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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…

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…

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…

Mutek Exclusives: ATOM

One of the most eagerly anticipated events of Mutek’s 2009 edition is the North American premiere of Robert Henke and Christopher Bauder’s ATOM. This mind-blowingly ambitious event is being undertaken only in Montréal during Mutek and is basically one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard of: a network of 64 huge helium-filled balloons which are each connected to a separate sound source. These balloons are then “played” like musical instruments. A feast for the eyes, ears and mind, ATOM is a show unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.