Friday, 31 July 2015

Seoul⎜Diana⎜Un Blonde

Show: Seoul + Diana + Un Blonde
Venue: Théâtre Fairmount, Montreal
Date: Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Arrived there too early, nothing new. I should've learned my lesson by now. Came to see Un Blonde which was scheduled to play at 9pm. When they do set foot on stage, around 9:30pm, my friend V is nowhere to be seen or heard. I get concerned. I figure she fell asleep in bed or got kidnapped by a bad dude. Turns out I was wrong. She arrives alive and well 15 minutes later. Gotta learn to chill man (her words).

Un Blonde is great. On some songs you think there's no rhythm but oops! You've been fooled. It's there. You just have to be patient. The music is experimental but accessible. I don't know how Jean-Sebastien Audet does it. I think he might be a perfectionist.

Only one problem though. He's quite theatrical. Being over-dramatic on stage might turn people off. Still it's quite a show to watch.

Un Blonde

The second set is ok. Actually there's nothing wrong. Diana is good. Only 80's pop music just doesn't do it to me anymore. I like it raw.

The singer has good stage presence. She looks uncomfortable but also saying f**k you with her body language. Good control on her voice. There was a saxophone. V has aversions to those (with some exceptions). Ça "scrap un peu la patente" she says.

As Seoul steps on stage, am completely exhausted and have a hard time paying attention to the performance. Sorry guys. All I can say is that their ultra clear special edition vinyl is quite a beauty. Never seen a vinyl that transparent. Buy it if you are at all interested in that kind of stuff.

Walked back home, bought a Red Bull in order to stay awake and write this post. Usually I wake early in the morning to write. Wanted to try something different. Didn't work though. Still fell asleep.

Ok. By. I've got to get to work. Bills to pay you know.

Walking back home.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Django Django⎜Vesuvio Solo

Show: Django Django + Vesuvio Solo
Venue: Le National, Montreal
Date: Sunday, July 26th, 2015

First set started early, 8pm. Arrived on time. Shouldn't have. Wasn't really impressed with Vesuvio Solo. Am being nice because was actually suffering watching them play. Couldn't chat with my friend, she hadn't planned on arriving until 9pm.

Why didn't I enjoy the first set? It's not my type of music. Not their fault. I love pop music when something new is brought to the mix. Not the case this time.

The connection with the crowd was missing. Wonder if they were enjoying it. Having said that, the singer's pitch was good.

Won't add anything more since after a couple of songs I left Le National for le Cheval Blanc. A bar a few blocs away from the venue. The bartenders are cute. Chatted with a stranger at the bar. Stéphane "Sex au Bureau" as his friend named him. Didn't ask any further details about that.

I find V back at Le National for the main set. Wary at first since I don't know anything about Django Django and they had an image of a large naked man full of muscles in the background. Took me only 5 minutes to start dancing to the beat of the music. They're good.

Django Django

Actually they're wiz kids with instruments. The drummer even starts playing with a cardboard box. It sounds amazing. V told me she previously saw them at the Petit Campus. A heck of a party apparently. At Le National the crowd is just as alive. Good crowds change everything. Vincent Neff, the singer, asked us to sit down, we sat down. He asked us to wave our hands left and right, we waved our hands left and right. Not all musicians have that power. Reminds me of when Connan Mockasin proposed we remove our shirts. (The rest is history).

Waving hands

Unfortunately the show ended at 10:30pm with only one encore.
Kind of short guys.


Saturday, 25 July 2015

Crosss | New Fries | Phern

Show: Crosss + New Fries + Phern
Venue: Bar le Ritz PDB
Date: Friday July, 24th, 2015

Of course I was exhausted that evening. Nothing new. Am bothered more easily when in need of sleep. Was riding the metro and a large guy stood directly in front of me. His sweaty back to my face with barely any space in between. I was bothered. Decided it would be smart of me to purchase some coffee once outside. Arrive there around 9:30pm ish. The crowd consists of a dozen people and Phern is doing the sound check. It happens.

photo: Véronique Côté

They start. They are the reason I'm there. Not that I don't like Crosss but I've seen them twice already. Don't know anything about New Fries. My friend V and I both agree, Phern is good. I've previously mentioned I don't like pitchiness, but sometimes it adds to the music. What is the Velvet Underground without that out of pitch sound right? It worked in this case. I would describe their sound as uncomfortable nonchalant pop music. In a good way.

Next is New Fries. A band from Toronto. Where Phern gives us a good discomfort with pitchiness, New Fries gives us some good discomfort with changing beats.

The singer Anni Spadafora exudes coolness and the bass played by Tim Fagan adds something interesting to the mix. At some point the drummer Jenny Gitman let out a scream. The band understood what was going on. They looked at her, started over.

Drummer Jenny Gitman
photo: Véronique Côté

By the end of the set, Anni Spadafora had decided to continuously play one note on her guitar. Lost interest then. Tim Fagan whispered something in Jenny Gitman's ear. Everything changed. The drummer concluded the song. The set was over.

Singer+guitarist Anni Spadafora
photo: Véronique Côté

The final set. Crosss. The music is odd. To be more precise, I find that the singer Andy March emanates, with his voice, the weirdness inside him. The drummer Kris Bowering plays as if he's angry, gets it all out through his instrument. The bass player had some problem with the wires. Took a few minutes before Andy March resolved the problem. From then on (should I say this?), it looked like she was making love to her bass.

