what an epic epic weekend. meg montréal had an incredible lineup, especially for the boat. osheaga had a disturbingly amazing lineup which made this horribly organised festival all the more worth while. so yeah, before i talk about the  music, i wanna talk about the osheaga festival.

what mainly pissed me off was this whole “green stage” thing…why not have a GREEN FESTIVAL?!?! oooooh, one stage! ONE! raw/vegan/vegetarian green food stand! great way to really show how committed one is to the enviro movement. what is even WORSE is the amount of trash left lying around because we had to walk minutes just to get to a garbage can. the state of the grass and grounds around the toilettes was horrendous as the one picnic table became a dumpster! and that fountain that was nearby that was spritzing water…for what purpose!?!?! to cool people off, sure, but running it at that level for the entire two days is the biggest waste of water ever. why not have a water fountain that people can USE to REFILL our water bottles?!?! instead of charging 5$ for people to buy new ones. we have such good LOCAL food and produce, good LOCAL vendors here yet none of it was represented in the midst of the digustingly expensive hot dogs at la fleur, beers at budweiser, and even fresh fruit, chips, and water at the smaller vendors.

the only good thing about osheaga outside of it’s incredible lineup this year is the fact that you were allowed to bring in your own food and water. so my friend and i made delicious salmon arugula and baby tomato salad along with egg sandwiches and saved ourselves from unhappy stomachs and wallets. yes the music is important but, ultimately it is the experience as well, and at 75 bucks or 150 for both days, it isn’t less affordable when you  have to spend more than 30 bucks each day on little food or drink to sustain yourself. 5 dollars for a hot dog?!?! voyons donc c’mon! though osheaga isn’t as large or as aged as coachella or bonnaroo, the food there is filling and well proportioned, there are good options for all types of diets, and NOTHING was at least 10 dollars like it is at osheaga. the corps and sponsors rent out the space only to make more money by ripping us off. fuck dis shit! as snoop dogg would say.

i look forward to the day when osheaga will continue to have good music, be true to their environmental initiatives, and support local independent quebec food and produce!

but, enough of the ranting! overall, the weekend was faaaantastic for great music and dancing. so, recap of meg boat and osheaga weekend after the jump!

osheaga day 1: pallett storms off, beer-y faced malkmus, once again drunk nationalists, and the most amazing, as usual, arcade fire

aaah yes. i have been waiting for this for a few years! i saw final fantasy (owen pallett) live for the first time in seattle at the bumbershoot festival a few years back and it bleeeeeeeeeeew my mind. every time he toured since then i have missed by a few days, a few weeks, and it broke my heart to miss him. finally i get to catch him live and once again my mind exploded into little bitty pieces. how does he make those sounds from just his violin…looping, flowing and ebbing all the rhythms and beats which come together so naturally and beautifully just like the ocean waves. unfortunately the crowd at osheaga, like it always is, sucks. because most of the people at osheaga aren’t from montréal. us montrealais are crazy and we dance and we scream and we party and we pray for more rain if it rains and we just don’t caaaaaaare! but yeah, the crowd was from like, ottawa and toronto and blahblahblah and it was only ME and one other dude that were dancing. HOW CAN THIS BE?!?! whoever is NOT moved by pallett’s catchy and smooth vocals and incomprehensibly incredible chansons needs to be wacked. for real.

i can honestly say that owen pallett is one of my favorite artists to see live…he never fails to amaze me and make my jaw drop. his music is like no other. pallett went through some classics like “this is the dream of win and regine”, “lewis takes action”, etc…featured in his albums: has a good home, he poos clouds, and his newest under his new artist name (owen pallett), heartland. i knew he was going to close with his epic track “lewis takes off his shirt” but midway through he abruptly stopped because the monitors were just not working…a problem throughout his set…”i can’t do a looped show without working monitors…sorry! bye!”…something like that. a kinda shitty ending…but if you can’t play the song right because osheaga sound sucks (it really does), then why diminish the integrity of the song…so i understand. it’s ok owen i still love you! please check out/buy his albums here!

