If you’re not prepared to undertake M for Montreal, and by default the multifarious music scene from which said festival was born, then stick with me kid, I’ll set you straight: Grab the booklet, a pen (so you can circle) and your laptop (so you can listen to the hundreds of bands you’ve definitely never heard).
You gotta hand it to M for Montreal: the festival comes across as exposing local talent, but never underestimate the multifaceted ways of a Montreal festival. Though called Montreal on the surface, if you dig further you will see an underbelly teeming with designers, artists, planners, public speakers, record labels, virtuosos, writers and rootless wanderers, who just happen to pass through this city from time to time.
I was zealous enough at the beginning of the festival to hit up one of the conferences, but now I’ve grown weary from white wine and small talk.
Start Me Up: Tips and Tricks from Those Who Do It Themselves came in handy, and featured locals Noah Bick (the brains behind Passovah Festival) and Franz Schuller from Indica Records, among others.
As a myopic amoeba set free in these one-way streets, I absorbed via osmosis the insomniac brilliance behind our local workhorses, those who we have to thank for the richness of a music scene so internationally inspiring.
In a word, go to the conferences. They are the creative foundation from which our chromatic kaleidoscopic nights emanate. And speaking of freewheeling nightlife, I can’t tell you how to navigate it. One man’s night out is as specific as his own goddamned DNA. Besides, I have no wisdom on surviving the perilous trials of city events. As I write this, I’m nursing a vicious hangover and cursing the Deppanneur, that Soddom and Gemorrah of temptation.
Alright, I’d better just stick to the facts. I went to Casa Del Popolo. I witnessed She-Devils (not to be confused with the Queercore punk band from Argentina, by the way). They were putting on a set that made me think I was in that bar in Twin Peaks, where that white haired lady was always singing. It was very Nancy-Sinatra-meets-a-synthesizer. Those kids are probably runaway bandits on a tear. Hide your purses. Abandon your plans.
And then I was at Le Ritz to see Nancy Pants, because only a fool would miss a show like that. There were some technical difficulties but luckily John Griffin himself, from John Jacob Magistery no less, was in the crowd (to see Po Lazarus, naturally). Griffin jumped onstage and rectified the issues. Because someday had to, goddammit.
Tonight, Grimes. Make sure you get there five hours early, if you were even able to get tickets. Afterwards, I’m sure there will be a trillion after-parties full of important people, and some vague celebrity will show up and a DJ will play, and it’ll all be on social media tomorrow.