Friday, 6 July 2012

Jazz Fest 2012

I realise I haven't posted anything in a while. It's just that I have so much to write about  and so little time. I've been quite busy lately and it's been difficult to keep up. Plus, I realise that my posts are way too long and I need to shorten them a little, starting tonight.

I went out for a couple of hours to walk around the plateau once more, getting off at the Place Des Arts metro station, right in the middle of the Montreal Jazz Festival. I love the Jazz Festival because there are so many good free live shows outside that are actually worth listening to. Plus, I have a cousin who is a baritone saxophone player in a band called Com.On.Jazz which has been playing at the festival for a couple of years now. This year they'll be playing Friday July 6th at 3pm on the Rio Tinto Alcan stage just in front of Place Des Arts at the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Jeanne-Mance. Go check them out! They're really good!

So I came out of the Place Des Arts metro and headed towards Saint-Laurent. Just as I got to the corner, there was a group of people around some street entertainers. It turned out to be this hipster bluegrass country band playing some music with a bunch of people juggling and doing stunts live on the street. The music was actually good. These guys were talented. I especially dug the big string bass. The bassist was slapping away at that thing, creating a great beat for the whole band. Too bad I didn't get the name of band because they really captivated everyone with their energy and their talent. Here's a little sample.

I stuck around for a while and when they stopped playing I started walking up Saint-Laurent towards Mont-Royal. The weather was nice, but quite humid. I had to be careful not to walk too fast so I don't become a big wandering puddle of sweat. Otherwise, I really enjoyed my evening.

On my way back down Saint-Denis, I passed by this store that I noticed before but never really quite stopped to look inside. It looks very interesting because they have all these really old vinyls in their window. They change them all the time, but lately they've been displaying these African-American soul and funk musicians LPs, which I would love to get my hands on - if I had a turn table. I love the old funky soul music, especially from the original godfather of soul himself, James Brown. But, I'd love to listen to these other ones. The Electric Boogaloo album really piqued my curiosity and I'd love to hear what it sounds like. Sure enough, the store's name was Beatnick, which sounds appropriate considering the material they sell. Beatniks were hipsters before it was even cool to be a hipster!

And as I was approaching Sherbrooke street, I passed in front of this Japanese sushi restaurant who, in what looks like a desperate attempt to attract customers, advertised a Japanese poutine. What the hell do they put in a Japanese poutine? I mean they don't have fries as a part of their traditional menu, or potatoes for that matter. They have rice as a source of starchy food over there. Let alone the gravy! Here's what it looks like anyways. You be the judge of whether this looks appealing or not.

Seriously? ಠ_ಠ

Eventually, I came back where I came from and hung around the Jazz Festival again and listened to this band called Coyote Bill playing on the Bell stage. The drummer had a Guy Fawkes mask and there were a bunch of monkey-shaped balloons on stage. They were pretty neat and had good rhythm. Unfortunately I caught them at the end of their act and the show was over two minutes after I got there.

The entrance to the stage area was surrounded by some Bell-sponsored, street-inspired art for the festival. I think it's a popular local graffiti artist who drew them because I recognised the style around town, especially in the Concordia area. Some were really well drawn. I wish I could have a mural done in my living room by a graffiti guy. That would be so freakin' cool!

And thus ended my evening walk as I got to the metro and went home to write this post. You know, for a while I was angry at the city of Montreal. The traffic, the orange cones everywhere randomly blocking streets and lanes and highways, construction, badly damaged streets, the old metro system always breaking down, the bridges and tunnels always threatening to collapse. I felt trapped sometimes and wished I could move somewhere else, either back to Ottawa or somewhere else. But, walking around town so much made me realise how there are so many hidden gems and how beautiful the city is. If only this whole place wasn't stuck neck deep in corruption in collusion and broken roads and a decrepit metro.

Anyway, I'm off to bed. Goodnight everyone and keep checking back for more articles.

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