After some miscommunication last week over my media accreditation status, which was solved yesterday with a few emails and calls (seriously Toronto-based arts editors, I understand that TIFF is happening and you’re busy, but would it kill you to check your emails once or twice a day?), I’m going to be attending my first ever Pop Montreal in ten days. Besides the fact it means I get to return to my favourite city in Canada (sorry Toronto!) for the second time in two months, the lineup is one of the best of any festival that I’ve been to or heard about this year. Not only are there expertly-curated showcases featuring some of my favourite up-and-coming rappers, including Lil B (whose confirmed attendance has already inspired the hashtag #BasedPop), Big K.R.I.T., Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, and Joey Bada$$, there’s a lot of new artists from all different genres that I’m really excited to check out. Like who you ask? Without looking at the list, there’s Talking Heads frontman David Byrne & St. Vincent, DIIV, Purity Ring, Cadence Weapon, Wild Nothing, Peaches, Grimes, Lunice, Elite Gymnastics, Black Atlass, Evian Christ (see below), and many, many more. There’s also the annual charity basketball game which features Arcade Fire leader Win Butler (from what I’ve read, he goes hard in da paint) and one of the guys from The Strokes. Did I mention this festival is in Montreal? Just checking.
Had the chance to sit down with John O’Regan and PS I Love You's Paul Saulnier and Benjamin Nelson this afternoon. I mostly let John and Paul do the talking, but we covered everything from their respective sophomore albums to dealing with mortality to O'Regan's sizeable collection of fitted hats. These guys are two of my favourite Canadian acts making music right now and you should see them both live if you get a chance. Every so often I do an interview that reaffirms why I got into journalism in the first place. This was one of those interviews.
Here’s myinterview with Wes from Toronto indie rock band The Darcys for The A.V. Club Toronto. The guys had their album release party last night at the Horseshoe and it seemed like half the city was there. If you haven’t already, go to their website and download their new album for free.
I recently wrote a little article for The Side B about why I feel Montreal has the best music scene in Canada right now. Not to give too much away, but the reasons include some up-and-coming bands, awesome music festivals, and some band called The Suburbs. I’d love for you to give it a read. There’s also a sweet picture of poutine if that’s what you’re into.
Pigeons & Planes is an American music blog that I’ve just started contributing to. They mostly focus on hip-hop and indie rock with free MP3s. Check them out and show us some love on Facebook and Twitter.