Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Take me away

Who is Vincent Moon?

Who is Vincent Moon, you ask? Or maybe you didn’t, but I will tell you anyway. A Parisian film maker involved in the creation of the always amazing Blogotheque videos. Alongside the site’s founder Cryde, the two set out to make “Take Away Video’s” of indie bands and various musicians in and around Paris. Starting in April 2006, the films have captured breath taking moments, fragments of the beautiful aspects of music making and illustrated to enthusiasts the stunning quality of both city and star.

Bon Iver, Arcade Fire (in an elevator, no less), Sigur Ros, Beirut (swoon*), Pricilla Ahn, The Ex, Tegan and Sara, the National, Black Lips… the list goes on and on of favourites I tend to post on my facebook page (educating the general public with good music one link at a time).

This year and last year, his focus changed to filming short music films portraying artists from Cambodia, Egypt, Istanbul, Brazil, Japan and Thailand.

Blogo joined the Black XS perfume and now create a series of concerts shot in nine countries with local artists, with the same goals and aesthetic of its earlier Take Away Shows. It is a beautiful exploration of new cities and new sounds.

“We returned from Japan where we shot the first episodes with, among others, Shugo Tokumaru or Tenniscoats. We will then go to Turkey, Canada, Mexico ... And every time we take you back to memories of music. The videos will be published on the website Black XS Live Sound and the Blogotheque. To celebrate Black XS decided to throw a party. We have decided to take groups.”-

I love them. Thank God there are people who still can deliver pure music to people who appreciate it most.


Go explore.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Arcade Fire make The Suburbs sound appealing

Have you listened to the latest Arcade Fire cd yet? If you haven't, you are depriving yourself from ear joy. Funeral... followed by Neon Bible, were eclectic diversions into an exploratory young mind rebelling from parental constraints and social normalities. They were thoughtful and intuitive, an underground movement into new and undiscovered terrain in music. Clearly I like them. And it was pure ear candy.

How much pressure they must've had to follow up such greatness, such critical acclaim and such attention. So they put out The Suburbs, and in my opinion... sweet success. A band I wish I could've seen in a small Koolhaus venue, but now am stuck in line for arena-rock style sold out venues and fighting scalpers outside Toronto island. This band is scaling new heights and shedding "indie" faster than my long weekend sunburn.

"... the musicians have clearly been digging out their parents' vintage vinyl German art-rock records, especially locked-groove rhythm meisters like Can and Neu! The faster tunes, like "Ready to Start" and "Month of May," are leaner and meaner than you'd expect. Ballads like "Deep Blue" go for the swishy piano pomp of David Bowie's Hunky Dory – which was his own album about the dance between parents and kids. In "Month of May," the band sings about the rock audience turning into a scene where "the kids are all standing with their arms folded tight." It could have been a tiresome get-off-my-lawn screed. But it ends up sounding tender and empathetic instead, because Arcade Fire aren't so far from any of the kids – or parents – on The Suburbs."

- Rollingstone,

Maybe a percentage of their unwavering success is due to good karma? RĂ©gine Chassagne, original co-founder and wife to Win Butler (who looks like he should be in an episode of True Blood... preferably opposite Eric and minimally clothed), has long been a strong supporter of Haiti by previously donating upwards of $22 000 after a series of benefit concerts in 2005. The band has since established a “one dollar, one euro, one pound” touring policy, donating one unit of currency for every ticket sold to Partners in Health, which has raised $800 000.

For tour dates and song previews, check out their myspace:

But really, who uses myspace anymore...

Let me know what you think of the Suburbs!! I think it is genius, every song takes me on an emotional journey and when my mother sits next to me reminiscing about the music of the '60s and '70s, proclaiming that music has since died... I put on their album and reassure her: music never died, it just took a siesta.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New album out in September.. I am already in line

Interpol. Last night. Koolhaus. Were you there? I was.

I was the girl swaying the back corner of the crowd, squished in between a pack of fist pumping geeks from a suburb (I'm from a suburb, so I had a soft spot for them) and a guy with one of those sweating conditions you need meds for. The crowd oozed with 9-5ers, out for a night of good music by that band they have on repeat in their Jeep Liberty's. Interpol brought out an interesting crowd into the Koolhaus last night, so while the band stood still on stage singing tracks exactly from my iPod, I was content watching the crowd instead. Black socks with sneakers.. check! Plaid shirts with cargo shorts... check! Skinny pants with dress shoes... check!

