The Weeknd, I’m a fan.

I spent a really long time trying to figure out what all the hype was around the Weeknd. I had a small gig selling merch for this guy back in September and he completely go the royal treatment. For a single shirt he wanted $40. Not many people who’ve only performed three times can pull that off. I think I sold ten or twelve, just remarkable!

The gateway tunes for me were “The Party & The After Party” and “Loft Music.” Two tunes that are based on Beach House tunes. At first I was offended that he sampled them, but they sound terrific. Shhh…! Don’t tell anyone I like this band…

The Weeknd:

Beach House’s “Gila”:

 

The Weeknd:

Beach House’s “Master of None”

CB2 takes over the Big Bop

So long Big Bop. We’ve had some great times hanging out with the Juliana Theory, Jurassic 5 and Jenn Grant, just to name a few. Apparently, this place was all the rage in the nineties, the it-place to go dancing. It’s clearly something worth remembering and I’m really glad Crate and Barrel dedicated their storefront to the history of the building. They really gutted it out, giving it a head to toe makeover.

Here’s a bit of the written history they commemorated on a timeline:

Jean-Marc Vallée ‘Café de flore’

Alright so I feel a little off the ball on this one, I hadn’t even heard of it until I was flipping through some best of 2011 lists, earlier this month.

Ages ago on whim I saw a little film called C.R.A.Z.Y. I think I was 16 or 17 when I saw it, one of the first films I saw at the Bloor Cinema. Café de flore was the second Jean-Marc Vallée I’ve seen regards him as “one of our most assured filmmakers.” Yikes. I really need to get on CanCon movie watchin’ here.

I felt a little distraught watching this film, I wasn’t sure what to feel. Basically, without spoiling it, there were two stories being told, one, a single mother and her son in the ’60s  à Paris et deux, a broken family trying to move on.

To be honest, after some serious internet searching, I’m still not sure what to feel, even being spoon fed. It’s pretty impressive that the film got a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

All through the film:

Just marvelous, I gotta buy this album!!!

Well, it wasn’t in the film, but it’s remarkably beautiful. The gal did it in just two take, paid only £30 at the ripe age of twenty-two, her name`s Clare Torry:

Procol Harum “Whiter Shade of Pale”

Yup, as close as perfection as we could possibly get.

John Lennon was a great fan of the song and was known to have played it repeatedly in his Rolls Royce. When it was released in England, Lennon (and friends in his circle) reportedly confused Brooker’s soulful vocals with Steve Winwood, who had popularity at the time with The Spencer Davis Group.

Real Estate with Babies at Lee’s Palace; Friday January 20, 2012

I was aching to see this show. When I found out it was sold out, I knew I  had to see this band, anyway anyhow.

As the luckiest girl on the planet, I scored the last door ticket with my good pal.

This by far was the best night of the year. Days is one of the loveliest albums of 2011. Real Estate kept up their easy going beach sound but added more complex, directed song written with more lyrics! I think Martin Courtney’s enhanced presence is just spectacular, that and he got some fancy frames which hikes up his babe factor. It was apparently Courtney’s birthday that night, I’m really glad they could spend it with us.

It was really weird to see the shift in concert venue. The last time I saw them headline a show it was at the Garrison, just five months earlier. There was an incredible amount of space at the venue and I bought my ticket at the door. I took heaps of photos of that night. 

The openers Babies were incredible. They have a rough sound that worked in the ninties and since has really dissipated in my time. I really dug them, bought their album. It was the guitarists three year anniversary on the day of the show!

A few comments to past Kim’s humourous post on seeing Real Estate in July 2011:

1. Martin Courtney’s vocals are hotter than ever. Days is all vocals and I’m so grateful for that. I really can’t get enough of the upbeat energy music in conjunction with Courtney’s timid voice. It just works.

2. The bassist is still a total pizza guy in my eyes, but sings! I remember them playing the tune “Wonder Years” and thinking nothing of it back in July. It’s the bassist’s tune for sure! I’m starting to like it more…

3. “Municipality” was played too early. I had my song climax way too early at this show. It’s always funny how the songs you like tend to be loved by others too. I think this song’s a solid example of that.

