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Books

Everyone is talking about Daft Punk’s newly released album, Random Access Memories, which came out just three days ago. I still have not gotten around to listening to the new album but I did read snippets of press about the band and their current initiatives, including this interesting article from The New York Times last week. (The Parisian duo own a home in California and speak accent-less English?) What was also in recent news was that the singer of the above classic, One More Time, Romanthony, who was an influential house producer and singer in his right, passed away at the young age of 45 earlier this month. I love this song and even though it is from Daft Punk’s early work, their second album in 2001, Discovery, I consider it a quintessential Daft Punk song — pounding house beats, glamorous upbeat vocals, and 80’s nostalgia. And of course, the awesome animated video makes this video worth revisiting. This will definitely tide me over until I finally get a listen to their new album.

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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.

Have you seen this?

The video is a few days old and is an instalment of the Ask a Grown Man series from Rookie Magazine. You know, the online teen girl magazine founded by Tavi Gevinson, the fashion blogger extraordinaire, who is also editor-in-chief? Rookie Magazine, like Tavi, is both smart and wise, and populated with illustrations, videos, and other submissions from staff and readers, as well as the adorable Ask a Grown Man advice series that features various celebrities answering reader submitted questions regarding their love lives. Jimmy Fallon, Judd Apatow, and Jon Hamm have all participated.

So the video above features Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich of Atoms for Peace (Nigel also produces the work of Thom’s main band, Radiohead). Here, you can watch Thom and Nigel give some sound and practical advice for readers ages fourteen to nineteen on questions such as how to identify whether you like a boy, anxieties about body image, and being too shy to speak to your crush. They share personal wisdom in their answers and the result is great and sound advice for viewers of any age. Even us grown ups.

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Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore
211 Rue Bernard Ouest
Montréal, QC H2T 2K5
(514) 279-2224
www.drawnandquarterly.com

I love leisurely visits to the bookstore. However, I am cognizant to the fact that this pleasure of mine is becoming an extinct activity — when you can get cheaper prices online and download e-books to your Kindle, what is the use of going to a bookstore? Personally, I always love holding a book; I love flipping through its pages, appreciating the cover art and layout, and feeling the weight of the cover between my hands. So it may be of surprise that while I love technology I am not converting to e-books just yet. And as long as brick and mortar retail bookstores exist, I will always be that regular patron taking up an aisle space a bit too long.

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Drawn & Quarterly is one of those bookstores that I truly appreciate and not just because it is amongst the last independent bookstores standing. It has a small storefront in the Mile End neighbourhood of Montréal although it is also a publisher that specializes in comics and literary arts. Notably, D&Q “discovered” the comic book artist Daniel Clowes and his series Ghost World, which became a motion picture in 2001 starring Thora Birch and a young Scarlett Johansson.

As expected, D&Q stocks quite a bit of graphic novels including works published in-house, such as those by Canadian cartoonist Seth; the famous Maus series by Art Spiegelman; as well as lesser known authors to discover. The store also hosts a slew of events in support of comic book and graphic novel artists in addition to other cultural gatherings. Also of note: the store is one of the few places in the city where you can grab a copy of David Chang’s (of Momofuku fame) quarterly magazine, Lucky Peach. Plus, they have a bookshelf built in the shape of a rocket to hold a whack of Tintin’s comics.

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We already celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada last month, but it seems that the American turkey day is a much more serious matter down south. For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving Day today, here is The National covering “The Thanksgiving Song” from the animated sitcom, Bob’s Burgers.

Have I ever seen an episode of Bob’s Burgers? Nope. But I sure do enjoy this short, silly and purposefully morose song. Like cranberry sauce and stuffing, this will be the perfect accompaniment to your bird feast and days of turkey leftovers. And it also serves as a great way to tide us over until The National brings out another great album, which we hope is very soon.