Despite criticism from fans based on interviews, the Heavy Montréal line-up ended up being one that should sell more tickets than its 2013 incarnation. Headlining one of the days, love them or hate them, is Metallica. The other day will go to Slayer, appearing at Heavy MTL for the first time since 2010.

Other featured bands include Lamb of God who were scheduled to play in 2012, but couldn’t. Three Days Grace, Hatebreed and Symphony X clearly show what the festival’s creators meant by going back to their roots. On the punk/rock side of things, The Offspring, Bad Religion and Pennywise are standouts.

In addition to the stellar line-up, a fourth stage was added. Since the festival intends to reach the largest number of people (and considering the event has grown considerably since its inception) is it possible that stages will now serve a greater importance with the farther out stage catering to the rock and punk fans while the two main stages cater to the heavy metal fans.

Another interesting note is the amount of North American artists. While Heavy MTL has always mainly featured artists out of North America with some European bands thrown in (In Flames, Children of Bodom, At The Gates), this year’s Euro flavour comes from Epica and Apocalyptica from Netherlands and Finland respectively.

In an interview with Canoe, Nick Farkas, head of programming said: “In recent years, the festival took a very metal corner and it has put off people to go.” Part of the reason why the festival had a lower attendance in 2013 than it did in 2012 was because of groups such as Avenged Sevenfold headlining and a lack of ‘must-see’ bands. While 2012 had SOAD, Manson, Slipknot and Deftones, 2013 had to settle with Danzig, A Day to Remember and Godsmack. It should be a no brainer why fans chose 2012, myself included.

Tickets go on sale this Friday with weekend passes going for $165 and gold weekend passes for $400.

HeavyMTL2014_Billingue.1

If you weren’t willing to brave the treacherous sidewalks on Nuit Blanche, you were likely viewing art below the streets. Navigating the underground city was trying, given its immensity, but well worth it to avoid the cold and the drunken ruckus up above. Art Souterrain had on hand cultural guides, and the sometimes even the artists themselves on hand to have a chat. Foundations is the theme for Art Souterrain 2014, calling for reflection on how we build connections, identities and places, whether they be in the digital or physical realm.

Touche-o-maton by Hannah Palmer and Aude Guivarc’h at the Eaton Center. Photo by Julia Gunst.Tucked away in the Eaton Centre, Touchbooth, provides an antidote to our selfie-saturated world with an interactive photobooth created by Hannah Palmer and Aude Guivarc’hOne artist who embraced the selfie in video format was Owen Eric Wood. Many of us have snapped a photo ourselves while traveling, in lieu of asking someone to do it for us. Owen Eric Wood had the idea to create a video self-portrait in selfie-style, titled Return. While traveling, he used the camera to film himself he expresses continual self-evaluation and transformation in unfamiliar lands.

“I had this idea- does traveling make you feel either alienated or disembodied or disconnected…because you have nostalgia from the place that you are from and when you come back you have nostalgia for where you were?” he told me in the Place Victoria food court.

“It’s not just about these places, but this character in these places…it is about self-reflection… now that I’m displaced and I don’t feel like I belong there, who am I?” he added. He juxtaposes images from Mexico to Italy with narration in several languages, as he swirls in and out of the frame. Wood, who obtained a B.F.A. from Concordia University and an M.F.A. from the University of Windsor, explores identity in the context of specific themes in his work, and is certainly a video artist to watch.

Next door at Place de la Cité, photographer Meagan Moore was present at her piece Maison. The piece used photography and video to Megan Moore's Maison. Screenshot courtesy of Megan Moore.recreate the experience of her Grandmother’s home. “It was kind of like a sanctuary when I was young and I wanted to preserve the calm feeling of the house,” explained Moore.

That house is presently up for sale, and a connection to this place ever more important. Moore used both photography and video in a patchwork fashion to reconstruct the house, while leaving a living and open feel. “I didn’t want it to become a memento mori,” she added. The soft sound of a ticking clock loops to accompany the images, and you can easily begin to feel at home.

Later on, I caught a performance of Taktiligne by Geneviève Le Guerrier-Aubry in Place Bonaventure. Using an infrared camera and programming code, Geneviève drew as her body moved with the goal of saturating the screen with geometric shapes.“My performance consists of creating a design, and my body is integrated into the design. I’m using a wireless mouse with which I’m drawing,” explained Geneviève, “I find there is an interesting effect with the costume. There is a visual effect and this is what I research. How do we integrate the image into the body and make it fluid?”

The design disappears after the performance, making it truly a live drawing. If you missed the Nuit Blanche performance, you may get another chance to see her perform. “I really want to continue to do more in the future,” added Geneviève.  She is currently completing a Masters in Communication and Media at UQAM.

Margo Majewska's Plato’s Tectonics. Photo by Julia Gunst.

