2010-10-25random stuff i wandered into hmv megastore on thursday, not looking for anything in particular. i ended up making a few unplanned purchases.
i saw that yann tiersen released a new album, "dust lane". when i listened to a few tracks at the listening station, i found that this new stuff is nothing like the "amélie" material i associate most with him. i couldn't decide if i like this new style, but i don't dislike it, so i got the album anyway.
i also saw the new trent reznor release, the soundtrack for "the social network", at the listening station. i tried a few tracks; sounds like mostly ambient stuff. not sure if this will make my top 10 of the year, but i'm a fan who will buy any music he produces.
since i was in the "soundtrack" section of the store, i checked out hans zimmer's soundtrack for "sherlock holmes". when i saw that movie, the first thing i noticed was how much i loved the music. i had immediately wanted to get the soundtrack, but the $20 pricetag made me hesitate. now, i saw that it was on special, 2 for $30. i just needed to find another cd to pair it with.
i searched in the adjacent "francophone" section. i randomly looked up mickey 3d. i first heard his music on the compilation "le pop en duo", with his collaboration with jane birkin, the track "je m'appelle jane". [in fact, i discovered many wonderful artists with that compilation. such as vincent delerm with "veruca salt et frank black".] in the summer, when i saw that mickey 3d were playing at francofolies, i listened to their most recent album "la grande évasion", and loved it. at the time, the $20 pricetag also made me hesitate to get the cd. but now, what a coincidence, it was also on special at 2 for $30. it was so meant to be.
2010-10-20massive attack + thievery corporation @ bell centre the show was on monday evening. i went with some friends: roxanne, fil, christophe. the stage was placed at mid-arena, and we had seats in section 116; good view.
first act of this double bill was thievery corporation. i had heard of this band's name, but the only music i'd heard from them was a clip of "thievery blonde", a track i think they played that night.
their music is a mix of electro with world music. it was nice, very lounge.
my favourite track was near the end, before the encore, when the stage was completely bathed in red light. after some searching, i found a youtube user who uploaded some great videos of the show. turns out the song was "sound the alarm".
i was there for the main headliners, massive attack. "mezzanine" is my favourite album of theirs, and i told myself before the show that i'd happy if anything from that album gets played.
the stage atmosphere was eerie throughout their set: the stage was dark most of the time, lots of smoke, the occasional spooky light effects, and a led screen in the background with lots of writing. i thought the visual effects were well done to keep the audience entertained.
except for the writing on the led screen. at first, it was random phrases (in french!), which was alright. but during "girl i love you", the content became socio-economic, using numbers to contrast between the living conditions of an industrialized country and that of a developing nation, etc. i appreciate a band with strong politics and a message to say; but at that moment, i felt a bit too uneasy to rock out during a song while i am reminded that there are people in the world with little access to drinkable water and their annual salary is minimal.
my favourite part of the show started with white lights illuminating streams of smoke; very ghostly. when the song started, i didn't recognize it until martina topley-bird started singing: it was "teardrop"! squee momment for me. this song was followed by "angel". another squee moment. finally, this was followed by "inertia creeps". this trio of songs, performed live, was the highlight of the show, for me. (during "inertia creeps", the led screen displayed news headlines, in french. a bit sensational, like the stuff you'd see on journal the montreal...)
the same youtube user has some great videos of this:
people have been putting together the setlist on setlist.fm. but as of this moment, i feel that it is not the most accurate; i am pretty sure there were some other songs between "mezzanine" and "teardrop". i'll wait a few days to see if it gets updated.
the encore was pretty epic. the last couple of songs had some long instrumental jams. robert del naja danced like in a trance.
it was quite a show.
2010-10-14herbin inks the stationery boutique at la grande bibliothèque is having a closing sale, with all merchandise at 50% off. i promised myself not to buy any more notebooks, so i got some herbin ink cartidges. they only had five colours left, so i got one tin of each: bleu azur, bleu nuit, cacao du brésil, gris nuage, poussière de lune.
they're not terribly exciting colours, they seem kind of washed-out. cartridges are a good way to sample some ink, so i'll see how they turn out on paper, when i eventually try them out. it's too bad i don't have enough fountain pens to ink them all at once
2010-10-10gorillaz @ bell centre on sunday, one week ago, i went to the gorillaz show at the bell centre, with roxanne, fil, lucia. we got some pretty good seats, in the middle, a bit higher than stage level. we had a good view of the whole stage, although a bit far.
