FringeBlog

What’s your scene? Lit, food, arts, music, theatre, find out what’s happening in the city of churches.

  • Hip-Hop, Ya’ Don’t Stop!

    • Cypher Brew: Roll Through with Your Crew! takes place April 12th

    Montreal’s hip-hop scene has been simmering in the city’s cultural melting pot for quite some time now. Fuelled with an array of talented and emerging local artists, this scene is slowly but surely starting to heat up. For most aficionados, hip-hop is not only a genre of music but a way of life, a form of self expression and a tool to spread knowledge.

    Most importantly, what makes this culture dope is the aspect that even through Montreal’s diversity of individuals, language barriers and ethnic differences, it can all be put to the side so that everyone can bob their heads to “Rapper’s Delight.” You don’t need to know the language if you want to feel the flow and that’s such a beautiful element.

    Speaking of bobbing heads, Hip Hop Heads Concordia is one of the newer associations that has been established within the university. Magassy Mbow, who is the association’s VP Communications, interestingly describes the hip-hop scene as being a “wizarding world” where it is invisible yet right in front of you at the same time unless someone shows it to you. Although it were only founded early last year, Hip Hop Heads Concordia is already making noise by spreading awareness about the hip-hop culture and what it ultimately represents.

    Their mandate is to create a sense of community among students that welcomes diversity and breaks down modern-day stereotypes that have negative connotations related to hip-hop. If you missed out on their launch party, don’t worry because word on the street is that Hip Hop Heads Concordia is hosting a new event.

    Since it takes two to make things go right, Hip Hop Heads Concordia is partnering up with Hip Hop Cafe to present to you “Cypher Brew: Roll Through With Your Crew!” This event is calling out anyone that can come through and take part in a good old fashioned cypher. Whether you’re a hip-hop connoisseur or a regular person wanting to know what all the fuss is about, Cypher Brew is the perfect opportunity for you to gain knowledge on what is fundamentally the essence of hip hop.

    With community run establishments and events like Hip Hop Karaoke and Cypher Brew, Jasmine Thagard, president of Hip Hop Heads Concordia truly believes in the building of special relationships where everyone can come together and celebrate their love for the culture. “We made it our mission to create a club that opens a door into a community we truly feel passionate about” Thagard said.

    That is why on April 12 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., roll through with your crew to Hip Hop Cafe and vibe out with other hip hop enthusiasts and association members. This event is one not to be missed on what could possibly be the most illest combination of coffee, hip-hop and rapping all while DJ Puggy is on them ones and twos. So if you didn’t know—now you know, be there!

  • Pomo’s Takeover of Montreal’s Music Scene

    • Pomo plays at Noire April 20th.

    David Pimentel is bringing a colourful zest to Montreal’s music scene. You may have heard of him as Pomo, or you may be familiar with his other project Nouvel Age. Either way, if you’re familiar with his music, you’re into the right things.

    Originally from Vancouver, Pimentel moved to Montreal to work on his music. His beats are spreading like wildfire, and this spring he will release his first EP titled The Other Day just in time for the warm weather.

    From a young age, David was pushed by his parents to play classical piano and pick up the guitar.

    “It sucked,” said Pomo. “But, I’m grateful today that I stuck with it. It really molded the foundation for what Pomo is. These are the two instruments I feel most comfortable with. Although, I do love to mess around with drums, I don’t really consider myself to be a drummer.”

    He has refined his taste in music over the years and feels that he is heavily influenced by jazz and neo-soul.

    “I really focus on the chord progression in music, Pomo is structured a lot around that.” Pomo explained.

    His work brings the old funk together with new funk, which gives a twist on the older music that shaped him growing up. Some of the artists that inspired what he is doing today are Prince, Michael Jackson and Robert Glasper. Their unique traits seem to have persuaded his style.

    “I love working with singers. Antony is so talented,” he said, referring his partner Antony Carle from Nouvel Age. “So it made sense when David told me he was tuned towards music with strong vocalists, such as Erykah Badu and Lalah Hathaway.

    J Dilla was really influential in my work as well, especially for his rhythms and harmony in his chord progression production,” he added.

    The music Pomo creates cannot be confined simply to one type of genre.

    “[It’s a] funky electronic, with a lot of synths! Or, whatever I feel like at the time […]. Mostly music that makes people dance,” he explained.

    “I try to maintain an old school method of production,” he continued. “The level of musicality you needed back in the day made it much harder to produce music, as compared to now with computers and software so readily available.”

    Things started to really kick off for Pomo when Kaytranada, a Montreal local, put one of his tracks in his mix and HW&W Recordings. Following this success, Pomo was asked to do a couple of records for their label.

    “They give me complete freedom,” he said.

