In honour of the release of Denys Arcand’s most recent film, The Fall of the American Empire, I thought I would take a look at his roots, the head-turning Quebecois classic, The Decline of the American Empire (Le déclin de l’émpire américain). A film that, in 1986, seemed very topical and relevant.

The Cold War was still happening, the threat of nuclear war hung casually over everyone’s heads, the Soviet Union was on the brink of collapse, the AIDS epidemic was rampant. For some, society seemed to be in decline or at least on the brink of it.

According to one of the main characters, Dominique, in the film’s second scene, society’s decline is evident because of its focus on self-indulgence (in this film’s case, that focus is mostly on sex). This, she says, is indicative of our collective demise.

This is the thesis of her new book, Changing Concepts of Happiness, and the film itself. In an interview with her friend and journalist, Diane, Dominique recounts how this is evident in examples throughout history: in third century Rome, the idea of conjugal love first comes from Diocletian just before the Empire’s collapse and Rosseau’s idea of happiness came in during the French Revolution. Now, she argues, we are witnessing the decline of the American empire.

Diane interviewing Dominique in one of the opening scenes of the film

The film follows eight characters, mostly academics, a group of four women –  Dominique, Louise, Diane and Danielle and four men – Remy, Claude, Alain and Pierre. They are all colleagues at their university’s history department with the exception of Danielle who is a student.

The four men cook an elaborate meal at a lake-side house, while the women, in the meantime, workout at the gym. The camera constantly cuts and pans from one group to another while they indulge in recounting their sexual exploits.

Of the men, Rémy seems to be the most active hedonist of the group, as they all retell their sexual adventures seemingly trying to one-up each other. In one anecdote, he recounts that on the way to his mistress, he was craving sex so much that he had to stop at a brothel.

Alain, the youngest of the group, believes he is unlike all the others because he “doesn’t want to have sex with a new girl every night.”

Pierre lives with Danielle, who he met a massage parlor, after learning she was a student at the university.

Claude, the only gay man in the group, recounts how he likes to “cruise” gay hotspots in Montreal. He once had a lover, but he died in an accident and since then Claude has an uncontrollable lust.

He also has a mysterious disease. Claude is portrayed quite well as an openly gay man on the big screen, years before Philadelphia.

The women similarly discuss their sex lives. Diane describes her sado-masochistic relationship with her new boyfriend Mario once Louise discovers scratches on her back and notes how powerful she feels while in it experiencing the “power of the victim.”

Dominique, single and never married, is equally as promiscuous as Diane.

Danielle, the youngest among the women, is similar to Alain in that she has not had the same experiences and still believes that all she needs is to “be happy.”

Louise, the most conservative of the group and Remy’s wife, blushes at the idea of even flirting with her tennis instructor. She suspects Remy is unfaithful on his trips away but takes comfort in knowing (or rather believing) that while he is at home, he is 100% faithful. The women of course, know this is not true as both Diane and Dominique have in the past slept with Remy.

While at first, mostly all in good fun, the conversations and witty wordplay take a dark turn once they all meet for dinner. Secrets about them are spilled and grievances are voiced, exposing a group that at first seemed very modern in their sexual openness now seeming utterly unsatisfied and unfulfilled.

The degeneration of the group dynamic at this point in a way is a reflection of how Arcand saw society. That personal indulgence for indulgence’s sake is a sign of decline.

Decline is very much influenced by the 1981 film My Dinner With Andre, in its very dialogue-heavy script rife with wit. Although the focus throughout is very much on sex, we do not really see much of it. That sentiment is encapsulated well from one line from Mario:

“They talked about sex all afternoon as if they were getting ready for an orgy. Instead, the big deal is a fish pie!”

Original trailer for the film

The film itself today with its fashion as well as some racial stereotypes, comes off as dated. The ideas however, still come off as somewhat relevant.

In the era of Facebook and social media, it seems that attempts at quick personal gratification are all around us and might speak to a dissolving social structure With the election of Trump and all the other malfeasance in the world it might seem that society could be in decline once again (or even failing as Arcand would argue in his most recent film).

Some might posit, however, that to argue our “society” itself is in decline is questionable. The fall of empires have generally been a good thing for societies as it can mean change for the better, though it does, in many instances, cause periods of disarray. In this sense, the moral relativism of the film can seem kind of preachy.

Regardless of this, the film is quite fun and edgy because of its wit and subject matter and still has strains of relevance to viewers today. So before you go out and watch Arcand’s new film, I’d recommend a quick viewing of this classic first.

Feature Image Courtesy of Cineplex Odeon Films

When it comes to Tom Green, “expect the unexpected” is pretty much a given. Still, nothing could prepare me for the star of Freddy Got Fingered reciting all the Prime Ministers of Canada since Confederation in order.

But that’s exactly what he did at the end of our phone interview plugging his one-night only show at Just for Laughs. He got it right, too (yes, Wikipedia and I fact-checked Tom Green) and would have done the US Presidents, too, if it wasn’t time for him to move on to his next interview.

