Grade A Explosives teams up with Tainted Reality to help kids

This Sunday Andrew from Grade A Explosives will be teaming up with Tainted Reality to help out with a gaming/radio telethon that they're doing to help the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  Andrew will be teaming up with co-hosts from his old show to make a special revival on CJLO's airwaves.  If you're interested on checking out the other 22 hours of the telethon, feel free to check out the Fund Warrior page here:

The telethon starts on Saturday at 6 and will be wrapping up at 6PM Sunday, which will fall nicely within the hours of Grade A Explosives, which is from 4-6PM.  So tune in, donate, and hear people be randomly dumb all for a good cause.  

The CJLO Top 100

Chartmania 2014!

The results are in. Below you will find the CJLO Top 100 releases compiled from our airplay in the last calendar year. Canadian releases are highlighted in red. Happy holidays, and cheers to more great underground music in the new year!

--Your friends at CJLO 1690AM in Montreal


CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100
  1. In the Name of Havoc - 1180 EP
  2. Moka Only - Sex Money Moka
  3. Death from Above 1979 - The Physical World
  4. Ought - More Than Any Other Day
  5. White Lung - Deep Fantasy
  6. Chromeo - White Women
  7. Caribou - Our Love
  8. FKA Twigs - LP1
  9. Lydia Ainsworth - Right From Real
  10. Bear In Heaven - Time is Over One Day Old
CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100
  1. Hashed Out - Hashed Out EP
  2. Trust - Joyland
  3. Kill of Rights - Sign of the Crimes
  5. Hey Sugar - The Smell of Burning Wood
  6. Childish Gambino - Because the Internet
  7. Gypsy Chief Goliath - New Machines of the Night
  8. Flying Lotus - You're Dead
  9. Dum Dum Girls - Too True
  10. Kestrels - The Moon is Shining Our Way EP
CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100
  1. Dirt Cannon - Tough Love
  2. Mac DeMarco - Salad Days
  3. Dance Laury Dance - Hellalujah
  4. Owen Pallett - In Conflict
  5. Fucked Up - Glass Boys
  6. PS I Love You - For Those Who Stay
  7. Alvvays - Alvvays
  8. Aphex Twin - Syro
  9. Comeback Kid - Die Knowing
  10. Archery Guild - Manitòk
CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100
  1. Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire for No Witness
  2. Hopeless Youth - Disgust
  3. Jai Nitai Lotus - Acknowledgement
  4. Various Artists, CJLO 1690AM – Baked in the Oven Vol. 1: Spicy Eats
  5. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2
  6. Anti-Mortem - New Southern
  7. Timber Timbre - Hot Dreams
  8. Pink Mountaintops - Get Back
  9. Maica Mia - Des Era
  10. Ty Segall - Manipulator
CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100
  1. Mutank - M.E.C.H. Metal
  2. Chad Vangaalen - Shrink Dust
  3. Cloud Nothings - Here and Nowhere Else
  4. Striker - City of Gold
  5. Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra - Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything
  6. Jef Barbara - Soft to the Touch
  7. Elephant Stone - The Three Poisons
  8. PyPy - Pagan Day
  9. Ben Frost - A U R O R A
  10. Mogwai - Rave Tapes
CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100
  1. Greys - If Anything
  2. SOLIDS - Blame Confusion
  3. TOPS - Picture You Staring
  4. Various Artists, Wacken Metal Battle Canada 2014
  5. Odonis Odonis - Hard Boiled Soft Boiled
  6. Freddie Gibbs and Madlib - Piñata
  7. Real Estate - Atlas
  8. Viet Cong - Cassette
  9. Parquet Courts - Sunbathing Animal
  10. TV on the Radio - Seeds
CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100
  1. Woods - With Light and With Love
  2. Paroxysm - Voracite
  3. Beck - Morning Phase
  4. Chapel - Satan's Rock 'n' Roll
  5. Alaskan - Despair, Erosion, Loss
  6. Absolutely Free - Absolutely Free
  7. Small Teeth - Small Teeth Tape
  8. Behemoth - The Satanist
  9. Mozart's Sister - Being
  10. Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again
CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100
  1. Mode Moderne - Occult Delight
  2. Sidewalk Chalk - Leaves
  3. Iron Dogs - Free and Wild
  4. La Dispute - Rooms of the House
  5. Grouper - Ruins
  6. Swans - To Be Kind
  7. Homeshake - In the Shower
  8. Reigning Sound - Shattered
  9. War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream
  10. Ariel Pink - Pom Pom
CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100
  1. Wye Oak - Shriek
  2. Kevin Drew - Darlings
  3. Bleeding Rainbow - Interrupt
  4. Atmosphere - Southsiders
  5. clipping - CLPPNG
  6. Homeboy Sandman - Hallways
  7. Trap Them - Blissfucker
  8. Skull Fist - Chasing the Dream
  9. Nancy Pants - Total Nancy Pants
  10. Culted - Oblique to All Paths


CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100 CJLO Top 100
  1. Wish - Wish
  2. Cee - This is All I Know
  3. Nothing - Guilty of Everything
  4. The Hidden Cameras - Age
  5. Arcade Fire - Reflektor
  6. The Fresh & Onlys - House of Spirits
  7. Jack Name - Light Show
  8. Various Artists, Misery Loves Co. – Discography Vol. 1
  9. Spoon - They Want My Soul
  10. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - Give the People What They Want


GWAR @ Corona Theatre

GWAR You Experienced?: A GWARticle

Sawborg Destructo taunts the crowd with his saw. Photo by Idle Matt of Radio Fun.

