Montreal is a city of authenticity… its bagels, its smoked meat, its music, its snow storms. As snow falls, you are at once convinced of its authority and its arresting beauty. It is not a rare fact of winter though, and locals are not dissuaded from their activities by its onslaught or accumulation. During a particularly convincing show of power in December, Tillie, Marc and Pascal took to the streets, and tested their sounds against the elements.
We started at the McTavish reservoir on the campus of McGill university. Backdropped by the formidable pump house and the spot lights of a downtown sports event, Valleys charged into a stripped-down version of their 10 000 Hours, howled into the night as our fingers atrophied in the bitter cold.
Joints burning from exposure, we climbed back in Tillie’s station wagon and sought warmer climes in the Mile End. We congregated in James Irwin’s oft-utilized basement apartment with its atonal piano and flickering lamps ready to accompany the band’s impromptu arrangement of their Tan Lines.
Business of art complete, we used the unrelenting weather as an excuse to drink the night away, speaking far into the night of shamanic herbs, the dark side of the Montreal sex club side shows and growing up in the comforts of a Buddhist monastery. All of this was to be buried, without trace, in a night that saw 3 feet of snow fall on the tracks of our adventuring.