Green said that this history lesson will be part of his one night only show at Just for Laughs. Last time I caught him perform, modern US politics were center stage, too, as it happened in the lead-up to the last US Presidential Election. This time around, though, don’t expect him to focus on the current state of US politics.

“I don’t like my audience to think they are coming out to hear somebody preaching against Donald Trump for two hours,” he said, “because that’s not really what my show is about.”

Green feels that politics are all anyone is talking about in the States these days, including him, so while he does do a few minutes on the topic, he focuses more on “social issues and talking about the absurdity of life in today’s world, all of the things that aren’t directly associated with politics but are still kind of interconnected with them.”

Green has been performing stand-up since he was 15, with a break to get famous on MTV and in movies. For the past decade, though, he has been making live audiences laugh pretty much full time.

While he always has old and new material in his head and a tentative plan for the show, it’s never set in stone. He edits his show in his head depending on where the crowd wants him to go.

“When I do a joke that may be a little, let’s say, outrageous and if I feel that the audience loves that sort of outrageous commentary, maybe I’ll do a few more jokes like that,” he noted, “but if they’re getting tired of a certain type of subject matter, I’ll know maybe before they do and switch.”

While Green admits that many comics employ improv and audience work like him, what sets him apart are the different energy levels he brings to a show.

“It’s not just about the material,” he said, “it’s about how I’m saying the joke, the speed that I’m going. I’ll literally have nights where I’m doing standup and I’ll realize that this crowd wants me to be more weird, so I’ll change my personality on stage. Then there are some nights I’ll be performing in Las Vegas where I’ll notice the crowd wants me to be a bit more normal.”

But did all those TV stunts Green pulled off with people on the street influence his approach to stand-up?

“It’s almost in reverse,” he said, “people forget that I did stand-up for several years before I started The Tom Green Show. They don’t really necessarily realize that all that stuff on the street, that was rooted in stand-up. The rhythm of me walking down the street with a hand-held microphone talking to people on the street kinda came from me doing stand-up in a comedy club and talking to people in the crowd.”

Green does admit that they definitely both have influence on each other as he has brought his years of trying to pull comedy out of people on the street to the stand-up stage. He even tells people interested in his live show that only know him from TV and movies:

“It’s kind of like those bits I do on the street, except it’s happening live with people in the front row.”

Having seen him perform live once, I can attest to that. This time, though, the people in the front rows should probably brush up on their Canadian and American history.

* Tom Green: One Night Only, part of the 2018 Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, is Wednesday, July 25, 9:30pm at Maison Théâtre, 245 Ontario Est. Tickets available through hahaha.com

Francisco Ramos is a newcomer to Just for Laughs. A Venezuelan who moved to the United States in his teens, he has a unique perspective on what it’s like south of the border for immigrants, something that is prominent in his comedy and which has surprisingly remained constant even in the current political climate.

“I thought it was going to be more especially when Trump became President,” Ramos said in a phone interview, “but it hasn’t. It’s kind of been the same in terms of stereotypes that people have not for Venezuelans but for Latinos in general. I still use it to get my comedy out there and get the stereotypes out.”

Ramos, who will be performing in this year’s JFL Ethnic Show, doesn’t feel that American comedians, in particular those from visible minority backgrounds, have an obligation to address the current state of US politics. He has noted, however, that he never experienced racism or discrimination in Venezuela, but has since he arrived in the US.

“I think that when you’re an ethnic comic, especially in the States, and I know a lot of them, we don’t talk about it because we need to or we have to,” he observed, “ it’s stuff that has happened to us and we have some kind of experience and then we talk about it.”

While Ramos’ comedy does touch on politics, it’s not the main point.

“For me the main thing is to always be funny, he commented, “I’m not going to talk about anything that’s not funny. I do hit it but I don’t go so direct to it. I will be talking about it but it’s give them the funny first. I also don’t try to divide people. Everybody’s got their own beliefs and I try and respect that. I will tell my point of view, but in a funny way.”

One thing that does come out quite a bit in his comedy, and surely will at The Ethnic Show, is the all too common misconception in the states that Latino means Mexican.

“I mean I get it,” Ramos observed, “because the majority of Latinos in the US are Mexican. If that’s what you grow up with, that’s what you think everybody is. For me I’m trying to go ‘yeah, there’s Mexicans, those are Venezuelans, those are Colombians and we’re similar but we also have our differences’. I try to take it as a whole as hit on those universal things that I can do with my comedy. If I hit that, more people will be interested in seeing me and hearing more about the other stories they haven’t heard of.”

Ramos majored in the admittedly un-funny fields of Finance and International Business and started working at an investment firm after college. Then, after what he describes as a “quarter-life crisis” he moved to LA to do standup.

This journey has led him to the JFL stage for the first time. He is thrilled to be here, and when asked about the current state of US-Canada relations:

“I’d say, well now you feel how we feel. I’d say to Canada ‘keep doing what you do’ because you’re doing a great job with your prime minister and everything.”

* Francisco Ramos performs as part of The Ethnic Show in the Just for Laughs Festival starting Wednesday, July 11. Tickets available through hahaha.com

It’s festival season in Montreal and FTB is ready for it. Once again, we will be covering Just for Laughs, the world’s largest comedy festival, now under the stewardship of Howie Mandel among others after founder Gilbert Rozon was forced to step down after several women accused him of sexual assault and harassment.

