Here’s a big mega-chart compiling the past few weeks’ worth of airplay here at CKUT. Today is my first day back in the office after a whirlwind month — Lungbutter was on the road for the first half of August, playing a bunch of amazing east coast dates with the truly rad Providence duo Mother Tongue. Right after the tour ended, I headed west for a bff’s wedding celebration in Alberta and stuck around to catch up with friends & family in BC afterwards. It was a wild few weeks and now I’m back in the zone at CKUT, catching up on one million emails and gearing up for the new semester. Hit me up this week with tracking or any other music inquiries, I promise this week I’ll actually be answering the phone.
:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
Oh man, so much to catch up on. We’re still kinda floating after an amazing weekend broadcasting live from the Montreal International Reggae Fest, and there’s ton of stuff happening on campus as the new semester kicks into gear. Keep an eye out for us at McGill events during Frosh Week, and if you wanna get involved swing by one of our station tours. Join the dream team!
ckut top 30 – august 30, 2016
1. jessy lanza – oh no – hyperdub CC
2. vivien goldman – resolutionary – staubgold
3. the julie ruin – hi reset – hardly art
4. un blonde – good will come to you – egg paper factory CC *
5. braids – companion – flemish eye CC * Continue reading →
This month’s Montreal Sessions, hosted by Alex Pelchat, will kick off today with a live session featuring rock duo Mother Tongue. Hailing from Rhode Island, Mother Tongue will be gracing our studio with sludgy tunes equipped with abrasive vocals, steady guitar, and chaotic drum beats. Alex will be holding a Q & A with the duo, so be sure to tune in for some rad music and convos!
Mother Tongue will be playing tonight at La Plante, kicking off their tour with Montreal trio Lungbutter. They will be touring the east coast for the month of August, so be sure to check out their facebook page to see when they’ll be in your area! Tune into CKUT 90.3 FM’s Montreal Session today from 3-5pm for some great live jams, or catch it on the archives if you miss it live.
After writing a review of the fantastic Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival opening concert featuring the likes of Wadada Leo Smith and Kai Kellough, I was graced with the opportunity to witness a slew of Suoni festival concerts throughout their two week line-up. As usual, Suoni delivered a mind bending take on music. From spoken word to art-punk to free jazz, all things underground seemed to be represented in one way or another. Through and through Montreal was well represented. At the end of the day, the festival is really about this beautiful city we live in so, I thought it would be best to spend some time writing about some of my favorite local acts. Check it out:
Jean Derome and Joane Hétu @ Sala Rossa
Jean Derome has been an important figure in Quebec’s Musique Actuelle scene for 45 years. For this year’s festival, Derome put on a career spanning concert event featuring various ensembles and musicians from different eras in his life. From beginning to end the audience witnessed extraordinary feats as each and every musician tested the capabilities of their selected musical instruments. The set that I remember most fondly was Derome’s first with alto saxophone player and vocalist Joane Hétu. Although Derome has an impressive arsenal of instruments including Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Alto Flute, Soprano Flute as well as various extended wind instruments, Hétu still matched Derome’s level of contrast with her outstanding ability to use everything at her disposal. From screeching high notes and intense vocal clicking to airy sax playing, Hétu successfully held her ground when faced with the spectrum of noise of Derome. The set began with textural devices. Puffs of air and rhythmic scratching evolved into huge walls of sound as Hétu and Derome developed extensive motivic ideas side by side. The quick-hitting contrast and shocking sound effects maintained excitement throughout, truly epitomizing the wonder of live improvised music. Continue reading →
I finished work at 8 p.m. and by the time I’d made my pedestrian way up to Bar le Ritz it was after 9, so I’d missed Adam Kinner and Moss Lime. Caro Diaro was onstage, moving through the last few songs of a set. It was Maica Mia minus the enormous bottom end – her pieces stripped down to stark electric guitar and voice. A lamenting voice always threatening to break out into a full-throated yowl. She delivered some surprisingly funny, bemused between-song patter, and when she was done, she stepped down into the audience and quickly became just another member of the crowd.
That’s the kind of crowd it was, full of musicians waiting to start their set, artists, writers, academics. An interesting crowd, an intelligent crowd. As the night went on, it got bigger and bigger but its character stayed pretty much the same. Mostly youngish, mostly white-ish. Smokers spilling out onto the sidewalk, August is so great. I got to try out the Farnham beer, a good-tasting rouge. The bartenders were on their game.
Lungbutter I was familiar with from their CDR of last year. It was good to see them live, to discover the set-up behind the sound, the dynamic triad of guitarist, vocalist and drummer. Mark E. Smith and Karen Finley’s vocal styles came to mind – the voice big enough and obsessive enough to hold its own against grunge-laden guitar feedback and punkish riffage, while drums rat-a-tat in pointed yet almost jazzy bursts, lending skeletal rhythm to what could be a very formless sound. Each member was attentive to the others’ input. The audience crowded up, and they were familiar with the songs, reacting happily when Lungbutter started playing a favourite.
I probably shouldn’t have taken that smoke break before Jessica Moss, because I was almost paralyzed, shoved up against a corner of the wall praying, “Please, start the set before I have to deal with another human being.” When Moss came on, she said something about “bringing the energy down,” which I thought was an excellent idea. There seemed to be some sound issues – I couldn’t really make out most of what she was trying to say, and the yakety-yakking audience wasn’t helping any. In fact they were downright rude, carrying on with their cocktail chatter even as Moss started sawing away at her violin.
It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered as she opened things up, drew the curtain back and revealed the stars arranged against the black of infinite space. She was using loops, pedals, effects, she was entirely blowing me away. Well, I’m a sucker for a good drone. I don’t know what-all she was doing, there were sounds floating around in the mix that didn’t sound anything like a fiddle. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before the audience had doubled, and was pressed up to the stage, rapt. Jessica Moss solo is a force of nature – if you missed this show, you’ve got another chance to see her in the Pop Montreal festival.
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan was the reason why I was there, leaning on the horizontally-striped multi-coloured wall – I’d been wanting to see them for a couple of years. Right after reading about them in something Julian Cope wrote, checking out their recordings and thinking, “Oh, another great Montreal band I’ve totally slept on.” The current line-up of the band is a tour-ready music machine in Dada-like face paint, fully capable of recreating the intricacy and complexity of the operatic songs on their two great CDs. The music they create isn’t a melting pot, but rather a conscious and playful retrofitting of traditional Japanese and Indigenous American sounds with the distilled best of Canuck / American indie psyche and old-school prog rock. There’s a depth and a heaviness to folk traditions that a lot of indie rock bands can’t touch, but Yamantaka // Sonic Titan get there, and they bring the audience with them.
There were more issues with a mic occasionally not picking up one of the lead vocalists. A minor quibble in an otherwise mesmerizing performance. The magic of Y // ST stayed with me during the long 55 St-Laurent bus ride south. As I strolled into my back alley a raccoon paused at a turn in the road and regarded me with cautious curiosity. I nodded but it didn’t nod back.