I ended my underground adventure at Plato’s Techtonics by Margo Majewska in Place de la Cité. Seeing the shadows of passersby float onto the folded paper structures,  I was reminded that things aren’t always as they seem and certainly that was the message of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. The exhibits I saw questioned identity, time, place and how we perceive them. Until March 16th, you can come make your own conclusions and explore these exhibits, along with the many more present throughout the underground.

 

For its fifth instalment, the live, late night talk show Night Fight will welcome celebrated screen and stage actor Graham Cuthberston to the Mainline Theatre stage for a special Saturday night edition on February 22. Known for his frequent work with the SideMart Theatrical Grocery and his roles in recent productions such as the Segal Centre’s Sherlock Holmes and The Haunted Hillbilly, Cuthbertson makes a fine addition to eclectic assortment of personalities  who have graced the Night Fight couch.

Graham Cuthbertson Night Fight, Episode Five, will also feature musical guest Chesley Walsh and celebrity chef Antonine Francoeur-Despres, who will regale all with a demonstration of culinary magnificence.

Normally a Friday night affair, this will be the first edition of Night Fight to take place on a Saturday. Come 11 pm, all bets are off. There’s really no telling where host Walter J. Lyng and Musical Director Leighland Beckman will take the show, but it’s bound to be a place of wonderful insanity.

Night Fight has proven itself to be a surreal one-of-a-kind attraction that needs to be seen to be believed. Featuring segments such as the Top 38 List and the occasional knife stunt performed by the very un-trained Lyng, Night Fight combines the classic tropes of late night talk shows with the manic energy of a Vegas variety review.

In only four episodes, Night Fight has already featured appearances by professional wrestlers Giant Tiger, Twiggy and The Green Phantom as well as T.J. Hazelden, star of the hit series Dinner With T.J., burlesque sensation Miss Sugarpuss and professional dancer Stephanie Morin Robert.  In addition, Night Fight has also offered musical performances by local favourites Nick Raz (of the BCASA), Bones Malones and Aaron Ricker.

MainLine Theatre is located at 3997 Boulevard Saint-Laurent. Tickets are $8 regular and $6 for students at the door.

 

The genuine enthusiasm and energy with which Alessandro Mercurio, the director of Concordia’s upcoming production of Tonight We Play “A Soggetto”, speaks about the show is palpable. It’s obvious that much care and effort has gone into creating a magical world where theatre, in its entirety, can be explored, expanded and celebrated.

Tonight We Play “A Soggetto”—or Questa sera si recita a soggetto in Italian—opens on Wednesday, February 12 at the F.C. Smith Auditorium. Written in 1928, it’s the final part of Nobel Prize-winning writer Luigi Pirandello’s “theatre within theatre” trilogy and is a script that Mercurio has much experience with. As a student at the Accademia Nazionale D’Arte Drammatica Paolo Grassi in Milan, he worked on the play with Massimo Castri, one of Italy’s most renowned Pirandello scholars. With Castri he spent months analyzing the script, something that has also been part of the process with his Concordia cast.

“The script for Tonight We Play ‘A Soggetto’ is a text that you have to change every time you work on it” he explains. “It’s very linked on the present moment. You have to understand who you are, who is your audience, what kind of society will see this show.”

“It’s the story about a company who is playing a play” Mercucio says. For this reason “every actor has to create two characters: the actor involved and that actor’s character.”

“The script is a celebration of theatre,” he continues. “I wanted to celebrate theatre not only as an art but as a physical space.”

The result is a translucent realm of visibility. The actors are always visible to the audience and to each other; their costumes are translucent and there is a transparent curtain which exposes everything behind it. The entire theatre is in want of the audience’s attention.

Mercurio also celebrates theatre by weaving a variety of theatrical forms throughout the show. Each scene will pay tribute to different cultural theatre traditions, such as Commedia dell’arte, German expressionist theatre and Indian shadow puppets.

In one scene, Mercurio uses a miniature puppet theatre and shadow play to subvert associations of largeness and grandeur that are often attached to the opera. This choice also explores another theme of the show: the permeable boundary between fiction and reality. The small-scale puppet theatre is a playful representation of an opera house, but the audience will still experience a display of abundance through the oversized shadows cast on the wall.

The F.C. Smith Auditorium is an intimate theatre, one that Mercurio says is ideal for this show. “The whole space is used. Theatre is the main character.”

Tonight We Play “A Soggetto” plays at the F. C. Smith Auditorium (FC Building, 7141 Sherbrooke Street West, Loyola Campus) on February 12, 13 and 15, 2014 at 8 p.m., with matinee performances at 2 p.m. on February 15 and 16.

Montreal Poutine Week

Poutine Week is a festival where we get to celebrate poutine in Montreal! Between 20-30 restaurants prepare a special poutine just for the occasion for $10 or less. Fans get to vote for their favourite ones by using the unique code provided by each restaurant. By the end of the week, winners are declared. Log on to http://lapoutineweek.com/ for the list of participating restaurants and to cast your vote. Poutine week ends on Friday February 7.

