Escaliers

First show in Montreal: Shapes and Sizes (myspace). At La Salla Rosa, you're greeted by the quaintly charming (and delicious) Spanish Tapas restaurant on the bottom floor before you ascend to the cabaret-esque venue upstairs. The room dangles antique chandeliers and is backdropped by a red velvet curtain.

Shapes and Sizes played a very intimate show...maybe a little too intimate?


Okay. I'll let your imagination wander through the possibilities...

What I meant was: with extensive sound checks between songs and once a sudden halting and restarting in the middle of a song due to reverb, that at times I felt I was watching them jam in a mom's basement. Nonetheless, when things got rolling, I was impressed by Caila's professionally trained voice, their well-executed harmonies (see my "Likes" on facebook) and was engaged by the colourful cascade of sound in a track. I regretfully will never know the track's name, especially considering I didn't realize they were Shapes and Sizes, but thought they were their opening act, Brave Radar (myspace), during their set. This misunderstanding lead to an imaginably extremely awkward conversation when meeting Shapes and Sizes' bassist, Nathan. By the way Montrealers, he owns Phonopolis: 5403 Rue de Parc. Check it out for a solid collection of vinyl, CD's etc.

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Speaking of well executed harmonies: Fleet Foxes (Hey Milla, thanks for introducing me to them here)

Alright, as a warning, my attempts at objective reviews with a hint of pretention will, for the next few moments, be thrown out the window. I am now a wide-eyed-love-sick-scenester-puppy.


Right after class, on Tuesday, I scooted to Phonopolis to get tickets for this show, but at transaction time, I realized I left my wallet at home. Despite my disappointment, Nathan assured me that tickets would be available that night at the door.

However, not so lucky. Upon arriving at Le Divan Orange, we begged and pleaded leading the staff to eventually put up a sign qui a dit "Ce Soir Certan. Absolument. Vraiment. SOLD OUT". So with moist eyes, we proceeded to soak up every moment of their soundcheck, hoping they'd find unexpected feedback or problems with mike levels, just to revel a little longer in their cooings.


But, I have to thank Mr Vincent Hopkins, who, as we begrudgingly strolled towards the most brancher (hip) cafe I've ever laid eyes on (so hip, it doesn't even have a name!), he chased down Fleet Foxes' guitarist Sky (watch out Krug, I may now want to have babies with a different indie mini star) and convinced Sky to put the four of us on the guest list.

Their tight harmonies (not like 'sick' tight, more like 'held together' tight) propelled by Josh's commanding percussion, delivered us into a world difficult to describe. Robin Pecknold (photo above) tranfixed the room delivering solo performances of Tiger Mountain Peasant Song (mp3) and Oliver James (mp3). By our proceeding uproar, he was, himself, taken aback by the effect that his acoustic dreamings had on the audience.


Like Milla conveyed in her preceding post, I'm finding it difficult to use words to describe the essence of that show, so here's another Nas blog challenge. I challenge you to imagine gazing through your window as dusk transforms the sky's palette, as your head rests on your lover's chest, as this song plays--without a small amount of salty fluid secreting from one of your tear glands.

Mykonos - Fleet Foxes (mp3)

But as if this post could get any dorkier, I gotta admit that the best part of the night was eating Tim Horton's with Fleet Foxes after the show. The guys hadn't heard of Tim Horton's so we had to demonstrate, to these Seattle guys, Canada's success in maximizing profits through compartmentalized chains, too!

4 thoughts:

Nas, it sounds like you are taking to Montreal quite well. Good stories! Complete with a Vince cameo!

July 16, 2008 at 10:09 a.m.  

You are le awesome Nas. I wish I could be there too, going to brancher shows (proper use of word brancher?) and eating timbits with hipsters. But alas, my farmcore status means I am spending my time listening to the CBC and eating deviled eggs with senior citizens. See you in 5 lover!

July 21, 2008 at 4:09 p.m.  

Hey Nas, why is it called "brancher"?

Say hi to vince for me :)

July 25, 2008 at 6:50 p.m.  

I think Montreal is in love with you.
I could be wrong. But I rarely am.

July 26, 2008 at 10:07 a.m.  

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