April 8th, 2009
Stressed and strung-out? Perhaps all you need is a little lie-in like John and Yoko.
We’re finding peace at the Montréal Museum of Fine Art’s Imagine exhibit commemorating the couple’s 1969 Bed-in at The Queen Elizabeth hotel. Featuring photographs, drawings, film and artwork, there’s even an all-white room where visitors can plunk out chords to the famous song on a replica of John’s ivory piano.
Now if someone would just let us in on Yoko’s ageless beauty secrets we’d really feel at peace.
Imagine: The Peace Ballad of John & Yoko, until June 21, Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, 514 285-2000, free, www.mmfa.qc.ca
March 11th, 2009
Looking to spice up romantic evenings with your petit chou?
It doesn’t get any more ooh la la than the sensual sounds of Serge Gainsbourg.
His controversial Histoire de Melody Nelson caused quite a stir in 1971 for its Lolita-esque lyrics. So iconic are his duets with hot model-wife Jane Birkin, you’d never know the album was a bomb when it was first released. The re-issue of this classic album comes with 20 pages of background notes including an interview with Gainsbourg, and an English translation of the saucy lyrics.
Now to make the evening complete, all you need is a shag rug and your best come-hither look.
Available March 24 at Amazon.ca, $28.99
December 17th, 2008
Ever since we saw Les Triplettes de Belleville we’ve been besotted with the husky voice of Béatrice Bonifassi.
Since her impressive 2004 Oscar performance, she’s joined forces with drummer/composer Jean-Phi Goncalves (leader of Plaster) to form experimental band, Beast. A blend of rap, trip-hop beats and spoken word, the self-titled debut album is perfect for holiday soirees and will keep you toe tapping right through until January.
Available at Amazon.ca, $13.99.
December 3rd, 2008
Some mornings we really need to be cajoled into our day. On such gloomy occasions we get going with gentle jazz tunes by Susie Arioli.
This smoking Montreal chanteuse is our very own Diana Krall (some might argue she’s even better). A ten-year jazz fest mainstay, she and guitarist Jordan Officer have just released their fifth fabulous album, Night Lights. Featuring an interpretation of classics like "Beyond the Sea," "Blue Skies" and "The Very Thought of You," their sound will put the spring back in your step and have you humming out the door.
Available at Amazon.ca ($14.99).
November 19th, 2008
For every Arcade Fire success story, there are hundreds of bands just trying to get noticed.
M For Montreal is a three-day event that does just that. Co-founded by Glastonbury Rock Festival’s chief booker Martin Elbourne, this intimate showcase gives local musicians the chance to schmooze with industry-types and strut their stuff.
This year’s line up includes 20 plus bands like Franco-popsters Pas Chic Chic (Nov 20) and Beatrice Bonifassi’s jazzy Beast (Nov 21). Each band is given 30 minutes to impress big wigs including TV music supervisors, festival bookers, record labels and music critics from Europe and the US.
Be there, or be a one-hit wonder.
October 16th, 2008
Having a song stuck in our head used to induce migraines, but now we’re singing a different tune.
Berlitz Earworms combine catchy music with repetitive words that help “burn” basic foreign phrases into your aural cortex.
The technique might be akin to brain-washing, but with 10 languages to choose from you’ll quickly learn to hail a cab in Mandarin, order dinner in Spanish or get a date in Arabic.
Now that’s one way to break down the language barrier!
Earworms ($24.99) are available at www.berlitzbooks.com
October 1st, 2008
This week we’re clearing our schedules and taking to the night for Pop Montreal. Seven years in, this edgy-but-lovable fest makes use of charming venues (churches and social clubs) and offers an eclectic pairing of musical genres.
Our top pics include performances by Burt Bacharach, French synthesizer-and-drums duo Zombie Zombie, and experimental group Interceiving. We’re also jonesing for the Film Pop screening of Patricia Chica and Mike Wafer’s Rockabilly 514, about a Montreal sub-culture influenced by music from the 1950s.
Tired of cabbing it from venue to venue? Rent a bike and you’ll be Speedy Gonzales on two-wheels ($50/week).
Pop Montreal, October 1-5, www.popmontreal.com
September 27th, 2008
We’re not talking bananas. We’re talking multi-media.
Kids can add sound effects and splice together video clips from CBC shows and the best ones are featured on the site or broadcast on TV.
Now lets just hope this little hobby turns into a hobby like Matt Groening’s….
August 20th, 2008
As the summer winds to a close, anxiety sets in.
Lately the antidote to our frazzled state of mind has been the soothing sounds of Divine Brown. The Canadian R&B singer has just released her second album, The Love Chronicles, full of retro-style soul songs that make us feel warm all over.
Six months of winter? Bring it on.
The Love Chronicles is available on Amazon.ca ($11.99).
July 16th, 2008
Fears of bugs and bears means you’re unlikely to find us walking in the wilderness, but lately we’ve had unusual yearnings for canoe rides and mountain hikes.
We blame our change of heart on The National Parcs. This dynamic Montreal trio blends natural sounds of the great outdoors (wood splitting, paddle slapping) with hip-hop beats and spoken word. Their multi-layered debut CD/DVD Timbervision includes fun footage of the boys recording their album in the wild.
Anyone up for glamping?