Mot/town is a video and literary collaboration between myself, Elise Moser, and some of Montreal’s writers, poets, and spoken word artists. We meet in their neighbourhoods, in their kitchens, on their front stoops, at their work place and bring a camera. Monique Polak, about to launch her fourteenth YA novel, is first in line.
Friday, November 8, 2013
When we walk along the street it is impossible to know who is Catholic, who practices yoga regularly, who speaks Spanish, who listens to heavy metal, or who’s thinking about becoming vegetarian. But you always know who is a Hassidic Jew. The hats, the coats, the hair, the strollers, the children in matching clothes. For many people, this creates an impression of a monolithic community who thinks and behaves as a bloc.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Friday, August 23, 2013
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
A man and a woman putter on a dark stage dressed like Mad Max at Gallipoli. Two spots aimed at the audience means we don’t so much watch them as squint and look away. A guy in front of me tries to mask the spot with his hands. He moves about and sighs loudly and I think he’s going to walk out of the show only five minutes in. But the music shifts from period tinkling to industrial scraping, the man strips the woman naked, and they chant a raw duo of shouted slogans. It never gets easier to watch, but the guy in front of me stays.
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Bettye Lavette owned the stage in silver lamé stilettos. Ninety minutes later, Wanda Jackson shuffled to the mic in comfortable shoes the size of an old Buick. With over 110 years of music between them, they stormed the Metropolis last night with chops that could lead armies to battle. And as each of them revealed in their stories between songs, the battles have been many.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
It’s hard to watch a 62 year old man settle down to bed under tattered blankets in a dank basement. But it’s doubly tragic when you know the man is in possession of one of the most soulful voices of his generation. ”I don’t have a life,” Charles Bradley says as he describes how he spends most of his meagre resources taking care of his elderly mother. Nor does he have a career.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Ask somebody what type of music they like and they’ll name a genre. Rap, hip hop, alternative, indie, metal, classical, jazz, folk. Sometimes, if you’re in outlying territory or at Thanksgiving, you might even hear country. Who cares. It’s rarely honest anyways. Am I going to admit that sometimes I like country? No. And you didn’t hear it from me either. Why do we define music by these kinds of genres anyways? There are other genres, and my favourite of them is Beautiful.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Monday, April 15, 2013
Chris Overing is not quite Sisyphus, but a couple of years into his project of building a stone wall you have to wonder what he’s being punished for. Not that he entertains such thoughts. “This is art,” he asserts. How do we know it’s art? “If it’s insane and you’re still doing it, well it must be art.”
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Remember when you made that touchdown in high school? Or your first job? Or the time you saved a dog from drowning? Remember your first kiss? Remember that village you massacred? Whoa minute, as they say in French. There’s something wrong with this picture. Welcome to the surreal reality of modern-day Indonesia, where the gangsters and thugs are pop stars and their greatest hits include rape, pillage and torture.