The three venues that boost local and independent music most in this city are (imho) Casa del Popolo, Sala Rossa, and almost the new kid on the block La Vitrola. St. Laurent and the Plateau’s night life would ache without their presence and solid programming night after night after night.
Now in its fifteenth year, the Suoni per il Popolo festival nests in these three venues and offers up music that ranges from noise to experimental chamber music. Most nights, there are three or more shows playing with multiple artists at each. Largely, these are Montreal bands — some never heard of, some quite well known.
Here are our picks for shows to catch in the month ahead:
The Mile End Ladies String Auxillary and Christof Mignoe
The Mile End Ladies String Auxillary (MELSA) are a string trio consisting of Rebecca Foon, Sophie Trudeau, and Genviève Heisteik. Fully steeped in Montreal’s experimental and jazz scenes, they are part of numerous collaborations and collectives such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Thee Silver Mt. Zion, Hanged Up, Sackville, Kiss Me Deadly, Diebold, Esmerine, Fifths of Seven, and others. They have collaborated with Nick Cave, Little Scream, Patti Smith, and Tanya Tagaq to name a few. As a trio, they are playing new works by Sam Shalabi (who is also playing in the festival) as well as Steve Bates‘ The Tangible Air which will add to the trio Christof Migone (on gutted reel to reel electronics(, Marc-Alexandre Reinhardt (cassettes), Timothy Herzog (percussion). Artist and Renaissance man with an MFA, Christof Migone is also playing, an electroacoustic cosmonaut. Sala Rossa. June 9. 8 p.m. $10/12
Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld and Ryan Sawyer
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Horn master Colin and violinist Sarah are two instrumentalists from Montreal who have worked on numerous projects associated with Constellation Records. You might also recognize Neufeld’s name from her work with Arcade Fire and the Bell Orchestre. Although they’ve played together since 2012, they recently released an album together. Their work is creative, polyphonic, and stirs emotions while creating imaginary places, people, and scenes. Sawyer is an experimental drummer. Sala Rossa. June 10 and 11. 8:30 p.m. $15/17
A Boat Upon It’s Blood and Saxsyndrum
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A Boat Upon It’s Blood is a new piece by Jason Sharp who uses his breath to modify his heartbeat, which in turn is amplified and very much a part of the piece. Playing with him are Josh Zubot on violin and pedal steel master Joe Grass. Saxsyndrum are a synth meets drums meets sax duo that create dance music. Each album by this group has been a journey into new territory. Casa del Popolo. June 14. 8 p.m. $6/8.
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Dorthia Cottrell and Molly Sweeny
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Dorthia Cottreel fronts the doom metal band Windhand. She also plays country folk music solo. Talk about the phrase “don’t box me in.” She’s compared to Emmylou Harris with her breathy, mournful songs. Molly Sweeney is dark pop with a haunting, but very accessible sound. Her voice is lovely. Casa del Popolo. June 15. 8 p.m. $10/12
White Lung, Coliseum, Obliterations, and Fakes
This lineup of punk and noise music comes from the far coast. White Lung are a Vancouver punk group with short, high-speed songs and feminist punk lyrics. This translates to: angry, aggressive, and laden with take no prisoners messages. They recently played New York’s Governor’s Ball Music Festival and released Deep Fantasy about a year ago. Supporting them, Obliterations comes from Los Angeles, a hard core band. Montreal punk band Fakes do distortion, while Coliseum combines punk and melodic sounds. Sala Rossa. June 17. 8:45 p.m. $13/15
Paal Nilssen – Love’s Large Unit
CKUT joins with the Suoni festival to bring Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love back to the Suoni festival. He brings a group of Norwegian musicians with him and promises something different both nights he plays. Sala Rossa. June 20 and 21. 8:45 p.m. $18/20.
The Suoni per il Popolo festival continues through June 23. Find out more HERE.