Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

This Is Pop

So. Tomorrow morning I’m off to la belle province for this year’s Pop Montreal fest. This should be the bookend to a festival-laden year and I’m as much looking forward to it as I am to it being over.

But sleep can come later. For now, there’s still much great music to be taken in over the next week and this is approximately what I’m going to be trying to catch, starting with Wednesday. When I first caught Miracle Fortress last year at Pop, it was just Graham Van Pelt by his lonesome, barricaded in by his drum kit, guitar, samplers and other accouterments of a one-man band. Now expanded out to a four-piece band, working a splendid album in Five Roses and no longer an obscurity thanks to the Polaris Prize, it’ll be nice to have them open things up at 9PM at La Tulipe. Then I might head to La Sala Rosa to see The Watson Twins at 10 before having to decide between returning to La Tulipe to catch Caribou or Casa Del Popolo for Torngat at 11. Whichever it is, I’ll be at Le Gymnase for Ola Podrida, part of Said The Gramophone’s opening Bleating Heart Show.

Thursday is, of course, my showcase. So while I’d normally encourage folks to go to the Ukrainian Federation to see Final Fantasy, Ohbijou and Basia Bulat, I am instead directing you to come to Le Gymnase to see The Brother Kite, Airfields, My Dad Vs Yours and Danielle Duval. Note the venue change – all shows that were slated for the Mile End Cultural Centre, that is Main Hall and The Green Room, are now being held at Le Gymnase at 4177 rue St-Denis (at Rachel), which has two separate rooms for shows. We’re in the smaller one on the first floor. Set times are the same and everything should be wrapped up by midnight so you’d still have time to catch something else as a nightcap. I’ve no idea what, I intend to be passed out by then.

Friday will force me out of bed before the sun sets as NYC’s Elk City have a 3PM matinee at the Urban Outfitters on rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest. There’s no excuse for missing a chance to see Sean Eden on guitar. None. The evening’s agenda will begin at Le Gymnase (small room) where Norwegians Harmonica will be doing something that I’ve been advised not to miss. I don’t know what, but I’m told it’s pretty great. Then I may try to catch The Coast’s 8PM set at 3 Minots before decamping to the glorious Cabaret du Musee Juste Pour Rire for Patrick Wolf. He’s not on till 10 but I want to be sure to get a good spot. And while it’s not fair to ask anyone to follow his show, if I’m out by midnight and have any gas in the tank, I may head to L’Escogriffe where Rah Rah are on at 12 and The Hot Springs at 1.

Saturday is looking a bit light from where I stand right now but I’m sure between now and then I’ll have had a dozen and one things recommended to me as can’t misses. For now, however, I’ve got Woodpigeon at the Ukrainian Federation at 8 and then the OFFICE/Earlimart show at Le Gymnase (big room) where they’re on at 11PM and midnight, respectively. And that’s all that’s I’ve got written down so far. If I was sticking around for Sunday, the sure bets would be The National at le National or The Jealous Girlfriends at the Ukrainian Federation but as it is, they’re both going to be in Toronto on Monday night at the Phoenix and Tuesday night at the Drake Underground respectively, so everybody wins.

Obviously, suggestions and recommendations for alternatives to this sched are welcome. Some shows are etched in stone, some are not. Always willing to check out something new. McGill Daily talks to Matt Berninger of The National, The Montreal Mirror previews some of the acts playing, Hour.ca pays a visit to the festival headquarters and The Montreal Gazette does both.

And now, for something completely different.

Pitchfork has details on British Sea Power’s next album Do You Like Rock Music?. Still a cheeky title, but not nearly as deranged as the previously reported Now That’s What I Call World War One Joy Division. It’ll be out on January 14 in the UK and February 12 in North America. Their Krankenhaus? EP is still out November 20.

Some interesting new albums streaming over at Spinner.com. Most notable is PJ Harvey’s White Chalk, the domestic release of UK crooner Richard Hawley’s Lady’s Bridge and Heaven, the new one from Brooklyn’s Mobius Band. Unknown to me till very recently, but I like what I hear and will be catching them on November 7 at the Horseshoe. And in addition to the stream, you can save a couple of MP3s from the new record for your very own.

Stream: PJ Harvey / White Chalk
Stream: Richard Hawley / Lady’s Bridge
MP3: Mobius Band – “Friends Like These”
MP3: Mobius Band – “Hallie”
Stream: Mobius Band / Heaven

Radio Free Canuckistan has posted the second of his two-part interview with Rolf Klausener of The Acorn.

Steve Earle has a long sit-down with The Houston Chronicle.

The Weakerthans have added a second show to their visit this November – they’re now at the Phoenix on both November 7 and 8 with Jenn Grant opening both. Aversion has an interview with songwriter John K Samson. And here’s a video from the new last album (brain fart on my part):

Video: The Weakerthans – “The Reason” (YouTube)

And finally, some mildly context-less MP3s from Josh Ritter and Iron & Wine.

MP3: Josh Ritter – “Rumours” (live in Berlin)
MP3: Iron & Wine – “Innocent Bones”

By : Frank Yang at 8:31 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Garry says:

    Torngat are nice to see. A tight band, especially when playing in front of a hometown crowd. I saw them last year at O Patro Vys and it was a good time.

  2. ryan says:

    Hey Frank as a long-time fan of the site, I’ll make every effort possible to get to your show on Thursday! See you there!


  3. Joe says:

    I saw Harmonica at CMW this spring and they rocked my socks off.

    And, it looks like they’ll be back in TO for a gig at the Bovine on Sunday. Hmm…

  4. Joe #2 says:

    More props for Harmonica. They came onstage this spring @ Sneeky Dees and declared "Hi! We’re your new favorite band!"

    And they were right! Everybody there left a Harmonica fan.

  5. xcanuck says:

    Sorry Frank – "The Reasons" was from the Weakerthans previous album (Reconstruction Site). There are indeed four "webisodes" which fictionally chronicle the recording of the new CD ("Reunion Tour") but no video for an actual song, yet. And what a great new album it is!

  6. PG says:

    The Winnipeg-centric video for ‘Civil Twilight’ is complete, and should be out very soon.

  7. Jack says:

    I’m really disappointed that BSP changed the name of their album. We need more unhinged madness like Now That’s What I Call World War One Joy Division!

  8. JDS says:

    Don’t forget about the off-kilter pop of Brent Gorton & The Tender Breasts at Barfly (4062A St. Laurent) at 11PM on Saturday, October 6th!

  9. GR says:

    I suggest seeing Krief at either Hemisphere Gauche @ 11 on friday or at the good fences showcase with Joseph Arthur on saturday @ Portuguese Association.

    I saw him at the drake and he melted my face.