Monthly Archives: April 2015





Hi friends,

It’s finally sunny and warmish in Montreal, the semester is wrapping up, and we’re celebrating it all with another edition of CKUT’s legendary Total Eclipse concert series… see below for more info, it’s gonna be a doozy.


We’re real excited to be throwing a triple whammy of killer gigs this coming weekend, each curated by a specific CKUT show. We’ve got something for everyone, whether you dig political hip hip or enjoy thrashing to lo-fi punk jams. Here are the full deets:

Friday May 1st @ Poisson Noir, Superwax presents:
Baked Goods
Moss Lime
Sam Shalabi 

Saturday May 2nd @ L’escogriffe, Groundbreakers & The Rebel Beat present:
Taliwah (of Nomadic Massive)
Project Toombz
Nazim Elnur 

Sunday May 3rd (afternoon, 3pm) @ Van Horne & St. Urbain (outside), If You Got Ears presents:
Brusque Twins
Enfant Magique
Effet Werther
Pierre-Luc Simon
DJ Markus Floats

All three of these shows are gonna be pretty special, and we’d love to see you there if you find yourself in Montreal with thirsty ears this weekend.

ckut top 30 – april 28, 2015
1. suuns & jerusalem in my heart – s/t – secret city CC *
2. lightning bolt – fantasy empire – thrill jockey
3. adam basanta – memory is the residue of thought – kohlenstoff CC *
4. quatuor d’occasion – musica in camera – & records CC *
5. benoit pioulard – sonnet – kranky Continue reading

underground sounds logo

Echo Beach // Underground Sounds

underground sounds logo

It’s a Monday night and it’s been generally grey all day, so let’s simmer into the dark night with some Montreal-based ambient, down-tempo and super chill tracks. Tune in live 8-10pm or listen to the archive. Our guest tonight is Echo Beach, aka Julie Matson, and your host (me) Nick Schofield will be chatting with her about the new album Fortune and airing a live performance right at 9pm. If you like what you hear, check out the Underground Sounds blog.



CKUT’s Music Department has finally thawed out from the Montreal Winter, just in time to present another Total Eclipse Concert Spring Series. Some of the station’s awesomest radio shows have come together to bring you three shows over three days of amazing live local music. So tell your friends, and come out and bask in the warmth and cool sounds with us.


May 1 at Poisson Noir: Doors @ 21h


Baked Goods – Moss Lime – Blanka – Sam Shalabi

May 2nd

MAY 2 at L’escogriffe (4467 rue Saint-Denis): doors @ 21h


Taliwah aka iamblackgirl of Nomadic Massive

Project TOombz featuring T.s Mr.Northerntouch & Djayz Iwonderz


Nazim Elnur

May 3

May 3rd St. Urbain + Van Horne (Outdoors): Music @ 15h

CKUT & If You Got Ears Present:

Brusque Twins – Enfant Magique – Effet Werther – Pierre-Luc Simon –DJ Markus Floats

Curated by Xarah Dion and Black Givre


Album review: Autumn’s Mutt

Michael Chung is a Brossard-based multi-instrumentalist with a knack for crafting unconventional pop. His new EP, We Are Constellations, boasts diverse instrumentation, heartfelt lyrics, and carefully thought-out melodies, and proves to be an enjoyable and easy listen from front to back.

Chung is direct in his songwriting, especially lyrically – many of his songs seek to inspire and uplift, and are full of motivational statements. None are ironic, though – combined with Chung’s eager vocal deliveries, they come across as genuine and are often moving. Occasionally, these deliveries lose their rhythm, making for some awkward phrasing (as on “Emocentrica”), but on dreamier tracks like “Platitude Magnitude,” such phrasing isn’t noticeable. In the end, it’s just an eccentricity – it distinguishes Chung from the pack of quantization-obsessed electro-poppers out there now, without bringing down the overall quality of the work.

I look forward to hearing where Chung goes on his next project. This one is currently available on a pay-what-you-want basis on his Bandcamp: go give it a listen!

by Emmett McCleary




Hey folks,

Keeping things short cuz things are super busy ‘round the office, but I do wanna give props to Silk Statue (above) and Ylang Ylang, both of whom played really stellar sets on CKUT’s The Montreal Sessions last week… they are two of my favourite local projects and come highly recommended by the ears of the music department. Check ‘em out if you’re looking for some new sounds.


