Now that we’re in full-on May, there are plenty of great music shows to catch in Montreal. For our picks this week, we’re staying local, with some great acts rocking out in smaller venues around town…well, for the most part we are. There is one legendary out of town act playing Montreal we just couldn’t ignore. Let’s start with them:

Throwback To The Glorious 90s

Kim Deal’s The Breeders are back. The band that released the critically acclaimed sleeper album Pod and the hit single Cannonball is back in business.

It’s been exactly a decade since the band released an album so this is an exciting show to attend given the release of their latest offering All Nerve. They released their first single last October which Rolling Stone magazine described as “a classic Breeders bruiser, clocking it at two minutes, and packed with punchy drums, sugar-rush power chords, and lead riffs.”

The Breeders with Melkbelly perform at Corona Theatre, 2490 Notre-Dame Ouest, Saturday, May 5, 8pm. The show is currently SOLD OUT.

Ghostly Hounds To Cast Their Spells At Barfly

Witch folk. Dark jazz. Trumpets, banjos, and mandolin. It’s a unique sound that’s gonna capture your attention. Ghostly Hounds got together back in 2015 and hit the ground running by recording demos just weeks after forming.

This seasoned band has played over a 100 shows in the last couple years crisscrossing back and forth through Canada. It’s a rare chance to see this Montreal band play right here in their home town; they don’t stay put too long.

The Ghostly Hounds perform at Barfly, 4067A St-Laurent, Thursday, May 3, 9pm. Sliding scale $5-$10 at the door

100 Watt Love Songs Dressed in Angry Indie Attire

Pope Joan will be releasing their debut album Sympathetic And They Care this week. The band has a real cool sound. Low-Fi sensibilities combined with punk. Dancy and rhythmic grooves. Also, three power chord ballads are not frowned upon. And protest anthems are free flowing.

The band has been cutting its teeth on the underground Montreal circuit, fine tuning their sound and playing to crowds at Basin Fest, off the beaten track underground venues, and basement shows filled to the brim with college kids.

They will be celebrating the album release with b- movie inspired punk rock Fightface, The Le7tovers, a popular all girl punk rock band, and atmospheric duo Wasp Face.

Pope Joan with Fightface, The Le7tovers and Wasp Face perform at Piranha Bar, 680 Ste-Catherine Ouest, Friday, May 4, 8pm. $8 at the door

An Evening Of Rock At Crobar

Get a dose of infectious feel good energetic rock with The Brie Face. The band combines alternative, punk and pop to get their feel good uplifting sound.

They’ll be sharing the spotlight with Toronto’s The Wet Bandits who have an amped up rock n roll sound. Also on stage that evening will be four-piece pop-punk band Minority 905 from Mississauga who channel the sounds of Green Day, All Time Low, Blink-182, and Yellowcard. Sharing the bill is doo wop core band We Once Were.

The Brie Face, The Wet Bandits, Minority 905 and We Once Were perform at Crobar, 1221 Crescent, Saturday, May 5, 9pm. $10 at the door

* Featured by Ihabé Terrak, courtesy of Pope Joan

* 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!

The weather actually feels consistently warm and the streets of Montreal are alive with people. What a great time to check out some live music in town, so let’s jump right in:

Sound of Melancholy

Montreal’s own Velvet Noise is set to take the stage this week. The band released its first album three years ago to critical acclaim. Since then, they have tirelessly toured Eastern Canada and nearby New England.

And it’s been a journey. Managing doubts. Dealing with lots of emotions. Lots of ups, lots of downs. Growing as musicians and as individuals. And above all persevering through the struggle we call life.

The result: five brand new songs of trendy indie pop-rock. They’ve got a melancholic vibe channeling the spirit of Snow Patrol and Radiohead but with musical complexity a la Mutemath and Half Moon Run.

So come see them for an intimate experience at Casa as they celebrate the launch of their second album, one that is certain to make a stir.

Velvet Noise launch their second EP at Casa del Popolo, 4873 Boul St-Laurent, Thursday, April 26, 8:30pm. FREE

A Celebration Of All Things Folk

Blowing in from New Brunswick this week is four-piece folk band The Olympic Symphonium. The hardworking band has been paying their dues since 2005 and have developed their own unique sound.

All four members contribute to the songwriting process tackling real life issues like the complexity of family life, the inevitability of death, the mundanity of life on the road, and struggles with mental illness.

Opening act Eva Foote will gift the crowd with folk songs she dedicates “for the shy, strange and nostalgic.”

The Olympic Symphonium perform with Eva Foote at Casa del Popolo, 4873 Boul St-Laurent, Sunday, April 29, 9pm. Tickets are $12 in advance available through Blue Skies Turn Black or $15 at the door

A Night Of Reverie

Power pop trio Dany Laj And the Looks will stroll into Barfly this week to offer their mix of rock/folk/country infused music that has that unmistakable 70s power pop vibe with plenty of Joie De Vivre. They will be celebrating the release of their freshest single Left Right To One which you will be able to buy as a digital download or vinyl record.

Les Envahisseurs will be on the bill bringing their energetic garage rock to the scene. This band has played all over Canada, United States and Japan sharing the stage with prominent acts such as The Lyres, The Love Me Nots, and The 5,6,7,8s.

This quirky band has great stage presence, and intelligent lyrics to boot. And there will be go go dancing.

Completing the bill will be Waveyard which mixes a blend of 60’s spy movie rock alongside garage instrumental surf.

Dany Laj and the Looks & Les Envahisseurs & Waveyard perform at Barfly, 4062A Boul St-Laurent, Friday, April 27, 9pm. $10 at the door

Jungle Pop Comes To Montreal

“An insatiable dance collection of jungle-pop songs with many well-executed nods towards Brazilian instruments, poets and to the national language, Portuguese.”

-Paste Magazine

New York based duo Sofi Tukker grace the stage in Montreal this week showcasing their unique dance music that has made waves on the US pop dance charts. The duo has had their music championed by Apple and PlayStation.

Apple used their single Best Friend in their commercial for the Iphone X. Playstation 4 also used it in the soundtrack for their game Fifa 18. And their songs Drinkee has been nominated for a Grammy.

The House/EDM outfit will be showcasing songs from their newest release Treehouse freshly released 2 weeks ago.

Sofi Tukker perform with Kah-Lo and LP Giobbi at Théâtre Corona, 2490 Notre-Dame Ouest, Friday, April 27, 8pm. Tickets are $32.90 and available through Evenko

* Featured image of Velvet Noise via Indie 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. 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!

This week there is plenty of great music to check out in Montreal. We’ve got indie emo rock, relatable non-bubblegum, hard rock and even a burlesque show (not technically a music show, but it still fits).

Let’s get started:

Sounds Of Melancholy: Ziggi Jadovsky To Hit The Stage

In a world spurred on by the likes of Instagram, where it’s almost a sin to not be happy shiny people 24/7, a breath of fresh air has finally appeared. Ziggi Jadovsky is her name. And she’s The Genuine Article.

She’s caught the attention of the press without any record label support or artist development team. Her voice has been described in the press as otherworldly, genuine, magical, beautiful, and a world class stand out.

