Take a deep breath, Pop Montreal is over. I’ll recap my favourite shows and look towards upcoming local gigs. In-studio guests tonight are Dark Matter and a need-to-know act, ¡Flist!.
8-10pm, 90.3 FM or CKUT.ca – duh!
Also in the last week, the annual Polaris Music Prize was awarded to longtime station fav’s Godspeed You! Black Emperor. New Shit regular (and current blogger!) Dorian was in Toronto for the gala, and had a word or two to say about the event, the jury and of course, the winner.
You can read Godspeed’s internet-debate-igniting statement on the Constellation Records website.
We were also lucky enough to be joined live in studio by local noisemaker RAMZI! We got to chat about small scale independant touring, performing four times during Pop Montreal, being selected to play as part of “Best of the Fest” on Sunday at Casa del Popolo, and her upcoming release on Los Discos Enfantasmes.
It all made for some enjoyable, if mildly hungover, radio making.
If you missed it live, check it on the archive!
When Sonic Youth broke up in 2011 I was kind of bummed out that I would never get a chance to see them perform a proper show. I did catch them play a very short set at the Capitol Hill Block Party in 2009, but I also had to contend with a crowd that was speed drinking all afternoon. Thankfully the members of Sonic Youth are still writing new music – either alone, or with new bands. Earlier this month Thurston Moore’s new group Chelsea Light Moving played at the Sala Rossa to a crowd that was buzzing with excitement. In fact, one man was so excited that he couldn’t hold back his yelps – which sounded like a siren mixed with a dog howl – as he stood waiting for the band to start.
The show kicked off with “Frank O’Hara Hit,” and was followed by most of the songs on the band’s new self-titled album which came out earlier this year. The songs were all perfectly played, and didn’t stray too much from the album.
To my surprise Thurston Moore’s between-song banter is what made the show so entertaining. From his polite request for the man to stop making that terrible yelping sound, to the badass nicknames he thought up for his band members, to a story about how he is addicted to fancy chocolates, the audience was always left giggling.
At one point they did experience some technical difficulties, but with all the intentional distortion, no one would have been able to tell had they not invited the sound guy on stage.
As a nice nod to the punk rock band Pussy Riot, and the struggles they’ve experience the last couple of years, Thurston Moore dedicated their most trashy, Sonic Youth sounding song “Burroughs” to the band. With the re-occurring lyric, “too fucking bad,” the song perfectly spoke to the what Pussy Riot represents.
The audience also got a very early taste of songs from the band’s new album, which will apparently be released sometime in 2014. Thurston jokingly described their new music as thunk, a joke which continued throughout the performance when he said the new album might be called Thunk Rock, and that we should all just call him Thunk. One new song they performed called “The Ecstasy” borrows lyrics from John Donne’s poem of the same name – which seemed like a perfect nod to Thurston Moore’s second job as a teacher of poetry at Naropa University. The new songs they performed sound a bit more punk rock than the material on their self-titled album. The shift in sound is exciting, and dare I say, reminiscent of Sonic Youth.
I may not have come to terms with the fact that Sonic Youth has disbanded, but thankfully Thurston Moore has found a new band to fill the void. Chelsea Light Moving is proof that noise rock is still alive, and like a fine wine, some musicians just get better with age.
By Stephanie Cram
The city is abuzz right now with Pop Montreal right around the corner — so much music, film, art, etc to check out. Very stoked to catch Carlyle Williams, Dorothy Moore, and the many many pals who will be gracing stages across the city. A new project that I have w/ two BFFs also got asked to jump on a bill with Pop. 1280 and WTCHS, so do come say hi if you’re kicking around the Petite Patrie hood on Friday night. And if you’re visiting Montreal and wanna meet up for a coffee and chat music, gimme a shout — I’ll be around.
I would also be remiss to not give some props to longtime CKUT friends & supporters Godspeed You! Black Emperor for their Polaris Prize win last night. It’s good to see recognition go to deserving folks, and to see money put towards valuable initiatives. If you haven’t read their statement yet, it’s worthy of your eyes:
Finally, my bandmates and I stumbled upon a fully-functioning mini organ on the sidewalk near my house when we left practice to get some coffee — it truly is a good week.
ckut top 30 – september 24, 2013
esmerine – dalmak – constellation CC
v/a – fixture records sampler – fixture CC
r. stevie moore – personal appeal – care in the community
ought – more than any other day – self-released CC
jenny hval – innocence is kinky – rune grammofon Continue reading
Are you ready for Pop Montreal? The annual extravaganza kicks off tomorrow, bringing all sorts of music, art, film, and much more to the stages of our city. In preparation of the madness, the Pop Montreal crew is pleased to welcome 2013 festival performer (and CKUT programmer!) Li’l Andy in during today’s Montreal Sessions to chat about his picks for this year’s Pop. Tune in today from 3-5pm to hear his take on the festival, and don’t miss him during his special 3D performance this weekend.
Catch the Pop Montreal team curate the Montreal Sessions during September, every Tuesday from 3-5pm streaming at ckut.ca.
Earlier this month I reviewed Crosses and Planks the debut album from the duo Koko Blue (click here to read the review). After listening (and really digging) the record and I was fortunate enough to connect with Koko Bonaparte and get more details about everything Koko Blue.
