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  • Pink Martini & the Von Trapps present Dream a Little Dream

    Dream A Little Dream, a new collaborative album from Pink Martini and The von Trapps, will be released March 18th. This is the first major international release by Sofia, Melanie, Amanda and August von Trapp — the actual great-grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp. The album also features special guests The Chieftains along with guest vocalists Wayne Newton, Jack Hanna, and Charmian Carr (the original Liesl in the film version of The Sound of Music). In celebration of the album, Pink Martini and The von Trapps are set to embark on a worldwide tour next month.

    In addition to renditions of several beloved classic songs (Dream a Little Dream, Fernando, Lonely Goatherd, Edelweiss, etc.), the album features three original compositions from August von Trapp. The record also includes songs from Sweden, Rwanda, China, Japan and Bavaria. Pink Martini’s most recent release, Get Happy, debuted at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Jazz Albums Chart and #3 on Quebec charts. For tour dates and information, visit pinkmartini.com.

  • Philémon Cimon launch 2 new songs

    Philémon Cimon presents two new songs from L’été, "Soleil blanc" and "Par la fenêtre", his new album on sale January 28th.

    Produced by Alexandre Grégoire, of Roméo & Fils, Soleil blanc is the very first video from the upcoming record L’été. This production showcases Philémon performing as a romantic musician a little too in love with his instrument that forsakes his lovely wife, sinking in a puddle of dreams and liquor. Magic realism meets Keaton, Douglas and Garbo in this strange fairy tale that blends genres and eras, a tribute to the innocent poetry of silent film.

    Early July
    Analysis on the change from Chante to Cimon


    I had written “Philémon Chante” on a poster for a show I was going to give in St-Joseph-de-la-Rive, Charlevoix, explaining to my friends that singing was what I was about to do there, even if that is what I was doing every night, around the campfire, with these same friends, my cousins, my brother and the girls.

    It was my first official show; I was 17. It went rather well. I mostly remember that I busted many strings, that my big hit was “Ma branche de cèdre” and another composition about ice cream, and my Coloc covers; and that I made $80 in the hat and that wasn’t bad at all. I had given a quarter of it to my then-girlfriend and she drank it all with other people while I was packing my gear. In those days, $20 was a lot of money, but that evening, I was feeling pretty much like Elvis, I didn’t really care. I thought she was really beautiful, which could explain the situation...

    Nowadays, I don’t need to explain that I will sing when I sing and, when one asks for my name, generally, I answer Philémon Cimon.

  • Ian Kelly's new album All These Lines

    "I'm not the type who cares for tagging my own music, saying what one should think about it. To me it's quite simple: you listen and you enjoy it or you don't. It shouldn't matter whether there is more keys or more acoustic guitars or a big fat beat, the important thing is, do I like it or not."

    These few sentences from Montreal’s Ian Kelly, although short and, at first, of disarming simplicity, sum up Ian’s take on music, his and others’. Let’s not talk about music, let’s listen to it; once you’ve listened to it, forge an opinion and I’ll respect that.

    The process leading up to Kelly’s fourth album took place over several months; and was splintered over his touring activities with Sarah Slean, which took him across Canada early this year. Kelly was driven by the will to finally materialize, with upmost accuracy and until serene satisfaction, pieces that had inhabited him days and nights, notably in the tour bus going through the Rockies last spring.

    A slow and matured gestation, counting on timely complicity of his co-producer Eloi Painchaud (Elisapie, Jorane), Kelly worked out of his home studio and at Eloi’s, in the heart of the Laurentians, just five minutes apart from one another. And so, in about ten months time came to life the album’s ten songs, part shade, part sun, halfway through the seasons.

    All These Lines is also a painting of 4x8 feet created specifically for the album by Montreal visual artist Marc Gosselin, after - from the artist’s own admission - some 1,500 listens. The work was then entrusted to Kelly’s faithful sidekicks: graphic designer Janique Crépeau and photographer Martin Girard, who act once again as artistic directors of the album artwork. They have signed every artwork of Ian Kelly’s four albums.

    From the album’s first notes in One Day, a soft and cozy folk melody which builds into an epic anthem, to Breakfast For The Soul, whose verse extends irresistibly, closing the album in a symphony of voices, distorted guitars and pounding drums – and the duet, The Best Years, which flirts with the sublime and where the man blends his unique voice with the just as unique one of Coral Egan, we are faced with an artist in full possession of his craft.

    From the first to last note, Ian Kelly embodies this new album, with a completely untied and more than ever asserted voice; unrestrained, come rain or come shine.

