Art has a birthday, and thus we will PARTY


Art’s Birthday was originally proposed in 1964 by artist Robert Filiou as a celebration of all things Art. Ever since that fateful year, arts organizations all over the world celebrate Art’s Birthday with parties and performances. CKUT has produced special programming in celebration of Art’s Birthday since 2007.

According to our calculations, Art will be turning 1,000,047 this year, and once again CKUT will be ringing in the occasion with a variety of stunning performances. From the serious to the silly, the night will be a celebration of Art in all its varieties.

This year’s installment will feature Carodiaro, Esther Splett, Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, McGill-based acapella ensemble The Chromatones, and the legendary CKUT Circus Work Shirt.

See y’all at Casa del Popolo (4873 St-Laurent) this Sunday.
Doors are, 9:00 music at 9:30.
8-10$ — a fundraiser for CKUT!



Hi friends,
January in Montreal = plenty of snow and sub-zero temperatures (duh), so I’m deep in hibernation mode for the time being. Please send me your favourite book recommendations, movie tips, and comfort food recipes. Winter will not get the best of me this year.

Tara Desmond is well-known around these parts. Not only is she a kickass multi-instrumentalist (The SubmissivesDrainoliththe Pink Noise, etc etc), she’s also one of Montreal’s trippiest visual artists and an avid booker/supporter of live music in our fair city. Plus, she’s got one of the most eclectic record collections out there. Needless to say, we’re beyond thrilled to welcome her (under the Original T Dizzle moniker) into the studio for January’s edition of the Montreal Sessions everyTuesday from 3-5pm. Open your ears to T Dizzle’s Wacky World and soak in everything from kitschy thrift shop tapes to underground New Zealand pop to local punk jams. Hold on tight, yer in for a wild ride…

ckut top 30 – january 10, 2017

1. tasseomancy – do easy – hand drawn dracula CC
2. meredith monk – on behalf of nature – ecm
3. ylangylang – life without structure – self-released CC *
4. v/a – quarter life crisis: still alive at 25 – mint records CC
5. eric arn – orphic resonance – feeding tube Continue reading

Concert Review: A$AP Ferg @ Metropolis

Ferg 1

A vodka-stained shirt, a fight, saving a life, sweat, and bruises summed up a night at A$AP Ferg’s Turnt & Burnt tour stop in Montreal. A very youthful crowd packed Metropolis when doors opened at 8pm, and it seemed as though people weren’t just there for a concert; instead, it was an opportunity to post up with their squads to let others know they were in the building. The crowd flaunted its latest fashions, leaning against walls with one foot up intending to stunt on the kids who think they’re cooler. In a way, the environment was tense, but you knew that underlying this subtle competition was the excitement of seeing A$AP Ferg & Co.

45 minutes after the doors opened, up & coming A$AP Mob member Marty Baller took the stage, performing songs from his newest mixtape, Marty G Raw. His eccentric, animated energy coupled with bass-heavy, high bpm songs enthralled the crowd into a frenzy of shoving, jumping, and pure aggression. That standoffish tone that had been so present pre-show had completely vanished. Everyone was in a sort of unison, moving together as one large pulsing mass. Marty Baller delivered as one would expect an emerging artist to: he performed as if he had everything to prove. After his set, one nearly forgot the show had only just begun. After a short intermission, Rob Stone took stage to face a sweaty, revved up crowd demanding more. His set only added fuel to the fire and the energy was intensified. When it seemed as though his set was over, the stage lights faded out until the venue stood pitch black and an excited confusion filled the air. After a short period of silence, the chilling whistle of Stone’s most popular anthem, Chill Bill, pierced the atmosphere and the crowd erupted. The crowd split into two walls, and at the moment the first bass dropped each side collided with the intensity of two sides at war. Bodies were flying, feet were in the air, and arms flailed. It was survival of the fittest in this pit of ear-splitting, vibrating bass and hostility. Following Rob Banks’s set and another quick intermission, I awkwardly thrusted my way towards the front of the stage in anticipation of the final opener, Playboi Carti. At this point, we all desired more sweat and bruises and Carti gave us just that. Decked out with sunglasses and a winter coat, his image reflected the peculiar, youthful style that was so readily displayed by the crowd before the show. Carti’s energy, coupled with performances of his most popular songs, “Fetti,” “Beef,” “Talk,” “Run It,” and “Broke Boi,” reminded us the show had only just begun and that we needed to go just a little bit harder. Moshing persisted for the entire set and the crowd moved as one in every direction squeezing everyone within. Many people lost their balance and fell, forcing myself and others to help them from being trampled; it was a telling reminder that we were all in this together.