It's difficult to write about GWAR. Like any other over the top spectacle, what GWAR does, and what GWAR means to their audience, is almost impossible to format into paragraphs. For the adventurous, "hey, come see this band of giant rubber monsters that make thrash metal and dismember things... oh yeah, and wear white, they're gonna spray you with all kinds of fluids," is generally enough of an enticement. For the sane, however, it usually takes a little bit more convincing, but here's the problem: GWAR is magic. And like any other kind of magic, it only works on those who want to believe.

Jizmak on drums, with Vulvatron, Blöthar and Beefcake. Photo by Julia Gualtieri.

The GWAR mythology has changed a lot since the death of frontman Oderus Urungus (Dave Brockie) earlier this year. To fill his monstrously clawed feet, the originator of the Beefcake the Mighty character (Michael Bishop) has returned as the new co-lead vocalist, an antler-adorned warrior named Blöthar. Also new to the mythology is Vulvatron, a blonde, endowed space assassin from the future who spews blood from her breasts (an act recently forbidden by local authorities in Nashville, TN) and shares vocal leads to the delight of GWAR fans. Her big, raw, catscratch vocals and cocky stage persona are a welcome addition to the band, which has been mostly estrogen free since the departure of Slymenstra Hymen in the early 2000s. Together with the other key GWAR personas (Balsac the Jaws of Death and Pustulus Maximus on guitar, Beefcake the Mighty on bass, Jizmak da Gusha on drums, and Bone Snapper and Sawborg Destructo on... assorted violence, um, backing vocals), Blöthar and Vulvatron unleashed the Eternal Tour on Montreal's, Corona Theatre last week, and with it, a fitting tribute to their late frontman.

Vulvatron's blood spurting breasts and Bonesnapper on the mic. Photo by Stephanie Ng Wan.

With its original 1912 carved woodwork swathed in protective plastic, the Corona Theatre (and its ponchoed front of house bouncers) was dressed for battle, and GWAR, of course, was happy to oblige. This tour's storyline features time machines, pizza delivery, and the search for a missing Oderus, as well as the guest appearance of his famed Cuttlefish of Cthulhu, still spraying across the space-time continuum, all soundtracked to popular GWAR numbers like "Saddam a Go-Go", "Hate Love Songs", "Madness at the Core of Time", and "Let Us Slay". It ends with the inevitable, a solemn (well, as solemn as GWAR will ever get) farewell ceremony featuring Oderus' weapon of choice, the longsword Unt Lick, and then a primal scream in Oderus' memory. I would be lying if I didn't admit that the moment moved me. I have seen GWAR several times with Oderus at the helm, and he is, and will continue to be, missed.

I've seen GWAR a couple of other times and stayed safely clean, but here is my collection of stained shirts from over the years. The one on the left is from 2002's Blood Drive tour.

GWAR closed the show with the excellent medley of Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls" and Jim Carroll's "People Who Died" that they originally performed for the A.V. Club's Undercover project. The GWAR version has altered lyrics that reference, among others, deceased GWAR guitar player Cory Smoot (Flattus Maximus), Dimebag Darrell from Pantera, and Mike Scaccia from Ministry. The final verse of the song is about Dave's death:

Dave died alone in his chair in his room.
He had just turned 50, it was way too soon.
Oderus’ boat went up in flames,
Now all of Vallhalla chants his name!
Oderus, I miss you more than all the others.
I salute you my brother!

Oderus died, died. (X4)
He was all of our friend and he died.

For an hour or so, GWAR did what they have been doing for decades now: blending thrash and punk, cracking jokes, dousing the audience in colored liquid, ripping apart rubber dummies, but most of all, reminding their fans that life isn't always so serious. That's GWAR's best magic trick of all; under all the bone saws and hyperviolence, under the blood, slime and semen, the dismemberment and the crude humor, under all of that is the chance to celebrate, to let go and to remember what it feels like to lose yourself in imagination, get dirty with your friends and believe in monsters. As Oderus once said in a 2008 interview: "GWAR is all about satire, GWAR is all about sarcasm, GWAR is all about freedom, and really, GWAR is all about love."

Here I am, covered in GWAR fluids after the show.

--Angelica brings you the best (and the worst) in rock'n'roll, country, punk, and metal on BVST, every Wednesday from 7 to 9 PM on CJLO.

What's Happening?

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

With Hanukkah well under way and Christmas so close, Prince Palu can almost feel the drowsiness of the tryptophan overdose creeping up his legs, there are still a few things this weekend worth putting on the boots and hats and scarves and mittens and oversized coats for. We are Quebecers, either born-and-bred or ardent transplants, be we Francophone, English and/or other, it will take a little more than some snow and wind to keep us cooped up like a bunch of Vancouverites. So get out there and continue to vote with your spending habits and support local bands and artists. Meet new friends and wish old ones a happy holiday. You can also wish your new friends a happy holiday too. Anyway, this is what Prince Palu thinks is worth your time and money.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

It is sometimes hard to get up and out of the apartment when the weather turns all wintery, but Le Divan Orange (4234 St-Laurent) has the perfect way to ease you into the night. The weekly Divan Orange Camp every Thursday features a monthly artist in resident and cheap drinks to help get your engine running. This month the artist (or camper) in resident is Olivier Bélisle It is a 6 à 8, so you can still pretty much do any of the other suggestions for Thursday and it is free!