The festival released a new anti-harassment policy today. While  they promise a better environment behind the scenes, they certainly seem to be staying the (successful) course on stage.

There are the big names like Trevor Noah, Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart, David Cross, Tiffany Haddish, William H. Macy (I had no idea he did standup) and the aforementioned Mandel. There are also the up-and-coming comics and eternally solid comedians populating the OFF-JFL stages. Festival staples like The Nasty Show and The Ethnic Show are back, too.

Our four-person coverage team is off and running even before the festival kicks off. In the next few days, expect to read Samantha Gold’s interview with Francisco Ramos performing at The Ethnic Show, Ellana Blacher’s conversation with The Nasty Show’s Ms. Pat and my Canadian History lesson from none other than Tom Green. Hannah Besseau will round out our pre-festival coverage with some audio interviews.

Then the real fun begins!

Just for Laughs runs July 11-29. Check hahaha.com for the complete schedule and to purchase tickets and check FTB for our coverage!

In a world that’s crumbling around us it’s good to showcase people and projects that give us hope. Canadian filmmakers Nova Ami and Velcrow Ripper have done just that with their film Metamorphosis.

Full of breathtaking cinematography, soothing meditative music, and incredible insights into the lives of those living through climate change and the artists, scientists, and architects fighting it, the film is one of the few nonjudgmental ones on the subject. It resonates without judging, stating the facts with beautiful images and heartrending stories of people living through what many would deny is happening all around us. The message is not one of impending catastrophe so much as one of hope and potential through creativity.

I had the privilege of speaking with writers/director/producers Nova Ami and Velcrow Ripper on the phone while they were promoting the film in Calgary. This is what we discussed:

Samantha Gold: You call the film a poem for the planet. What exactly does that mean?

Velcrow Ripper: It’s a cinematic poem… It’s not a literal essay. It’s more intended to spark the imagination, to inspire people and help us fall in love with the planet but also to wake up to what we’re doing to the planet. The examples of positive solutions in the film are all captured in spectacular visual style and they’re tended to be more design principles than literal projects that needed to be done.

If people could take one message away from seeing your film, what would it be?

Nova Ami: One message would be that crisis is an opportunity for transformation and that we have a choice in terms of how we respond to this crisis.

Who do you think needs to hear this message most?

V.R.: I’m thinking everyone really. You know from people who are very aware and concerned about the planet and who might be in a state of despair right now. Environmental scientists are probably the most depressed people on the planet right now because they know details so much… All the way to people who are in climate denial and who are suffering from psychic numbing. They also need to recognize the possibility inherent in this crisis and the fact that the solutions and the changes that we need to make to our society to combat climate change are also gonna make our lives better. It’s a win-win situation.

A lot of people think that fighting climate change is more of a task for people in the STEM fields – Science, Technology, Engineering and so on. Your film gave quite a bit of attention to artists doing their part. What do you think is the greatest contribution artists can make to this fight?

N.A.: In terms of art being a way to start a conversation and to allow the viewer to project their own meaning onto it as well. One of the responses that we’re getting about the film is that it’s not preachy or judgmental or lecturing and so it’s a more abstract way of representing what’s going on. It helps us think outside of the box and gives us something to meditate on.

V.R.: Art throughout history has been a very powerful force in social change. Art can wake us up and shake us up and move us on emotional and psychological levels and the film really explores the emotional and psychic aspects of climate change and we felt that art was a really powerful way to delve into these ideas and represent them visually.

You gave almost equal footing to scientists, farmers, and artists in the film. How do you think that science and art can converge in the fight against climate change?

N.A.: A lot of the solutions are very creative and in terms of using our creativity to find solutions to solve some of the problems that we’re facing. I think that’s one of the ways.

V.R.: Another way is that artists can communicate some of the concepts that scientists don’t necessarily express that well to the public.

What do you mean by that?

V.R. : There’s a communication problem with climate change. Just throwing more facts at people doesn’t always work. What we need more than anything is a cultural shift and artists can really help with that and I think scientists and artists working together have a lot of exciting possibilities. One of the things in the film is the Earthships – they’re like pieces of art that you live in that are a hundred percent sustainable – it’s a beautiful combination of art and practicality.

* Check out their site for screening info and their Facebook page for events

It’s summer in the city and things are about to get really hot, and I do mean in the regards to the Montreal music scene. If these upcoming show are any indication of the weather then I predict it’s going to be a very hot, sunny and sultry season. So now’s the time to get your suntan lotion and earplugs ready, here are your shows this week:

Festival SOIR Kicks Off

The festival SOIR will kick off this weekend along Mount-Royal. It encompasses 15 businesses that will “navigate through and between unsettling expositions, distinguished performances and immersive construct. ”

Tonight Montreal chef extraordinaire with a voice of an angel, Beaver Sheppard, will be playing with his band Co/ntry along with Petra Glynt and Birds of Paradise, a trippy art pop duo.

Petra Glynt’s art rock will take you in all kinds of interesting directions. You won’t know if you listening to it standing up or upside-down.