For those of us who are tired of hearing the bubble gum pop lyrics of meaninglessness, you are going to love the title of her first single. Wait for it. Morning Dread. Something a lot of us can relate to:

“I noticed I felt more vulnerable to self-defeating thoughts when I first wake up and heard others mention they felt the same, so when the words to the song arrived in my head one morning, I knew I had to get them down. I get lots of conspiratorial nods and nervous giggles of recognition when I perform Morning Dread and felt it time to finally give it a visual treatment to share with a wider audience.”

Her songs address issues like grief, fighting negative self-talk with an encompassing air of nostagia. She’s backed by a jazz rock trio backline of musicians with a cohesive sound that’s reminiscent of Jefferson Airplane, Tim Buckley, Hiatus Kaiyote, and Billie Holiday.

The Ziggi Jadovksy video release party is at Théâtre Sainte Catherine, 264 Ste-Catherine Est, Friday, April 20, 5pm-7pm. Free

Indie Rock Emo Spring Tour Lands In Montreal

Southwest indie rock band Lydia graces the stage in Montreal this week. The band’s popularity has risen over the years thanks to MTV and Yahoo Music giving a lot of playtime to their single When It Gets Dark Out. The hard working band has played to massive crowds at Vans Warped Tour and Bamboozle Festival.

When asked about their songwriting process, frontman/guitarist Leighton Antelman had this to say:

“Lydia’s main goal is to evoke emotion – no matter what emotion it is. I don’t care what specific feeling that is…it just has to pull on some things inside you, change your DNA around for a bit. That’s how a song makes the cut or gets thrown to the curb these days. If what you do can make the audience feel genuine emotions, I think you’ve done your job.”

Emo Pop Punk outfit Moose Blood will be headlining the show. They’ve been compared to Brand New, The Get Up Kids, and Amercican Football. The band members starting honing their skills in metalcore bands like Burn Down Rome and Harbours, but eventually gravitated to more singing and melody.

Their first EP reached number 45 on the Billboards Heatseekers Chart. They’ve entertained big crowds at Warped Tour, Reading and Leeds. They will be promoting their freshly released album I Don’t Think I Can Do This Anymore released last month.

Moose Blood and Lydia perform at Théâtre Fairmount, 5240 Ave du Parc, Thursday, April 19, 8pm. Tickets are $26 and available through the Fairmount box office

Barfly Is For Debauchery

Come see some amped up live rock n roll at Barfly, make sure to get there early as the pub packs up fast and it’s a small space. Local rockers Dead Messenger and Half Measures will be sharing the sage with Mad Ones from Toronto to rock your socks off.

Dead Messenger, Mad Ones and Half Measures perform at Barfly, 4062A Boul St-Laurent, Saturday, April 21, 10pm. PWYC

 

Candyass Cabaret

Okay, so this one’s not a music show, but by all indications it will rock, as burlesque shows in this city generally do. Since the sister column to this one, Arts Shows This Week, is on a bit of a hiatus, we’ll talk about April’s Candyass Cabaret (there’s a new one the third Friday of every month) here instead.

The theme this time seems to be the vernal equinox (even though that was last month, but it took a while for spring to arrive) and the lineup features Candyass veterans Damiana Dolce, Roxie Hardon and Nat King Pole. The host is Jimmy Phule. If you’ve never been to one of these shows, what are you waiting for? The autumnal equinox?

Candyass Cabaret: Vernal Delights is at Café Cléopatra, 1230 Boul St-Laurent, 2nd Floor, Friday, April 20, 10pm. Tickets are $10

* Featured image: ziggijadovsky.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. 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!

Did you hear the birds chirping early this morning? Did you notice the dewy grass thawing? Winter if FINALLY over!

The cool breeze this morning confirmed what we’ve been all waiting for. Spring is here for real. And we’ve got some great live bands to celebrate the good times ahead.

A Night Of Rock N Roll Decadence

Les Ismore bring their their grungy classic folk rock to the stage with tinges of LA glam metal and reggae to boot.

They will be sharing the stage with Naghmeh and the Southern Shores who will rock out their folk rockin’ tunes with middle eastern influences and lyrics dripping with sass.

Sharing the spotlight that evening will be Broke Diplomates who’ll showcase some fine 70s psychedelic and British Invasion influences.

Opening act Sella will display some witchcraft influenced dark vibey music drenched with blues soul and dark cabaret.

To top off the list, second opening act Jason Allman, will also appear on stage. With no presence online, who is this mystery musician? Is he one of the Allman brothers?

Les Ismore Montreal, Naghmeh and the Southern Shores, Broke Diplomates and Sella perform at Crobar, 1221 Crescent Street, Saturday, April 14, 9pm, $7-PWYC at the door

Pop Jazz With A World Class Voice

“With an honesty and warmth that sets her apart from so many artists, Doty is an emerging Canadian talent who is clearly one to watch for 2017 and beyond.” CBC Music

Ellen Doty. She’s got a one in a million voice. She’s a real road warrior; her last cross-Canada tour included 42 show that she booked herself.

She will be in town to display her latest album which is all about pop, jazz, soul, folk, and indie music. Yet, instead of the usual instrumentation, this album has no bass, background vocals, horns or layers. Just piano, voice, and drums showing off a raw and spacious sound.

Come see her soulful act, a show you won’t regret.

Ellen Doty performs at Casa del Popolo, 4873 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Tuesday, April 17, 8pm. Tickets are $14.30 and available through Indie Montreal

From YouTube Pranks to the Stage in Montreal

It’s not important that he’s sold 40 million records worldwide. It doesn’t matter that his 80s single Never Gonna Give You Up was a huge hit.

What’s really important here is that Rick Astley, yes THAT Rick Astley is performing here in our hometown.

Not familiar with his work? Sure you are (if you’ve ever been Ric-Rolled).

It’s great to share this video without making it part of a prank:

Rick Astley performs at Theatre Corona, 2490 Notre-Dame Ouest, Saturday, April 14, 8pm. Tickets through Evenko (Currently SOLD OUT) 

An Evening Of Musical Revelrie

Sweet Roger brings his genuine performance to the stage fueled by the sounds of folk, Americana, and alternative.

Also performing that evening is vocalist, guitarist/composer Nolan Hubbard who brings his evocative acoustic-pop songs from his first album recorded in Nashville by recording industry heavyweights.

Also sharing the stage will be passionate singer songwriter Cinzia who, along with The Eclipse, will showcase her rock pop songs with stellar vocals.

To top off the list, Americana country rocker Greg Mcevoy blows in from Toronto.

Sweet Roger, Nolan Hubbard, Cinzia and the Eclipse and Greg McEvoy perform at Barfly, 4062A St Laurent, Friday, April 13, 8pm.

From Ballads To Bangers
Scenic Route To Alaska will be in town to spread their contagious pop sound. They are already a a hit in Australia and Europe, and their unique brand of pop actually has substance. To find out more about this band check out our contest post for details.

Scenic Route To Alaska perform at Quai Des Brumes, 4481 St Denis St, Wednesday April 18, 9pm. If you don’t win the contest, tickets are $11.85 and available through Indie Montreal

* Featured image of Les Ismore 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!

Impressive three-piece rock pop outfit Scenic Route To Alaska will grace the stage at Quai Des Brumes this week. And now you have a chance to see them for free courtesy of FTB and Indie Montreal.

