Simona Rabinovitch

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    SPIN.com's Top 5 Up-and-Coming Montreal Bands

    Rock star-worthy drama was the plat du jour of this year's Pop Montreal festival, which featured well over one hundred shows in venues around town. First, local up-and-comers Hot Springs broke up. Then came the vintage gay porn soundtrack (see No. 5 below). Yet Pop's piece de resistance remains its feisty homegrown talent. So after a five-day blur of concerts, cabs, and directing drunken out-of-towners to bagel, smoked meat, and poutine joints, we picked our Top 5 contenders to sport the Arcade Fire crown. Oh, the drama. Can you handle it? 1. Megasoid: Grinding, bass-heavy, synthy electro-crunk only loosely describes this groundbreaking project of Wolf Parade's Hadji Bakara and Robert "Speakerbruiser" Squire, who used to produce as Sixtoo.

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    TV on the Radio Make Waves at Montreal Jazz Fest

    Last night, at the 10-day Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Brooklyn's avant-indie rock outfit TV on the Radio introduced an audience of smarty-pants fans and curious festival-goers to their white hot energy and brilliant noise. (Sadly, the large Metropolis venue was about half full, maybe because local heads Bran Van 3000 were playing a free outdoor show down the street.) With frontman Tunde Adebimpe shaking his tambourine, all five members were blissfully lost in their beats from the first note. Playing songs from their wholerepertoire, with a large focus on 2006's Return to Cookie Mountain, they built a relentlesss sonic world that ranged from sparse and angular rhythms to layered and lush excursions.

  • The Stills Top Mount Real

    Locals done good was the accidental theme of Pop Montreal day two:fellow Canuck turntablist DJ A-Trak dropped beats at Club Soda whileweirdo violin genius Final Fantasy brought out a packed house ofsimilarly-afflicted fans. But the night (Oct. 4) surely belonged toArts & Crafts' latest roster addition, the Stills. The handsomeQuebecois fivesome, who are currently putting the finishing touches ontheir currently untitled third studio LP, showcased some of theirbrightest pop gems yet. Yep, everyone's growing up; locals and touristsalike felt like proud parents, that is, if proud parents partied withtheir kids until 3:00 A.M.

  • Pop Goes Montreal

    Ah, Montreal. There's a reason this town makes headlines; a reasonbands like Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, Stars all moved here and call ithome. Now in its sixth year and still as pure as a French virgin, musicfestival Pop Montreal embodies everything we adore about Canada'scoolest city; The artsy-hip neighborhoods Plateau Mont-Royal and MileEnd, Leonard Cohen, spiral staircases, two-cheek kisses -- andperpetual discontent. What else can you expect from aFrench-meets-English town with cheap rent, long winters, unlimitedinspiration but limited opportunity? The upside, of course, is acreative one: cocooned from the rat race, people are free to just dotheir thing. Pop Montreal is one of those things. Curated byco-founder Dan Seligman, the festival, which kicked off last night andwill run through Sunday (Oct. 7), represents both music and Montreal attheir best: diverse, raucous, and unifying.

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