52 Hours in Montreal | Review

31 07 2008


Montreal montreal – oh how I miss thee – let me count the ways 

1)      Vagitron

2)      Turbocrunk

3)      Peer Pressure

4)      I Heart Neon

5)      Le Piknic Electronik

6)      MEG Festival

7)      Osheaga Festival

8.)      Late nite poutin!

My producer G.I and I commenced a whirlwind tour of Montreal to see what the hype was about last weekend.  There’s much to say and we weren’t disappointed.  Despite the music, drinks and debauchery – we came back in one piece.  Make sure to check out the ThumpThump ReNix Guide to Montreal at the bottom of this post. Also big ups to my electro partner in crime Showtrotta for her mini-guide (peep the lower-lefthand sidelinks) and MTL Muxtape before the trip.  – Paul Le Paul


Arrived Friday nite – it was Francofolies weekend, so every Pierre Antoine, Claudia and Jean-Luc was up in the city Frenching out…quickly navigated to St Denis street (apparently pronounced Denee) for a couple pints at a packed open air terrace bar.  These terraces (we called them “tear asses” b/c of the European b.o smell) seem to be popular with the tight pants crowd.  Hit up a couple more locals before finding out about the Vagitron party.  Pissed we missed it – Jordan Dare was his thang.

Saturday there was more Laa Franching all over the place.  We were sure not to get in the middle of it so headed to the Plateau district, which is more like our beloved East Village spilling funky shops and boutiques.  We met a lovely young lady at a clothing boutique who gave us the scoop on the local parties.  GREAAAT SUCCESS! Did the rounds down St. Laurent, hit up some shops, grabbed a few pints and napped before the evening’s festivities at Gogo’s (cmon for stinger shots only – see below), then Coda, Blue Dog & Blizzart for the MTL electro goodness we’ve heard so much about…Stumbled home about 4am with a electro smile on my face.

Sunday we hit up a Tim Hortons (basically a Canadian wanna be Dunkin Donuts) but had to do it.  Then made it to the suburbs of Lavalle to visit some friends.  Nothing major to report  – kinda like Central Jersey strip mall action – even tho Manny swore up and down it was “up and coming Montreal #2”.  After the drop off, we attempted Le Piknic Electronik, which is basically like PS1, Summerstage and Water Taxi Beach all combined, but still way cooler.  It’s a massive summer weekly outdoor DJ concert in a major park – best thing is they allow BYOB alcohol which automatically makes this better than any NY parks party.  Sadly it started raining so didn’t make it.

Time to hit the road officially back to homebase.  After all that, the ride sure tested our limits and ability to stay awake w/o Red Bull or Sparks (drink at yor own risk).  60 minutes at the border and we had forgotten to shave our beards and/or take showers.  Sure to be profiled, but the border guard seems to take a liking to G.I.  Went right through, blasting 6 more hours of electro on the stereo.  In typical fashion, went home straight to check this week’s party schedule to do it all over again.  YeaYuhh!

Overall, Montreal is A LOT like New York – diverse people, nightlife with a range of things to do.  You can find what you want and when you want it.  However despite their uber liberalness, just like NYC, they too are subject to big city nonsense.  Bottle service is creeping into all the bars/clubs.  No smoking indoors has been implemented.  Supposedly there is a major crackdown on any “fun” music club.  Hmm sounds familiar Mr. Giuliani.  And their B&T crowds the streets on weekends like whoa!  But evenso, I still totally ‘eart Montreal.  Great music and less popped collared yuppies than NYC.  Now that we know the dilly, next trip will be better planned.  May even get a loft share – 4-8 weeks and do our thang up north for a minute.  Holler!!



Places to go with good music & vibe – Bars/Clubs

1)      Coda4119 St. Laurent

2)      Blue Dog3958 St. Laurent

3)      Blizzart3956a St. Laurent

4)      Jupiter Room3874 St. Laurent

5)      Circus (afterhoure) – 917 St. Catherine East

6)      Stereo (afterhours) – 858 St. Catherine East

7)      Random Loft parties (wow – are we in Brooklyn again?)


Streets / Areas to walk around

1)      Parc Ave

2)      Mont Royale

3)      Upper St Laurent

4)      St Denis

5)      Rue Sherbrooke

6)      Park X – supposedly the ghetto.  Looked more like Staten Island to me, but had an interesting feel.


Other goodies:

1)      Paul’s Boutique – 112 Mont-Royal E – Sweet used vinyl record store and borderline crazy owner 

2)      Inbeat Records Store – 3814 St. Laurent – Amazing dance records & great for party flyers

3)      Moog Audio – 3828 St. Laurent – Music equipment & gadgets out the ass

4)      Laika coffee – 4040 St. Laurent – Coffee shop w/live djs

5)      Goodfoot – 3830 St. Laurent  – ill sneaker shop for le limited edition kicks

6)      Parc Jeanne Mance – Sundays for the impromptu bongo dance parties  (off Parc Ave)

7)      McGill University students – peeps know how to get down

8.)      Old Montreal – down near the port if you’re feeling all architecturally nostalgic

9)      Montreal Expos caps

10)   Strip Clubs – we didn’t go to any, but they are bountiful and heard they are tha shizzle 


No Go’s 




1) St. Catherine Street – unless you’re a tourist or played one on TV




2) Canadian pizza – immediately pass on this option

3) Middle and lower St. Laurent Street – worse than Hoboken.  Skip it. 

4) Stingers – popular canadian shots (Brandy, Crème De Menthe & Tabasco Sauce) – guaranteed hangover central

5) Euromullets – every mofo had one of these.  I wanted to vomit.  Welcome to 2006 people. 


If you’re Montrealian and reading this post, you know it’s pretty accurate. If not, let me hear about it.  Oh, and I also want to big up this party happening THIS WEEKEND – MEG FESTIVAL DAYAM!