Birds of Paradise, Co/ntry and Petra Glynt perform at L’escogriffe, 4467 St Denis, on Friday June 22 at 10pm. Tickets are $12 and available at lepointedevant.com

The festival SOIR is running until the August 10th. You can check out there variety of performances at soirmtl.com

The Brie Face

If you’re down to see some great hard rock/nouveau punk this weekend then Bistro de Paris is the place to be as The Brie Face will be blasting their audience with punk and hard sensibility.

The Brie Face perform with Cardiff Giant and Pirate Radio at Bisto de Paris, 4536 Saint-Denis, on Saturday, June 23, 9pm. Tickets are $6 and available at the door

Aaron Allen & the Small City Saints

This Saturday check out Aaron Allen play songs from his latest album Judgement Day.He has been lauded for paving a new path for modern country music, while paying homage to its traditions.

Aaron Allen & The Small City Saints perform with Ivan Rivers and Pat Fockler at Barfly, 4062A S-Laurent, Friday June 22, 9pm.

Chad Valley

The electronic sounds of Chad Valley have been called ethereal and mysterious or as I like to call it: The perfect summer music. He’ll be playing with Aquarius dreams.

Chad Valley performs with Aquarius Dreams at Quai des Brumes, 4481 St-Denis, Tuesday June 26, 9pm. Tickets available through Indie Montreal for $12 or $15 at the door.

* 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!

Apocalipsync is the kind of play you go to when you don’t want to think or worry. You just want to enjoy.

A collaborative effort by House of Laureen, a self-professed drag family, the title is self explanatory. Set in the year 2024 where corporate greed and the political left’s obsession with safe spaces resulted in the apocalypse, the show’s three main queens, Uma Gahd, Dot Dot Dot, and Anaconda LaSabrosa, are trying to salvage what’s left and unite humanity.

When I asked Uma Gahd what message audiences should take away from this play, this was her reply:

“I think just that with what’s happened in Ontario right now, it couldn’t have been better timing for a horrible thing to happen because my character represents the kind of thinking that got people into office. If you look at Doug Ford, he doesn’t have a platform! He didn’t have a projected financial plan or anything but his personality or one little thing that he put up that was just scary enough, got people to vote for him…Watch out for the people who aren’t saying things… Listen to the people who aren’t saying anything and BE WARY!”

Unfortunately the message House of Laureen wanted to convey in the play is a bit lost in all the kitsch and drama, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Not everyone wants to see a play that’s too political, and the post-apocalyptic drag costumes and well choreographed lip syncs makes this easier to watch for anyone wanting a break from the abysmally depressing current events in the United States and Canada.

The show’s queens each represent a political viewpoint.

Dot Dot Dot represents the far left, obsessed with recycling human waste via composting toilets, something Dot herself is personally obsessed with. In the play it makes for great comic relief as human waste in this world is highly toxic.

Uma Gahd represents the far right, someone obsessed with human comfort via shelters that actually give you some privacy. As Gahd told me in a post show interview, her character is all about maintaining and her costume was designed to show just that. She’s the only queen who is wearing stiletto heels and a corset throughout the entire play along with a full-length skirt that – by her own admission – she was constantly tripping on.

Anaconda LaSabrosa, a big beautiful bearded queen, represents anarchy. Though her character seems to play dumb, she has the most complex thoughts of any in the play.

The song choices in the play are perhaps the best insights into the characters. Anaconda’s lip sync of Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball fits the anarchist platform of political destruction. Uma Gahd’s lip sync of Makeup by Amanda Blank conveys the character’s obsession with maintaining appearances, while Dot Dot Dot’s lip sync of Walking on Sunshine by Katrina & The Waves displays the obnoxious optimism of her far-left character.

The show is narrated by Peaches LePage, resplendent in pale makeup, lizard hands, and traffic cone boobs. She adds that extra bit of snark and worldly wisdom while managing to seem politically neutral during her brief appearances.

The play’s main flaw was an issue with sound. It was too loud and pitchy, making the audio of the queens’ thoughts as they sat by a fire a little hard to distinguish from the announcements of the world’s leaders via radio. Hopefully they’ll fix the issue for future performances.

That said, fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race may be a little disappointed with what they see. As Director Noah Gahd and the cast told me, most drag queens cannot afford the thousand-dollar dresses and wigs that you see among the contestants on the show. As Peaches LePage wisely said during the interview:

“If you’re not going into massive amounts of debt, you’re not doing drag,”

The costumes in the play are homemade by the cast and it shows. While they do give that post-apocalyptic feel, they maintain the glamour the genre requires. It’s a demonstration of their DIY skills that they’re all beautiful to look at despite limited budgets.

If you want to have a bit of fun and take a break from all the politics in the air and immerse yourself in a world of glitter and catchy tunes, check out Apocalipsync. It’s fun!

