It’s heeeeerrrreee!!! The big daddy of Montreal festivals — POP Montreal — celebrates its sweet 16th edition and the line-up is once again mighty. Not only are the gigs galore but once again POP stretches the limits of merely being a music festival with community enriching workshops as well as killer films, art and much much more. POP Montreal remains as grassroot as they come while also competing on a global scale, and for that I don my cap.
There is far too much to spill in my limited bandwidth, so I’ve come up with some picks that will come fast and furious, but for those of you who don’t trust me on this one, you’re encouraged to check out the festival’s website for the whole kit and caboodle.
Although Pop has most places locked down until Sunday, there are also a couple of cool punker shows at secret locales that dare to go toe to toe with the behemoth fest.
Thursday: Off- POP, you can check out the return of much loved local hardcore heroes Ballast who will perform one last time with Cuba’s Addictox and Ninos Rata. This is at a secret location, natch. Secret location, 8 p.m.
A good start to POP day two is at Turbo Haüs, who will get their pop on with Sam Coffey & the Iron Lungs with the amazing support of Biblical and the Sick Things. Definitely pick up Biblical’s new slab of wax off of the merch table —it’s fuggin’ awesome and epic as they come. 5011 Notre-Dame W., 9 p.m., $10/$13
If that gig has got you hot under the collar, start your night off at Cinéma du Parc for the premiere of the funny as fug doc The Allins (dir. by Sami Saif). This GG Allin documentary stars his surviving mother and brother Merele as they remember their shiddy son/brother. If you think the GG doc Hated was a laugh riot, this will be a guaranteed side-splitter. 3575 Parc, 9 p.m., $11
If you are digging the releases coming from one of Canada’s coolest labels, Hand Drawn Dracula, you will want to get into Brasserie Beaubien to catch shoegazers Beliefs. 73 Beaubien E., 9 p.m., $10
Fans of Suuns are going to want to make it to O Patro Vys to see keyboardist Max Henry grab some of that spotlight. 356 Mont-Royal E., 9 p.m., $10
Probably my big pick of the week would be to catch the always fuggin’ rad garage psych of Thee Oh Sees with the perfect openers Chocolat at la Tulipe. 4530 Papineau, 9 p.m., $28/$30
Most fans of Thee Oh Sees are going to have a conundrum choosing that show over Ty Segall’s all-acoustic set at Théâtre Fairmount with Still Kicking and Traces. Choose wisely, my garage troglodyte. 5240 Parc, 9:30 p.m., $30
Remember Friendship Cove? Mathcore? Noise rock? Didn’t think so, but you can pretend you do when An Albatross dazzles us while stopping on a dime at Sala, with mighty back up of Crabe and Laps. 4848 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $15/$18
Friday: Fans of ’90s-style indie rock will want to go to Barfly and get all weepy when Duotang deliver all mod cons. 4062 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $10
For a decidedly more punk rock night, you can catch Gazm at the punk as fuck Brasserie Beaubien. 73 Beaubien E., 9 p.m., $10
This year is definitely flaunting a fair bit of ’90s indie rock, and one feather in POP’s cap is the almighty and right-fugged Royal Trux at Théâtre Fairmount. If you are already grippin’ tix for this, you may also want to check out the duo in conversation at 5 p.m. on Saturday in the gymnasium at POP Quarters. Fans of this show should also skip down to Monday for some more ’90s legends. 5240 Parc, 9 p.m., $30
In more local legend news that should recall long-gone venue Friendship Cove and POP Montreal’s teething years is Think About Life, who will knock the dust off of the chestnuts at Piccolo Little Burgundy. 5723 Parc, 11 p.m., free
Saturday: Bucking the POP system is Vancouver’s punk lords Phozgene with Ultra Rat and Sek. Ask a punk for the secret location. Secret location, 8 p.m., $5/$10
Locals Duchess Says will get the crowd-surf on at le Ritz. Easily one of Montreal’s best live bands ever. Will they cover Six Finger Satellite’s “Rabies” for this one? 179 Jean-Talon W., doors 8 p.m., $15/$20
Sunday: If you feel your POP has gotten pooped, you can take in two fuggin’ amazing films at Cinéma du Parc that are thankfully happening back to back. You can start things off with the Canadian premiere of On the Sly: In Search of the Family Stone (dir. by Michael Rubenstone) as the lens goes searching for one the funkiest and most elusive rock stars to ever live. This goes down at 5 p.m. but you will definitely want to return to Parc to catch the gross-out gore of Flying Lotus’s Kuso at 9 p.m. This film caused a mass walk-out at Sundance due to its ultraviolence but if Flying Lotus’s music is any indication of his lens prowess, this should prove to be amazing. Personally I am going for both of these flix. 3575 Parc, 5 and 9 p.m., $11 each
Monday: Finally, one of the ’90s most talented bands Afghan Whigs will show the youngins how it’s done at Théâtre Fairmount with an early ought star of his own Har Mar Superstar. (If you think the Mac’s Rumors was the ultimate break-up record, dig your ears into A.W.’s 1993 LP Gentlemen.)
Current Obsession: Flying Lotus, You’re Dead