The Canadian music community can be pretty close-knit. For instance, did you know that Phil Shearing, singer/guitarist from Paddle to the Sea, once had Hollerado play on his lawn while on tour. He passed a hat around while his friend gave them smores. This is just one example the comradery of Canadian bands, helping each other out.

More than just being about the music community, Canadian Music Week is an expression of how healthy, vibrant and eclectic our homegrown music industry is — and one of those local bands that stands out when we talk about Canadian Music is Paddle to the Sea. Perhaps one of the hardest working bands I know.

Paddle to the Sea features: the aforementioned Philip Shearing (vocals and guitar), Jeff Bulgarelli (vocals and bass), and Shawn Murray on drums and vocals.

The three-piece just released Insert Home Delete End a very impressive album filled with power-pop and grinding grunge. You can describe their music as a reinvention of the raw 90s sound. Give a listen to Castaway and Butter You Up.

Paddle to the Sea will be taking their wild horse and pony show to the Bovine Sex Club in Toronto, for a Tuesday April 18th show with will also feature: Lauren Spike, The Huaraches and The Extorverts. I had a chance to speak with them before they left for the show:

If you’re in Toronto this week check out their latest show  Tickets are available online or you can buy them at the door here’s the Facebook page for more information. Also give a listen Paddle’s newest tracks Arrow and Skipping Stone on BandCamp.

Now that it looks like we’re in for spring to early summer weather (fingers still crossed), this week is a perfect time to get out of the house. We have a few other, equally strong reasons to explore our city in the form of music shows you can check out. So, let’s get started:

The Lef7overs + Light Bulb Alley + Donny Dash

On Friday head over to Barfly if you’re into Punk / Garage Rock as three local acts in the form of The Lef7overs, Light Bulb Alley and Donny Dash are set to play a free show! With Barfly’s drink prices being more reasonable than anywhere else on The Main this has to be the best show this weekend for those who are brok… ummm more financially challenged.

Light Bulb Alley and Donny Dash will be providing the garage rock while headliners the Lef7overs are known for playing punk rock covers of female fronted bands. Knowing this, it seems like no coincidence that a capital “L” and “7” appear in the band’s name.

The Lef7overs, Light Bulb Alley and Donny Dash play Barfly, 4062A Boulevard St Laurent, Friday, April 14th, 9:00pm, free.

 

Stevenson + Fire/Works + Désiré Renard

On Thursday you can head over to Le Cactus (the temporary home of L’Escogriffe) where local Montreal based and self-descirbed “Downer Pop” duo Stevenson will be playing in support of the launch of their first full length album Sadboyz. Joining them for this show will be two other local acts, Fire/Works and Désiré Renard.

It’s really hard to categorize Stevenson’s music as one thing so it’s probably best to check out a few of their songs to get the full meaning of Downer Pop.

Stevenson, Fire/Works and Désiré Renard play Le Cactus, 4461 Rue Saint-Denis, Thursday, April 13th, 8:30pm, $10 at the door.

 

Wolf Eyes + Drainolith + Gashrat + Nyon

The Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival’s offseason programming is in full swing and on Monday, they’re bringing Detroit’s Wolf Eyes to La Vitrola along with three local acts: Drainolith, Gashrat and Nyon.

For an idea of what you’re in for if you go, give a listen to the headliners'”heavy, discordant and psycho jazz”

Wolf Eyes, Drainolith, Gashrat and Neon  play La Vitrola, 4602 Boul. St-Laurent, Tuesday, April 18th, 9:30pm, $15 at the door.

 

* Featured image of the Lef7overs via Facebook

* 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. Our week goes from Thursday to Wednesday, so let us know by the preceding Sunday, though not too much in advance, or you may get lost in the shuffle. We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!

 

Hope you have an umbrella because in between all the rainstorms it looks like we’ve got another great week of music ahead of us. Here are some of your options for the next seven days.

John K. Samson +  Michael Feuerstack

On Thursday singer/songwriter John K. Samson is playing a show at Théâtre Fairmount in support of his second album Winter Wheat released last October. While his career as a solo artist is fairly new, you might know John as the frontman of Canadian Indie rock band The Weakerthans who were part of the Canadian music scene from 1997 until they decided to go on hiatus in 2014.

Joining Samson will be local talent Michael Feuerstack who has also been in the game for quite a while now under a different name. You might know him as Snailhouse, the moniker he used for a number of years before re-branding to his real name.

Regardless of the labels they’re currently going by, both these guys create great music with memorable lyrics. Give a listen to the track Postdoc Blues off John’s latest album to see what I mean.

