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July 2009

June 2009

Island Party

Finally, the sun came out today, just in time for the weekly Piknic Electronik party on Ile Ste-Helene, in the middle of the St. Lawrence River. They put the dance floor right under the massive Alexander Calder sculpture, with Buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome off in the distance. In the other direction, all of downtown Montreal is spread out, under a partly cloudy sky. Very cool vibe here: there are people of all ages and types, the house music is cool without being clubby, and while they do sell food and drink, they let you bring in your own. Ok, time to shut up and dance. (More pics below.)IMG00133.jpg

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Fete de la Montreal

This city needs another festival like a hole in its head, which may explain to some degree the scaled-down version of Montreal's first-ever Fete de la Musique, the day-long festival of free music that started 20 years ago in Paris and has since spread to more than 120 countries across the globe. Montreal's version has four outdoor stages spread around Vieux Ville, with the mainstage at the foot of Place Jacques-Cartier, near the water. On now: electro-pop locals Les Fous de le Reine. But, as I've discovered, the Fete will be happening all around town today, affiliated or not. (For those back in New York, do yourself a favor and check out all the free stuff happening today as part of the 2nd annual Make Music New York.) IMG00129.jpg

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Back and Forth

More than anything, I've been impressed with the bilingual nature of Montreal, the ability of its inhabitants to effortlessly switch between French and English. Like this charming folk singer, who speaks to her audience in perfect French, but who sings in such soaring English that she must be anglophone. Or is she? Does it really matter, anyway? I swear, it's enough to make one mourn the missed opportunity south of the border. (More pics below.)IMG00127.jpg

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