The Insider’s Guide to Pop Montreal

Pop Montreal spans five days, but it’s a year-round job for creative director Dan Seligman, who spends months in listening sessions before curating the always-intriguing lineup. With the fest kicking off on Wednesday, we asked Seligman for his can’t-miss shows for the weekend.

Mother Gang
“These local female rappers sing in French, Portuguese and English,” Seligman says. They’ll open for hip hop pioneer Roxanne Shante, who travels with Grand Wizard Theodore – the dude who invented scratching. Thursday, 11:15 p.m., Club Lambi, 4465 Saint Laurent Blvd., $18.

Young Galaxy
“Soulful romantic pop” is the way Seligman describes these indie darlings (pictured above), who sound like the moodier, darker version of fellow Montreal band, Stars. Thursday, 11:59pm, Il Motore, 179 Jean Talon St. W.

Lee Fields & The Expressions
An underground ’70s funk-and-soul legend, Fields is high on Seligman’s list: “I’m pumped for this show. He’s in his 60s, sort of reminiscent of Al Green or Marvin Gaye.” Friday, 11:59 p.m., Sala Rossa, 4848 Saint Laurent Blvd., $20.

Os Mutantes
Psychedelic Brazilian rock gods Os Mutantes return after a 35-year musical hiatus. “They influenced Kurt Cobain and Beck; then they disappeared from popular consciousness,” says Seligman. Saturday, 11:30 p.m., Le National, 1220 Saint-Catherine St. E, $35.

The Happiness Project
As part of Art Pop, Broken Social Scenester Charles Spearin’s The Happiness Project expands into a full-blown installation, taking over an apartment. “Each room will feature a different art exhibit – all set to music,” says Seligman. Thurs. – Sun., 2 p.m. – 8 p.m., 5202 Hutchison St., free.

Image courtesy of colourmegrey on Flickr.

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