John K. Samson and Michael Feuerstack play Théâtre Fairmount, 5240 Avenue du Parc, Thursday, April 6th, 8:30pm (Doors at 7:30), $25 to $20 +s.c available through the box office.

 

Allison Crutchfield and The Fizz + Vagabon + Empath

Also on Thursday you can stop by La Vitrola for an evening of Indie Rock presented by Suoni Per Il Popolo and CKUT with three great acts from south of the border in the form of Allison Crutchfield and the FizzVagabon and Empath.

Headliner Allison Crutchfield’s latest album Tourist in This Town was released in January and it’s really worth a listen all the way through. Or just go to the show and you can get the live version!

 Allison Crutchfield and The Fizz, Vagabon and Empath play La Vitrola, 4602 Boulevard St. Laurent, Thursday, April 6th, 9:00pm, $12 available through the box office.

 

Carlos Núñez

Sunday night Nuits d’Afrique will be hosting an evening with Spanish bagpiper Carlos Núñez who is coming to town for the last stop on his springtime tour through North America. The Galician multi-instrumentalist is well known for breaking down barriers between music styles. Most commonly associated with playing Celtic music, Núñez’s songs also draw heavily on his Latin roots and classical music.

This tour is also a celebration of Carlos’s illustrious career. It’s been twenty years since the release of his debut album Brotherhood of Stars and since then there has been no slowing down. He’s released an impressive ten more albums and done countless tours all over the globe in that time.

Carlos Núñez plays Théâtre Fairmount, 5240 Avenue du Parc, Sunday, April 9th, 8:30pm, $38.40 available through the box office.

 

North Country Towers + Isaak Salomon + Eva Foote

On Sunday Casa Del Popolo will be hosting folk performers North Country Towers who invite you to enjoy the nice spring weather (I guess they like rain) we’ve been having and come see a show. Actually Sunday is supposed to be the one sunny day this week so the thought of getting out of the house and seeing three acts for only eight bucks seems like a great way to spend the day.

North Country Towers, Isaak Salomon and Eva Foote Casa play Casa del Popolo, 4848 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Sunday, April 9th, 8:00pm (Doors at 7:30), $8 available at the door.

L O S

For those who don’t want to go home Sunday, you can just stay at Casa Del Popolo till Monday night when Quebec City based band L O S will be playing in support of their recently released first album Big Surf. When the word “Surf” is in the title of an album, it’s hard to prevent certain preconceptions of what it’s going to sound like to pop into your head. In this case you’d be dead wrong.

The vibe of Big Surf is a lot more mellow than you’d expect from a musical standpoint and a lot deeper and sophisticated in terms of the lyrics. Give them a listen and if it’s your thing then head down on Monday, tickets are only five dollars!

L O S plays Casa del Popolo, 4848 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Monday, April 10th, 9:00pm, $5 available at the door.

* Featured image of Alison Crutchfield via Twitter

* 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!

In 2015, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre announced that the concert space on the western end of Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Sainte-Hélène is getting a redesign. The municipal and provincial government will invest a total of $73 million to expand the space used by promoter Evenko to stage events like Osheaga, Heavy Montréal and ÎleSoniq every summer.

While originally planned for Montreal’s 375th anniversary, it won’t be ready until next year. This means Osheaga will have a new home for the summer and Heavy Montréal will take a year off.

Capacity would increase from 45 000 to 65 000, though it will remain an open-air ampitheatre. At the time of the original announcement, the Mayor assured people that some of the budget would be spent on reducing the sound that made its way across the water to the South Shore where St-Lambert residents had been filing noise complaints for a few summers. This would presumably mean that Evenko could stage more concerts in the space.

This week, the environmental impact of the project went public. 1000 trees will have to be cut down to make it possible. While Coderre promised $18 million to plant new trees, Projet Montreal, the official opposition party in City Hall, is not happy to say the least.

Calling it a “chainsaw massacre” of Montreal’s shared greenspace to benefit one private promoter, they argued that a more environmentally-friendly version should have been considered. They also decried the lack of public consultation on the project.

With so many issues at play here, we decided to turn to you, our readers and not just make it a straight Yes or No question. In this poll, please let us know whether or not you support this project and why. If none of the answers fit what you think, you can add your own:

How do you feel about the current plan to build a new ampitheatre in Parc Jean-Drapeau?
  • Add your answer

We’ve got a little something for everyone in this week’s preview so wherever your musical interests lie there’s bound to be something to peak you interest. Alright, let’s get to it.

