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ARCADE FIRE AT POP MONTREAL: PHOTO GALLERY BY SUSAN MOSS

Arcade Fire’s love for Montreal – including the crowd of over 100,000 who came out to Quartier des Spectacles last night – was clear as soon as they walked on stage, smiling ear to ear and bouncing into Ready to Start, from their Grammy-winning album The Suburbs. Images of teenage rebellion among suburban sprawl played on screens behind the eight-member band, who seemed intent on eradicating world-wide malaise themselves. “Our hearts are very full right now,” lead singer Win Butler said, and he meant it. Arcade Fire was home.

POP MONTREAL: 10 YEARS OF SHOWS IN COOL PLACES

Back in its first year, 2002, Pop Montreal helped me discover the city’s nooks and crannies via music, and the festival still manages to find new venues for bands to make their own. Pop Montreal’s venue choices have included the tried and true, but it’s the unusual and interesting locales that have stuck in my memory. Maybe that’s how memory works though, a strange environment just solidifying good music and a good time…

MONTREAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA’S NEW CONCERT HALL

Sound snobs, this one’s for you. Yeah, you know who you are – and you’re proud of it. After visiting a Maison Symphonique de Montréal, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal’s new Concert Hall, this week I can breathe a pitch-perfect sigh of relief. The place is tailor-made for those who believe acoustics can make or break any musical performance. So get ready for a lot of performances of the make variety…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL (AUGUST 19-25)

The end of August in Montreal is a sweet time – the days aren’t too hot, the night aren’t too cool, and the city seems to move at an even more relaxed pace than usual. Even with all the things going on this week in Montreal, leisure is still a central focus: chill out with a film at the Montreal World Film Festival, sail the seas of nostalgia at the Classic Boat Festival, make a temporary switch to Caribbean time at the Reggae Festival, or, if you’re wired a little differently, revel in the white noise of this weekend’s NASCAR race…

MUST-SEE BANDS AT POP MONTREAL 2011

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.

FESTIBLUES: CELEBRATE THE BLUES IN MONTREAL

The Festiblues festival is returning, August 10-14, with yet another spectacular line-up. The 5-day festival features musicians from Quebec and around the world at Montreal’s Ahuntsic Park and surrounding area. In traditional Montreal style, the Ahuntsic Park is being turned into a blues playground for all the blues that’s fit to print…

OSHEAGA 2011: VIDEO

Osheaga 2011 is in the books and we’ve got the video to prove that it was another success year. The Montreal Buzz Bloggers talked about the expanded Osheaga Arts program, interviewed Cypress Hill and Death Cab for Cutie and filled you in on the Montreal Bands you needed to see. Even though it’s a year away, we’re already looking forward to Osheaga 2012.

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE AT OSHEAGA

I sat down with Chris Walla and Jason McGerr of Death Cab For Cutie before their set at Osheaga in support of their new album, Codes and Keys. During our talk, I learned that they had an unabashed love for Montreal’s Jazz Fest and fellow Osheaga headliner, Elvis Costello. And if that Chris Walla isn’t careful, he’ll earn himself the reputation of being the nicest guy in rock and roll…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL (JULY 28-AUGUST 4)

Here we are at the end of July – only one more month of summer, but what a glorious month it is. July finishes strong with three final days of great comedy at Just For Laughs and Zoofest, along with the long-awaited outdoor music festival Osheaga in Jean-Drapeau Park and The Montreal Electronic Groove Festival in town. August rides that happy wave with The Montreal First Peoples’ Festival, the Festival of Fashion and Design, and plenty of music and arty happenings in the parks and in venues around town…

CYPRESS HILL TALKS ABOUT MONTREAL, OSHEAGA, AND THE MUSIC BUSINESS

The seminal hip hop group Cypress Hill is gracing the stage at Osheaga this summer on July 31 at, ahem, 4:20. I got the chance to chat with Sen Dog of Cypress Hill about Montreal, Osheaga, the first record he ever bought and how he thinks the music industry has changed since their first album in 1991…