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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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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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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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The Knife’s fourth studio album, Shaking the Habitual, came out on last week and it is the Swedish duo’s first album since 2006. I have yet to listen to the new album but I did see the music video (which is really a short film running in at ten minutes) for their first single, Full of Fire. Watching the video reminded me of the reasons why I love both the music that The Knife churns out every few years as well as the group themselves: The Knife exemplifies the true artist, penning social and political themes in their music, and producing inquisitive and experimental music videos. Not all of their music is an easy listen but they do produce fun and catchy hits, such as Girls’ Night Out and Heartbeats, both from 2003’s Deep Cuts.

The video above is for NY Hotel from The Knife’s previous album, The Knife, and was the only single from the album. The song and video is short, running at less than three minutes, and the aesthetic is sparse, based on a cartoon of simple line drawings. The viewer observes a couple spending their last day together which ends with one watching out the window while her lover walks away. The simplicity of the visuals makes the message so much more powerful; it is hard not to be moved and feel sadness for the couple. Interestingly the video is not available on YouTube but is available on Vimeo only. Click above to watch the video, directed by Andreas Nilsson and Andreas Korsár.

[Image Credits: @tomoko]

Hilary might not enjoy Starbucks, but I sure do. Yup, I know they are a monopoly on the verge of taking over the world (Number 2, the character in the movie Austin Powers, is the sole shareholder) and their roasts are way to dark for the palate. But I am a sucker for any good study spots where I can camp out with WiFi for hours, and Starbucks is one of them. I actually jumped in glee when a new location opened up in my neighbourhood and loved that they played The xx’s Stars in the background. For sure I support the other cafés in my neighbourhood, but I definitely do not discount Starbucks as an option.

Well, for Tokyo-based Tomoko Shintani, she visits Starbucks for the purpose of being at Starbucks. That is, she does not go there to study or work like I do, but her Starbucks visit is for the purpose of creating illustrations using Starbucks paraphernalia. Her black and white drawings are unapologetically cutesy and girly, and Tomoko uses her Staedtler pens to incorporate her mugs and paper cups into her drawings. You can follow her on Instagram @tomoko. More of her illustrations follow below.

 

 
Via Fast Company