a log of cd's purchased + shows attended + other stuff.

this blog is definitely dead.

i haven't bought any music in over a year.

on the other hand, i've finally updated the cd list on this blog.

it's all for now.


shows of 2011

yes, i'm still alive, even though this blog has been dead for a while.

i'll start the update by listing the shows attended during the remainder of 2011.

sept. 21 - [popmontreal] arcade fire @ metropolis

grimes was the opening act:

arcade fire on stage:

i purchased grimes' "halfaxa":

sept. 22 - [popmontreal] arcade fire @ place des festival

kid koala played his set dressed in a koala costume. cute!

karkwa was the other polaris-prize-winning act on the bill.

arcade fire played a free show; a zillion people attended.

sept. 23 - [popmontreal] the planet smashers @ club soda

a ska/punk night! east end radicals, the fundamentals, and the creepshow were the opening acts.

the planet smashers were a lot of fun, as always.

i purchased their "life of the party":

oct. 6 - explosions in the sky @ metropolis

opening act was wye oak:

explosions in the sky:

setlist here.


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a-z challenge: two years later

erm. remember that a-z challenge i started two years ago? it's been a big fail since i'm only at muse "absolution"... at this rate, it'll take me another two years or so to get to zwan.

also, my last blog post was from october 2011. i haven't bought much music or gone to shows since then. it makes me sad to think that i've become old and tired of music...

nostalgia: i am going through my year-end playlists, re-discovering stuff i found exciting over the years: 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

maybe i'll try to catch up on my blogging, at some point.



fucked up

while i was at the store to get unexpect's "in the flesh aquarium", i also got fucked up's "the chemistry of common life". this was about a month ago, when i knew they'd be playing during popmontreal. i thought i should check out their polaris prize-winning album rather than the new one. also, it was on special for $10.

when i paid for it, the cashier remarked that this album is better than the new one. i replied that i didn't know their music too well, that i was checking them out before their popmontreal show. the cashier told me that no joy was opening for them, a band i'd never heard about. he described them as "sound[ing] like sonic youth. a bit too much..."

in the end, fucked up played their show at 1:30am, which was too late (early?) for me, on a school night. the reviews were pretty positive, so i'm disappointed to have missed that.


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when i see artists/bands that i don't know in the new releases section at hmv, i try to guess what genre it belongs to, judging from the album/artist name, the cover art, the record label. a few weeks ago, i saw a release with this cover art:

with no artist/album title on the cover, i guessed that it was some kind of indie rock. it turned out to be an album called "fables of the sleepless empire" by a band called unexpect. i looked for some label information, but there was none; ah, a self-release, this band must be *really* indie. it did have the factor logo, so it had to be canadian. i looked at the track listing. songs were on average about 6-7 minutes. i then guessed that maybe this was a post-rock band.

finally, i saw it at the listening station, in the punk/metal section. seems like my guesses were all wrong. i listened to the beginning of the first track. it sounded like symphonic metal. i skipped to the second track. i realized that the female vocals remind me a bit of the birthday massacre and johnny hollow, in that gothic kind of way.

at that moment, an interesting song was playing in the store; it sounded like a metal band with a string section. i asked the cashier what the songs was, and she told me it was off the new unexpect album. she added that they are a 7-piece local band. ah cool. anyway, it was enough to convince me to get the album.

the cashier recommended me their previous album, "in a flesh aquarium", which is a favourite of hers. she said that she likes it because of the circus sounds. that piqued my curiosity. rather than buy it right away, i listened to some songs i found online first. i agree with the cashier, in that "in a flesh aquarium" is pretty good. i ended up returning to the store a few days later to get it.

the music is mostly metal, kind of prog at times. i am not the biggest fan of metal (nor prog either), but unexpect add such an eclectic mix of other sounds that it makes the music very interesting. i don't even mind the typical (male) metal growls that much since they alternate with the (female) ethereal vocals. i really enjoy the touches of piano and violin. i think i hear a tango beat in there somewhere too.