Interpol did NOT disappoint. They made the whole ordeal with my car breaking down afterwards, ALMOST worth it. (A moment of silence for my Chevy Malibu please...)

Playing a few tracks from their upcoming album set for Fall '10, Interpol heighened their signature sound and made us cheer for the newbies as we would have for the favourites.

Come September, go out and get their new album... a great car ride cd. His monotone voice is soothing, and the musical genius of every song keeps you interested.

News About # 4

The month of September; summer ends, classes begin. The coming of a new season is in the air as autumn approaches. A time of year when the natural world slips into a slumber, and Interpol releases it’s fourth studio recording. The self titled, self produced, long-player will be available world wide in mid September. We can’t wait to share our new effort with all of you. We’ve just announced some shows and we look forward to see you soon in your neck of the woods.


Fav Interpol tracks from me to you:

Snoop D-O- (double) G

Whose Cordozar Calvin Broadus? Oh, that's just Snoop Dogg. Bet you didn't know that... No, of course you didn't. You probably know him as Snoop, Snoop Doggy Dog, Snoopizzle.. whatever name it all boils down to the same person. The same skinny rapper who has dodged bullets to be with us today. And for that I am thankful.

I'm not going to sit here and pretend hip hop is my number one choice for car ambience, but when Snoop slithered on stage last Saturday at the Guvernment, I was as excited as the time I got my first Hootie and the Blowfish cd. (What?? Don't judge me, Hootie had some one hit wonders)

When I walked in on Saturday night, I was highly surprised and convinced the Doggy was not going to show. Why would he? There was a small crowd of maybe 100 people wearing collared shirts or surfer shorts heavy on pockets. I wouldn't play, I would put on my Hootie cd.

Snoop Dog, who actually does resemble a doberman, glided on stage and busted into his killer old tracks immediately. Blinged out mic, slits for eyes and a tightly rolled up joint side stage (this is just mere speculation), Snoop Dogg dropped it like it's hot for close to two hours.

It was a clear representation of talent and showmanship. His bouncers never left his side, and had faces that looked carved in stone. He never actually puffed on a J, much to my amazement, but was sure to talk about the importance of canabis in your everyday life all in between P-I-M-P and Tupac throwbacks. I didn't know him and Tupac were so close, I must've missed that Much More Music documentary.

The best part? Well, looking back it must have been when he did a version of Cyrus' Jump Around, didn't know my Keds had such a bounce to them.

Snoop Dogg, you might not be the cutest rapper around, but you still got swagger, style and a vibe. Oh, you 38 year old Dog Boss, we still dig your dance-able tracks, the lyrics that are burnt in my brain and take me back to high school, the over sized shirts on your frail frame and your words of advice:

"Three things you should do every morning when you wake up: brush your teeth, thank God you made it to another day, and smooooooke weeeeed everrrrydaaaaay".

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Can't Stand Still

Busy recording tracks for his upcoming album, I recently collaborated with the multi-talented Billie Mintz. He asked if I would expand on my poem Maybe just Maybe for the next song. I did.

And the rest is history.


Maybe I will

Or maybe I won’t

Maybe I do

But I probably don’t

Maybe I’ll stay

Or maybe I’ll go

Maybe just maybe

But you’ll never know

Maybe I liked you

And gave us some thought

Maybe I loved you

But now I forgot

We can’t stand still

We can’t stand still

We never will

Have a long drive into the night

Have a long life to make it right

Have a long time

Maybe I’ll want you

But doubtful I will

Maybe you’ll want me

But you had your fill

We can’t stand still

We can’t stand still

We never will

Secretly miss you but I always go my way

Secretly miss you but in time that will go away

Maybe you’ll see me

But you probably won’t

Maybe you’ll want to

But you probably don’t

Maybe I’ll want you

But doubtful I will

Maybe you’ll want me

But you had your fill

I can’t go on here with you in my sight

It’s just not worth it most of the time

This is good-bye

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You, Me and a Movie Makes Three

“I love the movies… they entertain us, they offer us hope, they give us dramas, they can take us places we’ve never been and just even for a few moments they can take us away when you wanna get away... Movies inspire us, they challenge us and despite our differences, they are the common link that touches the humanity in all of us.” Jack Nicholson, 2008 Oscars.

The cinema is a means of escape. Film can briefly transport us into the introspective minds of the visionaries who make them come alive. They offer us alternative perspectives, challenge our opinions and give us the laugh we need to keep us from crying.

