Now that the new school year is in full swing, it’s time for us to let you know how to avoid wasting your semester away in some cold, beige basement classroom. And let me tell ya, this fall is jam-packed with cool stuff to do and listen to. Here you’ll get the lowdown on what albums will be coming out, what shows and festivals you can’t miss, as well as information on bands to watch out for so you can impress all those new friends you made at orientation week.
This fall will be the time for old bands to shine once more. This month, ’80s legends Manic Street Preachers will be releasing their 10th studio album, Postcards From a Young Man, which has been in the works for over a year and has been dubbed by the band as “one last shot at mass communication.” Music stores everywhere will also see new albums by Eric Clapton (Clapton) and Neil Young (Le Noise) come out the same day, which both promise a return to their original rock ‘n’ roll roots.
In October, rock icon Bryan Ferry will release his solo album Olympia, which will feature model Kate Moss on the cover. He will need to compete with the much younger, hipper bands that will also be dropping records this month, including Sufjan Stevens with his electronica-meets-orchestra album The Age of Adzand the long-anticipated Kings of Leon follow up Come Around Sundown. For alternative music fans everywhere, Belle & Sebastian will also be coming out with new music (Write About Love), which will most likely be heard in an upcoming indie film.
November and December will see Bryan Ferry’s old bandmate Brian Eno release Small Craft On A Milk Sea,which will feature extensive collaborations with artists Leo Abrahams and Jon Hopkins and has been described as sounding “live” and “alien” at the same time. On the more musical side of things, Elvis Costello will be releasing yet another album (National Ransom) which will be in an “Americana and R&B” vein.
But it is likely that the big winner this fall will be a tie between Kanye West with his fourth studio album, Dark Twisted Fantasyand the Beastie Boys. The latter is finally releasing the long-awaited Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 1, which was originally slated for a fall 2009 release but was pushed back due to Adam “MCA” Yauch’s cancer diagnosis.
Listening to records can be quite enjoyable, but the live experience is what all music fans crave. This year the city has outdone itself. Four major festivals will be hitting the streets before the year is out, featuring great local talent as well as some long-awaited international acts.
Pop Montreal will be running from Sept. 29 to Oct. 3 and will feature performances by Gotan Project, The Dears, Braids and Macy Gray. Make sure not to miss up-and-coming bands such as Serena Maneesh, Hollerado, The Temper Trap and local favs Silly Kissers. For more information visit www.popmontreal.com.
For those who missed this summer’s Jazz Festival, there will be The OFF Jazz Festival which will be happening from Oct. 15 to 23. Featuring Quebec-based jazz musicians, this festival allows amateurs the chance to play with professionals in various local watering holes. Stay tuned for the lineup announcement on Sept. 21 at www.lofffestivaldejazz.com.
M for Montreal is our local version of SXSW and will be showcasing some great local talent this Nov. 17 to 20. Industry professionals from all over the world will be swooping into the city ready to put the next big band on the map. Stay tuned for the lineup announcement at www.mpourmontreal.com.
For those looking for one-off shows to bring friends and sweethearts to, local promoters will not disappoint this semester. CJLO, our very own radio station, will be presenting Caribou (Sept. 16 &- La Tulipe) and Superchunk (Sept. 23 &- Le National) as part of their Disorientation Week. As extra incentive, Concordia students get in for only $10 which means you get to spend the money you saved on beer and an awesome new t-shirt!
It is the month of October that will be the most fruitful, with shows by garage rock legends King Khan & The Shrines (Oct. 9 &- Cabaret du Mile-End), psychedelic rock band Deerhunter (Oct. 17 &- La Tulipe) and indie rock heroes Hot Hot Heat (Oct. 16 &- Le Belmont). On the international level the Bell Centre will see the Gorillaz play on Oct. 3 and the CEPSUM will welcome Phoenix on Oct. 21.
November and December will also be good months as The Dandy Warhols play Nov. 2 followed by Mumford & Sons on Nov. 12, both at Le National. Stars (Dec. 4) and Broken Social Scene (Dec. 18) will the close the semester with shows at Metropolis.
A confession: we here at the Concordian believe we are psychic. This is why we’ve decided to finish this list off with a few bands that you should get to know before they’re on everyone’s radios. The good news is that they’re also going to be playing here in the next few months! So take a pen and a paper and get ready to amuse acquaintances with your obscure references.
Kurt Vile is definitely a musician to look out for. His brand of psychedelic ambient rock is not only hypnotic but also incredibly catchy. Make sure to see him opening for Superchunk on Sept. 23 and watch for a profile in our next issue. Also in September will be a show by lo-fi pop darlings Best Coast at Sala Rossa on Sept. 27. Girlfriend to the Wavves frontman, she sings about crushes, first kisses and smoking weed to simple three-chord pop melodies.
Blonde Redhead have started to make a name for themselves with their quirky alternative rock sound. They’ll be playing at Metropolis on Oct. 16. The next day, make sure to also catch The Drums who will amaze you with their psychedelic art-rock sound at the Cabaret Juste Pour Rire. Finally, keep an eye out for Two Door Cinema Club who will be gracing Le National’s stage on Oct. 24. Playing fun electro pop, they’re sure to make you dance the night away just in time for Halloween and midterms.