The sound of Montreal 2012

Find out what the city’s bands have on tap for the year ahead.

Montreal Gazette - - Front Page - SPE­CIAL TO THE GAZETTE

WMARK LEPAGE in­ning a Grammy: Price­less.

Was it re­ally a year ago that Ar­cade Fire brought Sur­re­al­ity TV to the liv­ing rooms of Montreal and the world? Boom – one golden-plated gramo­phone later, and you’re the only band in his­tory to have played both the Sta­ples Cen­ter and Casa del Popolo.

Ar­cade Fire’s lope into globo-strid­ing suc­cess was not en­tirely un­likely, but it’s still eye-pop­ping to watch a band go from Ho­tel2­tango to Danc­ing With the Stars – metaphor­i­cally speak­ing.

But what does a Grammy do for you, dear reader? If you’re a Mon­trealer, it made you walk a lit­tle taller, feel­ing slightly L.A.’D, slightly Hol­ly­wooded as you slipped up the icy Main to the hip­ster lounge. Then it wore off. In the end, Montreal re­mains Montreal. What other Grammy Al­bum of the Year win­ner re­mains “in­die” while Bowie, Bruce and maybe Axl have them on speed dial? There is some­thing com­fort­ingly or­ganic, un­hys­ter­i­cal about main­tain­ing per­sona and ideals while win­ning the glitzi­est prize in mu­sic with an al­bum that wasn’t cy­borged to­gether in the Au­toTune lab.

What does a Grammy do for you, in­die band?

Roy “Choyce” Vu­cino of Red Mass thought it en­cour­ag­ing, in a dis­tant way, as he spoke while record­ing af­ter­hours in Planet Stu­dios. Born in Is­tan­bul but raised here, Roy fronts/con­venes Red Mass, a fluc­tu­at­ing ca­bal of 3-16 dis­ci­ples who pro­claim “Saturn is for lovers” in an ex­per­i­men­tal in­die-garage freak sweat-gospel. Roy was work­ing on A Hope­less Noise, a con­cept al­bum chron­i­cling the Di­a­mond Girl who “falls from grace,” a “kind of modern Don Quixote.”

So he’s got am­bi­tion, and talks a blue streak, a punk sur­vivor from Les Sexa­reenos and CPC Gang­bangs who has rec­on­ciled do­ing sound­track work for Warn­ers and MGM with fir­ing forth a fiercely in­die vi­sion. In the works for two-and-a-half years, A Hope­less Noise is in­tended to con­tain some Bea­tles/bowie/ Roxy DNA, but Roy em­pha­sizes his al­le­giance to soul leg­ends James Brown and Otis Red­ding, to “the myth­i­cal as­pect of per­for­mance.”

Why? Be­cause along­side what­ever dark gods he wor­ships, Roy be­lieves that some com­bi­na­tion of tal­ent, in­tegrity, un­em­ploy­a­bil­ity, self­pos­ses­sion, for­tune and dumb bloody-minded toil in the boiler room of rock ’n’ roll might re­sult in a ca­reer or at least the vir­tu­ous waste of your youth and mid­dle-post-youth.

“It’s funny. Some­times peo­ple think bands like that just show up one day, win a Grammy … but any time a band reaches that level of abil­ity, you know they’ve been tour­ing ev­ery­where for years.”

True. It’s hard to get an Ar­cade Fire ticket these days, but you could have caught them toil­ing away in the Jupiter Room in April 2003 or at 1619 Wil­liam Street in May 2002 or play­ing the Bug Jar in Rochester or Mary Jane’s Fat Cat in Hous­ton in the time be­fore Funeral.

Roy was work­ing late on tracks. And you? Sun­nily oneiric band

Adam & The Amethysts will join the march to South by South­west in March. The

Flick­er­ing Flash­light (on Kelp Records in Canada) will be re­leased in the U.S. on March 26.

Amer­i­can De­vices. Montreal’s post-punk lif­ers will be play­ing the usual Montreal “hole-in-the-walls” with Rick Trem­bles “squeez­ing ugly notes outta my gui­tar,” but have also linked up with Bongo Beat Records to dis­trib­ute a CD com­pi­la­tion. The De­vices are on itunes … is Dooms­day upon us? Rick also has a new band, Sacral Nerves.

Ar­cade Fire are­back­home af­ter a de­cent year and half. World tour for The Sub­urbs con­cluded, they’ll take a few months off be­fore restart­ing the global fire. Af­fect­ing folkies The Barr

Broth­ers fol­low their re­cent per­for­mance of Beg­gar in the Morn­ing on the Late Show with David Let­ter­man with U.S. tour dates. They’ll be at Club Soda on Feb 22.