Blakdenim

If you’re looking for something to do tonight you can head over to L’Escalier and check out Ottawa based Funk/Jazz/Hip Hop/Rock ensemble Blackdenim. This is a free show and a great way to check out a band that might at present be under your radar.

Blackdenim is known for seamlessly combining different genres into fun catchy meaningful songs. There’s something about horn sections and hip hop that always just works well together. Check out this clip or their soundcloud page to see what I mean.

Blakdenim plays L’Escalier, 522 Ste-Catherine Street East, Thursday, March 30th, 9:00pm, free.

 

Paper Beat Scissors + Ambroise

On Sunday Sala Rossa will be hosting a special evening with Paper Beat Scissors who will be re-imagining their songs with the accompaniment of a chamber ensemble. Set to release a new EP in May, this will be a first look at some of the new songs and well as a fresh look at some of the old ones.

Known for singer/songwriter Tim Crabtree’s hauntingly powerful vocals accompanied by acoustic guitar, it will be interesting to hear how this change in the lineup will influence the songs. Opening the evening will be local duo Ambroise whose mix of piano and heartfelt vocals will fit in quite nicely with the vibe for the evening.

Paper Beat Scissors + Ambroise play La Sala Rossa, 4848 boul. Saint-Laurent, Sunday, April 2nd, 8:00pm, $10 through the box office ($15 at the door).

Periphery

Coming to Théâtre Corona on April 3rd in support of their Grammy-nominated album Periphery III will be djent/prog metal monsters Periphery. Around since 2005, these guys are most likely already on your radar if you’re a metal fan, so this is more of a reminder that they’re coming to town.

With Periphery, the live show atmosphere can only enhance the power of their music and the backdrop of the “somewhat Grand Old” Corona seems a perfect fit for giving the show the right aesthetic. Not that there’s anything wrong with rocking out in your bedroom, but now and then you might want to get out a little!

Periphery play Théâtre Corona, 2490 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Monday, April 3rd, 7:00pm (doors at 6:00), $28 through the box office ($33 at the door).

 

Scenic Route to Alaska + Nova

Sunday night Quai des Brumes will be hosting Edmonton-based Indie rock trio Scenic Route to Alaska who are touring their way through the eastern part of the country this spring. With catchy riffs, clever choruses and a laid back vibe, their tunes have that instantly infectious feel where you want to sing along on the first listen.

If you don’t believe me then grab a cold one, kick your feet up and give a listen to the single Love Keeps released last year on their latest EP Long Walk Home. 

Scenic Route to Alaska and Nova play Quai des Brumes, 4481 Saint-Denis, Sunday, April 2nd, 9:45pm (doors at 9:00), $10 through the box office ($12 at the door).

* Featured image of Blakdenim via Facebook

* 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!

Angélique, the story of the black slave tortured and put to death in New France (later Montreal, Quebec) for allegedly setting the fire of 1734 that burned down the only hospital and left hundreds of people homeless, is most remarkable for the fact that so few Canadians know about this incendiary incident in Montreal’s history.

It’s a story with everything: chaos, love triangles, danger, a woman’s determined quest for freedom.

Yet, despite these features that make Angélique a perfect candidate for telling and re-telling, like many stories of slavery in Canada’s history, and many narratives sympathetic to disadvantaged people of colour, the story of Marie-Joseph Angelique has been largely ignored until very recently.

In fact, the play currently being billed as the first collaboration between Black Theatre Workshop and Tableau d’Hote Théâtre, is the first time this story has been presented on stage in Montreal, the city where the true story took place. It is running from March 15th to April 2nd at the Segal Center.

Angélique is the story of the strong-willed black slave tortured and put to death for allegedly starting the fire of 1734, which burned down the majority of what is now Old Montreal. Though it was generally accepted that Angelique did commit the crime for which she was accused, it has recently been argued that she was innocent, convicted on the basis of her reputation as a rebellious runaway and hard-to-control slave. The evidence used to convict Angelique would not stand up in a modern court of law.

“I am a very proud Canadian, and a very proud Montréaler, but I don’t think we are doing ourselves any favours by not acknowledging the bad along with the good in history,” says Black Theatre workshop artistic director Quincy Armorer. “I’ve noticed this play is educating a lot of people about some of the forgotten or ignored times in Canadian and Montreal history, and I am very, very happy to be a part of letting people know this happened here.”

