Saturday, October 7th, 2006
Pop Goes The World – Day 2
Friday night’s Pop Montreal sched ended up being lighter than I’d intended because an afternoon power nap turned into a full-on hibernation, thus screwing up my intention to see either Jessica Bailiff or The Dandybeards. Unfortunate, but believe me – I needed that sleep. So instead of club-hopping, I spent the whole of the evening at the Insound showcase at Les Saints.
Miracle Fortress @ Les Saints – The side project from Think About Life-er is a solo act in the very literal sense, with Graham Van Pelt the only member and live performer. Not that that stops him from making a racket – handling guitar and drums simultaneously and bolstered by a variety of samplers and loopers, he turns out plaintive pop tunes dressed up in cacaphony which I found to be far more interesting than the output of his day job.
The Big Sleep @ Les Saints – The Brooklyn trio was the main draw for me on this bill, having rather impressed with their debut album Son Of the Tiger. If nothing else, I imagined that they’d turn out one ear-splitter of a live show and they didn’t disappoint on any count. They traded in some of the dynamics and melodicism of the record for an extra dollop of brute force on stage and were nothing short of fearsome. Mix one serving of amphetamine with one serving of quaalude, bury vocals, turn up to 11. Serve loud. Remind me to send a thank-you box of chocolates to the company that made my earplugs.
Islands @ Les Saints – I stuck around to see the headliners simply because there was nowhere else to go that late at night. And lucky thing, because Islands really impressed. I’ve not paid much attention to them since seeing one of their earlier shows last November but whereas that show had a somewhat charming shambolicness about it, this time they were all business. With the departure of J’aime Tambeur in May, Nick Diamonds is now the sole frontman of the band and he seemed perfectly happy to fill up the space left in the spotlight by his fellow ex-Unicorn and he led the six-piece band through an impressively tight and focused show, much to the delight of their hometown fans. They’ve become quite a good classic pop band in the past year, maintaining a goodly amount of their eclectic, goofball charm while also honing some killer hookism. A good show with an enthusiastic crowd though the mosh pit was a bit silly.
So earlier in the day was my big panel at the Future Of Music summit, which is turning out to be an excellent way to spend the days before the club-hopping at night. I was more than a little nervous going into it, as much because I remembered that I really don’t like public speaking as for being in the company of the founders of Merge Records and Pitchfork Media. And, of course, I was the one asked to start things off… But overall I quite enjoyed the experience and there was some interesting (and some not-so interesting) discussion about the role that sites like blogs and web-zines like Pitchfork play in navigating and making sense of the sheer amount of music that’s out there right now. Most of the discussion centred around the current landscape and what everyone’s perceived and actual influence on things is (relative to Pitchfork, mine would be approximately none). I had hoped that more discussion would be had on what the roles of internet media might be in the future and where this is all going because, well, I have no idea where I’m going with this site and a little guidance or advice would have been appreciated. But in the time available, I thought it was a pretty good discussion.
More Pop Montreal updates from here, there and everywhere – Chart recaps Wednesday and Thursday while Prefix reports in on their Thursday night goings-on and Zoilus’s day three wrapup is more FMC than Pop Montreal (he missed my panel!).