A Chat with Suuns, plus more music de Montr̩al: A R&R Hotel concert review

Roxanne Bublitz

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On Sunday night a little bit of Montreal descended upon D.C., taking up residence at the Rock & Roll Hotel for an evening of music. First up was Little Scream, a one women show who self described herself as “Aerosmith meets Enya.‰” This audience member absolutely agrees, but also wants to stress that the combination somehow manifests itself in the best was possible- so don‰’t be afraid. While tapping her foot on a floor pedal to emit a kick drum back beat, Little Scream ripped though psychedelic guitar parts while singing in her rich voice and occasionally picking up the mini keyboard perched on the stool beside her. She ran through her set, only stopping once to tune and invite an audience member on stage to tell a joke, “Why did the hippie drown in the ocean? He was too far out!‰Û

The great music kept going from there when Suuns took the stage. I had the chance to interview two (very awesome and super friendly) members of the band, but unfortunately the interview will only live on rehashed here, after a mishap I will blame on a trickster recorder. Suuns, who are technically pronounced ‰soons‰’ but definitely don‰’t mind if you call them ‰suns,‰’ (Protip ‰ÛÒ multiple pronunciations make it much harder to get sued ‰ÛÒ something they were aiming for after deciding to change their name from Zeroes) are difficult to describe on paper. The tracks on their latest album Zeroes QC aren‰’t necessarily confined to one genre idea, although an overall dark undulation moves along throughout. The music is brooding, surprising, noisy, part electronic, part hazy guitars, and all together different. And while live shows are always an inherently different sound than the studio album, Suuns manages to translate most every aspect of their sound live, but just in a bigger and better way. Before DC, Suuns have been on tour for about a month and a half with Land and Talk ‰ÛÒ who they also play with as the backing band ‰ÛÒ a tiring dream of getting to rock out on two sets a night, while trying to find enough time for sleep and attempting to get into Iowan casinos with Canadian IDs (the only ‰radio appropriate‰’ wild tour story they had so far). Zeroes QC is on rotation at WVAU, so no excuses not to check it out yourself to hear what it is really about! Check out their video for Up Past the Nursery below in the meantime.

Up last for the night was Land of Talk led by Elizabeth Powell, who started the set alone playing an acoustic version of Cloak and Cipher before being joined on stage by the Suuns boys and a back up vocalist / fierce maraca shaker. They covered plenty of territory on their latest album Cloak and Cipher while not forgetting old favorites. They even played my favorite, “The Hate I Won‰’t Commit,” much to my excitement, which ends in a really awesome jam-out and bass solo (but I have to be a bit negative and admit the bass wasn‰’t loud enough for me! Turn up the bass!).

Three wins for Montreal.