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Pop Montreal 2006

Party Pop. I think they're trying to kill me.

Posted by Nika / October 8, 2006

I am beyond hoarse, I sound like your grandma right before the doctor forced her to quit smoking. It seems that drinking at concerts makes me lose my voice. You see, clapping with a plastic cup of beer in one’s hand doesn’t really work that well unless you don’t mind losing half your beer on your shoes. When the music is that good, you just gotta clap, show appreciation or something. Otherwise, you’ll go to hell, I’m sure. The best alternative to applause is the instinctual w00t!, it’s a little less refined than the demure golf clap but is widely considered a more impetuous, more visceral form of appreciation than the simple clap. Hence, the loss of my voice.

Friday
Congratulate me, I made it to work only 2 ½ hours late this morning! Luckily, no one noticed and it leads me to wonder if I should ever go to work again. I leave early just to have the time to eat something over the sink before heading out onto the streets of Pop Montreal.

First stop is the Portugese Association. You know, it’s that place across the street from the crazy church on St-Urbain where the local Portugese community always seems to be having a party? As expected, the interior is reminiscent of a community center and/or small town gymnasium. Between the Roky Erikson documentary and his subsequent performance, we were asked to vacate the premises while the viewing chairs were being removed. Providence provides as the nearest dépanneur is a stones-throw away and they graciously serve cans of beer in paper bags. Not only does the paper bag give one a false sense of legality while drinking on the street, but it also keeps one’s already cold hand from freezing to the can.

What follows is a blur of venues, lots of walking, and freezing our asses off in the seemingly sub-zero temperature. Lambi, Academy, Petit Campus, Divan Orange with a final stop-off at the Fractal Centre way up north for after party performances from the awesome talents of Rah Rah , Wintersleep, Cuizinier, Curtis Vodka and Ebu Jamal (Malajube!). Surprisingly, the good people at Fractal were serving beer until quite late/early and some of us may have gotten quite tipsy and done silly things until they passed out with her contacts in at 6am.

Saturday
Waking up at 4pm means you don’t get to go make a round at Puces Pop, which, according to my friend’s phone message was a busy and overwhelming event. “Oh my, there are lots of cute boys here, where are you???” Sometimes sleeping is more important than boys. I’ll make up for it tonight.

Tonight I go solo for most the evening, but not until we do the rounds of the off-pop parties for some classic BYOB (bring your own booze/band) and a stop at Euro Deli for some patented extra-large slices of cheese pizza. I choose to down a bottle of pineapple juice in guise of proper nutrition. Momma taught me right.

A surprisingly hard rocking Tapes n Tapes show later, I stroll over to the Main Hall for my new favourite discovery Pop Levi. Going it alone never lasts too long in this city, especially during this fest where I seem to be reuniting with out-of-town friends I had made at SXSW earlier this year. The consensus is in: with free beer, a Nantha-buffet composed of poutine, bhajis and samosas as well as a rock n roll soundtrack brought to us by none other than local rock hero Jonathan Cummins, the NXNE after party is the after party of choice. It wasn’t long before Torontonians loosened up and starting acting more and more like a gang of Montrealers.

Oof. You know you’ve been hanging out with the wrong crowd when you wake up to find a stick of eyeliner in your bed that isn’t yours. Damn you rock and roll!

Sunday night is around the bend. With friends like the Constantines in town, I simply thank the gods I have Monday off.


Discussion

12 Comments

J Mac / October 9, 2006 at 12:32 pm
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Ok, seriously, I imagine that poutine made by Nantha is probably somehow better than any other poutine. Fact? Fiction? Too difficult to assess, given certain alcohol-related critical-faculties issues at that hour?
Nika / October 9, 2006 at 04:12 pm
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Let me explain.
In true Toronto style, there was no band at this party. Strange for an "official" music fest after party. Instead, Nantha had set up his mini-kitchen on the small stage, deep fryer included. So not only were the fries insanely crispy but my clothes smelled like fryer oil the next day.
Otherwise, the sauce was just OK. Nantha actually confided that it was of the powdered variety.
You're right though John about the late-night/beer factor. At 4am and after having ingested too many free Grolsh, that poutine was the Best Poutine Ever.
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