Looking elegant, Karina Gauvin set the mood with the opening section, comprising one line and delivered with implosive force: “J’ai seul la clef de cette parade sauvage.”
Montreal vocal ensemble VivaVoce is nothing if not adaptable. Unusually, they seem equally adept at everything from John Cage to the Renaissance, which is the focus of this sumptuous new recording, their sixth.
Juliette Greco, the iconic singer of the existential crowd in rive gauche Paris in the 50s, headlined a one night stand at the huge (2900 seats) Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier as a highlight of the annual Nuit Blanche.
Igloofest is what happens when you take North America’s only UNESCO City of Design, fill it with the continent’s most important digital arts scene, toss in some neon-glow ice cubes and then blend at full throttle – to the beats of some of the world’s best and biggest DJs come to play for Montreal’s notoriously fun-loving crowds.
2014 marks the 40th anniversary of ABBA’s Eurovision win with vintage hit single “Waterloo.” Despite consistently topping the charts for nearly a decade thereafter and selling over 400 million records worldwide, the legendary group remain a bit of an unknown quantity to fresh-faced listeners.
Ron Mueck has enthralled me, Dale Chihuly filled me with wonder, but the show last Sunday at Casa del Popolo by garage-punk trio Bass Drum of Death rocked me to the core.
What will future generations think of the music from our era? I often ask myself this question as manufactured popular culture propels itself farther and farther from anything I could consider art. And yet, miles away from the lollypop glow of Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, there are stratospheres of musical culture that continue to thrive. One of the supreme benefits of a population 7 billion strong is that a multiplicity of musical styles grows and flourishes in all the nooks and crannies. Welcome to my nook.
It’s difficult to know how to respond to George Gerswhin’s opera Porgy and Bess. Should we be a bit offended by this condescending representation of African-Americans, or revel in those beautiful sounds that celebrate their musical gifts to the world: jazz, gospel and spirituals?
“Back along the road again, I swear we’ve been here before,” laments Chelsea native Jake Watson on “Those Were the Days,” and for a moment there you almost believe him. I mean, let’s face it. The current landscape of alternative folk is getting rapidly overcrowded. While increasingly crossing over with more mainstream sounds, the overall feeling is that the scene is somewhat diluting itself. Yet before this popular subgenre eventually slows down, Montreal outfit Wind & the Wild make a damn good case at its sustainability with their eponymously-named sophomore effort.
As I reflect on 2013, I cannot help but yearn for the past. The good old days. It was a simpler time, a time when we smoked in hospitals and planes, when pulling out was the only mode of protection in sex, when drinking and driving were the norm. A time when we didn’t childproof our homes or put the kids in car seats. A time when allergies and hypersensitivity did not exist. Those were the good old days for realz.
One of the glories of the Christmas season is the annual intimate Tudor Hall concert at Ogilvy’s performed by the amazing Lyric Theatre Singers. Why amazing? The 35 strong vocalists actually pay to be a part of this group. This dedication shows through in the élan vital that permeates their renderings. Here’s a sampler of what the 21 female (13 soprano, 8 alto) and 14 male (5 tenor, 5 baritone, 4 bass) delivered on their three-day run and what you’ll hear this Sunday.
What a pleasure to hear well composed new music well performed! Musician/playwright Nick Carpenter teamed up with actor/singer Patricia Summersett (hence, Summersett Fred) to head a sextet that is truly innovative as well as crowd pleasing. At their recent appearance at the Wiggle Room..more known for stand up comics and burlesque..their original pieces of fusion genre were musically captivating.
Patrick Watson in concert with l’Orchestra Cinéma l’Amour and two choirs is the closest to a spiritual experience I expect to get from art.
In 1972, twenty-one year-old Gino Vannelli showed up in LA, with his trademark Italian-afro, bell-bottoms, low-buttoned shirt and medallions. Ready to make it big. “People looked at me like, ‘Where the hell are you from?’ ” he laughs. “The look there was the roadie look – everyone in LA looked like Jerry Garcia. They all thought I was from the Greek islands.”
What better way to pass a rainy, windy Halloween evening than sitting in the intimate Salle Bourgie listening to haunting and evocative Persian melodies. As part…