Monthly Archives: March 2015

Art Not Love host The Montreal Sessions (#3)

After a scintillating second week on CKUT’s airwaves, Art Not Love returns with more local gold. Straight from the horse’s mouth: “We’re back on CKUT Tuesday, March 17th with a live performance from musical maverick, Ari Swan, and a back and forth between ¡FLIST!‘s Charlie Twitch, and Hua Li‘s Peggy Hogan!”

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Album Review: Ibeyi – Ibeyi

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Franco-Cuban twins Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz comprise Ibeyi. They’ve built a 2014 EP and now this self-titled LP debut with piano, traditional Cuban percussion, English poems of wildly variant efficiency, and Yoruban (a Nigerian language) chants. All these instruments are too defeated for hip-hop, but too indignant for jazz. Hence, they deftly choose to forge a fusion between the two genres, part of a broader spiritual and musical mending that’s compromised here over thirteen tracks.

The constant in Ibeyi’s universe: loss, and the ensuing yearning for people and ideas that aren’t present for them; whether because of death, health, unwillingness, or not being of this world entirely. This is a dialogue with themselves, the earth-bound humans, and the sky-bound entities they need to expel their grief.

We begin by hearing the twins’ personal talk with Eleggua, the Yoruban orisha tasked with linking the spiritual world with the physical one. The song is simple, like an easy morning with too much unassigned time and space.

“even if I don’t feel or see you, take me” they chant to Oya, orisha of female empowerment. The trumpets of the Western heavens foreshadow the falling out between human and spirit near the song’s end. “Ah, toi le seul et l’unique / Mais qui pars sans moi / Toi qui pars sans moi.”

Ibeyi dedicates the next three tracks to mending a tarnished relationship. Their appeals are scarred with harsh, loud, strong, unwelcome drums. Each song ends with pleas in tongues foreign to the vast majority of those crude enough to overhear. Ibeyi backs up their plea with two simple, repeated, poetic verses detailing their troubles of the soul and hidden, personal demons.  As they testify, they falter and hesitate. They deploy gentle, whimpering piano as witness, crippled here to only play the most simple chords. It’s the most they can muster while facing the scorn of an angry deity.

They reach Behind the Curtain, the demarcation, their final judgement on whether to spurn deities for good. They lose a man, both a suitor and a father. Or do different men play these roles? “Have you gone behind the curtain? / We are so far, oh very near”

Their decision is made clear in the album’s remainder. No spirits for the protagonists; they take their concerns to earth-bound creatures they can see and touch and obtain satisfaction from and maybe even enjoy the company of. Tracks are now flooded with lyrics not often repeated. Instrumental complexity aligns evenly with that of increasing lyrical – now a second constant for Ibeyi as they’re freed of divine rules and control of their lives.

Review by Evan Vassallo
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CKUT TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE CHARTS::: March 10, 2015

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You guys it’s actually above freezing in Montreal today. Hallelujah!
xo
joni

:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
A couple weeks ago we had lovely local songwriter Myriam Gendron in our studio for a live performance, and her pieces are freshly available to all hungry ears via our Free Music Archive page. For those not in the know, Myriam released an album of Dorothy Parker poems set to acoustic guitar last year on the always-awesome Feeding Tube Records, and it’s been making best-of lists ever since. Live performances are still a bit of a rarity for Ms. Gendron, so we’re extra excited to offer these minimal and lovely folk songs to a wider audience. Check them out here.

:::CHARTS:::
ckut top 30 – march 10, 2015
1. cheap wig – magic idea – self-released CC *
2. viet cong – s/t – flemish eye CC
3. matana roberts – coin coin chaptet. 3: river run thee – constellation
4. rhys chatham & charlemagne palestine – youuu + mee + weeee – sub rosa
5. bonnie doon – an affair to remember – bruised tongue CC Continue reading

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Art Not Love hosts The Montreal Sessions (#2)

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Art Not Love returns for their second week of sharing & airing art that is close to the label’s dark, oozing heart. In the words of Charlie Twitch, label founder, here’s what’s up…

“Today on CKUT FM we’re back on the Montreal Sessions with two new guests: familiar face Nick Schofield of Saxsyndrum, and costume designer and artist extraordinaire Jenn Wade! Tune in to 90.3fm from 3pm – 5pm EST or www.ckut.ca to hear what they have to say for themselves!”

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Kara-Lis Coverdale + International Women’s Day // Underground Sounds

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To celebrate International Women’s Day, tonight’s show will feature some shining examples of ladies-leading-the-way in Montreal’s music community. To help highlight what Montreal  is doing well, and what we can improve on, we’ll hear from guests Démi Begin of Push & Shove, Peggy Hogan of Hua Li and Rachel Weldon of Debaser/Weird Canada.

To start off the program, Kara-Lis Coverdale is our in-studio guest! We’ll be digging into an interview, live performance and a preview of new material from a forthcoming album on Sacred Phrases.