    Besides working on a couple of tracks with Kaytranada, Pimentel also did some work with Noisey UK and released a mix for them. He has already started touring outside of Canada and recently played a show out in NYC for Gramatik’s label Low Temp.

    “I met so many great and talented people,” he said about his experience at the Gibbz release party.

    Pimentel released his newest track “Aerobix” just a few days ago at a weekly party called MELT, where he is a resident DJ. Prior to this, he shared with fans a new track called Vibrator.

    “It is a bit different than what I usually produce,” said Pomo.

    David plans to begin a tour of his live show after the release of his EP in the spring. He plans to incorporate as much physical playing as possible.

    “I love DJing, but playing live is much more fun. It’s more passionate, you are able to really feel the heart of the song and tweak it depending on how you feel in that moment.” Pomo said.

    Pomo is swallowing the Montreal music scene, so be sure to catch him alongside Jacques Greene and Nosaj Thing this coming 4/20 for an all-night party called Noire hosted by SJU and many others.

  • Viva Italia!

    • photo by Riley Stativa

    It was raining and cold with snow still on the ground last Friday. Soaking sidewalks and puddles with the magnitude of lakes had me yearning for at least a hint of spring and all the fringe benefits of the season: sunshine, the colour green and oh yes, street food. Luckily for me, I had an invitation to taste what the near future might hold at Cibo Di Strada.

    Cibo Di Strada is an Italian street food showcase and fundraiser, put on by the Montreal Young Italian-Canadian Association (or MYICA for short), a non-profit group seeking to spread modern Italian culture to youth of Italian heritage, or otherwise. I went there with a few expectations and one question: what is Italian street food anyway?

    Ask anyone what constitutes Italian cuisine and you’ll probably get pizza (slightly portable) and spaghetti and meatballs (most definitely not portable–at all) within their top five answers. Neither of them are crafted for eating with one hand while bicycling down Mont-Royal in the warm spring breeze… you know. Unless you’re that guy. So to satisfy my appetite for answers, I hit the event which fittingly took place at Place D’Italy, near the Jean-Talon Metro.

    By the time I arrived, it was already bada-booming with hungry attendees, milling about the large room looking for a fill of culture and a bite to eat. I wasn’t surprised to see the large turnout. Montreal has an extensive Italian population with deep roots in the foundation of the city. It’s a rich culture and history, which is one of the keys to MYICA’s modus operandi – to introduce second and third generation Italian-Canadians, and anyone else who might be interested, into their modern culture.

    Music over the speakers sang lyrics I couldn’t understand and it was a triple threat of Italian, French and English chatter interspersed among the mingling crowd. Kids ran around underfoot– a family affair to boot. Admittedly I don’t speak Italian, but I at least, am fluent in food.

    There were four main dishes to be sampled over the course of the evening: piadine, a sort of flatbread sandwich featuring tomato, mozzarella and basil from L’Artisan Piadineria, arancini, fried risotto balls from Vago, Porchetta sandwiches from Boucherie Tranzo, and coffee and gelato form Chez Vincenzo. As I noshed down on a soft bread roll filled with salty cured pork, staring at the same pig’s roasted head on the table, neatly present with an apple in its mouth, it occurred to me that there were no meatballs in sight, and I wasn’t even a little bit disappointed. The food was delicious, the atmosphere warm and positive.

    The entire board of directors got up on stage to speak of MYICA’s behalf, all young, bright, smiling and ambitious. They put their hearts out (in the tri-lingual dialect of the evening), snapped on stage selfies with the entire crowd a la Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars, and bid that we all enjoy the rest of the night. Done and done.

    Besides spending an evening in the warm atmosphere of the Italian community, the best thing I experienced was the gelato and coffee from Chez Vincenzo, served affogato style. Smooth gelato doused in a shot of strong, dark espresso, mingling sweet and bitter, hot and cold, creamy and melting across every corner of the palate. I’m still not convinced this isn’t the proper way to do morning coffee.

    The party was still going on when I left, full of food, positivity and a better sense of a culture that is so much more than mozzarella and meatballs. I can’t wait to see what the driven minds at the MYICA think of next.

  • CASA Cares 11th Annual Fashion Show Raises Funds for a Cause

    • Photo by Shaun Michaud

    With a big help from their runway models, CASA Cares 11th Annual Fashion Show benefiting the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation shattered the $100 000 mark Thursday night.

    CASA Cares is the non-profit arm of the Commerce and Administration Student Association at John Molson’s School of Business. Since the fashion gala’s inception over a decade ago, they had managed to raise more than $96 000. This year, they hit their target well before the show dubbed Come Away With Me even started.