Pop Band With Substance

They’ve been signed to a number of record labels of the years. They’ve gained a cult following in Australia and Europe. They’ve released singles on CBC Radio to much love. They’ve been recognized at the Western Canadian Music Award. And their songs are all over the place on popular TV shows.

What’s cool about their songs is that the lyrics are simple yet meaningful:

“And after a long day I finally rest my eyes
Under the Eiffel Tower lights
Dream of the river and you by my side”

From Ballads To Bangers

Their latest album, Tough Luck, was produced by the man behind Tegan & Sarah and The New Pornographers, producer Howard Redekopp. The 10 track LP shows off a tight and dynamic live sound that is not afraid to be organic on the production side of things. The album truly engages the listener as you find yourself wanting to hear the songs over and over again.

Maybe that’s due to the fact that it’s a rare find to discover a pop band that has something of importance to say. Or maybe its simply the catchy vocal rhythms, memorable melodies, and rich arrangements.

Either way the album captures the same energy the band projects on stage: an exciting high energy performance, with a fun contagious vibe.

How To Win

To win two tickets, comment below and tell us what your favorite single is of the band and why you love that song so much. Best answer will get their name +1 on the VIP guest list!

If you’re not familiar with them yet, give Tough Luck a listen or check out their BandCamp for more songs:

Scenic Route To Alaska perform at Quai Des Brumes, 4481 St Denis St, Wednesday April 18, 9pm. If you don’t win the contest, tickets are $11.85 and available through Indie Montreal

* Featured image via Facebook

Hello Forget The Box Readers, we are back again for another edition of Montreal Live Music Shows This Week.

It’s cloudy. It’s rainy. And there’s no sun. But there is hope that the grey skies will clear out for blue ones very soon. In the meantime, Spring Winds are blowing in some nice talent into Montreal, and some of that talent is homegrown as well.

So without further ado, lets see whats in store for you this week.

Pop Dance Anthems A La Violon – Aleksi Campagne

If you haven’t heard of Aleksi Campagne, you will soon enough. Hailing from Montreal, the 24 year old singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist has an impressive track record:

He’s played live for Radio Canada and TVA. He’s lent his violin skills to well known Canadian folk legends Heather Bishop and Connie Kaldor. He’s been on the bill at high profile Canadian festivals like the Vancouver Folk Festival. He’s performed in Paris at the famous bistro Le Petit Journal Montparnasse. He’s made appearances at private record label showcases like the International Folk Alliance Conference in Kansas City. He’s also sang backup vocals at for prominent artists at shows at Place Des Arts.

This week he is launching his debut album that combines a smooth mix of pop, folk and jazz. What’s exciting about his signature sound is the combination of distortion, normally reserved for heavy rock and metal, and violin. His songs have been described as “wickedly catchy dancing anthems.”

There is no evidence to suggest that his talent is in large part due to studying for two years under the wing of Parisian violin maestro Didier Lockwood. There is, however, some evidence showing that his sound is similar to violinist Andrew Bird, and R&B star Sam Cook.

And there is A LOT of circumstantial evidence pointing to the fact that his show will get sold out quickly. So, jump on this opportunity to catch an up and coming artist for an intimate album launch at Patro Vys.

Aleksi Campagne Band performs with Old Time Honey at O Patro Vys, 356 Mont-Royal Est, Thursday, April 5, 9:30pm. Tickets are $10 or $18 with a CD and available through AleksiCampagne.com

Moonfruits Comes To Charm Montreal At Place Des Arts

Ontario based folk duo Moonfruits, great band name by the way, are touring to support their sophomore album Ste Quequepart. But it is no ordinary album.

The concept album draws inspiration from the duo’s road stories- they have played over 100 shows just in Canada alone, and the rest from pure creative imagination. The songs lyrics tell stories about an imaginary village where love and a sense of community co-exists with the stark realities of poverty, prejudice and inequality.

Yet a sense of hope permeates their overall artistic message. For them, its all about celebrating common ground and walking in another’s shoes

The duo who sing in French and English are known to charm their audiences with their sincerity and humor and will be playing as a quartet to deliver a full band sound with drums, double bass, guitar, banjo and percussion. And Lots of Heart.

A great performance awaits you at Place des Arts this week, hope you can make it.

Moonfruits perform at Salle Claude-Léveillée – Place des Arts, 175 Sainte-Catherine Ouest, Friday, April 6, 8pm. Tickets are $20.25 and available through Place des Arts

The Soul Of Blue Rodeo Comes To Town

Jim Cuddy is back. If your a fan of country rock, especially of the Canadian variety, then this is a not to be missed opportunity. The 62 year old country rocker will be gracing the stage right here in Montreal with his heartfelt brand of country rock.

Cuddy released his latest album Constellations last January so you’ll be hearing some brand new music live this time. As always, songwriting is top notch and it’s no secret why Blue Rodeo was such a great Canadian success.

Corona Theatre will be generously offering a free copy of the album with the purchase of your ticket. In my book that’s a great two for one deal so grab it because it doesn’t happen often!

Jim Cuddy performs with Barney Bentall at Théâtre Corona, 2490 Notre-Dame Ouest, Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7 at 8pm. Tickets are $61.50 and available through Evenko

Canada’s Next Big Thing Arrives In Montreal

They are Canada’s next Sloan. The most exciting show this week is the arrival of Nova Scotia bred Hillsburn who will be playing an intimate album launch at Casa Del Popolo. The up and coming band has a busy month ahead; BOOKED SOLID everyday this month on tour across The Great White North.

They’ve got a fresh authentic sound that has got audiences dancing on their feet. They’ve hooked up with Classified for one of their singles off their new album. You won’t get this chance again to see them at such an intimate venue as Casa.

We covered the band in more detail for our contest post, so check it out for more details on why this is A MUST to check out.

Hillsburn perform at Casa del Popolo, 4873 boul St-Laurent, Sunday, April 8, 8pm. Tickets are $9.80 and available through Indie Montreal

A Dose Of Nu Gaze For Your Ears

Do you like bands like Blonde Redhead, My Vitrol, And Silversun Pickups? Do you miss the good old days of alternative rock that showcased droning riffs, messy non-linear distorted guitars, and gloomy vocals?

Look no further, Montreal’s own Paddle To The Sea will electrify the stage with their high energy hooks. The first time I heard their adrenaline fueled song, Moon, it blew me away. Like why aren’t these guys famous; seriously?!

Their chimmey shimmering guitars combined with dark vocal hooks are really comforting to the ears. Yet they don’t sound overproduced; instead the generate a raw and edgy authentic sound that is radio friendly. Hello CHOM, get with the times already.

Regardless, the power trio is currently in the studio recording their second LP, with seasoned go to producer Fern Bouie – who does sound for big bands that come to town like The Beach Boys and other high profile acts.

If you can’t make the show, listen to their song moon, its a killer track. Go share it with all your FB friends and help these guys get some visibility.

Thicke Sugar, Paddle to the Sea and Lost Acres perform at Petit Campus, 57 Prince Arthur Est, Saturday, April 7, 8pm. Tickets are $10 at the door

Throwback To MTV Unplugged

I love the vibe of high energy rock bands that strip everything down to cedar wood guitars, brush sticks, and acoustic bass guitars sans AMP. You can really hear the songwriting craft with no distortion and high volume to distract you from the essence of the song itself.