Apocalipsync: Humanity is a Drag has two performances left, tonight and tomorrow afternoon. Tickets available through MontrealFringe.ca

Aaaahh, June in Montreal. The time when you can’t walk around any part of the city without running into a local show or even a full-blown festival. There’s so much going on, we can’t possibly whittle it down to just a few listings, but that’s exactly what we’ve done, so let’s get started:

Folk Fest on the Canal

There are three things that make this festival stand out:

  1. It’s called the Folk Fest and the lineup is largely, wait for it…folk music. Sure, there are some acts that verge into somewhat less folky territory, like this year’s indie rock headliners Plants and Animals, but there is always a clear line back to folk. In a town where the (anything but) Jazz Fest reigns, it’s a refreshing change.
  2. It’s community-oriented and clean. It takes place entirely in the Sud Ouest Borough and mostly along the banks of the Lachine Canal. Also, the port-o-johns are spotless and so are the festival grounds. Like Osheaga but with people picking up after themselves.
  3. It’s Free! While donations are encouraged and there is a VIP area this year you can buy into, access to the festival and its three stages is free.

You have three options to head on down to the Canal and catch some tunes in the great outdoors. It’s a folk-ing great time!

 

Montreal Folk Fest runs June 15, 16 and 17. For complete schedule visit MontrealFolkFest.com

Naghmeh and the Southern Shores

We’ve mentioned Naghmeh and the Southern Shores in this column before, but you can never get enough of this local band’s blend of Persian melodies with rock and folk and notably interesting lyrics. They’re playing again tonight, this time at Grumpy’s, so check them out in a very intimate though always rocking space.

Naghmeh and the Southern Shores perform at Grumpy’s, 1242 Bishop, Friday, June 15, 10pm. FREE

Queer Songbook Orchestra

On Tuesday, the Queer Songbook Orchestra will take the audience at Sala Rossa on a musical journey through the last century of uplifting queer narratives in popular music. It’s their mission to celebrate and perform obscured LGBTQ2S historical narratives, as well as tell the personal stories of members of the community and the songs connected to them.

Guest vocalists Safia Nolin and Beverly Glenn Copeland as well as storytellers Louis Negin and Gabe Maharjan will join the Toronto-based 12-piece chamber pop ensemble on stage. This event is part of the Suomi Per Il Popolo Festival.

Queer Songbook Orchestra perfrorm with Darren Creech as part of Suoni per il Popolo at Sala Rossa, 4848 St-Laurent, Tuesday, June 19, 8pm. Tickets are $10 and available through lfttckt.com

Dennis Ellsworth

PEI native Dennis Ellsworth has been making music for over 20 years. He describes his sound over those decades as “dark, smooth, romantic alt-country-ish type songs” but he felt like he needed a change with his latest album, the aptly titled Things Change, produced by Joel Plaskett of The Emergency.

Here’s some of his latest sound:

Dennis Ellsworth performs with Esther Hazy and The Pangs at Barfly, 4062A St-Laurent, Tuesday, June 19, 9pm. $10 at the door

* Featured image via Queer Songbook Orchestra

* 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!

I should say right off the bat that I wasn’t expecting much when I went to see Brave New Productions’ Buyer & Cellar at Montreal Fringe. Though the show was a hit at Montreal Pride last year, the whole idea of a one-man show struck me as egotistical and pretentious. I am very happy to say that this play and its star, Donald Rees, proved me wrong.

The show is about a gay aspiring actor who, having recently been fired from Disneyland in LA, finds himself hired to work as the only clerk in the mock shopping mall of Barbra Streisand’s cellar.

When I asked Rees what audiences should expect, this was his reply:

“Expect to see me sweat and eventually lose my voice. I’m (half) kidding. Buyer & Cellar feels like story time with an old friend. It’s a fast-paced and funny show that mixes an energetic theatrical performance with elements of stand-up comedy.”

And he was right. Amidst show tunes and impressions of Streisand that were at once funny and deferential, there was a delicious amount of charm, snark, and humour. You don’t feel like an audience member at this play, but rather someone who is letting a new friend tell their life story.

The only flaw I could find in the play was with regards to the language. The hero’s boyfriend, Barry, is Jewish, as is Streisand, so there are a lot of Yiddish words that may be lost to audience members unfamiliar with Jews and Ashkenazi slang.

I mean, one could always look the words up on their phones, but using your phone during a theatrical performance is just plain rude. Brave New Productions would be wise to include a Yiddish glossary in the show programs for future performances.

To go further into detail about the show would be to spoil it, and I think that if you love storytelling and aren’t homophobic, you should see this play; it’s delightful. Instead, I’m going to treat you to the chat I had with Donald Rees about the play itself, what brought him to it, and what to expect in the future:

What drew you to this play?

I read the script about five years ago, and even though I knew nothing about Barbra Streisand (for example, I had no idea she removed the middle A from her first name), I thoroughly enjoyed the story. The script itself is wonderful and has elements of stand-up comedy, which I love.

Is it more of a challenge playing a one-man show? What do you feel the differences are as a performer?

I think, between the first run and these encore performances, I’d forgotten just what a challenge the show was. On the one side, in terms of text memorization, it’s an incredible volume to commit to memory.

I won’t lie. Every once in a while the audience cracks me up and I’ll lose my spot. So far, I haven’t had to reach for the script to get back on track, but it’s backstage just in case.

