The Wild Honey Pie



4 months ago by Hannah Angst


Graphics by Olivia Angst, Photos by Stephanie Berland

Every year, thousands (literally thousands) of artists descend upon NYC for CMJ. It’s a week of late nights, too many train rides and most importantly, huge amounts of discovery. We look forward to that one set that makes our jaw drop every year — and this year was no different. These are the ten artists that really blew us away at CMJ 2014 — check them out below.  [READ ON]

November 3, 2014 Hannah Angst FESTIVALS 0


4 months ago by Hannah Angst


Graphics by Olivia Angst

It can get a little overwhelming at CMJ every year, with hundreds and hundreds of artists playing all over the city. There are so many bands that it starts to all blur into a big mess of names. We’re here to make your life a little easier this year by highlighting the 10 artists that we’re looking most forward to seeing this year. Check out our highlights below and be sure to check our list of best official and free showcases to help plan even better! [READ ON]

October 20, 2014 Hannah Angst FESTIVALS 0


4 months ago by Hannah Angst


Graphics by Olivia Angst and Sergio Neves

The best part of CMJ isn’t the festival itself, but all the free stuff that goes around it. Much like SXSW, the free gigs are what bring in the noise, and often times, the most interesting names. Some of these are official, some not — but you can bet that all of them will be awesome. Word to the wise — get to the door early on all of these shows, cause you aren’t the only one in town itching to take advantage of some badass free music. [READ ON]

October 20, 2014 Hannah Angst FESTIVALS 0


4 months ago by Hannah Angst


Graphics by Olivia Angst and Sergio Neves

You lucky so and so — you’ve got your hands on a CMJ badge! Congrats, now you have the pick of the litter of all the of amazing happenings the entire week (as long as you make sure to get there before the badge spots at each show are all gone, cause yes, they are finite). Or, maybe you don’t have a badge, you just have some money burning a hole in your pocket and you’re ready for some music. Whatever your situation, CMJ is the place to be. We’ve rounded up 20 of the best CMJ shows going on this year and damn, are they amazing. Between these and all the free shows going on, you’ll not sleep for the whole, entire week. [READ ON]

October 20, 2014 Hannah Angst FESTIVALS 0


5 months ago by Laura Donohue


The 13th year of this alternative music/film/art festival would consecutively execute memorable events throughout the 5-day-weekend. At times walking too fine a line between chaos and revelry, Pop delivered a satisfaction that could only accompany lucky number 13.


The setup: Pop Montreal welcomes the equinox in full force every September with 400+ big name bands and emerging local acts. From the venues in the downtown core north through the Plateau, Mile-end and Outremont, Pop wants you to explore and acquaint yourself with the city’s art.

Weather: The temperature was a big source of social fuel for the festival. Though Thursday/Friday had their chilly moments (~46°F), intense sunlight pierced all the chunky knits at daily outdoor events. Luckily, the temperature climbed on Saturday night in preparation for some intermittent muggy rain on Sunday. Though sweat-conducive, the humidity was warmly welcomed by the masses still recovering from last year’s painful winter and aided in the whimsical atmosphere of Pop’s closing night.

Necessary Investments: My valiant steed, an obnoxiously large upright bicycle (alias: Big Red), cannot be praised enough for her utility in hopping from venue to venue, dusk-to-sunrise. No events are more than a 15-minute bike ride apart, so if you’re a tourist for the festival a weekend Bixie-pass or rental from the numerous local bike shops will ensure you can experience all that Pop has to offer. No taxis necessary.


Best Stage Banter: Between heart-throbbing deliveries of “Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes”, “Black Kite” (for which he told us to prepare to be impressed by his finger picking) and the sincere ballad “He Always Felt Like Dancing” (sung from the elevated height of a chair on top of the stage), Sun Kil Moon joked about his own super-star status, his hatred of smart phones and feeling like a muppet on stage (complete with impression — we all lost it). The back and fourth song-recommendation and song shoot-down built a rapport that kept lightness to what could have easily been an emotionally draining set. Frank humor was interwoven with perfect regularity, mirroring the intermittent drizzle that littered the exterior Mile End potholes with puddles. Everyone left this show smiling from Kozelek’s anecdotes.

