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So, dear Montrealers, Broken Pencil is in your fair city to bring the latest issue to this weekend’s PUCES POP, the DIY, craft festival. (We’ll also be hawking issues loudly at Word on the Street on Sunday.)

But in the interim, here in Montreal there are many a free show to attend. The first night of POP concerts started out well, until arriving at the address of my first POP Montreal show, there was nothing to do except urban explore an under-construction condo filled with lumber, sawdust and caution tape everywhere. Curiously though the door of the half-constructed condo  was wide open. I go in, through glass doors, down a set of stairs into a parking garage, looking for signs, until I run into a guy holding a joint in one thoroughly bandaged hand outside his apartment door. I ask where the concert’s at. He says “oh, sorry, we’ll turn the music down.” And I’m like, “no really, I know I’m down a condo building hallway, but there’s a concert here somewhere.” He is confused and probably not just from my line of questioning. I go back down the stairs and I realize I’m sort of enjoying the wild treasure hunt to get to my first POP show.

Finally, a sign tapped to an elevator door tells me which apartment number to go to: up five flights, round a few more generic hallways and then suddenly a romantically lit apartment-turned-venue packed with people and a huge open window looking out over the horizon of the Montreal. A seven-piece band of kids with very nice haircuts are rounding up their set. Who is this band? I don’t wanna know. It might break the magic.

See you on Saturday and Sunday at PUCES and Word on the Street, wearing very wrinkled clothing.