What's Happening?

We Just Wanna Have Some Fun, Down at the Rock and Roll Club

As all of his Chinese brothers and sisters get set to celebrate their New Year holiday, Prince Palu is beginning to wonder if, as many experts claim, China is set to become the next global world empire at sometime during the next 85 years, give or take, will the Chinese New Year one day simply become known as New Year. Given that the holiday in the People's Republic of China is a seven day long affair, Palu could get behind the idea of a week off at the end of January or beginning of February. It would be a welcome addition to his hibernation schedule. Until that day he wishes you all a Happy Chinese New Year and offers these thoughts about the weekend.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Deep inside the Village at Le National (1220 St-Catherine E.), avant rock/no wave legend Michael Gira brings his band Swans back to town to start this weekend off with a brain exploding, potential show-of-the-year candidate. Since this legendary New York group reformed back in 2010, they have added three brilliant albums to the original 10 studio recordings released between 1982 and 1997—including last year's To Be Kind. Opening will be Xylouris White, a duo comprised of singer and lutenist George Xylouris (whose family is considered musical royalty in Greece) and drummer Jim White of the Australian instrumental trio Dirty Three. Tickets, if any are still available, cost 25$ at the door or online. If you want to go, I recommend that you grab a ticket online via the Blues Skies Turn Black website ASAP to avoid the night-destroying 'Sold Out' sign on the ticket booth window.

If that is a little steep for your poor old wallet, thank your lucky stars that Buckfest 14 is still happening. Tonight over at L'Escogriffe (4467 St-Denis) DJ Mathieu Beauséjour presents a $5 triple bill that will feature the pop-punk noisemakers Ultraptérodactyle, Ghost Vines (a local super-group comprised of Matt Lee of Devil Eyes, Jessica Rozen of Télégraphe Jungle, David Kunstatter of Auks), and the new wave/power pop of Dany Laj and The Looks.

Friday, February 20, 2015

This week, it looks as though Friday will be the busy night and one that will leave you with some hard choices to make. First up, Ariel Pink is pulling into Le National in support of his critically acclaimed album Pom Pom, which made many year-end lists in 2014 with its blend of surreal and sunny Californian pop. And if that wasn't enough, opening the show will be Jack Name, another Californian making a lot of noise, both literally and figuratively. Name just released his werewolf/space traveling concept masterpiece Weird Moons, the follow up to last year's brilliant Light Show, and anyone who was at that Casa del Popolo show last March knows that he is a headline-worthy talent. Tickets can be gotten at Blues Skies Turn Black or, for the gambling types, at the door. $22 in advance, $25 at the door.

Another great night of avant garde, envelope-pushing music is happening at Cinémathèque Québécoise (335 de Maisonneuve E.) where another couple of local super-groups (does the February cold force more musicians to play together to share each other's body heat?) will make their presence known. The psychedelic-punk band PyPy and Kraut rock avant-funk group Avec le Soleils Sortant de sa Bouche will put on a free show as part of the 33rd Rendez-vous du cinéma Québécois (RVCQ) festival. The show starts at 11:00pm.

A more traditional affair takes place at Casa del Popolo (4873 St-Laurent) where the Skip Jensen Group, led by one of the greatest secret garage-rock weapon the city has ever produced, will strip rock 'n' roll back to its raw and bloody roots. Fresh off a tour of Europe, they will be looking for some hometown love. Joining in will be Light Bulb Alley, who have been building a strong following over the past couple years with their trashy, booze-soaked garage rock, and relative newcomers Thee Sin Caves, who claim to be "ready to explode your eardrums". What's not to like? It gets going around 9:30pm.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

If push came to shove, I would have to say that the show happening at Bar Le "Ritz" P.D.B. (179 Jean Talon W.) on Saturday is my show of the week. Not to disrespect any of the other great shows happening, I'm just being honest. First off we have headliners Elephant Stone, who in my opinion will soon join the likes of Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade as colossal musical exports of Montreal. Secondly, they will be joined by Yardlets—a music project fronted by Broken Social Scene's Sam Goldberg—and the psychedelic porno-rock warriors Wizaard. It just seems as if this gig has all the makings to be one of those things people in years to come will claim as their "I was there" badge. That's just a hunch I have, but one that is well worth the $12 ticket price.

If you don't want to take my advice, or you're just more in the mood for a sweaty, hip-hop night of dancing, then you should head on down to La Vitrola (4602 St-Laurent) where the good folks at Cousins are back with their monthly night of love and debauchery. This edition is called BACK 2 LYFE, and for the measly suggested donation of $5 you can join DJs Sammy Royale, Nino Brown, and Tamika for all your hip-hop, dancehall, and R&B needs.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

As always here at 'What's Happening?', I want to give you the option to end your weekend with something that will help wind things down and prepare you for the Monday morning that is racing towards you. This week's offer is the double bill happening over at Casa del Popolo with the jazz fusion of Nomad, and the experimental chamber folk music of Chronicle Quartet. Let the music float you away to your happy place.


--Prince Palu hosts The Go-Go Radio Magic Show, every Friday night from 6 to 8pm. Tune in. Turn on. Freak OUT! Only on CJLO.