4. I’d see Real Estate two times in four days given the chance. Passed up the opportunity to see them when I was in Chicago this summer, just a few days before they were playing Toronto. I’d do it.

5. Studio versions can make or break. Days definitely made their live show for me.

6. Toronto loves Real Estate. Despite their last gig being at an open venue without many bodies, it was really crazy to see how much their fan base has grown.

7. I adore Lee’s Palace. I couldn’t remember the last time I was in Lee’s Palace. I adore the place, it’s gotta be one of my favourite venues.

 

‘Liberal Arts’ written and directed by Josh Radnor

I’m a huge How I Met Your Mother nut. So, when I heard that Josh Radnor, aka Ted Mosby was making a film a few years back I was filled with excitement. That film was the lovely, Happythankyoumoreplease featuring actor heavy weights – Tony Hale (Buster Bluth), Kate Mara (sister of Rooney, the tattoo dragon girl), Pablo Schreiber (brother of Liev), Canadian Malin Akerman and Zoe Kazan (granddaughter of the legendary Elias Kazan).

OK, so many Rador is more of a B-actor magnet, regardless, he gets quality folk that I thoroughly enjoy watching. I’m really happy to report that his new film, Liberal Arts features the lovely Elizabeth Olsen (sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley). It’s basically about a thirtysomething man who can’t find comfort in the world outside of academia. Something myself and my peers can definitely relate to!! It’s a love story, he meets Olsen’s character and they do their thing, problems and fun.

I gotta say, I like Radnor’s writing – it’s easy, humourous and completely accessible. He kind of takes the Woody Allen approach to cinema in that he casts himself in the best male characters in the film.

Liberal Arts was inspired by good literature, of them Radnor cited David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. He stated “that book really messes you up… but read it.” I think I may take a cue and give it another go, it’s a complete marathon, but I hear it’s worth the effort!

Drake Doremus ‘Like Crazy’

I promise to not give away anything of this little long distance love story.

I also really adore what Jesse Hawthrowne Ficks had to say about the film:

This Grand Jury Prize winner will be a hard sell to people wanting relief from their own difficult relationships. For those that stick through it, it will expose your darkest and weakest secrets about your fears of being alone versus being with someone to fill the void.

 

 

I had a thought today that I haven’t watched a love script in a while, in any manifestation. I always take comfort in a love-themed film, I guess I’m a major sap in that respect.

This film certainly didn’t let me down, it was exactly what I was expecting and even maybe a bit more. Leads Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones portray a convincing young couple in big love.

The entire film was shot on a DSLR, being no stranger to shaky hands and imperfect shots. On a side note, the director is only 28!

I think what got me was the soundtrack, perhaps I find films more accessible because I can relate to the music more. A soundtrack that parallels the one of my own life. Maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but a good soundtrack is a very easy way to win my heart over.

The thing I really enjoyed about the tunes used in this film was they were familiar, but I wasn’t singing along to them. I didn’t really know the songs. I had moments where I felt M83, The Tallest Man on Earth, or Stars in the closing credits, without having heard the songs before.

Stars “Dead Heart”… I actually had a little bit of a talk about Stars the other night. Stars are a band that I use to adore in high school, I can’t even begin to articulate. They were the band that saved me from loud, unruly music (sorry Nick). I kind of jumped ship after In Our Bedroom After the War – so to say Five Ghosts blew right through me, is no over statement (but a really bad pun). I however instantly recognised their distinct he said she said song dialogue and Amy Millan’s sweet voice. For a band I gave up after such a long romance, they’ve changed very little!

M83 has exploded. I latched on to Before the Dawn Heals Us  in the twelfth grade to impress some lamo boy. Fortunately, he got me into some pretty sweet bands. “I Guess I’m Floating” is  a brilliant tune off of that very album, it was used perfectly in the film –

Paul Simon is king. His album Graceland  is all that. It was also the couple’s bonding album in the film –

I saw this band ages ago open up for Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, caught the last few songs.