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Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Art’s Okay I Guess

In Canada, Celebrate Your Scene, Features, Gigs, Montréal on March 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Art Matters, the festival that erupts in the city of Montreal annually thanks to Concordia University, is back in a big way. It’s scheduled to go on from March 1st to March 19th, and tonight, March 4th, is the Opening Party. Read the rest of this entry »

Conversation: Private Eyes

In Choice Cuts, Features, Song Reviews on February 9, 2011 at 10:24 pm

I’m really proud of the work my Montreal compadres do on all the local news and show information. Unfortunately, as the lone Procrastinator trapped down here in the desolate Washington D.C area (note the capital P, because trust me, there’s quite a few regular procrastinators in the United States’ capital), I can’t really contribute the way the rest of the boys can. Instead, I attempt to make my mark through my (hopefully) clever writing, (probably not that) unique opinions, and over use of parentheses (funny, right?). Anyway, we’re looking to expand on some of the more original content in the weeks to come. Here’s a little taste of what we have to offer, in the form of an old piece Matty and I did on the inscrutable Hall and Oates. Read the rest of this entry »

Jazz Under the Radar (pt. 2)

In Features on January 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm

This is part 2 of a series about the great jazz that you can and should be hearing, even if it tries to hide a little. See part 1 for more.

It’s been quite a while since any new big band has done anything noteworthy, or anything at all really as far as I know. That’s why Adam Lane’s Full Throttle Orchestra, and their newest release, Ashcan Rantings are such a sweet concept. It’s probably also why they’re incessantly being compared to Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus’ bands. Read the rest of this entry »

A Walk on the Moon

In Features on January 19, 2011 at 1:06 pm

I’ve always enjoyed describing the very specific feeling I get from certain music. I don’t necessarily mean specific emotions, like “happy” or “mellow”. Some music just brings out weird, almost indescribable descriptions, like “blue” or “walking through the woods”. In honor of these feelings, we at this website are beginning what will hopefully be at least a semi-regular feature, creating and writing about a series of songs meant to be the soundtrack for a very specific scenario. Read the rest of this entry »

We’re Back, In A Big Way: 2010 In Retrospect

In Canada, Celebrate Your Scene, Choice Cuts, Features, London and the UK, Montréal, New England, New Jersey, Worldwide on January 12, 2011 at 6:00 am

We’re nostalgic already. Remember Kanye’s album? That was dope. Seriously though, we had a great year and we hope you did too. Here’s a little something we put together to put all our love for 2010 in one place.

The list was made by averaging Matt, Steve, and Ethan‘s 25 favorite albums of 2010 (Arnold‘s opinion, though very highly regarded, was not included because he doesn’t like to confine music to lists…or he just didn’t make one). Click on the artist to see what we’ve had to say about them previously, and click the album art on a select few albums for a little surprise.

TOP 26 ALBUMS OF 2010

Read the rest of this entry »

Midday Pro’s Encounter with Junip @ Le Belmont

In Choice Cuts, Features, Gigs on November 16, 2010 at 12:25 pm

It began amidst a cacophony of 21st century communications. November 4th had been an eventful day. I’d managed to interview Ariel Pink of despite several technological failures, and my academic efforts had been rewarded with a good mark in my literature class. As heavy rain poured down, and the evening darkness closed in on the fatigued inhabitants of  Blackader, it was fairly certain to me that the day’s interesting business was over. An evening of bleary-eyed study lay ahead.

In order to delay the seemingly inevitable, I decided to Skype anyone who seemed game for a bit of gossip. Unfortunately (in the best possible way), I found that only my parents were available, thousands of miles away in the grey UK. As the dialogue between us progressed into a desperately boring ‘oh-is-that-how-Dorris-at-work-is-how-interesting-please-do-tell-me-more’ episode, my phone rang. In order to save what little dignity I still had in the eyes of my parents, I thought it best to reject it. A quick glance at the missed calls list showed me it was Guillermo, the music editor of Leacock’s.

‘The Ariel Pink interview hasn’t been sent in,’ I thought. Best to pretend you don’t have your phone on you. The call with my parents finished, and I began to text Guillermo my excuses. He beat me to the punch, and my phone rang again. As I started to stammer out my apologies he interjected, ‘you’re on the list for Junip tonight.’ After thanking him profusely, I sat down to ponder what this meant. My phone beeped again. ‘You have a plus one as well’ the text read.

