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We Just Wanna Have Some Fun, Down At The Rock And Roll Club

Not sure if January 15th being both the arcane feast of Saint Paul the First Hermit and the day that Prince Palu gave up his futile search for some sort of medically induced hibernation have anything to do with each other, but it sure is cold outside. However, we are sure that, unlike Paul of Thebes, Prince Palu does not have a raven that brings bread to his cave everyday, so he went out and bought some thermal underwear and resigned himself to the fact that these are our days until the first or second week of May. Now resign yourself too and here are some live music options for you this week.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

I am not afraid to admit that I hate the cold. We should hate the cold. That is the reason that we evolved into people who build houses with heating systems and knit extra thick wool socks. I will also admit that my hatred for these frigid temperatures gets worse as I get older. The 'Old Man Yells At Cloud' joke from The Simpsons becomes more like reality TV than animated humour with every passing year. But none of this matters when it comes to seeking out live music, for as we all know, rock and roll clubs have been clinically proven to fight frostbite and crankiness. Furthermore, Montreal is not a city that shuts down when the mercury levels dip to -30 and neither do your musical options. In fact tonight's two recommendations are as varied as can be.

Over at Casa del Popolo (4873 St-Laurent) Cultured Meat presents 'New Mutations' a night of industrial-punk with La Naegleria, Pelvic Floor, (featuring members of Vile Intent, Pelada, and Strongboss), Perverted Justice (featuring members of Omegas and Vixen), and Flesh Entry (the hyper link for Flesh Entry really only works if you already have their cassette, as it is a YouTube visual to be played along with the cassette... why they didn't add the music to the video is anybody's guess). It is a $5 show that starts at 9:00 and promises to be done before the last metro to keep you from having to walk too far in the deep freeze we call January.

If industrial-punk is not your cup of tea, jump down St. Laurent Blvd. a few blocks to Le Divan Orange (4234 St-Laurent) where Kurt Bel-Air & The Ambassadors, The Wildwood Family, and Eddy Blake present a night of old timey music that'll blend country, folk, blues, bluegrass and gospel into a sweet sonic elixir that'll warm those toes quicker than you can count the strings on Alexandra Ghezzi's mandolin.

Friday, January 16, 2015

For all of those who seem to like to be outside at this time of year, and from the photos of past events that number seems to be in the tens of thousands, the first of four weekends of Igloofest down at the Old Port starts tonight. While this type of thing does not interest me, I will say that I have only ever heard amazing things about Igloofest. So if you got a brand new parka for Christmas and are needing to test the claims on the labels, pull on your boots, toque, and mittens and head down to Quai Jacques-Cartier. For the list of DJs, set times and ticket prices/packages check the Igloofest website. But for the love of gravy, if you do go down there and face the freezing temperatures, treat yourself to a poutine at La Banquise afterwards! You've burned enough calories to make it almost mandatory.

For those of you who share my belief that these January temperatures are the bête noire of all things good and decent, yet still have an insatiable appetite for live music, fortunately there is warmer relief in the form of two great rock and roll shows. Unfortunately both of these shows are happening on the same night.

At Casa del Popolo, local D.I.Y. champions, The Annoying, who describe their sound as skittering and scurrying in multiple directions between post-punk and Americana, launch their latest album Cubist Spheres / Frags of Rock. Joining them will be the great garage-power pop mavericks No Aloha and the swirling psychedelic pop of another great local band Slight. This show has everything you need with the exception of a piping hot plate of poutine, which could easily be procured after the show.

The other great rock and roll show happening Friday night is taking place down the street at Divan Orange where psych-prog warriors Chocolat present their version of rock and roll, which in case you have not heard is very very good. Chocolat returning after a very long hiatus was definitely one of the highlights of 2014 for yours truly. And in their return they have added so many textures and swirls to their sound that make it all the more compelling. Joining them will be the instant party of Choses Sauvages, who I guarantee will have you dancing and smiling uncontrollably, and the dark indie rock Dear Denizen, who appear like they might be one of the break out bands of 2015. While there is no poutine, there will be free pizza provided by Pizzeria Romeo until midnight! All this and the knowledge that it is part of the fund raising efforts to help Divan Orange pay for the ridiculous noise complaint fines they have been hit with, makes this a can't lose choice.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

This Saturday, Cousins Party presents its first booty shakin' good time of 2015. The queer-friendly hip hop, dance hall, R&B, juke joint fam jam with DJ Tamika, who will also use the night as a big ol' birthday party, gets going around 10:00pm at La Vitrola (4602 St-Laurent)

For a shambolic night of rock 'n' roll, sure to make your estrogen levels spike through the roof, head over/back to Casa del Popolo and get ready to pogo with Public Drama, NOBRO, Pale Lips, who will be celebrating their one-year anniversary of playing live, and Chunky Mona. These four local bands are keeping the spirit of '90s grunge and riot grrrl music alive and well.

Once again, Divan Orange gives a rootsier option for the evening with Le Winston Band taking their Quebecois meets Cajun Zydeco cow punk brand of folk 'n' roll to the stage. Adding a little more earthy goodness to the sounds will be another local folk band with the heart of rock 'n' rollers, The Great Novel. Doors at 9:00 with a $10 ticket... but you could always go down early, enjoy a few drinks with your friends before hand to help Divan Orange out as they struggle with the fines. Oh yeah, and then go a pay your admission fee once the door gets set up. These musicians need to raise some funds too.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Without a doubt the big ticket this weekend is legendary Scottish band The Vaselines at Bar 'Le Ritz' P.D.B. (179 Jean Talon W.). If you are not familiar with The Vaselines here is their story in a nutshell. Formed in Glasgow in the late '80s, they released two EPs and one LP before breaking up. Also during their first three-year run they just happened to become the favorite songwriters of Kurt Cobain. His constant mentioning of them in interviews as well as Nirvana covering three of their songs - "Son of A Gun", "Molly's Lips", and "Jesus Don't Want Me For A Sunbeam" - led to Sub Pop releasing a compilation, The Way of The Vaselines: A Complete History in 1992, worldwide recognition and a two decade, on and off, revival. Joining in on the excitement will be the all-female post-punk trio from Philadelphia, Amanda X. Tickets are $20 and you might want to buy one online from Blue Skies Turn Black before heading up to 'Le Ritz' and risking it being sold out at the door.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Normally I just stick to the weekend for this column because, well because I don't get paid to scour and search for your entire week. In fact I don't get paid at all. Yet. But really I do this all out of an OCD like need to get people out to support live music, so here are a couple shows happening mid-week that you might be interested in.

Everyone's favorite small theatre venue above a Spanish restaurant, La Sala Rossa (4848 St-Laurent), will host Hamilton Leithauser, lead singer of the 'out of the office indefinitely' Brooklyn band The Walkmen, as he tours his solo record. Opening will be the Toronto band Highs, who in just over two years have built up quite a reputation and following. Their 2013 self-titled six-song EP of upbeat pop gems has many people predicting big things for this band. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at Casa del Popolo or online.

The other show happening on Wednesday is a great triple bill up at 'Le Ritz' with Toronto's Slim Twig and U.S. Girls joining forces with Montreal's Nancy Pants to bring a new wave, post-punk, dance party to your hump day night. I have no fear saying that this night is going to be total nancy pants! (that is a reference to a catchphrase that I am trying to get started and not to be read as some sort of dis of Slim Twig or U.S. Girls, both of whom are great).


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