Along with welcoming hundreds of musical acts this year, from the soulful pop of The-Dream to the avant-garde sound of Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, the 12th edition of international music festival Pop Montreal, September 25-29, hosts informal talks with musicians, showcases thought-provoking film and visual art, offers activities specifically for kids, and expands its fashion show and made-in-Montreal craft fair…
Pop Symposium takes music lovers behind the scenes and into the music-making process via panel discussions and workshops – all at no charge. Hear what legendary producer Tony Visconti, who has worked closely with David Bowie and Angélique Kidjo, has to say about music today, and sit in on discussions with musicians Shuggie Otis, Cakes da Killa, and Bernie Worrell and Fred Wesley of Paraliament Funkadelic, among others. Delve into the making of the soundtrack for director Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby with musician Kid Koala, Luhrmann collaborator and music supervisor Anton Monsted, Warner Brothers exec Darren Higman and Third Side Music’s Lysandra Woods. Talk about the current state of music and art criticism at SBC Gallery talk “How You Gonna Be a Tastemaker When Mama Bird Chews The Food For You,” and learn more about subjects as diverse as intellectual property rights, Montreal underground nightlife, and vocal arrangement.
Film Pop casts a wide net this year, featuring screenings, artist talks with Nation of Ulysses and The Make-Up frontman Ian Svenonius, a sound-and-video art installation curated by underground artist Kathy Rose, and live music and multimedia performances. Canadian indie-film director Allison Anders is on hand to screen and talk about her new film Strutter, and Wondershowzen co-creator John Lee shows a never-seen episode of the show and awards prizes to audience members with the worst questions during a Q&A. Film POP also teams up with the Phi Centre and film festivals RIDM and FNC to screen films including Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius of James Booker, Filmage: The Story of The Descendents, punk film A Band Called Death, Brazilian music documentary Tropicalia, and many more.
Art Pop ranges from gallery art shows and installations to performances and talks. Not-to-be-missed special guests this year: 2012 Turner Prize winner Elizabeth Price, a founding member of bands Talulah Gosh and Carousel, and rebellious, acclaimed American visual artist Dan Graham. As well, Montreal artist Andi State shows her site-specific video installation, Lost Portraits, in Espace Pop’s front window on Parc Avenue in the neighbourhood of Mile End, Pasha Jovanovic controls circuit-bent sound with graphic drawings in Temporary Autonomous Zone, Archive Montreal digs into the city’s cultural history and celebrates its 15th Anniversary with the festival, and installation Music Videos A-Z shows that great things can happen when Montreal bands collaborate with inventive video artists.
Kids Pop brings back some of its most fun – and messiest – features: a canvas maze tailor-made for kids to roam through and paint on, a BBQ party, a DIY digital recording session for kids to lay down their own tracks, and a wild and colourful t-shirt-making workshop. Puces Pop, the festival’s marketplace of independent art, design and craft (including homemade preserves, baked goods and more food items!), extends over four days this year at Église St-Michel. An on-site ATM and mobile card readers at each table makes it even simpler to shop for locally-designed clothing, jewelry, screen-printed posters, and more. Fashion Pop also gets a leg up this year in a new space at the art-deco Riato Theatre, featuring runway shows of women’s and men’s fashions from local designers. And where would a music festival be without a records? Held at the Ukrainian Federation, the two-day Record Fair showcases new music on local labels, used records, music-focused zines and other wares, along with gourmet coffee and snacks by Dispatch Coffee and local DJ sets, proving that the music never really stops at Pop.
Pop Montreal, September 25-29, 2013