Entertainment Magazine

Pop Montreal 2014 Preview

Posted on the 18 September 2014 by Thewildhoneypie @thewildhoneypie


Like most of my Montreal peers, I have come to regard Pop Montreal as a pseudo-holiday season. Beyond just five days of music, art, symposiums and film, the festival brings all things alternative to the city’s focus. Events sprawl across the distinct neighborhoods and encourage both natives and tourists alike to explore every venue, art-supporting cafe, projection house and craft market the city has to offer. Only in Montreal would you catch Win Butler shooting hoops with Justin Vernon in the same string of events as a Sheryl Crow concert. This is a city that knows how to utilize every last ray of sunshine and every night above 0°C before summer fades away into memory. The killer lineup of Pop Montreal 2014 is who you should spend the fleeting September warmth with.


Timber Timbre

Friday 8PM @ Metropolis

Timber Timbre’s fifth album, Hot Dreams, moved into dangerously kitschy territory. While this would usually put me off a blues/folk group, Taylor Kirk’s shiver-inducing baritone voice chants so sincerely that it grounds the gothic tunes in reality. With Johnny Cash-esque hymns combined with lyrics that sound like the scribblings of a serial killer, the creepy, enigmatic four-piece transports me to a bar stool in a seedy Midwest tavern. We look forward to seeing how Metropolis houses the Americana-haze.

Sun Kil Moon

Thursday 8PM @ Fédération Ukrainienne

Our second folk pick for Pop 2014 is Sun Kil Moon, the moniker of Mark Kozelek’s guitar-based rock project. The tracks off Kozelek’s latest LP, Benji, are some of the most bluntly written songs ever heard, as he relies purely on the content of his honest, heart-crushing stories. You won’t find any over-poetic fluff from Sun Kil Moon, but instead will be faced with stunning, frank songs about nostalgia, aging and death. With his classically-inspired guitar playing and simple vocals, you may find yourself hating Kozelek for managing to pull at your heartstrings while singing in cadence about blue crab cakes.

Ty Segall

Saturday 8PM @ Club Soda

There are too many Ty Segalls to ever know exactly what you’ll get with each album release. Pummeling and scream-heavy Ty Segall Band is countered by the Zeppelin style 60s rock of Ty Segall & White Fence. As his first LP of 2014, Sleeper, insinuates with the title, Segall can also drop the intensity and take a more focused, soft approach to psychedelic rock. The first time I saw Segall in 2012, my angsty heart was delighted as a sweat-embossed crowd shook Le Cabaret du Mile-End to a set of dark tracks off his 2012 album, Twins. With so much grungy garage in his arsenal and with the release of his Kinks-inspired Manipulator, only the artist knows what the crowd will get at this show.

Panda Bear

Saturday 8PM @ Theatre Rialto

Animal Collective’s own Panda Bear will be gracing Montreal with some of his experimental goodness on Pop’s Saturday night. Given Panda Bear’s penchant for plastering venues with acid-trip decor and Montrealers’ equal aptitude to blazing up inside concerts, this show will definitely be an electronic hippie’s delight.


Saturday 9PM @ La Vitrola

California/Ohio’s Why? is noted for their distinct mix of folk rock and hip hop, but is more known for frontman Yoni Wolf ‘s storytelling and comedic lyricism. Wolf’s avid blogging and podcasting only scratch the surface of his interest in Why?’s followers, as past endeavors include fan-made videos and the cringe-worthy release of a song composed entirely of one listener’s tweets. This show will be focused on the attendees, full of humor and well-worth watching.

The Unicorns

Sunday 8:30PM @ Metropolis

In a grandiose finale, it will take more than mental preparation (i.e. eyeliner, wristbands and a box a journals) to handle the flood of early 2000s emotions The Unicorns will evoke in all of us, reunited and playing one of their six show tour events on Pop’s closing night. If you need more proof beyond their 2004 disbandment that this group has remained crystallized in alt rock’s glory days, just check out their MySpace.

5artists2pop POP MONTREAL 2014 PREVIEW

If you weren’t the lucky winner of one the festival’s hide-and-seek pass giveaways and don’t have the luxury of a Pop wristband, you are nowhere near excused from participating in the festivities. Catch the following Canadian gems for under $20, or load your schedule with events from Pop’s “on a budget” listings. So instead of the usual five artists to see, we’re highlighting the best shows for the least bucks!

Dories & Special Noise

Thursday 9PM @ Casa Del Popolo — $10 in advance/$12 at the door

Opening this show will be Montreal-via-Calgary lo-fi band Dories. Though loyal to lo-fi, Dories bring an impressive intricacy and tightness to every performance and displace any rumors that math rock must equate to emo. This band, like many Montreal favorites, will likely stick to a short, satiating set, so arrive on time to make sure you don’t miss a single pulse of the jangly guitars and vigorous drumming. Along with Dories is another highlight, Special Noise. Any band who tags tracks with the words “skateboard” and “chump” is a band you want to befriend. Halifax/Montreal’s Special Noise is like early Modest Mouse on a cocktail of cocaine and antidepressants, and is suitably as infectious. The energy and complexity coming from this two-piece is permanently cranked to high.

Snooker Emporium

Thursday 8:30PM @ La Sala Rossa — $16 in advance/$20 at the door

This conglomerate of misfits will welcome you into their family, groove you into a psychedelic dream with 60s guitar and proceed to spook you awake with jazzy and ghoulish keys. I made the mistake of attempting to classify Snooker Emporium while writing this blurb and failed oh so miserably to capture the stage presence, unique melodies and swift entertainment they bring to every show. Snooker is one of a kind, as are each of the beings in it.


Saturday 3PM @ TRH-Bar — FREE

This Francophone art rock group keeps the vocals lo-fi and the guitars centered so even if your French is subpar, you will still receive all sensations Corridor intends. Though you shouldn’t need more incentive to come to this FREE afternoon event, this show happens to be at the aptly named TRH-Bar (pronounced Trash Bar). In addition to copious amounts of graffiti, this venue has an interior skate park, which makes drinking here feel like partying in a Sum 41 music video — in a good way, trust us.


Friday 9PM @ Il Motore — $13 in advance/$15 at the door

This heavy Montreal two-piece assures us that emo is alive, relevant and fun as hell. Grungier than Japandroids but easily just as moshable, the talented Solids bring the anguish your inner 14 year old is always dying for in a package your adult self isn’t embarrassed to be listening to. Do not attend if you fear hormonal Quebecois teenage boys.

PS I Love You

Friday 11PM @ Cabaret du Mile-End — $16

Though seasoned by this beautiful town, I am an Ontario-born Kingstonian and thus am morally obligated to plug the Limestone City’s PS I Love You. This is a two-piece that demands to be seen live. As Paul Saulnier cosmically shreds his guitar, voice warbly and emotive, Benjamin Nelson’s churning drums overflow any space they play. Catch them closing Sub Pop Records’ showcase in the Mile-End, and then grab some St.-Viateur bagels on your walk east to catch Freak Heat Waves.

Freak Heat Waves

Friday 12:30AM @ L’Escogriffe — $10

Victoria-based Freak Heat Waves are no strangers to Pop Montreal or the Montreal lo-fi scene, with recent releases of their drawling post-punk tracks coming from the city’s own Plastic Factory Records. Feast on some Kraut-rock before an after party on Pop’s Friday night.

Brave Radar

Saturday 10PM @ La Sala Rossa — $13

Montreal four-piece Brave Radar’s soothing and distant vocals will smooth out all the wrinkles in your brow that three days of pop-hopping has built. The bass is kept poppy and the mood is warm, low and relaxed.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog