Tag Archives: Montreal

Ep. #220: Esmerine

Rebecca Foon and Bruce Cawdron are the founding members of a superb chamber rock ensemble from Montreal called Esmerine. Founded in 2001, Esmerine was an exploratory outlet for Cawdron, a marimba player and percussionist who once played drums in Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Foon, a cellist who once played in A Silver Mt. Zion. Following their Juno Award winning 2013 album Dalmak, Esmerine have returned with their glorious, charged up fifth album, Lost Voices, which is out now via Constellation Records and prompted them to tour throughout Ontario and Quebec in November. Here, Rebecca and Bruce discuss village scandals, dumpy Montreal and rent control, the wild spirit of Lost Voices, guitarist James Hakan Dedeoglu and the evolution of Esmerine’s sound, the importance of viable, sustainable communities, NOLA and water, Katrina and Sandy and climate change, Pathway to Paris, why it might get louder, the urgency to alter the world’s course, expressing ideas and anger via instrumental music, how Esmerine formed out of Set Fire to Flames and what Montreal was like some 15 years ago, the connection between Esmerine, Godspeed, A Silver Mt. Zion, and Constellation Records, Montreal Mile End music waves, making history, John Peel, electric marimba and changes in Esmerine, Jamie Thompson keeps himself busy, dreams of the future, orchestral visions, the song “A River Runs Through This City and that was it. 

Related links: esmerine.com cstrecords.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #156: Owen Pallett

Owen Pallett is a tremendously gifted multi-instrumentalist, composer, and singer who currently lives in Montreal. Pallett was initially acclaimed for his string arrangements for artists like Jim Guthrie, Arcade Fire, Fucked Up, and many others and, particularly when he lived there, he was viewed as a true leader and champion of Toronto’s underground arts community. Since releasing his own music, Pallett’s profile has risen considerably. He won the inaugural Polaris Music Prize and has been nominated for each of his subsequent solo records; he was nominated for an Academy Award for his work scoring the film Her; and his fourth and latest album, In Conflict, has appeared on many best of 2014 critics’ lists. He is a sharp, clever, outspoken young man and he’s playing the Hillside Inside festival on Saturday Feb. 7 at 3 PM with Jennifer Castle. Here, Owen and I discuss living in Montreal, the year that was, musicians managing this particular age of media consumption, seeing the content of private Facebook posts go viral, playing with Arcade Fire during the backlash about their latest record, maybe people don’t like aging rock and pop bands, provocative extracurricular activities don’t necessarily lead to bigger box office sales, turning down a CBC Radio hosting gig, having sex with men, Pitchfork, Slim Twig is a wise person, Win knows best, some people should quit, why we make things, the trajectory of creative lives, people keep talking to me about Blink 182, why Michael Gira might have reformed Swans or Kathleen Edwards might have opened up a coffee shop, playing Hillside during a torrential rain storm that shortened the set, befriending Buffy Sainte-Marie, fortunate Owen, the plan to make a new, dense acoustic record that sounds electronic, Jennifer Castle’s “Sparta,” and that was it.   

Related links: owenpalletteternal.com hillsidefestival.ca vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #150: Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche

Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche is a really cool, mostly instrumental band from Montreal who formed in 2011. The brainchild of Fly Pan Am’s Jean-Sebastien Truchy, the quartet includes guitarist Sebastien Fournier, drummer Samuel Beaubonie, and guitarist Eric Gingras. This past September the band issued Zubberdust!, their wonderful debut album featuring hypnotic, interlocking musical pieces that reimagine funk and psychedelia from an energetic, emotional, punk perspective. Zubberdust! is out now via Constellation Records and here, Jean-Sebastien Truchy and Sebastien Fournier, and I discuss snow in Montreal, perpetuating myths about Canada, being a trickster, what zubberdust means in Urdu, separating long songs and sound collages, how this band came together, being spied on, keeping a groove going but in a pop sensibility, serious fun in Montreal, the jelly bean scene, the band Ought, wordless vocals, jazz scatting, the influence of Afrobeat and long-form Latino music, the Neu! part, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, Montreal’s west isles, disappointing dad, community and Constellation Records, Montreal’s old oppressive show bar culture, yellow waterproof Walkmen, Nirvana thanking Sonic Youth on In Utero, Panitopicon Eyelids and a great Montreal record store called L’Oblique, the homing beacon band that was Fly Pan Am, grinding, gatherings, fake parties, making new music, the band’s long-ass French name, the song “Super Pastiche – New Sun,” and then we say au revoir and ciao.

Related links: cstrecords.com/avec-le-soleil-sortant-de-sa-bouche vishkhanna.com

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