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City, Fashion, Music

What's New Chez Vous, Blue Skies Turn Black + Il Motore?

Posted by Risa / May 7, 2012


The Montreal music landscape wouldn't be the same without Blue Skies Turn Black, point finale. Meyer Billurcu and Brian Neuman put the money and manual labour in for well over a decade to bring the bands to us and audiences to the bands, and we all owe them beers and hugs. The quote below from Canada's music authority exclaim on BSTB celebrating their 10 year anniversary gives you a hint. (And in the embedded video interview at the bottom of that article you can watch me interview Meyer back in the day and see what it looks like when two sort of socially awkward people talk earnestly into a computer after a few beers in the sun! During allergy season I might add.)

"In the past few years, BSTB has become one of the most prominent independent music promoters in the city, putting on shows for the likes of Animal Collective, Kool Keith, the Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse, CocoRosie, TV on the Radio, Les Savy Fav, Iron and Wine, and many more."
- exclaim

Meyer and Brian opened Il Motore a few years back and lurking around the bar up there on Jean Talon I've seen and produced some of my favourite live shows of recent years - mostly because of the intimacy, friendliness and lack of pretension in the space and staff. I am looking forward to seeing what they do with the room in months and years to come as they continue to make investments in it's survive and thrive, so I was giddy like a kid that Meyer was willing to answer our local love questions.

"I'm Meyer Billurcu, owner of local concert promotions company Blue Skies Turn Black and the live music venue Il Motore. I began promoting shows twelve years ago, which led to opening the venue three years ago. BSTB got its start booking lesser-known bands, but we are better known today for our work with a diverse range of artists, bands, and genres."

So...What's new chez vous?

"We're looking forward to the release of BSTB's new website ( It's been in development for forever, but I think it will be well worth the wait. We also have some awesome shows coming up that you can hear about on our Facebook or Twitter!

Il Motore just got incredible new signage that we're really stoked on, courtesy of Mr. Sign, and we just received our new liquor license, which is 100% ours now. It feels like a new beginning."

Local love bonus questions of love! Most memorable meal you've had recently in a restaurant in Montreal? Most successful recent clothing shopping experience in Montreal?

Meal?: "Hands down Liverpool House in St-Henri! I had never eaten there until recently for a friend's bachelor party and it was the best culinary experience that I've had in a long time. I had to take out a mortgage to dine there, but it was so fucking worth it."

Shopping?: "Hmm...I don't really shop for clothes that much but recently I got a free t-shirt from the band Burning Love at their show in Montreal. Does that count? Ask me about records next time! Jeans, Jeans, Jeans is pretty cool."

Inevitable follow up question: best recent record shopping experience in Montreal?

"I tend to pick up records at most of the shows we put on but I somehow still blow a lot of dough at local shops like Phonopolis and Cheap Thrills. Some recent purchases include The LOST SOUNDS 'Blac Static' LP and reissue of their first 7" (listening to this makes me miss Jay Reatard even more), HOT SNAKES 'do not Resuscitate' 7", CRAMPS 7" boxset (this was an awesome gift!). Some recent local purchases include SILVER MT. ZION 2x7" (this was only available at shows) and the YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN LP. I'm still waiting for my copy of the TONSTARTSSBANDHT LP (ahem)."

Who else would you like to see featured in this series?

"My friend Brant because he's a character--he plays in local bands Vile Intent and Strong Boss. Adam & the Amethysts are also great! Other than those guys, I'd have to say the almighty Yamantaka // Sonic Titan and Arbutus Records ;)"

Photo by Douglas Hollingsworth.

PS. HEY GUESS WHAT! You're on the Guest List with Blue Skies Turn Black thanks to #YelpWins!

Yelp Montreal and Blue Skies Turn Black have teamed up to get you on the guest list to some of the incredible shows BSTB are bringing to town this summer, check these out!:

Besnard Lakes!
Best Coast!

What's New Chez Vous is an interview series by Risa Dickens, Yelp Montreal Community Manager and co-founder of Each column will spotlight what's new in town and the places locals love. If you'd like to see your project/shop/designs featured here, reach out and touch at



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