WHO IS KOKO BLUE?
We are two rock and rollers from downtown Guelph: Koko Bonaparte, that’s me (also of Interstllr), and Evan Gordon (Islands, The Magic). Evan and I grew up going to–and skipping out of–the same schools. We also went to the same rock shows in people’s houses in the Ward and in church gymnasiums. We both play electric guitars in this band, and I sing.
HOW DID THIS PROJECT FORM?
I’d been writing songs to sing in my kitchen and living room. I wasn’t thinking of recording or performing these ones in particular—they were for family and friends. Then, there was a time Evan was often in my kitchen. We were hanging out a lot in Guelph, both of us returned from far flung adventures. That’s about when I realized these were my favorite songs. I whispered the idea of making an old school Guelph record to Ev, and he agreed it was the right thing.
WAS THE MINIMALIST PRODUCTION STYLE OF CROSSES AND PLANKSA CONSCIOUS CHOICE?
The production was all a choice, yes. We set simple form rules and followed them strictly. The songs are one-takes—full through with no chops or punches. The idea was to record them the same way we made songs when we were thirteen. I was, when we did this, a bit tired of fancy studios. When we were kids, we used 4-tracks and it was so damn exciting, and sweet and soulful. Now that we were both better writers and musicians, we wanted to return to that simplicity. And it felt great.
WHAT INSPRIED CROSSES AND PLANKS?
As I mentioned, these songs were written for kitchen parties and fireside nights. They are songs about people and places I love. The inspiration for each song was always something I was trying to parse out, a strong feeling I couldn’t put to rest, but had to sing down.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVE TRACKS (FAVE TO SING LIVE, FAVE TO RECORD, FAVE TO LISTEN BACK TO)?
Both Ev and I love playing Judas Had and Mouchette. They are probably the two most intense songs, lyrically, but also in terms of guitars pushing hard, but also quietly. These songs possess us every time. Playing them is kind of like cliff jumping. You wonder what the hell you are doing because it seems a little extreme. We often talk for a sec before we start and say something like, “Are you ready? You ok for this?”
WERE THERE SOME SONGS THAT WERE HARDER TO WRITE THAN OTHERS?
Writing for me is a way to understand something I don’t really get. I’m not putting down things I already know. I never find this process hard, just strange, unexpected. Time and effort don’t really come into it. I stop paying attention to time and to myself, so I don’t perceive myself as at work, or exerting various kinds of effort. It’s just writing: its own thing. I’m not sure if that will make sense to anyone, but it’s my experience.
WHERE DO YOU SEE THIS PROJECT GOING IN THE FUTURE ?
This Autumn, Evan is touring with Islands, so we are not playing out. I’m writing new songs. I think Koko Blue will keep putting out new songs and videos, maybe forever. These are the songs that I write as part of my everyday life, so that will keep going for a bit, I hope.
DO YOU HAVE ANY UP COMING SHOWS/PROJECTS THAT YOU WANT TO TELL US ABOUT?
We are making videos for every song on Crosses and Planks. We’re doing it according to our homerock principles, so all shots are taken on iPhones. You can see the videos here: http://vimeo.com/album/2196647
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO AT THE MOMENT?
My interesting neighbor brought by a stack of records the other day. A dear friend from Montreal recently sent some records too. As a result of these kind events, I have been listening to Count Basie, Crowded House, Crash Vegas, Romanian wedding anthems, and lots of other random stuff that feels good.
With the Polaris Gala tonight and Pop Montreal getting going on Wednesday we’ll be doing our best to cover Montreal bands in the mix.
Heads up, Underground Sounds is hosting a Pop Montreal showcase at L’Escogriffe, Wednesday September 25, with all the bands in the banner above.
As for çe soir, Aim Low is our in-studio interview guest and James Irwin is stopping by the station for a serenading session. Naturally, tune in live from 8-10 tonight via CKUT.ca or 90.3 FM.
Today on New Shit (3-5pm) we’ll be making a call to the frenzied offices of Pop Montreal. Hear the festival organizers talk about what they’re up to, which shows they’re most excited about, how many cups of coffee they’ve had today.
Plus a festival preview and the Music Dept’s highlights of the fest.
More info/full lineup here, this year with more amazing local/canadiana than ever.
We’ll also be airing CKUT-programmer Tim Keen’s interview with 90s MTL all-girl punk legends Shlonk! at the end of the program (more on that below). Not to be missed!
check that here, if you can’t get with us live.
The Music Department recently featured 90’s Montreal all-girl punk band Shlonk! on this very blog, unearthing their record Eee-Yow from the vinyl library. After that feature we were contacted by Michelle, the band’s drummer, who was excited to talk to CKUT. I recently interview her alongside Jodi, the bassist (the two of them hadn’t seen each other in 20 years!)
Here are some transcribed highlights of the 30-minute interview. You can look forward to an extended feature on the band on New Shit in the coming weeks.
Stream that sh*t here:
Tonight, Ari Swan launches a debut EP and performs her blend of cinematic string-pop at Casa del Popolo. Opening acts include Ohara and members of The Luyas, Matthew Charboneau and Pietro Amato.