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JAZZ FESTIVAL: BASIA BULAT

The entirely enchanting Basia Bulat is one of the Montreal Jazz Fest’s busiest performers. On Friday night she played the first of three performances at the MACM before jumping up on stage during the Plants and Animals show at Metropolis. We met up early Saturday morning after I may or may not have drank a lot of whiskey with members of Plants & Animals and The Besnard Lakes at Casa del Popolo …

LIVE AT THE JAZZ FESTIVAL: EMILIE SIMON

Emilie Simon, the French songstress that is taking the american indie music scene by storm is back in town. Before her Jazz Fest show on Saturday, June 26 as part of the fest’s late night series (show starts at 11:59 PM), I spoke to Emilie Simon, who has a musical background as eclectic and intriguing as her live show …

THE MONTREAL JAZZ FESTIVAL: WHERE TO DRINK

The Montreal Jazz Festival is the largest jazz festival in the world. Musical giants such as Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald and James Brown have all captivated crowds since the festival’s debut edition in 1980. Today, more than 2 million people attend the Montreal Jazz Festival yearly. But the Jazz Fest is not just about music – it’s about life’s pleasures. And truth is, there’s nothing like a bit of jazz to awake my yearning for a glass – or two – of lilac wine. As famous saxophonist Steve Lacy once said: “Jazz is like wine. When it is new, it is only for the experts, but when it gets older, everybody wants it”. Well, the popular Montreal Jazz Festival is now 31 years-old and well above Quebec’s drinking age. Here are some cool places near the festivites to get your sip on!

IT’S MAIN MADNESS ON SAINT-LAURENT

There are some events in Montreal, like for example the F-1, that locals often avoid. But when it comes to this week-end’s “Main Madness”, when all of St-Laurent is closed off to traffic, even the most cynical of Montrealers can usually find something to do… In my opinion this is because Main Madness, also known as the Street Sale, can be an entirely different experience depending on where you are on St-Laurent. If you want champagne and snootily gorgeous waitresses, head to the area just above Sherbrooke for the terrasses that extend out from spots like Buona Notte and the nearby oyster bars set up on the street. If you want DJs and a slight wilder scene, head to the area outside bars like Korova and spots like Laika .

LA ST-JEAN: WHAT TO DO ON QUEBEC’S NATIONAL HOLIDAY

La St-Jean Baptiste or Fête Nationale is Quebec’s National Holiday. Every year, on June 24, Montrealers and Quebecers from all over the province come together to celebrate French Canadian culture. The tradition landed in Canada with the first French colonists and the first celebrations occured on the banks of the Saint Lawrance River in 1636, revered with a bonfire and five cannon shots. Today, Montrealers from all origins and backgrounds get together on June 23 and 24 to celebrate “La St-Jean”, as we simply call it. Here are some of the festivities happening in Montreal this year!

AN INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL LANOIS

Just days after our interview about his upcoming Jazz Fest show, Daniel Lanois was in a serious motorcycle accident in Los Angeles. Thankfully he’s okay and recovering in the hospital, but has understandably had to cancel most of his summer tour, including his stop in Montreal. I had such a great chat with him that we decided we should still run the interview…

SNOOP DOGG TO PERFORM AT OSHEAGA FESTIVAL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6TUhx2wX0M Legendary West Coast rapper, Snoop Dogg, is the latest addition to this year’s astounding Osheaga line-up. The ultra-smooth and laidback MC will be taking the stage on Sunday August 1st, joined by a live band, to the greatest pleasure of music aficionados kicking it up under the stars of Parc Jean-Drapeau. Later that night you’ll also get to see shows by Metric and American rock band, Weezer.

SOCALLED: MILE END’S CONDUCTOR

Josh Dolgin, aka Socalled, always has about 7000 things on the go. The Montreal screening of the NFB movie about him is just the tip of the iceberg. However, conducting an interview with him at St-Viateur’s Club Social is not the most efficient way to get things done…

MONTRÉAL’S RIALTO MAKING A COMEBACK WITH THE LUYAS

Some things sell themselves: The Luyas, a Montreal band whose acquaintance you should make, are playing a benefit show at the Rialto, one of the city’s most woefully underused venues. And it’s for a good cause. And the cover is only $5… Located near the corner of Parc and Bernard, the Rialto Theatre is a movie theatre constructed in 1924. Montreal architect Joseph-Raoul Gariépy and designer Emmanuel Briffa were inspired Paris’ Palais Garnier and, as you can imagine, the result is pretty breathtaking. There’s a reason it’s designated a National Historic Site of Canada. The Rialto has struggled somewhat since it’s early heyday, but over the years it’s been home to some pretty legendary concerts: Public Enemy, The Pixies, Modest Mouse and Wolf Parade, to name a few. Now under new ownership and management, the Rialto is hoping to make a much welcome comeback…

SHARON JONES AND THE DAP-KINGS GET LOOSE IN MONTRÉAL

If you’re going to see Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings on May 26 at The National and happen to be the type of fan who likes to take things in from the front row, you should be prepared to become part of the show…