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Puces POP at POP Montréal 2013
Église St-Michel
105 St-Viateur ouest
Montréal, Québec
www.popmontreal.com

Oh wow, POP Montréal was three weeks ago! Alas, I never got around to blogging about it until now. But I had such a great time wandering around the Mile End and partaking in various events of the indie music festival, including the very much loved arts and crafts fair, Puces POP. Hence, this is worth mentioning now though we’re already midway through October.

It was actually my first time dropping in at Puces POP which, as part of the POP Montréal festival was held in the basement of Église St-Michel, the looming landmark in the Mile End neighbourhood. A few years back I had attended the performance by the Montréal art bands The Luyas and Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, but every September I am so swamped with fall time busyness that POP Montréal comes and goes without a blip. Until this year. I had a good friend visiting me from Toronto and because she is always in the city for work, I figured it would be fun to show her around other parts of the island and indulge in some artsy-fartsy-ness, a throwback from our old days in art school.

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Chihuly: Utterly Breathtaking
Exhibition at Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal
1380 Sherbrooke St. W.
Montréal, Québec H3G 1J5
(514) 285-2000
www.mmfa.qc.ca

My talents in art never lay with sculpture. I am not very good at creating anything in the three dimension, and I have been much more drawn to the use of vivid colours and curved lines on traditional surfaces as canvas or paper. So the works of Dale Chihuly — he who looks like your favourite pirate neighbour — intrigue me. His medium is sculpture and his talent is beyond being just a master glass blower, producing creations far from the kinds of art works I am usually drawn to. But Chihuly’s brightly hued shapes and installations are so unique they are compelling to just about every viewer: myself, other art lovers and the general public.

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Detail of Persian Ceiling from top photo

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L’Affichiste
471 rue Saint Francois Xavier (east of rue Notre-Dame ouest)
Montréal, Québec H2Y 2T1
(514) 656 3301
www.laffichiste.com

Montréal brought us various temperatures and weather activity this weekend, but it did not deter us from going out and about in the city. On Saturday, we walked around the Old Port, which I usually avoid doing during the summer weekends since the beautiful neighbourhood can be awkwardly packed with visitors during the tourist season. However, our goal was to drop by L’Affichiste, a vintage poster gallery with collections mostly derived from European and North American sources.

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Though I had not heard of this gallery until recently, a friend of mine was looking for a particular type of print poster that would complement one that she bought in Paris during the spring. Her research brought us to L’Affichiste whose walls are decorated with beautiful and bright illustrations, many from France. We were focused on the posters from the Loterie Nationale that were commissioned from the French National Lottery established in 1933. These posters held by L’Affichiste are sized around 16 x 24 to 32 x 47 inches, and priced around $240 to $1,675 CDN. Many of these art works are illustrated according to the Art Deco style of the period.

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Thom Yorke of Radiohead and Atoms for Peace, and Nigel Godrich of Atoms for Peace (and Radiohead’s producer) were in the news recently when they took a stance against Spotify by criticizing the music streaming website’s economic model. The musicians pulled out all albums from Atoms for Peace, Godrich’s band Ultraísta, and Thom Yorke’s solo work from the website and sparked a conversation about the modern difficulties of musicians earning a living.

The topic is elaborated in an article for The New Yorker and one in Pitchfork, and the fact that Yorke and Godrich brought attention to this issue reminds me how much I love these artists in addition to their creative work. I discovered Radiohead as a teen and have been a big fan of their work — including non-Radiohead projects such as Yorke’s solo work and Atoms for Peace, and his collaboration with Burial and Four Tet — but Radiohead will always be my first love. And one of my favourite videos by Radiohead is Street Spirit (Fade Out) from their sophomore album, The Bends (1995). The video was directed by Brit Johnathan Glazer whose work for Radiohead includes Karma Police from 1997’s OK Computer and Rabbit in Headlights for Yorke’s work with U.N.K.L.E., as well as two videos for another favourite, Massive Attack. This video, above, is absolutely perfect for the song and was filmed in the desert outside Los Angeles in black and white. The visuals are moving, breathtaking, and beautiful, and is one of my favourite videos of all time. Click above to watch.

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As an exclusive user of virtual calendars, contact lists, and notes, I have come back to the fold of paper-based agendas. How did this happen?

Two years ago, I went to Indigo Bookstore here in Montréal in search of a proper, physical agenda — paper ones that you can actually write with a pen. A sales associate showed me their current collection which was a measly three or four hard cover books that did not meet my size and content specifications. Since then, I have relied entirely on my Google Calendar, Google Tasks, Google Contacts, and Apple Notes. I used to have both a paper agenda and my virtual organization platforms that I would access with my laptop. But once I got a smartphone, I transitioned entirely to the virtual agenda. I thought to myself, “How on earth did I live without a smartphone?!”

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What happens when microscopic crystallization is set to electronic music? A music video for Jon Hopkins’ new album, Immunity.

I have been listening to the U.K. musician for a few months now as I find his work perfect for winding down or as background instrumentals for working purposes. So I was excited to hear about his new album, which was released yesterday, and to promote the release Hopkins teamed with The Creator’s Project to showcase tracks from the album. The team includes Linden Gledhill, a former biochemist, who is now a photographer that specializes in taking magnified, abstract images of chemical reactions under the microscope.

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Image is of Linden Gledhill’s work station from www.creatorsproject.vice.com

Gledhill teamed up with art director Craig Ward to create this bright and animated feature that includes snippets from all eight tracks of the album. The photographer used food dyes to show the reaction of crystal growth to Hopkin’s music vibrations. This innovative project results in beautiful, and almost hypnotic images that provides a sneak peek into the world not visible to the naked eye.

Go to The Creator’s Project for more photos and the complete story of this video.

Jon Hopkins’ new album, Immunity, is now available.

Update: I listened to Immunity in its entirety and it is soooo good! It is honestly one of the few albums that I managed to love in its entirety on the first listen. Please support this talented musician and purchase the album for low-key weekends or to play head-nodding beats while you work. Listen to Collider, track four from Immunity here.

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Did you know that May is Asian Heritage Month here in Canada?

I did, but it took forever for me to write a post about this month despite the fact that I am Canadian and Asian. But here is a music video worth sharing by a Korean rock band called Jan Kiha and the Faces for their song, That Sucks. Though I am ethnically Korean, I have never heard of the band — I do not follow any Korean musicians except for Psy, but this is not exactly extraordinary since everyone knows of Psy! Also, I cannot decipher what exactly the band is singing about, but nevermind the lyrics (though the tune is catchy). Look at the food porn!

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