the openers were we are wolves, from montreal. they first appeared with ridiculous props on their backs. they started with a few garage-rock-ish songs. meh. then they went more electro-dance-rock, and i liked that more. the only track i recognized was "fight and kiss", from their previous album, i think.
with gorillaz, it was a full orchestra and band on stage, with various guest vocalists. unfortunately, i didn't know any of them... on the other hand, i was pretty excited to see paul simonon and mick jones touring as part of the gorillaz band, as i am a big fan of the clash, and am too young to have seen their live shows in their prime. i only wish i was close enough to the stage to have seen them play, and not just shadows of musicians moving around on stage...
for most of the show, my eyes were on the animations on the big screen, since there wasn't much happening on the stage; the "cartoons" were much more interesting. i didn't know the songs enough to sing along, but i did dance throughout most of the show.
roxanne has a blog post of the event, including the setlist:
welcome to the world of the plastic beach
last living souls
oh green world
tomorrow comes today
kids with guns
cloud of unknowing
feel good inc.
don't get lost in heaven
this was my most expensive show, with the ticket costing 3-4 times my average show budget. but it was fun to attend with friends. i can't deny that it's a completely difference experience from the tiny club shows. i still have one more arena show coming up (in a week). after that, i should probably stick to $15 shows for a while...
2010-10-06atari teenage riot @ foufounes électriques atari teenage riot is a band i've been listening to for a long while. i think it was since high school, about ten years ago. their album "60 second wipe out" was the first cd i bought that was over $20. i had gotten it at a music shop at galeries des sources. it was so long ago that there was a music shop in that ghetto suburb mall, and it even had a cassette section.
every time i listen to that album, i try to imagine this band in a live show. but i never thought i would ever see this band in concert, especially since they disbanded in 2000. and i'm not sure they play canada.
the band reunited this year. when i found out that they were playing popmontreal, i was super excited. especially since they were playing foufounes électriques, which is exactly the kind of venue i imagine them at. so yeah, saturday's show was a dream come true to me.
the first act was a laptop duo, montreal nintendo orkestar. they played around with various electronic gadgets (including a couple of ninento ds', haha). it turned out to be a 30-minute set of drone music. i guess they're supposed to be avant-garde or something, but it wasn't too interesting for me.
the second opener was autoerotique, another laptop act. i found the beginning a bit awkward: the music was some generic stuff that sounded like background filler, so people didn't realize the second act had started as they continued to chit-chat loudly. when he started to play some harder electro, a couple of girls started dancing. soon, a bunch of people joined them, and it became an industrial dance floor. the music mostly consisted of heavy beats, which got people dancing. but with the one-hour set, it felt long and slightly repetitive. i still enjoyed it as a warm-up to atr.
finally, atr took the stage. their new incarnation is a trio: alec empire, nic endo, cx kidtronik.
oh wow. their energy is amazing. their show was everything i imagined it to be, and even better, with seizure-inducing strobe lights and the sketchy industrial setting. of course they were loud; but surprisingly, not to the point of it being uncomfortable.
waves of disaster (instrumental)
into the death
no remorse (i wanna die)
destroy 2000 years of culture
sick to death
deutschland (has gotta die!)
atari teenage riot
get up while you can
too dead for me
u.s. fade out
(instrumental noise jam)
not your business
start the riot
(instrumental noise jam)
first highlight for me was when they played "too dead for me", one of my favourite tracks. a good day for airplay posted a video of this:
the best part of the show for me was during the encore, when they played "revolution action" (it's how i heard of this band in the first place, when i saw the video for this track played on muchmusic's "the wedge", x years ago). from the angle of this clip, i think this person was standing about two feet behind me.
2010-10-04temporary residence a couple of weeks ago, i pre-ordered envy's new album "recitation". since i was paying for shipping fees, i decided to add another item to my order, grails' "doomsdayer's holiday". the order shipped a week earlier than i thought. i received it in the mail last week.
the envy album starts off quiet: a bit of poetry reading, then a long, drawn-out mono-esque song intro. at first listen, i was afraid they may have gone full post-rock on this release. but no, the vocals begin, and i am assured that they've kept their screamo influences.
this is the kind of album that requires full attention to be appreciated. unfortunately, i haven't had the time to solely focus on this release for the past week. i've only been listening to it as background music, and there is not yet one track that stands out for me. i'll need to find an evening to spend some time on this.
the grails album is different from what i usually listen to. it's kind of trippy, jazzy, heavy. the soundtrack to some dark experimental film. i love the opening title track: