Pop Montreal 2011 preview (September 21 – 25)

I am not too great at previews, Sean over at Said the Gramophone is, but I will try.

Slowly but surely as I heard more and more bands announced, this years Pop Montreal has quite a diverse lineup with plenty of well known, and lesser known acts. Apologies on the formatting, as I do not have enough text, and I wanted to get the pics in!

After reading this blog post, head on over to Pop Montreal for official times and information regarding the concerts. And for Montrealers, the latest Montreal Mirror has a handy pull out day by day schedule of music listings. Or view it online. And on the official Pop Montreal users can build their own personalised schedule.

(Bold in the next two signifies Canadian acts.)

A few of the shows I am personally really looking forward to include tUnE-yArDs, Rebekah Higgs, Ohbijou (new album, Metal Meets hits stores September 27, I might get to buy it before the official release!), Kid Sister, Laura Marling, and Q-Bert. I am also very much looking forward to local Montrealer Charlotte Cornfield (who has two sets on opening Wednesday, one opening for Philémon Chante, and later that evening as part of the Let Your Hair Down Showcase!), Kid Koala (opening for the giant free Arcade Fire show), the giant free Arcade Fire show(!), Krista Muir, Samiam (who I just saw were playing a few minutes ago!), Real McKenzies (Awesome Scottish influenced Celtic punk!), and The Planet Smashers. Oh, and in the course of writing this blog post I see in the official Pop Montreal program Maylee Todd is playing Saturday night set as L’Esco (basically a small semi-basement bar/venue). No word online, so I will not hold my breath! She rules by the way! And I got to know her from Pop Montreal last year! I also see that the Sarah Blackwood (from psychobilly act The Creepshow) set for the Stomp Records BBQ is at 4PM, before local rockabilly act The Hellbound Hepcats! And although I really do not know his solo work, Liam Finn is playing the fest too.

Also a few acts I know little to nothing about, and in many cases am just going by their pictures (press photos are indeed important!), that I would like to see include Lindi Ortega, Cherry Chapstick (another Montreal act!), Megan Bonnell, Marques Toliver, Vilify (Montreal again!), Natale (from Paris, booming pop vocals and insect-like acrobatic dancing apparently!), UN (514 represent!), D-sisive, Molly Sweeney (Montreal!), Dinah Thorpe, Emma-Lee, Caroline Keating (Montreal), Old n’ Weird, Shaydakiss (Montreal) and Azelia Banks (both opening for Kid Sister), Frankie Rose, Dominique Young Unique, Anna Rose, Yuck, Gianna Lauren, Alessi’s Ark (London, according to Pop, folk songs that make you want to cycle down an English country road!), Allie Hughes, Sheezer, and The Raincoats.

There is no way I will be able to catch them all, but I will try and catch a fair bit, all of what I really want to see, and hopefully some of the ones I would like to see barring any personal scheduling conflicts, and definitely catch some artists that are new to me.


So knowing what I know, a few I would recommend include tUnE-yArDs. I have only heard some of her stuff, and I saw her performing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, but she, Merrill Garbus et. al., definitely have an innovative sound.

Laura Marling

Laura Marling and her blend of UK folk should prove to be awesome, her third record, A Creature I Don’t Know, came out on Monday. Hopefully I can pick it up at the show!

DJ Qbert

Q-Bert is a legendary DJ, thus making him big in hip hop, since hip hop, that is to say rapping, emerged from the DJ, the disc jockey. His turntablism skills are crazy good! I see quite a fair amount of shows, but I do not get to see proper DJ/scratching shows often at all.

A few locals I can highly recommend include Charlotte Cornfield (folk/rock), Krista Muir (multi-talented, ukelele playing and then some!), Kid Koala (speaking of turntablism!), and the ever impressive some 15 plus years on, The Planet Smashers (ska extraordinaire!).

I have not heard them yet, but hope to check out Montreal’s own electro dur UN. Just by Pop Montreals description: “Toronto’s weirdo pop princess”, Allie Hughes sounds like a great bet! Frankie Rose of Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, and the Vivian Girls fame, enough said!

Another artists I just listened to, Dominique Young Unique, is a young female MC from Florida. Upon hearing and watching “Show My Ass“, I was reminded of Rye Rye, although no doubt they differ quite a bit, Rye Rye coming from the Baltimore scene and being a M.I.A. protégée.

Cannot say as I know them, but given their history, having formed in the U.K. in 1977, I might just have to check out The Raincoats.

Of course Pop Montreal is far from just music, it is Film Pop, Art Pop, and more! Last year Feist’s film Look at What the Light Did Now had a screening, and this year PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake will have a screening. Also there is Bloodied But Unbowed: The Birth of Vancouver Punk Rock 1977-82.

And among the symposiums, there is Voices on Voices, which, to steal Pop Montreal’s description, is “a workshop/discussion on writing and arrangement with Merrill Garbus, aka tUnE-YaRds.” Very nice. And The Raincoats – Adventures, which as you may have guessed, is about The Raincoats!

Allie Hughes

Charlotte Cornfield

Dominique Young Unique

Bookmark this page, and come back, as I will continue adding links to the artists’ official websites while I check them out.

Who or what are you looking forward to at Pop Montreal? Do not be shy, comment, and plug your blog (if you have one), it may just end up on my blogroll! It might also influence me to go see a certain show! Les commentaires en français sont également les bienvenus. Heck, since this is the digital age, any language will do, even binary or hex code (okay, perhaps a tad too geeky).


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