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Posts by Brendan Murphy

Drink in Montreal: Bagg Taverne

The neighborhood bar is, of course, not just for those that live nearby, though the locals certainly do tend to spend a lot of time there. Neighborhood bars do however always feature a comfortable, unpretentious atmosphere, a friendly bartender or two and a commitment to keeping their drinks reasonably priced. Bagg Taverne, located in the Montreal neighborhood of Mile End, is just this type of place. Being a person who likes this kind of spot (I think I might have one in every neighborhood in the city), I swung by during their opening night to take a look…

Montreal and Osheaga: Coldplay, Beastie Boys…

If you haven’t noticed yet, Montreal is a city that loves its festivals. From the huge (like the Montreal Jazz Festival) to a bit more off the radar (like Les Nuits D’Afriques). So, when a new fest comes to town it needs to a way to stand out. Enter Osheaga, the music festival that launched in 2006, which is happening on August 1st and 2nd. It has two major wildcards up its sleeve: it brings musical acts like Coldplay and the Beastie Boys to Montreal and it’s hosted on Parc Jean-Drapeau, a beautiful outdoor space that seems to have been designed with this very fest in mind…

Montreal Nightlife: Korova

For the second installment in the Montreal Nightlife video series, I visited Korova, a great nightclub on St-Laurent Boulevard. I spoke to Korova’s Nick Robinson in his luxurious office to find out more about this no-nonsense bar (for example, his drink recommendations were bourbon and/or beer).

Montreal Jazz Festival: 5 Must-See Montreal Acts

There’s no shortage of shows to see during the Montreal Jazz Festival. In fact, trying to see everything you and your ears want to hear is near impossible. What you need, then, is a way to cut through the program and pick out something special… My suggestion is to start by checking out some of the best Montreal-based musicians that the Jazz Fest has to offer. From soaring piano pop to funky film scores, this year’s lineup proves that the diversity and love for music that helped create the Montreal Jazz Fest is alive and well in 2009…

Montreal Folk Festival on the Canal

If you’re looking for some beautiful music in a beautiful setting, the Montreal Folk Festival on the Canal is the thing for you this weekend. The second edition of this great, one-day-only mini-fest is going down this Saturday, June 27th, on the St-Ambroise Terrace of the McAuslan Brewery, which is nestled on the banks of the Lachine Canal…

Montréal Nightlife: Blizzarts

To kick off a series of Montréal Nightlife videos, I decided to start with a profile of Blizzarts, a great bar/nightclub/lounge on St-Laurent Boulevard. I spoke to owner Jon Webb to find out what type of crowd they attract and what are the best nights of the week to show up: Tuesday night is hosted by the infamous Peer Pressure crew, Wednesday night is reggae, dub and dancehall, and Saturday is their Mod Club night of 60s and 70s rock, pop and R’n’B. I also investigated what exactly goes into a “brojito”….

Eating late à la Montréal

People in Montréal don’t go out until at least 11pm. But, by 12:30am everything, everywhere is packed. And by the time the bars close, people are trying to figure out where the loft party that goes till 6 am is. In order to keep going, Montréalers need, let’s be honest here, something to soak up all that booze. This list just scratches the surface, but it’s a starting point for late night eats.

Montréal’s Just For Laughs Comedy Festival

For many people, including me before I moved to Montréal what seems like many moonlit nights ago, stand-up comedy was enjoyed primarily on vinyl that their Dads owned or seen on comedy shows headlined by a big name. But seeing comedy in person is an entirely different beast. When it’s good, I can think of no better way to spend an evening. I mean, music is fine, but it’s not all that funny. Except for Weird Al. Sort of. When stand-up comedy is bad, which, at local amateur nights, is at least half the time, it’s truly excruciating. Luckily, from July 17th-21st, Montreal is home to Just for Laughs, one of the world’s great laugh fests…

The Montréal International Fireworks Competition

Everyone likes fireworks. For some, they enthrall because they use the beautiful night sky as a canvas on which to paint a shimmery, ever-changing masterpiece of colour and light. For others (mainly men and small children), they are awesome because they go boom. Montréal is a city that loves fireworks. So much so that every weekend from now until the end of the summer, Montréal welcomes with the world to its skies with the Montréal International Fireworks Competition…

Facebook picks Montréal’s best Mojito

When used properly, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter allow the individual to plug directly into the collective consciousness. They allow for an immediate, unfiltered understanding of what the world is thinking. At their best, they represent a paradigm shift in how we communicate. As a self-proclaimed Web 2.0 guru (I see myself as a cross between the Dalai Lama and a robot), I often use social networking to explore some of the world’s most pressing topics. Such was the case when I recently took to Facebook with an important question for the people: Where is Montréal’s best Mojito?