It'd been ages and ages and ages since I'd been to an Indyish event. They never fail to delight either, so I have no good excuse (albeit, a personal one) for not attending. Fortunately, I swallowed a certain amount of anxiety and went to the XMass Mess at Il Motore. As expected, a sampler of the local and somewhat lesser known arts scene performed with gusto, reminding me that Montreal is a pretty cool city at the end of the day.
Rather than review each act, as they were all good in their own ways, I'll just mention two bands that I hadn't seen before and was rather excited to make their audial acquaintance.
First up, Random Recipe. Where have these kids been hiding? Apparently, they were at the jazz fest, but I guess I was busy with other stuff that night. Anyway here's the recipe: Two female leads take turns with the lyrics, one rapping and beat boxing, the other belting out tunes Ani de Franco style. The two are backed up with a guitarist and a percussionist who occasionally come in with harmonies. Whoa. This was something special. I've managed to see some unusual fusion acts in Montreal, but this one was a deeply satisfying meld that threw down high energy, catchy songs. I found their performance the perfect blend of spontaneity and tightness. Yes, yes, y'all. This is the type of band that reawakens my passion for live performance.
Second up, the Receivers. I actually went to the Mess so I could see the Receivers. I'd heard good things and wanted to litmus test for myself. The fact that everything else that night was just good was just cherries in my martini, basically. The Receivers are a mood psychedellic act, with a noir feel, along the lines of the Dears and other moribund bands. Which is not to say the music is dreary and dull. Au contraire. This is dark and fierce, rather romantic in the 18th century, Wuthering Heights kind of way. Violent, feminine, almost gothic. Live, the Receivers were also a treasure to see, a very expressive band all around. They started with two Christmas songs, and then transitioned into their own material. With each song, singer Emilie Marzinotto hypnotized with her haunting voice and filled the room to stillness and a bit of rapture.
In sum, the monthly mess was satisfying from start to finish and a somewhat poignant kick to the ass that I should swallow my pride and anxiety and make it out to every single one of these events for the sake of this little blog and its much beloved readership.