By Gabriella Luciano
If you’re in Montreal and wondering where the best clubs are to see indie, rock or live music, you may want to stop by La Sala Rossa at 4848 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, which features all types of experimental music. On any given night, you might find a cabaret, a free-jazz master, a breakdance competition, some good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll, reggae, DJs, folk, indie-rock, musique actuelle, film screenings, a flamenco show, poetry readings or some guy sitting in a tent blowing through your mind. Monthly events that have made the Sala so popular include the Kiss My Cabaret, the Meow Mix and the Goods.
Across the street, Casa Del Popolo’s offerings vary widely from playwrights doing spoken word to a vocally-challenged girl on acoustic guitar. Popular with the neo-hippie set, the Casa, known as “The House of the People”, is Montréal’s only family-run neighborhood vegetarian hot-spot! Part fair-trade café, part music venue, part resto-bar and part art gallery – where else would you find an eclectic mix of music, art, snacks, film, zines, spoken word and the hottest bartenders in town! The Casa holds up to 55 people and is an intimate and warm place to see live performances. Open from noon for soup, salad and sandwiches, you’ll enjoy a relaxing afternoon at Casa. Weekly free events at Casa include the Monday DJ Nights and Tuesday R’n’R DJ Nights.
St. Laurent venues worth a visit include Le Divan Orange, which has quickly become a staple St.-Laurent watering hole, a needed venue for the hot-as-shit local music scene and a quality veggie restaurant, and the Green Room.
When you want to blow off some steam after a crushing week at work, there’s no better place to be than the good ol’ Green Room. Friday and Saturday are their busiest nights by far, packed to the gills with loyal patrons who love to soak up the unpretentious ambiance and unflappable DJs – a reliable bunch who can be trusted to throw down some shockingly good tunes to dance to. Ample tables and the exterior sidewalk provide a platform for wanton socializing and an opportunity to meet some colourful local characters.
A few blocks east on St. Denis check out Café Chaos. The uncontested top dog of punk bars in the Montréal area, Café Chaos is about as off the beaten path as it gets, and is a much respected platform for hard-edged, home-grown talent. Situated smack dab in the heart of the Quartier Latin, it’s run as a work co-op and restaurant where money-wise diners can get a great meal without dropping too much coin.
Other Montreal Live Music Venues
Don’t miss Fou Founes Electriques at 185 Ste. Catherine St. East. The best bars are cramped spaces with old wooden floors and tin ceilings that cater to a variety of ages like L’assommier, Missy Bar, Baloos, Bar Cherrier and Bar Ste. Elizabeth.
The Osheaga Festival
Don’t forget the Osheaga festival is set to bring to Montreal a first-rate collection of the best talents from around the globe from August 3 to 5, 2012. This year, the festival plants itself firmly in the city with Osheaga Arts featuring two distinct previews and a unique artistic happening, and with Osheaga in the City, which presents shows in various venues around Montreal. Then, the main event of the festival, Osheaga on the island at parc Jean-Drapeau, offers three entire days of festivities on five different stages featuring more than 80 acts.
Revamp Indie Radio
Lastly, if you are an artist looking to be heard, Revamp Indie Radio promotes independent music. Founded and based in Montreal Canada, Revamp Indie Radio is first and foremost a venue where great music can be enjoyed. Revamp Indie Radio strongly believes in the power of music and their mission is to provide a simple but important service to artists of all types – support in the form of “airplay.” Although their main focus is the promotion of Canadian independent music, they gladly welcome artists to submit music from all over the world. Revamp Indie Radio is proudly SOCAN licensed.