Ferg 2

After Playboi Carti’s exit the final intermission commenced, during which many individuals hastily made their ways out of the crowd for some much-needed hydration. There was a small fight and a drink was inadvertently spilled on me, but it was all part of the experience — not to mention fitting preparation for the show’s conclusion.

A$AP Ferg finally took stage at around 11:00 after what had already felt like an entire music festival. The entire venue was illuminated in purple and pink lights from the stage that created a very hazy, mysterious atmosphere. He opened with “Rebirth” from his most recent album, Always Strive and Prosper. He then performed “Hood Pope” from his 2013 album, Trap Lord, singing acapella at one point. Marty Baller also made another cameo when performing “Telephone Calls” alongside Ferg. A$AP Ferg concluded the show declaring it was finally time to get “burnt.” This worried me. I thought I was beyond burnt at this point. More like pan fried and slightly overcooked then thrown to roast in an oven. And in an instant the high tempo, heavy bass tracks of “New Level,” “Work,” and “Shabba” played back to back, squeezing all of the remaining life from the crowd. Upon the conclusion of his set and the crowd’s applause, I felt a sense of relief walking out of Metropolis. I was dead; bruised everywhere. The sweat that drenched my face was now salt making the commute home in the cold rain more bearable. It was quite nice actually. The undying, almost relentless energy of the show made the experience truly rewarding and enjoyable. Overall, A$AP Ferg’s Montreal stop on his Turnt and Burnt tour was nothing short of “Turnt & Burnt”.

– Review by Nathaniel Bahadursingh



Hi friends,
Happy new year! Hope you all had a nice & relaxing holiday season. I spent mine out west hanging with family – it felt so good to get out of the city and unplug for a bit. We’re still easing into the new year so only a top 30 today; rest assured specialty charts will be back next week.
xo & all the best for 2017

ckut top 30 – january 3, 2017
1. ylangylang – life without structure – self-released CC *
2. v/a – quarter life crisis: still alive at 25 – mint records CC
3. duchess says – sciences nouvelles – bonsound CC *
4.  radian – on dark silent off – thrill jockey
5. monomyth – happy poppy family – mint records CC Continue reading



Goodbye & good riddance, 2016.
In all truth, this past year has been a tough one for a bunch of different reasons. Here’s hoping 2017 will be a little easier on us all.

These are our last charts for the year. The CKUT offices will be closed fromDecember 23rd until January 2nd, but our programming will continue on in its full awesomeness over the break with a couple very special holiday programs added to the mix. Hit up our website for details on our holiday programming schedule.

Happy holidays from all of us at CKUT.