Nirvana, Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam in the 90s come to mind when thinking about such intimate music circles and an adoring crowd in the cozy New York City MTV unplugged studios of yesteryears.

Well, we are getting a little treat this week at our local watering hole Barfly. Hailing from neighboring Toronto, The Do Good Badlies, are in town but they won’t be plugging in. Instead it will be a wireless evening, with three of the four members going up on stage one at a time to showcase the songs they’ve written for the band with just acoustic guitars.

There will be whiskey. Lots of whiskey, mainly supplied by Sir Jack Himself, as the rockers are proudly influenced by the classic timeless sounds of the 60s garage rock, 70s classic rock, as well as more modern tinged sounds a la Arcade Fire.

It will be a feel good music night and PWYC makes it hard to say no to this unique night at Barfly.

The Do Good Badlies’ What Goes Around Songwriter’s Circle is at Barfly, 4062A St-Laurent, Thursday, April 5 at 10pm. PWYC

* Featured image of Moonfruits via Indie 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. 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!

There’s nothing in the world like a band that plays to sold out crowds every single night. Hillsburn’s tour schedule is impressive: booked solid almost every night for the month of April. You can tell right away when a band is about to fly high.

Coming to see Hillsburn play live in such an intimate setting as cozy Casa Del Popolo is like going to see Nirvana play songs off their Bleach album at Foufounes before they got HUGE!

So without further ado, here are:

Four Really Good Reasons Why You’re Gonna Love To See Hillsburn Play Live:

High Profile Gig

First off, they’ve graced the stage at high profile festivals, you know, the ones where CTV, and La PRESSE show up with their minivans and cams:

Breakout West
Canadian Music Week
East Coast Music Association Week
Canadian Folk Music Awards

The crowd is gonna be stellar at Casa for the show, and who knows what well known faces you might recognize. If you want to impress your date, this is the Go To show this week.

Unexpected Sound

Second, their sound is hard to describe. And these days, this is almost impossible. Yet they sound fresh and contemporary. They’ve been described in the media as anthemic and timeless.

If you’re on the hunt for new music that doesn’t sound recycled and derivative, come see this band.

Egos Left at the Door

Third, there are no rock stars here. Everyone collaborates towards the UNIT, and that’s what comes across in the music, a nice cohesive sound that’s about the songs.

If you are about the music and would rather avoid the divas and drama queens of the music industry, this is YOUR NIGHT

Independent Like You’d Never Believe

Fourth, Hillsburn proves that the human spirit is still alive. Fiercely independent, the quintet decided to bypass the confines of the traditional studio environment. Instead, they choose to write, compose, collaborate and record their second album in a Halifax apartment.

When a up and coming band band buries an award-winning debut album and chooses to go the independent route for their second album, people sit up and take notice.

Birds of a feather flock together. If you value being independent and not selling out, this is a band you want to associate yourself with.

Bonus Points:

Their track Everywhere is produced by Classified.

They’ve captured the interest of FACTOR (government program that offers financial support to talent-rich artists).

The Contest

It’s quite simple. To win two free tickets, comment on this post telling us why you want to come see Hillsburn! The person who writes the best response will get on the VIP guest list +1 to see Hillsburn live on Sunday, April 8, 8pm, at Casa del Popolo, 4873 boul St-Laurent.

We will announce the winner on Friday, April 6. If you don’t win, tickets are available through Indie Montreal.

Good luck!

Café Le Cagibi has long held down the fort as a sort of (meta)physical gateway to Mile End at the corner of St-Laurent and St-Viateur. Yet after more than a decade—and amidst a strip dizzyingly gentrifying—the iconic café and show venue is moving on up.

Faced with—among other things—rent spikes north of 200%, Le Cagibi has opted to restructure. The metamorphosis actually began over a year ago, says Jess Lee, one of the proprietors. “As a group we tackled the issue of our lease, discussed landlord negotiations, and weighed pros, cons and feasibility of our various options,” she says.

“We decided moving was the best option.”

The iconic Mile End strip of St-Viateur between St-Laurent and Parc, built and popularized by places like Le Cagibi, has been gentrifying for years. Yet the gradual price edging of yesteryear has tipped over into something of a point of no return.

As documented by Gazette‘s T’cha Dunlevy, Le Cagibi’s rent increase came at the hands of Jeremy Kornbluth and Brandon Shiller, proprietors of upwards of seven properties on the strip, in addition to properties housing the controversial Starbucks in Marché Jean-Talon and the (now defunct) Gordon Ramsay remake of Le Laurier BBQ.

Yet according to Lee, there’s a silver lining to all this jazz. “Cagibi has always tried to provide a space for employees to learn and develop new skills and take on projects they’re excited about. The coop really formalizes this and takes it to the next level, allowing more folks to access the work, responsibilities and profits of ownership,” she says, noting that the new space will allow employees “to have more input into how the business runs,” and that regular nonworking members are also set to “benefit financially by receiving profits of the business and be able to choose where and how money goes back into the business.”

As such, Le Cagibi will join a growing cadre of city co-ops, such as nearby Touski and Divan Orange. The latter two proved particularly inspiring to Le Cagibi, according to Lee. “(These co-ops) were doing similar business operations and Touski provided us with an understanding of their structure which we definitely used as a springboard for discussing our own.”

So when will Le Cagibi as we know it be dissappearing? Having held its final show, the latest word is that current Le Cagibi will close around April 3rd. Lee says that the new space—on St-Zotique near St-Laurent—is slated to be open “as soon as possible… in time for Spring.”

The food menu might see some changes, though the details are still being hammered out.

As for the fate of the iconic Mile End of St-Viateur east of St-Laurent, things are much less certain.

“I think it just becomes more palpable and stark as financial capital begins to explicitly dominate the landscape,” says Lee of the changes. “But I think there’s a lot of resistance in Mile-End to allowing things to progress and a lot of continuous local support for long standing neighbourhood institutions.  I think the real estate corporations buying into the neighbourhood are aiming to make Mile End a new Griffintown or Notre Dame in St. Henri, but in my opinion, they’re overshooting in their expectations.”

“If they continue to blow out the locale economy,” she says, “in five years time my guess is there will be many unrented facades, a lot of business turnover and a few boutique operations or multi-national corporations using their storefront as advertising rather then as a points of sale.”

Cagibi has a fundraising campaign, where you can also find out about joining the collective

Featured image via Flickr/bittermelon / Creative Commons reuse.

Hello dear FTB readers and welcome to another edition of Montreal Live Music Shows This Week.

We have an eclectic mix of recommendations for you, from avant-guard progressive metal to authentic electro-pop. We also have some great local alt country/bluegrass as well as maritime acoustic folk rock coming your way.

Since there’s nothing positive to say about the rain and snow on its way to Montreal, let’s keep things on the up and up and focus on the live music!

Come See What the Maritimes Are Blowing In

Nova Scotian Jesse Potter brings his heartfelt solo act to Barfly to showcase his latest songs filled with creativity.

Hailing from an ocean side town in Annapolis Valley, Potter draws inspiration from the crashing waves of his hometown, and the awe-spiring nature that surrounded him growing up.