I flew out of the library and over to Bar des Arts faster than you can say ‘Sony Bravia.’ A quick scan of the room revealed plenty of people I was sure would jump at the chance to seeJose Gonzalez perform on stage with three other outrageously talented Swedes. Alas, it was full of people who actually care about their 8.30am midterm the next day.

‘But you’re getting drunk on $1 beers,’ I protested. ‘Le Belmont is the logical next step!’

‘Drunk!? Never! This is mental lubrication for the Cybertheque,’ the occupants of the room chorused in reply.

Confused, and with the show starting soon, I drunkenly (don’t try this at home kids), hopped on my bike and pedalled like a mad man towards Le Belmont. The rain sodden sidewalks were deserted, and, after trying to brighten the evenings of the few grumpy looking passers-by with the offer of free music, I realised the show had started, and I would be tackling this one alone.

The show was beautiful. Junip has undoubtedly come to a wider attention after the international acclaim of Jose Gonzalez’s solo efforts; Gonzalez also takes on lead vocal duties here. His soft, gentle, and familiar voice settled the audience, as it delightfully reflected the band’s gentle pysch-folk. Le Belmont is also a great host venue. The stage is low, the sound more than adequate, and when the black cubic dance floor gets filled with wooden tables and chairs, the atmosphere is incredibly intimate for such a large venue. Attractive young couples and bearded folkies sat sipping on cream-ales and oatmeal stouts, listening as Junip’s gentle sound washed over them.

While their music certainly conveys a pop sensibility, Junip’s sound is more interesting than that. Long, single chord drones betray their hardcore and krautrock influences, and these are backed by hypnotic and itchy drum rhythms. At times during the show, it even seemed that Gonzalez’s acoustic guitar was the most important percussive instrument in the band. At the back of the stage, Tobias Winterkorn played ascending riffs on his moog synth, which really anchored the show in the present and stopped the audience from drifting off into a timeless daze. Indeed, so delighted was the audience by the performance that they demanded a second encore, cheering enthusiastically when the band acquiesced. I was therefore filled with not a small amount of sadness as the house lights came up at 11pm.

However, even though the show had ended, my night with Junip had not. I bummed a light from a couple of women, and together we plotted to accost Jose.  I was on a mission to pick his brains for the secrets of his tunings; the women were there for other, less printable reasons. We knocked on their tour bus, only to learn from their driver, Dave, that they were still inside. ‘Go and find them, a couple of cute girls will have no problems meeting them’ he said, sending me a wink.  We talked our way past the bouncers and back into the venue, only to be met by the band’s eager drummer coming out the other way.

‘Do you know where ‘Casa de Polololplo is?’ he asked.

‘Casa del Popolo?’ we suggested.

‘Yes, we’re going there for a drink, come and join us!’

We didn’t need telling twice. The next thing I knew I was striding (or at least I felt I was striding, it was probably more of an excitable dance) down The Main in the rain, listening as Jose Gonzalez proceeded to tell me how he had opened for, or played with, 99% of my musical heroes, often in peculiar circumstances.

‘Ah, I played with Salif Keita in Harare, actually.’

‘We’ve opened for The Knife once or twice.’

‘We met some of the guys from Refused once; Tobias (the synth player) has jammed with them a few times.’

It was lucky we reached Casa just as we did, because I was getting weak at the knees just listening to these stories. Once inside, the conversation and ale flowed freely, as did the discussion. For two hours the band chatted with us about European politics (dangerous Fascist tendencies on the rise) and hardcore punk (‘Bad Brains are good because they came first, but they are not actually that good,’ Jose corrected me). Eventually, the time came for us to leave, (or for the venue to close; I was a little too merry to be fully aware at that point), and we said our goodbyes. The band hopped aboard their tour-bus along with our accomplice, their driver Dave, from earlier in the evening, and I once again drunkenly hopped on my bike. As I proceeded to pedal home in record time, I was fuelled by the knowledge that the 21st century’s great irritant, being contactable twenty-four hours a day, sometimes, just sometimes, pays off.

Junip’s latest release, ‘Fields,’ is out now on Mute.

