Monthly Archives: August 2013

This Week’s Live

The Music Dept picks at the city’s live offerings.

The Ketamines play Brasserie Beaubien Saturday, August 31st


Friday, August 30 – Walrus, Sheepman, The Knows, She Divides @ Brasserie Beaubien

Halifax comes to town with psych-rockers Walrus and pop-weirdos Sheepman. pwyc.

Saturday, August 31 –  Ketamines, Tough Age, Silver Dapple, Crabe @ Brasserie Beaubien

Legendary pop out-there and never-came-back Ketamines.  Silver Dapple. Tough Age.  Just look at the lineup.  Montréalais math-pop Crabe ties it all together.

Sunday, September 1 – How Sad, Miss Elizabeth, Secret Sun @ Casa Del Popolo

Passovah darlings How Sad launch their new album.

Monday, September 2 – Atomic @ La Sala Rossa

Jazz that describes itself as “part academic lecture, part a fun night out on the town”

Wednesday, September 4 – Esmerine, Matana Roberts, Kingdom Shore @ La Sala Rossa

Pick of the week.  Dalmark, the new Esmerine release, is wonderful.  Saw Mark from Kingdom Shore play solo last year and it was A+.  Esoterics meet old-world soundscapes.


Want to see your event here?  Send it to library[at]



charts aug27


charts aug27

Hey radio,

I’ve been trying to soak up these last remnants of summer here in Montreal, celebrating friends’ birthdays with picnics in the park and hosting outdoor movie screenings on my balcony. My elderly laptop had a few wipe-outs so I’ve been wasting far less time on the internet and putting more time into reading, drawing, and making music – trying to see the silver lining, y’know?

We are also gearing up for back-to-school action here at CKUT, and there are plenty of great station happenings in the works. Stay tuned over the next few weeks for updates on environmental speakers, a music dept garage sale, funding drive, et plus!

Loud charts return next week.


ckut top 30 – august 27, 2013
esmerine – dalmark – constellation CC
stefan christoff & osama shalabi – rodina – howl! arts collective CC
julianna barwick – nepenthe – dead oceans
sarah neufeld – hero brother – constellation CC
braids – flourish/perish – flemish eye CC
Continue reading

Album Review: Pioneer- Pioneer

Album Review: Pioneer- Pioneer

The folk band Pioneer have recently released their self titled album. PIONEER is a mix of covers like Bob Dylan’s Hard Rain and the Weakerthans’ None of the Above and original songs. From the opening track this album establishes an extremely intimate sound. This intimate sound remains throughout the album primarily due to the quiet lead vocals. Original songs like Yeah highlight the vulnerability found in the lead vocalist’s voice while displaying the band’s solid songwriting skills.
The greatest accomplishment of this record is its ability to strike a seamless balance between new and old sounds, while still creating a unified piece of work. Though all the elements of tradition folk music are present, the use of electronic and other non-traditional sounds adds a new and intriguing layer. Tracks like Diamond Child are unafraid of digital manipulation, using various effects on the lead vocals and play around with larger more spacious sounds. Tracks like Hard Rain assure the listener of the band’s love and respect of traditional folk music. Overall this album is a thoughtful and inventive morsel of music.

Show Review: Lost Tribe, Dream Affair, Marshstepper, Pharmakon, Âmes Sanglantes @ Casa del Popolo, August 2

Got to Casa too late to see Âmes Sanglantes. That’s a shame cause after catching his set at Iceage’s gig a couple weeks prior I was really looking forward to my second helping! The place was too crowded to see Margaret of Pharmakon from the back of the room and she was already well into it. “It” being some of the fiercest, most infectious power electronic/industrial heard in a while. She dished out one long, heavy, deep throbbing jam. Sick, scary, transcendant vibe that massaged your innards. Awesome!

Next we had Marshstepper who I was not familiar with but who quickly left an impression. They’re a scorching power electronic/ industrial duo mixing heavy, slow, crawling electro rumble and pummeling rythm all toped with some crazy, heavily treated screamed vocals. In line with Sword Heaven, “thank your lucky stars” era Whitehouse and later day Prurient. They gave an intense, headbanging, physical performance. Brilliant

Taking the stage next was Dream Affair who conjured up some genuine early 80’s vibe. Punk like early the Cure were, goth like early Sisters of Mercy were and pop like early Modern English were. If you don’t get the references hit your search engine people! They very aptly took the sounds and vibes of all aformentionned bands and blended them seamlessly. They apparently didn’t captivate as much of the crowd as previous acts did and that’s a shame coz the effort and energy they mustered deserved more attention.

This lead us to the event headliner, Lost Tribe. From the looks of the boys and girl onstage I surmised that we were in for some crusty punk vibes. I was right on the money! Instantly brought to mind Zygote and 2000 Dirty Squatters with that gloomy, goth inflected slant on Amebix style crust punk. Also discernable was that heavy, anthemic Tragedy touch. The whole thing came out sounding heavily reverbed and noisy/ distorted; almost reaching Mainliner/ Air Conditioning earsplitting levels. That whole mix of sounds and influences struck me as quite exciting and novel; but then I got home and gave their album a spin! It became apparent quite fast that the noise element was completely unintended, a fluke, a result of room acoustics and amps being cranked too high. It’s a shame coz the resulting effect was a major winner in my book. Great band nonetheless! Lots of energy and smoke machine fog!

The whole night was very satisfying and instructing. I never would’ve guessed that punks nowadays(at least the ones that attended this event) are hip to harsh noise and power electronics. Easy access, online music opening minds and disolving the style/clique barriers I suppose! Way to go!