Inspired by jazz, gypsy music, folk, and pop, he brings his unique brand of adult contemporary acoustic jazz to Montreal on his first cross Canada tour. But make no mistake, he’s been grinding away at developing his sound for several years; he has a full LP out produced by Scott Hupman of The Hupman Brothers, and has played well known festivals back home like Lunenburg’s Folk Harbour Festival and Wolfville’s Deep Roots Music Festival.

Musical inspirations include Andy And Ariana, Micah O’connell, Adam Bazinet, and Chris Robison.

“Everything is constantly influencing my music. When I’m writing a song, my environment, the people around me, what sounds I heard throughout the day, and even the way I’m positioned affect how the song turns out in the end.”

Potter has a great uplifting and positive vibe on stage so come show your support for this very special artist:

Montreal’s own folk rock outfit Temporary Flings open the show. It is the brainchild of two songsmiths Shawn Thicke and Jean-Marc Grenier. Both had a hard time finding the right musicians to work with, but once they met, the chemistry sparked immediately and they came up with four songs right off the bat the first time they jammed.

Influenced by classic bands like Led Zeppelin, The Hip, and Dave Matthews Band, the misfits teamed up with rockers Zacharie Robert on bass and Jas Bat on drums to complete the lineup.

“Our songs tell stories of outcasts, underdogs, criminals, dreamers, and romantics in search of redemption”

Jesse Potter performs with Temporary Flings at Barfly, 4062A St-Laurent, Friday, March 30, 8pm

El Coyote: A Happy Accident

Alt country folk outfit El Coyote will be launching their first album of all original material at Casa this week. It was recorded, mixed and mastered by Gilles Castilloux at The Treatment Room; the go to studio for big names like Plants & Animals, Stars, Wintersleep, and We Are Wolves.

The band was a happy accident resulting from casual Friday night jams for local musicians with busy careers to let loose, have some fun, and get through the winter. But as the weeks went by, everyone around the table started to realize that there was something more to this. Originals started to appear and by springtime, a full album worth of material was ready.

El Coyote is a great blend of country, americana and bluegrass that comes with a lot of heart and soul. And the vocal harmonies are stellar.

El Coyote perform at Casa del Popolo, 4873 St-Laurent, Tuesday April 3, 8pm. Tickets $13/$15 available through Casa del Popolo

March Is For Metal

Indiana progressive metal band The Contortionist come to Montreal to rock the stage and promote their latest album Clairvoyant. The band has been part of over 22 concert tours so far. The hardworking metallers, influenced by bands like Deftones, Meshuggah and Dream Theatre, have four studio albums and three EPs so far.

Lyrically, The Clairvoyant album has a melancholy vibe. Unlike their their previous album Language, which was more upbeat, this time around the lyrics focus on death and the darker side of that.

The Contortionist is one of those bands that is the opposite of bands like Slayer, Killswitch Engage, or AC/DC who do the same thing album after album. Instead, they are taking the route of bands like Pink Floyd and Mastodon and experimenting with new ideas and sounds each album.

The band started off releasing their first album of typical heaviness: down tuned guitars, with big riffs and lots of chugging. Solid album but nothing that set them apart from the dozens of other bands doing the exact same thing.

Three albums later, with a new vocalist, the band is coming into their own. The atmospheric vibe gives their single Reimagned a dreamy feel, and you can hear pop influences within.

The Contortionists perform at Théâtre Fairmount, 5240 Ave du Parc, Saturday, March 31st at 7pm. Tickets are $28 and available through Théâtre Fairmount

Riding The Electropop Wave

Hailing from North Carolina, Grammy nominated duo Sylvan Esso have been working the circuit since 2013 with their brand of indie-electro pop. Their first album reached No. 39 on The Billboard 200, and they’ve played The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

The band has come a long way. Both musicians were in bands that never went anywhere. But a chance encounter at The Cactus Club in Milwaukee changed their destinies forever.

They recorded their self titled debut album in an apartment bedroom and started touring in a Toyota Prius, the band having to do their own light show. 12 months later, they were headlining theatres and playing big festivals.

Their second album garnished positive reviews. Geena Kloeppel of Spin wrote:

“What Now finds the band questioning the confines of electronic pop music, deconstructing traditional notions of beat and melody with intricacy and ingenuity.”

What Now includes the single Coffee which has streamed 47 million times on spotify.

Sylvain Esso perform at Théâtre Corona, 2490 Notre-Dame Ouest, Tuesday, April 3, 8pm. Tickets available through Evenko

And For Those Who Like Things A Little More Polished

M bar is hosting an interesting evening Friday; distinguishing themselves from the rock, pop and metal going on this week, we have a special show that is swinging with jazz, lounge, and art rock.

The all star lineup of The Firing Squad consists of Alex Lepanto, drums, Gideon Yellin, guitar, and Lloyd White, bass. This professional backing band will be supplying the tunes for inspiring singer Enzo S, as he brings his version of jazz, funk and rhythm and blues to the stage.

Incredibly, this show is absolutely FREE. Plus, happy hour is happening LATE, so you’ll have from 10pm-12pm to fill up on cheap drinks and enjoy some TOP NOTCH musicians grace the stage.

The Firing Squad & Enzo S perform at M Montreal, 1245 rue Saint-André, Friday, March 31, 10pm, FREE

* Featured image of The Firing Squad 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!

Hello dear Forget The Box readers!

The clocks have sped up, we just had our first day of spring and things are looking on the up and up. You can feel it in the air as the sun shone the other day and everyone felt anticipation for the good weather on its way in.

It’s a very hopeful time of the year and the artists this week are the first performers to bring in this wonderful season: there’s 16 year old prodigy Billie Eilish, pop music’s savior from the likes of Britney Spears and company, the classic old school metal Iced Earth, and local working class musicians Naghmeh and the Southern Shores all playing in town this week.

Naghmeh and the Southern Shores: Local and Soulful

“Her love for nature and her positive vibes spill out of her music.. the energy of Naghmeh and the Southern Shores is contagious … leaves you wanting more.”

– Fred di Santo, Artist Relations @ Godin Guitars.

Come check out Iranian Canadian front woman Naghmeh Shafiei and her bandmates Don Pinkerton (drums), David Saveliosky (bass) and Seth Duin (lead guitar) for a late brunch performance at L’Escalier. Fusing Persian melodies and rhythms in her vocals with soulful rock and folk influences, Naghmeh draws bits and pieces from the likes of Metallica and The Eagles, and her open minded taste in several genres.

If you are a fan of melodramatic/quasi-sarcastic lyrics, you are sure to be entertained. It’s always a score to come see a band of seasoned performers play.

This hard working band plays a live gig or two every month, so the four-piece are not new to the scene. They’ve hit up Casa Del Popolo, Grumpys, and Brutopia among other well known bars.

Naghmeh had been gracing the stages of open mics in Vancouver, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, Calgary, and Berlin prior to settling down in Montreal. And it shows. The energetic front woman has great stage presence and knows how to work a crowd.

“I often think and write about love and war, about friends and family, about gratitude and uncertainty. About all and nothing at all.”