An Evening of Multimedia Performance: “Deep Screens”

The performance series “Deep Screens” showcases live music/film/video acts that extend the screen into physical/virtual space through performance and formal interventions. This inaugural version of the series focuses on acts that use optical illusions, 3D animation, props, synthesizers and wicked tricks to expand screen planes and alter planes of consciousness.

Featuring: Le Révélateur/ Sabrina Ratté / Alaska B/ Katherine Kline / Leyla Majeri. The event takes place Friday, February 7 at Studio XX.

LE RÉVÉLATEUR / DATA DAZE from Sabrina Ratté on Vimeo.

Concordia University Department of Theatre Presents: Tonight We Play “A SOGGETTO”

concordiaWith only a few weeks to go, Concordia Theatre students are busy preparing for their production of Tonight We Play “A Soggetto.” The show is a metatheatrical experience that challenges conventions and actively leaps from comedy to drama while exploring the permeable boundary  that separates life from fiction and actor from character.

This third part of Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature Luigi Pirandello’s “Theatre within Theatre” trilogy takes an incredible and extreme situation as the starting point to question the meaning of theatre: a director/scientist asks a group of actors to improvise an entire show in front of the public.

Concordia’s version of Tonight We Play “A Soggetto” is a never ending rollercoaster ride. A true challenge for young actors, it is a pyrotechnic game and a leap into the world of theatre that draws on theatrical forms such as Commedia dell’arte, German expressionist theatre, puppetry, musical theatre and the Italian lyric opera.

Wednesday, February 12 to Sunday, February 16 at F.C. Smith Auditorium (Concordia’s Loyola Campus).

Persephone Productions Presents: The Walnut Tree

walnut tree

The Walnut Tree tells the story of the intense journey of Sussel, a young, privileged Jewish woman who grows up in Czernowitz, studies in Prague and Paris, endures the horrors of World War II in Eastern Europe and ultimately escapes to the peace and promise of a new life in Saskatoon. The character of the older Sussel looks back at her life, accompanied by her alter ego, a Musician, who performs on a piano. This powerful, transcendent drama sets the devastating power of historical events against the personal forces of reconciliation. The Walnut Tree deals with vital social, political, and ethical issues, and finally (most importantly) with enduring love.

February 20 to March 1 @ Centre Culturel Calixa-Lavallée.

You have an awesome event coming up? Send us all the info at arts@forgetthebox.net.

Drawing, as a fundamental medium in both the arts and sciences, is a rich topic for exploration. Very few of us have gone our entire adult lives without being asked to draw out our ideas, stick figures and all. A Priori, an exhibition held at the VAV Gallery, is showcasing the works of 12 artists that have investigated the important relationship between drawing and communicating knowledge. The aim of the exhibition is to showcase work created during the Concordia University course “Drawing and Knowledge” taught by professor Patrick Traer.

The exhibition will also provide the public with a chance to meditate on what drawing means to them. Tremé Manning-Cere, one of the participating artists in the exhibition, explained their goals: “We hope that after visiting the exhibition the viewer has gained new knowledge, either on a topic they were unfamiliar with, or on how drawing as a medium, can hugely vary and has the power to portray great information, ideas, narratives and histories.”

Each artist has chosen a particular subject to communicate through the medium, ranging from gun laws to anatomy.  “Much like the diverse experiences and ideas that each artist is trying to document and express, their representations are fluid and each uniquely individualistic”, added Tremé. The exhibition gives equal space to both traditional forms of drawing and broader conceptualizations, such as using makeup to create marks on a face.

The place of the artist themselves in drawing is questioned in some of the pieces that have used mechanized objects, such as a mousetrap, to create marks. One of these mark-making machines will be running during the exhibition, giving the viewer a chance to experience the performance of drawing and mark making.

What place does drawing have in today’s image-saturated world? Make your own interpretations by visiting the exhibition February 3 – February 14. A Vernissage will be held February 4 from 6- 9pm, as well as a Finissage on the 14th from 6- 9pm, each with a different set of artists present to talk about their works. For more information, visit their Facebook event page.

 

 

no pants no problem

The winter blues are definitely in full swing.  Even as days get longer and the warmer weather isn’t quite so much of a distant memory, it’s still so cold in my apartment that I sometimes have to wear mini gloves with the tips of the fingers cut off while typing. In a desperate attempt to warm up, I watch the Fireplace Channel on Youtube to bask in the warming glow on the screen and the sound of the wood crackling.

Yes, it sounds like I need an excuse to get out of the house and get the blood flowing. What better occasion than the return of No Pants, No Problem, a socially conscious underwear dance party for a good cause. The premise is simple: drop your pants at the door, dance around in your best boxers, briefs, boyshorts, panties, jock strap or even thong and help support organizations with a mandate to advocate for HIV awareness and sexual/gender rights. No Pants, No Problem isn’t just a fun, underwear dance party, it also provides a politicized space for challenging ourselves around our own understandings of gender, sexuality and HIV.

