Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Thoughts inspired by Pop Montreal.

I've got a pretty decent handle on what this city (Toronto) has to offer, indie music-wise. There are of course hundreds of bands I haven't yet seen, but very few other people have probably seen as many local bands as I have. I have seen hundreds. Going out multiple times a week for a year adds up. It's now time for me to be more focussed on other projects (dissertation included) and be more choosy about where I go and what I see. I want to avoid boredom and jadedness. Maybe I'll even hit up a show that costs more than $10 once in a while. I don't think I've seen more than 5 of such shows in the past year. Great Lake Swimmers hits up Lee's on my birthday. Maybe "hits up" isn't the right expression. Strolls into and charms. I kinda want to go, and stand at the front, and hope there aren't idiots around me making noise. That would make me cranky.

I've also been pondering a bit about what bands and performers have made an impression on me this year. Music bloggers like to tell their readers what's best and hot and up-and-coming and ready to explode, etc. Perhaps I'll get in on that game. Why not, eh. I can be one of those people, right?

This thinking comes out of a good, but mixed, time in Montreal. It was a little strange, I thought, to go to another city just to see (for the most part) bands I see here and (as it turned out) hang out with friends and musicians I spend time with here. I did really appreciate seeing different venues and how Toronto (and environs) bands were received in Montreal, but there was less surprise than their might have been. I think there were just a lot of Torontonians in town. Heck, I kept running into them everywhere. The other thing is that I got the impression that there are more smaller clubs in Montreal (150 or less, sometimes much less) than there are here, relatively speaking. So that most of the shows I went to were full or nearly so. It made for a great environment, but also meant that I couldn't get into a bunch of shows on the weekend nights because they filled up early. Oh, and finally, this: Montrealers don't dance and they do the horseshoe formation just as much as Toronto audiences do.

I didn't make it to any of the industry panel discussions and the like. I did hit up the craft fair thing (Puces Pop) on Saturday, which was great, and have heard that various afterparties were awesome. I didn't go to any. The 1.5 hour, 3 bus trip home to my sister's place put a bit of a damper on things. But also, and more importantly, even though I ended up knowing a bunch of people, I don't know any of the Montrealers who were out and about, and I'm not connected in the slightest with the labels or promoters hosting shin-digs. So, boo to that, and next year---if I go---let's hope that instead of waiting at a deserted bus stop for 40 minutes at 3am, I get a text message telling me to come to a party.

I should probably write a little bit about a few of the performances I saw, and post a few photos. There were some memorable ones. Maybe later this week.

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