Pop Montreal Weekend Preview

Pop Montreal
October 1-5
: Montreal, Canada
Spread over five days and dozens of venues, the Pop Montreal music and art festival continues this weekend with seemingly limitless options. The event’s first two days included performances from 17-piece psych rockers Dark Meat, hard-rocking dance duo Woodhands, brassy hip-hoppers Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, and personality-shifting alt-songwriter Nick Cave with his Bad Seeds. If you caught those great shows and need more, here are our picks for the weekend’s music shows.

Friday, October 3
At what other festival can you see pop pianist/composer Burt Bacharach and manic circus grinders An Albatross (shown above) on the same night? Bacharach’s saccharine tunes and velvety voice in the evening should get you geared up for some heaviness as a counterbalance, although you’ll have to wait until 2:00 a.m. to get it from An Albatross.

There are oodles of shows between those times, but the toughest choice comes at 11:30 p.m. That’s when you’ll have to decide between the psych folk of Akron/Family, the sitar-wielding indie pop of Elephant Stone, and the gorgeous, oft-elaborate pop songs of Japanese songwriter Shugo Tokumaru. Each is scheduled to take his/their respective stages at the same time, so choose wisely.

Saturday, October 4
Fittingly, Saturday night is a fine time to dance. Techno enthusiasts Bocce will get you in full-blown party mode with good-time tunes at midnight; quirky synth rockers Hilotrons play to the weirdos at 1:00 a.m.; buzzing remix artists Megasoid cap the dance party at 2 a.m.

Eclectic drone-folk group Ten Kens also plays at 1:00, so check them out if you’re tired of doing the running man. Earlier in the night, experimental oud player and fusion artist Sam Shalabi prepares a 19-piece arrangement that is set to incorporate Arabic pop, noise, and Western rock while exploring Masonic and Egyptian symbolism.

Sunday, October 5
One of the festival’s best electronic artists, Dan Deacon, plays on its final night at 11. Deacon’s set is one of frantic fun, but if you’re still danced out, check out Mordekai the Falcon at 11:30. Named after the pet falcon in The Royal Tenenbaums, Mordekai plays a beautiful, reverberated, occasionally droning brand of pop.

UK post-punk pioneers Wire play at 11:45, but you can hear a more-interesting stylistic shift at 11 from Lullabye Arkestra. Combining fuzzy hardcore-punk riffs with brass marching-band accompaniment, Lullabye Arkestra infuses a little soul and ’60s pop into a historically angry genre (not that the anger is gone).

A “super special guest” closes out the festivities at 1:30 a.m., but if you have any sort of early responsibilities on Monday, our guess is that you won’t stick around to find out who it is.

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