Naghmeh and the Southern Shores perform at l’Escalier, 552 Ste-Catherine Est, Saturday March 24th from 3-5pm. Free

Iced Earth

Hailing from Tampa Florida, birthplace of Death Metal, Iced Earth brings its 34 year rich history to Montreal. Spearheaded by founding member and main songwriter/guitarist Jon Schaffer, with 11 studio albums thus far, fans of bands like Death and Testament are in for a real treat.

.So come join Iced Earth for a night of old school thrash, power metal and that special Florida metal sound that grows alongside the orange tree groves of Sunkist.

The Noise and Heavy Montréal present Iced Earth performing with Sanctuary and Kill Ritual at Théâtre Corona, 2490 Notre-Dame Ouest, Sunday, March 25 at 7:30pm. Tickets available through Evenko

Billie Eilish

If you haven’t hear of 16 year old prodigy Billie Eilish, you’ve definitely heard her single Ocean Eyes that went viral and has 35 million streams on Spotify. The young musician is making waves, with Apple naming her their Upnext Artist last October.

Born into a family of actors and musicians, Eilish was raised and home schooled in Los Angeles where at age 11 she started writing songs with her brother. Although her songs are pop in nature, she’s got an unusual take on the genre.

“My first real song was about the zombie apocalypse…I literally watched The Walking Dead and I took little lines from it.”

Her song Bellyache is about a psychopath who s just killed all her friends. And her lyrics for the track Hostage are also unexpected:

I want to steal your soul
And hide in your treasure chest

The pop star also has a unconventional style: baggy pants, track suits, silver hair and likes wearing a Louis Vuitton scarf around her neck in the heat of the summer.

“I just like dressing out of my comfort zone. I want to dress in a way that if I was in a room full of people wearing regular clothes, I would be like “Oh I bet everyone’s looking at me. I want to feel that way. That’s my casual.”

Billie Eilish performs with Reo Cragun at Théâtre Corona, 2490 Notre-Dame Ouest, Tuesday, March 27 at 8pm. The show was originally moved from Fairmount Theatre because it was sold out but now is sold out at the larger venue as well

* Featured Image of Naghmeh and the Southern Shores via naghmehasong.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. 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!

Hooray! It’s the last week of winter. Time has sprung forward, the clouds are starting to part ways, and even though it’s still cold outside I swear I saw these dudes wearing florescent shorts the other day.

Montreal, as usual, has tons of live shows going on. We made a special effort to fine tune our list for some truly relevant picks that we believe would be of special interest to you, our dear readers. We got pop, we got heavy, we got psychedelic, we got folk, we’ve got the political and more!

Oh and the prices are quite attractive for all the shows, I’d even venture to say that some of these are being had at bargain basement prices. So don’t let some great opportunities pass you by and enjoy our pics of the week!

The Moonlight Club: A Show Not To Be Missed

Montreal’s own The Moonlight Club plays an intimate show Thursday March 15th @ L’Escogriffe to launch their first LP. If you’re in the mood for emotive dreamy music with a hefty dose of 80s new wave hooks, you’ll be kicking yourself for missing this one.

This raw authentic power trio doesn’t play shows that often so you’ll want to jump on this one. We had the pleasure of interviewing the band. You can read it and then head down to l’Esco for an early show.

The Moonlight Club LP Launch is at l”Escogriffe, 4461 St-Denis, Thursday, March 15, 5-8pm, FREE

Earthless: Tight Power Trio With Heavy Grooves And Lots Of Vocals This Time Around

Hailing from San Diego, instrumental band Earthless combines classic & psychedelic rock, modal jazz (think Miles Davis) and krautrock. Don’t get the wrong idea, though, these guys are not stoner rock. In fact, they don’t even smoke pot and would rather opt for a refreshing iced tea.

They’ll be supporting their newly released album, Black Heaven, playing at L’Astral on Thursday March 15th. The band recorded the album in Joshua Tree, California, with Eagles of Death Metal’s Dave Catching producing.

Although Earthless has been mainly an instrumental band, this is the first album where the majority of the songs have vocals. If you are into bands like Rocket From The Crypt, Nebula, Hot Snakes, you’ll want to see these guys play live.

Oh, and the new vocals sound fantastic. Here’s a sample:

At $24.75, attending this concert is a real steal.

Earthless with Kikagaku Moyo and Jjuujjuu perform at L’Astral, 305 Ste-Catherine Ouest, Thursday, March 15, 8pm. Tickets available through Evenko

Beth Ditto: Outspoken Singer Graces The Stage In Montreal

She’s got vocal pipes of steel. She can keep up with the likes of Janis Joplin, Tina Turner and Eta James. The former singer of punk band Gossip Beth Ditto will belt out dancy uplifting tunes at Theatre Fairmont Friday March 16.

She’s also an outspoken against body shaming and a supporter of LGBTQ+ rights and isn’t shy to be known as “a fat, feminist, lesbian from Arkansas. “A real refreshing take on pop music:

Beth Ditto with SSION performs at Fairmount Theatre, 5240 Ave du Parc, Friday, March 16th, 9pm. Tickets are $34.05 and available through Evenko

Hobo Party: A Beautiful Evening of Acoustic Based Music With Music Sang From The Heart

Truly a feast for the ears. This is my personal underdog show for this week; and what a diamond in the rough. Listening to the music, I’m just amazed how soulful these two local acts are, a real treat at a price a fraction of what the show is worth.

Fingerpicking goodness resonates from Ol Savannah with music sung deep from their southern souls. They’ve been honing their sound since 2008, first as a duo and then expanding into a five-piece with three albums under their belt.

You can hear them harnessing the sounds of Appalachian hill music and delta Mississippi blues. This show will be a launch for their new EP Hobo so make sure you get your CD/download. Check out their superb rendition of Nobody’s Fault But Mine:

Opening act bluegrass/folk/punk/pop Bats In The Belfry is an all female string trio that play songs that are truly haunting and heartwarming about the human condition with superb vocals. An engaged fan came up with the best description yet of their style: Darkgrass. Here is a track from Hounded; an album that truly stirs the soul:

This is a benefit show to support Montreal’s Sun Youth. So bring canned goods, and some unused clothing to donate and get $2 off the $10 door price.

Once again, what a steal this show will be, and combined with a great cause, you can’t go wrong.

Ol Savannah with Bats in the Belfry perform at l”Escogriffe, 4461 St-Denis, Thursday, March 15th at 9pm (following The Moonlight Club). $10 at the door or $8 with a donation

Gutserversary: A Night Of Heavy Music and Optional Debauchery

It will be loud. It will be heavy. Gutser will be headlining their fourth anniversary show presented by CJLO and GrimeyMTL on  Friday.

Although billed as a band “too lazy to break up” their album Gutser Sucks (2016) is tight, and well defined and screams hard working musicians:

If your in need of some catharsis, you’ll enjoy Venomenon’s dark heavy grooves. With its tight rhythm section and prominent vocals, you’ll enjoy this high quality local band:

Aggressive, no holds barred, Jesus Horse will blow your eardrums out with their harsh aggressive bombastic groove-alicious tracks:

KATO rounds off the bill; although we couldn’t find a demo, they have a cool name and that counts for something, right?

Four Year Gutserversary is at Casa Del Popolo, 4873 Boul St-Laurent, Friday, March 16th at 8:30pm. Tickets are $5 in advance or $7/PWYC at the door

* Featured image via Earthless on Bandcamp

* 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!