As much fun as it is to dance around your apartment in your underwear, let me tell you that it’s even more fun at a bar, in this case Little Italy’s Il Motore (179 Jean-Talon West).  You can leave your pants at the on-site pants check, but make sure to come early to secure your spot as it filled up around midnight last time.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, there will even be a kissing booth on site for you to practice your lip-locking for the big kissing contest.  If you’re lucky enough to be leaving the party with a fellow sexy pantsless dancer, make sure to visit the safer sex/harm reduction booth first for free condoms, gloves and other goodies.

Tunes for the evening will be provided by resident DJ Like the Wolf, playing a sweet mix tape of classic and contemporary tracks that’s sure to keep the dance floor nice and sweaty. Also heating up the night will be a series of sexy burlesque performances from members of Glam Gam Productions.

No Pants, No Problem was founded as a community building event in 2004 and has also appeared in Toronto, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Vancouver, New York City and Mexico City. They also made their debut at the International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC last year.  It is a unique and safe space for people for of all orientations to release their inhibitions about body image and sexuality. Their goal is to help build and bridge communities while challenging the binary sexual and gender norms that dominate mainstream culture.

The cover charge is $10 or $5 if you check your pants, although no one will be refused for a lack of funds.  The space is fully wheelchair accessible.  For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

 

 Earlier this summer, I began journeying back into the world of poetry reading, a scene I had exited almost five years ago, and attended one of Montreal’s new reading series organized by local poet Klara Du Plessis at the lovely Resonance Cafe. Jon Paul Fiorentino was one of two featured readers and took to the stage at the end of the event. I’m not sure what caught my attention first, the wit in his poetry, or the copy of Hello Serotonin that he threw right by my head as part of his performance. Let’s call this a very memorable first impression indeed.

Fiorentino is a young author with an impressive body of work including full length books, contributions to literary anthologies, radio essays, scholarly articles and criticism. His past full length books of poetry and fiction include Indexical Elegies (2010) Stripmalling (2009), soon to be produced into a feature length film, Asthmatica (2005), Hello Serotonin (2004), Transcona Fragments (2002). He is currently a professor at Concordia University where he teaches creative writing.1289851_10151640572503297_849750968_n

After my encounter with Jon Paul Fiorentino at the Resonance Reading Series, it seemed that we kept bumping into each other around the city at local shows and poetry readings. After a little while, I decided it was time for me to read one of his books. On September 8th, Fiorentino is launching his latest book of poetry entitled Needs Improvement.

Needs Improvement is Fiorentino’s sixth collection of poems. In these pages, Fiorentino takes a critical look at the language of education and the way in which pedagogy coerces and enforces certain types of performances. Split into three sections, Needs Improvement, is satirical, witty, and ironically educational in the ways of  poetry and language. Of the collection, “Lowerhand”, “The Report Card of Leslie Mackie”, ‘Guide for Taking the Exams’ and “Open Source” are standouts. Furthermore, the schemas used in the ‘Pedagogical Interventions’ section are poignantly tongue-in-cheek and a treat for those familiar with the seminal works of Foucault, Butler, Freud, and more.

In light of the launch, I had the chance to quickly interview Jon Paul Fiorentino about his writing process, his wit, and Needs Improvement.

Poets you admire/enjoy currently?

JPF: David McGimpsey, Darren Wershler, Darren Bifford, Margaret Christakos, Sina Queyras, Ken Babstock, Christian Bok, Mike Spry, Elizabeth Bachinsky, Jessica Grim, Catherine Hunter, John K Samson. I am happily all over the map.

What is your writing process like?

JPF: Drink, cry, write, rinse, repeat.

What inspires you generally, and more specifically when it came to writing Needs Improvement?

JPF: If this book has a “cause,” I suppose it would be anti-bullying. Needs Improvement addresses the way we receive instructional, evaluative, and pedagogical language. It reveals how teachers are often the worst bullies and it advocates for a space for the marginalized, different, odd.

What would you say was the greatest challenge in writing this book?

JPF: I “wrote” some visual schematics for seminal texts and a series of fake report cards. It was a lot of labour to come up with a design that looked like grainy photocopies of 1980s report cards. The schematics were fun to do, but also very labour intensive. Graphic design is one of my unhealthy habits.

You have an impressive amount of publications under your belt, can you tell us a bit  about your journey thus far as a writer?

JPF: I started young. But I’m glad I did. I am proud of my early books, warts and all. The early juvenilia is still mine and it makes it clear how far I’ve come. I am no longer afraid of saying a thing simply and clearly. Nor am I afraid of letting myself go in the name of linguistic experimentation.

1003227_10151629120998297_970425842_n

Wit and comedic ability seem to be at the core of your work, where do you think this comes from? 

JPF: I think I use humour (less so in poetry than in prose) because it’s a natural component of my rhetoric. I was a weird little kid and got picked on a lot. I developed a heightened sense of humour in part because it was the best way to negotiate with bullies. The adult world has even more bullies and I find myself in the unique position of being able to call them out. Humour is an excellent all-in-one tool for disarming thoughtless, evil people.

