Having no more than just over a month, after today, I realised that I haven’t recovered from Bonnaroo, MJF, and Flying Lotus (yes it counts as it’s own event it was sooo epic). My feet hurt. My ankles hurt. My toes hurt. My whole body is numbed from cycling place to place, dancing from floor to floor, and naturally and in style, giving it my all. Today proved to be an awesome start to MEG Montreal, with a free BBQ (I ate three hot dogs…ugh—first hot dogs I have had in a loooong while that weren’t tofu), a great venue (le divan orange), and fantastic entertainment.
I went to three venues today, all of which took me at least an hour total to cycle about, to see three different shows. The reviews amd goodies for Random Recipe, Cougarettes, Noia, Misteur Valaire (hearts hearts), Omnikrom, and Dirty Sound Ssytem after the jump!
Edit: I HAD ALL OF THIS WRITTEN AT 2PM YESTERDAY BUT STUPID ME, AND I DIDN’T SAVE…AND WORDPRESS’ AUTOSAVE FAILED ME WHERE IT SAVED ME MANY TIMES BEFORE AND I ACCIDENTALLY CLOSED MY WINDOW. I FEEL(T) SUPER DEPRESSED…AND RE-WRITING THIS AGAIN, WELL IT SUCKS. So yeah, just a warning that this will not be as thorough as it was before…sigh…but enough about how I had spent a good few hours writing something that no longer exists…AFTER THE JUMP for review number two!
Live in Show: Random Recipe, Cougarettes, and Noia
@ le divan orange (MEG; 30 07 09)
I knew what to expect from Random Recipe since I saw them no less than a month ago at the MJF. Even a few weeks ago, at the Flying Lotus show, I ran into Fab and saw Frannie. Once again, I find myself in front of familiar faces at Le Divan Orange, a quaint venue but decently sized to fit at most 2-300 people. Despite the crowd being a hundred times smaller and the stage being ten times less spacious than on Bell Stage for their awesome MJF performance, their demeanor on stage didn’t slow and showed no mercy at this drastic change in ambiance as they battle cried into their first song “Know It Don’t Cha” (I don’t know the actual name of the song as it is not on their CD and their myspace nor anywhere else for that matter. But my guess is well informed from the chorus…sorry, if it’s wrong)!
Their sound is diverse as can be heard from the mix of English, Spanish and French lyrics and a music broadness that ranges from simple beat boxing and tune boat blowing to hip-hop, pop, and a bit of funk jams in between. They rap, they sing, and the two front MCs, Fab and Frannie, are sassy, deliberate, and unequivocol. They deliver the lyrics and stage performance with an aplomb that rivals Barack Obama giving a presidential speech. How these guys aren’t signed yet, I don’t know. But I am sure by the end of the year, after all this publicity, that’ll change. I can’t find a link to online sales of their music, but you can go to their myspace and spread the word the best way, by mouth! OoooooOOOooo. The sad thing is, their music in studio is not half as good as how they are live. So imagine these songs to be five times better performed with a flare that is The Sartorialist worthy.
I ran into Frannie just outside after the show and was hoping for an interview. Unforts I didn’t have time as I had three other shows to catch…Oh well, it will come soon =)
The Cougarettes are so. bad. ass. That is the only way to describe them. They make every other music genre shudder like pansies. When I first walkede into the show, at first I thought it sounded a lot like Metric but on ketamine. Bordering on the brink of absolute incoherence, the Cougarettes meld experimental, rock, metal, 8-bit, and electronic goodness into one big vat of noise that is not repulsive but rather, indulgently welcoming.
The star of the show, I’d have to say, is definitely the lead vocalist, Cardy. She is so fucking fierce. She is a lioness. Not once did she break focus, not once did she come out of her revelrie, and not once did she look into the crowd with a face of terminator like sheer determination. I was, I have to admit, in awe of her. In her black patent pumps and her vintage long red dress, she jumps into the sparse crowd, a crowd which consisted of no more than 20 people, but she’s badass, so she did it anyways, walked around and droned and moaned and screamed her way through the lyrics. I couldn’t understand a word she was saying, but it wasn’t necessary. The tone of her voice set the space and and context of the song, regardless of the lyrics. And that’s fantastic.
Following in Cardy’s footsteps, the guitarist was nearing, wait no, WAS epileptic. The sheer force of the amplitude and the batshit crazy psychedelia could no longer be contained! His dance seizures couldn’t hold back near the end of the show and he tossed himself off the show, crawling, withered, and humped his way in and around the crowd until finally he did a very impressive back somersault onto the stage. What. A. Pro.
The show ended and I feel as if they should have physically wrecked the stage to further prove just how bad ass they were. In my mind, in those moments of clapping and cheering, I imagined the entire set, the keyboards, korgs, guitars, stands, and even the stage floor boards, utterly destroyed as they all gave a last jump. It didn’t happen though. It should. Next time!
I am officially an FFL (Fan For Life). I regret not purchasing the CD at the venue. Their debut EP Milk Fangs was just released but unforts I can’t find any place online for purchase. BUT, if you live in MTL, these are the places to go to make your purchase: Atom Heart; Sound Central; Paul’s Boutique; InBeat; l’Oblique; BeatNick; Primitive; Headquarters et Archambault Québec.
MP3: Cougarettes – Sugar
Next up, Noia. Unfortunately, by now, a lot of the crowd had left. Maybe it was because the BBQ was over, or maybe people didn’t feel like committing for another 30-60 minutes, but there were only two people on the dance floor and under 15 people in and around the bar. It sucks ’cause they really deserved a larger crowd.
It was a super awesome set up. They were encased as if in a mesh cube, where images reminiscent of playing Super Mario Bros and Tetris on your broken TV set on LSD were projected onto it. It was like Etienne de Crecy but more 8-bit. I’m sick. And the only medicine is more cow—8-BIT!
Noia played super experimental and extreme psychedelia infused with precocious 8-bit. Another thing, they were FREAKIN’ LOUUUUUD! This was one of two bands I had to pull out earplugs for, my ear drums would have been meddle if I hadn’t saved them from this brutal synth attack. Overall, a pretty great ending to Le Divan Orange as I had to make my way to the next venue!
Live in Show: Misteur Valaire and Omnikrom
@ l’Olympia (MEG; 30 07 09)
Once again, I screwed up my chance of seeing a full Misteur Valaire set. Why? My usually good time management and decision making skills failed me. Instead of going straight to the venue, I decided to go home and make dinner before dancing another 6 hours…a pretty good decision right? Well wrong, because by the time I got to l’Olympia for the ONLY show I wanted to see, a show which has eluded me for months no because of wrong dates and wrong addresses (again, my fault), MV was already 30-45 minutes into their set. I relied on the fact that they’d be late while forgetting that they were a part of a festival, and festival timing tends to be on time, unless you’re Snoop Dogg or Erykah Badu. I sorely regret having dinner. I should have starved.
I managed to get there to see at least twenty minutes…and twenty minutes in heaven is better than one minute. Just like the last time, the crazy amount of instruments from keyboards, drums, guitars, korgs, synths and mixers were manned by the five piece band donned in furry color vests and indie glasses to boot running left and right on stage, dancing and grooving as we were to the sound of their genious music. Disco trash. Electronic disco. Funky beats. Imagine a mix of Telefon Tel Aviv, Filur, the Juan Maclean, and a bit of Andrew Butler. Mmmm mmm!!! That smells deeeeeelish!
A little tidbit about the venue first. Having never been to l’Olympia, I had no expectations, I figured it would be a much smaller venue but I was dead wrong. L’Olympia is absolutely majestic. Thirty to forty feet cielings with carvings and arc work that mimic those of prestigious castles and palaces. Red walled and emblazed gold line the detail throughout the entire venue, and it reminds me of the Paramount in Seattle where I saw the Flaming Lips (an amazing show). I wonder why more shows aren’t here. The venue is great, the capacity is probably half that of Métropolis because there’s no balcony, but the ambiance in itself makes up for any other lack. It is beautiful and it was a perfect venue for Misteur Valaire.