FROM NORTH OF AMERICA VOL. 2 – MONTREAL AND MORE

In Canada, Celebrate Your Scene, Choice Cuts, Features, Montréal, Procrastination Compilations on November 14, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Photo Credit: Louise B.

Not too long ago, I compiled a bunch of songs from Montreal-based bands that I loved for a buddy to get to know the excellence that is the city in which I know reside, and so I made From North Of America Vol. 1. This new volume to the series was put together by Arnold and myself, with kind input from Steve and Ethan, featuring some of our favorite new music coming out of Canada, as of the middle of November, 2010, with a focus on the place some of us like to call home – Montreal. These songs were chosen because we love them. We want you to love them too. Enjoy. [Full Disclaimer – mattmaynj plays bass guitar in ‘Count Us Among Your Many Friends’].

TRACKLIST:

1. Homosexual Cops – ‘Why Do You Cry (Is It For Me)?’

2. Ultrathin – ‘Hazy Palms’

3. Devon Welsh – ‘Austin’

4. Long Long Long – ‘Cuba Gooding Jr.’

5. Pop Winds – ‘Perennial’

6. Blue Hawaii – ‘Blue Gowns’

7. Grimes – ‘Weregild’

8. D’EON – ‘Kill a Man With a Joystick In Your Hand’

9. Diamond Rings – ‘All Yr Songs’

10. GOBBLE GOBBLE – ‘Lawn Knives’

11. Dead Wife – ‘Gentlemen Rapist’

12. Tonstartssbandht – ‘Shot To La Parc’

13. Count Us Among Your Many Friends – ‘Bell The Arrow’

14. Ismism – ‘Ananhedonialess’

15. Homo Duplex – ‘Winter Splinter’

16. Banana Lazuli – ‘Beans beans beans’

17. VILIFY – ‘Fresh Kill (abridged by Naldino)’

18. Sean Nicholas Savage – ‘Disco Dancing’

A BIG THANKS TO:

-All the bands and labels that continue to make and put out music we love.

-All the venues that let bands we love play and people we love congregate.

-All the blogs and sites that continue to post music we love.

-All our friends, whom we love.

-All our enemies, whom we love.

-You, whom we certainly love.

DOWNLOAD From North Of America Vol. 2 – Montreal And More

Ariel Pink talks to us about Nostalgia, the Cure, and being ‘responsible’ for Chillwave

In Features, Interviews, Worldwide on November 11, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Ariel Pink is the stage name of Ariel Marcus Rosenberg, a Los Angeles based musician. His latest album, ‘Before Today’ has received critical acclamation across the world. Midday Procrastination caught up with him before his hectic tour schedule reaches Montréal.

Firstly, where did the names Ariel Pink and Haunted Graffiti come from?

Well Ariel comes from my parents, so the first bit was easy, but I’d always hated my second name, so being an artist just gave me an opportunity to change it and play with it. The Haunted Graffiti has just been the name of a project I’ve been working on at various times throughout my life.

It’s well known that you started out making hundreds of home recordings, which were all eventually released on Animal Collective’s record label ‘Paw Tracks’. How did that happen? What kind of experience was that for you?

It was a little bit strange, because the Animal Collective guys heard the music so many years after I’d first made it, and so when they helped release it, I was a little bit displaced artistically from where I was at the time. In hindsight, it wasn’t that much of a difference, maybe five years, but at the time it felt a lot longer.

And now you’ve jumped to 4AD and released an album that has got significant exposure at the same time as it was created, has that felt any different to you?

I’m just happy y’know? More people are interested in my music and in what I’m doing, so I really can’t complain.

Fair enough! So, now you’re on tour as well.  Did you always perform live, or is that something that came along with the recognition?

No, definitely not. When I started making music I didn’t really think about playing live at all. I started after The Doldrums came out in 2004, and it was mostly a promotional thing, trying to get people to prick up their ears to my sounds. I think a lot of the time I felt validated, and some times disappointed, but at that time it was weird, I didn’t really take playing live seriously, because it was such a new thing.

Musically, it seems you choose a great variety of different sounds, but united by an overriding feeling, I want to call it nostalgia, but the sounds are very particular, very 1980s. Would you agree with that? Did you have a particular desire to unite these different ideas with a coherent sound?