We’re in the process of recapping our favourite albums from the past year on themusic blog. Check out this list of stellar jazz picks courtesy of John B, host of CKUT’s Jazz Amuck program, and keep an eye on the blog for more year-end posts this week.

ckut top 30 – december 20, 2016

1. sam shalabi & alan bishop – mother of all sinners: puppet on a string – unrock CC *
2. tasseomancy – do easy – hand drawn dracula CC
3. ylangylang – life without structure – self-released CC *
4. weyes blood – front row seat to earth – mexican summer
5. oren ambarchi – hubris – editions mego Continue reading

jazz amuck’s 20 not-to-miss albums of 2016

Jazz lovers, take note – the one & only John B, host of CKUT’s famed Jazz Amuck, has put together a real doozy of a list recapping the heaviest hitters of 2016. Whether your tastes veer towards the freest of sounds or you dig more traditional styles, we’ve got you covered. Check out the full list below and tune into Jazz Amuck every Friday from 9-11am on CKUT.


ingrid laubrock – serpentines – intakt
henry threadgill & ensemble double up – old locks and irregular verbs – pi
tyshawn sorey – the inner spectrum of variables – pi
mary halvorson octet – away with you – firehouse 12
anna webber’s simple trio – binary – skirl CC
wadada leo smith golden quintet – america’s national parks – cuneiform
michael formanek ensemble kolossus – the distance – ecm
bobby kapp & matthew shipp – cactus – northern spy
taylor ho bynum – plustet – firehouse 12
mark dresser seven – sedimental you – clean feed
nick fraser quartet – starer -self-released CC
steve lehman & sélébéyone – sélébéyone – pi
sao paulo underground – cantos invisiveis – cuneiform
ingrid laubrock + tom rainey – buoyancy – relative pitch
dan weiss – sixteen: drumers suite – pi recordings
nicolas caloia – les bonnes histoires – ambiances magnétiques CC
vijay iyer / wadada leo smith – a cosmic rhythm with each stroke – ecm
greg ward – touch my beloved’s thought – greenleaf
quinsin nachoff – flux – mythology CC
atlantis jazz ensemble – oceanic suite – marlow CC

Album Review: The GTs – Good Times


Good Times is the debut LP by local duo The GTs. With this album, Samantha Diamond (drums) and Paul Trudel (vocals and guitar) tactfully capture the apathy, uncertainty, and subdued angst of young-adult life via indie rock. This very well may be a projection of my current outlook on life rather than what the Montreal duo intended; however, each track on this album appeals to the quandaries of young adult life in some form or another.

Right off the bat, the opening track “Stoned” feeds into the album’s motif of uncertainty with the ever-so-relatable line, “I know everything, except when I dont.” Trudel’s lyrics, accompanied by guitar and Diamond’s animated drumming, grasp both the inflated ego and self-doubt experienced by every young adult. Similarly, the upbeat track “Lonely” perpetuates a good-natured acceptance of simply not knowing what has happened to one’s life. The line “Im way past twenty-one, wondering what Ive done,” though partly comical, conveys the reasonable yet dispirited view one may have when looking back on the fleetingness of youth. What’s more, with “Charlie Kaufman,” The GTs concoct a wistful love song that perpetuates the well-known feeling of being adrift when lovestruck. This track’s soft and melancholic elements are augmented as Trudel’s voice channels the likes of Jeff Tweedy on Ashes of American Flags. Moreover, with “Monica,” The GTs produce a tune both delicate and sentimental. Though similar to “Charlie Kaufman,” this track’s maturity and minimalist structure are reminiscent of Yo La Tengo’s sound on And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out. Furthermore, on “Mom Song,” Trudel sings to his mom the very blunt line “I hope you’re proud you made me.” In a simple way, this lyric underscores every child’s longing for parental approval, possibly stemming from feelings of insecurity, which fits very nicely with the album’s overall theme. Finally, The GTs conclude their debut album with “So Long.” Together, Trudel’s voice, echoing Thom Yorke on “High And Dry,” and the increasingly blurred instrumental, foment a sense of disorientation as the album slips away.

First and foremost, my interpretation of Good Times may misconstrue Diamond and Trudel’s intentions. Be that as it may, it just goes to show that Good Times, with its gentle strain of indie rock, is both engaging and (for some) able to elicit a strong emotional reflection. Therefore, if in search for an accessible yet nuanced blend of indie rock, then The GTs’ Good Times will prove to be an enjoyable listen.


