Category Archives: Events


Behind the Scenes @ Venus Radioke

The annual Venus Radioke extravaganza is one of the city’s best-loved radio events, and we had a pretty special edition of it last week as part of CKUT’s Funding Drive. Here’s a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the magic that went down here in our on-air studio, featuring members of amazing local bands Heathers, the Femmaggots, Cheap Wig, and many others behind the mic.

Venus airs live every Thursday from 12-2pm EST. And don’t forget, it’s not too late to donate to Venus (or any other CKUT program) if you want to show some support!




This Saturday: The Goods w/ DJs Andy Williams & Scott C + Andy Smith (ex-Portishead)

We’re in day two of CKUT’s annual funding drive, and lemme tell you things are hopping around the station… we’re up to our eyeballs in special programming, wicked prizes, and insane events. Speaking of, here’s one going down this weekend that we’re particularly psyched about — the all-star crew behind The Goods is bring the one and only Andy Smith to town,  and it’s hands down the best weekend bet for groove-lovers around town.  For those not in the know…

Who is Andy Smith?

23 January 1967, Thornbury, Bristol, Avon, England. Smith made his name on the UK music scene in the mid-90s as the official tour DJ for the Bristol-based trip-hop act Portishead. The response to his opening sets for that band prompted Smith’s decision to release his own mix album in 1998. The highly praised The Document appeared on the Go! Beat Records label, and its popularity within the house and hip-hop fraternity helped give Smith a great profile boost. The list of records on the album seemed absolutely bizarre from Tom Jones to Jeru The Damaja, but with seamless mixing and top-drawer cutting and scratching Smith fashioned one of the year’s finest mix releases. Further work with Portishead was balanced with an increasingly hectic schedule as an international DJ, but in the new millennium Smith found the time to launch Dynamo Productions with Scott Hendy of the hip-hop outfit Boca 45. The duo issued a number of 12-inch singles before debuting with Analogue in early 2003. Shortly afterwards, Smith released his second mix set (inventively titled The Document II). The album continued in the eclectic vein of its predecessor, beginning with a Kate Bush track and moving through Serge Gainsbourg, the Ultramagnetic MC’s and Barbara Acklin. One of the least pretentious DJs on the UK music scene, Smith educates and rocks the party out at the same time.

Catch it this Saturday, October 25 at the Sala. Want more info? Check it out via Cult Mtl or Facebook.


Photos: CKUT’s Autumn 2014 Total Eclipse Concert Series

Missed last week’s awesome Total Eclipse series? Or just want to re-live the magic? Either way, here are some of our best visual memories from a weekend full of amazing music. The World Skip the Beat photos are from the talented lens of Manikmati Photography, and CKUT’s own Tamara F. took the photo (and drew the neck tattoo) of DJ Damnbrunettes.

Of course, y’all should keep your dials tuned to CKUT because we’ll have tons more exciting events coming up with this year’s Funding Drive… things kick off on October 23rd, so stay tuned for all the details coming shortly!



Montreal International Reggae Festival Live on CKUT


CKUT is home base for all the reggae happenings in Montreal, and this year we are going to be ALL over the 11th Annual Montreal International Reggae Festival. From 4pm till midnight on Saturday August 16th and Sunday August 17th, CKUT will be broadcasting LIVE from the Old Port with all of your favourite radio hosts. Hosts of CKUT’s Caribbean Programming: Positive Vibes, Butcher T’s Noon Time Cuts, Weekend Groove, Soca Sessions, West Indian Rhythms, Masters At Work, Bhum Bhum Tyme, Roots Rock Rebel, Roots Rock Reggae, Full Circle and New Born Reggae Ting will all be there! Tune in this weekend to hear it live, or better yet – come say hi to us at the festival and chill with the CKUT crew in person.


Underground Sounds Curates Marché des Possibles


CKUT Underground Sounds is pumped to be partnering with Marché des Possibles and Pop Montreal on July 25 for an evening of live music at the Mile End’s new open-air market.

The free event runs from 3 -11pm with musical guests Saxsyndrum, Hua Li and Fragile Feet starting at 7pm. RSVP for the event here and join us at Bernard and Saint-Dominique for live music, a farmers market, artisan crafts and food trucks in a kid-friendly outdoor community space. We’ll see you there!

Young Magic

Concert Review: Fuck Buttons + Young Magic @ Sala Rossa (Suoni Per Il Popolo)

Young Magic

It is needless to say that Suoni Per Il Popolo breeds the perfect breadth of genres for music connoisseurs to seriously get out of their comfort zones. However, this can result in either happy or less-welcome surprises. Seeing the opening band, Brooklyn-based Young Magic (YM), at Sala Rossa was indubitably a happy one.

