I originally planned on blithering on about our celebration to the patron saint of wanton violence and public urination, Saint Paddy, but fug that. Frankly, there is a far luckier charm to be swooning over this week. Dig it: the absolutely stunning debut from Montreal’s Jerusalem in My Heart, Mo7it Al-Mo7it, on Constellation Records.
Up till now, the band has resisted the urge to document themselves in a studio setting, choosing to remain solely a live band. Although they’re truly spellbinding on stage, this debut manages to expose a whole other side of the band that is equally rewarding. Given that JIMH have previously played live with up to 30 performers, they sound really scaled back here, with a more intimate sound that aims directly for the heart. Drones are the name of the game, as electronic flourishes attach and ascend to a stable, rudimentary note as traditional and contemporary Arabic music wriggles free from Western modes and scales.
The second song, ”3andalib al-furat,” is a perfect point of entry as a field recording of a bird chirps in the distance while JIMH founder Radwan Ghazi Moumneh plucks a Buzuk that is as rooted in the traditional use of the instrument as it is the raga of John Fahey and Six Organs of Admittance.
Even though JIMH has narrowed their bombastic parameters, they’re still able to make huge dynamic shifts within their comfy confines. On “3anzah jarbanah,” Moumneh starts the piece off with an a capella vocal wrapped in vintage tape-echo before a drone and a square-wave synth take the piece to unlikely destinations. By the end of the nine-minute album closer “Amanem,” you should be completely wrung out.
Although traditional Arabic music is the touchstone here, fans of modern psychedelic, modern minimalist drone and people like Klaus Schulze will definitely want to sink their fangs into this one.
An absolutely mesmerizing debut that begs to be seen in the live setting….and wouldn’t ya know it, check out Friday’s section below for the info on Jerusalem in My Heart’s launch this week.
Blow me, I’m Irish. Here’s the gigs.
Tuesday – Local psych-pop band A Devil’s Din (think Piper at the Gates of Dawn) will get lysergically enhanced with Smokes at the Barfly. Wait a fuckin’ minute — “Smokes”? That could very well be the best/worst band name I have ever heard. If the band Smokes don’t end up looking like husky oil riggers from Red Deer, AB (or work at a car wash in the Ottawa Valley), they might want to think about giving that solid gold moniker to some far more deserving duders. On the flippity flop, if they do indeed look like bona fide “duders” and sound like the champagne of beer chuggin’ boogie (uh, ZZ Top, natch), as their boss hoss name implies, then congratulations, Smokes, you are now officially the best band in the world!
New website stagebanter.ca is launched tonight at Sala. Stagebanter is an online venue resource for musicians hoping to book tours across Canada. Helping the launch will be Attention featuring ex-Unicorns/Clues/etc guys Alden Penner and Jamie Thompson, Bent by Elephants and Erin Land and the Foundlings
Wednesday – The second edition of Sexy Jams gets underway at Notre Dames des Quilles with DJ Jay Money. Expect some smooth and slow R&B jams that will be ribbed for our pleasure.
Masked marauders Corona Ferox will lay down their primitive caveman stomp as part of l’Esco’s 13th anniversary month with El Napolean with DJs Jimmy Hunt and le Kid holding down the decks at (you guessed it Poindexter) l’Esco. If you dig your Sun Ra as much as your Sonics, then Corona Ferox is your new favorite band. Tip: you will definitely want to trip balls for this one.
Il Motore’s booze sales are expected to go through the roof when Discord Records’ Death Fix, featuring Fugazi’s Brendan Canty, pulls into town. Opening is Dubpixel with Robin Bell and the unfortunately named Modern Primitive.
Thursday – NYC’s Psychic Ills will liquefy minds when they get their psych-pop jams on at Casa, with the power pop of Moncton’s John Jerome and the Congregation. As an aside, did you know that all Moncton sinks are equipped with taps that dispense hot water, cold water AND barbeque sauce? It’s a Can fact!
Continuing with the l’Esco 13th birthday celebrations is a DJ night with UBT’s Kathryn and Mikey Heppner manning the tables. Expect nothing but the thrills, spills and chills of prog supermen Gentle Giant played all night long.
The twang gang syndicate is going to want to show up at Divan Orange when the Handcuffs (featuring the one and only Montreal king, Bloodshot Bill) kick off some dust with the Hillbilly Rockets and a burlesque revue from the va-va-voom of Bonbon Bombay. Breastfeeders DJ Sunny will be sticking the needle in the grooves all night, and you’ll be calling in sick for work on Friday morning.
The third edition of Rock Against Racism heats up at Katacombes and will fly under the moniker of Punks Against Apartheid. Expect sets by Autosuficiencia, LOUDbag, Silent Bones, Mayday and DJ Aaron Maiden.
Friday – The big ticket this week easily goes to Jerusalem in My Heart when they launch their debut in the massive environs of le National, with support from 2boys.tv. Expect nothing short of superlative excellence. If you can’t make it, hit your local brick and mortar wax shacks and pick up the record.
For a night of fucked-up punk and gritty garage, get your swerve on to Sacral Nerves, the Hazelles, the Pink Noise and Ought at Casa.
If you’re looking for a night of rockabilly and psychobilly (perhaps still on a bender that started at the Handcuffs show on Thursday), you can catch Danny Duke and the Northern Stars, Str8 Pipes, the Mau Mau, Jimmy Target and the Triggers and les Shrimps at Sala.
If you feel like doing the Skinhead Moonstomp or just looking for a good excuse to bust out your boots and braces, the first night of the two-day Oi fest starts tonight. You can catch Kingsize Braces, the Beatdown, Chosen Ones and more at Katacombes. Oi Oi Oi — that’s yer lot.
Saturday – The Oi fest continues at Katacombes with the Oppressed, the Prowlers, Razors in the Night, the Scally Cap Brats, Action Sedition and Rush. Ah, jus’ kiddin’ — Rush aren’t actually playing the Oi fest, but seriously, how fuggin’ cool would that be!? Think about it, Alex and Neil motherlovin’ Peart decked out in their classic kimonos and platform shoes, laying down the riffs o’ plenty with Geddy screaming like a weasel caught in a vice while spouting some Ayn Rand and space shit into the mic to a bunch of befuddled skinheads scratchin’ their bald noggins? Yeah, that would fucking rule (ahem) — but I digress. Rush will unfortunately not be playing.
It seems that stand-up comedy is finally rinsing out the bitter taste still leftover from Montreal’s reign of spoken-word terror scourged the city in the late ’90s/early aughts. If you want to get your yuck on, hoof it down to Turbo Haus to catch sets by Darren Henwood, Emery Fine, Leighland Beckman, Mike Carozza and Walter Lyng, hosted by the pornographically named Dan Derkson. Warning: fans of Dane Cook will not be admitted. ■