What would you say has changed in terms of your writing since your last book?

JPF: I think I am more at ease with the idea of the intersection of activism and art in writing. I’ve always believed in this intersection, but I wasn’t always able to be so direct about it in my own practice. I think things changed for me quite recently when I began to write op-eds about things like sexism, depression, mental health advocacy.

Jon Paul Fiorentino launches Needs Improvement on Sunday, September 8, 2013 at Sparrow (5322 Boul. St-Laurent). Readings by Fiorentino and special guests: Jacob Spector, Julie Mannell, Mike Spry, and Jason Camlot. Event website: http://www.chbooks.com/events/sept-8-jon-paul-fiorentino-needs-improvement-montreal-book-launch-2013-09-08 

Trade Secrets appeared on my radar when they performed alongside Two-Year Carnival and The This Many Boyfriend’s Club (whom I had recently interviewed) at l’Abysnthe. Needless to say, I was impressed and increasingly curious when TVM and local radio CKUT shot a live performance of Trade Secret’s single ‘On the Road’:

On Tuesday April 9, I met up with Trade Secrets at Bifteck shortly after one of their practice session for beers, lots of laughs, and great discussions about the local liminal music scenes. Introducing the musicians of Trade Secrets: Taylor Evans (bass), Taylor Berce (vocals, guitar), Chris Taggesell (guitar), and Kyle Jacques (drums). Taylor B., Chris, and Kyle met at Gardner Hall, a McGill University student residence, where their first musical incarnation took the form of a Weezer cover band (mostly stuff from Weezer’s Pinkerton album). For their first gig, they carried their instruments into the residence’s communal washroom, posted ‘out of order’ signs on the doors, strung up some Christmas lights, and partied away with their fellow floor mates. Last September, Taylor E., whom they met through mutual friends, joined them and soon thereafter, Trade Secrets began.

3368701088-1Last January they launched their first EP No Relation at Psychic City, their jam space where they sometimes hold musical parties with other local bands. Happy with the reaction to their tunes, Trade Secrets is ready to move forward with new material as they continue to perform (after an unfortunate upcoming short summer hiatus). Their EP has a recognizably lo-fi 90s alt rock feel and of the tracks  “Gonna Die” and “Nocturnal” take the lead. No Relation is perfect for the thawing of winter for those who are looking forward to dancing, romancin’ and having some burrs in the sun.

In terms of inspiration and influence, the band members have a hodge podge of muses: Kyle used to play in a hardcore band called Oceans, Taylor B. likes folk rock as does Taylor E., who also has a strong inclination towards the music of Prince, and Chris is into metal and psychedelic music. This isn’t an Achilles heel, but rather they balance each other out and what makes their sound unique is the way in which their contributions come together: “The music that we make comes out sounding like a band that none of us really particularly identify with,” said Kyle, “all of the bands people would compare us to aren’t necessarily any of our favorite bands, but it’s where we end up when we play together.” The band has common ground over the songs of their youth, Weezer, The Pixies, Modest Mouse, and their round up song: “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears.

“My self-realization is that when I was young I thought that what I wanted was to get interviewed by someone on Much Music, but I realized that it’s more fun to play in dingy bars and have interviews in dingy bars”, said Kyle as we discussed the changes in the music industry in the last fifteen years. “It used to be that everything had to be mediated through a third party,” Talor B. continued, “Now with this sort of decentralization, it’s easier to form informal communities.” Chris noted the important aspect of meeting people through playing shows and through music and the kind of spaces that this can create. Performing live is an important factor in entering the Montreal music scene, which they see as having a great grassroots component which is the fulcrum of its accessibility.

Venues we’re an interesting topic of conversation for a band that recognizes the importance of supporting those DIY and band friendly spaces. Taylor E. recounted that his favorite show took place at a small cafe in Kingston called The Sleepless Goat where they played with Sweet Jets for the local crowd. The cafe transformed into a great venue where everyone had a blast, until the cops showed up to break up the party. Nodding towards band friendly places like Barfly and L’Absynthe, Taylor B added that “the music community is built on bands setting up shows themselves and that’s only going to happen if costs are friendly and more bars are open to this.” Chris agreed, adding that his favourite shows have been at their jam space Psychic City where they not only played but organized the show.

ts2“I think there’s an unfortunate trade off between intimacy and legitimacy when you play a show. You want the intimacy of a house party, because that’s where you are directly with people. But then you don’t want to be the band that JUST plays house parties. Unfortunately, the larger more legitimate venues you play, you get farther and farther away from the audience,” Taylor B elaborated, “There’s a discernible difference between  being on level with people when you play and being on a stage above them. I think we are trying to find the in between.”