i don’t really listen to edward sharpe and the magnetic zeros but have constantly heard good things about them. why i haven’t jumped on this boat is beyond me. they came on stage and sharpe said something about the first time they came it was a bad show…and had to come back and make up for it. after seeing them for a good 40 minutes i had no idea how their previous show could have been bad. soooo much energy, such good live folk poppy music to dance and sing along to. i had no idea that “home” was their song…yet when the closed with it i knew all the lyrics already. a sign of a good band. they only have one album that i know of, up from below, released last year! you can buy it here!

jimmy cliff the jamaican ska and reggae legend still shares his soul and his music with us at 62! he has received the Order of Merit which is the third highest honor one can achieve from the jamaican government for one’s contribution to the arts! he played all the hits that he is very well known for including “we are all one” and his covers of johnny nash’s “i can see clearly now” featured in the movie Cool Runnings and cat steven’s “wild world”. as people roamed and wandered the fields of osheaga, everyone was mouthing and singing along to the lyrics…though i haven’t listened to cliff for a very long time, and i imagine most of the crowd of a different generation haven’t either, we all still knew the lyrics to sing along. and as cliff sang about world unity, environmental and political calamity, and about peace, we all felt the truth behind the music, and how much we still have to go to achieve this calamity. cliff has been fighting for and singing for peace for over 50 years and so can we. he has released nearly 30 albums since the age of twenty. his newest one, existence, was just released this year! check out his albums here.

this is my 3rd or 4th…? time seeing k’naan. every time is amazing. never disappointing. truly a man who stays true to his music and his politics. i’ve written quite a bit about him since the birth of this blog. he is amongst my favorite canadian hip-hop artists and artists in general! check out more posts here! buy his music here!

stars. wowwwwwwwwwwwwww! i remember the days back in the day when they released set yourself on fire and i could NOT stop listening to them. i was obsessed with them back in uni and saw them quite a few times live…but was disappointed every time. i loved all their albums especially night songs (2001) and set yourself on fire (2004) and kind of stopped following them ever since their last last album, in our bedroom after the war (2007). they recently released their newest one after three years, the five ghosts. they started off their white and pink rose laden stage with the single from the latter album, “we don’t want your body”…with interesting lyrics “you sold me some cheap ecstacy so you could have some sex with me…i don’t want your body, i don’t want your body”. hmm. haven’t given the new album a listen yet but as the set progressed, new album songs were played and they sounded quite nice. the best part i think was hearing the oldies that i haven’t heard in aaaaaaaaaaaages ’cause i kinda forgot about the stars until osheaga reminded me of them. stars played classics like “elevator”, “your ex-lover is dead”, and one of the songs of the festival for me—SO SHOCKED they played this because i haven’t heard it ever in the previous times i’ve seen them live—“going, going, gone”. it is one of my favorite stars songs and they made it a bit moodier adding the mono electro drones to the mix. such a great set. buy their albums here!

mp3: Stars – Going, Going, Gone

yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesss!!! keeeeeeeane! after six years of datse finally aligning i got to see this fantastic english alt rock group originating out of east sussex london. i’ve been obsessed with keane ever since their debut album hopes and fears was released back in 2004. imo, none of their albums to date have even come close. to be quite honest, all i wanted to hear was this album live, i didn’t care about hearing any other songs. hopes and fears is one of my top albums ever yet it is so ridiculously underrated. their first single “everybody’s changing” drew me in with the starting note—i first heard it on One Tree Hill…*vomit…i know*—and it remains one of my favorite songs eeeeeeeeeva. anyways, their short set (tear) was pretty much a greatest hits set. so basically…IT WAS AWESOME! they played “crystal ball”, “perfect symmetry”, “this is the last time”, “somewhere only we know”, “bend and break”, “everybody’s changing” and more! unforts most of the crowd had no clue who they were…it was like with most of the other artists too (pallett, and even pavement! shame…really). they rocked OUT! they were having soooo much fun on stage and i just wasn’t expecting such a performance for some reason. they really put out an incredible show and at one point, k’naan came on stage to do the song they collaborated on together, “stop for a minute”! one of the best shows of the weekend for me no question! buy their albums here!

