As a child I used to daydream about what it would be like to visit a dog show. Years of looking at The New York Times’ coverage of the Westminster Dog Show trained me for the day that I would finally see a dog show in the flesh. I would say it was akin to the armchair traveller finally leaping into a real life voyage — and perhaps also like young fashion students attending their first fashion show in Paris. Well, this was not Paris, nor was it in New York City where the Westminster Dog Show holds their annual event. But I was excited to drop in for day two of the three day Annual Montréal Dog Show held by the United Kennel Club. This year’s event was conveniently at Place Bonaventure in downtown Montréal from Friday November 7th to Sunday the 9th.
Since moving to Montréal a few years ago, I have accepted a few culinary facts about the city:
(1) The baguettes are always amazing
(2) “Vegetarian? No problem, we have fish!”
(3) The quality of Korean restaurants are dreadful
File this under complaint number 8,356 about the gaping hole of good ethnic eats in la belle province. Alas, I have come to terms with the lack of quality and authentic Korean restaurants in Montréal with heavy pangs in my heart. I get it, I was spoiled with an excellent array of Korean food during the first twenty years of my life as I grew up in the Toronto suburbs where a subpar Korean restaurant would never last more than a year. Torontonians, both those of Korean heritage and seasoned Korean food diners, demand some decency when grabbing Korean grub, whether it is Korean barbecue, KFC (aka Korean Fried Chicken), hipster Korean tacos, momofuku (or those inspired by the inventive Japanese-Korean fusion eating trend), late-night pork bone soup, or just a traditional eatery. See? So many different types of Korean restaurants are out there! Why not bring some good ones to Montréal, I ask?
Dol sot Bibimbap (top) with sweetened hot sauce, Kimchi Combo side (middle), and Spicy Lamb or Agneau épicé (bottom)
Flame-haired American songstress Tori Amos turned 50 this month. Fifty years old! Above is her video from her first solo album, 1992’s Little Earthquakes, for the single Silent All These Years. The simple piano accompaniment throughout most of the song is very characteristic of Amos’ early works, and I actually really enjoy the vintage feel of the music video. When I think about Tori Amos entering her fifth decade, I think about the talented female musicians today, and the debates about feminism in pop culture. And there sure are a lot of talk about the feminism label amongst female musicians these days.
We love the Swedish duo, Icona Pop, here at flashbracket but what we love even more is a remix by the Cookie Monster. The Sesame Street character has already covered Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe last year as Share It Maybe (again about cookies, natch), and now he is back covering Icona Pop’s 2012 hit, I Love It as Me Want It (But Me Wait). Cookie Monster is starting to catch up with The xx as one of my favourite remix masters! Click to watch my favourite Sesame Street character do his thing.
Clearly I have a love affair with nail polish. I am all about sporting a natural visage, but on my hands I love bright hues on a daily basis. In the summer I indulge in bolder nail colours because, if you live here in Montréal, weather that permits your hands to go mitts-free obligates celebration. For the past few months I have been loving coral, pink and rose shades that had me venturing into some unexplored hues on the colour wheel (though my hands remain too shy to go too far into the glitter and textured territories). This summer I have been wearing and test driving nail polishes from five different brands: Estée Lauder, L’Oreal, Joe Fresh, Revlon, and Essie. Here is my round up of my favourite shades and formulas.
Estée Lauder’s 06 Berry Hot
There is nary an Estée Lauder product in the makeup stash, except for this one nail polish from a department store gift with purchase that was passed down to me as a gift. Free nail polish? OKAY. I was intrigued by the bright and pigmented shade, one unlike any other nail polish that I currently own, which is best described as a vibrant, cool-based metallic fuschia. The formula coats evenly and is almost opaque with a single swipe so that you can get away with two coats sandwiched between a base coat and a top coat (I use Revlon base coat and top coats for all my manicures). The wear is pretty good, but slightly below average because I found the metallic formula was prone to minor flaking at the edges. However, the colour remained vibrant and true for a week’s worth of wear.
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.
This week, after eight years of hiatus, Boards of Canada released their fifth full-length studio album, Tomorrow’s Harvest. It is dark, deep, atmospheric, and a great listen. I was super excited to purchase this album — yes, despite all my streaming and um, sharing of music files, I do support my favourite musicians — and have been listening to it non-stop for the past few days. The album is blanketed with a dystopian vibe while retaining the trademark Boards of Canada-esque textural synths, distorted sounds, and cinematic rhythms without the electro beats sometimes associated with electronic music.
Songs on the album carry melancholic titles such as Sick Times, Cold Earth, and Collapse, a departure from the optimism conveyed by the Dayvan Cowboy from their 2005 album, The Campfire Headphase. This track is triumphal and affirmative, so much that a fan made an alternate video for the song set to an exhilarating footage of daredevil Felix Baumgartner skydiving. But Boards of Canada, whose name bears homage to the National Film Board of Canada, sets their two music videos produced to date to scenes of landscapes and the natural world — a nod to National Film Board of Canada’s documentary films that has inspired the brother duo. It is difficult, however, for me to watch their music videos because the group’s songs are so complex and evocative that I feel that the visual effects provided for their music never brings the tracks any justice. That said, the attempts in producing a Boards of Canada music video is a brave one, and the resulting products are always beautifully rendered.
See the music video for Reach for the Dead, the first single from their new album here.