Sunday, November 15, 2009

You've got guilty mail.

I checked my mail to find a paycheck, a flyer about H1N1 and a little business card with the following hand-written, but photocopied note, on it:

"Ma maison sera une maison de prière: et vous en avez fait, vous repaire de brigand. Luc 19.46"

Luke 19:46 in the King James Bible is:

"My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves."

You can imagine the puzzled look on my face after reading that. Does someone think I stole something? Of course I automatically make it personal. Another translation refers to when Jesus entered the temple and cast out the dealers. This is what really made me think. There are definitely guys dealing(weed, etc...) in the building. I can only hope and assume every mail box got one of these little cards. Someone is trying to send a message.

I think the idea of dropping religious notes in mailboxes to discourage illegal behaviour is quite facinating. 

The building itself hasn't had the carpets cleaned in probably 30 years. There's also a camera in the dingy lobby to deter drug dealers and loitering. It's not a beautiful building but my little studio is wonderful and that's all I really care about.

edit: Two weekends in a row I came home to smashed beer bottles in the front entrance, dirt and broken flower pots in the hall and hallway doors ripped off their hinges.

I'm putting another lock on my door.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pics de chicks

Now here's a good Montreal boy I'd like to meet.

Pics de Chicks

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What would you say to your teenage self?

Dear L, age 15,

What you think is important right now will change drastically. Don't fret about the friendships you've made or the heartbreak you've had. It's all small potatoes. You're going to find that true friends are few and far between. But you're going to find them and it's going to be so wicked, you have no idea!

Keep being an over-achiever. It will be really tough for a while and you might feel like you'll regret putting so much effort into something with no return, but you're learning things now that you'll remember in 10 years and be glad that you did them.

You read people so well. You're only going to get better at it.

You are never alone.

Your family is what will guide you through trying times. Keep believing in and trusting them. They live life truthfully and are the most genuine people you'll ever know. These are invaluable things to learn.

Find joy. Everyday.

Everything happens. Sometimes for a reason, sometimes you make it happen. Either way life is going to happen and just try to learn from it all.

Try to enjoy the next ten years, Luce, you don't need to be wishing you were ahead of the game.
You already are, and always will be.

L. almost age 25


What would you say to your teenage self?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Jack Frost is coming.

Seasonal affective disorder is said to be a mood disorder where people who have normal mental health the rest of year get all depressed in the winter months. More specifically the darker months. The symptoms vary. You could experience anything from:
  • feeling down
  • sleeping more than usual
  • little energy
  • craving sweets/starch
So basically hibernating?
(more on S.A.D. at the bottom)

It's too bad humans are not meant to hibernate through the winter. Especially in Montreal. Our winter is wicked. Wicked cold, wicked wet, and wicked lonely because no one wants to leave their cosy apartment. Not to mention getting dressed to go outside is an event itself. Sweater, scarf, hat, mittens, boots... These can all be a lovely excuse to look cute, but seriously, am I the only one who chooses her purple sorels and ski jacket instead of cute furry ankle boots and trench coat to commute to work? I can't even imagine trying to dodge snow puddles in these. I still want to buy them.

I would definitely look cute. But anyone who has spent a winter here knows looking cute is not what it's about. Maybe if you have a car or commute underground and work underground and you live in a building that is attached to a mall and a metro....then I guess it's do-able.

I was having dinner with friends and we were talking about how cold it was getting and if I went out in the winter or if we'd see each other in the coming months. I scoffed and said I don't go out that much anyways! More importantly is the fact that we live less than a block away from each other and if we DON'T see each other I hope I have a better excuse than the fact that it's going to take me longer to get dressed to go outside than it will walking over.

This is a list of the 9 hottest fashion trends for winter. They don't apply to us Montrealers. And if you see anyone wearing any of those things in our fine city... they are freezing, wet and likely complaining to anyone who will listen. Buy a proper jacket, waterproof boots and a cute selection of mittens, hats, scarves. You'll thank me.

I'm not a huge wikipedia fan but the S.A.D. page is pretty legit.
Peep here. If you think you might suffer, read up and buy a light. They're awesome.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Bizarre things I hear people say...

Where: Alexis Nihon shopping centre
Gender: Male.
Age: Approx 20
Wearing: American Apparel turquoise skinny jeans. white tee, beige cardigan, black thick-rimmed glasses, bowl hair cut.

In an urgent tone:

"I think I really need to put ice down my pants."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Saturday is the word

Missed opening band at Green Room, Daeyhun told me not to be late. I'm sorry Daeyhun. Saw Jane Vain and the Dark Matter; moody, screamy girl sings about ex-boyfriends. Some catchy moments but mostly too moody. Walked over to the Ukranian Federation(synagogue turned music venue), easily one of the nicest venues in the city to see Faust.

