This year Pop Montreal is ten years old. To celebrate this landmark, the people at Pop have created a lineup that reflects maturity, grace and, of course, one serious party. There are over 300 bands to see in only 5 days. This is an impossible amount of shows, but that’s the point. You’re supposed to be feverishly running around town in a delirious Pop Montreal frenzy. It’s okay though, you have all winter to recover.
To get things started, Arcade Fire plays Metropolis on September 21. It’s the band’s first show back in their hometown as Grammy Award-winners, so it’s going to be a pretty big deal. If you can’t make the show at Metropolis, then make sure to catch them at their free show on September 22, which is bound to be a truly special night that just might/totally will set a new outdoor concert attendance record for Montreal.
Even though Pop Montreal attracts bands from all over the world, you can still look forward to an abundance of homegrown talent, like tUnE-yArDs (pictured above), who hit the stage on September 23 at the Ukrainian Federation. If you haven’t yet encountered Montreal darling Grimes and her ethereal dance jams, you should check her out. There is absolutely nothing like her. Also, during the festival Wolf Parade/Sunset Rubdown front man Spencer Krug is presenting his dreamy side project, Moonface.
Then on September 23, get set for the washed out sounds of Dirty Beaches and Miracle Fortress, who has been making some serious waves with the new album Was I The Wave? Miracle Fortress plays the Passovah showcase with Born Gold, Mozart’s Sister, Cotton Mouth and then DJ Thomas Carlo Promise will keep you dancing all night long. Lastly, new Montreal buzz band Makeout Videotape will also be performing. Makeout Videotape is quickly becoming one of the city’s best party bands for their catchy songs and riotous live shows.
As always, Pop Montreal is also breathing new life into old favourites, like The Velvelettes. They’re a 60s Motown Records girl group known for their incredibly danceable Northern Soul hits like Needle In a Haystack, and let me tell you that time has only made these ladies finer. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus, who will be playing with the Jicks at the Theatre Corona on September 23. If you haven’t seen Stephen Malkmus, do your inner 90s child a favour and go.
Another must-see is R. Stevie Moore. He’s the man responsible for inspiring countless contemporary bedroom musicians like Ariel Pink and a slew of other lo-fi loafers. Apparently R. Stevie Moore’s live shows are just as weird as he is, go see what happens at Sala Rossa on September 23. Remember a little band called Joy Division? Well, Peter Hook is the cofounder of Joy Division and a member of New Order, the band that splintered off from Joy Division after Ian Curtis’ death. He will perform Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures with The Light on September 25 at Club Soda.
Pop Montreal, September 21-25, 2011