On  air from 20h-22h ~

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VENUS RADIO with L.A. Foster

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CKUT’s Venus Radio collective is presenting a two hour program on women working in music, hosted by local artist L.A. Foster, today from 12h-14h. Lesley has invited a cross-section of Montreal music purveyors to the studio to openly discuss what goes on behind-the-scenes in the music world, and how this terrain is navigated by women. On the panel is Sarah Shoucri from Pop Montreal, Demi Bégin from Push & Shove, Bizou Delanaudiere from Lawless Productions. Listen close for some music biz lessons and sonic selections from a whole cast of forward thinking aficionados. Tune in at 90.3 FM or online at CKUT.ca ~

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Ellwood Epps hosts If You Got Ears

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Montreal’s maddest-hatter, Ellwood Epps, is picking up where Xarah Dion left off… The improvising trumpeter is hosting If You Got Ears for the month of March. In this role, Epps will be highlighting some of the best improvisers in our city, as well as giving us a sneak peak to what’s hip at this years Festival of New Trumpet Music. Catch him, while you can, every Wednesday from noon to 14h on thee mighty CKUT! ‘To whet your appetite, here’s a recent release by Epps himself.

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CKUT TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE CHARTS::: March 3, 2015

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Went on a pretty epic hike through Mont Royal park this weekend and got to watch a lot of cute dogs playing in the snow, which may be my number one favourite thing about winter. It’s turned out to be a record-breaking February for temperatures here in Montreal — good thing we’re a tough city, huh?

Hope you are staying warm wherever you are,
xo
joni

:::WHAT’S UP AT CKUT:::
We’re very excited to be welcoming local label Art Not Love into the studio to curate our March edition of the Montreal Sessions. Here’s a sneak peek at what they’ve got in store for the next month:

This March, Art Not Love records will be taking over CKUT’s Montreal Sessions and inviting their friends from in and around the label to talk about their process as independent artists. Expect to hear how music rules their lives, their personal approach to their work, and where they plan to take things in the not so distant future! Guests will include Rushing Silver, Saxsyndrum, Ari Swan, Robby Reis, DirtyOrgans, Jef Barbara and more in studio with ANL’s Charlie Twitch and Peggy Hogan. “Art Not Love unifies non-genre-normative art and music. We encourage the sacred practice of masochistic submission to craft and style.”

Catch them on the air every Tuesday in March from 3-5pm, starting this afternoon! Stream it live via ckut.ca, or check out full audio archives HERE.

:::CHARTS:::
ckut top 30 – march 3, 2015
1. cheap wig – magic idea – self-released CC *
2. xarah dion – le mal nécessaire – zodiaque musique CC *
3. siskiyou – nervous – constellation CC
4. black givre – autorail – beaver club records CC *
5. mands – 15-6-2014 – misery loves company CC * Continue reading

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Album Review – Viet Cong

viet cong artBy: Emmett McCleary

Born out of the ashes of the Calgary art-rock group Women, Viet Cong are a questionably named outfit with an unquestionably great debut. While there are still remnants of the trademark Women sound (brittle, trebly guitars, a knack for roundabout but memorable hooks, and, of course, the omnipresent jangle), Viet Cong has upped the aggression substantially, crafting an intensely rhythmic and often dissonant sound that clearly distinguishes the band from its precursor. However, they do this while maintaining an effortless sense of melody that crops up when you least expect it.

Viet Cong is an album that rewards patience, with each song taking its time to reveal itself – long intros abound, songs rarely follow conventional pop structure, and riffs are often repeated for extended periods of time without changing much. However, nestled somewhere in the later minutes of each track, there is always at least one striking shift, whether it be in instrumentation, composition, or just general mood. Album highlight “March of Progress” illustrates this perfectly. It opens with the sound of a drill before transitioning into a groove based around heavily distorted digital drums and a SK-1-style synth. The synth plays only two chords, and the drums play the same part over and over again – nothing really changes until the two-minute mark, when another layer of distortion is thrown into the mix, and even this addition is fairly superficial. Nevertheless, the resulting sound is far from boring – it is hypnotic, and the repetitiveness of it all makes it all the more surprising (and satisfying) when at the three-minute mark, the trance is broken. At this point, everything – the drums, distortion, and synth drone – is suddenly stripped away, and replaced with chiming, crisp guitars and almost Beatlesesque vocals. After having experienced three minutes of (nearly) the same thing, this change is thrilling – it feels like you are listening to an entirely different song.

This theme of repetition recurs on the album, both musically and lyrically. Singer/bassist Matt Flegel’s lyrics are consistently nihilistic, lamenting the tedium of everyday life (“vanishing into the boredom”) and emphasizing the directionless nature of human existence (“nowhere at all, we’re going, nowhere to go!”). Both are fairly common themes to pursue, but Viet Cong mostly makes them feel fresh, with the one exception being the closer, “Death”. Clocking in at eleven minutes, the track follows predictable lyrical and music tropes, lacking the angularity and shock value of the other six tracks. To me, it is not interesting enough to warrant its length, coming off as self-indulgent and bloated (although not without a few interesting moments – that opening guitar arpeggio is beautifully executed). Maybe it sounds better live.

Overall, though, Viet Cong have put together a strong record, chock full of memorable riffs, driving rhythms, and well-crafted melodies. I would recommend it to any fan of post-punk, or maybe a Captured Tracks devotee that’s looking for something heavier/more punishing. Happy listening!

ANL week 1

Art Not Love hosts The Montreal Sessions (#1)

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It’s time to welcome our March curators of The Montreal Sessions to the airwaves. Say hello to Art Not Love, Montreal’s relatively new non-genre-normative label, headed by artistic savants Charlie Twitch and Peggy Hogan.  This month they’ll be introducing listeners to their roster and what inspires their masochistic practices. Today, Rushing Silver will be on the phone for an interview about her music and Robby Reis, a prolific photographer, will be in studio to chat about his focus. Come for the art, stay for the love.