Shad Across Canada Spring 2011!

Posted on April 29, 2011

Like many other great Canadian artists, I found out about Shad through CBC Radio 3. That was quite a while back. Back when the Old Prince still lived at home! A few things struck me straight up: his great and very expressive rapping voice, the humour and lightheartedness of his lyrics, quality of rhyme and of course, the music ties in together with great beats and melodies. In fact (I can say this because this is my own blog) but I’m not a big fan of hip-hop, generally speaking. But back in the day, there were some pretty great people who were doing it old school and they were groups that truly hooked me and that I’ll still love listening to every once in a while.

Well, Shad is one of the few up there on my tiny pedestal of truly great hip-hop artists. Anyway, word is he’s on a cross-Canada tour right now. Wherever you are, you might enjoy his music.

Cheers!

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MP Show Preview: The Kills @ l’Olympia tomorrow night

Posted on April 29, 2011

Nylon, Kills, M. S. JarrettIt’s been a while since The Kills last swung by Montreal for a live show. Since their last concert here, they have kept busy preparing and releasing a new record, Blood Pressures, still just a few weeks old. The Kills will be at l’Olympia tomorrow night, Saturday April 30th.

It was difficult to say what to expect from the London-based duo as far as this new album is concerned. Still grungy, The Kills are apparently still very much attached to the sense of melodic minimalism that has come to define their style. Though Blood Pressures sometimes strays towards a slightly more Pop-ish sound from time to time, the duo never really allows itself to give in to anything candy-coated. Preferring to loom in the darkness of something raw and sensuous, The Kills produced a record suggesting something more Blues and a bit less Punk. This being said, the fans of the awesome “kick” should still find some satisfaction in the continuing musical efforts of The Kills. There are some truly great songs on Blood Pressures; “Future Starts Slow”, “Nail In My Coffin” and “DNA”, for instance, remain close to what I’ve personally always loved about this band. It should be interesting to see what kind of performance will come out of The Kills tomorrow night, at the very least. I, for one, expect and still hope for something really strong, dark, leather-smelling and intoxicating from this band.

Photo credit: Photographed by Marvin Scott Jarrett for NYLON, February 2008.

Tickets are $22 in advance and can be purchased at Admission.com, at the Olympia, on evenko.com, Cheap Thrills and L’Oblique.
According to Evenko, the show starts at 20:30
L’Olympia is located at 1004 Ste-Catherine E

Un nouvel album pour SoCalled

Posted on April 21, 2011

Le tout-fameux maestro rappeur klezmer/hip-hop montréalais vient tout juste de lancer son cinquième album intitullé “Sleepover” au label Dare to Care Records. D’après un communiqué de presse de Pop! Montréal:

“Une édition spéciale en pré-vente du quatrième album studio de SOCALLED, intitulé Sleepover, est maintenant disponible sur le site de Dare To Care Records. Les premiers arrivés recevront non seulement l’album, mais aussi une taie d’oreiller Socalled en édition limitée et un billet pour le lancement ! Le chef d’oeuvre Sleepover sera disponible partout au Canada le 3 mai 2011 sur Dare to Care Records. LANCEMENT D’ALBUM jeudi 12 mai, 2011. “.

Il faut admirer la détermination des compagnies de disques à vendre des albums malgré le fait que l’Internet peut parfois nuire aux ventes. De plus en plus on voit les albums offerts en vente avec du “swag”, ce qui, personnellement, m’incite toujours (un peu plus) à acheter. Quand c’est quelque chose d’inusité du genre “taie d’oreiler”, j’applaudit la maneuvre de marketing. Et puis, un billet pour le lancement de disque, ça vaut largement le prix de l’album, non? Alors si vous planifiez célébrer la sortie de cet album jusque dans votre lit, ne tardez pas à placer votre commande.

