Tag Archives: Pop Montreal




Hello radio,
Not too much to report this week – been taking a little breather after POP Montreal and gearing up for our upcoming existence referendum and our annual funding drive. I did manage to catch Gambletron (above), Drainolith, and a bunch of other CKUT hosts tear it up at anRBMA Drone Activity show over the weekend – so much bass, so many strobe lights. My senses are still recovering.

Oh Hi is a group of friends. We make art in Montreal. For the month of October, tune in to for a jubilant heist of The Montreal Sessions (every Tuesday 3-5pm) and indulge in an audacious smorgasbord of interviews, in-studio sessions and mythic M-U-S-I-C. Delectables include chit-chats with The Highest Order, L CON, Smokes, Justin Wright, Tamara Sandor, Year of Glad and an abundance of ‘special guests’. Stream it live every Tuesday on ckut.ca or download the audio archives here.

ckut top 30 – october 4, 2016

1. the submissives – do you really love me? – fixture records CC *
2. tanya tagaq – retribution – six shooter CC
3. strange froots – blossom this froot for thought – self-released/CJLO CC *
4. v/a – no. 2 – oh hi CC *
5. un blonde – good will come to you – egg paper factory CC * Continue reading


Concert Review: Saxsyndrum @ POP Montreal


Snuggled between a strip-club and a vegan café lies the intimate new venue Mademoiselle.

Tired and tipsy, I hop up the stairs and into the room.

Faint neon fixtures and stage light illuminate the space just enough for me push my way to the center of the crowd.

In front, the stage sprawls out surrounded by crimson fringe.

On stage, three musicians revel in the limelight.


Creeping into audibility, the hums of the synth usher the crowd to a calm.

Bergeron, crouched on the floor, leans into the mic.

A soft whisper passes through his lips.

Within moments, the indiscernible slivers of his voice transform into a blaring roar.

Suddenly, blasts of alto sax pierce through the thickening sound.

Mild patters of a drum intensify, attempting to tame the band’s mercurial beat.

Together, A.P. Bergeron (vocals), Dave Switchenko (saxophone), and Nick Schofield (drums) galvanize their spellbound crowd.


Mid-set, a girl in the front row, full pint in hand, professes her boozy love for the band.

“Dave, I love you!”

He shakes his scarlet curls out of their plastic grip.

A gratified smirk flashes across his face.

Bergeron giggles.

Schofield grins.

Howls erupt.

A group to my right begins chanting.

“Saxsyndrum! Saxsyndrum!”

The crowd wants more.


For the duration of the set, the trio maintains total control over the crowd.

The audience is swept into a trance, engulfed by the song.


Saxsyndrum’s fusion of synth pop and electronic with funk undertones flooded to every corner of the room. The band’s absurdly wondrous energy spread throughout the venue and persisted even after the set came to a close. The crowd, unwillingly accepting the night’s end, lingered until the main lights came on. As I stepped back out into the chilly brink of Saturday night, the consensus appeared to be as such: if you realize a late night craving for a local strain of transcendental-electronica, then a night with Saxsyndrum will quench your thirst.

– Review by Soraya Mamiche Afara




Hi friends,
It’s been a whirlwind couple weeks – I was in Toronto for this year’s Polaris Prize (props to our hometown boy Kaytranada for his big win) then got back home just in time for Pop Montreal. There was too much awesome to recount here but a few personal highlights were catching Jef Elise Barbara as David Bowie, seeing an utterly captivating Annette Peacock performance, opening for legit heroes Psychic TV, the swoon-worthy Submissives (above) at the Egg Paper Factory showcase, and watching Toronto hip hop duo Bizzarh tear it up at beloved dive bar Brasserie Beaubien. I can already feel the post-pop sore throat kicking in so please send me yr favourite soup and/or immunity-boosting concoction recipes.

Got IT skills? We’re hiring! Apply here and join the best crew in town.

ckut top 30 – september 27, 2016

1. angel olsen – my woman – jagjaguwar
2. v/a – no. 2 – oh hi CC *
3. automatisme – momentform accumulations – constellation CC
4. tanya tagaq – retribution – six shooter CC
5. helen money – become zero – thrill jockey Continue reading

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Concert Review: POP Montreal Night 2

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For night two of Pop, I was drawn to the Mile End in an attempt to see John Cale and take full advantage of my Pop-Hopper pass for the late-night activity. In spending time at the heart of the festival, it was clear that Pop Montreal holds a certain command over the city. Where Osheaga establishes a capitalist regime at Parc Jean-Drapeau, Pop Montreal spreads its wings, sponsoring events at every venue imaginable, some of which even the most dedicated concertgoers have never heard of. Admittedly, night two was a bit more hit-or-miss than the first (a few too many Nirvana+Joy Division+Radiohead bands), but luckily I stuck it out all the way until the punk legends known as Fet.Nat took the stage at Club Lambi.