Drummer Kris Bowering
photo: Véronique Côté

The show ended. Most were leaving. V and I talked nonsense while she drank her last beer. Kept telling me I was high maintenance. I don't get it. I think she might be kidding. We buy merch. I would've loved something from Phern but you don't always get what you want. V bought the most beautiful Crosss t-shirt and their vinyl which, apparently, is hard to find. The cover of that vinyl is quite gorgeous.

Cover done by Drew Taylor

I walk back home eager to wake up the next morning and write this post. I haven't written on my blog in two weeks. I feel a bit rusted through. I realize now, life is not great without it. See you at the next event.

xx China

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Metz at the Piccolo Rialto

Show: Metz + USA out of Vietnam + Night Squirts
Venue: Piccolo Rialto
Date: Friday, July 10th, 2015


This is another post where I'll include snippets of my life. If this bothers you, don't read it. Metz is unapologetic, I'll be unapologetic too.

Had a tinder date after my 3pm to 11pm shift on Wednesday. Left after one beer. "Well that's that" I told him as I was drinking my last sip. The date was awful. Walked home and cancelled my tinder account. The guy was condescending and looked nothing like he did on his pictures. Told me my blog was photographs and drawings only. Well fuck it. If that's what it is.

Moved around non stop the last few days. Thursday: 3pm to 11pm shift. Friday: 10am to 6pm shift then supper and 30 minute nap before working on my front porch. Had decided to use the most resistant paint out there, also the most toxic. Finished around 9:30pm. Arrive home and realize I have an allergic reaction. Red spots on skin. Take a shower to wash off any paint residue. Had I been wise, I would've gone to bed. But hey... Am not.

At the Piccolo maybe 20 minutes before the main act. Not in time for the two previous bands. It's unfortunate. Enjoy opening acts. Buy the Metz poster. Not signed or numbered. Find the artist. Ask him to sign it. Turns out he made only 50 copies and had intended to have them numbered. He simply forgot. I like my posters at least signed.

Designed by Arnopeople. White on black.

Had planned on getting shit-faced that evening. Stopped after three beers. Listening to Metz was plenty enough to have a good time.

When someone asks me what type of music I like. This is not it. If you ask me what bands I like, this is it. So raw. Minimal to no melodies. Uncompromising. You just want to scream with them. Loved how the rhythm on drums changed constantly. Loved the steadfast vocals. Exactly what I needed.

Walked back home with a smile on my face and weight off my shoulders. Thank you Metz.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Pokey Lafarge au Club Soda

Show: Pokey Lafarge
Venue: Club Soda, Mtl
Date: Saturday, July 4th, 2015

Didn't expect to be at the Club Soda on that 4th of July. Had wanted to attend but knew I needed to cut my expenses. Turns out my boss had bought a pair of tickets he couldn't use, gave them to me. We both have something in common, my boss and I, we'll remember forever last year's Pokey Lafarge's performance at the Petit Campus. The magical Petit Campus.

Had the brilliant idea to go to the public library before attending the show. A backpack full of Billy Collins poem's. A bit cumbersome I tell you. My friend C who reminded me that it has been four years since she's been at a concert, texted me earlier in the afternoon to ask me what would be the room temperature. I've never been asked that and didn't know what to answer. Told her I like to be in the first rows for the full experience. It unnerved her a bit. Reminded her she wasn't tall and that being in the first rows of a Pokey Lafarge concert is not the same experience as being in a rock concert. Don't worry, you'll enjoy it C.

Listening to an album and watching a live performance are two different experiences, especially when it comes to Mr Lafarge. You don't know his music until you've seen him and his band perform live. The solos during the live performances are electrifying. And Pokey welcomes you to this experience. He has indeed a great connection with the crowd. Can't help myself but to post the Petit Campus live performance again (did so on a previous post for

Of course there was no walk in the crowd at the Club Soda. The venue, although great, is not the Petit Campus. Hesitated last year to buy a M Ward ticket at the Corona until learning of the event being moved to the Petit Campus. Jeez was I excited to watch him perform there!

OK. Back to Pokey. A great performance (in spite of the size of the venue). The harmonicist Ryan Koenig is excellent of course and C made a sex joke of course. We were standing next to Adam Hoskins the guitar player that evening. Never really payed him much attention before. He's got great skills. It's a tough thing I think to play solos with a gypsy swing guitar. Especially when playing among musicians with imposing instruments. The guitar isn't loud. He had fun though and is indeed very talented (like all the other members of the band). Even did the duckwalk. Don't have any photographs of the band regrettably. Felt so uncomfortable taking pictures, I kept it to the minimum. In fact, with one exception, nobody in the first rows had their camera out.

In spite of the crowd having a blast, it was coming to an end. At some point, as Pokey Lafarge was whispering the lyrics to "Something in the Water", you could here them tapping the feet on the floor. This song, he told us, might as well have been about Montreal women. There was only one encore that evening. Milk & Bone were booked later that night at the same venue. Nothing could be done to change that. My friends had bought tickets for Milk & Bone, was suppose to join them but thought Pokey Lafarge was the perfect way to end the day. Or almost. Decided to stop at McKibbins for some sweet potato fries and a cup of joe.

On the walk back home.