Hosted by Catlin Spencer
Storied by Catlin Spencer, Marilla Steuter-Martin & Patricia Petit Liang
Produced by Patricia Petit Liang
Hosted by Catlin Spencer
Storied by Catlin Spencer, Marilla Steuter-Martin & Patricia Petit Liang
Produced by Patricia Petit Liang
To say that the first month of 2015 has been a little rough for Prince Palu would be an understatement. Having his car broken into, with the bandits running off with his beloved iPod and his daughter's car seat (WTF!?), combined with his ever growing contempt for the frigid temperatures and the lack of good snowman-making snow, all culminated in an epic case of the January blahs. Luckily for him this first month has also seen the return of three comic icons to Canadian television - The Kids in the Hall's Bruce McCulloch in "Young Drunk Punk" and SCTV legends Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy in "Schitt's Creek". In addition to that, the January blahs have never gotten the better of our fair city's ability to deliver great live music. So say goodbye to the January blahs with some hilarious new TV shows and these amazing live music options.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
There is going to be an independent rock 'n' roll explosion tonight at Casa del Popolo (4873 St-Laurent) when the triple bill of Ohara, Child Actor, and DirtyOrgans commandeer the stage and whip the crowd into a frenzy. Ok, maybe that is slightly overstating it a bit, but I am just so happy that January is almost done and that Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara are back on the CBC. However, it is not overstating that this show will be a great night for music lovers. Incorporating folk and pop elements into her upbeat brand of indie rock, Ohara (one third of the fabulous local band Nancy Pants) will be the perfect balancing spice for the sombre dream pop songs of Child Actor and the eerie post-punk electronic experimentation of Toronto's DirtyOrgans. The combination of all three is sure to warm your frozen bits and make it so worth you going out into the cold, cold night. It is going to be total nancy pants!
Friday, January 30, 2015
One of the big ticket shows this week is already sold out, so if you were hoping to see Viet Cong, Crosss, and Unblonde at Bar "Le Ritz" PDB (179 Jean Talon W.), but didn't heed Oncle Ian's warnings to buy your ticket early, then you are S.O.L. my friend. Next time listen to Ian, he mostly knows what he is talking about.
Another great show that you could try and get into, but it will probably sell out too, is the album launch of Bud Rice at Le Divan Orange (4234 St-Laurent). His debut album, Belfast, is getting so much buzz that this might be your last chance to see him in such an intimate setting. Blending folk, soul and rock, the NDG raised Rice is drawing comparisons to another singer with ties to Belfast, the one and only Van Morrison, but this is no copycat situation. Rice adds enough other ingredients to make it his own, while still staying true to so many of the styles that he tackles. You know what I mean? He ain't re-inventing the wheel, but it is so good that it doesn't matter, and when it comes to music that is all that matters, right? $10 at the door or $15 with a copy of the album. Show starts at 9:30 sharp.
Looking for something a little weirder and/or noisier? Then maybe you'd want to head over to Quai des Brumes (4481 St-Denis) and check out the the space punk of Alparchie, the strange ambient pop of Fet.Nat, and the experimental post-punk brilliance of Crabe.
This Friday is also the kickoff for the 14th edition of Buckfest - 30 nights, 100 bands - happening all throughout the month of February at L'Escogriffe (4467 St-Denis). The link above gives you all the dates and bands.
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Montreal's feminist/queer party throwers Slut Island cordially invite you to their night of "overwhelming bad assery" with "your wildest dream punk bands" at La Vitrola (4602 St-Laurent). It will be a super-charged quadruple bill consisting of Providence, Rhode Island's Downtown Boys, Vibewrecker, Pretty Boys, and Oops, who are "too massive for the interwebz." Be ready for it to get loud, sweaty and sexy.
Up the street at Casa del Popolo is the first show of 2015 for Montreal's Archery Guild, who have been busy in recent months working and creating in all their side projects. For this evening they promise a slew of new songs and added musical textures to their revamped sound. Joining in the fun will be the tingling pop psychedelia of Slight and the weird pop of the punk-jazz trio Feefawfum.
Sunday, February 1, 2015
I'm not sure if it is the recent SCTV and The Kids in the Hall YouTube fixation that I have been going through as a result of the return of Levy, O'Hara, and McCulloch to CBC and City TV, respectively, but I feel that I should let you know about some of the sketch comedy that is happening live around Montreal. Over at Theatre Sainte Catherine (264 Ste-Catherine E.) you can find one of the longest running free improv workshops with the Sunday Night Improv event. From 5:00 - 7:00 is the workshop, open to everyone, and then at 8:00 some of the workshop participants will be chosen to put on a show with a group of the Montreal improv veterans. Based on audience voting it becomes a comedy elimination program until only one performer is left standing. And that performer could be you! Or you could just go to be part of the audience and live out all those Caesar at the gladiators fantasies you've had.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Has it really been 15 years since The New Pornographers released Mass Romantic? Wow, how time flies! While they have been pretty regular with releasing another five albums since that brilliant debut, it must be getting harder for them to get everyone together to hit the road, what with them all having other bands and projects. That is what makes this chance to see them at Théâtre Corona (2490 Notre-Dame W.) that much more important. To be honest, I'm not even sure who all is touring behind their latest album, Brill Bruisers, but I am sure that whoever hits the stage Wednesday night, they are gonna know what they're doing. Yes the $32 ticket is a little bit steep, but not ridiculous when you consider that is about the same as you'd pay for a few pints at most of the pubs down in St-Henri now. At least here you get to see one of the finest pop bands this country has ever produced. Throw in Dan Boeckner's new band Operators and the price becomes worth every penny.
