Fringe Picks

The Link chooses some musical acts we’re most excited to see at POP. Thank us later.

Sept. 29

The Planet Smashers

Who says ska is dead? I’ve got a pair of spats that very clearly says otherwise, and the Smashers will back me up. At this point, Matt Collyer and his gang of loveable goofs have become nothing less than a Montreal institution, with a career that spans over 15 years. This writer will tell you from first-hand experience that their shows are like the most ridiculous house party you’ve ever been to, but with more saxophones and near-death experiences in a circle pit. If you’re too cool for school, you’ll skip out, but for those of us who still treasure our Reel Big Fish albums, this is the super orgy porno party to be at during POP Montreal.

Sept. 29


Some people will tell you that there’s music and there’s comedy, never the two shall meet.
Don’t listen to them. They’re stupid and unhappy people. For those of us who are able to stand proud and tall, there’s Montreal’s own Hollerado, a quartet of loveable pranksters who conveniently churn out the sweetest power pop this side of Cheap Trick. They’re also one of the first Canadian bands to ever tour China, and one billion of them can’t be wrong.
Danceable pop-rock not your thing? Luckily, you can get your chuckles out as the band boasts some of the funniest between-song banter since Anthony Kiedis was still on heroin.

Sept. 30

Holy Fuck

Remember when you were six and your mom insisted on you taking piano lessons from your elderly neighbour? You figured the big pay-off would come when you got to rock out on one of those newfangled Casio keyboards. When the big day finally came, you plugged that sucker in, and were immediately delighted by that magical contraption. Remember how you got bored of that within 20 minutes? Holy Fuck did not. Infamous for playing ancient, piece of shit Casios, these ambient dudes have become a must-see for the way they mix up insane noise-making gadgets that have never before been used to make listenable music. And hey, Stephen Harper singled them out for being obscene, so they must be pretty epic, right?

Sept. 30


Montreal, meet the princess of gothic pop. Grimes evokes a musical sensibility that is unwordly yet painfully human. Mostly, her songs sound like sonic love letters to someone (or something) who lives on a different planet.
This is music for the apocalypse; for space travel; for drowning scenes. It’s music to get lost in. Weird. Wonderful. Grimes.
Her music is sensitive and explorative in the possibilities of the human voice. The songs are distantly but acutely aware of themselves, putting the listener in a trance between the here and now, and the sweet thereafter.
Laced in reverb, Grimes haunts the listener in strange ways. The music is atmospheric in the sense that it surrounds and includes you, yet somehow you feel left out. Perhaps her live show will fill in that void.

Sept. 30

Twin Sister Twin Sister are a quartet reigning from the uber-hip music scene of Brooklyn, NY. Their songs are atmospheric and stormy, yet remain grounded, cool and collected. Twin Sister’s lead singer is a cooing and enchanting Andrea Estella. She has the sort of airy, committed voice that I would follow straight to hell, if that were where she wanted to take me. Twin Sister are still realizing their sound. This musical uncertainty comes across as playful, genuine and damn refreshing; the type of sound that can only be achieved by this very uncertainty.

Sept. 30

Lunice and Hovatron

If you’re into Dubstep—and I have it on good authority that all of the kids are these days—then you either already know about Lunice and Hovatron, or you’re sorely missing out. Each will be playing a set at Club Lambi on Thursday. The event runs from 10 p.m. and will continue until your mind has been zapped to death by brawling, brainy beats.
Hovatron, ex member of Mofomatronix, has a meager release history, but made up for it by releasing all sorts of free mixtapes on his MySpace page.
Lunice, for his part, has been featured on CBC Radio 3, and recently got in on a Deerhunter remix with famous producer Diplo. That pretty much speaks for itself, dunnit?

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 07, published September 28, 2010.