Here were my top three acts:

                                                                            John Cale
It’s nice to see that John Cale is still a weirdo. In a time when Axel Rose is allowed to continue his awful rehashings of the classic rock sounds of the 1970s, the 74-year-old punk grandfather refused to pander to anyone at Pop Montreal this Thursday. Throughout the set, Cale was accompanied by bizarre, ambient sounds and electronic beats that combined for hypnotic groove states and droning soundscapes. Perhaps Cale does still manage to fall into some of the old-timey rock star traps. His vocal styling has seen some better days and his drum machine sounds lack the cutting edge bite of more modern art rockers, but it’s clear that Cale won’t be starting a bland jazz standards act anytime soon.

Vallens touch upon some of the moods of gothic rock and metal with a bit of shoegazy guitar guiding each instrumental break. Their set was quite engrossing in the way each song droned on with repetitious riffs gaining more momentum into roaring climaxes. The noise never completely stopped, making for a lot of cohesion as each song melted into the next. It wouldn’t be entirely fair to categorize their sound as overly derivative; however, the band still needs to define themselves a bit more. Although the music enveloped me quite a bit for the concert, it could be easy for them to get lost in the mix with other alternative rock and metal bands. Nonetheless, Robyn Phillips has a clear knack for songwriting and the group has a lot of potential.

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It seems only appropriate to bookend the night that John Cale kicked off with a younger band of misfit punks who are viciously different and extraordinarily creative. Fet.Nat is one of those groups where every member deserves some mention. The loose, collective playing style is somewhat guided by drummer Olivier Fairfield, whose minimal kit is made maximal by active percussive work. A chaotic backdrop is set by the sampling and guitar playing of Pierre-Luc Clément with sax player Lindsey Wellman and vocalist JFNo sharing the spotlight with their full throttle screams. Jumping on stage after midnight may have hurt the size of their crowd a bit, but the group did not seem to be bothered as each of their wacky grooves were gushing with anarchic energy.

– Review & photos by Donovan Burtan 

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Concert Review: POP Montreal @ the MAC

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Despite booking huge, internationally recognized artists and having the capability to appeal to those unfamiliar with the city, Pop Montreal reads more as the fall version of Suoni Per Il Popolo than anything else, holding the spirit of the city it inhabits above all else. The Plateau and Mile End are filled with a particular energy this week, with daily passes allowing for young folks to bounce around to various venues and enjoy a multitude of events in a very free spirited way. On my first night I was actually drawn downtown to the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal to experience three local projects with an ear for droning soundscapes. The ominous room set the perfect tone for the evening as concertgoers were met with high ceilings and black walls to complement the enveloping sets that took place over the course of the night.

This show really did wonders for me, here are my thoughts on each set:

The throbbing drones that began William Jourdain’s performance never really left his sound pallet, resulting in a sort of industrial lens that encompassed each stylistic change throughout the set. By stretching songs on for periods of seven to ten minutes Jourdain certainly paid respect to the Constellation Records Ideology, but his ability to touch upon dance-able grooves amidst more abrasive material stood as a relatively unique quality. Blissful electronic melodies could occasionally be heard over the dramatic background with textural shifts evolving into moments of dense, wobbling beats. These songs may serve as an indicator of the direction of dance music in the future. Moments to encourage both head bobbing and critical thought filled the experience resulting in a capability to appeal to a wide audience without sacrificing musicality.

                                                                       Jessica Moss
Jessica Moss clearly understands the violin’s natural capability to produce heart-wrenching material, which was indicated by her set’s most climactic points. However, she also avoided riding this wave too heavily, contrasting her anxious moments of instability with gradual resolutions into silence. Playing a quick-hitting, 25-minute piece based on the “journey for all people to find peace,” Moss set an impressively lush tone considering her reliance on a relatively minimal set-up. Simple ideas grew into echoing soundscapes with manipulated violins filling every corner of the room. Raw, distorted melodies from vocals and violin, occasionally breached the surface of the backdrop resulting in moments of stunning transcendence.

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                                                                 Jerusalem in My Heart
Jerusalem in My Heart has a vision. Besides the ability to create massive musical moments with the juxtaposition of shimmering synthesizers and high intensity buzuq playing, the group adds to their aura with projection screens and stage magic. The theme of instability follows the music everywhere, each phrase dancing around resolution as nonspecific visuals float around lead singer Radwan Ghazi Moumneh adding to the hypnotic nature of the whole experience. More intense vocal moments were matched with stunning strobe lights, dancers emerging from the background only at the very end to cap off the constantly growing emotional weight. Perhaps a good summary of the set’s effect on the audience came in a moment of silence. After finishing a song towards the end, Moumneh took an extra minute or two to adjust for the next song. Unsure of what to expect next, every member of the crowd remained completely still, signifying the breath-taking nature of the performance they had just engaged in.

