music


A day in Montreal, One | Thursday, February 4th, 2010

It was a Tuesday morning, a couple of weeks ago, and it was one of the most beautiful mornings I can remember so far this winter. As I walked to Le Dépanneur Café, the biggest snowflakes you've ever seen were lazily making their descent to the ground. L'Esplanade street was mostly deserted quiet except for me and the crunching of the snow beneath my Columbia boots. Four or five hours of work fly by me like doves until my good friend Elizabeth walks in.

Benoit, the owner, convinces us to buy the CD of his newest musical crush - Erin Lang. I went ahead and paid the paltry $10 for it, while Elizabeth contents herself with a green tea cupcake, also made by Erin Lang that morning. I took a bite. It was pretty good.

I sometimes wonder what parts of my life I'll look back on with fondness in my later years. We tend to morph, twist and deform places, people and things deep in the recesses of our memories, warping proportions and exaggerating emotions. Whenever I listen to Erin Lang, maybe I'll somehow manage to remember the day where giant snowflakes fell on the plateau only to be destroyed under the heel of my even giant-er boot, worked on my laptop for many many hours and ate a dozen green tea cupcakes.


Climbing Poetree@Noches de Poesia | Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Wednesday evening Tonight is the season's inaugural Noches de Poesia, and it promises to be nothing short of Epic. Brooklyn's soul sister duet Climbing Poetree - whom I wrote about back in 2007 - has finally made it to Montreal and will be sharing the stage tomorrow alongside some other amazing artists from Toronto and Montreal.

They've shared mics with the likes of Dead Prez, Alicia Keys, and Erykah Badu, and their Hurricane Season tour is continuing to receive wide acclaim.

Somehow, Elizabeth continues to wrangle some of the most talented and versatile performers to share a stage in our humble little venue, invariably with amazing results. The evenings are always intense, intimate, joyful and beautiful, and tonight's installment promises to take it to a whole new level. Be there!

Did I mention that the show is free? ;)

Le Dépanneur Café: 206, rue Bernard Ouest, @ 5:30pm

Kaie Kellough (Spoken Word en anglais)
Abstract Random, en visite depuis Toronto (Spoken Word en anglais)
Fabrice Koffy (poésic en français)
Truth Is (Spoken Word/Slam en anglais)
Jahnice (Soul poésie en français et kreyol)
Andrea Thompson, en visite depuis Toronto (Spoken Word en anglais)
Climbing Poetree, en visite depuis Brooklyn, NYC (Spoken Word en anglais et espagnol)

Full details here:
http://nochesdepoesia.com/en/noches/30e_noche_de_poesí_2_septembre_2009


World's best MP3 player | Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

This is my Samsung YP-2J. It has:

  • One gigabyte (1,073,741,824 bytes) of flash memory.
  • An FM Tuner.
  • A voice recorder.
  • The ability to play both mp3 and ogg files.
  • No interface or software to speak of - I plug it in, it's detected as a USB drive, and I drag and drop music to it like any other folder.
  • Linux support.
  • A bare-bones, no-frills interface.
  • Buttons you click, not a flimsy touch-screen.
  • A battery that lasts for days.
  • A tiny tiny footprint.

I've carried it with me across countless borders, states and provinces. It's been with me on my runs, hundreds of visits to the gym, cycling for hours, and lying in bed. I bought it refurbished at Tiger Direct for $19.95 plus shipping and handling several years ago.

It is, without a doubt, the best MP3 player in the world.

However, after one too many falls, drops, knocks, or accidental immersions into liquids of varying degrees of alcohol content, it is seemingly on its last legs. The "hold" switch which keeps you from accidentally pressing a button has broken off, the headphone jack is loose and so once in a while the left earpiece will fade in and out, and during especially severe activity like running away from chasing people down, it'll shut itself off. I really don't want to replace this player because it's ideal for me, but I think it's time I move on. Time will heal. Until then, though, I need to find a new player that matches my lifestyle - spastic and disheveled. I basically copy a bunch of songs to my player, set it to random, and go. No playlists, no albums, no sorting. Live fast.


Workout Podcast Number One | Saturday, October 18th, 2008

"What are you listening to?" she asked me, as she yanked my cheap, wrap-around headphones off the back of my neck and put her ear to them. She's cute, about 25, and not in the superhuman shape you'd expect from someone in her line of work. Her figure is quite average, actually. She wears 80s headbands and countryside doo-rags, which would come off as depressingly hipster if she wasn't half-Greek. Because of her heritage she can pull it off, and now it just makes her looks hip, sans stir.

I'd never had a personal trainer before. Whether through sheer confidence in my limited knowledge of nutrition and exercise, or uncertainty in the same, I never got around to being ok with the idea of someone intently watching me work out. It's actually kinda creepy.

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