Was there a new band that garnered more buzz in 2014 than Toronto's Alvvays? If you want to see what all that buzz is about, you can catch them when they set-up shop at La Sala Rossa (4848 St-Laurent) tonight for one more Montreal show before the year is done. Joining them will be fellow Torontonians, Moon King, who will be heading to Europe in the new year for a pretty extensive three-week tour, and local no-fi electro-pop noise duo, Look Vibrant. $15 and doors at 8:00.

For all you last minute holiday shoppers, there are a whole lotta choices for you this week. Starting tonight over at La Tour Prisme (6600 St-Urbain, studio 505) you can once again chip away at your gift buying at the Cutest Art Fair everrrrrrr. Over three dozen local artist and designers providing a plethora of gift options, plus DJ shakti-in-flux and DJ Ethel Eugene providing the tunes. Everyone is welcome, except haters and bad vibes. From 4:00 to 10:00 PM.

While you are up in this neck of the woods anyway, once you get your shopping done, you could head up a couple more blocks to Breakglass Studio (7250 Clark, third floor) to catch two great local bands, SOLIDS and Heat, perform for the Live From Breakglass Chrismukkah party/live broadcast! Tickets are $10, doors at 8:30.

If you were looking to be a little bit more involved with your Thursday night fun, while simultaneously being creeped out and slightly aroused, POP Montreal is presenting a party that will cover all your bases. Urock L'Amour Party des fêtes will commemorate both the 100th anniversary of Cinéma L'Amour (4015 St-Laurent)—it only became a porn theatre in 1969, but was built in 1914 as Le Globe, a combination live performance hall/movie theatre—and the 10th anniversary of the reoccurring POP Montreal event uRockaoke (live band Karaoke). If you love getting your rockstar fantasies tickled in a karaoke box, then you are gonna cream your pants when you do it with a live band. What better place to pop your uRockaoke cherry than in the seedy confines of Cinema L'Amour? Party starts at 10:30. $12 at the door.

For something with a wee bit more twang, The Johnny Cash Machine present a Rockabilly Christmas at Le Divan Orange, with The Jitterbop Boys and the coolest rockin' daddy-o Eddy Blake along for the fun. In fact these fellas might just whip up so much fun that I wouldn't be surprised if the Man in Black himself paid a visit as the ghost of rockabilly Christmas past. Also, a big congratulations are in order to Eddy and the lovely Tara Belle, for the arrival of their second beautiful daughter. $10 at the door, show starts at 9:00. If you were already at Le Divan Orange for the Olivier Bélisle 6 à 8, this means you have an hour to pop out, grab some food and try to soak up a bit of the alcohol before heading back for round two.

Friday, December 19, 2014

What would an edition of 'What's Happening?' be without a good ol' garage rock 'n' roll shindig? Thankfully for us all Analogue Addiction are presenting Fuad & The Feztones (featuring members of the legendary Montreal garage band The Gruesomes), local legends in the making Loose Pistons and Ghost Vines, the brand new music project of Matt Lee from Devil Eyes at Quai des Brumes (4481 St-Denis) for the low price of $8! Philippe Lavoie will also be DJing. Doors at 9:00.

In this time of office holiday parties it can be a little lonesome and sad for anyone who is self-employed and works from home. That is why for the second straight year local artist Gabrielle Laïla Tittley and her friends are hosting Party des Autonomes II, the office holiday party for the self-employed. This party happening at Astral 2000 (1845 Ontario E.) will not only give you another chance to get your karaoke on, but also to give back as the night will also be a food drive as well. So warm up them vocal chords in the shower and bring some non-perishable food and get ready to make an ass of yourself in front of the whole "office".

Proving that their name is not just about finding words that rhyme, local record label Dare to Care also want to make sure that everyone has the chance to go to an office holiday party. They are throwing their Party de Noël at Le Divan Orange and making it open to everyone. No cover at the door and DJs spinning all night. Put on your nice clothes and get there early.

Do you ever find yourself wondering if you prefer pop, folk, or synth when it comes to your favourite type of indie music? Being an indie music fan is not always easy, so to make it easier to find the answer to the above question, La Vitrola (4602 St-Laurent) will host King Karoshi, The Vasts, and Forgotten Fix in a three-way battle royale to see just which type of indie music is tops. If at the end of the night you still haven't found your answer, but have enjoyed the music, then I guess in some way you have answered the question, haven't you? At the very least you helped support three local bands and got to hang out in Montreal's best new venue of 2014. Show at 9:00, $10 at the door.

If you were looking for a slightly more gloomy vibe to your Friday night, then head up to Casa del Popolo (4873 St-Laurent) were Nadja, thisquietarmy, and Black Walls will deliver a triple bill of all the droning, ambient, dream sludge your little shoegazing heart can desire. $10 and doors at 8:30.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A couple more chances to make a political statement with your dollars and make your Christmas gifts a little more unique happening Saturday. Costume designer and burlesque dancer, Lavender May, owner and operator of Lavender May's Closet, a women's vintage clothing and accessories online store, is hosting Lavender May's Pop-Up Holiday Sale at Loft 1601 (1601 St-Laurent) noon - 11:00 PM. There will also be vintage mens outerwear, home accessories, taxidermy, art and other goodies available from some of Lavender's friends. For a full list of participants check out the Facebook event.

Further up the Main at Sala Rossa the Super Bazar/Foire Artisanale des fêtes gets underway at 11:00 AM. It will feature 25 different participants covering a wide spectrum of different wares, a special craft zone for children and a special holiday menu at the Sala Rosa restaurant. The event runs until 5:00 PM and happens again on Sunday at the same times.