If you are in the need of a more economically friendly show there is another option for this hump day. As part of Buckfest 14, Analogue Addiction present a great night of rock 'n' roll down at L'Esco with Mikey Heppner's latest band, Beat Cops, headlining a night that also includes the one-man-band psychedelic garage wizard Paul Jacobs and the shambolic garage rock of Pale Lips. Three great bands for the price of $5! Doors at 8:00.
--Prince Palu hosts The Go-Go Radio Magic Show, every Friday night from 6 to 8 PM. Tune in. Turn on. Freak OUT! Only on CJLO.
Hosted by: Sam Obrand
Stories by: Tom Matukala, Emeline Vidal, Julian McKenzie
Produced by: Emeline Vidal
Michael Mann’s Blackhat opens with a heavily computer generated map of the internal workings of a city nuclear power plant. Shifting perspectives, rushing along power lines and electrical circuits we are thrust into a complex interior system. As we rush into the final moments of the sequence, the lines finally run a blood red before exploding: this sets the scene for an international hacker thriller in which technology becomes a mirror for the human body as well as society itself.The incredible digital landscape of the opening sequence soars like the Beyond the Infinite sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey - but tactile, mechanical and fragile. The bulk of the film is about the partnership of America and China as they join together in the hopes of apprehending a sophisticated cyber terrorist. The operation hinges on convicted felon, Nick (Chris Hemsworth), working with former classmate Chen Dawai (Leehom Wang) as they use their sneaky hacker skills to find the mastermind behind an international plot. Along for the ride is the impossibly bright and beautiful Chen Lien (Wei Tang), Dawai’s sister and love interest for Nick.
Character and theme take almost all precedence in Blackhat over narrative cohesiveness and even technical proficiencies. While somewhat reflective of the convoluted nature of cyber warfare, this inevitably leads to some confusion and occasional bouts of tedium. Running at over 2 hours long, the runtime does not always feel justified. We are supposed to trust that the characters are experts in their field, it does not really matter whether you understand what exactly is happening or why - because they do. This leap of faith is a gamble that allows Mann to cut down on exposition, which I suppose is something we should be thankful for (I’m not sure if more exposition could have even lead to much more clarity, as the ins and outs of regulations, computer jargon and fields of command seem inherently complex, to oversimplify them would negate the entire premise of the film). In a similar breath, the film suffers in terms of sound design and sound editing, along with certain shots and sequences appearing to be unfinished or raw.
That being said, as a study in paranoia, technology and masculinity there is a lot of good to say about Blackhat. The film heralds Mann-esque masculine ideals whose heroes are committed to loyalty, goodness and intelligence. The film itself tries to refute the concept of moral relativism, suggesting that when the ideals of right and wrong are compromised, so are freedoms of the people. In spite of the fact Nick was in prison on an extended sentence, he was willing to do that time on his own terms, and similarly will be allowed to be set free if he helps catch an international terrorist: his actions hold consequences. However, as the film invokes the terrorists attacks of September 11th, they show that American powers have used the premise of “doing good” in order to remove liberties and establish a non-transparent state of surveillance. While the NSA is not the main villain of the film, but they are certainly not fighting for justice; they certainly are not held responsible for any of their morally dubious actions.
This theme of surveillance running through the film creates a sincere sense of paranoia. Much in the vein of French New Wave allusions, as we are introduced to Nick in his prison cell he is reading Michel Foucault who pioneered the idea of panopticism. Foucault discusses the idea that when you think or know you are being watched, you are more likely to obey. This anonymous power forces you into submission, and ultimately, breeds apathy. As a running theme, we see how this ideology has compromised the safety and rights of the citizens of the world in favour of those who hold power and money. This becomes especially tricky in a world where money itself becomes digitized, and on more than one occasion the villain is confronted with the idea the numeric count in his bank account is treated like a high score on a video game - even at the expense of human life. Even money is abstract, removed from its tangibility.
This transcendence of “tangibility” is played out in many different ways in the film, from Nick’s pseudonym “ghostman” to the painful abstraction of human lives being sacrificed en masse to suit individual and corporate greed. While setting a large majority of the film in Asia feels, on occasion, like a tourist venture it similarly evokes a dissonance that North Americans feel towards the rest of the world. As Nick fights to save the countless lives of Malaysians being metaphorically lined up for the slaughter in favor of a stock market jump, there is an aching thought at the back of your mind that should the villain succeed, few of us in the Western world would even bat an eye.
