POP MTL: Looking forward to the Arbutus Records showcase? YOU SHOULD BE!!!
I've had a few people ask me which Pop show I'm most looking forward to, and my answer has always been the Arbutus Records showcase. Why? Because the Arbutus roster features nearly all of my favorite up and coming Montreal artists, even in a city where you can't go outside without tripping over an up and coming artist. At several points over the past year, when some killer song grabbed my attention, it just happened to come from a new Arbutus pressing. Eventually I realized there was something pretty special going on with these people.
Arbutus Records grew out of the artist/loft space Lab.Synthese shortly before it was shut down last year. That cavernous building, situated between Beaubien and the train tracks, became a creative home (and sometimes a home-home) to many new members of the Montreal music scene. Their parties were epic. And behind the partying was the gradual growth of a fresh musical community with early luminaries like BRAIDS, Women and Sean Nicholas Savage.
Tonight everyone can experience that synergy when four Arbutus bands take the stage at the insanely beautiful and tragically underused Rialto Theatre. First it's the electro/tropical duo (and podcast staples) Blue Hawaii, who will bring a new level of urgency to the oft-ignored words "get there on time." Pop Winds will follow with their spaced out glitch pop, then Grimes will debut songs from her new LP (available for the first time tonight!). After that, Montreal's best dance band, Silly Kissers, will take the party late into the night. I'm already hungover just thinking about it! (Actually, I think I'm hung over for real from The Dears yesterday, but Pop Montreal is all a big blur of headache by now.)
I asked Marilis Cardinal, Arbutus's publicist and chief organizer, if she was as excited as I was about having the showcase in Montreal's finest venue. Seriously - how did they pull off the Rialto?!?
"The Rialto was so lucky!" she told me. "We joked about how amazing it would be to have it there, months before Pop Montreal, when we were toying with the idea of having a showcase. We were running around town in a state of frenzy, trying to find a venue that would still capture our vibe and be a legal venue (unlike the lofts we usually hold our events in).Â In a state of minor panic because we had to submit our details that day, we took a chance and called the Rialto, and things worked out. Now instead of a grimy loft, we have a beautiful neo-baroque style opera house."
And as if this event couldn't get any better, they're only charging $5 at the door! Four of Pop's best acts in a classic art deco theatre for money that I could probably find in my couch? Yes, please! (Pssst, there's also an after party, but you'll have to ask around for the details.)
The Rialto Theatre is located at 5723 Parc
10pm Blue Hawaii
10:40pm Pop Winds
12am Silly Kissers
Photo of the Arbutus family taken from the Pop Montreal website