At the end of their set, all five of them came to the front of the stage and started this choreographed dance of some sort. It was awesome. One of these days I’ll catch a full set and not be late and not have the wrong address this time!!! They peformed two of my favorite songs (I guess they were their favorites too) for the end of the show. So, these are the songs I am going to share! Though my real favorite is “Press 2″, which you can find in my mixtape at Ca Va Cool. If you like what you hear, you can download the whole album FOR FREE, at their website here!
Omnikrom was up next. Their set up was very Daft Punk like in that they had a triangular base where their DJ, Figure 8, stood up top. Instead of a pyramid with thousands of LED lights to make your brain go mushy, Omnikrom had alien like markings all over their contraption. Cool stage. Accompanied by the two MCs, Jeanbart and Linso, they started off with an awesome song, “Comme à la télévision”. From there, it went downhill. The rapping was great but the beats were if best, mediocore. They made it a bit more fun with the release of balloons of which there were whales and other sea creatures. But, that got old super fast. Even their other hit “Été Hit”, couldn’t save the night.
More than halfway through, the massive enthusiastic crowd secured by Misteur Valaire’s unsurprising mindblowing set was cut in half as people dispersed not throughout the venue, but out of it. Around this time, Figure8 had a solo and played much more danceable beats. And then the Michael Jackson tributes came like a hydrodam.
First, Figure8 in his solo played remixes of “I Want You Back”, “Smooth Criminal” and “Thriller”. It was cool because of the tribute but the remixes weren’t personalised and they’ve been heard on the blogosphere before…and the more I listened, I realised that his solo wasn’t that great and eventually the crowd did too, as the bobbing heads and girating bodies came to a near full stop. At which point, Jeanbart comes out newly changed with a black fedora, red jacket, and a white glove. Another MJ tribute, hoorah! Even a month after MJ’s death, the tributes don’t stop coming, and that’s great.
It’s just too bad it was a bad cover. He did his own rap over the tune of “Smooth Criminal”, but it just didn’t work. It really didn’t. His lyrics and the way he was rapping just didn’t work with the originality of the song in the first place. It probably would have better to just have played the MJ original and let everyone dance, sort of like Stevie Wonder’s MJ tributes. And it was at this moment, which really cemented how bad the night was going. The crowd was lacking, lacking in numbers and lacking in motivation. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate MJ covers and MJ love but this was just bad…and it slowed down the entire night.
Overall, the performance was alright but the beats were dragged out. There was no absolute stage presence and the music in itself, just wasn’t unique for me, or at least, catchy enough. I really wanted this night to end. It didn’t when I wanted it to, so I left before the show ended to head to my next show. Misteur Valaire really should have closed.
Live in Show: Dirty Sound System
@Zoobizarre (MEG; 30 07 09)
Yes! French DJs! French DJs never let me down. Nor do German DJs. I have no idea why this is the case, but it is. But first things first, the openers…I cannot find a myspace for these guys.
But a little tidbit about the venue first. Zoobizarre. This is hands down, the coolest venue I have experienced yet here in MTL. It feels as if you’re in a cave! Easily recognizable in photos because of the low ceilings and block like walls, Zoobizarre is really just that, a biazarre zoo full of animals. I went in and had no idea where to go because of the mirrors which made the space larger than it was, and how even the bar, without it’s lit up bottles, would be completely unrecognizable and blended with the space completely. I was so disorientated but, I think to bump wildly into each other and to be in each other’s space is the goal. Let’s mingle, people!
First up, Alex Why Vs J Levingstone. OOOO OOOO OOOO. Is all I can say. They played such funky old school disco house. House that made you nostalgic of the times before Guetta and Axwell influenced what house sounds like today. I didn’t want them to stop! But…Dirty Sound System! Up next!
His sound is very much like Andrew Butler off of Hercules and Love Affair, very deep and very progressive house. But then, he changes it up and wows me completely with this INCREDIBLE remix of Simian Mobile Disco’s “It’s the Beat” layered with samba and latino backbeats and some deep house. The whole place of 50 some people were ALL dancing. Now that’s when you know you’re doing a good job. But, unforts I had to leave early as my feet seriously could not handle anymore. I am sure that if I wore running shows my woes wouldn’t be so, but dancing in running shoes seems so…uncomfortable.
Anyways, that was the end of my day! Very good and very tiring…stayed tuned for the rest!