June, thanks in part to the Suoni per il Popolo month-long experimental+etc music festival, and in part to, oh, life, has been a busy and, I'm not too proud to admit, rough month for me. So yesterday night, as I sat surrounded by stacks of books and photocopied research materials and trying to distill information from pdf files, attempting to fill in the giant blanks in my thesis chapter due today, I decided to make things rougher. I decided to go with my gut and go see Simply Saucer. Damn the consequences, damn the accidental caffeine overload, damn the first all-nighter I've pulled in years! Stuff got done.
And why not have it all? It feels pretty good, but maybe that's the euphoria of sleep deprivation talking. Luckily I mapped out my review of last night's show last night.Though I can't promise there won't be some crazy talk here.
I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point I got the hippie out of me.
Oh but sure, now I call those hippie tendencies by different names: "yoga," "yogurt," "yo... g..." uh.. i don't know, i think I've exhausted all the "yog" words. And that "joke." But I would never unfairly judge or stereotype the so-called "hippie" - I mean, I grew up on the west coast, and from a very young age I went to peace marches across the Burrard Street bridge and I put feathered roach clips in my hair thinking they were barrettes. I know where all the planets are in my horoscope, I own incense, I even have long hair these days, and apparently play music that suits the ears of the more w33ded among us. I tune in to the universe. But have I ever been inclined to go anywhere near a Phish show? Do devil sticks and hacky sacks annoy me even from a distance? Do I avoid Mt Royal on Sunday afternoons? These are all sentiments I did not choose; they just are.
But things change, sometimes. As when I chose to go to yesterday's show at Sala Rossa (part of the month-long Suoni per il popolo festival), knowing Hamid Drake was great and having very basic Akron/Family knowledge that found me intrigued and hopeful. I was certainly not thinking about hippie sensibilities or anything.
Hauschka (w/Semiconductor), Colleen, Mark Templeton & aAron Munson @ Ex-Centris (with video footage after the jump)
Mutek this year is a little different, somehow. Maybe the main difference is that its headquarters are in the Hotel Godin - the refurbished classic building on the corner of St. Laurent and Sherbrooke. I have long been skeptical of this place for no reason in particular but probably mostly because it doesn't exactly scream "fun", e.g., it is so beige and grey, why is it so beige and grey? But so I thought that maybe with the hosting of a music festival, a super hip niche electronique international festival for that matter, that perhaps this hotel knows a thing or two.
I will tell you that it knows a thing or two about the word "sedate." Though free performances ran all afternoon Wednesday and Thursday, and also today until 7pm, the whole thing felt quiet and tucked away out of site. The positive side: these showcases featured a huge list of Canadian artists and a big stage and pretty decent sound. Maybe the dreary weather is to blame? I couldn't be there to witness every performance though, so my perception is obviously flawed here.
However, I do know that the showcase I saw last night was perception altering.
Montreal's Unofficial Recycling Program Meets Robyn's Old TV Set
Here's an interesting fact about Montreal: If you put household stuff or any stuff really on the street/sidewalk/alley, it will disappear fairly quickly. Old chairs? Yes. Tables? For sure, all kinds. Clothes? Yeah, sometimes even them. Mattresses? Okay, no, those will probably just hang out and wait for that special "large household items" garbage day. I mean, they're probably fine, but that's a risk people don't seem into taking. While this may seem like a rule-less city-wide game of trash or treasure, it does have some standards.
Whoo! Academic Conferences! Get your learn on! But this is more, this is a Symposium. I am into this. I am into Logocities, a research/creation project addressing signage, branding and lettering in public space, with a particular focus on the city of Montréal. Check out the full program.
It is art + culture + academia + multi-media entertainment + intellectualizing the shit outta things. + probably some free booze and food too. Let me stress though that intellectual does not mean boring - thinking is fun! I was doing it the other day and whoo head rush. This is about Making Connections between things that need to be connected so that we can better understand this crazy world.
Conference/Project organizer Matt Soar, of Concordia's Communications Department, explains it all better than I can and uses the exciting new technology of "video"/moving pictures.
Also exciting, and how such a thing got to be "exciting" is interesting in itself, is the Quebec premier of Helvetica on Saturday, May 5 at 7:30pm. Our
Toronto blog friendz already caught that wave with their fancy film fest programming, but this'll be a party, I mean, never underestimate the excitement of Montrealers + free (I mean, BY DONATION) films. Probably best to get there a bit early, if only to soak up the vitamin-rich nerdly buzz that will fill H-110 of Concordia's Hall Building.
Image from Grant Collins' City Stars
CKUT Funding Drive + Dance Party Kick-Off 2007!
You know that joke about having a "face for radio"? Well, I've spent some time in the halls and nooks and cave-like crannies of the CKUT building on the McGill campus and I can attest to witnessing great overloads of cuteness. Maybe I just find community-minded democracy-in-action-not-just-theory hot. Maybe it's because, just like CKUT's programming, there's something for everyone? I am taking this too far. Because yeah, while I dig the sights, CKUT is truly all about the sounds! The hot hot sounds.
Seriously, they're calling this year's funding drive Good Vibrations. I do not see how one can go wrong here.