Mathieu Murphy-Perron, artistic director for Tableau d’Hote Theater, agrees: “As someone who generally tries to be aware of where we live and the land we are on, and the fact that it’s stolen land, and Canada is not the land of milk and honey…to have zero-ZERO-knowledge of this show, it spoke to our educational shortcomings of telling the stories that make up this city, Quebec and Canada”

“I didn’t even know about this before,” adds Jenny Brizard, the lead and title actress of Angélique “They didn’t talk about slavery in Canada at all when I was in school.”

Having left her native Montreal to pursue a career as a dancer in Toronto, Ms. Brizard has returned in a blaze of glory with a breakout performance as the title character in Angélique. This is her first professional acting role, and though the performance seemed a little manic at times, this is certainly fitting as an artistic choice for a character under an incredible amount of mental, emotional and physical stress.

Speaking of artistic direction, the costuming decisions in this production were extremely powerful, working as an additional layer of social commentary. ‘Upper class’ members of society began the production dressed in contemporary business wear, and ended the production dressed in 1730s period clothing. Conversely, slaves began the production in period clothing and ended the production in contemporary street wear, or in Angelique’s case, an orange prison outfit.

The closing images of a modern black woman being put to death for a crime, with no evidence that she had committed it, while being looked upon by people stuck in the past, were extremely powerful and speaks to the ongoing issues with class and race that still exist today. The play ended with Angelique hearing the drums of her homeland (drums were banned in New France in an effort to sever slaves from their culture) and dancing her heart out in the traditional style of her childhood, which she had been previously embarrassed and nervous to display in New France.

The musical backdrop of Angélique was completely percussion based, set to an original composition by SIXTRUM Percussion Ensemble. The use of drums served as a clever musical allegory for Angelique’s struggle and personal erasure, due to the nature of the importance of drum music in Angelique’s internal life and history versus their ban in New France.

When Angélique is first introduced at a slave purchasing block, thick chains were used as an instrument by SIXTRUM, who were playing above the stage. It was fresh, creative, and enhanced the narrative.

Though the script, written by the late Lorena Gale, doesn’t claim to be completely factual (and how could it be, when the source material is from the 18th century), one creative inclusion bothered me:

In the play, Angélique is repeatedly raped by her master François, and it is implied that she gives birth to a child fathered by him. Though I couldn’t find any historical rumours that this had taken place in real life, and the father on record for Angélique’s children is listed as fellow slave César (played with subtlety, depth and range by Tristan D. Lalla), I can understand its inclusion in this play. This is the story of a black slave woman, a group that is underrepresented in the telling of their stories and for whom rape, and the subsequent fathering of children, by white masters was most certainly a frequent occurrence.

Where I take issue that it is then used as THE major point of contention between Angelique and Francois’ wife Thérèse. I think, in a story that already has so much drama and intrigue, it’s a bit lazy to then add as a major plot point, a shift away from Angelique’s real struggle, towards a jealousy fight between women arguing over the affections of a shitty guy. It reinforces the stereotype of women as petty and jealous, and having nothing more of substance to do or think about than the affections of a man.

In fact, this same theme is echoed again between Angelique and Manon, a Panis-Native slave, who in this play rejects Angélique’s friendship and sells her out at trial over Manon’s love of César, who in turn loves Angélique. According to the historical record, Manon more likely tried to divert suspicion to Angélique for self-preservation as she herself could have been severely punished if suspicion had fallen on her own shoulders.

However, I suppose pitting women against each other over a guy once again adds easy intrigue and a familiar stereotype. Despite the historical setting of the play, it’s 2017, and I think we can do better.

Overall, Angelique is a skillful and extremely important retelling of a chapter in Montreal history that is conspicuously absent from most history books. It is powerful, visceral and necessary, and with tickets starting at $22, much more accessible than the majority of professional theatrical productions.

Bring a date, bring your mom, bring a history or theatre buff, a lover of Montreal, or even your favorite arsonist, but don’t miss Angélique’s first (and certainly not last) tour in Montreal. It is a tribute to a powerful and strong woman who was persecuted until the end by a society that did not value her.

Only one question remains in the fiery tale: Did she do it?

“At this point, I don’t really care…if she did it or not,” says Ms. Brizard. “The fact is, she didn’t have a fair chance. Period. And that’s how I approach the work. She didn’t get a fair trial, a fair chance, as a woman, as a black woman. Period.”

Angélique presented by Black Theatre Workshop and Tableau d’Hote Théâtre runs through April 2nd, 2017 at the Segal Centre, 5170 ch. de la Côte-Ste-Catherine,  tickets available through the Segal Centre box office

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!