Sunday, 14 October 2012

Musical Bromance

Yesterday I had a great evening with my long time friend Fouf! He took the day night off work to hang out and go check out a few shows that were happening Friday night. I was really happy to have a chance to share with him yet another musical experience. I think almost every show I've ever seen was with Fouf. Together we've seen The Chemical Brothers (yes, hat is Sophia Coppola), The Crystal Method, DJ Hyper, The Beastie Boys, Amon TobinThe Minibosses, Video Games Live and tons more, those being the most memorable bands/DJs. We've actually seen a bunch of them more than once and even met some. The coolest so far have been The Crystal method who, after hanging out with us in the back alley of the Metropolis and signing my Vegas album, even went into their tour bus to get more stuff and sign it for us! We talked hockey and politics and even wine. They were really great people. The Chemical Brothers were always a bit hard to meet. They would always flee the scene of the concert as soon as they could. But, we got a chance to meet them a couple of times. The first time I was completely star struck. I was in awe at the sheer height of Tom, who seemed like he was 10 feet tall. The second time, he handed Fouf his beer because he had to split! I still have the bottle hidden somewhere in a box of treasures at my parent's place along with all the autographed swag from The Crystal Method and a whole bunch of other stuff. Man, Fouf and I go a long way. I consider him like some kind of brother, really. He's one of my best friends and I am thankful I got to share some of my life's best experiences with him.

During the past couple of weeks I've noticed this sign in front of the SAT (Société des arts technologiques or Society of technological arts) that advertised DJ Food, one of the great many artists under the Ninja Tune label. Apparently, it was some kind of experimental video projection music show that was projected inside of a dome as an immersive 360 degrees audio/visual experience. My buddy Fouf asked me if I wanted to go. "Dude", I said, "I was waiting for you to be available to go check this out!" So, we went and it was one of the most absolutely trippiest experience I've ever had. You enter this huge dome made of metal with tiny little holes in them to let the sound through and projectors everywhere that project this huge kaleidoscopic image on every inch of that dome. On the floor, in the middle, you have cushions where people just lie down to look up at the ceiling. And when you do that, your whole field of vision sees nothing but the projection. It's trippy as balls man. The music was fantastic and kind of reminded me of a mix between DJ Shadow and Amon Tobin. A kind of experimental trip hop electronica mix. Oh, by the way, DJ Shadow was also in town earlier this month. I totally missed the show though. I was too broke dammit! I hope he comes around again soon because I'm a big fan of his.

You can see here how everyone was lying down
to look at the projection on the dome's ceiling.

Here's a video sample of what the show was all about. I swear, at times it felt like the whole room was spinning. Like it was all a metaphor about us being the disk on the turntable. Otherwise there were these images that made us feel like we were inside a roll of paper and someone was pulling the roll at the end and pushing it back in. It's hard to explain. It's like explaining an acid trip. Though, I never dropped acid, so how the hell am I supposed to know. Well if an acid trip looks anything like what people have told me, that show was probably the closest I'll ever get. The show lasted about an hour. When it was over we chatted with a couple of people about the experience. Everyone liked it, but we all agreed that some parts were really difficult to watch because everything was just turning so much it gave you vertigo. Somehow they were even able to reproduce that weird feeling you get when you're super drunk and everything looks like it's spinning but it's not, but without the nausea. Totally weird and fascinating at the same time.

After the show, there was a free representation of The Chemical Brothers' movie Don't Think in a building behind one of the faculties of UQAM university next to Place-Des-Arts. This was going to be another great musical show. Of course, being a huge fan, I wanted to see it. I even put on my old Chemical Brothers t-shirt before I left home when Fouf suggested we go there after the DJ Food thing. Honestly, I didn't even know it was playing anywhere. Fouf has connections man. He knows what's going down.

The place looks like it was an old warehouse manufacture of some sort with a huge industrial smokestack. Inside it looked like it was turned into this dance hall  kind of a place with a small bar and a small stage. A DJ was in a corner mixing some bad European electro house stuff kind of à la Saint-Germain but with accordion. It sounded cheesy as hell. We entered the place about twenty minutes early so we got ourselves a couple of drinks and sat down. In the meantime they were showing slow motion scenes from the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. We kept seeing Jack Nicholson's terribly painful expression when he undergoes shock therapy. Not a very fun thing to watch. What the heck was wrong with these people?

That's not a cigar in his mouth.
 It's the mouthpiece that prevents him from grinding his teeth
while he writhes in pain from the electro shock.

The bar only had one kind of beer. Boris. It's some very, very pale 5% lager that kind of tastes like nothing. Very disappointing. Just as disappointing as the size of the beer which were little glass bottles of 300ml which was called the flocon d'Alzace or the Alzace flask. That's just about as much as those little cartons of milk they used to serve us in elementary school. And as if that wasn't bad enough, they also had Boris alcoholized lemonade. Now, excuse me for being obscene but, what kind of a pussy-ass brewery is this? Boris is a name for a giant fucking hairy Russian man-bear, not some kind of kids size bottle of watered-down piss!

That's how much beer you'd get for 3$

As the time for the show was approaching, the room was filling up with more and more people. It was a fairly mixed crowd with two kinds of people. Older folks who, like me, have been following the Chemical Brothers since the mid-90's and a bunch of fresh young hipsters who were just there for the free show and the beer. When the show finally started, the movie was being projected on two or three screens around the place. The music was loud but just right so we could still talk to each other and understand one another. 

I took this during a slower more relaxed part
where they were showing a choir of scary clown kids
repeating the words of the master clown.

The movie was called Don't Think and it's basically a directed recording of one of the Chemical Brothers' concert in Japan at the Fuji Rock Festival. 

God I wish I was there, tripping the hell out with those lucky Japanese.
Ramen, beeru, and The Chemical Brothers.
All my favourite things in one place.

Watching this and listening to the music took me back to the good old days when Fouf and I were in complete trance in the very front of the stage at the Metropolis. The very first concert I've ever been to was one of theirs back in 1999. That's when I got my t-shirt. It's been my most precious t-shirt because it is a memento of my first time to one of their concerts. I wasn't wearing any protection and my virgin ears were very well and completely fucked to a point of audio orgasm and have never been the same again. Actually, I've had tinnitus ever since. Don't worry, it's not some kind of ear STD. Basically, it's just a condition you get after being exposed to loud noises for too long. You suffer partial hearing loss and a permanent ringing in your ears. I was deaf for a month. It sounded like I was underwater. And the worst part was that I was going to start the first of another thing in my life the next day: my very first job. It's pretty had to learn anything anyone tells you when all you hear is a very sharp high pitched EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! But hey, I did alright. I kept the job all summer and I racked up enough dough to pay for three years in college and earn my computer science degree AND party like it was 1999 for three more years!

Tom, rocking the shit out of his sample machines.

After that, my friend was hungry so we stopped by the Montreal Pool Room to grab a couple of the best steamies in the city.

We walked up Saint-Laurent for a bit because he wanted to get some 2$ chow mein as well. After that we came back to my place and we had a Banania hot cocoa and we called it a night and I drove him back to his flat. It was a great ending to an otherwise very crappy and very stressful week. I miss nights like this where I can hang out with Fouf and go to concerts and stuff. We really don't hang out like this often enough. Well, let's hope something else will come up soon.

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