Now that Movember is coming to an end, it’s time to recap all the really interesting and off beat blogs about what happens when men attempt to grow out their facial hair.

Today’s Blog on Blog is here to cut through the many sites dedicated to those who know what to do, those that don’t, and those who make growing a mustache a very strange experience.

Some, after raising money for charity organization that focus on men’s diseases, like prostate cancer and mental health, will go back to shaving above the lip, while others might keep their ‘staches to shield their mouth from the cold months ahead.

Although this prospect might seem appealing, it can only be beneficial if you really know what your are doing. For the many men who don’t know what to do with their facial hair there are plenty of sites dedicated to future mustachios who just wanna learn how to groom or find out what will best suit them.

What can you say about a manly mustache, except it makes you feel like an elite private-eye on a undercover op. Well, maybe not everyone, but that depends if you can grow a “Tom Selleck” or not.  If I’ve learnt anything from movies it is if you want to impress and keep those ladies and have riches beyond belief, then you will need at least a pencil mustache.

Okay, well here is your complete guide to Movember blogs:

This site is a daily diary from various people on the subject of their facial hair – why not? Men, women, this site chronicles mustache growth without discriminating.

Art of Manliness/ 35 best Mustaches of all time

This is the list of the top 35 best mustaches of all time: they range from Tom Selleck’s famous “Magnus” to Frederick Nitzsche’s intense “Shanuzer.”


The Handlebarclub

Anyone can join the club…except apparently women, children and Justin Beiber. Why would you want to be a member of a club that would have you as a member? Well, because you have a wicked mustache, that’s why! The F.A.Q. is peppered with great question about the process of growing a proper handle bar mustache. And the group photos are hilarious to top it off.

Instructables/How to grow and maintain a manly mustache
Here’s a step by step guide on how to grow and keep your mustache looking sane and stylish. This blog is one of the best guides for novice mustache growers.

Parks and Recreation/ Ron’s Mustache

When you think of manly there is only one man who really stands out on television these days and that’s the charcter Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman). Let him guide you through your movemeber, because the man knows how to grow one!

Fuck Yeah Mustaches/ Tumblr

Come one, come all! Watch the feats of strengh mustache competition. A collection of anomalous facial hair.

The Mustache Blog

Keep updated on the state of people’s facial hair and how far they’ve grown so far this season. It is Movember so there are more members then ever before.



The Score/Hockey’s Greatest Mustaches
There are some wicked staches out there in the hockey world. And although some of these players might not have been the best players to play the game, many wore the best hockey staches of all time.

With the Comicon caravan passing through Montreal last weekend, I started thinking about the best comic book blogs around. If these are an introduction into the comic book world, then prepare to have your mind blown with high amounts of gamma radiation.

These blogs mostly engage readers with some form of fanatical nerdy views and criticism from your average collector. Even though many of years ago this may have seemed obnoxious, today this type of critique is becoming more and more popular for the average internet browser; there’ s a reason why the San Diego Comic-con is one of the most influential events for film, music and Hollywood, because comic culture is mainstream pop culture!

Here are a few blogs that really do an outstanding job of making comic book collecting understandable:

Comics in crisis
Is this the end of the age of comics? Comics in Crisis works well because of its bitterness towards modern day comics. This is where you’ll find adult thought on comic books, and some of it isn’t very pretty.

Is Superman’s death a reflection of Friedrich Nietzsche’s statement: “God is dead!”?This is where you’ll see this kind of pop culture meets scholastic research. Some of the material is grossly entertaining.
Is not just your ordinary blog about comic books. This blog is pure comic book deconstruction with comical integrity.

A Comicbook blog

I think what makes this site particularly great is the super hero battle royal. Who would win in hand to hand combat? The green lantern vs. Superman?

Dc Woman Kicking Ass

This site gives new meaning to the feminist effect on comics, more specifically D.C. Comics.

