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Music

Fringe Festival Part 6: Fringe Pop!

Posted by Sarah / June 22, 2008

ZeroesAfter having immersed myself in theater all week, I took a leap back into the musical world for the penultimate edition of Fringe Pop, which took place at the outdoor stage of Parc des Amériques. The free music shows are a collaboration between the Montreal Fringe Festival and Pop! Montreal, bringing acts such as The D’Urbervilles, The Handsome Furs and Wintersleep to the music-thirsty Montrealers. Last night’s show included the klezmer beats of The Youjsh, the up-and-coming Zeroes, and the ever-so-awesome Juno winners Wintersleep.

The YoujshThe Youjsh – Is it just me or is there an increasing number of bands playing klezmer-type music? This seven-piece ensemble is formed by a bunch of young Montreal jazz musicians. A very fun group to have for an early evening outdoor show, they got an extremely warm acclaim from the audience. I really enjoyed this music as well, especially how adept drummer Phil Melanson added original and spicy rhythms to the jazzed up klezmer tradition.

Zeroes - The first time I saw this band perform live was during the Pop! festival last fall. Even though I have some good friends in this band, I really didn’t like it so much. It was their first show ever so I don’t know how much can be expected from a band taking their first steps. Since their debut, they have gone from sloppy, spacey and grungy (not in the good way), to a solid, entertaining and truly great musical act.

They sound like a variety of other Canadian Indie bands, but they sound great and pull off the deal with flying colors. Their sound resembles a little the one of Holy F%?k. Their songs don’t have many lyrics and tend to drift off into extended instrumental parts. I believe they’re all former McGill Jazz students so their technique is strong and well developed. The jams really work quite well and they’re tighter than most instrumental bands of their kind. It doesn’t sound so calculated and stale. In fact, I don’t know whether it’s planned out or not, but it sounds spontaneous with a very dynamic and energetic drive. The way Indie music has been going, I predict this band will get pretty big within the next year. This is a band to keep an eye on for sure.

Wintersleep - I’ve been a fan of this band for a long, long time now. My love affair with their music goes back to when I was still living on the East coast; back when no one had heard of them yet. However, I have never loved them so much as I do now. Since the release of their new record Welcome to the Night Sky (justifiably long-listed for the Polaris) they have become one of my favorite bands. I owe my survival to the insane Montreal winter of 07-08 to this record.
wintersleepWithout songs like Oblivion, I think it would’ve been impossible for me to push through the wind, cold and snow while I was making my way to work. I would’ve surely collapsed in a snow bank and died of cold and discouragement.

They’ve been touring the world with great success and growing popularity over the past few years but haven’t been to our beautiful city to play so much. It was with great excitement and joy that I finally saw them perform songs from their new record last night at the gorgeous outdoor venue. Though the sound wasn’t great, it was a great show where I enjoyed seeing people from all ages come together at this special event. I even convinced some of my jazz friends to stick around for this, which is a decision they didn’t regret. They loved the band even though before the show, we were discussing the elusiveness of discovering an Indie band in a live setting and actually loving it.

Fellow MP writer Paloma, also present at the event, wishes to add that "for once, a band has become successful because of their perception and insight -- almost tangible in their songs and in between them. Hearing them in the homey Fringey atmosphere was a tasty treat to mark the first day of summer. On behalf of Midnight Poutine, I proclaim Wintersleep the Prochaine Grande Chose. And they aren't even from Montreal. I pledged to actually purchase their CD."

It was a great concert and even every act brought something awesome to the table. You can still check out the final edition of this special event at the Parc des Amériques tonight.

Photos provided by SarahBrideau.com

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