The temperature for Saturday night is supposed to hover around -7°C with partly cloudy skies. Not the worst you could get at this time of year, but not the kind of night you want to be spending outside for very long. Fortunately for us, Sean Foster & The Vaqueros will be heating up the intimate space at Quai des Brumes with their stripped down psychedelic-folk rock. If you haven't heard Sean Foster before, this might be the best place to be introduced, with the red velvet drapes the perfect backdrop for this local troubadours lyrics, Brian Smith's funky cajón and of George Donoso III's intricate guitar work. You should also check out the documentary the band released earlier this year called Psychedelic Troubadour: 6 Days on the Island, filmed during a tour of Cuba. Sharing the double bill with them will be Chinatown's vocalist and guitarist, Félix Dyotte. I'm not sure if Chinatown is done or just on hiatus, but at least you can still go and see Félix, right?

Need a little bit more slow grinding and booty shaking on your Saturday night? Montreal's queer friendly, hip-hop party throwers, Cousins Party present their monthly party up at La Vitrola with special guests Pablo Montoya and Dreams Come True. A portion of the money will be donated to the Ferguson Defence Fund and the Eric Garner Family Support Fund. As they say, "Come correct, come positive and come to have fun!"

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday things begin to slow down as either (A) promoters and bands figure that everyone has run out of money, or (B) are locked into family functions. However if you indeed have not run out of money and want to spend big chunks of it on a worthy cause, then there is a family function happening at Maison Symphonique de Montréal (1600 St-Urbain) when the brother-sister duo of Rufus and Martha Wainwright and a bunch of friends, including Louis-Jean Cormier, Ariane Moffatt, and Amy Millan, present Noël Nights. All proceeds will go to the Kate McGarrigle Fund, which supports cancer care and research at the McGill University Cancer Centre and the McGill University Health Centre Foundation. If the $60 - $75 price range of the tickets is too rich for you, but you still want to help you can make a donation at the Kate McGarrigle Fund. Any gift over $15 will get a tax receipt.

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

BVST goes Santapalooza! III

You may be getting coal in your stocking, but at least Angelica's got some gifts for your ears this year, as she once again turns over the reins of BVST to Mr. Santapalooza himself, Matt Kiernan, for the third edition of BVST goes Santapalooza! If you can't get enough ringadingalinging rare, vintage and newly released Christmas music, you won't wanna miss Santapalooza's carefully curated playlist of covers and originals coming to you live via the magic of radio next Wednesday, December 17th from 7 to 9pm ET! Make sure to follow the Santapalooza project on Twitter @Santapalooza for all your holly jolly musical needs now and year round!

Listen to the Philharmonia Mundi Montreal perform Dvorak's 9th

On December 7th, CJLO walked ALL the way over to the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall where the Orchestra Philharmonia Mundi Montreal was holding a concert where they would play Dvorak's 9th symphony (New World Symphony) along with various other selections.  We did a live broadcast and thought it would be good to put it up for any of you that may have missed it.  The full concert program is:

Gioacchino Rossini: Le Barbier de Séville, Ouverture
François Borne: Fantaisie sur des thèmes de Carmen de Bizet
    Judy Diez-d’Aux, flûte (soliste)
Cristache Zorzor: Jeux d’enfants
Alexandre Borodine: Ouverture de l’opéra Prince Igor
Antonin Dvorak: Symphonie n°9 en mi mineur, « du Nouveau-Monde », op.95
Enjoy, and be sure not to miss their Spring concert series.  For more on that, feel free to visit their website.

Psychostick - Revenge of the Vengeance

Rock Ridge Music, 2014

In their fourth studio album, IV: Revenge of the Vengeance, Psychostick continues to unapologetically weave facepalm-worthy masterpieces of metal in their sporadic style of thrashy hardcore. As expected, Rob "Rawrb" Kersey's lyrics are equal parts idiot and savant, presenting cleverly stupid characters and storylines throughout. There's an entire track of outtakes, for shit's sake. No matter what you choose to call this polarizing genre, "Comedy metal", "spoof rock", or "tardcore", Psychostick are undeniably at the top of it.

This time around, their off-kilter subject matter includes such absurdities as marrying your own beard, an unhealthy fear of ducks, an equally unhealthy (yet totally justifiable) obsession with Bruce Campbell, and a full-blown MMA brawl to the death over the final slice of pizza... And the last beer... And the last roll of toilet paper... And on and on.

Bill Manspeaker, the madman behind the original jokey metal band Green Jellÿ, makes an appearance on several tracks; most notably "NSFW". You want to know how amazing that song is? Here are the lyrics:

Fuck! (x300)
Ladies and gentleman,
Bill Manspeaker of Green Jellÿ!
Fuck! (x600)

Revenge of the Vengeance culminates in "Dimensional Time Portal", the tale of a space-time rift accidentally opened by the band. The rift is a doorway used by an army of haunted panties, which force every women on Earth to lose their sex drive. Psychostick triumphantly defeats the invaders with the power of metal. Then there's sex for everyone!

Just kidding! Everyone gets nuked and dies.

Oh, and amongst all this delightful jackassery is a pretty sweet cover of "Danger Zone/Take My Breath Away".