Rowdiest Crowd: At the Craft Singles Showcase, the best of Halifax delivered an insane, sloshy show to a full house at Little Italy dive Brasserie Beaubien. Though the sound quality was questionable at best, the environment was sublime and the audience welcoming. Shoes were broken, arms bruised and crowds surfed all with cheek-achingly large grins.

Best Venue for Openers: Three of my favourite pop performances were at bar/bistro/venue Casa del Popolo — the vigorous noise-rock of Dories, with elaborate basslines highlighted perfectly, a tight and heavy “slack-core” set from Concordia super-group LOC-NAR and a dreamlike performance from Brooklyn’s experimental Celestial Shore were each lapped up by the three separate mixes of eager crowds. Despite the fact that these bands were starting their respective shows, the superb mixing by the sound techs at Casa and the cozy room housing the stage (separated by a wall from the bar/bistro portion of the location) kept each event satiated with bodies and energy. Encores were demanded on multiple occasions, all for bands who played before 10pm.

Best Non-Pop After Party: When the festival’s “late night mega-parties” begin to die out, Montreal’s DIY spaces are just opening their doors. Hats must be tipped to the witching hour festivities and all Canadian dream lineups (feat. Freak Heat Waves, Quaker Parents, Telstar Drugs and CROSSS) witnessed Friday/Saturday provided by fresh DIY space Poisson Noir. This being said, Sunday night’s Guerilla Toss show at the increasingly recognized Drones Club was too phenomenal to deny. The combination of growing haze in the streets, sleepless hysteria and the killer performance from the brilliant dance-punk band had the crowd ecstatic. Guerilla Toss was provocative, thrilling and a Pop-weekend highlight that didn’t technically preform in the festival.

Most Awkward Encounter: After wandering to the Pop HQ on Saturday afternoon, a handful of people found themselves witnessing a recording of the podcast Psi Factor and the Cougar. Casually being interviewed in the Salle des Artistes adjacent to a disheveled post-party hallway was Ty Segall and Mikey Heppner. The term interviewed must be used loosely here as the podcasters essentially bumbled through their own boring anecdotes without really asking questions of interest to the artists. Things only got stimulating when an attendee, self-identified as Commander Andy Clark had his audience question turn into an invitation to join “the Coug” on his couch and talk about his divorce, love-zines, and recent move to Montreal. The rest of the viewers were squirming right out of their dehydrated skin.

Biggest Disappointment: No casual run-ins with Sheryl Crow and thus no opportunities to use bird-related puns as greetings. Additionally, before Sun Kil Moon went on stage Richard Reed Parry was witnessed apologizing for his height to some nearby attendees, “Are you sure it’s okay? Can you still see?”

Most Picturesque Show: The crisp fall air kept fans bundled and jittery in Little Italy during Moon King’s afternoon show on Friday, where despite copious hot dogs and a charismatic set from the group, onlookers fell flat and focused on the stunning sunset. The lighting and wind were in a beautiful combination with Daniel Benjamin’s dreamy alt-pop tracks, and despite a lack of audience enthusiasm this show was impressive for their first outdoor offering.

Afternoon Delight: Prior to Moon King Friday afternoon, local new-wave mood-rockers She Divides gave a warm performance surrounded by stylish goods at vintage shop Empire Exchange. Though hangover was in the air, front woman Tess Roby was our hair-of-the-dog, singing sultry, dark pop songs and getting the crowd buzzed.

Most Nostalgic Performance: The Unicorns didn’t try to reclaim relevancy when they closed the festival on Pop’s Sunday night. Their amusing self-awareness was complete with projections of Windows `98 screen savers, and there were no elaborate alterations to their classic tracks but instead honest deliveries of their 2004 melodies as we all came to love them.

Best Crowd: Though greater in scale, The Unicorns’ performance is rivaled in flashback-power by the intimate show put on by Why?, who connected with each spectator who belted along to tracks from fan favorite albums Alopecia and Elephant Eyelash. Yoni Wolf was grateful and so was the audience, who filled La Vitrola with affection and devotion for the group.

