Category Archives: Cultural diary

Concert diary + playlist June – July – August – September

So, summer is over. Yep! And once again, I tried to catch as many concerts as possible. I wish I had the time and energy to write another epic concert diary like I did last year but alas, here is the next best thing: a playlist!

These are the artists that I got to see this summer:

IAM, Joyce N’sana, Loco Locass, Shauit, Sonido Pesao, Mamselle Ruiz, Bandidas, Karim Diouf, Tomas Jensen, Pierre Kwenders, Jacobus, Nomadic Massive, Pierre Guitard, Radio Radio, Joseph Edgar, Les Hay Babies, Les Hôtesses d’Hilaire, Lisa Leblanc, Marie-Jo Thério, Rufus Wainwright, Anderson.Paak, Martha Wainwright, Patrick Watson, Isabelle Boulay, Coeur de Pirate, Pierre Lapointe, Champion, Elisapie Isaac, Wyclef Jean, Daniel Bélanger, Diane Dufresne, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Les Cowboys Fringants, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Flavia Nascimiento, Youn Sun Nah, Bixiga 70, A-WA, Les Deuxluxes, Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Sidi Wacho, Kool & the gang, Laura Marling, Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra, Ait Menguellet, Tinariwen, Dengue Fever, Tropico Bravo, Gabino Palomares and Leonard Cohen (well, unfortunately not his human presence but his voice was there a lot)

Just to be clear, some of these bands shared stages. No, I did not attend 49 concerts (unfortunately).

And there are a few other shows coming up: Hanson (yes, that Hanson!), Ibeyi, Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Boogat, Lisa Leblanc

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

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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My favourite films of 2016

I went to see a lot of movies this year. All told, I’d say I pushed the doors of a movie theater about 50 times. Was 2016 a good year for cinema? Based on what I saw, I would say yes. Only twice did I come out of the room dissapointed (and in one case, that word is quite an understatement. More on that later). Some films were masterpieces and others were understated gems. Here is my list :

King Dave (Podz, Quebec)

Our little sister (Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan)

Neruda (Pablo Larrain, Chile)

After the storm (Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan)

Christine (Antonio Campos, USA)

Avant les rues (Chloé Leriche, Quebec)

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