The Moonlight Club is a Montreal based power trio with exceptional songwriting craft that released their first LP on Feb 2nd, 2018 including two official singles. They possess a refreshing and energizing signature sound that demonstrates strong hooks combined with inspired creativity.

You don’t want to miss their intimate album launch at L’Escogriffe this Thursday.

Fact Sheet

Time spent in studio: 9 days
Number of songs on LP: 7
Number of musicians: 3
Sound: lush jangly guitars with a generous helping of 80s new wave hooks
Band formation: 2010
Artist Development Support: Indie Montreal
Past work: 2 EPs (2015, 2016)

They look like typical indie rockers you’ll spot walking the shady streets of the Mile End; beards, jeans, tattoos and semi-hollow guitars. But what distinguishes this power trio are its songs: energetic, authentic, with an unusual intensity.

The indie three-piece drew inspiration for the band’s name from a club in London’s West End Lane that showcased bands that were part of the New Romantics club scene of the 80s including Joy Division and The Specials. The fact that psychedelic electronic act The Stone Roses played there before the beloved club closed down added to its mystic appeal.

Primary songwriter, guitarist and lead singer Francois Royer Mireault and John Pankert (bass and vocals) each jammed with a lot of musicians over the years but it was really their chemistry together that fueled their passion to embark on a musical journey that captured the attention of artist development firm Indy Montreal.

That chemistry remained strong and lead to the creation of their first EP, Words in Gold, in 2015, and then again to their next big step which was recording their first debut self-titled album in 2017.

Francois draws inspiration from The Stone Roses, Neil Young and The Kinks.

“These bands write beautiful timeless songs that leave you dreaming for days. They record songs in their own way with their own quirks and particularities. These artists write songs that come from an honest place.”

Frank Rousso’s agile expressive drumming and John’s groove laden deep bass lines draw inspiration from bands like Half Moon Run, Plants & Animals and Leif Vollebekk.

An Obsession With Songwriting

Francois’s approach to songwriting is organic and free flowing, where there is no start or finish.

“I’m always observing reality and re-purposing it into a song.”

His phone is filled with little bits of ideas here and there. When the right time comes, he’ll use his backlog of 15-20 ideas and then he’ll hunker down and really focus on the details.

Both he and John, the band’s other primary songsmith, work on their concepts by themselves until a sketch is ready to show others. After that, its months of fine tuning with the objective ears of friends and band-mates and then a final spin with a producer.

“Songwriting isn’t just a craft, it’s an obsession. There is no recipe. You can copy tricks from famous songwriters and pop stars but it won’t feel authentic. Your audience knows instinctively when a song is authentic and when it’s not.”

Living Life Large At Breakglass Studios

The band burrowed themselves away for only nine days in the studio to emerge back into the world with seven brand new songs. They chose to record at famed Breakglass Studios nestled in a loft in the hills of Montreal’s leafy Plateau.

With 5000 square feet, vintage Fender Silverface amps, a 70s Ludwig drum kit, a grocery list of ribbon microphones, and a 1968 Neve Pre 80 Series input console; the boys were in good company. Guided by the wisdom of talented producer David Smith (Elephant Stone, Patrick Watson, Leif) the band went on a musical journey and discovered what they were made of.

Spacious Dreamlike Sounds From The Ether

In the vein of less is more, The Moonlight Club demonstrates that a lot can come out of simplicity.

Although they already recorded two EPs before this album, their core signature sound has remained the same. If anything, they’ve refined the arrangements for recording their first LP demonstrating an increase in confidence and willingness to reveal more.

With less fills, less distortion, less speed and more space for vocals, and the addition of agile drummer Francois Rousseau, the band has channeled the spirit of raw authentic bands like Neil Young and Joy Divison, celebrating their own unique take of an expansive energizing sound.

“Our sound is a natural response to the overproduced music on the airwaves right now. It’s just not good for your brain or your soul.”

The band opted for a raw sound for other reasons as well such as limited studio time and being a three piece power trio, but perhaps even more importantly:

“It’s way more fun to just plug and play,” Francois noted, “when the band plays live, what you hear on the record is what you hear on stage.”

Future Endeavors

Plans for 2018 include several shows already booked in Montreal for the upcoming months, filming some original video clips for some of the songs as well as creative side projects for various members of the band. Also, there are some live sessions with local radios in the pipeline. In addition, the band has their eye on getting on the roster for outdoor summer festivals to gain exposure to a wider fan base.

You can catch them launch their album and perform this Thursday, November 15th, at l’Escogriffe, 4461 St-Denis, from 5 to 8pm. Until then, check out their site or give a listen to their first single:

Nuit Blanche, for me, is all about checking out as many random things as I can with friends, running into people I haven’t seen in a while and taking the metro home at a time it doesn’t usually run just because I can. This past Saturday was all tgat, but also a chance to celebrate and remember the unforgettable Montreal poet, songwriter and icon Leonard Cohen.

After some time spent at a church and the obligatory run through the Belgo Buildings, we braved the sea of humanity in Place des Festivals to make our way to the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (or the MAC) where the exhibit Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything was showing. The line looked daunting at first, but moved quickly for a Nuit Blanche line.

The first room we entered turned out to be the one we would spend the most time in. It was all about Leonard’s music career, with concert footage from each era mixed in with interviews and archival photos and video simultaneously projected on three walls.

It was on a loop but it took about an hour for the whole loop to start again. It was chock full of great footage and I saw a good chunk of the crowd singing along at several points and caught myself doing the same.

After being treated to a quality mini musical doc, we checked out the rest of the exhibit. There were rooms with presumably equally as thorough videos on Leonard’s poetry and writing and one with an organ where each key played a recording of Leonard saying something.

I would have liked to spend more time in these rooms, but the Nuit Blance bustle and the fact that it was close to closing time (pun intended) for the museum meant I would have to do that some time in the future (okay, enough, two is pushing it). Seriously, though, I will make a point of returning to fully immersing myself in this exhibit before it closes.

While the use of technology was impressive throughout, there was one section, separated into two rooms, that took it to the next level. In the first, there was one screen with a choir singing Leonard Cohen songs (what else). Rather, they were singing parts of Leonard Cohen songs.

When you went around the corner, there was a larger room with what seemed like over 20 screens in a circle facing inwards. Each one had a different person on it and they were all singing or speaking different parts of the same song the choir in the other room was singing, in sync.

If you got close enough to one screen, you heard that person either taking part in the song or moving around, rustling pages or clearing their throat quietly. It was very intimate and human and technologically slick at the same time.

Pretty sure all or at least most of the people were local, too. I recognized one person I know and a few others seemed very familiar.

And then there was the hologram. Yes, in a room made up to look like Leonard’s from some non-specific time in his lengthy career, there was a balcony with a Leonard Cohen hologram sitting down and looking out on the city.

While everything on Nuit Blanche was free and this exhibit normally isn’t, I don’t mind paying to take it in again and fully experience it. From what I already experienced, it’s unique, a great tribute and worth it.

Really glad that Leonard was part of my Nuit Blanche this year.