In keeping with my tendency for bad puns, I asked the band to trade some secrets with us: “We have a bizarre insane addiction to the Simpson, it infiltrates everything we do,” said Taylor B. When asked which characters from the show they would be, Trade Secrets named: Carl Carlson, Hank Scorpio, Max Power, and Homer Simpson’s Stock Broker.

Catch Trade Secrets Saturday at the CJLO fundraiser (Turbo Haüs: 1180 rue St-Antoine, room 408) where they will be performing alongside The This Many Boyfriends Club, with whom a small friendly rivalry is burgeoning: “Can we get on print that The This Many Boyfriend’s Club has the best rhythm section in Montreal?” asked Kyle who explained that he has taken Evan Magoni (drummer of TTMBC) up on a friendly drum duel. We hope to get an invite.

We’d like to thank Trade Secrets for geeking out about music stuffs with us.

This year’s Art Matters Festival is already underway. The event runs from March 8–22nd with venues scattered all around the city. The student run festival aims to join the emerging art community of Concordia University’s undergraduate students with local art institutes. All organizers, curators and artists exhibiting are Concordia students. The festival promotes growth, diversity, exposure, communication, and community.

The first official event was hosted event for the festival’s 13th edition was hosted at the Mainline theatre on Nuit Blanche, and another opening party featuring djs and video projections at Espace Reunion.  Artists from all disciplines are celebrated: visual art, dance, performance, music, and design are just some of the  expressions showcased by this year’s line-up. Come  celebrate the creative individuals that make up Concordia University’s population.

Here are all eleven exhibitions being held this year:

Assumptions are not derivative of accepted facts but of distant tales. -March 7 – 19 at Galerie Espace

Curio – March 8-22 at Coat Check Gallery

Erase and Rewind – March 8 – 22 at Studio XX

Ill Palette – March 8 –  22 at Eastern Bloc

Lab 353 Biologie Materialiste – March 8 – 22 at Espace Projet

Menagerie for Hair & Wood – March 11 – 17 at La Baraque

Nature/Culture – March 8 – 22 at Studio #427

Ruins – March 11 – 22 at VAV Gallery

The Tactility of Objects: A Retrospective – March 7 – 18 at Les Territoires

Youth Well Wasted – March 8 – 22 at BBAM! Gallery

Another F****** Exhibition About Identities -March 1 – 30 / Casa Del Popolo

 

For more information on curators and artists, attend the open house weekend March 16-17.

http://artmattersfestival.org/

http://www.facebook.com/artmattersfestival 

So here’s the thing about getting older; after spending a week at the office the idea of standing in long lines and crowded venues filled with apathetic hipsters screams exhausting, not exciting. But as much as I’m having a weekend love affair with sweatpants and Netflix these days, there are certain nights where even this old lady knows she has no excuse not to drag her ass out of the house and go experience some culture. Nuit Blanche of course is one of those nights.

As I walked to my first venue of the evening, The Montreal Museum of Fine Art, I delighted in how pretty the snowy weather made everything look and thrilled that it wasn’t the same sub-artic temperatures as last year. As I waited in the dreaded line up to get into the museum I cursed the heavens and wondered why there couldn’t be one Nuit Blanche that wasn’t affected somehow by the weather.

While I couldn’t really blame some of my companions for deciding not to wait in a snowstorm, I’m glad some of the gang made it in. We wandered around the main lobby of the museum watching body painting and listening to a DJ. My companions and I were sad we couldn’t indulge in our fantasy of running around the permanent exhibitions at night, but then not surprisingly our spirits were quickly lifted when we realized they were giving out free beers.

image_galleryThe main attraction of going to the museum was the travelling exhibit, Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and Moon. While everything in the exhibit was beautiful, my favorite part was definitely the pre-Columbian treasures. Standing in front of ancient crowns definitely brings out the Princess fantasies in a gal. The exhibit runs until June so you have plenty of time to check it out for yourself.

Our night of museum stops continued when we then headed to the Canadian Center for Architecture where there was a Pop Montreal showcase going on. This time the insane line up was too much for me so instead of checking out the music show, I wandered around enjoying the exhibits the museum had to offer. I’ll never regret that choice because while I was wandering around the museum I discovered the Karaoke room, where they were performing the last song of the night Shake Senora.  It was there where I experienced my very first spontaneous conga line, which snaked around the museum. It never ceases to amaze me how you can make the most careful plans in life and then out of nowhere you  have the most random and enjoyable experience instead.

While long line ups also prevented me from getting on the Ferris Wheel at the Quartier des Spectacles, we managed to find other fun like Arts Souterrain and standing on the main stage of Place des Arts. It was not my first time on that stage; I have stood on that stage as a child when my mother organized events there and then when I graduated university, but for me there’s still something magical about it. Standing on that large stage looking out at the crowd really makes me wish I could belt out some opera notes or be a piano progeny. If only…

 

This Saturday welcomes the tenth celebration of Montreal’s Nuit Blanche. These festivals have been happening all around the world for over two decades now. The goal: to transform a city into an all night art party. With events from dancing to performance to  poetry to visual art, there is something for everyone. This is the one night a year we are shaken out of our homes to experience the city and it’s cultural decadence illuminated.

drink___draw_005

Programming is in five different zones: Quartiers de spectacle, Old Montreal, The Olympic Park, The Plateau and Mile End, and even an underground site throughout the metro stations. During Montreal’s all nighter,  the metro will stay open all evening, as well as shuttle buses around the city to get you to and from each happening – clearly you have no excuse to stay in this Saturday! Do your best to plan the night accordingly as there’s lots of ground to cover and lots of hours to fill. After a few fantastic Nuit Blanches in several major cities, I look forward to see what Montreal brings to the table.