We’re hiring a new music librarian. Come work with us! Full job description and application info are available here. Obviously I’m biased, but working here is pretty great. You’d dig it, just sayin’.

ckut top 30 – april 21, 2015
1. suuns & jerusalem in my heart – s/t – secret city CC *
2. adam basanta – memory is the residue of thought – kohlenstoff CC *
3. white hills – walks for motorists – thrill jockey
4. moon – s/t – bruised tongue CC
5. the key-lites – s/t – self-released CC * Continue reading

Howl! hosts The Montreal Sessions (#4)

Tune in to CKUT FM today for The Montreal Sessions, featuring an interview with Loosestrife on Saturn Returns label, launching their new album Getting Better Getting Worse on Sunday at the Howl! festival.

Later in the show, listen for a live in studio performance by Ari Swan, who is playing at the Missing Justice benefit on Friday night at La Sala Rossa, tune-in at 90.3fm !

Howl! festival is now its second year, and all week artistic/activist events are happening at venues around the city, including La Passe, Cagabi, Casa del Popolo and more. Check out the full festival listings online and tune in to the Howl! Montreal Sessions every Wednesday 3-5pm.




Hey friends,
I hung out in Ottawa for the weekend with some old pals and dashed back to Montreal in time to catch Noveller on Sunday night — she’s great! Plus, it finally feels like spring here so there are good vibes all around. I dig it.

PS – Whitney at CJSW beat me to the punch to rave about the Liebezeit/Mertin collab album Aksak, but holy smokes does it ever rule.

We’re really psyched to be teaming up with TVM, McGill’s student-run TV station, to present a killer show this Thursday featuring the likes of Notta Comet, Girl Arm, Dories, and Magic Perm. CKUT and TVM have worked together to film videos for all of these rad local acts, and to celebrate we’re turning them loose in the beautiful Piccolo Rialto to play some celebratory end-of-semester jams. We’re keeping things good & cheap ($5 !!!) so if you’re in Montreal you have no excuse to skip out. Bring yr earplugs, and check the full details here.

ckut top 30 – april 14, 2015
1. a sacred cloud/anarchist mountains – split – howl!/jeunesse cosmique CC *
2. adam basanta – memory is the residue of thought – kohlenstoff CC *
3. cheap wig – magic idea – self-released CC *
4. suuns & jerusalem in my heart – s/t – secret city CC *
5. jack dejohnette – made in chicago – ecm Continue reading

Concert Review: Hand Cream, Family Video, Joint Custody @ Brasserie Beaubien

AH! Un festival inattendu is a mini-festival that took place this spring, from April 2 to April 12. The festival, which is the brainchild of James Goddard, ran on a pay-what-you-can basis and  included artists of all types from across Canada, the US, and even acts hailing from as far away as China.

The Joint Custody/Family Video/Hand Cream show was hosted at Brasserie Beaubien, a casual, dimly lit bar with a mishmash of activities, including slot machines in the back, a pool table, and a piano partially covered by a sheet. With the doors opening at 9:30 pm, and the music actually starting around 10:45, the crowd slowly trickled in, but the bar was pretty packed by the end.

The first band to perform was Joint Custody, a local Montreal group made up of three stylish women. After a quick introduction they launched into their first song, establishing their brooding and dreamy sound from the outset. Their instrumentals were strong and anchored by heavy, attention-grabbing bass riffs while forceful, up-tempo drums provided a striking juxtaposition to the softer vocals. While the guitar player sang the first song, the bass player took over for the rest of the set with her soft, wistful voice. Although their set was pretty one-note, each song flowed nicely into the next one.

Taking the stage after Joint Custody was a group called Family Video that hails from St. John’s, Newfoundland. Comprised of Jam King (who also writes the bands songs and lyrics) on guitar and vocals, Jake Nicoll on drums, and Noah Bender on bass, the group had an eclectic sound rooted in pop and alt-rock. You could tell that growing up in St. John’s heavily influenced their music, with many of the lyrics revolving around themes of loneliness, growing up in the middle of nowhere, and the boredom of small-town life. The group was comfortable with each other on stage and interacted with the crowd throughout their set. Between songs, Nicoll bantered with the crowd, discussing their tour schedule and the fact that the previous night they had possibly slept in a haunted basement and were all running on low sleep. Regardless of their states of rest, Family Video gave a great performance and the members are all seriously talented musicians. The instrumentals were incredible, each adding different layers to the sound, and Jam’s voice was buoyed by the instrumentals. Nicoll’s intensity also stood out—he didn’t stop wailing on the kit for one second of the set.