Review by Soraya Mamiche Afara



Hi friends,
Ian Svenonious (above, !!!) played a set here as Escapism over the weekend and it was one of the best things I’ve seen in ages – a perfect reminder that 2016 hasn’t been a complete disaster. Here’s hoping we ride out the last of this tough year as smoothly as possible and keep our chins up for 2017.

I know we rave a lot about our If You Got Ears residency program, but trust me – December is a real doozy. Buckle up and prep yr ears for sound art meets club bangers (seriously) courtesy of the one and only Tristan Giardini, aka Triz aka Lux Pogo aka Rollrgrrl aka Thurible aka Champagne Pogo aka 1/2 Rivalled Envy aka 1/4 Ursula and Ugly Cry and 1/5 Cheap Wig and Grosser. Tristan is a local musician extraordinaire who wears many hats to cover up their ugly haircuts. They are a Virgo enthusiast that involves themselves in too many projects, and who loves rare sounds in familiar contexts. “Luxury Pogo” will explore the eclectic range of noises that attracts them to sound art and song, as well as the grit and warmth of different mediums that these sounds are recorded into. From crisp and clean pieces to crust and camp tracks, this show will explore a variety of both unpopular and popular music. Tune in every Wednesday in December noon-2pm, or catch it on the archives here

ckut top 30 – december 13, 2016

1. ylangylang – life without structure – self-released CC *
2. tanya tagaq – retribution – six shooter CC
3. loscil – monument builders – kranky CC
4. best fern – s/t ep – oh hi CC *
5. okkyung lee & christian marclay – amalgam – northern spy Continue reading

Concert Review: Kaytranada @ L’Olympia

photo taken by Aaron Bentley

photo taken by Aaron Bentley

Final exams didn’t faze dedicated fans from attending a sold out show at L’Olympia from local electronic producer Kaytranada. Taking the stage at 11:20pm, the venue was packed to the brim with people eagerly anticipating the eccentric young artist to perform his latest mixes for everyone. Fellow local artists Planet Giza and Lou Phelps opened the show earlier on that night with their own sets to warm up the crowd. However, if you planned on catching just the main act then you would’ve had to bear waiting outside in line for over half an hour before stepping foot into the venue.

Once inside L’Olympia, security pushed their efforts in patting down every single person before letting anyone onto the dancefloor. The crowd was immense, nothing but a sea of bodies could be seen in every direction and by the time my friends and I made our way inside, Kaytranada had already took to the stage with performing his mixes.

We made our way up towards the front of the stage, the energy in the room was unparalleled to the show that Kaytranada performed back in May for the release of his debut LP 99.9%. By this time around people knew what to expect from the young producer, his debut album garnered widespread attention and has been making appearances on end of the year lists for the hottest albums of 2016.

He performed fan favorites from 99.9%. The tracks “Glowed Up” and “Lite Spots” had the audience going ballistic and vibing hard off of the hottest two singles on the album. During another point of the show “Cranes In The Sky” off of Solange’s latest record A Seat At The Table had people grooving hard to the funky remix that Kaytranada was able to provide on the track. The liveliness of the venue was constant, everyone in the building was able to lose themselves to Kaytranada’s crisp production that has become distinct to the artist’s production style.

After over an hour of material the show finally concluded around 12:35am, roars of excitement and cheer filled the venue of L’Olympia as Kaytranada thanked everyone for coming to the show. While it’s only been a couple of months since 99.9% dropped, the amount of playability that album holds is always refreshing when listening to his debut efforts. On a live stage all his songs translate exceptionally well to the dancefloor, which makes total sense. His music is meant to be danced to, meant to be played at parties, and most importantly is meant to showcase that Kaytranada is no one-trick pony when it comes to making music.