Here is my advice on how to get the best out of your Nuit Blanche experience:

1. Plan accordingly! Make a list of the sites you want to visit, plan out your route and double check times to make sure you can get there on time. Most listings include start and end times, as well as the times that the artist is present (if you’d like to get a more immersive understanding of what you’re experiencing). With many things closing at 3 a.m., do your research and check out what you’re really interested in, there is nothing worse than making it across town to be disappointed with the experience.

AS_6_2_C_Bolduc2. While the snow might be melting, let’s not forget it is still winter. The best advice I can give for enduring a full Nuit Blanche is keep warm. You might be bouncing between sites but remember travel time is included, and as the sun goes down it gets chilly. Wear an extra layer or two if you’re trying for endurance this Saturday.

3. If you plan on enduring the entire night – make sure you get enough sleep. Maybe catch a nap, and take the first couple hours off. Getting out a bit later means that the crowd becomes thinner, which allows you to have a more intimate experience as a viewer. If you take this route, make sure you double check times of the events you’d like to get to as some of them aren’t open the full duration of the festival. Remember, the metro is open all night, no reason to rush!

4. Let yourself be fluid. While it’s best to have a plan, it’s okay if you don’t hit each spot on your list right away. You have all night, and there’s tons of beautiful art of each persuasion to experience.

Here are some of the events I recommend Nuit Blanche 2013:

Catherine Bolduc, Labyrinth (Ikea) (Square-Victoria)

Caroline Dejeneffe, La Naissance, La Vie et La Mort (McGill)

Emily Hermant, Hésitations (Bonaventure)

Matériaux Composites and Marie Eve Fortier, Living Room N˚2: L’effet Tunnel (Square-Victoria)

AS_1_4_F_DuboisFrance Dubois, Nébuleuses (Place-des-Arts)

Vincent Ducarne, Still Lives (Square Victoria)

Luminosonicities, Goethe-Institut (Place-des-Arts)

Every Song I’ve Ever Written, Usince C (Beaudry)

The Divine Comedy, Galerie Bac (Beaubien)

Turn on a Dime, Citizen Vintage (Mont-Royal)

Spaces Between, Mainline Theater (Sherbrooke)

 Nuit Blanche at the CCA

You can also download the Nuit Blanche iPhone/Android app for updates.

A happy Nuit Blanche to all!

nuit-blanche-festival-montreal-lumiereYet another winter festival is upon us! This week kicks off the 14th edition of Montréal En Lumière. From February 21st to March 3rd the city will be filled with theatre, music, dancing, and visual art programming, both indoor and outdoor! While many of the events are hosted indoors have ticket prices, the central outdoor site is free. Throughout Quartier des Spectacles there will be live performances, interactive art  installations, food and drink vendors and of course beautiful lights. In addition to the live entertainment and arts, Place des Festivales has a ferris wheel. There is also a cinematic dome that will screen films, as well as for performances by VJs and DJs providing eye and ear candy. The festivities run until eleven each evening (excluding Sunday).

The event ends with Montreal’s Nuit Blanche on March 2nd. This year will mark the tenth celebration of the all night art festival for Montreal. The downtown site of Montréal En Lumière will remain open until 3 a.m., but there is no lack of things to see. Programming for the event is city wide and has designated spots through quartiers de spectacle, old Montreal, the olympic park, the plateau and mile end, as well as art through the metro stations. There are shuttle buses  provided to get you to and from each happening. Do your best to plan the night accordingly as there’s lots of ground and lots of hours to cover! I’ve experienced Nuit Blanche in several major cities now and am looking forward to seeing how Montreal differs from the rest.

Watch for our complete Nuit Blance preview coming out soon!

 

I first heard Les Monstres Terribles at Il Motore when they opened for Alexei Martov, LOFTS, and Photo.Real. I was immediately intrigued. Thus, right after their set, I walked up to the lead vocalist, boldly interrupted his conversation with a pretty lady, and asked for an interview with these compelling bards.

Nicely enough, Quentin Mitchell (vocals), agreed to the interview and I had the opportunity to sit down with him, Scott Wood (vocals, electric guitar), Laura Shrum (bass, double bass) and Rachelle Arsenaul (keys) at Cafe Italia in Little Italy. Mike Beaton (drums), the last (but not least) member of Les Monstres Terribles, was at a hockey game during the interview. We can respect that (even if we don’t understand it).