A couple weeks ago, while looking through my records to find some to sell in the Ukranian's basement over the wkend, I found Faust's Krautrock album. I had never listened to it. It's heavy and noisy and German. I decided at that moment that I should see them, based solely on the fact that I own one of their records. I snagged a seat near the back on the aisle. The show began with who I think was member Jean-Hervé Péron at the back behind the audience with some type of horn. He played it walking around the audience at the back of the room, this happened and more and more people were ushered in. They played exactly what they said Progressive rock from Germany. It was awesome, but I was exhausted from selling records all day and staying up till 3 or 4 in the morning the nights before, so I went home for a nap! Around 1 am I stumbled, still somnolent from my luxurious nap, down to Divan Orange to see Edmonton's Poet Laureate, Rolland Pemberton. The man puts on a show. Before the show started all he did was pace around the stage and floor and make big arms gestures at people he had conversation with. He looked annoyed or nervous or drunk. I believe he was all of them. But as soon as the DJ started his first tune, the party gave way and the dance floor got sweaty. It was pretty consistent the whole way through, except throw in some crowd surfing. Yes. At Divan. Then Rollie surfed and cut his hand on the ceiling fan. I left early because I was so tired.

Sunday I sold at the record fair again and sunday night I saw nothing. Although I do kind of regret not seeing Vincent Moon. I'm sure it was really interesting.

In all, Pop served its purpose for me. I looked forward to these bands all summer and now, in one weekend, it was over. I have no complaints, but that's because I had a delegate pass.

Runnin around Pop VIP stylz

Kid Koala and The Slew
This show was at La Tulipe which is a beautiful venue, very similar to Cabaret. My friend V and I sat up in the balcony as they weren't letting anyone else on the floor. This was 6 turntables meets the Ex-Wolfmother rhythm section. 6 TURNTABLES! I wish I had a better view. If you are a fan of Kid Koala you wouldn't have believed this was his show. It was rock out with your cock out music. I can't belive I just described something as that.

I popped into catch some of Destroyer. I thought Dan Bejar, one of the minds and very unique voices behind The New Pornographers, was going to play with a full band. But there he was, his wild hair getting in his face standing alone with an acoustic guitar. It was the nicest sounding quiet show I saw throughout the festival.

I was happy to be show hopping with friends, my friends V and a Pop employee, and also an artist in the fest from Korea. It was nice because we are all game to see anything and there wasn't any discussion over leaving a show to see something else, just because we could.

These dudes Chain and The Gang were playing at Lambi and they weren't my cup of tea, as they say. The singer looked like a bad Prince impersonator. The band sounded like they had never played together before, losing rhthym and improvising poorly. Like I said, you can't win 'em all.

We went up to Casa to see who was playing there, to be honest I never caught the bands name and we left shortly after the started playing. Much too noisy for me. The "singer" was wearing a t-shirt that had so much bleach poured on it, it was hardly a shirt anymore, just a piece of fabric with many holes. He looked like he hadn't bathed in weeks. Everything he was wearing had holes or dirt on them. Not my scene.

The aforementioned Nacho Beer Party was happening for a second night in a row and we decided to check it out. Basically a typical Montreal apartment filled with so many hipsters you couldn't move without getting felt up or feeling someone up. All by accident, of course. When word of no beer and no nachos got to us we made our way outta there.

We decided it was Diner time and headed to Mont Royal and St-Denis for some 3am poutine. Had run into this guy a couple times(he's crazy and smart and makes crazy smart music with his gameboy) and found him again where our search for greasy fries and cheese curds ended.

A lovely end to a lovely night.

A night of handsome men I didn't speak to.

Thursday October 1st

A good man IS hard to find, Joel Plaskett.
You Halogonians sure do breed good men. Plaskett is a tried and true performer and excellent muscian. He and The Emergency played like humble rock stars to a crowd of screaming fans. Everything Joel does sounds great. With the entire band onstage you can hear how tight they are as a group and watching them laugh as they belt out high pitched harmonies you know they're having a good time, which usually means so is the audience. Whether Joel is unplugged and solo or having dueling guitar solos with multi-talented Montrealer Peter Elkas, the sound is always right. I may have missed Fever Ray because Joel and the guys went on late, but I don't mind, because I love seeing him and know that I'm always in for a great show.

Speaking of Fever Ray, this is what I heard throughout the night...

"It was frightening"
"Pop shelled out $5000 for a laser show"
"It was insane, scary electro from Sweden"

I missed it, I can't win 'em all.

I stopped in at Cabaret Just For Laughs to check out Lunice and DJ Barletta. Both are sick DJs with mad skillz! Lunice dances to his music throughout the set as though he was auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance, which is awesome. Everything he plays is danceable....and LOUD! I had never seen Torontonian Barletta before, he is a fine addtion to the Mash-up genre a la GirlTalk. Right off the bat he was playing hits and the crowd was going nuts. Everyone there was dancing and sweaty, it looked great.