– Wag

Editor’s note: dig noisy and heavy sounds? Catch Wag on the air every week as he hosts Skewing the Waves, Saturdays from 11pm – midnight. Max listening volume recommended. 

From the Vault: Shlonk! — Ee-Yow (1990)

Photo courtesy of Michelle Bouchard, Shlonk! drummer.

This blogger heard rumours about (very in-famous) Montreal punk Shlonk! around the CKUT hallways while looking for some diversity in the male-dominated 80s-90s cassette section. While our copy of their demo tape has been lost to the ages, I tracked down the vinyl release of their first and only LP.

Formed out of Montreal’s 80s weird-Anglo underbelly, Shlonk! were an all-girl punk band who associated closely with New York’s SCUM Rock community. (In this case, SCUM stands for “Socially Conscious Urban Musicians”, but see also Valerie Solanas’ tract of the same name.)

The record is a scuzz-covered testament to the scene’s creativity: crass, bold, and intelligent, Shlonk! mine hardcore, punk, and sludge metal for material, and they really, really don’t care what you think of it.

While they undoubtedly earned the “punk” label–for both music and lifestyle–the record is frenetic and diverse, accessing deep, aggressive, subgenres as much as conventional hardcore. . “Shlonk!” (the track) begins dissolves quickly into a repetitive, melodic riff and doomy vocals that wouldn’t be out of place in a metal song. Almost instantly, as if they were found out, the song flips on its head once more before being dragged back to its sludgy roots.The band gravitates around novelty with child-like glee; they abandon ideas as soon as they lose energy. The rest of the record is similarly hectic, with thirteen gloriously varied tracks, each of which has staying power.

Very little information about the band is available online, but I was able to track down a transcribed interview with the one and only Lorrie on CKUT’s ‘Aack!’. True to form, the band says very little.

Despite remaining fiercely underground, the band apparently played to rapturous audiences in Europe, and played some reunion shows in Toronto and Montreal a few years back. Check out this video for “Arm Your Children”, which showcases their brand of anarcho-madcappery better than I ever could. The video even features a close friend of CKUT as “Junior”, the armed child…

Bassist Colleen MacIntyre sadly passed away in 1996.

The full album is streaming on soundcloud below:




Hey radio,

Back in action here at CKUT after a whirlwind trip visiting friends in various parts of Europe: London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Potsdam, Krakow∑ my head is still spinning a bit and jet-lag aside, it’s good to be back home in Montreal. Please be patient as I am slowly getting caught up on emails — your tracking responses will be in soon, I promise.

Here are some mega-charts reflecting airplay for the past couple weeks.


ckut top 30 – august 20, 2013
stefan christoff & osama shalabi – rodina – howl! arts collective CC
esmerine – dalmark – constellation CC
jenny hval – innocence is kinky – rune grammofon
sarah neufeld – hero brother – constellation CC
boards of canada – tomorrow’s harvest – warp
Continue reading


Album Review: Stefan Christoff & Osama Shalabi – родина


Album Review: Stefan Christoff & Osama Shalabi – родина (Howl! Arts Collective)

Stefan Christoff is a writer, social justice activist, CKUT show host and free improvising pianist. If you want to know how those varied activities fit together, then check out his new CKUT show dedicated to the interaction between arts and activism, Free City Radio, which airs 11:30 AM on the last Monday of each month. While waiting for that, you can listen to this LP where similar worlds collide.

Equally interested in the relation between music and politics (are they ever separable?) is guitarist and oud player Sam Shalabi. Well known to the Montreal scene but now based in Cairo Egypt, a psychedelic feel pervades much of his work, whether it be with the Shalabi Effect or his large Egyptian flavoured big band, Land of Kush.
Родина is the second release in Christoff’s St. Laurent Piano Project (following Temps Libre), and features three duet tracks as well as a short solo piano piece. According to the liner notes, the music is intended to reflect “the endless search for home in North America, a place of lands and people continuing to struggle against the legacy and current reality of colonialism.” родина (or Rodina) is Russian for “homeland.” This is reflected in the floating atmosphere found here.

While this album is the first full length recording of the duo, Shalabi played on one track on Christoff’s Duets for Abdelrazik release, and the music here starts where that dialogue left off. The sound is rawer and rougher edged compared to Duets for Abdelrazik, perhaps because it was recorded live on a cold winter morning at the Sala Rossa. Christoff’s piano provides a bed of hanging trills and chords upon which Shalabi’s oud spins out motif after motif, resting on one for a spell before darting off in another direction. If an analogy can be drawn between the music and the theme of homeland and restlessness, then Cristoff’s piano is the unsettled ground upon which Shalabi’s oud stays for a while before moving to another area.

You can let this music float by on a melancholy meditative cloud or listen more deeply to hear all of the subtle twists and turns within the melodic travelogue. In other words, in concert with the best activism, the music supports dreaming of a better place and traces out a roadmap to get there.

The first track on the album can be listened to here.

Lawrence Joseph


What We Played on New Shit: (08 19 2013)

Check the playlist below.  Also, Joan of Arc tickets + CD still up for grabs.  First to shoot an email to library[at] with the name your favourite JoA album gets the whole bag.

(click to enlarge)



UPDATE:  wasn’t so hot on the times/durations this at-bat.  shoot me an email for “it sounded like…” track requests…

Joan of Arc plays August 23rd at Il Motore with Co La and Big Knife Little Knife


Sarah Neufeld + BRAIDS + Holobody // Underground Sounds






Next level interview action on Underground Pre-records with local luminaries, BRAIDS and Sarah Neufeld. Capping off the cola is a track-by-track breakdown of EP MTL with sibling duo Holobody. Literally, local-music to your ears. or 90.3 FM woot woot.

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