The M for Montreal Festival is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year and will feature a rockin’ selection of 19 Canadian groups that you music lovers should not miss. A chance for specially-selected acts to play for over 80 delegates representing 14 countries, the four-day festival hopes to see some talented bands break out of the underground and gain some wider recognition.
Show-goers who are on the hunt for new music will have plenty of opportunity to do so this week as these bands are the cream of the crop of what Montreal has to offer. Expect that these groups will be giving a top-notch performance because heavy hitters in the music industry are looking to book bands for upcoming international festivals. What sets M for Montreal apart from other festivals is that every musical act has been specially selected to play for a group of international delegates.
As much as M for Montreal is about music, it is a schmoozing opportunity for people who work in the record label and festival business. So come out and discover some up and coming local talent and maybe see some famous faces. After all, even Gene Simmons will be there!
SÃ©bastien Nasra of Avalanche Productions founded M for Montreal in 2006 in collaboration with Martin Elbourne, a big-time festival programmer from the UK. The ultimate goal is to expose Canadian acts to a larger audience and provide these bands with the opportunity to grab the attention of recording labels, festival bookers and the media and go on to play worldwide events like South by Southwest in Austin, Texas and The Great Escape in Brighton, U.K.
Starting on Nov. 17 and progressing into the wee hours on Nov. 20, the festival will be jampacked with daytime and nighttime discussion panels, cocktails, showcases, and after-parties. An M-2010 pass will grant access to most of these events and costs a mere $60. For those who like to plan their time strategically, see the showcase guide below.
Day one: Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010.
M for Montreal will kickstart the festival with a four-band lineup starting at 10 p.m. The stage at Petit Campus, located at 57 Prince Arthur St. E., will host Icelandic bands Retro Stefson and Lay Low, playing at 10 p.m. and 11:20 p.m. respectively. Meanwhile the stage upstairs at CafÃ© Campus will feature Montreal’s own Braids, playing at 10:40 p.m., and We Are Wolves, who will play the final performance at midnight.
Day two: Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010.
Starting at 8:30 p.m., venues Cabaret and Studio Just For Laughs, which is located at 2111 St. Laurent Blvd., will come alive with a six-band lineup. Performances on the Studio side will include Elephant Stone at 8:30 p.m., Jason Bajada at 9:40 p.m., and Black Feelings at 10:50 p.m. On the other side at Cabaret, Marco Calliari will start at 9:05 p.m., followed by PS I Love You at 10:15 p.m. and finally AIDS Wolf at 11:25 p.m. This will be a great night to attend for those who are excited to see what local talent has to offer because five out of the six bands (PS I Love You are from Kingston, Ont.) are from Montreal. An afterparty, M for Metal, will follow at Studio with Dance Laurie Dance.
Day three: Friday, Nov. 19, 2010.
The party will start all over at Just For Laughs on Friday night. At Studio, Halifax solo artist Molly Rankin will start at 8:30 p.m., followed by the Ottawa-based group Metz at 9:40 p.m. Montreal band SUUNS will play next at 10:50 p.m. On the Cabaret side, three Montreal acts will perform, including Barr Brothers at 9:05 p.m., VALLEYS at 10:15 p.m., and Random Recipe at 11:25 p.m. An M for Midnight after-party will then erupt, featuring Empire Isis and DJ Lunice.
Day four: Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010.
Although there is much English musical talent flowing out of Montreal, we must not forget about the abundance of francophone artists that the city breeds as well. This is why, for the second year running, M for Montreal will showcase an exclusively French lineup on Saturday afternoon. Upstairs at CafÃ© Campus, Yan Perreau will come onstage at 2:30 p.m., followed by Monogrenade at 4:45 p.m., and Damien Robitaille at 5:20 p.m. Downstairs at Petit Campus, Manitoba natives Les Surveillantes will play at 3 p.m., with Alex Nevsky, GeneviÃ¨ve Toupin and Jesuslesfilles to follow him at 3:35 p.m., 4:10 p.m. and 5:25 p.m., respectively.
The last day of this year’s M for Montreal festival is the busiest, so prepare for a very short break between concerts. The final showcase will start up again at 8 p.m. with M for Metropolis, located at 59 Ste-Catherine St. E. La PatÃ¨re Rose will start off the event followed by Pascale Picard at 8:45 p.m., Priestess at 9:15 p.m., The Dears at 10:15 p.m., Misteur Valaire at 11 p.m. and Poirier at 11:45 p.m. Finally, for those who aren’t too tired, a final M for Midnight after-party will send the fifth edition of M for Montreal out with a bang. Starting at 10 p.m., DJs Plastik Patrik, Cherry Cola and JD Samson will spin an insane dance party at the Rialto Theatre, located at 5723 Avenue Du Parc.
For more information, a detailed schedule of events or to purchase tickets, go to the M for Montreal website at: www.mpourmontreal.com.