Best Quote: The Unicorns took a moment during their set to remind the audience something along the lines of “Just remember that this is fun… cause if you don’t than it won’t be fun anymore.” This notion captured a recurrent feeling shared by many acts, the awesome pop staff and the volunteers. Harsh critiques have their time and place, but so does gratitude for transitory bliss and 120 drunken hours with your new best friends.

October 9, 2014 Laura Donohue FESTIVALS 0


5 months ago by Laura Donohue


Like most of my Montreal peers, I have come to regard Pop Montreal as a pseudo-holiday season. Beyond just five days of music, art, symposiums and film, the festival brings all things alternative [READ ON]

September 18, 2014 Laura Donohue FESTIVALS 0


7 months ago by Lauren McKinney


Graphics by Livi Angst, Photos by Courtney Dudley and Austin Pulliam

Another Newport has come and gone, and we’re left to wait a full year till we can once again engulf ourselves in the incredible music selection and beautiful surroundings of Fort Adams State Park. This year was perhaps our favorite yet, generously combining some of our favorite new acts from 2014, Benjamin Booker and Hozier, with those who have been shaping our tastes and outlook for as long as we can remember, Ryan Adams and Jenny Lewis to name a few. What I find most refreshing and exciting about Newport, though, are the unexpected discoveries. While many people walk in with a set schedule, the true [READ ON]

August 5, 2014 Lauren McKinney FESTIVALS 0


7 months ago by Lauren McKinney


The time has come once again to travel north, eat too many lobster rolls and bask in the incredible music coming from Ft. Adams State Park. After tackling some of the larger, wilder festivals earlier in the summer, Newport Folk Fest is always a welcome shift in energy. With its smaller attendance and much more relaxed atmosphere, NFF is one of the few music events that leaves its attendees feeling more refreshed and relaxed than when they [READ ON]

July 25, 2014 Lauren McKinney FESTIVALS 0


8 months ago by Hannah Angst


It’s hard to call 4Knots a proper festival, and that’s what I love about it. It forgoes huge names and obtrusive branding opportunities and instead gives fans a few hours in the sunshine with a bunch of bands who would normally play during the worst slots — that is to say, bands you normally see in sweaty clubs where you have way more fun. It’s free, it’s exceptionally chill and it doesn’t require blocking off more than a day to do. The festival has absolutely found its sweet spot, offering a day’s worth of punk and garage to people of all ages who just want to catch  [READ ON]

July 17, 2014 Hannah Angst FESTIVALS 0


8 months ago by Camellia Hartman


Graphics by Olivia Angst, Photos by Alex Colby

Bonnaroo has come and gone once again, but for those of us who were on the farm, our heads are still spinning from the overcharged weekend of sun, sweaty dance crowds, stage-hopping and all the other usual festival shenanigans. As a first-year Bonnaroovian, I must say I was slightly overwhelmed by just how big and how hot it was, but had a great time hopping around the fairgrounds buffet-style, enjoying the chance to bounce from Neutral Milk Hotel to Phoenix to Kanye to Disclosure in the span of just a few hours. The truly committed festival guests were up early each day to catch the up-and-coming talent on the smaller stages, some of whom turned out to be my favorite acts of the [READ ON]

July 1, 2014 Camellia Hartman FESTIVALS 1


8 months ago by Hannah Angst


Graphics by Olivia Angst/Photos by Karp

It seems like every major city is trying to host the next SXSW. Little tech/music/film conferences are popping up all over the US, and while we tend to roll our eyes when someone proclaims themselves to be the next big thing, it’s worth taking a look at when that “new SXSW” is in  [READ ON]

June 23, 2014 Hannah Angst FESTIVALS 0


8 months ago by Camellia Hartman


Graphics by Olivia Angst

Now that I’ve had a taste of the Canadian festival circuit, I’m hooked. I had so much fun in September at Pop Montreal, seeing the different styles and methods with which music took over the city, that I decided to head up to Toronto for the 19th annual North By Northeast. With South By Southwest as its model, this ten-day festival’s main focus [READ ON]

June 19, 2014 Camellia Hartman FESTIVALS 0