    “It’s my first year with CASA Cares and we wanted to innovate,” said Yujin Oh, VP Promotions. “We asked our models to each create a fundraiser page on the Montreal Children’s Foundation website.”
    30 models of both genders strolled out on the runway at a packed Arena Nightclub. All were Concordia University students who went through two or three auditions to earn the chance to wear fine clothing and make a difference.

    “We asked our models to explain on their pages their personal reasons for doing the show,” said Oh. “They then asked their friends and family to donate.”
    Melissa Payette, President of the JMSB charity wing, said that the models’ online effort collected $9300.

    “And that’s excluding bar sales and everything that’s happening tonight,” added Oh.

    “In all, I can tell you we’ll be making a donation of over $20 000,” said Payette.

    Before the gala, CASA Cares had hoped to raise $110 000 by the end of the year.

    One of the models, Anamarina Ribeiro, a statuesque exchange student from Brazil, raised $140 on her fundraiser page as well as selling $25 admission tickets to 9 friends.
    “It makes me feel good because it’s an awesome cause,” Ribeiro said. “All the models did an amazing job.”

    They hit the catwalk wearing the spring and summer collections of several Canadian designers including Annie 50, Red Factory, Rififi, and New Regime among others. The swimwear collection was the highlight of the night.

    The event was attended by adults of all ages. While ticket holders contributed to help the charity foundation, they also had the chance to win prizes. The organizers held a raffle during the runway show’s short intermission. Near the end, flowers were given to the male and female winners of Concordia’s Next Top Model. They sold the most tickets, raised the most for charity and enjoyed more popularity on Facebook.

    Those who chose to stay enjoyed the Arena afterparty which most of the models attended.

    Correction: In the original article, The Link stated that Dylan Ribkoff was on the list of designers. It also said that the crowd at the event chose the winners of Concordia’s Next Top Model. In fact, Dylan Ribkoff wasn’t one of the designers. And Concordia’s Next Top Model was chosen amongst those who sold the most tickets, raised the most money for charity as well as having the most likes on their Facebook photos. The Link regrets the error.

  • Lost in the Deep Web

    • Childish Gambino live at Metropolis in Montreal. Photo by Julian McKenzie.

    Actor, rapper, comedian, writer and product of a Wu-Tang Clan name generator, Donald Glover a.k.a. Childish Gambino was in Montreal this past Wednesday night at Metropolis for his Deep Web Tour promoting his most recent album, Because The Internet.

    Prior to Gambino’s arrival, fans were preoccupied with the Deep Web Tour Android and iPhone applications that allowed fans to express their sentiments about the rapper’s songs. Some of the most popular were “Lost,” “Some type of way” and “Roscoes’ Wetsuit”—a cryptic yet amusing phrase known among Gambino’s fans.

    Keeping with the theme of Because The Internet, the show featured interesting and interactive online components of the Deep Web Tour application. The app allowed fans to send in tweets and drawings that Gambino’s friends and band mates could then respond to.

    Through the app, fans praised him and expressed longing for the rapper’s return to the NBC sitcom Community, a show he left this past year. Spectators also tweeted at other users, hitting on one another and exchanging phone numbers. Some also used fake aliases such as characters from Community, the Quebec premier Pauline Marois and the president of the United States, Barack Obama.

    Meanwhile, Stefan Ponce, the producer of Childish Gambino’s “3005” from Because The Internet, served as the opening act, DJing a set featuring old and new classics that got the crowd moving. Ponce also previewed some unreleased material from Gambino and fellow rappers Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa. Ponce did lose some favour, however, when he referred to the crowd as Torontonians and not Montrealers.

    Once Ponce made way for Childish Gambino, however, all snubs, tweets and crude drawings were cast aside. The crowd got lost in the deep web spun by Gambino and we were willing to hold on for the entire ride.

    When Gambino finally arrived on stage, his energy, songs and even choice of clothing made for an electric 90-minute set. After playing around on the piano, performing “Around Before the Party Starts,” Gambino broke out into “Crawl,” sending the crowd into a frenzy.

    Gambino joined in on the party with goofy dance moves onstage throughout the night. Whether or not the performance was drug induced is another matter, although he did look pretty wide-eyed for a great deal of the show.

    Fortunately for Gambino, he was comfortable in his sweater and shorts while the rest of the audience had to jump around and step on one another’s feet with little space to manoeuvre at Metropolis. Could they have sat in the balcony upstairs? Perhaps, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as fun.

    In addition to his most recent material, Childish dove into his repertoire and performed some old goodies, notably tracks like “Firefly” and “Heartbeat” from his debut album, Camp. Of course, Childish performed “Freaks and Geeks,” much to the delight of audience members, who rapped along the opening lines.

    Gambino’s trip down memory lane could have used a few more tracks from the R O Y A L T Y mixtape, as he only performed “One Up,” alongside Steve G and a snippet of “Black Faces.”