The great thing about heroines is they can kick ass while looking great. If you want to keep updated on what is transpiring in the DC world as it pertains to women, then this is the right place to look. This tumblr is pretty awesome. It even keeps you updated on novelizations, graphic novels and animation.

Woman with super powers fighting the evil in the world fulfill many fantasies of many men. And while I know that I will never be held in the arms of Supergirl as she rescues me from a burning Metropolis, this Tumbr is the next best thing.

Golden Age Comics

Do you like old-timey comic books from the golden age. Alas, t’was an age of comic book innocence and bliss, it was also short lived.

Do you want to see old comics? I mean really, really old comics?
I don’t think you understand I mean really old like 1800s early 20th century comic books. If you do, then look no further Golden Age Comics is the blog for you!

The Weekly Crisis

Ever fell the need to read something that totally rips comic books to shreds? Well, now you can with The Weekly Crisis.
Tearing apart the newest release of comics and in depth analysis of the latest comic book releases gives this site the cutting edge.

Across North America a new trend is delving into the massive failure of capitalistic projects in the age of austerity and may in fact represent, to a larger extent, the downfall of the American Empire… I am of course speaking about the ubiquity of vacant malls and the many blogs dedicated to them.

In deserted, abandoned, “one horse” cities, they are a sad reminder of the once great state of the capitalist bulk and decadence left behind in the structurally sound, but culturally inept, enclosed shopping mall.

These malls are littered with vacant lots of shops long gone bankrupt, where the only thing left behind is the grey wall-to-wall carpeting still imprinted with soles of customers that haunt the place of a once great shopping experience.

The Internet is full of sites dedicated to their unique box architecture and their subculture – shopping fiends in search of the best buy.

Let’s look at a few outstanding blogs dedicated to these Goliath structures of mass retail that turned into sore reminders in the form of Ozymandias type monuments:

Mooklife/Ghost Mall
It’s best to start locally, I always say. Montreal, has one the most legendary vacant malls in the world – I am of course talking about the Decarie square. Since it’s inception there were high hopes for the mall, built right off the Decarie auto-route, it was a feature of the new enclosed mall shopping experience that was pushed at the late seventies early eighties. Unfortunately for the mall it has changed hands, ownership wise, and it`s been the kid in a custody battle between the city of Montreal and Cote-Ste-Luc..well at least there’s a dollar cinema!

They come for the sales but, most of the time, they ended up getting more then they bargained for, including serious bacterial infections, depending on which under maintained bathroom used.
Many malls, especially ones that were based on the Costco/Walmart model destroyed the local store, but now, these malls are fighting for survival, trying to drum up business and stave off inevitable death. A lot of these malls have turned into bargain basements with little or no maintenance, basically just concrete decrepitude and dereliction. None more so then the Decarie square:

Mooklife, a blog located in Montreal, really has the sense of humor to delve into this disaster by the auto-route. The pictures are funny, the captions are pretty hilarious too. At times I felt like I was reading Vice magazine. He got to the point of what plagues the Decarie square, and dissects it with the wit of a sharp scalpel.

Reason/Malls of a certain age

A few years ago Reason published an amazing article on the state of malls, specifically enclosed malls in the United States and how they were dying because of bad foresight on the economy and changes in shopping patterns.
I learned so much from this post, for instance, I did not know the startling figures of desolate malls compared to their more successful counterparts. And did you know malls are cannibals? – sucking out the life force of other malls by moving within close proximity? It`s all true. Check it out!

Deadmalls is the ultimate site dedicated to stories about failed malls. Or just personal experiences walking through dead malls. My personal; favorite is about a mall in Toledo where half was hacked away, leaving only half a mall after a development group ran out of cash. These are of course hard times, so site keeps getting bigger and bigger. It has a great index where you can look up any state.

Also check out these videos about the landscape around abandon malls:

Greg Shall is a photographer from Minnesota who dictates his time taking photos of dead or dying malls.