Everyone loves a good blockbuster, a real Leonardo DiCaprio gripping epic. But the real films that crawl under your skin and walk with you out of the theatre, are the less commercial, often foreign classics showcased at select theatres or in various film festivals. I’ve learned to find a real story, you sometimes have to b-line Cineplex and Google your way to a real film experience.

Choice finds:

Taste of Cherry (1997)

Through story telling and minimalism, Taste of Cherry is able to explore the concept of suicide, existence, control of ones’ life and human condition. We ride alongside Mr.Badii as he drives through Tehran in search of a sympathetic man who will accept the task to bury his body. Winding through dirt roads and dust filled air, we meet significant characters who, through simple discussions, give in-depth looks into the complicated subjects surrounding this film. Director Kiarostami develops a beautiful film, shedding unusual light on a taboo subject from an unbiased opinion. Gripping the audience through relatable human emotions, through quiet grace this story reflects your inner conflicts and shines a light on unexplored personal terrain. Leaves you thinking, has you asking questions, mirrors your own personal journey through the ups and downs of life.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Michael Gondrys’ psychological-drama, takes a bad break up to the next level. Through a fictional non-surgical procedure of erasing memories, Joel and Clementine have the opportunity to delete their relationship from their minds. Throughout, we watch as Joel battles trying to reverse the ongoing process and the film presents various creative elements in cinematography. If you delete your memories, could you fall in love again? Could you repeat the same mistakes? Wildly imaginative, Eternal Sunshine is an interesting concept to contemplate. We all have those experiences we wish to erase, ones that even the copious amounts of JD can’t suppress, but can we part with them? Memories are the backbone to our existence, playing cruel jokes on our mind, sometimes bringing us to our knees in anguish- but this is being human. A poetic film worth-seeing, brings into focus the realisms and of ones life, the moments that makes us individuals and our willingness to part with them.

Fish Tank (2009)

Andrea Arnold’s exceptional drama uses an untrained lead actor, and interesting ways of progression. Each actor involved was given the script a week before shooting, so the characters would remain authentic and the reactions sincere. The result: A realistic depiction of a strong willed teen finding her way in the midst of a difficult upbringing. The only thing that brings Mia any source of peace is dance, and her mother’s newest love interest. Brilliant filming style give Fish Tank a documentary feel and successfully takes you into the home life of an unforgettable 15 year old girl. Toying with various themes from mother-daughter estrangement, teenage love, passions and heartbreak, Fish Tank tears open your heart to an unlikely heroine, keeping a realistic undertone of urban life, while failing to provide your generic happy ending. You will find yourself with a new found appreciation for the tough lives of modern day teenagers forced into unfortunate situations.

Hunger (2008)

Steve McQueen’s first feature film of the Republican Protests in 1980, troubles in Northern Ireland and the last days of Bobby Sands. Actor Michael Fassbender (also in Fish Tank) starved himself for 10 weeks to get into the character of Bobby Sands who died as a result of a hunger strike. Moving images that need no spoken word; draw you into the story of a man who had no other alternative than to use his body as his last means for protest. Inspiring, Hunger shows the determination of the human spirit in a mixture of horrific realities and historical events. Hunger is a painful jolt into the undeniable fortitude of one mans’ struggle to fight for his beliefs. His use of the body as the last means of protest is beyond inspiring; this story reminds us the strength of the human spirit, that one person can make a difference on grand scales and the lengths one will go for the passion of personal beliefs.

There are a thousand of films to choose from. There are never ending lists of must-sees. I offer you but a few to sift through, ingest and explore for your own meanings. Try next time to skip past “Romance”, “Thriller”, “New Release” sections, and create your own category based on your personal intrigues, topics of choice and themes to explore.

These are some from me to you. On a sunny afternoon hop over to Queen Street’s obscure Black Dog Video, Suspect Video or Queen Video for a film sure to provide you with unforgettable stories, unbelievable performances and deliver a real piece of art. Don’t know where to begin? Start with my recommends.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

She does the yoga for she does the city

Yes, I committed myself to 30 days of intense hot yoga (Bikram, to be exact) for a piece. After being bombarded with status updates on both twitter and facebook newsfeeds, I needed to understand why every last person on earth was determined to put themselves through this. Besides the intense heat.. how did people even have the time?

Well, after 30 days of the life of a yogi, I feel amazing. Although it would be a lie to say I went to every class religiously... it is a lie I am willing to stick by. Of the classes I did take, I loved it!! The rewards to your body, mind and soul are worth the intense heat and time devotion.

Give it a try... your body will thank you (and so will those jeans you bought that one time, you know the ones... ).