-review by Michael Eidelson

Album Review: We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service – A Tribe Called Quest

Image result for we got it from hereThe album title was Phife Dawg’s idea. He didn’t really have a reason, but rather thought it had a nice ring; I’ll be damned if it doesn’t encapsulate A Tribe Called Quest’s rather epic journey through the years, as well as the recent passing of Phife, 45, in March of this year from diabetes complications. Their first album in 18 years since the 1998 release of The Love Movement was recorded in Q-Tip’s New Jersey studio, ensuring that everyone working on the album showed up in person to record their parts before Ali Shaheed Muhammad, master of mixing, pieced it all together. MC’s Q-Tip and Jarobi were the main players for the album, with participation from big names such as Busta Rhymes, Consequence, Jack White, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak, and Andre 3000, to name a few.

We got it from Here… provides the nostalgic sound of the OG Tribe with some new perspective. As always, ATCQ cleverly disguises darker themes in effortless beats, clever sampling, and an impeccable knack for call-and-response lyricism. The tracks could provide a wildly successful background to a party or spark an idea for a thinkpiece, depending on how carefully the listener pays attention to the messages woven inside the smooth mixes. Here, ATCQ addresses very relevant cultural and political aspects of 2016: racism, Trump’s stump policies, and POC/minority rights. The more universal themes included in the album are related to kinship, the inevitable passing of time, and self-worth. If you really tried, you could reduce We got it from Here… to a tribute album, and in some ways it is: both Phife Dawg and the core four are lauded in various tracks. However, it would be naive of anyone to assume that ATCQ is anything but two-dimensional; all of the tracks are layered with nuanced references to topics both of the heart and of the head.

We got it from Here… begins with a sample from the 1974 film Willie Dynamite before Q-Tip and Phife Dawg start the call to arms in uniform; the race is off. “The Space Program” provides an excellent opener for the 16-track album, with all players present and accounted for. The track ends with a well-known scene from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971). “A Solid Wall of Sound” features both the vocals and guitar work of Jack White and the vocals of Elton John. The track is a tribute to ATCQ, with Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, and Busta Rhymes providing a head-spinning deluge of rhymes featuring a good deal of patois slang. “Dis Generation” follows the same lines, with the Tribe discussing and commenting on the events of the passing years.

“Lost Somebody” is a tribute to Phife’s passing, with Katia Cadet providing a bittersweet chorus underneath Q-Tip and Jarobi’s lyrics. The track begins with low bass before moving into a subdued, somber (for ATCQ) ballad-rap. Q-Tip provides Phife’s history; fitting, as the two were close friends growing up. Jarobi pays tribute to the man he knew as his bandmate. The track ends mid-chorus, a clear representation of Phife’s untimely and surprising death. Realistically, Jarobi admitted in interviews that he was simply unable to finish the track. After a short delay a very weird, jagged guitar solo cuts through the silence (thanks, Jack White), but the interlude is unexplained, maybe on purpose. Kendrick Lamar is granted his own verse in “Conrad Tokyo,” and he effortlessly slips into the Tribe call-and-response. The track deals with heavier themes, discussing the current political atmosphere in the USA. The sultry, agitated beat conveys a smooth tension; Jack White’s mysterious guitar makes a reappearance at the end of the track.

We got it from Here… ends with “The Donald,” another tribute to Phife Dawg. His passing is acutely felt in the entire album, between references snuck into a lyric and the dedication of two tracks to his name. It is clear that while the album essentially picks up where the crew left off 18 years prior, this will probably be the last we see of new ATCQ material for a long while. Time is needed to grieve and recalibrate; in addition, much has happened since the last album release. These men are no longer the 19-year-olds that wowed crowds in Paris and across America; they have families and individual careers, and may not be as willing to relive their past lives through constant reunion tours. In essence, A Tribe Called Quest has also been laid to rest with the release of this album. But fans, no need to mourn; the music heard in We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service is universal and timeless, and will surely inspire a new crop of aspiring hip hop artists and good friends to continue the music-making cycle.

Album Released: November 11, 2016

review by Juliana Van Amsterdam