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Posts by Brendan Murphy

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?

A Google Map of Montreal Nightlife

If you’re visiting Montréal to come experience our incredible Nightlife scene, there are so many options that it can be hard to get your bearings. You may have come to town with a couple places in mind. You may have, if you’re very astute, handsome and intelligent, been reading this Nightlife blog and gotten a couple ideas for where you want to go. But, if you’re planning to jump around the city a bit, to let the night winds take you where they will, it’s nice to know where all those spots are in relation to each other. For this reason, I’ve taken the time to make a special Nightlife in Montréal Google map for you to help plan your nights out on the town…

Outremont: Attractive Waitresses and Arcade Fire

I love when a whole evening can be had in one small corner of Montreal. Though this is a city easily traversed by bus, metro or bike (and now Bixi), there’s something special to planting yourself and some friends somewhere and seeing what comes… No corner better fits this description than the intersection of Fairmount and Hutchinson, where the hip Mile End neighbourhood turns into the quietly upscale area of Outremont. This trifecta of fun boasts two of my favorite restaurants and one of my favorite places to see live music…

Dance in Montreal: An Introduction

This may come as a shock to you, but I’m not a big dancer. I think it’s been the years of working as a music critic, where the job entails standing at the back of the venue, often beside the other Montréal music critics and taking in the music and crowd analytically. Or, that’s what I tell myself anyway – maybe I’m just a bad dancer… But I do recognize that many of you are dance-happy and, though you might not catch me on Montréal’s most happening dance floors, I definitely know where they are…

Mutek Montrealers: Ghislain Poirier

He’s attracted international attention through his remix work (Les Georges Leningrad, Clipse, Lady Sovereign and more) and his albums for Chocolate Industries and Ninja Tune. But Ghislain Poirier imprinted himself on my Montréal music radar after I attended one of his legendary Bounce Le Gros nights, where his distinctive mix of hip-hop, dub, dancehall, baile funk and more collided. At the time, it was a mix of hip-swiveling dancefloor mayhem unlike anything I’d ever heard. Fast-forward several years, and Ghislain has become one of Montréal’s dancefloor ambassadors, beloved at home and coveted by party people everywhere….

Drink in Montreal: Absinthe at Bily Kun

After an incredible four-hour meal on Mount-Royal at the lovely Au Cinquième Péché, a culinary marathon featuring a seal appetizer and smoked pork served still smoking, it was clear that no ordinary after-dinner drink would suffice. Only a round of absinthe at Bily Kun was up to the task…

Mutek Montrealers: Akufen

It’s no coincidence that some of the biggest shows at Mutek are being left in the capable hands of Montréal musicians. The same love and support of electronic music in this city that helped make Mutek so popular has also helped propel several local artists to international acclaim. A perfect example of this funky symbiosis is the man known as Akufen, who returns to Mutek with some new music I can’t wait to hear…

Montreal Jazz Fest: Rock, Rap and Beyond…

A quick look at Montreal’s Jazz Fest line-up reveals that there’s a whole more going on than all that jazz. The fest has always featured line-ups of musicians from all corners of the world, playing every type of music under the sun. This year is no exception. I’ve gone through the line-up and picked out a couple shows of note…