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Arts, Music

Inside the Frozen Mammoth @ Il Motore, Feb. 6

Posted by Carolyn / February 7, 2009


Inspired by a quote from Montreal legend Leonard Cohen, “In Montreal spring is like an autopsy. Everyone wants to see inside the frozen mammoth,” four young Montrealers created a whimsically-titled art blog last October in anticipation of the long winter ahead. For Inside the Frozen Mammoth’s founders Julien Ceccaldi, Kit Malo, Sean Michaels, and Amy Johnson, art has become a sort of means of getting “inside the frozen mammoth” and warding off the winter blues. Their blog, whose launch took place at Il Motore last night, echoes Cohen’s sentiment in its focus on the visual arts in Montreal as an aesthetically uplifting way to survive the brutal winter months.

“There’s something mythical about winter here, and the experience people have living in this bizarre world where summer is so crazy and festive and fun, and then in winter, you have to seek out, you have to look for the joy. I think that most of us Montrealers can really relate to that,” says Kit Malo, Frozen Mammoth co-founder and Art Pop coordinator.

A packed crowd of artists and art aficionados were seeking out the joy last night at the Frozen Mammoth launch party. The evening kicked off with a series of short animated films by local filmmakers, followed by performances from Tune-Yards, Shapes and Sizes, Nut Brown, and DJ Khiasma.


“[The bands] are all mostly friends… It’s basically people who we know who we thought it would be really fun to get together, so it was just a really good opportunity to get more awareness about the blog out there,” says Malo.

Josh Hawley, aka Nut Brown, started off the evening in high energy with his dynamic techno-infused one-man show. Up next was quirky indie-blues ensemble Shapes and Sizes, whose lead singer Caila Thompson-Hannant showcased her beautifully jazzy voice, which at times is reminiscent of Maureen Tucker of The Velvet Underground. Experimental solo act Merill Garbus of Tune-Yards then took the stage and got the crowd dancing and clapping along with her up-tempo ukulele-accompanied song “News.”


These musicians were performing in honor of Inside the Frozen Mammoth, the up-and-coming blog which features interviews with local artists, and postings in such diverse categories as dance, meta, illustration, installation, photography, and street art. Focusing primarily but not exclusively on Montreal events and artists, the goal of the blog is to make raise awareness of the visual arts and local artists.

“It’s been going great. The first challenge was just to make a website that’s locally based, and the idea behind ours is to feel like we’re of Montreal. I think we’ve done a really good job at starting to make ourselves relevant and justifying our existence,” says Sean Michaels, co-founder of popular music blog /Said the Gramophone/.


Malo credits Michaels with coming up with the concept of the blog. “It wasn’t something I ever wanted to do because I never actually wanted to blog… I don’t believe in the internet,” jokes Malo. “He approached all of us with the idea kind of randomly, and it just felt really right because of the combination of people, and because I feel like it’s something missing in a lot of the weeklies. In the papers, I don’t think there’s sufficient coverage of the arts, visually speaking specifically.”

According to Michaels, the blog’s target audience is simply people who are curious about art in Montreal, and the group is seeking to discuss art in an accessible and non-theoretical forum. “Part of the challenge for me, in terms of the blog, is to promote an understanding of art in a greater context than just painting and drawing,” says Malo. “There’s four different people writing for the blog and we’re all interested in different forms of art.”

For these four bloggers, and for the enthusiastic crowd, art and music have become a way of keeping Seasonal Affective Disorder at bay and escaping the desolate winter hell that is Montreal in January and February.

“We’re all sort of romantics at heart,” says Malo. “Frozen romantics.”

Photos by Niki Hyde.



4995963 / June 19, 2011 at 08:41 am
What a lovely day for a 4995963! SCK was here
Debasis / February 3, 2015 at 11:26 pm
move to canada!!!!!!!! its the best ctronuy EVER, ive never been to montreal personally, but i bet you could get LOTS of job oppurtunities there. try toronto too maybe lol
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