I headed up to Lambi to check out the Legend Roxanne Shante. I made it in time to see Unkut's B-girls lay it down on the dance floor. I wish I could move and wear belly tops the way they do! One thing I'd like to point out is you know it's a good show if SoCalled is in the audience, the man clearly only likes good music.
Shante took the stage and played "If you know that motherfuckin hiphop song, let me hear you sing along!"...she also did a couple of her own. The majority of the set was name that popular 80's rap and then after about 25mins she left the stage and that was it. The woman wearing gold addidas and matching chain, earings and lame jacket was clearly a legend in her own right, but why only 2 songs? I'm glad I had a pass because had I paid to see her I would have been pretty miffed.

Down the street to Divan Orange was my buddy Gregory Pepper. Greg writes catchy Pop songs. He adds Beach Boys-esque vocals, Queen-like guitar riffs and self-conscious-hipster boyish charm to make.....happiness. I think he is lovely and so much fun to listen to.

On my way home I had to give my little brother a Destroyer ticket I got for him. He was at the Holerado hosted party above Casa Del Popolo, also known as the beer and nacho party. As I strolled up, the hipsters were all eyeing each other, because who was standing there but none other than Win from this band. He's so tall and handsome. And, I mean, just look at this, c'mon fuck, that's fuckin Bowie. Jesus. Love those Mile-End Celeb-sightings.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Que-est-ce qui ce passe Pop Montreal?

I am fortunate enough to work for one of Pop's major sponsors and scored myself a delegate pass.

The Pop wkend is something I look forward to all year. It always takes place when the leaves are changing and the city smells cleaner than it has all summer. It's usually one of the first wkends that I can start wearing my fall clothes, which are of course my most fashionable. Time to start pulling out cute scarves and hats or mittens. Or pretty tights because bare legs are no longer acceptable once the temperature drops below 15C. It's a time of year when walking home from the Plateau to Mile End is crisp and beautiful. It's my favourite time of year.

Pop Wednesday.
I wanted to see Chub E Pelletier at Divan Orange, but much to my dismay he went on an hour late, so I had a pint of McAuslan Cream Ale and read the Mirror hoping I could catch part of his set before having to move on to my next dice, I left and no one was even close to starting. I wanted to see Holger, this 6 hander of cute Brazillian boys in their twenties playing really fun indie rock. And they lived up to their description. They looked like they just wanted to party. There were two guys banging on the drums, making a wicked rhythm section. The songs were catchy and fun and had the crowd clapping their hands and smiling. A great start to five days of music. On my way back to Divan to see if I could catch MC La Sauce, I was stopped and asked for a light by a nice man who thought I was from Ontario. C'mon Quebecers, there are native anglophones in this province outside Montreal. I swear. I know them, I am one. Get with it. Anyways, moving along, I got back and La Sauce was already tearing up the mic. She's a very pretty, curvy, white girl from Hochelaga Maisoneuve (or HocheMaiMai as I heard a friend once call it) and she rapped about wanting to sleep with big black men and the Montreal Bus system.  She needed to stop playing with her hair extensions though, it made her look really ditsy and for a girl whose rhymes were very clever and bilingual, she could clean up her stage presence a bit. I'm glad I caught her act though. Back up to Lambi(I just hopped between those two venues last night). Ninjasonik just finished as I arrived, they were probably amazing, but missing out on some good bands is all part of the Pop experience, you have to choose wisely. You can't always make the right choice. Matt and Kim, my headliner of the night killed it from the moment they stepped on stage to the moment they left. Kim just smiled as she pounded the drums faster then I had seen anyone play in a while. While Matt played with the crowd and owned the keys playing tight melodies and singing songs that just make you feel good. They were wicked and I am so glad I got to see them. I almost forgot...the crowd surfing! It didn't stop and added a great energy to an already insanely energetic show. Their light up V behind them looked great, I have no idea what it signifies though. I guess part of this writing thing is doing some research, but I just wanted to publish a first post so I wouldn't forget anything!

MC La Sauce
Matt and Kim - Lessons Learned video

Pop Thursday.
Tonight the line up is as follows...
Joel Plaskett
And then hopefully I'll catch the end of the much hyped Fever Ray show. I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan, but it seems like THE show to see and I'm lucky enough to go for free, so I have to check it out!
At Studio Just For laughs a ton of local DJs will be spinning until 4am.
CLUES will also be at the Cabaret JFL.
Roxanne Shante which I hope I don't miss should be pretty incredible. The woman is a legend.
And then my buddy Gregory Pepper at 1am is gonna be wicked.

I have a job interview tomorrow, so I feel like I have to pace myself. But seriously, would you take it easy if you had access to every concert in the city for the next five days? I didn't think so.

Click here for info about Pop Montreal

Allow me to re-introduce myself

I am not a writer.

I have things to say though, so I'll give this a shot.

I'd like to talk about music and Montreal and it's oh-so-trendy culture.

We'll see how things go.