May-June 2017 Playlist

Music, music and more music!!! Just for fun, I’ve decided to start compiling playlists every two months or so, which will include the songs that have gotten the most airplay in my earphones.

Some of these tunes are new whereas others date back to the 70s or 80s, but I consider them to be candy to my ears in this moment.

The following artists are included in this late spring playlist:

Fleet Foxes / Mad Season / Temple of the Dog / Feist / Sylvan Esso / Juana Molina / M83 / The Mountain Goats / Arcade Fire / The War on Drugs / Soda Stereo / Fleetwood Mac / King Gizzard and the Lizzard Wizard / Thee Oh Sees / The Kills / Los Espiritus / A-WA / Quantic & the Flowering Inferno / Leonor Gonzalez Mina / Amadou & Mariam / Anderson.Paak / The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy / Tank and the Bangas/ Noname / Aubrey Logan / Antonio Lizana

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Activités gratuites à Montréal pour l’été 2017: à ne pas manquer

Certains comptent les jours jusqu’à Noël, de mon côté je ne m’en peux plus d’attendre le début de la saison des festivals dans ma bien-aimée ville de Montréal. L’an dernier, j’ai assisté à plus d’une trentaine de concerts (il en ressort ce journal de concerts publié au début de l’automne).

À partir de la mi-mai, dès que la température permet de troquer le manteau pour une chemise et les bottes pour des ballerines, on signe le coup d’envoi non-officiel de cette période exceptionnelle. Car oui, l’été à Montréal en donne plein la vue. Des dizaines de festivals à grand déploiement, du théâtre, des projections de film et des événements gastronomiques font partie de la généreuse programmation. La plupart du temps, ces activités ont lieu en plein air s’il-vous-plaît, car l’été est de courte durée et on veut absolument en profiter!

Il faut l’admettre, on peut facilement se ruiner en voulant assister à tous les spectacles et en testant tous les camions de cuisine de rue. Cependant, des centaines, et je dis bien DES centaines, d’activités gratuites sont offertes, ce qui rend le tout bien plus accessible. L’offre est si abondante qu’il est difficile de s’y retrouver. Voilà pourquoi j’ai voulu faire un résumé des activités les plus intéressantes, en plus de rassembler des liens vers les sites, pour ceux qui cherchent à creuser plus loin. Cette liste est non-exhaustive car j’aurais pu passer des jours à écrire. Merci à Montréal et à ses artisans d’être aussi généreux! De plus, je m’en tiens aux événements culturels et je  ne parle pas des nombreux parcs, des plages, des musées et des paysages à découvrir sans payer (vous viendrez me parler si vous voulez en savoir plus à ce sujet).

N’oublions pas que la métropole célèbre le 375e anniversaire de sa fondation cette année et que la programmation de cette fête est particulièrement abondante.

Alors, on se lance! Et si vous voyez une *, c’est que je pense y aller (eh oui, je dévoile mes déplacements!), et un +, c’est que je vous recommande chaudement le spectacle (même si je ne pense pas m’y rendre).

Cet article est divisé en 5 sections: Juin, Juillet, Août, Tout l’été et “Les activités du 375e”.

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5 songs I want to learn (or am learning) in my singing class

For the past few months, I have been taking singing classes with the most wonderful teacher, Mamselle Ruiz. There are no words to describe how lucky I feel to be learning this skill from such a beautiful person with a voice that I have been admiring for years.

Deciding to join this singing class has been one of my best decisions in the past few years. So, why singing? If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you’ll have noticed that I’m a bit of a music junkie (here are a few articles on the subject). However, the only thing missing was that I myself never dared to become the musician. I’ve been asked many times whether or not I played an instrument and to be honest, I was kind of embarrassed to say no. Coming from two families with several musicians, I had no excuses not to learn something, be it djembe drumming or piano (both of which we had at home). Yet I didn’t feel a calling to learn these instruments.

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10 great sources to discover new music

Discovering a great new band is one of the best feelings in the world, isn’t it? OK, maybe you guys don’t share my enthusiasm but I thought I would write an article with some of my favourite sources to find good tunes, since I get asked this question on a semi-regular basis.

Sometimes, trying to make musical discoveries on the Internet is not an easy task. There are so many websites that cover the subject, from niche sites to music magazines. Here are some great places to start:

1) NPR: First listen

For those not from the USA, NPR stands for National Public Radio. NPR has some great programs that are worth listening to including, but not limited to, great musical content. There are many podcasts available on the website but one of my favourite things to check out is the First Listen page, which features exclusive full-length previews of new albums by a wide variety of artists. As I publish this article, we can listen to new music by Ty Segall, Japandroids and Tift Merritt, among others.

Also stay posted to the NPR website or Facebook page for the yearly playlist that is released for SXSW. You get to download 100 songs by artists playing at the festival and the choices are consistently good (I keep at least 2/3 of the songs and have discovered great artists through this list). This is the 2016 Austin 100 list if you’d like to check it out.

* By the way, the new US administration is threatening to cut government funding for public radios, which is a terrible shame because the programming is extremely rich, promoting all forms of culture and political discourse. I know that this isn’t my country but I will still be sending money to chip in.

2) NPR: Tiny desk concerts

Bob Boilen’s tiny desk in the NPR offices has been turned into a stage for some of the best artists currently in the music scene, from Adele to Ana Tijoux, John Legend to Edwarde Sharpe and the magnetic zeros. These intimate concerts are fun, compelling and make for a great environment where the musicians’ talents truly shine. Plus, the sound quality is excellent, which is great considering that these are live performances. New videos are released most weeks.

Here are 6 of my favourite performances ever on Tiny Desk:

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My favourite songs of 2016

So, after making a list of my favourite movies of the year, here is a list of songs I loved in 2016. The fact that they made it on the list doesn’t mean that they were released in that year but they did get a lot of plays on my IPOD. There’s something for everyone in here, from jazz to alternative, pop to mariachi… Enjoy!

Benjamin Biolay – la débandade

Gaada Diwane Bechar – Zina L’aamama

Tomas Jensen – Dale Duro

Margaret Glaspy – Emotions and Math

Carseat headrest – Vincent

Vieux Farka Touré and Julia Easterlin – I’m not done

Philippe Brach – Crystel

Leonard Cohen – You want it darker

Lisa Leblanc – I love you, I don’t love you, I don’t know

The Calais sessions- Kandahar

Mariachi Flor de Toloache- Dicen

De la soul – Pain

Safia Nolin (feat. Marie Carmen)- Entre l’ombre et la lumière

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