Both brootal and stoopid, IV: Revenge of the Vengeance will have you simultaneously head banging and belly laughing. Stand-out tracks include "Obey the Beard", "So Heavy", "Dogs Like Socks", "NSFW", and "AWESOME". If you're into Green Jellÿ, Tenacious D, gang vocals about administering CPR, and Mr. Torgue from the Borderlands video games, this album was written for you. Grab a six-pack and enjoy, you primitive screwhead!

Julian Casablancas

Julian Casablancas + The Voidz delivered an awesome performance in a filled Corona Theatre on November 22, 2014. The openers, punk metal band Cerebral Ballzy, and hip hop duo Shabazz Palaces, set a good mood for the audience. Shabazz Palaces even performed "Father Electricity" with The Voidz, which was a great mix of hip-rock! The many fans that lined up for the snow earlier that night were ecstatic when Julian took the stage around 10:15. The band opened with "Xerox" off their album Tyranny, released last September on Cult Records. It was surprising to see that the attention was put on The Voidz, as Julian spent most of the show in the back, almost hiding from the lights. This gave an odd ambiance that fit perfectly with the fuzzy rock noises. Fans were still delighted because he often reached out to them to shake hands. The talent of Alex Carapetis has to be mentioned, as he wooed the crowd multiple times with his incredible drumming skills. The setlist was centered on tracks from Tyranny, but also included "Ize of the World", a Strokes cover off the album First Impressions of Earth, and "River of Brakelights" from Julian's solo album Phrazes for the Young. A highlight of the night was the first encore, as Julian performed "I'll Try Anything Once", another Strokes cover, along with Jeff Kite. It was a moving moment as fans held hands and sang in unison through to the end.

Carmen from CJLO's Plebeian Pleasures (Thursdays, 9 to 10 AM) sat with Julian Casablancas before the show to chat about his current tour with The Voidz, his creation process, and performing live. Below is the audio from the full interview followed by a transcript of the highlights.

Carmen: What questions do you not want to get asked in interviews?

Julian: "Where did you record the record?" That's the dumbest one everyone asks it. Why do I care where things were recorded? Or even what music I love. I guess it's relevant, but I think music speaks louder than that kind of detail to me. "How is this different than other things you've done?" That's also just kind of a lazy journalist question. I think any question that starts with the supposition that's basically the journalist kind of interpretation or opinion. So when someone says, "So, everyone thinks you're this, comment". That's the opposite of seeing a psychiatrist.

It's not good to know what other people think of you?

Well, no. Maybe it's nice to be aware. To be like, "So everyone is saying you're so bad now, how does that make you feel?" That's not nice. Any kind of question that has a rude undertone—if you just met me and we were socially talking—and think that's too rude to say to my face, don't ask it in an interview. I think it's bad.

So, you just played in Toronto, how was it?

It was awesome. Sorry to say that. I know Montreal and Toronto... But you guys don't need to worry about it, I think Montreal's a very cool city.

Tell me, are the streets in Toronto as smelly as they are here?

I don't really get to see much of a city. I wake up in an alley in every city behind the venue. I can't compare the smells.

So since the show in Toronto was awesome, how do you define a good show and what motivates you to perform?

I think the crowd is a big controller. How you play is one, how the sound is on stage is another. And I think the crowd can kind of take you on a journey. If they're great, then you become great and then it's a cycle that grows exponentially or whatever.

Well, I think that live music is the most natural, powerful way of hearing music and feeling music. It's probably in our DNA. When you're listening to music on headphones or in speakers or whatever, we're almost faking the feeling of seeing live music in a way. So it's almost the real deal. The best way to absorb it and enjoy it in the most emotional effect you can have on you if it's done well. So I think I've always loved that aspect of it and also you kind of have to do it to promote records and stuff too. There's many reasons to do it and if you don't do it, even though touring can become gruelling, it is fun. And if you don't do it, it's basically like career suicide.


The Voidz was formed last year, why did you prefer joining a band project rather than pursuing your solo career? Why "The Voidz"?

I guess I seek collaboration. I feel like that's been my goal since the beginning, to be honest, to create collaboration. I guess the things weren't working so good so... I was kind of low in general. I think as soon as I started touring I realised that I liked performing music live. Getting a song together with people like you're gonna perform it, at the least, whether solo or collaboration or not.

You've been with The Strokes for more than 15 years, so it must be really special to be part of a new band. How is the cohesion between the band members different than what it was with The Strokes?

It's similar to what the Strokes felt back in the day but maybe with... kind of maturity. I think just as a musical level it's different than anything I've ever been a part of. For all of us in The Voidz, it's a pretty special musical journey. I think also when you grow up you don't have the same friends you have maybe when you're 18, so it's a little different.

Do you have any fun anecdotes of the tour so far? Did the van break down or something?

Oh man... all the ones that are coming to my mind are not appropriate.

You're really involved in your writing process, do you have a method, or a routine, how do you get comfortable when you write?

I don't really have a routine. Whenever a moment happens, I grab every moment I can to write. Sometimes things happen and I record them.

You compose, you write, you perform... What's your favourite part in this job?

Interviews. No, I'm kidding. [Laughs] My favourite part is stage one of everything. I think when you're first writing a song, it sounds good, that's the exciting moment. Then you record things you store and you don't listen to, and you find it back and you hear something that you haven't heard, sounds good, that's exciting. You're gonna play it for people and work on it, that's exciting. You play it with people, sometimes things don't work, but sometimes things have a magical spark and you're like "this is gonna be good". That's a great fun moment.

