Montreal concerts this November 2012 feature a who's who of vintage, big ticket rock, from Neil Young to Bob Dylan to Journey to Pat Benatar to even The Who. But guitars aside, somebody must be having a chat with the big guns in electroland because November's got some of the finest in circulation converging in the city, starting with one of the scene's originals, the Plastikman himself, Canada's own Richie Hawtin. Raised and heavily influence by an electro music fan/robotics technician father north of the Detroit river, the second wave techno pioneer is on decks November 5 at the Société des arts technologiques, a bit of an awkward day -- a Monday -- to propose a late-night DJ set, but what can I say? It's Richie Hawtin. Note Dubfire cameo in the clip below.
Next up is Matthew Dear, an experimental electro-art-housey pop artist hailing from Kingsville, Texas properly relocated over two hours northwest of New York in a repurposed barn by a lake. His latest full-length release, Beams just came out last August and in an interview with The Guardian, Dear describes it as a continuation of his previous album, Black City, "New York City is a black hole ... Black City was [about] being sucked into the black hole, and Beams is the tail of light shooting out the other side. New York is a living machine, it can chew you up and spit you out very easily -- Beams is realizing your place within the machine." Dear performs on November 10 at Il Motore.
For a change of pace, try hippie Seattleite Allen Stone, a soul singer with shoulder-length blondilocks and hipster-approved rims, one forbidden from listening to secular music throughout his childhood as the son of a preacher man in Chewelah, a small Washington town. Stone performs November 15 at the Cabaret du Mile End.
Closer to home is M for Montreal, a four-day music fest that used to feature only Montreal-based talent, like say, Eight and Half, my top choice for the 2012 edition, a project part Broken Social Scene drummer Justin Peroff and part The Stills' frontman Dave Hamelin and keyboardist Liam O'Neil.
But M for Montreal is doing things a little different this year, expanding beyond city and even country limits, inviting international acts, including New York post punk noise-ist nugazers A Place to Bury Strangers. A Place to Bury Strangers plays November 17 at La Sala Rossa. Just bring those earplugs! The feedback is intense. You'll thank me later.
Moving along is Vancouver's indie power pop rockers Mother Mother. If you like Metric -- the Toronto outfit happens to be playing in Montreal the same night at the Bell Centre - then you'll love Mother Mother, performing November 21 at Théâtre Corona.
Toronto's Art Department, a duo unwittingly jelled by Crosstown Rebels label master Damian Lazarus who asked them to remix a Riz MC tune in 2009. Twenty-plus-year vet Kenny Glasgow and Johnny White have been bringing the best out of each other's solo efforts ever since. Art Department are in town for a session on November 24 at La Mouche, with My Favorite Robot joining the fold.
And somebody forgot to give me the memo on the Stillwater, Oklahoma natives of Other Lives. They've been at it since the band formed in 2004 yet their brilliantly toned-down melancholy-laced, shiver-worthy Americana is complete news to me. My absolute favorite discovery of the month, if not year, do not miss Other Lives performing November 24 at Cabaret du Mile End.
Returning the comfortable confines of home base is Malajube, one of Montreal's most exportable indie rock bands. Come to think of it, I can't recall reading or hearing anything other than praise for the three-time Polaris Prize nominees, be it from Vanity Fair or The New York Times. The four-piecve wunderkind performs November 28 at Théâtre Corona.
Finally, the humble zen monk comes home -- though if you were to ask him, it may not be quite as home as home. Leonard Cohen returns to his native Montreal with ten new-ish songs as revealed on his 12th studio effort released last January. Catch the legend while you still can this November 28 and November 29 at the Bell Centre.
Things to Do in Montreal RIGHT NOW:
- Montreal November Events