The real challenge is energy. There’s no break. It’s over an hour of my energy mixing with the audiences’ reaction. Near the end, it starts to feel like a marathon.

At the Fringe, the added challenge is our limited time slot, so we have to push the pace a little harder. With that, the challenge is still to make sure that the laughs still land and the emotional parts still have time to sit and resonate.

Why do you think Buyer & Cellar was such a hit last year?

That’s a great question. I know we were up against a show which was basically naked men singing cabaret songs, which clearly has naked men and songs (I’m a big fan of both those things) and then we were up against RuPauls’ Drag Race show (also a fan), but luckily people still came out to see the show.

I think it may come down to the fact that it’s good old-fashioned theatre and that really speaks to people these days. It’s not complicated, it’s not convoluted. It’s also not politically charged, which is maybe refreshing these days.

What do you feel resonates most with audiences?

Laughter feels so good to the soul and this show is filled with moments of laughter. It’s nice to just sit down for story time. In the end, it’s so wonderfully written, and brings up some wonderful themes we can all relate to.

The play addresses issues of employment, the price of fame and more. What do you think the most important issue addressed in the play is?

Barbra has a lot of stuff. Who doesn’t? But what happens when you start to value stuff more than people? Without revealing too much about the ending, it really comes down a loving reminder to appreciate the people who matter in our lives.

Will the play run only during Fringe, or do you anticipate appearing at Pride 2018 as well?

For now, the plan is for this to be the final run. When it comes to comedies, I’d rather do less performances with fuller audiences, not for any reason other than people feel more comfortable laughing at a busy show, so it’s a win-win for all.

But I’m excited to tell you that we are preparing something very special for Pride this year. We had such a great experience with Fierté in 2017. This year we are returning with the Canadian Premiere of Gently Down The Stream by Martin Sherman.

I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for a show. It’s a powerful piece of theatre that explores LGBTQ history, but has this beautiful hope and energy to it. The performances are astounding and humbling to me. We’ll be sharing more details about that after the run of Buyer & Cellar.

* Buyer & Cellar runs until June 16th as part of the St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival. Tickets available through MontrealFringe.ca

If there’s one play that truly embodies the spirit of diversity and creativity of the Montreal Fringe Festival, Glam Gam Productions‘ Greasy: A Lesbian Love Story is it. If you’re open minded and want to laugh yourself silly, this play is a sure bet.

Greasy is not for everyone.

If you’re a prude who takes offense to nudity and simulated sex acts, don’t come to this play. If you’re homophobic, do not come to this play. If the idea of people being open and free about their sexuality makes you angry, do not come to this play. If you’re the type to have a social media tantrum about a few Catholic school jokes, stay away.

Inspired by the musical play Grease, Greasy is a racier, raunchier, funnier, gayer spoof with all the right jokes in all the right places.

The play starts with Winter, a cute blonde lesbian played by Magenta Haze, whom nine months earlier had rolled around in the snow with Dani, played by the amazing Phoenix Wood. Like in the original play, the sweet naïve Winter finds herself at the same all-girl Catholic high school with her old flame, who shrugs her off to impress her clique of butch dykes.

Many of the character names in the play are riffs on the names in the original. Rizzo becomes Jizzo, Danny Zuko becomes Dani Fuko, Kennickie becomes Kink-Nikki, and the Pink Ladies become the Pink Tacos.

This play is a treat because no topic is off limits. Queer identity, drag culture, gender roles, polyamory, and even mental illness, academic stress, and school debt are all addressed in the piece. What particularly sets Greasy apart from the original, however, is how thoroughly the other characters are developed.

The original Grease revolved around the romance between Danny Zuko and Sandy, giving it an almost nauseatingly sentimental note while leaving the other characters’ storylines superficial. In Greasy all the characters are given a voice and a story to tell, whether it’s Frenchie’s struggles to get into med school, Jizzo’s conflicted sexuality and her romance with Kink-Nikki, or Rummy and Slutzy – played by the hilarious Booze Crotch and her puppet Slutzy – and their struggles with mental illness and love for Tarty.

Even gay male identity is addressed through the play’s two drag queens, Cha Cha and Ta Ta, played by the beautiful Lez Izmohr and Spoopy Patootie, respectively. We also get this through Prince LaFontaine, played by Micheal J. McCarthy, whose outfits consisting of the tackiest suits I’ve ever seen, trumped even the most beautiful drag costumes in the play.

The show has the added benefit of promoting body positivity via its numerous burlesque performances. Few in the play fit the Hollywood ideal of an anorexically thin body and big boobs, but all who took their clothes off for the audience made it sexy through artful shimmies and shakes and the sensuous removal of their outer costumes revealing glittery pasties and thongs.

Even if you’re not a fan of musicals, you may want to give this play a shot. All the singers and band members are talented and never miss a beat even when the venue’s sound system screws up.

This play shocked me in many ways, but awed me in more. If you want to laugh and cheer and dance in your seat, check out Greasy. It’s worth it.

