When Peter Rowan and Daniel Seligman serendipitously met on a train back in 2002, the idea of starting up one of Montreal’s most prominent music festivals had yet to pop into their heads. But after yanking Noelle Barbara on board, POP Montreal materialized and has been growing every year. Not only is POP a music festival that attracted over 300 bands and 50,000 showgoers in 2010, but it also hosted another 50-plus events in fashion, film and art. This year, POP Montreal will run from Sept. 21-25, and with both daytime and nighttime events happening simultaneously throughout the city’s diverse music and artistic venues, it is highly suggested that you plan your itinerary ahead of time. To help you avoid decisions-overload syndrome, the Concordian has put together a little overview of shows that we suggest you make a point of checking out.
Day One: Wednesday, Sept. 21
Catch dream pop quartet Asobi Seksu at Club Lambi (4465 St-Laurent Blvd.) at midnight. Also worthy of your time is Toronto indie sweethearts Hooded Fang, who will wrap up a five-set show at Les 3 Minots (3812 St-Laurent Blvd.) at 1 a.m. Looking for something not-so-mainstream? Check out local experimental artist Cop Car Bonfire at Casa Del Popolo (4873 St-Laurent Blvd.) at 10 p.m. or Brooklyn death-metal group Liturgy, who play at 11 p.m. at Il Motore (179 Â Jean-Talon St. W.).
Day Two: Thursday, Sept. 22
Got the afternoon off? Head over to Divan Orange (4234 St-Laurent Blvd.) for their Free Daytime Show, which will be taking place from 1-6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The lineup is a surprise, but what the hell, it’s free! Now, assuming that there is at least one person who will not Â be attending the free Arcade Fire show (happening at Place des Festivals in Quartier des spectacles at 9 p.m.), see Sean Nicholas Savage at Mission Santa Cruz (60 Rachel St. W.) at 9:30 p.m. Or, if indie isn’t your thing, head to CFC (6388 St-Hubert St.) for Masala Djs at 10 p.m.
Day Three: Friday, Sept. 23
Ever hear Taiwanese hip hop? If you’re curious, head over to Club Lambi at 10 p.m. for Kou Chou Chang. Alternatively, see how Ninjaspy fuse ska and metal at Katacombes (1635 St-Laurent Blvd.) at 9:50 p.m. If you’re feeling a dance party, which is perfectly reasonable on a Friday night, check out HUMANS at Les 3 Minots at 11 p.m. But if you’re thinking of hitting up something low-key, Ohbijou will play some soft indie tunes at 12:30 a.m. at O Patro Vys (356 Mont-Royal Ave. E.)
Day Four: Saturday, Sept. 24
If you were planning on buying a POP Hopper day pass (more info here: www.popmontreal.com/en/tickets), today would be the day to do it. Check out Charlotte Cornfield at 3 p.m. at Maison Notman (5100 Sherbrooke St. W.) and then head over to Place du Pasteur (UniversitÃ© du QuÃ©bec Ã MontrÃ©al campus) for a free daytime show featuring The Balconies (4 p.m.), among others. Instead of chowing down on some real food, which there will obviously be no time for today, swallow some Plants and Animals at 6 p.m. at Breakglass Studios (7250 Clark St.) For the evening, options will include fuzzy-psych-pop quartet The Vandelles, who will play at Cabaret du Mile-End (5240 du Parc Ave.) at 10:30 p.m., or indie veterans By Divine Right at 11 p.m. and theatrical pop-princess Allie Hughes at 12 a.m., both at O Patro Vys. If you’re into grunge music, catch Parlovr at 12:30 a.m. at L’Escogriffe (4467A St-Denis St.) and Metz at Barfly (4062A Saint-Laurent Blvd.) at 1 a.m. But let’s also not forget Andrew W.K., who will play at 11 p.m. at Maison des arts de Laval (1395 de la Concorde Blvd. W.) and Chromeo, playing at 11:30 p.m. at Metropolis (59 Ste-Catherine St. E.)
Day Five: Sunday, Sept. 25
POP will gently deflate on Sunday night with only 12 scheduled shows. If you like musicals, SOCALLED will be presenting The Season at Theatre Outremont (1240 Bernard Ave.) at 8:30 p.m. After, head to Divan Orange for Elfin Saddle (the band, not the mushroom) at 11:40 p.m. Finally, if you don’t have anything to do too early the next day, hit up POP’s closing party at Ã‰glise Saint-Ã‰douard (425 Beaubien St. E) where Think About Life will play at 11 p.m.
For a complete schedule of POP events go to www.popmontreal.com/en/schedule/acts