Bel­grave fol­lows the dra­matic el­e­gance of its self­ti­tled EP with shows in south­ern On­tario around their CMW date March 21. New al­bum in 2013

Olga Goreas re­ports that epic band The Bes­nard

Lakes re­turn from 18 solid months of tour­ing to record a new one at Break­glass Stu­dios. Oceanic art-pop band

Braids will be in the stu­dio through spring work­ing on the se­quel to the justly raved Na­tive Speaker al­bum. Mikey Hepp­ner’s Broth­ers

Of In­ven­tion Zappa trib­ute blow­torched the scuzz off the Cinéma L’amour walls, and re­sponds to the de­mand for more shows with a pos­si­ble North by North­east show and some lo­cal gigs.

Elec­tro­funk duo Chromeo will kick off a year­long DJ res­i­dency in Las Ve­gas at Haze Jan. 20th. I’m sure they’d be happy to have you sleep on the floor of their pala­tial Ve­gas suite … Also tour­ing South Amer­ica and Asia and record­ing a fourth al­bum.

Crabe. Montreal lo-fi aggro-duo the Val­ley­field band sup­port their Ero Gaki al­bum with a U.S. tour, pos­si­bly in­clud­ing SXSW.

The Dears pon­der a new al­bum af­ter last year’s De­gen­er­a­tion Street, and will per­form un­spec­i­fied dates. Raga-rock band Ele­phant

Stone will record and mix a new al­bum in March while Rishi Dhir is “learn­ing how to play the dil­ruba!” Aren’t we all … There will also be a 7” in the U.K. in March, and tour­ing through SXSW, the U.K. i n May, Scan­di­navia in July, North Amer­ica and In­dia in fall/win­ter. Bri­tophile psychede­loids

Fi­nal Flash will work on a new al­bum for spring.

Dance­able, gid­dily hooky

First You Get The Su­gar are likely headed to NXNE, Cana­dian Mu­sic Week and SXSW, have con­ducted in­ter­views with CNN and MTV News, and will re­lease three new sin­gles be­tween Jan­uary and the sum­mer recorded at Rub­ber Tracks in Brook­lyn. So they’re go­ing places.

Half Moon Run is a new highly-an­tic­i­pated band whose ridicu­lously poised EP prom­ises some­thing Ra­dio­heady in­deed from a forth­com­ing full-length.

Rock­a­billy py­ronecrophil­i­acs the Hell­bound Hep­cats will record a sec­ond al­bum this month and seek a new drum­mer af­ter break­ing their pre­vi­ous one with 200 shows and two cross-canada tours in 2011. First U.S. gig comes April 7 at the Viva Las Ve­gas Rock­a­billy Week­ender. With Elvis.

Neo-psychedeli­cists the High Di­als have top shelf pals: al­ready tight with Mi­ami Steve, they’ll work with le­gendary Stones pup­peteer An­drew Loog Old­ham on a song for an up­com­ing An­drew Loog Old­ham Or­ches­tra re­lease. Johnny Marr, El­liot Eas­ton and Al Kooper (!) also par­tic­i­pat­ing in said project. There will also be new mu­sic.

DIY he­roes Holler­ado just wrapped up their Meet The Mayor Tour, chart­ing all over Canada and the US with de­but Record In A Bag and sin­gle Good Day At The Races. The next al­bum will be waxed with pro­ducer Gus van Go, fol­lowed by tours of the U.S. and Europe.

Com­pelling singer-song­writer Daniel Isa­iah per­forms songs from High Twi­light at Casa del Popolo on Jan­uary 25

Karkwa step back into solo projects af­ter Les Chemins de Verre. Their mas­sive 165-minute De­cem­ber con­cert was filmed and will hit Musique Plus this year, with

CON­TINUE D FROM C1 a live al­bum due as well.

Pat Krief “nearly lost my mind” play­ing nearly all in­stru­ments on an al­bum called Hun­dred Thou­sand Pieces, due March 20 on Sony/pi­rates Blend. There will be Cana­dian, U.S. and Euro­pean dates, and a film score for an adap­ta­tion of a Rich­ler book.

The Luyas head into the stu­dio af­ter a great year, bid farewell to Ste­fan Sch­nei­der, learn about drum ma­chines

Priest­ess, the think­ing war­lock’s hard rock band, is writ­ing a third record to

be re­leased this spring.

and pro­gram­ming, and make a new record. There will also be a new mu­sic video for Mood­slayer off Too Beau­ti­ful To Work in Feb.

Heart­sleeve folk-rocker Colin Moore is mid­way through a new al­bum af­ter last year’s Aus­tralian tour, and will bring whisky-voiced truths to the peo­ple with a show with Vul­gaires Machins in April.