mp3: Keane – Everybody’s Changing

THIS NIGHT GETS BETTER AND BETTER!!! the lineup is full of bands i have been waiting AGES to see! pavement was The Reason i went to osheaga. well, the main one. i have not moved from my spot in between the two main stages at this point. i walked maybe ten meters back and forth and have not sat down since the afternoon. but how can you with this kind of line up?!?! up next, PAVEMENT! oooooh i have been waiting a while for this. they played a well rounded set list with songs from all their albums…i was a biiit disappointed to not hear some of my favorite pavement songs like “at&t” and “shady lane” but all is forgiven. they opened with “gold soundz” followed by “stereo”, “cut your hair”, “spit on a stranger”, and obviously, “range life”, and “here”. suuuuuuuuuuch an amazing set!

malkmus sounded perfect just as he does on studio, speaking yet singing at the same time. playing the guitar behind his head and doing some wikkid solos. let’s not forget about the crazy bob nastanovich, who surely popped some face veins drumming and screaming his heart out on some pavement tracks. watching nastanovich alone was worth the ticket. he fucking ROCKED OUT! there were only two bad moments. one, a well aimed full beer (what a waste!) got thrown and hit malkmus straight in the face! he took it so well, saying “it was a good shot, at least”. but that really wasn’t cool. apparently the guy who threw it was super drunk and a few people got up in face but nothing really happened to the guy…though something should have: for wasting a beer and for hitting malkmus. the bastard! and two, once again, just like at all other festivals where legends play, the crowd just wasn’t there and it wasn’t packed or as enthusiastic as it should have been. no one knew who pavement was. i saw small and dispersed groups rocking out and singing along to the songs but most people were uninterested and indifferent. WTF! foooooooooooor shame! so sad, really. all in all, an amazing set and seeing pavement has fulfilled a part of me that was empty. twenty years later this band didn’t fail to amaze me. we pretended it was 1996 like malkmus suggested and it was all alright. buy their music here!

mp3: Pavement – Stereo

mp3: Pavement – AT & T

brooklyn based but originating in ohio, the national recently released a new album, high violet. i’ve given it one listen and am not as impressed when comparing it to their previous incredible two albums, alligator and boxer, released in 2005 and 2007 respectively. they played a good selection from each album with the set list comprising of “afraid of everyone”, “conversation 16”, “terrible love”, “mistaken for strangers”, “slow show”, and of course, “fake empire”. i am pretty sure the lead singer (matt berninger), as he (normally) is, was drunk. at first i didn’t realise and just thought he liked to rock out and dance in his own peculiar way…but in retrospect and after chatting with people at the show, it’s come to my knowledge that this is a “national” thing. nonetheless, it doesn’t make them sloppy and it only makes berninger’s baritone ways even more pronounced.

though i am a huge fan…there was something about this performance that was missing. and i still can’t quite put my finger on it…i think it might have been the sound that wasn’t really getting to me. and i didn’t much like the comment that berninger made about prince. he was saying how they get to play on stage with two favorite bands of all time (arcade fire and pavement) and went on to say that they shared a stage with prince…but prince was just, whatever. PRINCE IS JUST WHATEVER?!?! well i am paraphrasing bc i don’t quite remember exactly what he said. but prince is NOT JUST WHATEVER. prince is king, people. KING. any artist should be fokken grateful they shared the stage with prince. maybe it was in good fun??!? who knows. buy their music here!

at this point my feet are aching, my legs are burning, and my back when bent felt like a karate chop to my spine each time. there was an extra 15 minutes in between the national and arcade fire. thank god. so i sit down. and everyone is pissed off at me for this. why? i am FUCKING TIRED PEOPLE. and sitting down is the smartest thing you can do at this point and in a crowd of this magnitude. one, it secures this spot for you. you don’t move anywhere, people move around you. two, you don’t have to stand and you get to save up your leg juices for some more rockin’ and dancin’. and three, though people do bump into your or occasionally step on you because they think there is an open space, you are saving the spots of everyone around you too. anyways, enough about my sitting strategy, onto arcade fire!

i am sure that for the montréalais that were there, it was their first time seeing arcade fire. having many friends here who either had to go to québéc to see them the week before or just wait for osheaga, a majority of them have waited years and years because arcade fire normally do such small shows when they do local shows here and it sells out just too fast. myself, well back when i was in edmonton i drove to seattle just to see them. it was epic. because i saw them along with the gossip and lcd soundsystem. one of my fave shows of all time!

but finally, to see arcade fire in a festival setting amongst the closest of friends, best of fans, and in the built up excitement of seeing one of the greatest canadian achievements after three fantastic albums and years of wait…there was no doubt in anyone’s minds that this was going to be a show that would define a part of our concert going experience.

they just released their new album, the suburbs, three years after neon bible which was three years after their incredible debut album, funeral. the suburbs is one of the best albums of the year and levels to the quality of arcade fire’s previous two albums. instruments galore, dynamic rhythms and musical compositions, explicitly subtle political lyrics, sing-a-long-cries, win and regine’s unforgettable voices, and like always, the surburbs is positively soaked in the Personal. it is one of my most looped albums right now. it took me a few listens to fall in love but now after about 10 listens i have determined that it is better than neon bible.

arcade fire (owen pallett was there too!) in their newly shaved head looks (minus regine—who wore the most dazzling dress) started the night off with their single from the latest album, “ready to start”. the majority of their set was comprised of suburbian songs such as “deep blue”, “rococo”, “empty room”, “month of may” and my personal favorite off the new album which was dedicated to all their close friends, “sprawl ii (mountains beyond mountains)”. along with new tracks they played some good oldies like “neighborhood 2 (laika)”, “no cars go”, “crown of love”, “neighborhood 3 (power out)”, and “rebellion (lies)”.

the end was here. but an encore was on the way oh yes! the crowd for arcade fire was amazing. we all sang together, clapped together, and felt this epic night unraveling before our eyes together. the band came back on stage and started the first notes for “wake up”…and at that moment i, along with others nearby me and i am sure hundreds of others in the thousand bodied crowd, cried. oh wow it was so emotional, “aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAaaaaaaaaAAAAAAhhhhhhh…somethin’ filled up…my heart with nothin’…someone…told me not to crrrrrrrrryyy…”. it was the exact same for me in seattle too.

this band mean it when they play, they mean it when they sing, and their emotions and their shining hearts given forth cannot be resisted and only absorbed in the highest of ways. there’s a reason why arcade fire is and will be one of the greatest bands remembered. it’s not just their incredible studio albums…once you’ve seen them live, it’s the impossibly hard to forget experiences and emotions that are relived just hearing their songs, just thinking about arcade fire…i get goosebumps. this was the perfect ending to a perfect day. see arcade fire if you get the chance. buy their albums in the meantime here!

mp3: Arcade Fire – Half Light I

mp3: Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)

osheaga day 2: black keys rocked, sipped on gin and juice with snoop, whipped it with devo, and awesome shenanigans with weezer

the motherfokken black keeeeeeeeeeeeeeeys! last time i saw this incredible duo was at the bumbershoot festival in seattle a few years back around the time they released their first album attack and release. i think this was the show that gave me hope that rock, true rock, still existed and was living strong. the black keys released their new album brothers just this year and it rocks just as hard as their last. it’s pure and simple rock melodies with amazing riffs and solos in between and not to mention the clear blues influences that dan auerbach brings. one of the best shows of the weekend for me for sure. i was close to breaking my neck. check out my other posts on them here. buy their music here!

mp3: The Black Keys – Next Girl

mp3: The Black Keys – Black Mud

snoooooooooooooooooooooop dogg! snoooooooooooooooooooooop dogg! snoooooooooooooop dogg! it was a hard decision to not go see one of my favorite montréal bands, pawa  up first, to go to snoop dogg instead. but the latter were only playing a mere 30 minutes…so i guess that’s what did it for me. having already seen the top dog at bonnaroo festival last year and being very very disappointed, i decided to give the d-o-double-g another chance. he pretty much did the same songs, covering a lot of songs like “i wanna love you”, paying tribute to tupac, doing the east-side west-side thing, playing a mix of all his old school songs in a five minute rendition…but this time…THIS TIME! he didn’t show up 20 minutes late, didn’t have us competing for audible loudness for 20 minutes, and didn’t do a horribly tried jamaican accent. he wore a BADass snoop dogg ring, started off the night with the dre and snoop hit “still”, and played classic hits like “gin and juice”, “drop it like it’s hot”, and “sensual seduction”. i had a lot of fun during this set. snoop was down. i was down. we were all down and g that night, yo! bounce bounce bounce. SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIET! check out his stuff here, yo!