    The full album hits the stores on November 5th through Montreal-based label Audiogram (Karkwa, Ariane Moffatt, Peter Peter).

  • Ian Kelly's new single

    Ian Kelly presents Do You Love The Rain, the first single of his upcoming album All These Lines in stores November 5th. He will tour in Europe at the end of September with Sarah Slean, and begin a new Quebec-wide tour next March

    "In all honesty, I still don’t understand why we say it's not nice out when it's not sunny. I wrote Do You Love The Rain, while watching the rain fall and thinking how beautiful it was. Water falling from the sky, crashing on the streets or slowly weeping onto the leaves, eventually, returning to the earth, cleansing man's footprint and nourishing all that lives.

    I'm not the type who cares for tagging my own music, saying what one should think about it. To me it's quite simple, you listen and you enjoy it or you don't. It shouldn't matter whether there is more keys or more acoustic guitars or a big fat beat, the important thing is, do I like it or not. I love contrast: I like that this song is about the rain, yet, you really feel like rolling down your car windows when listening to it. I love winter and summer, I love rain, to me it shines!" - Ian Kelly

    Do You Love the Rain available now on iTunes

  • Billy Idol's classic White Wedding revisited by Ian Kelly

    Six years ago, students approached the singer-songwriter and asked him to do a remake of Billy Idol's classic White Wedding for their film project. When he was done, he liked the result but didn't want to include on his upcoming album - which became Speak Your Mind -  because he wanted to concentrate on his original material first and foremost. Nevertheless, he had this "Kellyfied" version in his iTunes and it kept popping up when shuffling with his library. Whenever that happened, Ian always thought it wasn't bad. The band in the van also liked it. They finally decided to record it and Ian  added it to his latest album, Diamonds & Plastic, released in May 2011.

    The Diamonds & Plastic tour continues. Ian and his band are hitting the road today onto Gaspésie for shows in Chandler, Carleton and Gaspé and then on to Brossard on March 29th at L'Étoile du Quartier Dix30. Kelly's first show in this venue will come right after his participation at the 26th edition of the infamous South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas. Ian will perform at 11PM on March 15th at The Spill Bar in the official Montreal International Jazz Fest showcase alongside Ariane Moffatt, I.no, Krista Muir, Karim Ouellet and Dance Laury Dance . This showcase, and many more, are presented under the Planète Quebec banner put together by SODEC and the Ministère de la Culture et des communications du Québec .

     

  • MA : Ariane Moffatt new album

    Ladies and gentlemen; introducing ‘MA‘ by Ariane Moffatt. The acclaimed Quebec songbird is reinventing herself on her fourth album, delving into uncharted electro-pop territory and reaches new heights with the boldest, brightest songs of her career.

    MA is, in a way, her most personal work. The title comes from the Japanese concept of the ma, which refers to a sensorial experience of negative space or downtime – not as something that separates but rather something than unites. Finding that quiet place allowed her to make an album that is both totally centered and wildly adventurous.

    Written, performed and produced by Moffatt herself, in her creative space and at Montreal’s Hotel2tango studio (Arcade Fire, Barr Brothers, Handsome Furs), MA was made with help from Pierre Girard, who acted as sound technician and assisted with production and mixing.

    Working both in French and in English felt natural for Moffatt, who lives in Montreal’s diverse Mile End neighborhood. She has dabbled in the language before; but by recording more than half her new album in English, she positions herself in the ma between her city’s two dominant cultures. And she sounds equally at home in each.

    Musically, she has always been eclectic – an intimate singer-songwriter with a range spanning from folk to trip-hop, rock and reggae – but she has never sounded quite like this. MA finds Moffatt busting loose, coming out of her shell as she fearlessly expands the parameters of her artistic identity.

    THE SONGS

    The album opener Walls Of the World combines a hypnotic bass line and breathy vocals into a sultry groove that is somewhere between The Pretenders, The Cardigans and Julee Cruise. In Your Body evokes Goldfrapp meets the B-52s with its shuffle-step beat, jazzy synth stabs and sassy lyrics about « running around naked on your roof. »

    Read complete article »

  • Homa's iTunes French Song of the Year

    On Thursday December 8th, iTunes Canada announced their selections for iTunes Rewind, the best albums and songs of 2011, and we are very pleased to have Peter Peter and 'Homa' chosen as Best French Song of the Year! 'Homa' is available on Peter Peter's debut album released in March 2011.
     