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avenue mont-royal

on labour day weekend, i went to quebec city to attend a wedding. i came back on a sunday, and my brother still had the rental car, so i asked him to randomly drop me off on avenue mont-royal. it turned out they were having their sidewalk sale. yay, i love browsing through street sales, not knowing if i might find some good bargains on unexpected items. and a street sale on avenue mont-royal means i browse through all the second-hand cd shops.

the first kiosk i visited was actually from a pawn shop. they had a table with boxes of cd's, selling at $1 each. they were nice enough to place them spine-side up, so i could just read, without having to flip through the boxes. it was mostly stuff i've never heard of, or crappy pop fluff from the past (i.e. one-hit wonders and the like).

but i did find a shrink-wrapped copy of exterio's "l'album monstre 1ère partie: le complot". i vaguely knew that there were a local punk/rock band. eh, at $1, i don't mind getting the cd just to check it out. (it turns out they're the guys who sang "whippet". the lyrics are hilarious.)

then, at marché du disque, i browsed through more boxes on the street. i found anik jean's "trashy saloon". i don't know much about her music, but i do remember liking her version of jean leloup's "je suis partie".

about two years ago, i borrowed a compilation, "le pop en duo" from the library, and loved it. but i couldn't find it at the usual music shops. i did find it online, but from foreign webstores, and the currency exchange rate with shipping fees made it too expensive. what a pleasant discovery, when i found it at marché du disque for $5! and tax-free, since it was during the street sale period.



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i saw the movie "inception" when it was released in the cinemas, about a year ago. i really enjoyed it. the plot was novel and the special effect were well done; i was so focused on the visuals of the movie that i didn't pay much attention to the music.

until a couple of weeks ago, when i came across this time-lapse video, and i realized how beautiful this piece of music is. [aside: the video is wonderfully shot and edited. i liked spotting out scenes from my hometown.]

hmv megastore are having a back-to-school sale. i found the "inception" soundtrack for $10.

my favourite track is the closer.

hans zimmer - time


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french covers

a while ago, i saw this new release at hmv megastore, "tels alain bashung", a compilation of cover songs. i wasn't at all familiar with the late artist's material, but from the track listing, i recognized a few names from la nouvelle scène française, such as gaëtan roussel, m, keren ann, vanessa paradis, bb brunes. after listening a few tracks, i liked the compilation enough to get it.

i got a chance to check out the original versions of the songs as well. and i must admit, bashung's songs sound a little, um, "dated" to me. i much prefer these modern reworkings. keren ann's is probably my favourite.

keren ann - je fume pour oublier que tu bois

compare with the original.

the québec edition includes two additional tracks, by yann perreau and ariane moffatt. their versions are kind of disappointing.

while at the store, i dug through their bargain bin. and i found nouvelle vague's "3" for $6. nice!


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is this hyperreal?

after breaking up 10 years ago, atari teenage riot have re-"activated" and released a new album this year, titled "is this hyperreal?". they gave such an amazing performance last fall, proving they've still got it; of course i had to get this new release.

10 years, and not much has changed, they've still got the signature atr sound, the usual lyrics about and "revolution" and "government", etc.

my favourite track is "codebreaker", probably because it sounds so much like stuff from their previous album "60 second wipe out".

atari teenage riot - codebreaker


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the suburbs

arcade fire's "the suburbs" was re-released earlier this month, to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the album. it includes two additional tracks, and the short film "scenes from the suburbs" by spike jonze.

this must be a great album, since it won a grammy, beating out some more popular nominees... but to be honest, i feel kind of underwhelmed by it. maybe because of all the hype. still, i decided to finally get this album, just to complete my arcade fire discography.

and also because i plan to see them play at popmontreal this year. they're giving a free (outdoors?) show on the second night, as well as playing the metropolis on the first night. from what i heard, the tickets for the metropolis show were sold out in about 4 minutes, despite their efforts to counter scalpers. good thing i was online by 11:59am last friday, refreshing ticketmaster like crazy; i managed to buy a pair of tickets. yay.


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