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M for Montreal 2021 | Round 3 of festival MAGIC
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M for Montreal 2021 | Round 3 of festival MAGIC

M for Montreal 2021 | Round 3 of festival MAGIC 3

M for Montreal 2021 | Round 3 of festival MAGIC

Ladies, gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, M for Montreal post mortem has come and gone and with that comes the hindsight necessary for proper perspective.

Sadly I missed out on most of the festival. I was toiling away as a fortunate cog in studio caverns deep in the unlit recesses of the Hollywood North machine, far away from the limelight.

For one enchanted evening however, a crack team of urban explorers gathered under the Best Kept MTL banner dove right into the scene in order to convey to you lucky readers the imagery and emotions you may have missed, in the hopes of swaying your decisions in the future.
Beginning with a few drinks in an Old Port loft we were soon whisked away to the Centre Phi where we engaged with the art of Anne-Claude Deschênes. I wasn’t familiar with her music going in, but I happened to bump into a fresh faced woman who enthusiastically told me she was her best friend and that this was her first solo outing, normally playing in bands. Ms. Deschênes came out dressed like the waiting staff and prescient prophet of a digital new god come to welcome us into the now normal.
M for Montreal 2021 | Round 3 of festival MAGIC 4
With bombastic 80’s thrum pacing a punk edge, it was fun, it was cool, it was dancy, and her accompanying imagery was evocative in company of Anne-Claude Deschênes CC Melanie Vallieres
With bombastic 80’s thrum pacing a punk edge, it was fun, it was cool, it was dancy, and her accompanying imagery was evocative.

I want her opening for my birthday party. She cherry picked from her audience what could be described as the entire cross section of harmless, never rock the boat, white, middle class stereotypes to sit and eat her confections of usb keys and precious rocks. Some ate slowly with apprehension, feeling the pressure of an audience waiting for them to bite, but one particular dinner guest dug in with gusto, gladly stuffing his face with whatever questionable morcels the powers that be chose fit to grant him.

She’s serving up the future for easy consumption, comprised mostly of sugar, cream and all things shallow, but underneath the sleek veneer of a world in perdition, there is an energy at play, a message, an aesthetic and ideas that are solidly engrained in counter-culture.

60 Illustrative concept- Inspiration ideas (illustration, artist, and graphic)
Hajime Sorayama on a shoestring, as presented by Kathleen Hanna, on an Expose style 80’s synthwave tip.
Hajime Sorayama on a shoestring, as presented by Kathleen Hanna, on an Expose style 80’s synthwave tip. It’s fun. It’s performative and its a comment on the world we are all gladly goose-stepping right back into.
One could argue it’s reheated material, but then that just plays into her tongue in cheek themes of easy mass consumption and control.
I like  to think she was hoping some guests would offer their plates to the crowd or literally throw her offerings onto the floor in disgust. But we North Americans are an acquiescing bunch and we would never want to make waves.
Her lyrics about the things taken away and the methods with which they are being returned struck me as true to life.

Her other lines about how “Our table manners will bury us all” felt both cheesy and poignant in that specific way synthpop can be, and the beats were perfect for half naked boys and girls to work up a sweat on a dimly lit dancefloor in some underground basement caught only in the occasional flares of a spinning disco ball.

In the end, when the people finally applauded she gave us all a wry smile. “Oh, you’ve finally found your voice.”
I don’t know for sure that “we” have. But I’m beginning to think maybe she’s found hers.
M for Montreal 2021 | Round 3 of festival MAGIC 5
HAPPY HEART ❤️🎸| La Julia Smith came off the stage with an incredible energy delivered by the audience at the “All and All Party”

We went back for more drinks at the aforementioned loft and then, as a merry band of drunkards we went careening off to l’Escogriffe. From the crux of chaotic creative Peru, La Julia Smith assaulted our senses with high octane harmony. Amazing stage presence, dope vocals, cool guys with kind souls, it’s their energy that’s infectious, having played festivals all over the world, and currently developing a new project here in montreal, these guys are up and coming and something to look out for. Their online presence is lacking, but please do yourself a favor and catch them live.

It was a hard act to follow, impossible by most accounts, but we didn’t know Priors.

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Pascale B

M for Montreal 2021 | Round 3 of festival MAGIC 6
PRIORS furiously scrunches together lacerating fuzz riffs, maniacal snare drum abuse, skittish analog shivers, and savagely scared shouting that’s sometimes double-tracked into microchip-loose robot nervousness CC Melanie Vallieres

These guys tore up the stage with that perfect eternal blend of all things rock, like always catchy Idles, like punk meets new metal, like a tated shirtless kegar bellied Adonis proclaiming a happy new era of celebrating rage. They’re cool, they’re fun, and the photos are awesome.

The rest of the night was honestly a blur, but if you ever want some good food owned by a guy who was there when the world was young and full of life; if you want first hand accounts of Massive Attack and the Beastie Boys in their prime, I urge you to hit up Diablos, order the hardest of liquor, take a seat and ask the right questions.

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