Then you work on things and sometimes you struggle to make that magic that you first had and sometimes you figure out a way to play them and you're like "this is gonna be great". And you play it, and it's powerful, and everyone gets goosebumps, and you're like "YES". Then you have to record it and dadadada: takes a long time. More you heard the song, song gets more boring to you. Then you're recording it, and sometimes things don't work recorded, but once in a while something works and sounds good and you get goosebumps and it's exciting. That moment: that first moment was great.

Then you work on the song 'til it's finished, and by the time the song is pretty dead. And so now you have to learn the song to rehearse it to play it live, so you're playing it. And that first time that you have to play it sounds good in the rehearsal room you're like "YEAH". And then you rehearse, rehearse, and it's boring, and you play it at shows, and you're nervous cause there's people there, and you're not playing it as good as you want.

Do you still get nervous?

You know what? Probably when you're rehearsing the song, and it sounds really good, that's the last time you really have musical enjoyment. I think you have to, when you're "a professional", work and hear a song so many times that by the time you're playing it... now I feel like live we're so much better. By the time... I don't know if I'm enjoying any songs, do you know what I mean? Any songs. When I play a Strokes song it's even less cause I've played them a 150 times. I mean I think it makes you good at it and I think its good to be at that level if you're performing the songs.

And I think the fun is that the crowd is reacting. But musically, being moved musically, that happened at those stages I'm talking about. And that's the most fun for me. And this is fun in a different way. It's like the after party of working. It's like what I imagined a Christmas office party vibe. It's kind of celebrating all the work you've done. I mean it is work in itself... I don't know what I'm talking about!

You play a lot of instruments too. Do you have a favourite one? When you compose, which instrument do you use?

I don't really play any instrument amazingly. Guitar best. I always thought I was gonna be a rhythm guitarist when I first started, before I knew that I could write songs I guess. I just thought I could help of it. Still in the band when I'm writing, I come up with guitar parts, riffs and stuff. I also like writing the solos too but other than that... I stopped basically coming up with drumbeats when I met Alex [Carapetis], because he's just another level.

So yeah, I mean keyboards is cool, but it sometimes doesn't translate. There's something live—I think that's why people like guitars—'cause it's that thing I was talking about: drums and guitars it's a live string, you see it moving. But when you play keyboard, there's something about an electric current... It replaces something real, inorganic. When you're hearing it, sometimes it's not as moving.

How has your creation process changed? When you started with The Strokes you were in your twenties. Now with all the experiences you've gained, how did it change your involvement with The Voidz?

Since we've all been in different bands and different situations, I know we all have such different strong personalities. So I think theoretically it almost shouldn't work, but somehow it works very harmoniously. I think when you're kinda young, you're more likely to just stump your feet and be like "I don't like how this is going". You would actually ruin the thing that's feeding you because you don't like some detail. Instead of now, I feel like we all respect what we're doing. Well you never know, you know, someone might tonight... The night is young [laughs], but I think in general we wanna inspire each other. And it's not really time to mess around I guess, and take things for granted.

Is there something you wish you knew about the music industry when you were 20?

I don't know that I can say that. I think I've always had kind of an understanding that it's a business. And that music is art, and that there's a weird dance that goes on, and I've always tried to be the middle ground of creating something that's artistic but that's also accessible. I'm aware it's always been a challenge, and I think it was easier maybe at the beginning, 'cause we had a major label behind us. But six months after, the guy who signed us was no longer at our label, and since then it's been kind of a struggle. Now we are going on an independent route.

What advice would you give to the "Julian juniors" trying to make a career in music?

Just be hard on yourself; never think you're too great.

With the lyrics featured on Tyranny, was there a political or moral message intended in the album?

I guess. There seams to be a lack of awareness. There's all the news channels and people just assume that it's objective news. I don't think somehow they can't imagine that there's agendas behind these news stations. They look so professional, and they just seem like everyone just trusts it so implicitly. It's kinda terrifying when you realize that. Oil companies own news stations, to simplify it I guess. Regardless of the issues, there's so many issues you can be into or look at and talk about 'til the cows come home. Doesn't matter what it is, whether it's wars, or environmental issues, or minimum wage, or whatever. It all comes down to one issue and that's money and politics, and that's gonna be the big issue. I think until you have that, then you have a complete system of subtle propaganda and just everything is pretty much f* up. It's similar to the monarchies. It's not the same, it's not only one leader, but...

Here in Quebec, the majority of news is controlled by companies that own big news stations, news papers... They basically decide what people will hear about, what people will like, and its just unbelievable. People are not aware of that enough.

It's everywhere in America. Everywhere in the world. It's so daunting, I don't even see how that's even possible. Because if you try to take politics out of money, you'd have every single government, every single military, every single large company try to stop that. The good thing about our democracies though, that I think in the west that still remain and why they're still great, it's that basically everyone has to be insanely aware and passionate about a certain issue. Then people can't circumvent it, but that's very very rarely.

And that's why I think awareness is good to wake people up about it. If everyone understood... If you put a magic pill, and everyone just completely had an insanely high IQ level of understanding of how the system works, I think everyone would be freaking horrified. But I think there's so much at stake. You talk the way I'm talking on any kind of mainstream news station and they dismiss you like a maniac... But that's how it's always been if you look at history. It's always the radicals of the time that get to the outside, and then that's the next generations of intellectual leaders. And so it's the same now unfortunately. And that's the sad part, is that we live in an era that we think we're beyond it, and now it's all out in the open but unfortunately it's not... Depressing.


You have Spanish and Danish roots, is that something you relate to? Is that something you can get inspired by?

I relate, culturally I love the Danish side.

Danish music?

No. Oh, Iceage is awesome! Or at least their first record is. No, just the cultural way that they are, they're very nice and have a kind of cultural conscience and wanna follow the rules. As a kid from New York, when I would go—almost all my family is there so I would go once in a while—t was such a cultural shock. I was like "why wouldn't someone just take that bicycle", well "in Denmark we don't do like so", and I'm just like "what?". Because in New York... it's take and you can. Anyone will steel anything and try to go in front.

So you learned from the Danish values?

Well, I think that's a great thing to strive for. It wouldn't work in America, but I just think it's a cool utopia. But I wonder why? I wonder is it cause the Viking gold that they pillaged? They just stole all of the good-looking women from Europe in the early Viking days, and so the dudes are just all happy? But yeah Spain, I don't really... You go there it's very like aggressive macho kinda vibe... So I'm not so into it personally.

I was wondering, if you wouldn't make the music genre you make now, what other kind of music would you have done?

I don't know, the genres I do go all over the place. I wouldn't want to say hip hop. I love hip hop music, but maybe a hip hop producer.

I have read that you were interested in Homer's Odyssey and how he was obsessed with memorizing everything he wrote. Do you feel that way about your music? Do you feel that you have to memorize every song by heart?

I used to. I used to, when I started, just work on one song at a time. Then I had this weird, weird, thing that happened, where I recorded a couple things. The things that I thought were great didn't age so well, and the things that I had forgotten I though were amazing. So I started recording everything.


And the title of your solo album was inspired by Oscar Wilde, so I have to ask, what's your favourite book?

Probably The Odyssey. There's something about the odyssey where every line is almost like a wise fortune cookie quote. I've never read a book like that before where it's just a poem but it's 100 amazing poems that is one long story that has such a powerful ending. It's the most amazing book I think.

I was wondering what your opinion was on the vinyl trend coming back?

I understand. As much as online is awesome and practical—and I listen to most music that way—I think we're humans so we still have physical needs. You know what I mean, to touch things. And so I think that of all the forms that there has been, vinyl has the most character and charm. And you could argue sound quality. Basically when we're emulating sounds, I think what we're doing is you're faking what things sound like live. This new modern clean sound that's not... When you hear things live, nothing sounds like that so I think that with the vinyl it has that thing. It just has a more earthy magic or something.

I have a final funky question: did you ever hear about our famous poutine?

Well the producer of the record is Canadian. I should have been talking about it more. Shawn Everett.

So he's been talking about poutine?

Well, he's the best producer in the world I think, so congratulations on that! We went to a place near my house and he ordered poutine, he just kind of made his own. It was a restaurant where I know them and they're friendly and they'll just do whatever you want. So he's like "can I have fries with gravy and melted cheese or whatever". It looks real healthy by the way! [Laughs] And he said it was the best poutine he ever had in his life.

What's Happening?

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

As Mother Nature transforms our lovely city into a winter wonderland, you can either piss and moan about the snow and cold, or embrace the beauty of a Quebec winter and enjoy all that it has to offer. Go tobogganing on Mont-Royal, have a hot mug of cocoa with a dash of something stronger, build a snowman, but most important of all, join all your fellow music lovers inside any number of cozy bars all over town and enjoy some live music. Here are a few options Prince Palu thought you might like.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

There is a show happening tonight over at Barfly (4062 St-Laurent) that defies categorization and demands that you see it to fully understand it. Santosh Lalonde of Bad Uncle will be performing two sets, one with his new spaghetti western, gutter blues project and another with his polka lounge duo, while Ol' Savannah's Speedy Johnson will present his new project, Speedy's Wild Ride, with a set of old-timey, folk-noir songs that'll make you forget about the cold outside, but a little suspicious of the loner in the corner. Order yourself a whiskey and throw a few bucks into the hat when it gets passed around.

Indie Montreal is really getting into the holiday spirit and proving that it is better to give than to receive as they host Fête de Noël at le Divan Orange (4234 St-Laurent) with free food and cheap booze! On stage will be the minimalist electro-folk-pop of Our Book & The Authors and disco-rrific wonder of Choses Sauvages. If you have never seen Choses Sauvages here is your chance to not only see what you have been missing (and trust me, you have been missing something) but you get to see it for free. Doors are at 6:00.

Another early Christmas party happening tonight sees M For Montreal join forces with Heavy Trip to present the 14th edition of Secret Affair at Rockette Bar (4479 St-Denis). This will also be your chance to give everybody's best friend, Mikey B. Rishwain, a holiday squeeze before he heads back to California for an extended visit with friends and family. Handling the DJ duties will be the four headed monster of Emmanuel Ethier, Roy Vucino, Roxy M Oron and Phil Clem. Come in out of the cold and let these four take you on a musical journey.

If you were looking for something with a little more of a dance music flavour, then CJLO has what you need. The best of modern and old school EDM will be presented in the latest edition of the monthly Beats & Brews night at Kafein (1429A Bishop). There will be eight of CJLO's finest DJs spinning and '80s themed visuals. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Kicking off on Friday is the Winter 2014 Puces POP that will run until Sunday. For the hours and list of all the participants check out the Facebook event page. This is a great way to do all your holiday shopping in unique and creative way. It will also allow you to start saying "Think globally, shop locally" to all of your co-workers. Wouldn't you love to be done all your shopping early and at the same time know that you also helped local artists have a better holiday season, and got your loved ones something really amazing and one-of-a-kind? Free yourself from the mall and get up to Église Saint-Denis (5075 Rivard).

