Now in its 4th year, M for Montreal is the city’s ultimate out-of-town musical schmooze-down. Taking place November 19th-21st, it functions as a showcase for international industry folks, journalists and “taste-makers”, whoever that is exactly. But while it will be a mecca for dudes in leather coats, laminates and Blackberries, for the rest of us it simply means 3 great nights featuring some of the Montreal’s best bands…
M for Montreal has been a true success story. It really does attract some of the most influential music folk in the world and bands that have been featured during the showcase have routinely said (unprompted, in several cases) what a career booster it’s been. Though it began here, it has spawned similar mini-fests in Toronto and Vancouver. As a Montreal music guy, I already know what a good thing we’ve got going here and look at M for Montreal simply as a great opportunity to see some of the local bands I love. Now, there are some non-Montreal bands playing that are worthy of your attention. It’s just that this is clearly not the place to read about them.
So here’s a list of some of the bands I’m excited to see again. Check out the M for Montreal website for a full list of bands, events and ticket info (hint: the all-inclusive passes are a steal at $60 and there are only 150, so act fast).
Thursday, November 19th: Kicking things off with a quiet bang at Cabaret are The Luyas, a MTL-musical mélange of members of Miracle Fortress, Bell Orchestre, and Arcade Fire. Which works well because up next is Miracle Fortress, the Brian Wilson-ish solo extrapolation of Graham Van Pelt. Which will function as a great introduction to Think About Life, the soulful dance pop party of which Van Pelt is a member. If you have any interest in having a good time, get yourself to this show. Think About Life are as fun a band as this city has.
Friday, November 20th: The Friday fun at Cabaret kicks off with Silly Kissers, the smartly sugary pop outfit that is beginning to build buzz. They’ll be followed by Parlovr, a rock-solid rock outfit that’s about to break into the big-time. There’s still much more on tap though: Silver Starling, the refined and romantic vehicle for Montreal music mainstay Marcus Paquin, and Le Matos, an electro outfit who refuse to go quietly into the night.
Saturday, November 21st: Switching things over to Café Campus, Saturday begins with a showcase of some of the best French bands around. Caracol, one part of DobaCaracol, is a Juno-nominated performer who sings in French and English, folk and pop. She’s followed by singer-songwriter Marie-Pierre Arthur and the wildly inventive Automelodi. Up next is La Patère Rose, who for my money are making some of the neatest French pop music around, and the electro-oriented Geraldine, who changes her name so much that it may be different by the time you show up. Last, but certainly not least, is electro/pop/soul of Orange Orange, an offshoot of the equally beloved Gatineau.
Still not enough? Well down at Metropolis, things get wild with Xavier Cafeine, the superstar DJ (and now singer) Misstress Barbara and the one and only Melissa Auf Der Maur, the incredible solo artist who used to play with those little-known bands Hole and Smashing Pumpkins. She’ll be followed by Malajube, who have proven that French music can enjoyed by Francos and Anglos because, as the press release says “pound for pound, Malajube may be the best band in Montreal”. And filling out the Montreal at Metropolis bands is Champion & His G-Strings, who has a new album out that’ll be making your head bob well into next year.
What’s this, you’re not tired yet? Ok, head down to the M for Midnight After Party at the SAT, for some of the cities’ best DJs: Jordan Dare, the Peer Pressure Crew, the Night Trackin DJs and more.