it truly is a pity that rising stars, especially LOCAL talent, only get 30 minutes on a dingy stage at the osheaga fest. so, just because pawa up first is incredible, are one of my favorite bands, have three amazing albums, and everyone should hear them and know them and love them…here are some tracks! buy their albums here!

mp3: Pawa Up First – Inuit Wedding

mp3:Pawa Up First – Big Freeze

wow now i finally know what my friend meant when he skipped seeing 2manydjs at coachella for this old school new wave 80’s band, devo. these guys rocked the shit out of that green stage at osheaga! i don’t know any of their tracks outside of their famous single “whip it” and every song that i heard up until the point i had to wrench myself to leave in order to make it in time for weezer was AMAZING! so danceable! so fun! and those devo hats are aaaaawesome! i want one. check out their stuff here!

dear daddy, i write you, inspite of years of silence. you’ve cleaned up. found jesus. things are good oh so i hear. this bottle, of stevens, awakens ancient feelin’s…like father…STEP FATHER! YOUR SON IS DROWING IN THE FLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD! YE YE! YE YE!!! *guitar riff: weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeEERrrrrrrrrWEEEEEERrrrrrrr!*

one of my top shows of osheaga hands down. i drove all the way from edmonton to seattle to see one of my favorite artists of all time and like always, they deliver. playing as many classics as possible within the time frame they had (closed out with “buddy holly” but it really should have been “only in dreams” or “in the garage”), along with some newbies, covering mgmt, along with all the cuomo shenanigans like dressing up like lady gaga and doing some poker face…i rocked out harder than at any other show and i think this is just ’cause i am completely and utterly in love with these guys and their music and i have been listening to them ever since their blue album (the best one!) back in ’94. great ending to a festival. weezer rocks! *makes w sign with hands* buy their albums here!

meg montréal: i was on a boat, i was on a boat, motherfokkers look at me i was on a motherfokkin’ boat

wow first time on the meg boat and it was AWESOME. capped at a few hundred people i am sure, the boat left the docks of the old port in montréal under dark and un-starry skies, floating amongst the beautifully lit views of downtown at night and the industrial parts of montréal that aren’t cool in principle but super cool when on a boat and seeing their true structures up close. four levels. on the deck was one dj and on the bottom most level, retro carpets and disco balls outfitted the space for another dj.

i only cared for two djs that night…and the rest of the night i just chilled and smoked amongst friends. the first dj is black devil disco club. or, bernard fevre (from france). known primarily for his super super rare vinyl release of disco club back in 1978. after many re-releases on aphex twin’s label Rephlex, the record got renewed attention. he hasn’t released much in the twenty plus years (i have no idea what he’s been doing in this time) but the show that he put on for us at meg boat is indication of how fevre’s still got it. his set was all disco, dance, electronic artistry to it’s best. disco club is for me, one of the best records of all time…and the fact that it was made back in 1978 solely with synths, tape loops, and a drummer, in a time where midi or computers did not exist, is beyond me. the best show of meg boat…one of the best shows of meg montréal for sure! buy his music here!

mp3: Black Devil – ‘h’ friend

i’ve blogged enough about the juan maclean. surely you guys know who he is?!?! this was the next show that i was looking forward to. unfortunately it was just a dj set but it was better than nothing. he cranked out tunes from his albums, tunes from his dj kicks contribution, his most pleasing single “happy house”, and some relevant tracks in the house world like dennis ferrer’s “hey hey” single. at this point in the night, after a full day at osheaga and another four hours dancing on the meg boat, i was positively finished with music. but the juan maclean kept me going and it was a perfect ender to an incredible weekend. buy his music here!

mp3: The Juan Maclean – One Day

mp3: The Juan Maclean – Happy House

mp3: The Juan Maclean – Tonight

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