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The Barr Brothers: Une entrevue avec Brad Barr

Posted on April 21, 2011

Barr Brothers

Brad Barr est à la tête du trio « avant-rock » contemporain, The Slip, fait partie du groupe électro-folk Surprise Me Mr. Davis, et s’apprête à lancer le premier album de son plus récent projet musical, The Barr Brothers. Pendant que se déroulait SXSW à Austin, au Texas, Camuz a eu la chance de s’entretenir au téléphone avec Brad Barr au sujet de cette formation fraternelle. Il débarquait tout juste de scène au moment où nous l’avons rejoint et était à la recherche d’un petit coin tranquille : il déambulait parmi la foule mélomane du Sud-ouest américain et les excitations spontanées des fans peignaient l’arrière scène d’une sympathique conversation avec le musicien.

L’alliance fraternelle des frères Brad et Andrew Barr est l’épicentre mélodique et rythmique du quatuor incluant aussi Sarah Pagé à la harpe et Andres Vial à la basse et aux claviers. Les quatre musiciens s’inspirent d’une manière réciproque et apportent évidemment aussi leurs propres styles et influences au combo. S’inspirant de différents folklores à travers le monde (ouest africain, sud américain, blues, chanson irlandaise), des conteurs et de la musique classique, le groupe vise à créer une œuvre rythmée aux mélodies exaltantes, mais tout de même très intime. Barr explique que la tradition du folklore est axée sur quelque chose d’historique et que ce style met de l’avant des instruments acoustiques. Quoique la formule demeure essentiellement la même, on retrouve, au point de vue international, des contrastes étonnants.

Brad Barr a une certaine aisance à travailler avec son frère car leurs trajectoires leur ont permis d’arriver à très bien se connaître. Ils parviennent à être très honnêtes l’un envers l’autre, allégeant ainsi sans ressentiment certaines difficultés et apportant une certaine stabilité au groupe. « Ceci étant dit, travailler avec d’autres musiciens est une expérience riche et incomparable. J’aime aussi beaucoup la variété et parfois, avec quelque chose d’aussi stable on peut avoir un peu de difficulté à s’étonner ».
Il estime que The Slip et The Barr Brothers sont des formations très différentes. Parfois, le fait d’avoir une personne particulière sur scène peut complètement changer la personnalité du groupe. « Mark Friedman est un musicien exceptionnel : il joue de la basse, des pédales, des synthétiseurs qui se jouent avec les pieds, et c’est un humoriste incroyable qui amène une dynamique tout à fait singulière au groupe ». En fait, Barr perçoit un équilibre entre les trois formations dont il fait partie : « Ça peut être un peu difficile à gérer côté logistique, mais pour moi, au point de vue sentimental, c’est très libérateur parce qu’un groupe peut affranchir les contraintes de l’autre ».

The Barr Brothers, avec sa harpe, son pump organ, et sa contrebasse, a ses propres exigences dont la première est le volume. En même temps, les limites sont parfois ce qui rend le travail si intéressant. En choisissant Sarah Pagé pour se joindre à eux sur la harpe, ils n’ont pas choisi tant l’instrument que la musicienne avec laquelle ils ont une relation et une chimie créative tout à fait extraordinaires. « Elle arrive à traiter une variété musicale hors de l’ordinaire, en pratique et au point de vue créatif ». Elle s’intéresse à toute une panoplie de musique de l’Afrique de l’Ouest et ces influences ouvrent des avenues musicales fascinantes. Avec sa formation musicale classique, Pagé apporte aussi un savoir important au groupe. La chimie et la dynamique du travail avec une artiste comme Pagé s’avèrent être un magnifique déclencheur pour Barr. « C’est quelque chose de tout à fait formidable : la symbiose est très productive et enrichissante pour moi et pour elle aussi, je crois ».

Camuz attend impatiemment la sortie canadienne de l’album des Barr Brothers et vous invite à visiter le site web du groupe au www.thebarrbrothers.com pour d’avantage d’informations au sujet du groupe.

 

Article et photo par Sarah Brideau

MP Photo of the Day: Buckets of rain, buckets of tears

Posted on April 20, 2011

rain,chocolate,plant,window,cold,wind Photo by Midnight Poutine Flickr Pool member, ncbeets.

Underwater Museum of Sculptures in the Caribbean Sea: a project by Jason DeCaires Taylor

Posted on April 19, 2011

Last year, I went to Cancun to visit my good friends JD and Alejandra, who were expecting their first child. It was during that 16 day voyage that JD took me to Puerto Morelos, a small fishing village, home of the National Arecife Park. When they decided to escape the harsh Canadian winters, Ale and JD first lived in that pueblito, and were neighbours, for a short time, with this guy, Jason.

