August 3rd, 2011
What do you get when a pianist/accordion player develops a sound mixing hip hop and Klezmer? You get Socalled, the brainstorm of “Jewish cowboy” Josh Dolgin.
Discover Socalled’s stylishly schizophrenic sounds on his newest album, Sleepover, featuring more than 30 contributing musicians including the quirky-sweet vocals of Katie Moore. Then go meet the coolest kids in town at Théâtre de Verdure Wednesday August 4 at 7 p.m. for a free live performance followed by a screening of The Socalled Movie with director Gary Beitel in attendance.
It’s a plus if you understand Yiddish. But we’re pretty sure we’ll catch you dancing even if you can’t sing along. —Jennifer Nachshen
July 30th, 2011
The ukulele is a great kids’ instrument: it is small, easy to play and it never gets too loud (reason why recorders aren’t allowed in this home!).
That’s why we loved this make your own ukulele kit (US $40) from Uncommon Goods. It comes equipped with a wood body, neck, and strings which are easily assembled, and then you can customize it with different paints, stains or decorations.
And, when you've heard Old MacDonald Has A Farm for the one thousandth time, you know how they put it together, so you can take it apart.
—Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
July 27th, 2011
We never really feel like summer is in full-swing until we’re sipping beer in the hot sun listening to the music at the Osheaga Music and Arts festival, held this year from July 29 to 31.
This year’s line-up really rocks, with up-and-coming artists like feisty and fashionable, Janelle Monáe, orchestral pop band, Beirut, rockin’ Tokyo Police Club and poppy Smith Westerns peforming alongside headliners like Eminem, bringing his trademark irreverent rap and Elvis Costello and the Imposters’ country-folk sound.
Can’t wade through the lineup? Download the Osheaga app to make sure you don’t miss a show (and know where the beer stands and bathrooms are). —Jennifer Nachshen
Tickets (starting at $75.50 for a single day to $217.50 for a 3-day General Admission pass) available online.
July 13th, 2011
“At 2 a.m. you can’t come home after a night out and act… but you can write a song.” – Tim Robbins.
We tend to return to the roost after a night out and eat microwaved pizza and fall asleep on the couch, but we may take a page from Tim Robbins’ songbook after hearing his first album, Tim Robbins & the Rogues Gallery, released at the tender age of 51 (what else is a guy to do after breaking up with Susan Sarandon?). In fairness, Robbins has been fiddling around with a guitar for a long time, with a musical family, experience co-producing the soundtrack to Dead Man Walking, and under-the-radar shows in small venues. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the folksy, storytelling songs by Tim Robbins & the Rogues Gallery are actually really good. We won’t miss his Montreal debut tonight at Club Soda.
But we’re probably just going to pack it in with a poutine and leave the song writing to Tim.
July 4th, 2011
1. She’s married to a media mogul, besties with Gwynnie, and her body looks even better than it did in her teens. We’d be jealous if we didn’t think Beyoncé was such a rockin’ girls’ girl. We’re loving her latest lady power anthem "Run the World (Girls)."
2 .We were blown away by Natalia Kills’ sexy-sinister sounds when she opened for Robyn's most recent tour. Now we’re playing "Wonderland" and "Free" on repeat. She definitely kills.
3. We’ve been waiting two years for another full-length album from Coldplay. We’ll have to wait a bit more, but at least we’ve got their new EP, "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall," to tide us over ‘til then.
4. Every summer needs a catchy vapid party song written for the express purpose of getting you to raise your drink up in the air and wave it around like you just don’t care. Except, we really do care about the album Sorry for the Party Rocking by LMFAO. We may even love it.
5. If we’re talking about guilty pleasures, we’ll just go one step further. NKOTBSB, anyone? We’re guessing it will only take about two glasses of sangria before someone is singing along. And when we say “someone,” what we mean is “us.”
March 9th, 2011
Life has been feeling like a bowl of cherries, these days, with our truck, man, job and dogs standing firm. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn to sing the blues.
With a little help from The Blues Maker, we’re not just singing the blues, we’re song writing (sort of). All you have to do is select what you lost (girl, good friend, whole world, mojo, etc.) out of a simple list, pick your preferred harmonica riff, and repeat with progressively melodramatic lyrics, until your blues song is complete.
Who knew the blues could be so much fun?
January 26th, 2011
If you missed Robyn’s re-invention from ‘90s teen-pop star (remember “Show me Love”?) to independent record-label owning electro-diva, you’ve got some catching up to do.
Luckily you can catch the Swedish songstress at Metropolis tomorrow night, performing the bittersweet “Be Mine,” the fist-pounding “Dancing on my Own” and the sexy-sweet “Hang with Me” in what we’re betting will be one of the last of her small venue tours.
Catch her if you can.
Tickets $32.05 at www.admission.com
January 20th, 2011
Summer’s so full of BBQs, patio parties, and music festivals, we sometimes wonder if winter gets jealous.
Summer celebrations are feeling the heat from Igloofest, an international outdoor music festival on until January 29. We’ll be dancing the cold away at the Old Port to international DJs like Kid Sister on Thursday, Round Table Knights on Friday, and Hatchmatik on Saturday.
iPhone users can pick up the free Igloofest app, offering the festival map and schedule.
So you’ll never miss a beat.
Tickets online at www.igloofest.ca ($13.54 + $3.25 per order) or at Igloofest ($12).
November 3rd, 2010
There are probably a lot of librarians out there who dream of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. But who would have thought Keith Richards dreamed of being a librarian?
Life ($33.99) is the just-released autobiography of Keith Richards (with contributor James Fox), ironically named for a man who spent a decade on the “Most Likely to Die” list. The hard-living hardcover promises to be a juicy read, getting into everything from Richards’ difficult relationship with the “unbearable” Mick Jagger, to his addictions to drugs, to his love of the Dewey Decimal System. Who knew?
It’s only rock ‘n roll. But we like it.
At bookstores including Chapters, Indigo, and online at amazon.ca
October 13th, 2010
We liked, tweeted, and shared that great music video with the rock band dancing alongside tiny trained dogs, and then we wondered…who are those guys?
The band, OK Go, may be most widely known for their viral videos, like Grammy-award winning treadmill dancing in “Here it goes Again” and the fabulously furry back-up dancers in their latest, "White Knuckles," but it’s the music that really makes us want to get up and dance.
No treadmill or toy dog required.
October 16, 8:30 p.m., tickets ($18), Le National, 1220 St. Catherine St. E., Montreal, 514-845-2014 and www.admission.com