Far from your average dream-pop and too special to dump in the overemployed experimental electronic music category, YM’s sound translates into masterfully layered synth lines with textured soundscapes.

Their latest LP Breathing Statues, released on May 6th, dominated the first half of their set. YM describes it as “landscape of violence and grace”. The band quickly mesmerized its audience with projected images and clips from Sergei Parajanov’s 1968 Armenian film “The Color of Pomegranates”. These ethereal visuals proved a well-suited compliment to Melati Malay’s eerily raw and sensual vocals and distorted guitar solos.

The second half of the set featured material from their 2012 album Melt. Slightly more psychedelic with its dark modal melodies, YM left the crowd meditative yet energized, closing with two of my favorites: “Sparkly” and “Night In The Ocean”. Weaving this all together, their performance held up to their self-description as “gold dreamers, aspiring world wanderers, silk sounders”.

Fuck Buttons

Sadly, British headliners Fuck Buttons (FB) were less inspiring. Unmistakably drone music, bordering on noise rock, with hints of Mogwai-inspired post-rock progressions, the experience was dizzying and draining.  Their set included tracks from their critically acclaimed third album, Slow Focus, released in July 2013.

Despite scoring 80 on Metacritic, I found their downtempo style redundant. Their presentation fell flat. One song flowed from one to the next without distinction, sucking the crowd into a nonconsensual time warp that failed to deliver the expected payoff. I was only really able to get into a groove with their more trance-like material (e.g. “The Red Wing”). All in all, it was way too much reverb for my nervous system to handle.

When it comes to anything electronic, the Brits usually exceed expectations. But unfortunately for FB, their conceptual nature felt more like an art project than a music performance.

– Jessica Newfield

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Suoni Giveaway Updates

suoni banner imageWe promised you more info on what Suoni tickets we’ll be giving away — trust us, there’s a ton of ’em — and we are here to deliver. The full scoop is below, so be the first listener to email when the giveaway is announced on air and you can win win win.

  • The Witching Hour (2:00-4:00am, May 29): Crosss + Sheer Agony + Shitsu @ La Vitrola, 6/4/2014
  • Underground Sounds (8:00-10:00pm, May 26): Sunfields + PangAttack + Brad Barr @ Casa, 6/5/2014
  • New Shit (3:00-5:00pm, June 2): Magik Markers + Gashrat + Drom For Du Dor @ Brasserie Beaubien, 6/6/2014
  • Underground Sounds (8:00-10:00pm, June 2): Moonface @ Sala, 6/6/2014
  • Night Train (2:00-4:00am, June 3): The H + Ramzi + Bataille Solaire + Event Cloak + Giant Claw + Seth Grahma + Christopher Merrit + Charles Barabe @ Sala, 6/8/2014
  • Venus (12:00-2:00pm, June 5): You’ll Never Get To Heaven + White Poppy + the Marlees @ Casa, 6/8/2014
  • Jazz Amuck (9:00-11:00am, June 6): Die Like a Dog Trio @ Sala, 6/10/2014
  • New Shit (3:00-5:00pm, June 9): Xeno & Oaklander + Pharmakon + Automelodi + Essaie Pas @ Sala, 6/13/2014
  • Underground Sounds (8:00-10:00pm, June 9): Alden Penner + Laura Crapo + A Montreal Paul @ Casa, 6/11/2014
  • Jazz Amuck (9:00-11:00am, June 13): Ensemble Supermusique + Instruments of Happiness @ Sala, 6/15/2014

We’ll also be giving away tickets to the following via CKUT social media (you checkin’ that Twitter account? Facebook? You should be…)

  • Richard Buckner + James Irwin @ Casa, 6/4/2014
  • USA Out Of Vietnam + Public Anima + Marie Davidson @ Sala, 6/5/2014
  • Steve Bates & Seijiro Murayma + Sam Shalabi + Stefan Christoff @ Casa, 6/6/2014
  • Tonstartssbandht + Cousins of Reggae + Steve Jr @ Casa, 6/7/2014
  • A Sacred Cloud + Hrair Hratchian @ Casa, 6/9/2014
  • Aaron Dilloway + Apetechnology + Buffalo MRI + Tarpit @ Casa, 6/10/2014
  • The Great Learning: Quatuor Bozzini + Monday Night Choir @ Sala, 6/11/2014
  • Philip Jeck + Michaela Grill & Karl Lemieux + Richard Skelton & Autumn Richardson @ Sala, 6/12/2014
  • Excepter + Chicken Pet @ Casa, 6/14/2014
  • Bardo Pond + Near Grey @ Sala, 6/14/2014
  • Boneshaker + Not the Music @ Casa, 6/15/2014

Stay tuned for more to come! And as always, don’t forget to check back at ye olde music blog for all the latest on what’s happening around town and how you can win your way in.

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Suoni Per Il Popolo Ticket Giveaways

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Psst, you heard? Montreal is abuzz with Suoni Per Il Popolo right around the corner, and we here at CKUT are very excited to be giving away tickets to a bunch of stellar Suoni gigs. Here’s the lowdown on what we’ll be doling out and when you should tune in for your chance to win:

The Witching Hour (2:00-4:00am) will be giving away a pair of tickets to Crosss, Sheer Agony, and Shitsu @ La Vitrola on the May 29th episode of the program (which is real late Wednesday night/real early Thursday, depending on whether you’re a night owl or an early bird).

Listen to Underground Sounds from 8:00-10:00pm on June 2 for your chance to snag a pair of tickets to Moonface @ Sala (6/6/14), and tune in the following week at the same time to win tickets to Alden Penner @ Casa (6/11/14).

On June 2 from 3:00-5:00, your pals right here in the CKUT music department will be giving away a pair of tickets to Magik Markers @ Brasserie Beaubien (6/6/14) on New Shit. Tune in at the same time on June 9th ‘cuz we’ll be giving away tickets to Xeno & Oaklander + Pharmakon @ Sala (6/13/14).

Dig crazy late-night sounds? Be sure to catch Night Train from 2:00-4:00am late Tuesday/early Wednesday, June 3rd for your chance to win tickets to The H, Ramzi, Bataille Solaire and more @ Sala (6/8/14).

If out-jazz is more your jam, tune into Jazz Amuck on June 6 from 9:00-11:00am as John B gives away a pair of tickets to the Die Like A Dog Trio @ Sala (6/10/14). The following week, June 13th, he’ll be giving away tickets to Ensemble Supermusique @ Sala (6/15/14).

We’ll also have plenty more tickets to give away as the festival inches closer, so be sure to check back for updates and keep yer ears locked to CKUT for the most chances to get into these killer shows for free. Full festival programming is available for online perusal via the Suoni website.


CKUT Does Victo: Alex Pelchat on FIMAV 2014

FIMAV – 30th Edition, from May 15th to May 18th!

Victoriaville, PQ’s annual experimental music extravaganza kicks things off this week, celebrating thirty years of music, from all genres and from all around the world. You know that old free jazz crowd that shows up at all the experimental shows at Sala Rossa? Chances are they have probably left town a couple of times in the last decades to head east for the small yet charming town of Victoriaville. Sun Ra Arkestra with Sun Ra? They’ve seen it there. John Zorn and Yamatsuka Eye doing Naked City? Yeah, that too. Thurston Moore and Keiji Haino shredding together? Oh, that as well. The FIMAV is quite a unique festival that has managed to bring out some of the most renowned experimental musicians to the province throughout its history. Giants from free jazz, avant-garde, experimental rock, and noise have passed by the festival, as have the ‘hottest’ bands of the moment. Looking through the archives of the festival, one can’t help but wish time travelling was available already. Let’s now look forward and see what is happening this year in Victo.

The festival should be off to a great start when it begins with the first-ever FIMAV visit of legendary vocalist and composer Meredith Monk.  Monk will present work from her catalogue with the help of vocalist Katia Geissinger. Meredith Monk has not visited us all that often, do not sleep on it. It will be followed by what should be a truly festive and out-there odyssey with Marshall Allen, bandleader of the Sun Ra Arkestra. Allen will perform a tribute to Sun Ra with the Montreal free jazz big band Ratchet Orchestra. The Orchestra features some of the best players in Montreal, including clarinet mad scientist Lori Freedman and the heavier-than-thou saxophonist Jason Sharp. Ending the first day of the festival will be Ava Mendoza‘s power trio Unnatural Ways. Unnatural Ways is one of those free jazz bands with a rock edge that continuously keep you on the edge of your seat, with headbanging temptation running high. Fans of Marc Ribot or Nels Cline will be pleased.

2014 might well be the year of big bands as Rimouski’s very own free improv troop GGRILwill perform pieces by Robert Marcel LepageJean Derome and the GGRIL’s bassist,Éric Normand. Two fully-functional ears will be needed to hear all that the band has to offer sonically. Jerusalem in My Heart will follow the GGRIL with its maelstrom of sounds and images. The project of Hotel2Tango’s Radwan Moumneh, Jerusalem will feature film projections by Charles-André Coderre, while Moumneh will perform solo with a whole bunch of acoustic and electronic gear. Quebec franco rockers Gros Mené are also playing FIMAV on friday. While Gros Méné usually plays pretty straight ahead heavy rock, they will be joined for the first time by legendary avant guitar player René Lussier. It should be quite interesting to see what kind of guitar fireworks the somewhat reclusive Lussier will bring to the stage. One of the bigger acts of 2014, the all-star band of Keiji Haino, Merzbow,Yoshida Tatsuya, and Richard Pinhas will bring the noise in Victoriaville’s arena. Even though it will be their first performance, the noisy quartet will probably be as explosive as you can imagine they would be. As if eardrums needed any more of it, UFOMAMMUT will bring its heavy riffs to concertgoers right after Haino. The sludgy experimental metal band is only playing in North America for the second time in fifteen years.

Day three of the festival will feature six concerts that are all quite different yet seem to work well together. Opening the day will be François Carrier and Michel Lambert, a free jazz drum and sax duo that has toured a lot and who displays quite a strong chemistry. Next will be BC’s Gordon Grdina with his large ensemble Haram, which presents free improvisers exploring the sounds of classical Arab music. Next willl be Russian noiseniks Astma. Described as a mix of noise, free jazz, and psychedelic music, the duo should theoretically be a sure hit for concertgoers. The last three shows on Saturday showcase some of the biggest names active in experimental music. First off will be the two legendary British improvisers Fred Frith and Evan Parker, who are both long-time regulars of Victoriaville. If Frith can be hit-or-miss, Parker usually delivers the good with his unique sax work. Following the duo will be American saxophonist Ken Vandermark, who will present hisAudio One ensemble. Chicago heavy hitters like Jeb BishopDave RempisMarsWilliams, and Jason Adasiewicz will join Vandermark onstage, along with five other musicians. It’s a Vandermark show, there should be plenty of shronk and a healthy dose of sweat. What happens when you bring together the three heaviest guitar players alive? You get Nazoranai, which features Keiji HainoOren Ambarchi, and Stephen O’Malley. The catch is that O’Malley and Ambarchi become a killer metal rhythm section on bass and drums, offering doomy background for the shredding of the Japanese legend. Earplugs mandatory!

Opening the last day of the festival will be two Arcade Fire family members, Sarah Neufeldand Colin Stetson. The couple has been working on music together following shows performed solo. Evan Parker will play his second set of the festival with an outstanding band that includes Ikue MoriGeorge LewisNed RothenbergPeter EvansOkkyungLee, and Sam Pluta. That septet will be paradise for free improv aficionados. Up next will be Maja Ratkje, who has performed some serious noise in Victo in the past with Fe-Mail and Spunk. Her solo set will focus on voice and electronics. For a dose of Quebec folk, stick around for Michel Faubert, a conteur and singer from la Belle Province who will mix his more traditional material with a musique actuelle band. Fred Frith, like Parker, will play with a large ensemble that will present the music of his classic album Gravity. The show promises to be an interesting mix of dance music and experimental rock. Before going back home, Montreal noisy punk rockers Duchess Says will bring the festival to an end with their spazzy rhythms and absurdist vocals. Annie-Claude Deschênes is arguably Montreal’s best frontperson and she will no doubt impress the Victo old-timers.

Let’s hope we all get out of Victo alive and make sure you stay hydrated.

Alex Pelchat

Beyond the Montreal Sessions: Howl! Arts Festival

Remember March? It was sub-zero, there was still plenty of snow, and the Howl! Arts crew was curating the Montreal Sessions. They tipped us off to a pretty rad festival they were planning, and it’s finally upon us. Those with hungry ears and an interest in local activism can find full festival details here. Wanna check out what’s going on tonight? Here’s a sneak peek at what to catch:

20h30 Regards sur le 7ème feu ensemble / Choeur Maha
La Sala Rossa, 4848 St. Laurent, $8 (facebook event)

22h Saxsyndrum / Dam Ships / Stefan Schneider percussion ensemble
Casa del Popolo, 4873 St. Laurent, $7 (facebook event)

And tomorrow:

Saturday 20h30 transcending audio borders
Spectacle Bénéfice pour les arrêté(e)s de P-6 (facebook event)
A Sacred Cloud / Amir Amiri / Jean-Sébastien Truchy
Café Résonance, 5175 Avenue du Parc

Our pals over at Cult MTL also had some nice things to say, in case you need any more encouragement.