– Review & photos by Donovan Burtan


CKUT’s Guide to POP Montreal 2016


THE TIME IS NOW. The 15th installation of POP Montreal kicks off with a bang next Wednesday, September 21st and runs until Sunday, September 25th. Being your ~numero uno~ advisor and advocate for all things artsy and Montréalais, the CKUT Music Dept. is proud to present our very own guide to the festivities going on all over the city. Allons-y!

With over 400 artists to choose from in a five-day period, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. We’ve selected a handful of shows for each day that might be worth checking out! You can also find the full list of acts here. The blurbs have been taken from the bands’ five-word descriptions of themselves, courtesy of the POP Montreal mag.

September 21, 2016:
-The Kills (8pm @ Metropolis): “girl, boy, garage rock, hot.”
-Allah-Las (8pm @ La Tulipe): “California, the sands, the seas, the streets.”
-Smileswithteeth (9:15pm @ Balattou): “dreamy, upbeat, warm, rhythmic, melodic”

September 22, 2016:
-Groenland + Lowlands (8pm @ Club Soda): “Indie pop orchestral”
-Jesse Mac Cormack (8:30pm @ Rialto Hall): “Music for the soul”
-Manners (8:45pm @ Cagibi): “POP, ROCK, INDIE, MONTREAL, SUD OUEST” 

September 23, 2016:
Beca (9pm @ Studio Rialto): “Spacey electro-disco with girly vocals”
-Let’s Eat Grandma + Caveboy (9pm @ Bar Le Ritz PDB): “hypnotic vocals from UK sisters”
-Angel Olsen (9pm @ Theatre Rialto): “mesmerizing folk country pop”
-Lungbutter (9:30pm @ Theatre Fairmount): “Noisy, fierce, experimental art rock”
– Shinehead (11:59pm @ Piccolo Little Burgundy Late Night): “MTV Raps Alumni KING”

September 24, 2016:
-Pop vs. Jock IV (1pm @ McGill Sports Centre): Win Butler’s charity basketball game (our description)
-Emilie & Ogden (8:30pm @ La Chapelle Saint-Louis): “The most beautiful harp music”
-Chairs (9:30pm @ Barfly): “quasi-chamber psych-pop”
-Ryley Walker (10pm @ Rialto Hall): “Chicago folk god. Is funny” 

September 25, 2016:
-Wolves in the Throne Room (8:30pm @ La Sala Rossa): “deafening metal for a sunday night”
-CopCar Bonfire (9pm @ Brasserie Beaubien): “experimental beats for any occasion”
-Joe Grass (9pm @ Divan Orange): “folk soul blue elephant thrash” 

POP Montreal has many artists working with all types of media displaying their installations all over the city; here are a few that we think are worth the trek.

-Kalup Linzy (9/24 6-8pm @ Pop Box 2): a multimedia performance rooted around live singing and video; incorporates themes of the 80’s soap operas and domestic life.
-Feelings Film Festival (9/22 9pm @ Cinema du Parc Theatre #3): emerging video art talent working with the theme of Sex.
Adam Basanta (9/21-25 @ Quartier Pop, 2nd floor): a Montreal-based sound artist who will be showcasing his sound installation, dissecting this year’s POP Montreal festival sounds!
-Mitch Dixon (9/21-25 @ Quartier Pop, 3rd floor): a multimedia artist who has created a life-sized installation of a studio shared by two artists. The title of the piece is “Two Male Artists’ Passive-Aggressively Compete for Supremacy in a Shared Studio Space Situation, Both Believing in Their ‘Unique’ Views” so you know you gotta be there. 

There are a bunch of independent and international films being showcased at this year’s POP Montreal: read up on which ones we think are especially noteworthy.

Fonko (9/21, 7pm @ Cinema du Parc Theatre #3): discusses the subject of new Pan-African music through a collage-style approach; uses interviews, archived material, and music videos to give the viewer a tour of Africa’s upcoming musical talent.
True Stories (9/23, 7pm @ Cinema du Parc Theatre #3) and Contemporary Color (9/23, 9pm @ Cinema du Parc Theatre #3): DAVID. BYRNE. FILMS. Or, in other words, True Stories is a satirical take on a classic Hollywood flick and Contemporary Color is a wild version of a concert film.
I Called Him Morgan (9/24, 1pm @ Cinema du Parc Theatre #3): a stunning film based on the relationship between jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan and his wife Helen, who murdered him unexpectedly during one of his gigs.
Space Jam (20TH ANNIVERSARY!!) (9/24, 5pm @ Cinema du Parc Theatre #3): NEED WE SAY MORE. Just go. Your nostalgic childhood self will thank us later. 