Sex and intimacy is presented as an opposing force to this abstraction, and few filmmakers are able to portray it as poetically as Mann. The initial scenes in which Nick and Chen Lien spend in private conversation is composed so that while they are having speaking without looking at each other. Every once in a while, they will glance to the other, though their eyes will rarely meet. This is followed up by more scenes of watching and fragmentation, as we assume Nick’s point of view as he watched Chen Lien, first looking at the nape of her neck, then her arm, her lips… it display curiosity, but is also reflective of a sort of beautiful functionality in the human form. Nick sees the world as a circulatory system, and technology, machines and the human body are intimately connected. In looking at the human body in this way, he is able to see it as a cohesive whole but also as individual parts, that each have their own purpose and function. Eyes are similarly very important, and in the film’s sex scenes become the central images. The mantra of Chen Lien throughout the film is “open your eyes”, because while we may be looking we are not necessarily seeing. This fragmentation of the human form seems connected with how the idea of the body itself is transformed through technology, whether through analog footage (as in surveillance tape) or else the way that meta-data informs conclusions about your behavior, preferences and identity.
Overall, Blackhat is an experience reserved for huge Michael Mann fans and is likely better experienced at home on a tv than at the cinema. While the film offers a lot of thematic sophistication and some powerful action sequences, a lot of the film leaves much to be desired. The cast does wonders considering, with the supporting characters especially contribute to a more expansive range of emotions.Viola Davis in particular shines, offering many layers of humour, emotion and justice to the film.
Hosted by Saturn De Los Angeles
Stories by Tom Matukala, Julia Bryant and Catlin Spencer
Produced by Tom Matukala
On January 18th 2015, Sage A.S.S and Clara P.S embarked on a journey peppered with whips and groans, unveiling the characters of Montreal’s Sex industry. They interviewed a porn star, a BDSM baby, a man who carves penises out of wood and a handful of other interesting people. They left tired, a little bit unsettled, but thoroughly satisfied.
Dive into their journey to Le Salon de l’amour et de la seduction, Quebec’s largest sex and romance consumer show!
Igloofest, Montreal's premiere winter music festival, kicked off its 2015 edition on Friday, January 16th in the Old Port. This wintry outdoor rave has hosted the biggest names in electronic music since 2007, and its popularity has grown so much over the years that Igloofest has since become a leading event in the city of festivals. An extra weekend was added to the fest last year in order to accommodate the tens of thousands of party-goers ready to brave the cold and snow, and this year the regularly scheduled Thursday through Saturday has been bumped to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so we all can take advantage of four full weekends of music and dance!
Welcome to Igloofest
The first weekend of Igloofest began in typical subarctic fashion with temperatures falling to minus 24 degrees Celsius on both Friday and Saturday. This didn't stop festival goers from gathering outside by the Sapporo main stage opening night to enjoy the warm beats of Brazilian producer Gui Boratto, and the dynamic Dutch duo Detroit Swindle. Electronic musician and Montreal legend Fred Everything brought some deep house to the Videotron stage on Friday, and the party continued well into Saturday with Kill Frenzy and J. Phillip from the Los Angeles-based label Dirty Bird Records playing back to back, with Justin Martin closing out the night.
The thermometer slowly began to rise to a slightly-more comfortable minus 15 degrees Celsius on Sunday night, and some light snow greeted SoCal native The Gaslamp Killer on his first visit to Montreal in three years.
The Gaslamp Killer
Sporting his signature fuzzy beard and hair, The Gaslamp Killer set things off with an awe inspiring 90-minute set filled with electronic, hip hop, and even a few punk and psychedelic rock riffs mixed in for good measure.
The set included new tracks from his upcoming album, which were well-received by the crowd. His tremendous performance went by so fast, and left the dance floor primed and ready for Chicago natives Flosstradamus.
Flosstradamus, comprised of DJs J2K and Autobot, have gained much attention for their high-intensity remixes of many hits, most notably 2012's Major Lazer hit "Original Don", a remix that catapulted them into the spotlight, and the duo later signed to Fool's Gold Records. Flosstradamus inherited a pumped up crowd ready for more musical mayhem, to which they were more than happy to oblige with a bass-heavy musical gamut of Juke, trap, and dubstep.
The Flosstradamus boys got the crowd into a footwork frenzy, building momentum with each track. It got so hot on the dance floor that steam started to rise from the dancing fans who formed one big mosh pit at minus 15 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, the same thing was happening with an all Montreal line up on the Videotron stage. Raw Records founders Thomas White and Dear Lola kicked it off with their distinctive fast-paced, bassy sound, and M.Bootyspoon ensured that the momentum would continue. ASL Singles Club co-founder Project Pablo closed out the night with classic RnB and house flavoured beats. A great set by Project Pablo, who visited CJLO back in November and played a live two-hour set on my show AutoBeat.
The Gaslamp Killer in action
Flosstradamus gets the crowd pumping
--DJ MNJIVR hosts AutoBeat every Thursday from 11:59 PM to 2 AM, only on CJLO.
Hosted by Celeste Lee
Stories by: Marilla Steuter-Martin, Milos Kovacevic, Caitlin Spencer
Produced by: Emeline Vidal