* Greasy: A Lesbian Love Story runs until June 16 as part of the St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival. Tickets available through MontrealFringe.ca

* Featured image via GlamGam.com

Montreal Fringe is one of those events that truly has something for every theatre go-er. You like burlesque? They have shows for that. You love drag queens and drag kings? There are shows for that too. You want drama? Comedy? Something different? Fringe has got you covered. If you’re willing to look, you’re bound to find many diamonds in the rough.

The Montreal Fringe Festival prides itself on creativity, diversity, and accessibility so even the shows that producers consider unsellable get a shot at stardom by having a chance to take the festival stage. One of the best ways to sample local talent is to take in the Fringe for All event that happens the first night of every festival.

For up to two minutes, all the local performers get a shot at enticing attendees to come to their plays. It’s a slog, but for your stamina you see a lot of gems hidden among snippets that confirm people’s worst prejudices about independent theatre – that it’s pretentious, artsy, and consisting of symbolism lost on even the university educated.

I’m not going to bore you with those. Having witnessed bits of shows that look REALLY good, I’m going tell you MY picks for Montreal Fringe 2018:

Apocalipsync : Humanity Is a Drag

I should admit right off that bat that I LOVE drag, so the show intrigued me before I saw their bit. When they took the stage I was not disappointed. Their lip sync and choreography was immaculate as was the glam the genre requires.

The premise of the show is that – “CONSERVATIVES REJOICE!” – the left ended the world and the “Social Justice Road Warriors” played by drag queens Uma Gahd, Dot Dot Dot, and Anaconda are searching for humanity’s salvation. If you’re a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, you NEED to see this show.

Greasy: A Lesbian Love Story

True to the title, the show is riff on the classic musical play Grease but with a much naughtier touch. There isn’t just dancing, there’s riveting burlesque performances proving that you don’t need to be a busty toothpick to be sexy.

Also, this is the latest offering from Glam Gam Productions who produced Peter Pansexual, which set Montreal Fringe box office records last year and a group we at FTB have been following for a while.

Mid Knight

Mid Knight is a modern fairy tale about what would happen to Little (Prince) Charming if his parents got divorced. The snippet I saw featured a piñata with the word “childhood” on it getting smashed to bits by the show’s prince with a blunt sword. The audience got any candy that came out. It’s an interesting approach to the classic fairy tale that’s timely given the renewed public interest in medieval themes due to shows like Game of Thrones and Once Upon a Time.

CLIO: Puppets, Not Patriarchy

If you’re a heterosexual male who doesn’t believe in making sure your sex partners are satisfied in bed, this isn’t the show for you. It’s a puppet show about Clio, a clitoris on a journey of self discovery to find out what she is capable of, thus becoming “cliterate”.

The snippet I saw was funny and sweet so while I don’t typically go for shows about one body part, this looks intriguing, if only to marvel at how the puppeteer keeps a straight face through the performance.

What the Hell Happened to My Patio Furniture?!

I’m not normally a fan of one-man shows, but Joshua Budman’s two-minute performance in which he wonders how his patio chairs disappeared from his sixteenth-floor balcony to the song Dust in the Wind had me laughing so hard it looks like a sure thing.

#ashtag

This is an interactive show in which audience members are invited to participate using their cell-phones. It’s a format I’ve never seen before in theatre and it featured a male and female actor with perfectly synchronised dialogue. It’s worth checking out if you like high tech audience participation

Mme Brulé

Mme Brulé starring Evelyne Laniel is a French language play that embodies the frustrations of formerly idealist teachers everywhere. The snippet I saw was hilarious and heartwarming, making me want to laugh and cheer. If you have any teachers in your life, bring them to this show.

Drunk Live Reading: Bridesmaids

If you were a fan of the film, you need to check this out. Featuring Montreal’s own Cat Lemieux who co-hosted the Fringe for All with Kenny Streule and Dayane Nbaritukure, all proceeds of the event go to the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. Not only is that an amazing cause, but Lemieux’s snippet channeled Melissa McCarthy and the late Chris Farley in way that was hilarious and riveting, making this show a sure bet.

Les Aventures d’Humphrey Beauregret

Philippe Gobeille’s one-man puppet show surprised me. His puppet “Humphrey Beauregret” is a 1940s style P.I. reminiscent of Humphrey Bogart’s classic roles. Not only does the character tell stories, he sings songs such as Unbreak My Heart and All By Myself channeling the trope’s loneliness and taking it to amusing extremes. It was riveting and funny and a good sample of what’s to come in his show.

Montreal Fringe is on from May 28th to June 17th. As festival spokesperson and Fringe veteran Véronique Raymond declared in her opening speech: “It’s the only time when Francophone and Anglophone artists share the same stage.”

Check it out. It’s worth it.

The full schedule is at MontrealFringe.ca and look for our reviews over the next few weeks

A special weekend awaits you in NDG as the the neighbourhood known for its shady peaceful streets and green sprawl once again hosts Porchfest.

Porches, front lawns and even rooftops transform into stages where local musicians play music and everyone is invited to share in the experience. The informal setting has proven to be quite a hit and the festival has attracted a ton of spectators since its first edition in 2015 due to its original concept.