Soon after Family Video finished up, Hand Cream popped on stage. Hand Cream is another local Montreal band, comprised of Meghan Merrigan on vocals and guitar, Markus Lake on bass, Jef Barbara on keys and vox, Greg Napier on the drums, and Christian Simmons on everything else. The group had an easy-going, fun vibe about them. Meghan interacted a lot with the crowd, telling jokes and even calling for a round of drinks to celebrate Markus’s birthday. Hand Cream has a super interesting sound, self-described as ‘psychedelic post-punk’. Meghan’s voice was powerful, a bit raspy and cracking at the end of some words, adding a really unique texture to their sound. The crowd, which had been relatively mellow all night, began to get into the set, bobbing along to the beat. The guitar sounded similar to Mac Demarco’s with a beachy sound; while the cords were dreamy, they definitely had a distinct punk edge to them. Meghan’s voice and impressive guitar playing also added a bit of punk to the mix, with the drums banging out a strong beat and the keyboard adding a retro vibe to the sound. The mixture of genres and sounds helped elevate each band member, and allowed the listener to interpret the sound in their own way.

AH! did a great job putting together a show with all different types of music that would appeal to a wide range of listeners. Although some acts were less experienced than others, all the groups were clearly passionate about their music and seemed to be having a great time both on stage and off of it, as they all stuck around to hang out in the crowd and watch the other performances. The relaxed environment kept the interactions easy, and I hope that AH! continues in the following years.

Review by Natalie Abemayor


Concert Review: Skin Tone, Buffalo MRI, Thin Gaze @ Concordia Greenhouse


The Concordia Greenhouse, tucked away into the clouds above Concordia University’s Hall building, greets you with a warm humidity and lush scent, once you find your way to the thirteenth (no need to be scared) floor. Last Thursday photosynthesis was not the only creative process occurring.

Arriving before the concert started, I stopped to rub my fingers on a purple-flowered herb – annis hyssop, a delicious tea – and to smell the incredible flowers of the lime (!) tree. So different from the urbanity just a hundred feet or so below, I and the rest of the audience was enchanted by the greenery surrounding us. Nestling between and behind ferns, bushes, trees and hand-built nooks, we settled in for the music to begin.

Skin Tone opened the show with a super short but just as sweet set, opting to ditch the pedals entirely by the end to give us raw, unfiltered saxophone sounds. This was followed by Buffalo MRI, who could barely be seen, as she was tucked to the side of the stage (the stage being no more than an open wooden box, a demonstration balcony garden). But all that needed to be observed were the plants, listening more intently and silently than any of the humans present, absorbing these otherworldly yet earthly tones. Thin Gaze closed out the show with a more human, vocal touch, but mixing the same elements of computer and organic for a thought-provoking twenty minutes or so.

The music ended but the humans remained, unable to step away from this sonic rainforest. Just for a moment, it finally felt like spring.

Review and photo by Carol Fraser

PYNGYN STN mockup cover

EP Review: Warm Wave – PyongYang Suntan

PYNGYN STN mockup cover

PyongYang Suntan is the third release from Montreal quartet Warm Wave, following an eponymous cassette and CD titled Holy Sun Come on Down (See What You Have Done). The EP traverses wide stylistic terrain packed into a compact 22 minute journey.

The title track has little discernable Korean influence, rather borrowing from 60s psychedelia.  A shimmering soundscape with backwards guitars is cut by a razor sharp acoustic guitar, reminiscent of Hawkwind’s “Hurry on Sundown.”  Chanted vocal lines punch in as the background turns to undulating waves of burbling bass and sculpted white noise.  “God’s Bad Poems” starts out like Brinsley Schwarz, country steel guitars accompanying drawled harmonized vocals backed by military march snare rolls, but a metal crunch soon stomps out the campfire to blaze its own burning buzz.  Montreal rapper Sonny Do guests on “Cthulhu Beaucoup Cthulhu,” a Damo Suzuki influence suggested in the breathy whispering and trebly processing which leaves just ghost traces of vocals, while the track churns along like Ege Bamyasi era Can.  “The Milk Witch” is another rocker, slowly building tension from a sparse start through a grinding guitar solo to its noisy climax and back down again.

While the above reference points may give the false impression of a band shuffling through various genres, PyongYang Suntan filters their impeccable tastes into a unique blend of modern pop’n’roll.  Overall, a highly accomplished and gripping EP, not to mention the perfect band name to nudge us out of the Montreal winter blues.

Review by Lawrence Joseph