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THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL (SEPTEMBER 15-22)

With summer behind us, we can now move on to more serious things. Like pop music festivals, eating hamburgers, singing karaoke classics and high-fiving extreme skiers. That’s just how Montreal rolls. But along with all that fun – all of which is actually happening in organized-event form this week – we’ve got thought-provoking drama and dance on more than a few stages, new mind-bending art, some very short films and, as always, rock n’ roll…

10 BEST POP MONTREAL SHOWS EVER

Pop Montreal turns 10 in 2011… 10 years of uniting music-lovers from Montreal and beyond, 10 years of breaking new bands before anyone else, 10 years of enriching Montreal’s cultural landscape. To honour Pop’s tenth anniversary, here’s a list of 10 of the best Pop MTL shows of all-time…

FILM POP: A UNIQUELY MUSICAL FILM FEST

In a city replete with film festivals, Film Pop, the little sister of Montreal mega music-festival Pop Montreal, is in a class all its own. The folks at Pop are allergic to the conventional, and this is evident in their film festival, which is nothing like other film festivals—more like a series of film “happenings” around town at the same time as all the other things that are happening at Pop time, only on screens.

POP MONTREAL: MORE THAN JUST MUSIC

Pop Montreal may primarily be about music – it’s hard to deny that fact, what with huge bands like Arcade Fire playing this year alongside soon-to-be-huge bands and bands who (say they) don’t care if they’re ever huge – but what makes the festival like no other is how well-rounded it is, you know, like some unwholesome, scholarship-getting kid genius who also slays on the drums. I say this because of Art Pop, Pop Symposium, Fashion Pop, Puces Pop and Film Pop – and this year Sports Pop!

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL (SEPTEMBER 8-15)

There’s something in the air this week in Montreal, and it’s not just a cool autumn breeze – the city has gone even more arts crazy than usual – art is everywhere! Along with its friend’s music, theatre, dance and film. From the Latin Quarter’s OUMF festival to Quartier des Spectacles’ Arts Marathon, from Le Mois de la Photo to a tattoo art convention, Montreal has the arts covered this week, especially for those who wish to make the most of staying outdoors in these last warm weeks of the year…

FREE THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL: SEPTEMBER

A new school year, a new month of plenty of free stuff in Montreal! And you definitely don’t have to be a student to appreciate it– from all things pop music to top-notch classical symphonic performances to local jazz greats, plus literature, art, photography and even marathon running, September seems to have everyone’s tastes covered when it comes to gratuit…

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.

GRUMMAN 78: MONTREAL’S FAMOUS TACO TRUCK

In my neighbourhood, people really look forward to the weekend these days for yet another reason: Grumman ’78 tacos. Indeed, these tacos, which are now famous thanks to a Bastille day visit from Anthony Bourdain (more on this later), mostly exist as transient foodstuffs, sold out of their picaresque truck during most of the city’s major festivals. Otherwise, you gotta be in the right place at the right time…

FREE THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL: AUGUST

As August is a vacation time for many, whether they’re staying in Montreal or headed to a cottage on its outskirts, the city’s pace slows down somewhat – the festival frenzy of the Jazz Fest and Just for Laughs is replaced by more even-keeled cultural events at the Quartier des Spectacles and plenty of free entertainment outdoors in the parks and streets…

ARCADE FIRE PLAYING FREE SHOW IN MONTREAL ON SEPTEMBER 22

Montreal’s Arcade Fire have just announced that they’ll be playing a free show at the Quartier des Spectacles‘ Place des Festivals on September 22, 2011. The show, part of Pop Montreal‘s 10th anniversary festival, is a tip of the cap to their hometown. “Our band couldn’t exist without Montreal,” says the band’s Régine Chassagne. “After having had the chance to tour extensively around the world, we’re very excited to finally come home. And to do so the Montreal way, we hoped to play a free outside show, on the very last day of summer as a big ‘Thank you’ to the beautiful city we love so much…”