I think that’s just my musical sensibility cutting through everything. It’s not really thought out, I mean, I even think that within 1980s music there was a lot of nostalgia, y’know, those feelings of yearning and of winsomeness were quite prominent. I think it’s fair to say that my music sounds like 1980s music, because of the instruments and sounds, but that it has a different twist on the nostalgia, because I’m being nostalgic towards it!

What do you think about the prevalence of nostalgia within the contemporary indie scene?

Actually that might be my fault! When ‘The Doldrums’ came out in 2004, it was incredibly contradictory, because it didn’t exist in the world it was released into in some ways, because it had been recorded around 1999. And then that record itself harked back to another era, and was recorded on such shitty equipment, that it became this weird ‘current-nostalgia’ thing. I think people thought it was like a half-ironic mind experiment, sort of like I was trying to do something that wasn’t completely real or true, but as more people listened to those early recordings I think they just found that the songs struck a chord with them. They felt that they could be more vocal with their interests, and present their interest in nostalgia. Sometimes it’s just more natural to hark back and feel safe, especially in today’s society, and I’m happy to show that in my music.

And how do your lyrics and sounds come together when you write songs? I mean, for a song like ‘Fright Night’ you mention ‘Freddy’, alluding to those old ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ films, and you’ve got all this imagery that feels like it could have come straight out of the ‘Thriller’ video, and the music really fits this theme, with loads of ghostly reverb etc. Does the music come before the lyrics or do the lyrics match the feel of the song musically?

Oh that’s great, because with that song in particular I had real trouble with the lyrics. I had the sound down, and the music all finished, but it was the hardest song off the album to get lyrics to. I went through probably like four or five hundred rough drafts before I decided on them; it almost didn’t make the album. It was at the stage where I had the feel of the song down completely, so I could have just garbled some random lyrics and still had the same feel. No, the lyrics definitely need to fit in with the feel of the song musically.

Okay, and do you think some of your influences come out quite clearly in your songs? When I hear ‘L’estat’ it sounds like you’re trying to lead the reader on a story, somewhat in the manner of Paul McCartney, would that be fair?

Well Paul McCartney has been a great and long lasting reference point for me. I mean, just in terms of his execution and arrangements, I’m constantly looking up to him. He understood how to communicate with simplicity, and the idea of the reaching the lowest common denominator being a great thing to achieve in music – that there is no need to be fancy all the time. I think that’s a hard thing to do – it is difficult to create simplicity. Over and over again pop musicians have tried to do it. Think about it, every time a new pop record comes out we look for the same things, ‘innovation’, ‘genius’, and ‘melody’. Great pop musicians always manage to achieve those things, but maintain that ability to reach everyone.

Do you think it’s partly that combination of lowest common denominator pop melody with such over the top dramaticsm that attracts you to the Cure? On songs like ‘Little Wig’ you seem to lean that way, with the incredibly open and inviting upbeat tempo and melody, but lyrics that have that dramatically self-imposed ‘I don’t worry for no-one’ vibe.

Well, I think you’ve just summed up my never-ending devotion to the Cure. For me, they’re such a great reference point, and I want people to remember them for that kernel of truth they had back in the 1980s. Y’know, like, they were so faithful to this idea of writing great pop, but at the same time, such a shambles. Robert Smith was this bumbling drama queen, and they were always in various states of falling apart or fighting through various image crises, but they always had the great pop sensibility. It’s interesting, because they’ve come to be recognised as this great influence and Robert has became this sort of ‘god like’, but cartoony, figure. It’s funny to me that we see him through these new coloured glasses, but, really, he was obsessed with drama and smeared makeup, all the while really understanding the musical essence of new wave 1980s pop.

Ariel Pink plays with Os Mutantes, November 16th at Le National ($23.50).

A Relatively Comprehensive Guide to Rap Music in November

In Choice Cuts, Features, Song Reviews on November 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Hip hop isn’t really talked about a ton here, so this post may be a bit of a change of pace. Rap, admittedly, isn’t my first love when it comes to music. I don’t even really listen to that many different rappers. It’s just that the albums and songs I really dig…I really dig. So, after that little preamble, I come to a point: November is going to be a fucking awesome month for the relationship between rap and me.