Here are just a few of the acts you should check out today and tomorrow:

* (Please Note: After this article was written, rain became a real possibility and Porchfest announced that most of their Saturday shows may be moved to Monday, so please consult their site and Facebook page for schedule updates)

Skidoos Jaunes

Professional cover band Skidoos Jaunes will rock out with some well known tunes. The five-piece has been playing together for years. They usually do rock covers but they will be doing a toned down set for Porchfest and rocking out acoustic style.

Their performance will include interpretations of some famous rock songs ideally suited for the NDG porch environment, but for this special show they will be even adding a hint of country and blues to the set list. Children are more than welcome as the band has reserved a few songs that will be very appealing to the younger generation.

They will be playing their set on a back porch which means that there will be extra room for people to come and sit down and avoid the sound of passing traffic. Remember to bring your own chairs!

Sunday, 2pm, 3784 Melrose (entrance through the alley)

Crackers & Jam

This self proclaimed Slacker Lounge Act likes to party and they are full of melancholy. Come see a fantastic soul/rock band that has an energetic and immersive sound.

What’s cool about this outfit is their unforgettable visual performance. They combine a 70s groove, the 21st century sounds of techno and the everlasting sounds of strings from the days of Mozart till today.

They will get us dancing with their pop tunes and a heaping spoonful of bravado.

Saturday, 5pm, 4049 Hingston

Siamsa Montreal School of Irish Music

This awesome school’s MO is all about promoting Irish music, culture and a sense of community. So you don’t have to wait for next St Patty’s Day to get your Irish Fix. The school  holds classes open to the public and hosts workshops and even dances. They will be putting on a fantastic show during Porchfest so come and check the show out to find out what this unique school is all about.

Saturday, 4pm, 4413 Montclair

King Shadrock

King Shadrock is all about equal rights. His soulful reggae voice has earned him the name Little Buju which refers to reggae godfather Buju Banton.

He’s got that husky powerful voice. He’s influenced by the king himself, Bob Marley, as well as Sizzla and Lenny Kravitz. He loves entertaining people and will give you a great performance full of love and soul.

Sunday, 5pm, 6650 Cote-St-Luc (official closing show)

This is really just a smattering of what you can enjoy today (Saturday) and Sunday at Porchfest NDG (rain day is Monday). You can check out the full schedule or just head down to NDG and walk around.

* 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 in Montreal, you can catch an album launch, a pre-release party, a couple of bands rocking out at Barfly and even Kiefer Sutherland playing music. Let’s get started:

Kiefer Sutherland Goes Country

Not a lot of people know that the star of 24 has a track record outside the film and TV industry. Yet this Hollywood actor is the type of guy who puts the same kind of dedication and commitment into his side projects.

You’ll be happy to know that his new band and album put other film industry hobby acts to shame. Sutherland released his debut album Down In A Hole late last summer which consists of 11 songs of pure country and Americana.

Kiefer Sutherland performs with Rick Brantley at Club Soda, 1225 St-Laurent, Friday, May 11, 8pm. Tickets are $39.50 and available through LePointeDeVente.com

Nolton Lake

Come experience a special album launch for Norton Lake. This self taught musician has been traveling the world: Nepal. China. Europe. Costa Rica and he exotic instruments found on his album Anahata are nothing short of breathtakingly refreshing.

Sitar, tabla, slide guitar, ukulele, mandolin and tibetan bowls complement the soft guitar melodies and deep bass grooves. But most importantly, his music is heartfelt and organic, something hard to come by in today’s music business.

Nolton Lake performs at Quai des Brumes, 4481 St-Denis, Wednesday, May 16, 5-7pm. FREE

No Fly List And Minor Sun To Light Up The Stage At Barfly

Minor Sun’s Infinite soundscapes await you. Influenced by bands like The Black Keys, The Doors, and Bob Dylan, their layered guitars are interwoven with keyboards, groovy bass lines and strong drum rhythms. If you are into modern and retro psych rock, you’re gonna dig this five-piece big time.

No Fly List channels the likes of Thin Lizzy, Lemonheads, and Aerosmith to pump out their brand of Power Pop Rock with an alt-country edge. They’ve got two solid albums under their belt and a ton of road warrior tour experience. It will be a true delight to see these guys live in action.

No Fly List and Minor Sun perform at Barfly, 4062A St-Laurent, Friday, May 11, 9pm. Cover TBA

Foundling Pre Release Party with Dean Roberts, Merganzer and Paper Beat Scizzors

Kickdrum Productions and Sala Rosa present a fine evening of live music. Foundling will be giving us a sneak preview of their upcoming album showcasing their german dark dream pop with broad soundscapes.

Dean Roberts will be the supporting act with his unique contemporary experimental music. Also on stage that evening will be Merganzer; the experimental project of Violinist Mika Posen, and Paper Beat Scissors; with vocals that will haunt you.

Foundling, Dean Roberts, Merganzer and Paper Beat Scissors perform at La Sotterena (basement of Sala Rossa), 4848 St-Laurent, Thursday, May 10, 9pm. Tickets are $8 in advance through lfttckt.com or $12 at the door

* Featured image of Norton Lake 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!

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!