Shane Mur­phy. The R&B/ roots trou­ba­dour will re­lease two EPS recorded at Wil­lie Nel­son’s stu­dio in Austin. “Ten­ta­tively ti­tled The Texas ses­sions Vols. 1&2” – orig­i­nal, hey?” Shane re­ports. There will also be a full Montreal-recorded al­bum, and a bazil­lion lo­cal gigs.

Parlovr’s in­can­des­cent video for Pen to the Pa­per means this writer will also an­tic­i­pate a new record, Kook Soul, due this spring. They toured the US to crazy NY buzz with Hand­some Fur, Franz Fer­di­nand, Arctic Mon­keys and Surfer Blood, and will be at SXSW.

Priest­ess, the think­ing war­lock’s hard rock band, is writ­ing a third record, to be re­leased by the time they tour Europe this spring.

Plants and An­i­mals drop The End of That on Feb. 28, launch it March 10 at Cabaret du Mile End and tour North Amer­ica from March through May.

Garage-gospel Sa­tanists Red Mass will re­lease A Hope­less Noise, riff­ing off Sun-ra’s A Joy­ful Noise, con­cern­ing the Di­a­mond Girl and her fall from grace. There will be cab­bal­is­tic or­gias­tic gigs.

Re­born metal band Slaves On Dope launch their new al­bum at Foufounes Feb. 29 – it’s a leap year.

Su­uns fol­low Ze­roes QC with new songs match­ing their twin gui­tar/synth at­tack. The new Su­uns rises next year.

Sweet Mother Logic will push the or­ches­tral pieces from late-2011 sopho­more al­bum Nat­u­ral His­tory, and work on an EP of string quar­tets due this year. A ma­jor mul­ti­me­dia show fol­lows in early sum­mer.

Punkoid nail­bomb Trig­ger Ef­fect fire off new EP Es­cape from Planet Scor­pion in spring, “3 songs con­nected with in­ter­ludes that forms a 12-minute opus chron­i­cling the Turbo Ma­chine’s de­cep­tion, cap­ture, strug­gle and even­tual re­lease from the toxic Planet Scor­pion.” Said scor­pion will tour Europe April/may, cen­tered around the Groezrock Fes­ti­val, then on to Dude­fest in In­di­anapo­lis. Dude­fest! New al­bum due in au­tumn, and a mys­te­ri­ous new “con­cert se­ries” as well.

Franco za­ni­acs Les Trois Ac­cords step back into writ­ing mode af­ter last year’s ma­jor tour of France.

United Steel Work­ers of Montreal sadly re­tired from the union, an­nounc­ing their breakup in a Dec. 9 post­ing on Face­book by Gern f. A decade of smart, strong blue-col­lar city­grass and roof-rais­ing shows. They’ll be missed.

Un­cle Bad Touch, Mikey Hepp­ner’s other side band, fin­ishes up a sec­ond al­bum and heads to SXSW. If it’s any­where as crazy good as I Wanna Love You, the world will be touched. They’ll join Jeff The Brother­hood on two NYC gigs Feb 8 and 9.

Neo-shoegaz­ers Val­leys will record the fol­lowup to spooky EP Stoner.

Vul­gaires Machins. The adrenal­ized Franco-punkers will tour the acous­tic al­bum they re­leased last year through Que­bec from Feb through April.

Elec­tro­prim­i­tivists We Are Wolves are record­ing, with an ex­pected street date of Septem­ber.

Swoony Young Galaxy will evolve from last year’s Shapeshifting al­bum into a new form this au­tumn.


Mem­bers of Ar­cade Fire were thrilled to get a Grammy last year, but the win doesn’t mean they are ready to re­lin­quish their in­die sta­tus.


The elec­tro group Chromeo heads to Las Ve­gas for a year-long DJ res­i­dency.


Af­ter 18 months of tour­ing, the Bes­nard Lakes are back in the record­ing stu­dio.


The Barr Broth­ers will be at Club Soda n Fe­bru­ary.


Neo-psychedeli­cists the High Di­als are work­ing with An­drew Loog Old­ham, among oth­ers.


Watch for Un­cle Bad Touch’s Shawn Butchart, Mikey Hepp­ner and Kathryn Mccaughey at SXSW.


Franco-punkers Vul­gaires Machins are tour­ing their new al­bum through Que­bec start­ing in Fe­bru­ary.


Ex­pect a new al­bum from Young Galaxy in the fall.


Parlovr, whose new record, Kook Soul, is due for re­lease this spring, will be at SXSW.


The Luyas head to the stu­dio to make a record and they’re work­ing on a mu­sic video for Mood­slayer.


A filmed con­cert by Karkwa will play Musique Plus and a live al­bum is due this year.


The Hell­bound Hep­cats’s first U.S. gig is April 7 in Ve­gas – with Elvis.

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