* Featured image by Stephanie Laughlin

** Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything runs at the MAC until April 9, 2018

This week’s preview will be focused entirely on the Third Annual N.D.G. Porchfest which is set to take place this Saturday and Sunday. If you’re unfamiliar, here’s the event in a nutshell: It’s a music festival open to any solo artist or band that has access to a porch located somewhere in the borough and is willing to put on a free show for whomever passes by.

Some of the artists are professionals who perform for a living while others are basement warriors who just want their tunes to see a little daylight. The beauty of this fest is that all are welcome.

PorchFest 2015 photo by Jesse Anger

While you would most commonly associate this DIY festival with Folk/Blues/Rock music, the fact is it’s open to any genre as long as the artist is willing to translate their style to a porch setting. The result is you can walk the streets of N.D.G and hear just about every kind of music.

They pushed the fest back by a couple of weeks this year and it seems like a great decision. The forecast is calling for comfortably warm weather and mostly blue skies which is highly relevant for a fest that takes place completely outside.

Image courtesy Aurora Robinson/Porchfest

With close to a hundred acts in the festival there’s no way to talk about everything that’s going on. We at FTB have decided to highlight a few of the shows to give you a taste of the event but you should really take a look at their online schedule or download and print out their Printable Maps and embark on your very own musical “choose your own adventure.”

See you on the sidewalks!

Cräckers & Jam

A good place to start your Saturday off would be with Cräckers & Jam who will be bringing their laid back brand of indie rock to the good people of Marlowe Avenue. This is not only a nice way to ease into the afternoon but a very central place to start from with tons of shows on the surrounding blocks.

Cräckers & Jam play 2119 Avenue Marlowe, Saturday May 20th, 12:00pm.

Oxford Street

If you want to participate but have trouble getting around we suggest you stick to Oxford Street on Saturday where there will be four bands playing at two addresses quite close to each other. At 2157 Oxford will be Dirty ol’ Band and Steelburner while 2309 Oxford will host Hot Club Trio and The Vlcheks. The shows are set up so that no two bands are playing at the same time.

 

Dirty ol’ Band and Steelburner play 2157 Oxford, Saturday May 20th, 1pm and 2pm.

Hot Club Trio and The Vlcheks play 2309 Oxford, Saturday May 20th, 3pm and 4pm.

Voodoo Jazz

If you like jazz, blues, soul and funk music mixed together with quite a bit of horns, then we suggest you head down to Melrose late Sunday morning for Voodoo Jazz. Back after a break of a few years, this band is ready to treat PorchFest audiences to both instrumental numbers and songs with vocals.

Voodoo Jazz play 4333 Melrose, Sunday, May 21st, 11am

* Featured image from PorchFest 2015 by Jesse Anger

* 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!

With the summer concert season just around the corner and more and more people heading out to shows, we’ve decided to keep this week’s suggestions simple. All shows are tomorrow (Saturday) and we even have your brunch covered. Let’s get started:

Yes No Toaster: Brunch Concert with La Famille Ouellette

On Saturday morning IndieMontreal will be putting on another installment of their brunch concert series in conjunction with Festival Vue sur la Relève. This time it will feature La Famille Ouellette, a Montreal based indie-pop-rock ensemble consisting of six “brothers” who broke on the scene last year when they won the 2016 installment of the Francouvertes.

If you’re unfamiliar with the event, the concept is pretty simple: you go over to Divan Orange where there’s a brunch buffet and while you chow down you get to hear some killer live music. They’re expecting to sell out so it’s best to get your ticket in advance, details below.

La Famille Ouellette play Divan Orange, 4234 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Saturday, May 13th, 12:00 pm (Doors at 11:30am), $22 in advance through IndieMontreal, $27 at the door.

 

Laura Marling

On Saturday night British Folk singer/songwriter Laura Marling will be at Théâtre Corona as part of a tour in support of her new album Semper Feminina which was released in March. Her sound is most known for captivating lyrics, beautiful melodies and song arrangements that break the stereotypes of traditional folk.

Marling has been garnering success and accolades since she broke on the British music scene back in 2006. At present she’s not as well known on this side of the pond so if you’re unfamiliar with her work here’s a small sample.

Laura Marling plays Théâtre Corona, 2490 Notre-Dame Ouest, Saturday, May 13th, 8:00 pm (Doors at 7:o0 pm), $28 in advance through box office, $31 at the door.

 

Hot Flash Heat Wave

Also on Saturday night you can head over to Casa Del Popolo where San Franciso based dream-pop-rockers Hot Flash Heat Wave will be stopping in. Set to release their second album Soaked on June 2nd this will be a great way to check out some brand new tracks.

If you’re not familiar with the band then check out their soundcloud page for a great sample of their tunes. The video for the single Gold Years is already out as well, so give it a listen!

Hot Flash Heat Wave play Casa Del Popolo, 4848 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Saturday, May 13th, 8:00 pm, $10 available through lfttckt.

* Featured image of La Famille Ouellette courtesy of IndieMontreal

* 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!

Well it looks like those April showers brought May… urrrr more showers. Not to worry, there’s plenty of great stuff to do inside this weekend. Here’s two options for tonight and one for tomorrow for you to consider.

Jaimie Branch Quartet + Jane/KIN

Head over to La Vitrola tonight where Suoni Per Il Popolo and CKUT are putting on an evening of jazz music featuring trumpet player Jaimie Branch who is set to release her debut album Fly or Die today. Based in New York, by way of Chicago, Branch is known mostly for her improvised and experimental style of jazz.

Translation: a live concert is a great way to get to know her music. Any performance that isn’t fully scripted always has a certain type electricity flowing through it because you’re basically seeing something that’s unique to that moment.

Jaimie Branch Quartet and Jane/KIN play La Vitrola, 4602 Boulevard St. Laurent, Friday, May 5th, 8:30pm (Doors at 8:00pm), $12 in advance, $15 at the door.

 

Shana Falana + Abrdeen + Femme Accident

Over at Turbo Haüs tonight will be Kingston NY’s own Shana Falana, local act Femme Accident and Quebec City based Abrdeen who are having the Montreal leg of their launch party for their debut album Endless Nights and Dreamlike Mornings which came out on April 7th. Abrdeen describes themselves as “soft make-out rock” and if you give a few tracks a listen it’s obvious they know perfectly well how to define their sound.

If I had to pick one word to describe this lineup as a whole it would be dreamy. Expect a ton of reverb, laid back vocals and the constant feeling that you’re floating over top of the stage. A great all natural and perfectly legal way to feel nice and high.

Shana Falana, Abrdeen and Femme Accident play Turbo Haüs, 5011 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Friday, May 5th, 9:00pm, $10.

 

Black Salvia + Art the band + Ignatius + Calomine

Saturday night you can check out this week’s winner for coolest band name Art: The Band who will be bringing their mix of jazz, math rock, hip hop and about ten other genres I don’t know the names for to the Crobar stage. This Toronto based quintet has a sound all to their own and would be perfect for someone looking for a show that’s outside the mainstream.

Also on the bill are Black Salvia, Ignatius and Calomine making this quite the full evening of music. Considering you get to see four bands for only $5 this is our hands down show pick of the week for the financially challenged.

Black Salvia, Art the band, Ignatius and Calomine play Crobar, 1221 Crescent Street, Saturday, May 6th, 9:00pm, $5.

* Featured image of Art the Band via BandCamp

* 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!