Saturday, 31 January 2015

Viet Cong + Crosss + Un Blonde

Show: Viet Cong + Crosss + Un Blonde
Venue: Bar Le "Ritz" P.D.B.
Date: Friday, January 30, 2015

I'll barely be talking about Viet Cong here even though I enjoyed their show. I'd prefer put the emphasis on a lesser known band : Un Blonde. Wasn't aware of them before seeing the group perform at the Ritz on that cold January night. Now I guess I'm a fan.

I always like to stumble on new music hence I do my best at arriving early. Friday was a day like any other day. Worked hard from 9 to 5. Took a nap and managed to get there on time or almost. The show was sold out. Someone looking for a ticket was freezing his ass by the door. Devoted fan indeed. Once inside I join my friend VC. A photographer among other things. Works for a music website. She brought her camera so I knew I wasn't going to see her much that evening. Drank a few beers with her but later joined other friends at the back of the venue.

Un Blonde. I never heard anything like it. Sometimes there's rhythm in the music, sometimes it's chaotic. Many different sounds but I don't remember seeing that many instruments on stage. There's also some soul in the way he sings. It's beautiful. If you go on Bandcamp you'll hear a more experimental side of his music. This is what is said about Sense of Self, the October album: "songs recorded in a couple of days at the kitchen counter, using what was around." I bought a tape and approached Jean-Sebastien Audet at the bar. Just told him I liked the show then left with my beer. Didn't want to make him more uncomfortable than he already was.

Here he is singing solo for Easter Eggs.

Viet Cong. At the back of the venue with my old colleagues from the Voir newspaper. Don't have a clear view of the band but I do have a clear view of a guy in a tight white T softly moshing into his neighbours. He drank his beer with so much eagerness it trickled down his face and neck.

Viet Cong's last song was a test for me. It was long and a bit repetitive just when I would need to leave and catch the last metro. Hesitated. Asked VT (friend from Journal Voir) what she was planning on doing to get back home. Tells me they are all going next door to Brasserie Harricana. I join them.

Having a good time. Viet Cong in the background.

I love that bar. If ever you go, bring a pen to the restrooms. The walls are full of talking bubbles for you to write on. Enjoyed discussing music with one of my favorite music journalist from La Presse. Wonderwall was blasting on the speakers and many of us in the room were singing along to it. Left as the place was closing. 2 am. Took a cab home and was woken up early the next morning by those damn tow trucks. Winter in Montreal.

Illustration I did for the newspaper edition.

Saturday, 17 January 2015


Show: Chocolat + Choses Sauvages + Dear Denizen. Levée de son #2.
Venue: Divan Orange
Date: Friday, January 16th, 2015

photo Gaston Gaspard

« Je te souhaite de comprendre comment vivre en relation »
This is what I have been told. I guess I'm clueless when it comes to relationships.

This week was an exhausting week. My first week working for Le Devoir and, unlike the journal Voir (my previous employer), there is much to do. Also am in training therefore many things to absorb. Had my first 3pm to 11pm evening shift Friday. Arrived late at the Divan Orange. Came through the door right before Chocolat started playing.

A quick recap is due for those of you who don't know the problems the Divan Orange is dealing with these days. This venue is a great place for music. Many good bands have played there but unfortunately some problems have surfaced lately in regards to how much sound it generates. I believe it has been given many fines already due to that problem (a unhappy neighbour).  The concert was to raise money for a new sound system and for better sound isolation.
More info here: levée de son

I arrive there around 11:30pm a bit worn out from my day at work. My boyfriend MB is already there with my friends J and MT. J warned me earlier she had no intentions of being close to the stage. And indeed they were sitting by the window near the exit. Usually near the stage is where you would want to be for a better experience. That day though, had no inclination in standing in a crowd.

Chocolat started playing and as always they are great. With some of their songs there's an old 50's feel only there's added distortion (those are the ones I prefer). The guitarist Emmanuel Ethier is excellent of course and Jimmy Hunt's voice is full of emotions. But hey! That's just me. Suis-je dans le champ?

Everything was hunky-dory until late that evening when my boyfriend and I got into a disagreement for something I said. He was caressing my hair and I uttered something awful. His reaction was just as bad. The relationship ended that night. He left mentioning those words: I wish for you that someday you will understand how to live in a relationship. J and MT had no idea what was going on. The break up was done quickly and both of them had eaten stoner cookies.

photo Gaston Gaspard

Illustration I did for the newspaper edition

Friday, 2 January 2015

Father John Misty

Show: Father John Misty
Venue: Cabaret du Mile-End, Montreal
Date: Friday, October 26, 2012

There have been many firsts and lasts with Father John Misty. That evening was one of the last time I saw O, a friend of mine I've known since I was in my late teens.

We were celebrating C's birthday at l'Anecdote on St-Hubert and Rachel street. A big bunch we were. One of the last warm days before the advent of fall. Was planning on going to the Cabaret to see Papa Misty alone. After a few beers though, convinced O and J to come along with me. O and J have known each other for even longer, since high school.

From left to right. C, O and I at a club in Montreal.
Papa Misty was great. He never sang off key even though he drank from his whisky bottle regularly. His musicians were also excellent. Had an eye for the guitar player which unfortunately I can't name by lack of memory. Right up front were quite a few women dancing along to his music. I guess Papa Misty didn't appreciate it that much because at some point he complained that all the good looking women were in the back while the ugly ones were dancing in front of him. Ouch! Had previously read an article explaining his love of shrooms in preparation for a performance. Don't know if it's true but in this case it did look like he was high on something. Kept caressing himself. How I'm detailing this makes it sound like a really awful show but all in all I loved it. His songs are simply too good. How can you not appreciate Father John Misty?

He talked a bit about Montreal. How Montrealers didn't care if you were a famous musician or not. True maybe. He mentioned reading Sylvie Simmons' biography of Leonard Cohen and that it just made him love the city even more.

We stayed a bit after the show. Ran into a work colleague who introduced me to Father John Misty's music in the first place. Always liked his taste in music.

Bought my first vinyl before leaving. Hadn't had a turntable since my teen years. Happy "Fear Fun" is my first because it's got to be one of my fave. I like everything Sub Pop releases actually.

My favorite song from Fear Fun

Once outside, J heads home. She lives in Villeray which is north of where we're at. O and I both live on the Plateau. We take a cab home and that's about the last time O and I talk to each other. There was no fight and I did see him a few times the following years but not for long and it just didn't feel the same. He has a girlfriend now and I think he loves her very much. He also has a bunch of new friends. J is slowly getting used to the fact that she's not seeing him anymore. We often joke that we're not cool enough for him.

But I guess sometimes friends just part ways.

Illustration I did for the newspaper edition