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Tonight! Charlotte Cornfield, Bent by Elephants, and Bruce Peninsula at Casa del Popolo

Posted by Amelia / October 13, 2010

2010_10_13BrucePeninsula.jpgThe last time Toronto-based prog-folk band Bruce Peninsula was in Montreal was for last year's Pop Montreal--where they played one of the festival's standout sets at Il Motore--and local fans have been looking forward to their return ever since. Tonight's the night: Bruce Peninsula is playing at Casa, joined by Montreallers Charlotte Cornfield and Bent by Elephants.

The evening promises to be a great one. Bruce Peninsula is really excellent live; their multitude of voices and heavy percussive sound making them a lot louder--and more exciting--than you might expect when you hear the term "folk." And Midnight Poutine's love for local standouts Charlotte Cornfield and Bent by Elephants is well documented. We think you'll like them too. So skip on over to Casa at 9 p.m. to see a whole lot of really talented music-makers in one place. You won't regret it once they step on stage.

Bruce Peninsula, Charlotte Cornfield, and Bent by Elephants play Casa del Popolo (4873 St. Laurent) at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Photo via Bruce Peninsula's MySpace page.

Preview: Maisonneuve Magazine's Summer Issue Launch

Posted by Amelia / July 7, 2010

Youth in revolt: Maisonneuve's summer cover image portrays an angry hipster lashing out at the bad music of the world.

When I was younger, whenever my sister and I used to argue over which movie to watch or which CD to listen to, my father would always recite the same Latin phrase: "De gustibus non est disputandum." It means, basically, that a person's taste can't be disputed. It was his way of telling us to calm down: neither of us was ever going to convince the other one of why our preferred movie or music was better. We just had different taste.

And that's all well and good. But the cover story of Maisonneuve Magazine's summer issue flies in the face of my dad's old catchphrase. (Full disclosure: I'm an intern at Maisonneuve.) It's called "The Music We Hate," and it's the result of a rather daring proposition: Maisonneuve's editors asked seven top music critics to write essays about the bands they can't stand.

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Bent By Elephants at Divan Orange

Posted by Amelia / May 12, 2010


Bent By Elephants is a band I always expected would play a great show. On MySpace, the Montreal-based group's songs caught my attention, but they felt a bit hemmed in by the four walls of my computer, so to speak. I got the sense that live, they would really have the necessary space to breathe. Seeing them at Divan Orange last Sunday confirmed my suspicions. The band was launching their first LP, called This Is Water, and they played a beautiful, energy-filled set to mark the occasion.

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Arts, Theatre

Pulled In By the Sirens' Song

Posted by Amelia / February 5, 2010

2010-02-05Ulysse.jpgWe all know the story - on an epic journey home after fighting in the Trojan War, one of the challenges Ulysses had to overcome was the threat posed by the Sirens, three enchanting women whose singing was known to distract sailors into wrecking their ships on the rocky shore of their island. This myth is also behind the title of choreographer Dominique Porte's latest work, Ulysse, nous et les sirènes.

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Music, Theatre

Coal Choir's Folk Opera Pays Tribute to a Life Not Forgotten

Posted by Amelia / November 25, 2009

2009-1126coalchoir.jpgThe first time I saw the Coal Choir was a rather mysterious experience. The show was at Eastern Bloc, and when it was about to begin the audience was led from the main space along a winding hallway into a small back room, where the members of the choir stood, framed by candlelight, branches, and various found objects. The whole moment was otherworldly. Yesterday, I relived some of that experience when I went to see a rehearsal of Olivia: A Folk Opera, Coal Choir's latest, and last, production.

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Arts, Theatre

Another year, another story ballet from Les Grands Ballets

Posted by Amelia / October 20, 2009

20091020r+j.jpgLes Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal has been on something of a story ballet kick in recent years. But the company isn't doing story ballets the way you would expect - with lavish productions of Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, or Giselle. Instead, Les Grands is filling their repertoire with avant-garde re-imaginings of classic tales. First, in 2001, there was Kim Brandstrup's The Queen of Spades. In 2003 the company commissioned Belgian choreographer Stijn Celis to create a new version of Cinderella for its dancers. In 2004 they staged Jean-Christophe Maillot's Romeo and Juliet, and the next year came Kader Belarbi's La Bête et la Belle. Maillot's R & J was restaged in 2006, and is being performed again this year throughout October. Which doesn't necessarily surprise me, but it is, at least for me, disappointing.

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