If the thought of buying locally, well-crafted gifts has got your mind jumping and your wallet bursting, you can also go check out all the wares at the first Pop-Up Shop being hosted by Collectif Montreal at their studio at 160 St-Viateur (near Casgrain). Same idea as Puces POP, think globally, shop locally. For a full listing of hours and participants check out the Facebook event page

Once you have finished with all your gift buying and patting yourself on the back for helping to restore some order in the madness that is third-mall-from-the-sun culture that is all around us, you should treat yourself to some fine rock and roll. Luckily for you le Divan Orange feels the same way and is putting on the homecoming show for Montreal's psychedelic pop heroes, The High Dials, fresh off tours of America and the UK/Ireland. Joining them will be Sunfields who released their second album, Habitat, back in October, four years after their debut album, Palace in the Sun, created a lot of buzz. As their Bandcamp says, "babies being born, and houses being built" made the wait much longer than they had hoped or as John Lennon famously once said, "Life is what happens, when you're busy making plans." Luckily for you the wait is over and you can now pick up where you left off four years ago. Their brand of psych-folk, Americana will be the perfect welcome in from the wintery cold outside.

If you are a little more revved up after your day of shopping, what better way to jingle the bells than with a night of debauchery that will show you why it was called rock 'n' roll in the first place? Everyone's favourite semi-subterranean watering hole, l'Escogriffe (4467 St-Denis), is hosting a Christmas party to help you forget that you will soon be stuck in seemingly endless rounds of small talk with people you barely know but you are somehow related to. Let the warm embrace of Les Marinellis sexy and sleazy freak-beat remind you how rock and roll was intended to be played while helping you forget about all those awkward conversation that are speeding your way. Joining them will be Tang Soleil, who return to spread holiday cheer through amped-up garage rock. To be honest I'm not even sure who is still in Tang Soleil, but they are still lead by former Mystery Girls' Matt Conger, and that is good enough for me. Rounding out the night will be the one-man wrecking crew of Paul Jacobs who mixes heaping portions of punk energy and psychedelic swirls into his garage rock gumbo. There is simply nothing to not like about this show.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

If the never-ending Christmas carols are starting to make you go a little squirrelly, you can head back to l'Esco for an all-out punk rock assault of Vomit Squad, Melted Faces, Perverted Justice, and Shitsu. These four Montreal bands will surely and surlily balance out all the plastic holiday tripe that we are bombarded with to make us consume more and think less. This is not to be confused with the good holiday spirit of the above mentioned parties or the whole "think globally, shop locally" gift procuring. I'm sure you know the difference, so I won't waste any time trying to explain the difference between the two, but will just say that one is about sharing, love and support, which in many ways is what these four bands will be doing with a room full of like-minded people. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

To continue the idea of local support and holiday cheer sharing, you can head over to La Sala Rossa (4848 St-Laurent) for the annual Rock Camp for Girls Choir showcase and help support a great local organization. The show starts at 7:00 and is a PWYC (with a suggested donation of $10). If they have their merch table set up, you could also get some more gift shopping done. If you cannot make it, but would still like to buy something you can always check out their Etsy shop.

Up at Bar Le Ritz PDB (179 Jean-Talon W.), Passovah presents their 5th annual Holiday Lovedown featuring 20 different local acts doing 20-minute performances, as well as sets by DJ John Lee and friends. It is listed as starting at 4:00 with the first band on at 5:40, but the first lucky 200 people will get free donuts! It is a PWYC with proceeds going to support Rock Camp for Girls Montreal. They will also be collecting non-perishable and canned goods for a local food shelter. A lovedown indeed! Check out the Facebook event to see who is playing when. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

If you are like me and your weekends can spiral out of control and get way too busy, leaving you unable to get to any of the craft fairs mentioned above to do some gift buying, fear not. Le Cagibi (5490 St-Laurent) will be holding a two day craft/vintage sale Monday from 3:00-9:00 and then again on Tuesday from noon-9:00. And since you are being so responsible with your holiday spending, you can treat yourself to a nice meal in the front room. It's win-win!


--Tune in, turn on, and freak out! Prince Palu hosts The Go-Go Radio Magic Show, every Friday at 6 PM on CJLO.

'Dear White People' is worth seeing

Dear White People takes place at a fictional Ivy-League university, and focuses mainly on four charaters: student activist Sam White (Tessa Thompson) who has a controversial radio show called “Dear White People”, Troy Fairbanks (Brandon P. Bell), whose father is the Dean of the University, Lionel Higgins (Tyler James Williams) who is an awkward uncomfortable budding writer, and Colandrea “Coco” Conners (Teyoneh Parris), perhaps the most ambitious of the bunch.  

The film brings up a lot of tough issues about race relations in the United States, including intra-racial tension that exists among the black student body at the school, but doesn't pretend to have the answers.  That being said some basic story points we also presented and then overlooked, which left me a little confused about the plot of the movie.  I found that the film tried to pack too many issues and questions into such a short time frame and thus came out a little sloppy

At a very basic level I really enjoyed watching a film that didn't have an all-white cast.  As a resident of cities for the past ten years of my life, I'm tired of seeing movies that only have white people in them, as that is simply not an accurate reflection of reality.  All of the acting the film was top notch.  It's not the best film about race relations that I've ever seen, but it's also not the worst, and it's definitely worth seeing.