Ten Events That Make POP Montreal One of Canada's Can't-Miss Festivals After 17 Years
Published Sep 05, 2018Promotional consideration provided by POP Montreal
Since 2002, POP Montreal has attracted audiences, critics, curators and music industry veterans from around the world to celebrate independent art and artists in the heart of the city.
This year's festival will be no different, with a strong lineup including performances by CupcakKe, Bill Callahan, U.S. Girls, Clairmont The Second, Devon Welsh, Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra, Kilo Kish and Wolf Parade (headlining a four-night residency at La Sala Rossa).
Beyond the music, though, there's plenty more to explore, including film screenings, a symposium, a craft marketplace, kids' programming and plenty of art exhibitions.
From across all of the festival's multidisciplinary avenues, here are ten must-see events happening from September 26 to 30 at POP Montreal.
September 27, Société des Arts Technologiques (SAT)
Scottish electronic producer SOPHIE (pictured) has much to celebrate thanks to the release of her boundary-pushing debut, Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides, and it's easy to believe her live show will be just jubilant. Keep your eye out for a potential guest appearance from Montreal mainstay Calla Thompson-Hannant (aka Cecile Believe, formerly Mozart's Sister), who appears on the record.
September 27, Le Belmont
Rapper JPEGMAFIA, born Barrington Hendricks, blew up earlier this year on the success of his second album Veteran, showcasing potent missives that deliver scathing commentary on social media and the rise of populism. His explosive rhymes and abrasive production are sure to make his life show one for the ages.
Alanis Obomsawin performing Bush Lady
September 28, Salle Ludger-Duvernay du Monument-National
This special live performance will celebrate the recent reissue of documentary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin's only musical recording, 1988's long-out-of-print album Bush Lady, featuring traditional songs of the Abenaki people and original compositions set to avant-garde orchestral instrumentation.
September 27, Cinéma Moderne
Not only is Greek electronic music icon Lena Platonos performing and speaking at POP Montreal, but the festival will feature a screening of ΛΠ [LP], a new documentary from director Cristo Petrou that features archival footage from Platonos's '80s heyday alongside new interviews.
Socalled's Porn POP: Premiere of The Housesitter
September 27, Cinéma L'Amour
Ten years after Socalled's Porn POP took over Pop Montreal with a screening of a vintage gay porn film with a live soundtrack performed by a "gay supergroup," the Montreal-based provocateur is back at it again. This time, he's made the film himself: The Housesitter, a "queerotic" film featuring live vocal and piano accompaniment.
Shut Up and Play the Piano
September 30, Rialto Hall
This new film, directed by Philipp Jedicke, chronicles the eclectic life and career of experimental musician Chilly Gonzales, born Jason Beck, from his Montreal origins to his time as an electro-rap star in Berlin to his recent turn as Grammy Award-winning classical piano maestro.
Music Criticism, Local Scenes and Constructed Histories
September 28, Piccolo Rialto
Music scenes span space and time, but this panel will identify and examine crucial threads such as the influence of music critics, which voices are amplified or marginalized, and who participates and shapes these scenes. Speakers include CBC Montreal host and Nomadic Massive member Nantali Indongo, and Lizzy Goodman, writer of '00s NYC indie rock tell-all Meet Me in the Bathroom.
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson in conversation with Moe Clark
September 29, Rialto Hall
Multidisciplinary Métis artist Moe Clark hosts a conversation with Indigenous scholar, writer and musician about her storied and varied career, including her numerous books, albums and teachings. Can't make it to the talk? Her performance at the Rialto later that night is poised to be just as captivating.
September 26–30, Le Clubhouse POP (Rialto)
Distroboto have been distributing art to the masses with their art vending machines since 2001. This year, the festival will feature a special vending machine featuring exclusive works by POP Montreal-affiliated artists for only $2, with all proceeds going to the artists and Distroboto.
Radio Pirate XX FILES
September 26–30, Quartiers POP
Analog radio is alive and well this year at POP Montreal. Every day, head to the festival's HQ for an original radio broadcast curated by Montreal-based feminist media arts space Studio XX, featuring experimental and sound art, exclusive interviews, original radio theatre and curated music.