390133_10151141687992309_590358342_nLes Monstres Terribles began back in Victoria, where Quentin, Laura, and Scott, who had been playing in a mutual friend’s band which out of necessity disbanded, decided to take some songs written by Quentin to the stage. They played around Victoria, even putting together and performing with an orchestra of eleven people. The name of the band was inspired by Quentin’s love of Gorillaz in terms of the plurality of the name and Gorillaz’ collaborative nature. At the time, Quentin had been working on art where he would turn inanimate objects like amplifiers into monsters. His love of the french language and ideas at the time of maybe attending McGill for music combined with aforementioned to give: Les Monstres Terribles.

Two years go by, they decided it was time to go and decided to move to Montreal: “None of us had ever been to Montreal, but we had always been intrigued by the rumors of the magical creativity that goes on around here”, said Quentin. The three friends drove for ten days, making their way to Montreal, after selling their possessions in a huge garage sale and saying good-bye to friends, coming to la belle province with no job or apartment prospects. Once here, they began looking for a drummer and found Mike Beaton who had just arrived in Montreal form Nova Scotia. They worked with several keyboardists and finally found Rachelle Arsenault, who is now a permanent member of the line up.

Their newest album Le Loup et Le Lapin, which they launched at Club Lambi, was originally intended to be a double EP. The imagery of its title and artwork is intended to depict two different sides of a coin: the darker and lighter aspects of their music. The tracks on this album, reveal melodic rock, echoes of fanfare, and a compellingly melancholic nature. Comparisons are difficult, but in an effort to orient the reader try to imagine a combination/pastiche of Arcade Fire, early Patrick Watson, and The National. Of the nine tracks on the album, “That Melody” and “ Graveyard Shift” are the standouts.

564212_10150652471572309_1225272134_nIn terms of inspiration, Laura finds her inspiration in her jazz background and the carnival and circus feel combined with some pop and folk styles. Next, Scott is inspired by “alcohol and drugs”, life in general, and Tom Waits. As for Quentin, he cites “whisky, women, and woe”, Gorillaz, Portishead and Radiohead. The band’s songwriting is moving towards an experimental nature: telling stories with soundscapes and trying anti-narrative lyrical approaches. The song “Waves” on Le Loup et Le Lapin is a good example of this experimentation. Moving away from the familiar arena of heartbreak (re: Women and Woe), for Les Monstres Terribles playing with song structures and trying to keep songs interesting to play technically are strong influential factors in their current songwriting.

In light of the flurry of films like Twilight (Hardwicke, 2008), Beautiful Creatures (LaGravenese, 2013), and Warm Bodies (Levine, 2013), I asked Les Monstres Terribles which supernatural creature/monster they would like to be if they were to be in a romantic tryst with a human. Quentin went with werewolf, in keeping with the theme of their album, naming. Laura would be a hobbit, although Scott feels that she would make a better garden gnome. As for Scott, who sports a killer mustache, he would be a chupacabra. Last but not least, Rachelle would be Superman, who is technically an alien, but declined to reveal her kryptonite.

Les Monstres name Jacky and Judy (now closed) as their favourite venue in Montreal and their show at Club Lambi as their best show so far lauding the sound technician. Their next show is this Sunday, February 10th at Café Chaos(2031, Rue Saint-Denis) for Buckfest 2013.

hatchmatick

hatchmatick

So if you’ve ever been to the old Darling Foundry in Old Montreal you’d know it’s a pretty sweet venue. The spot hosts all sorts of cool sexy events, anything from circus & burlesque shows to high-end disco parties. Well this weekend there is a pretty hot event going down called Darlings.

The event will be featuring a kick ass line up of Montreal DJ’s including:

* PRISON GARDE

* ZUBI

* HATCHMATIK

* KYLE KALMA

And we want to send you there! ForgetTheBox is teaming up with Tyler & Sally to give away 2 sets of 4 tickets for the party. So come get your dance on.

How do you get in on all this? Simple. Leave a comment below telling us what your favorite drink is. If you can’t come up with at least one alcoholic cocktail recipe maybe you shouldn’t be going out in the first place!
For extra chances to win, share this contest with your friends on Twitter & Facebook.

Good luck!

https://www.facebook.com/events/280113225440321/

Audio Blood POP Montreal Afternoon Soiree

Audio Blood POP Montreal Afternoon Soiree

Forget The Box is proud to be teaming up with Audio Blood to present Audio Blood’s Afternoon Soiree at this year’s POP Montreal festival! The party will be on September 20th during the day at Divan Orange and it’s FREE*!

We’ve got 6 awesome bands playing all afternoon including:

So bring your dancing shoes!
The show is absolutely free! To get in simply RSVP by tweeting #ABLOVESPOP
(limited space available)
And if you want to get your hands on some awesome band merch, leave a comment below telling us why YOU love POP Montreal and share this article!
Check out some of the awesome bands: