Tag Archives: Montreal

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

Owen_Pallett_by Peter Juhl_HIGHRES-5 low res

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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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Ep. #122: Heather O’Neill

Heather O’Neill is a talented and provocative novelist based in Montreal. Her first book was the celebrated Lullabies for Little Criminals, which won Canada Reads in 2007 and the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. Her latest novel is The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, which was published by HarperCollins Canada this past April and tells the compelling story of a pair of directionless fraternal twins in Montreal, Noushcka and Nicolas Tremblay, who live in the shadow of their has-been folk-singer of a neglectful father and bare certain emotional scars as a result. Young Quebecois coming of age in 1995, they are separatists on one hand, but unwitting sovereignists on the other. Their creator is bringing their story with her as a participating author at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, where she’ll read on Sunday September 14. Here, Heather and I discuss how to pronounce Nicolas, why it’s difficult to describe what The Girl Who Was Saturday Night is about, the magic in the mundane, having an amicable break-up with a book you wrote, separatism, separating, and needing people you need to get away from, establishing boundaries to become your own person, why we’re reading this world from Noushcka’s perspective, what this book might say about the separatism/sovereignty debate, class divides, promiscuous has-been folk-singer daddy issues, embittered former child stars, Raphael the sexy bad boy, fame might be a drag, people who think authors are their characters, how Heather relates to her characters, how Quebec today relates to Quebec of the mid-1990s, how a teacher’s encouragement drew Heather to write a story about shrinking machines and a cockroach, needing to write, delving into creative non-fiction and how it intertwines with a novel like The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, the political folk music of Montreal that’s conjured in this book via Etienne Tremblay, Heather’s thoughts on film treatments of her works, Wes Anderson and The Royal Tenenbaums, her forthcoming book of short stories Dear Piglet out this spring, writing more than one story at a time, what Heather will be doing at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, @lethal_heroine, weird turns, and the end.

Related links: harpercollins.ca twitter.com/lethal_heroine vishkhanna.com


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