When JD took me to Puerto Morelos, we went to visit Jason’s workshop, hidden behind a school in the jungle, on the outskirts of the village. Unfortunately, Jason wasn’t there at the moment, but we were allowed to take the time to check out the sculptures and the process behind the project. Jason DeCaires Taylor was (and I suspect that he probably still is) working on a great number of cement sculptures inspired by the local people (amongst other subjects that served as models). On the walls of his workshop, we could see photos of countless people on which the sculptures were based. These sculptures weren’t meant to be put on the front lawn of houses or around a pool: they were to be sunk deep down in the clear Caribbean sea near Cancun.

The idea is to form an underwater museum and to let the natural fauna and flora integrate the sculptures naturally as part of the underwater environment. Fishes float around the cement bodies and coral grows on the faces of the sunken subjects. Last year, I added this guy to my facebook friends. I don’t know him personally, but the interest I have in this project of his is unrelenting. Every once in a while, I’ll get updates from him and check them out. Since my first visit to his workshop, the work has kept on growing, and it keeps getting more and more media coverage. National Geographic even covered the story!

This morning I just saw this following video posted on my newsreel. I feel compelled to share it with whomever reads my blog because I find it absolutely fascinating. The video takes you through the underwater museum and lets you see the progress by which nature takes in the sculptures, after which you get to see tidbits of the process behind the whole enterprise. Feeling a strong tie to the Puerto Morelos community (to the point which makes it feel like a second home to me), I encourage you to take in the wonderful images of this short video and hope that you’ll enjoy it at leas half as much as I did.

 

MP Photo of the Day: After winter must come spring

Posted on April 18, 2011

garbage,snow,melting,spring,city,gross Photo by Midnight Poutine Flickr Pool member, knogles.

Title inspired by Lauryn Hill’s lyrics in “Everything is Everything” (The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill).

Quote of the day: “I like dreams of the future better than the history of the past” – Thomas Jefferson

MP Photo of the Day: Keeps my fingers warm and dry

Posted on April 14, 2011

hand,snow,winter,glove,window,hello Photo by Midnight Poutine Flickr Pool member, kimberly blue.

Away and back again…

Posted on April 12, 2011

 

morning glory So I appologize for the radio silence as of late. I escaped to Mexico for a couple of weeks and I’m now back fully recharged and ready to kick it Montreal style.

As it begins... However, it’s a different me that returns to the home-base: My fingers have forgotten how to type – traded in that skill for more sensory ones: sand caressing, swimming, searching for a breeze and resting high above my head on the ropes of a hammock or simply braiding my fingers together on top of my head. They are used to everything always being covered in sand and salt dust.
piquete de ceibaMy skin is sunkissed. My body still seeking some crazy warmth in a way that clothing can’t replicate. I still feel the presence of Matus, a spiritual sage that I encountered on my way and that adopted me as his daughter. My papito and I talked for what must’ve been a minimum of 5 hours a day. I also made other friends on my path. Met a new friend from Patagonia. Another one from France. Clearly, I also met a bunch of people from various parts of Mexico, who are now established in the hermoso pueblito of Puerto Morelos. In the short time period I was there, I forged strong family-like bonds in a strange and mystical land. They say that more stuff happens in a mexican day than in any gringo-land: I’m ready to testify to that.
Ceiba CloseupAsi es. I know deep inside me that I must return. There’s a home there for me, and plenty of work opportunities that rival the type of work I can get here in Canada. But there’s no need to rush such a move. Life will help me make it a reality. I also know that don’t want to be there always – the summers are unbearable and there’s not much work during that season. However, as the next winter begins to rear its ugly head, I will make more concrete plans to return. In the meantime, I have a life here which I love and I’m not ready to abandon everything that it is just yet. Missions must be completed in order to bear fruit."Puerto Morelos"

 

Note: The tree with the crazy green skin and the spikes is a Ceiba. Ceibas are a sacred tree to the mayas. All photos by Sarah Brideau.