    After a busy fall for Peter Peter, with astonishing performances in CMJ New York, M for Montreal and many more - Peter Peter has starting to create for a greater following internationally - loading up for his new recordings in 2012. Besides some of the following highlights, Peter Peter will appear as Montreal Mirror's 'Noise Maker' to look out for in 2012.
     

    There is something so horribly cool about this man.” – Alan Cross …will capture the hearts of many, and put Peter Peter on plenty of ‘ones to watch’ lists in the new year.” – The Music Ninja (USA)

    …Peter’s voice is an enchantment to the ears.” – Earmilk (Toronto)

    Canadian indie pop magic.” – Audio Porn Central (Europe)

     

  • Pink Martini et Saori Yuki presents 1969

    Portland, Oregon based « little orchestra » Pink Martini and legendary Japanese singer Saori Yuki have collaborated to record 1969—a collection of songs from the year Yuki’s debut album was released. The 12 tracks will be released October 18th on Audiogram Records in Canada. In celebration of the record, Yuki will join the band on a series of special tour dates this December.

    Years ago in Portland, Pink Martini founder and pianist Thomas Lauderdale was thumbing through bins of records at Everyday Music when, intrigued by its gorgeous cover and interesting title (translated to « Scat In The Dark »), he snatched up Saori Yuki’s debut album. Upon first listen he was immediately struck by Yuki’s soaring soprano and the melodies on the album. Many years later, having never met Yuki, Lauderdale and Pink Martini recorded her song « Taya Tan » for their 2007 album Hey Eugene!.

    In early 2010, as Pink Martini was preparing for their first tour of Asia, they received a call from Yuki’s manager saying that she had loved the band’s rendition of « Taya Tan » and wanted to meet them when they came to Japan. This first meeting occurred in Tokyo when Yuki joined Pink Martini singer China Forbes on stage for a rendition of « Taya Tan. » Later that year Yuki was invited to sing the first-ever Japanese version of « White Christmas » for Pink Martini’s holiday album Joy To The World.

    This past March, following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that decimated Japan, Lauderdale reached out to invite Yuki to join Pink Martini in Portland at a benefit performance for the relief efforts in Japan. During her visit to the States, Yuki and Pink Martini also went into the studio to record « Yuuzuki, » a benefit track released by Starbucks and iTunes beginning the collaboration that ultimately would result in 1969.

    « It was a great honor to be asked by Saori Yuki San & EMI Japan to work on this album, » says Lauderdale. « The initial concept for the album was ‘Japanese hits from 1969′ but upon doing a bit of research we discovered that every country had something significant going on in 1969. So we decided to broaden the scope in a very Pink Martini way and include songs from around the world sung in different languages. The result is a gorgeous adventure back in time to the year 1969 featuring 12 songs sung in Japanese, French & English. »

  • Ian Kelly's new single "Drinking Alone"

    Could Drinking Alone be an autobiographical song? Perhaps. He took a moment to share with us that this life was once his: "Yes, it is a bit me a few years back. I stopped drinking seven years ago, but before that, I used to live in the Plateau where I’d go out ’til the break of dawn. I went through my partying phase, but I don’t regret any of it. Our good and bad actions make us who we are. I can now write about it because I’m happy to be the person I am today."

    "I love the feel of this song. It was definitely a challenge to write on a sad subject and still keep a "feel good vibe" to the tune. When you’re drinking enough that you come to the point where you’re drinking alone, you may not be making the right choices in your life", says the singer-songwriter, who is presently in Europe, where, among other things, he performed at the renowned Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, Germany.

    With more than 10 000 units sold across Canada, Diamonds & Plastic will now be launched in Belgium September 26th. The event will take place at the FNAC store, at the heart of Brussels, where he and his band mates will be performing live as they did back in May, at Montreal’s Rialto, for the release of the album. For this release to happen, a lot of hard work and effort has been put towards this project. Ian Kelly has been to Belgium a lot this past year, and his perseverance has surely paid off.

    "I feel so blessed to have people outside of Quebec listening to my music, he continues. We’ve worked hard for this to all come together. I did a lot of promo in Belgium this summer, giving performances on live television, national and regional interviews on French, English and German radio stations. No, I don’t speak German but the radio host would translate for me on the spot. Diamonds and Plastic will be distributed by Rough Trade, a company who plays a big role in the European market place! Everything that’s happening is really cool!"

    On September 29th, Ian will be kicking off his Quebec tour at the Centre D’art La Chapelle à Vanier in Quebec City, for two nights. You can also catch him on Télé-Quebec’s « Belle et Bum » program on Saturday, October 1st.

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