Licensing issues, noise complaints, fines and fires – a great new mini-documentary titled ‘Falling Silent: A Short Oral History of the Montreal Venue’, chronicles the rise and fall of past and present music halls, bars and DIY venues in our musically-blessed city.

Concert promoters, bar owners and Montreal musicians (including Tim Kingsbury of The Arcade Fire) are interviewed in this 40-minute exploration of the grassroots and highly influential venues – such as Friendship Cove, Casa Del Popolo and any number of Mile End lofts – that characterize our ‘underground’ music scene. Discussion focuses on the threats that these locales face as condos, urban development and legalities encroach on tiny, semi-legal venues, reducing opportunities for local musicians, and concurrently, cultural expression. The ephemeral nature of these venues is demonstrated in the vivid, funny and wistful memories long-time Montrealers share throughout the interviews.

Why are ‘all-ages’ shows a necessity? How important are small venues for the success of local bands? What is the fate of the Mile End music scene? How many lofts did Arcade Fire play before they ‘made it’?

Have a look!

~ Tyler Yank