Bet that got your attention. There are a ton of free events that POP Montreal has to offer, so make sure you mark your calendars.

-POP Montreal Opening Party (9/21, 5-8 pm @ Quartier Pop): self-explanatory. Come celebrate the start of what will be a WICKED GOOD TIME.
Symposium (9/21-9/25, all day @ Quartier Pop)
-POP Montreal BBQs (9/21, 2-7pm and 9/22-9/25, 2-6pm @ Quartier Pop): Food?? Free music?? Please tell us we’re dreaming…
-Divan Orange (9/21-9/25, afternoons @ Divan Orange): showcases up-and-coming Canadian musicians! For FREE.
-Record Fair (9/24-25, 11-6pm @ St-Michel Church)
Fashion Pop (9/21, 7pm @ Theatre Rialto)

Feel free to check out the POP Montreal website for more information on various events. Hope to see you all there!!

Lots of luv,

The CKUT Music Department






Hi radio,

Busy times here in Montreal: caught Inga Copeland here over the weekend, helped with a fundraiser for a beloved local venue, and started gearing up for Pop Montreal in a big way. Oh, and chilled with the resident CKUT raccoons. It’s tough to remember that they’re pests when they’re so goddamn cute.

Quick note: there will likely not be charts next Tuesday as I will be in Toronto getting all judgey for this thing. Things return to normal the following week.


We’re having a street fair! Swing by the Milton Gates entrance to McGill onThursday, September 15th from 11am – 3pm and peruse a sweet variety of LPs, CDs, baked goodies, odds & ends, have yr fortune read while you’re at it… This is gonna be a doozy of an event and we highly recommend you come check it out. Full info here.

ckut top 30 – september 13, 2016

1. v/a – no. 2 – oh hi CC *
2. automatisme – momentform accumulations – constellation CC
3. the submissives – do you really love me? – fixture records CC *
4. towanda – plaything – dtm CC *
5. braids – companion – flemish eye CC * Continue reading




Greetings friends,
The new semester is upon us and we’re gearing up for a whole new wave of undergrad babies to invade campus. Nothing like frosh week to make ya feel old, right?

Pop Montreal hosts the Montreal Sessions for the month of September: your audio guide to the hordes of shows, symposiums, films, art exhibits, fairs, activities that are packed into the festival. Every Tuesday in September, a different member of the POP all-star crew will hop into the studio to guide you through their top picks of the fest. Stream it live from 3-5pm each Tuesday or download the audio from ckut.ca and get yourself in the know.

ckut top 30 – september 6, 2016

1. angel olsen – my woman – jagjaguwar
2. brave radar – lion head – fixture records CC *
3. v/a – no. 2 – oh hi CC *
4. eric copeland – black bubblegum – dfa
5. un blonde – good will come to you – egg paper factory CC * Continue reading


The Montreal Sessions with Pop Montreal: September 30th 2015

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Yesterday was (sadly) Pop Montreal’s last day of their Montreal Sessions residency here at CKUT, and it was another reminder that they totally killed the game this month. The show started off with some quality indie and electronic music, and at the end of the first hour featured a live performance from Johnny de Courcey. With numerous musical guests featuring Forever, Vesuvio, Year of Glad, Noko, MagicPerm, Heartstreets, Ohara and more, there was an overload of talent in our studios over the past few weeks that was hard to keep up with. All episodes are available on our archives for any unfortunate souls who missed them, and of course anyone that wants to re-listen to the hilarious banter.

Next month we’ve got Yellow Noise, a Canadian media platform of Asian self-representation focusing on intersectionality and solidarity with other marginalized groups, taking the reigns. Tune in on Tuesdays, 3-5pm to catch the show~~




Hey friends! Sorry these are a day late… still catching up post-Pop Montreal. It was a whirlwind weekend, most of which I spent over at my beloved haunt Brasserie Beaubien. I did manage to sneak out and catch Stars of the Lid though, which was as brain-meltingly good as I had hoped. They’d been on my live band bucket list for almost a decade and it totally lived up to my expectations.

Since my hours were all out of sorts last week, I’m still catching up on emails and tracking. Please be patient, I haven’t forgotten about you!


ckut top 30 – september 22, 2015
1. joyfultalk – muuixx – drip audio CC
2. katie moore – fooled by the fun – club roll CC *3.
3. the pink noise – decay – not unlike CC *
4. souljazz orchestra – resistance – do right music CC
5. drainolith – hysteria – nna tapes CC * Continue reading