In case you haven’t heard, Kanye West is cool again. Dude’s been cranking out jam after jam with his G.O.O.D. Friday tracks, featuring a slew of high profile guest spots and top notch production. And, on November 16th, his album is finally dropping in full. Most of the tracks on it have been released in some form or another, but apparently the actual album is going to feature completely different mixes of many of the tracks we think we’ve already heard. I can’t get over my excitement. I’m never really sure if I’m supposed to be embarrassed or not for loving Kanye, but the man is my favorite rapper, the guy who got me to listen to hip hop in early high school when I was rocking to Radiohead and Weezer and the like, and one of my favorite artists, period. One of the raps I’ve always heard about Kanye is that he’s an amazing producer but a mediocre rapper. I don’t really buy that shit. He is an amazing producer, without a doubt, but I also think he’s an incredibly talented rapper. He can rhyme and flow in all sorts of different speeds and styles of songs. He can communicate exactly how he’s feeling, however fucked in the head it may be, through his songs. And, of course, he says some funny ass shit (Your beauty is why god invited eye balls/your booty is why god invented my balls? That’s really clever). The other knock on Kanye, of course, is that he’s a fucking ridiculous drama queen. And well…yeah, he is. But I eat that shit up. You know how a ton of people are mad into, like, Lady Gaga, because she wears cool stuff, says what she wants to say, and generally screws around with the media in a bunch of different ways? That’s kind’ve how I like Kanye West, except he’s also an incredible musician. All the drama, though, it’s just fun stuff. Everyday I can boot up the old lapper and read another story about one of my favorite artists, which is totally fine by me. I can probably write some huge essay analyzing Kanye down the road (like how I always talk about he’s really more of a marketing genius than a rapper or producer-dude remade himself into one of the biggest stars in the world in, like, 6 months? When did Power come out? I’m rambling.), so I guess I’ll save some stuff for that. Anyway, I like the guy a lot, his new album is coming out, and it’s going to be awesome.

And then we have my other favorite rapper, Curren$y. There’s a pretty large amount of rappers out there who talk about weed, cars, money, bitches, and all that stuff, but none do it like my boy Spitta (that’s his nickname, which makes sense given the context). Heard his album Pilot Talk over the summer, and that was it. He picks some really cool, laid back beats to rap over, has some really cool, laid back friends that rap with him, and raps in a really cool, laid back way. Check out this joint, one of my favorite rap songs of all time. (Curren$y does the second of the three verses, by the way).

Anyway, imagine my joy when I found out the album that I’d been bouncing around in the car to all summer was getting a sequel, and only a few months later. Pilot Talk 2 drops November 22nd. The first track is called Airborne Aquarium, which blows my mind in its coolness. The album is going to feature some old favorites from the Jet gang, like Trademark da Skydiver (another sick name), Yung Roddy,  and Wiz Khalifa. It’s also got some high profile guest spots by guys like Dom Kennedy, Raekwon the Chef, from the venerable Wu Tang clan, of course, Erykah Badu, and Camp Lo. I’ve even heard rumors (which means I read a blog post saying) that there’s a track tacked on at the end featuring J. Cole and Jay Electronica, which would be a pretty ridiculous cherry on top of the cake. Shits also produced, at least mostly, by Ski Beatz, who produced the original.

So, my two favorite rappers are releasing their new albums within a week of each other. All bets are off for me for that week-gonna be spending a lot of man hours sitting in front of my speakers. I’ve actually been trying to cut down my listening of Kanye and Curren$y (man, I hate hitting shift and 4 to get that dollar sign, but not only do I love Curren$y, I’ve clearly put in exponentially more effort typing out this rambling complaint than i did stretching my fingers to make that symbol…so, yeah, I’m a whiner), knowing that it’s going to get pretty hairy in a few weeks. But this month also features some other big releases in the hip hop world, or at least my much smaller hip hop world.

I’ve never listened to Lloyd Banks or G-Unit before, partially because G-Unit’s heyday was before I started listening to rap music, and partially because they always seemed incredibly lame to me. I listened to “Start It Up” pretty much only because I was downloading anything that Kanye had guest verses on in preparation for his new album. Anyway, it’s a fucking banger. One of my favorite rap tracks of the year, and definitely the coolest song to roll up in your car in, if you’ve got a solid sound system. Kanye’s verse slays it (that beauty/booty line I cited before is off this track), of course, and Lloyd’s is actually pretty cool too-I can’t really tell if he’s talking about anything in particular, but he has some clever rhyming patterns. Anyway, Lloyd has got a new album, Hunger for More 2, coming out November 22. No idea what to expect, as I’ve literally only ever heard one song by this guy, but that song is good enough that I’m contractually obligated to check it out.

Another one I discovered through Kanye. I found out later that Nicki Minaj was already pretty famous because of her affiliation with Lil Wayne’s Young Money crew, but I don’t really listen to Lil Wayne. I first heard Nicki, like probably tens of thousands of others, on Kanye’s “Monster”. Her verse there is pretty incredible-probably the most impressive female rap verse I’ve ever heard (which may be more of a comment on my ignorance than her talent, but it’s good). I’ve been keeping tabs on her since, especially because I always lament the ridiculous ratio of guys to girls in the music world. The ratio is tipping back towards even in the indie rock world, at least, but in hip hop it’s still incredibly skewed. Anyway, the girl has most definitely got talent, she’s got funny voices and alter egos, and her record is definitely worth checking out. November 22 as well.

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All-OFWGKTA. The next big thing in hip hop, check it out. One of the most interesting stories and personalities out there right now. I could retype up all the info I know about them, or you could check out this (by yours truly), this (great interview), or this (on my new favorite website, the Madbury Club-they have these pretty unique articles they call spreads, which are sort’ve like magazine pages online, with beautiful pictures and nicely formatted text). Not really anything new coming out by these guys this month, as far as I know, but decided I’d throw it in here if I was going all out on the rap stuff.

Another rap group I discovered recently but don’t know much about. I heard the track “Fast Enough” on the blog Pigeons and Planes, fell in love with it even though it’s clearly a warm weather jam, and found out these guys have a mixtape coming out soon. Straight out of Philly, which means nothing to me but might to someone.

And that’s that-there’s my listening lineup for the next month. Hopefully, if you have no interest in rap you didn’t slog all the way through that just for my sake. Next time I’ll go back and write about some good old fashioned rock ‘n roll.

Interview with Dave and Evan from Dubma$hine

In Celebrate Your Scene, Choice Cuts, Features, Interviews, Montréal on November 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Dave Brunelle and Evan Woolley are the promoters behind Dubma$hine, a local dubstep and party venue. I caught up with them to talk about successful music promotion in Montréal, and how they managed to bring dubstep to a wider audience.

Steve: Tell us the story of Dubma$hine. How did it get started?

Evan Woolley: It began before I met Dave actually. I was living out in the West Island, and a couple of my friends asked to borrow my speakers, for a party. We ended up doing that a couple of times, and no-one at those parties had really heard dubstep before, but I liked it, and a couple of my friends were casual dubstep DJs. So after the first couple of times I decided to do something bigger, and to charge for it. The problem with that was I did it alone, which is a pretty big mistake for a first event. I only made like $35, but everyone enjoyed it and said I should do it again. I personally thought the party itself was shit though!

Steve: Who played at those first parties?

Evan: Just local acts really, but someone I’ve always worked with from way back in the West Island has been Orphan. He’s a local DJ, but he improves every time, and one of the things which would make me happiest as a promoter is if I could break him to a new audience, so I always keep him booked.

Steve: So how did this develop into Dubma$hine? How did you meet Dave?

Dave Brunelle: Well I lived in like the next-door loft to where his party was, and actually over the course over four months from March to June saw about six or seven parties happening in spaces around that area. And I thought, well I’ve seen how people do it, and the mistakes they’ve made, and I want to try it.

Steve: What kind of mistakes are you talking about?

Dave: Things like budgeting way too much money, so for our first event, we decided to make sure we had broken even just from our pre-sale tickets, so that everything at the door would be profit, which allows us to fund our next party.

Steve: So how did that first party come about?

Dave: I was kind of sceptical, we didn’t know each other, but each took a leap of faith, y’know, and gave ourselves a month to plan our first party, called ‘Blood on my Nikes’, and it turned out really well, 300 people came.

Steve: What do you think contributed to that success?

Dave: I think we were very open. We started reaching out to lots of different groups. I think the key to running a successful event is reaching out to as many different groups as possible; the bros, the ravers, the hipsters, the hardcore dubsteppers, all the various schools and colleges.

Steve: And of course the internet. How has that helped you?

Dave: The internet for us is such a big tool. Of course we use Facebook, which is a great way of quickly spreading a message, but I’m also a film student at Concordia, so we used Youtube, and started making videos for our parties. Which is so cool, you can just take your iPhone out, show a commercial for a party, and it makes it look a whole lot more legit.

Evan: I think some promoters just print the flyers, put up posters, make a Facebook page, and then cross their fingers. I don’t think that does enough, so that why we decided to do more.

Steve: What was the difference in size between the first and second party? Were you trying to make it considerably bigger?

Dave: Our attitude was basically, ‘lets step it up’. We almost tripled our budget to try and get way more people through the door. Which meant we had to do a two room party. You’re not gonna get 800 people to a one room party. You have to sell it, you have to say it’s got DJs from San Francisco, 16 DJs, etc. You have to sell it. I mean that’s one of the reasons we called it ‘Bassfest’, it get’s people pumped.

Evan: And it worked, we ended up getting around 500 people more at ‘Bassfest’ than ‘Blood On my Nikes’. Just from pre-sale tickets we’d sold more than ‘Blood on my Nikes’.

Steve: Which is a huge number for the Montréal dubstep community, isn’t it?

Dave: For sure, the community has traditionally been very small, but very well knit. Now I think those days are over after Bassfest. Before that, dubstep was Koi Wednesdays; all the big names went there and there was nothing much outside of that. There were some Psytrance parties happening that would have Dubstep in a second room.

Evan: But we saw that as an insult to dubstep.

Dave: Yeah, we just wanted to throw a huge party with dubstep at the centre. Actually that was how I first decided to throw a huge dubstep party. I was at a Pystrance party called Overdrive back in May, and they had all the local dubstep DJs like Vilify and Construct in the smaller room. And I thought that it just needed more people and a bigger space.

Evan: And dubstep is a great genre for big spaces. I got into it really because I always want more bass, which dubstep brings.

Dave: It suits him cause he’s our sound-tech. He builds all the speakers for our parties and stuff.

Evan: Yeah all I want to do is build the speakers, hook it up, and do sound check. After sound check I was done, that’s all I wanted!

Steve: So you’re saying that your second party, Bassfest, broke dubstep to a wider audience.

Dave: For sure. It was like we were saying, between us we had friends in the West Island, the plateau, CEGEPs, Universities etc. It was just a crazy mingling of people. Ask anyone in the dubstep community, it had never been like that, some of the hardcore fans didn’t like it being broken out like that, but most people, and the DJs and fans, just thought it was cool that so many people liked the same music as them.

Steve: So with that in mind, what do you think about the dubstep DJs in Montréal? Do you have any particular kind of dubstep that you like to play, because the genre changes so quickly?

Dave: Well firstly I think they’re very good. There are not so many of them, so they tend to work well together and focus on trying to get people dancing, which is what we’re all about. The DJs at our parties have to play something people can dance to. As you know, most of the big Montréal DJs like Vilify, Construct and Wampa play a really dirty type of dubstep, so we save that for the peak of the evenings, and try and get a more pop sound played earlier.

Evan: Which is something someone like Orphan is really good for. [Ed – see comments below for discussion on this]

Dave: And at our next party, Inspector Dubplate from the UK is going to headline it, we’re flying him in especially for the event, and we’re gonna have Risk, who are a live dubstep band, open up for him.

Evan: I wouldn’t say we look for a specific sound, we like everything, and just want to find good DJs. I don’t think it’s a good move to look for a certain sound, because then the party has the same music all night.  We spend a lot of time thinking about the order artists will play in at our parties.

Steve: So finally, tell us about your next party. Why should someone who doesn’t listen to dubstep go to it.

Dave: Okay, our next party will happen on Friday the 5th of November and Inspector Dubplate is going to be the headline act. All I can say to people who might not like dubstep is, look, there are going to be 600 people, from all walks of life, it’s only $15 and BYOB. Come and try it, meet some new people, and try something new, and party till 6 or 7 in the morning!

Dubma$hine is based out of 3810 St-Patrick, Montreal. You can reach them on 514.466.0520 if you’d like to find out more about booking their parties and events. Their next party is this Friday, the 5th of November 2010 at 10pm.


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