting for: those god-awful Christmas specials that should not have ever existed. By this I mean the likes of The Smurfs Christmas Special or He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special . But the crown jewel of terrible Christmas specials is probably the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special. This a film that makes you exclaim: “What the f*** were they thinking.”

There’s everything from long periods of Wookies talking in incomprehensible gibberish to Wookie Porn (yes that’s a short part in the movie…) to Han Solo being a little bit too jolly, hugging everything he sees. And it goes on. This film is just ludicrous, it’s like a train wreck so terrible you just can’t look away and that’s why you should watch it.

Here is one scene to get you started:

Whichever Christmas genre you watch make sure to do it with your loved ones during this holiday season and watch the Star Wars Holiday Special at your own discretion.

Happy holidays!

Well it looks like we’ll be having our first real series of cold nights this winter which also marks the time of year where many of Montreal’s inhabitants go into hibernation. No I’m not talking about all the squirrels, I’m making reference to those of you who use “it’s too cold out” as an excuse to get out of doing things.

Well don’t! There’s tons to do, so tell your roommate you’ll be wearing the long johns this weekend because you’ve got some shows to go to!

Hommage to Leonard Cohen – God is Alive, Magic is Afoot

The title pretty much sums it up. Everyone has their own way of grieving, remembering and paying tribute to someone and it’s no surprise that Montreal’s music community would do so with a concert.

Pop Montreal has put together a staggering list of artists who will be taking to the stage tonight at the Rialto to do their best to say goodbye not only to a great man and musician but also a member of their community.

All proceeds will be going back to the community in the form of a donation to Le Chainon which seems fitting for the mood of the evening. Now here’s a full concert’s worth of songs because picking just one track isn’t really possible.

Hommage to Leonard Cohen plays Théâtre Rialto, 5723 Avenue du Parc, Thursday, December 15th, 8:00pm (Doors at 6:30), $25, tickets through Pop Montreal.

 

A Tribe Called Red

Head over to the Théâtre Corona tonight and you can catch a trio of DJs (Bear Witness, DJ NDN and 2oolman) who combined form the group A Tribe Called Red. The best way of describing their style is that it’s a mix of various elements of hip hop, dance music and traditional First Nations music.

If you’re unfamiliar with the group this might be the point where you start scratching your head saying “that seems really interesting but what exactly would that sound like?” Well here’s the both catchy and powerful track Stadium Pow Wow which should help answer that question.

 A Tribe Called Red plays Théâtre Corona, 2490 Notre-Dame West, Thursday, December 15th, 8:00pm (Doors at 7:00), $32, tickets through box office.

 

Basin Fest Montreal

This annual festival is quite unique in that it isn’t centered on a specific style of music but rather the collection of artists who use Basin Street Studios as their home base. Located in Griffintown, this home away from home for many artists is an important part of the Montreal music community and it’s a great idea to get out once a year to celebrate it.

We’re not going to preview every band that’s playing but we can refer you to the Basin Fest 2016 playlist which has some killer tracks by some of our city’s best indie artists. So head down to Pirhana Bar this Saturday and check out an event that has the most randomly awesome list of co-sponsors: two radio stations (CJLO and CKUT), Frite Alors and Jägermeister. Yum!

 Basin Fest plays Piranha Bar, 680 Ste-Catherine Ouest, Saturday, December 17th, 7:00pm, $15.

Wander Years + Paper Beat Scissors

Casa Del Popolo will be hosting two wonderfully talented acts this Saturday in the form of Wander Years and Paper Beat Scissors who both have the ability to captivate audiences with beautifully powerful songs that evoke an array of emotions.

As usual, it’s best to let the music do the talking so here’s a track that should stir your emotions. I guess this doesn’t apply to our Vulcan readers but the rest of you should get it.

Wander Years and Paper Beat Scissors play Casa Del Popolo, 4873 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Saturday, December 17th, 9:00pm (Doors at 8:00), $8.00 ($10.00 at the door) available through blueskiesturnblack

* Featured image: ATribeCalledRed.com

* 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 music@forgetthebox.net. We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!