Many sites on the internet are dedicated to abandon mall exploration. Malls can be great urban hubs of exploration, especially those badly maintained and for the most part forgotten. Check out this video of an exploration through a former mall in Toledo:

Photo courtesy of, and

What do a dancing techno robot, an abject mustache salesman and a kidnapped actress all have in common?

Well…not really that much. Except they are all part of the collective of strange personalities found at New Faces of Comedy set.

The Mainline Theatre hosted this show for Zoofest, and let me tell you, it was full of nonstop laughs! Many of comics acted like masters of character sketching…and if this is any indication about the new age of comedy, then the Mayans would have to agree – It’s going to be a very, very funny thirty thousand years!

Sponsored by the website collegehumor, the show is characterized as non-stop weird comedy adventure through the minds and personalities created by these new comics.


I sat there, part of the rows of chairs surrounding the stage, amazed at how fluid the show was and how easily the comics moved through different personality traits and ticks at the flip of a coin. And let me tell you, many of these personalities had some serious ticks!

The New Faces of Comedy Charcter show was kind of watching Saturday Night live – which was pretty cool. The audience was in on the fun with rapid non-stop assaults of laughter, during which I almost cracked a rib.

There was never a pause long enough to give the audience a little time to catch their breath. I was at times finding myself on the verge of tears. Even a few times, I was caught by my companions side glance, picking a tear drop off my cheek.

In between acts, the Comics, as some deranged or abject characters, appeared before our eyes.

There were a few performers that had pre-taped audible tracks that introduce tracks, but some, like the dejected mustache salesman (Tim Ballz), whose dyspeptic state slipped through his pitch from time to time, only relied on their monologues.

The show started with an awesome performance by Tim Ballz, whose characters had the crowd hurting with laughter. Especially his mustache salesman and the doctor telling the patient that he/she has tested positive for every disease known and unknown to man.

Tim ballz was definitely one of the highlights, but was followed by the incredible Rebecca Bloom, who played a traumatized kidnapped actress.

Her character tried to put on a performance to show off her talents to the audience, but really she only showed off her repressed trauma, provoking a hint of uncomfortable laughter.

Here’s a list of other comics I saw that night who put on outstanding performances:


Sam Richardson
Playing his uncle who likes to eat chips, taking a McDonald’s filet au fish and 2 liter bottle of cola out of large chip bag while giving life advice, Sam’s set was pretty funny experience. Let this be a lesson to you: be careful who you take advice from!  Also his impression of an African family man taking his children for night out at the movies was excellent.

Griffin Newman
Griffin Newman played the bar mitzvah boy. At first it was hard to digest, but as it went on it got heavy on the Jewish puns and pretty funny

Lauren Lampkus
Being the cute girl of the group, she was able to throw the audience off by how erratically comically spontaneous she was during her performance. She was the funniest stripper I have ever seen, giving one audience member a gyrating paroxysm of a lap dance he will never forget.

Natasha Rothwell
Her call in “knickers” sketch was just too much. At times I felt a little uncomfortable by the repetition of this word by a lady trying to sell “knickers” on television to fund-raise for the Republican Party.

Tony Cavalero
Tony played a versatile lot of weird characters. The techno-robot, being one of my favorites. however the gay Confederate general supporting his troops was comical beyond belief.

Greg Worswick
Views on dating were extreme, but as he demonstrated while gyrating, they might actually work.

This was one of  the best showcases I saw by far at Zoofest. It was fun to be there and the Mainline was an excellent setting for comedy. I like how most comics were thrown off guard by facing an audience on three sides which i quite enjoyed as it added intimacy to the whole production.


I love free stuff. I also love it when free stuff actually isn’t supposed to be free. If you haven’t caught on by now, let me spell it out for you: pirating. Not that it’s a good thing to pirate music or software or movies, but when you’re broke as hell, sometimes it’s just a good idea to do a few Google searches. And there are faster ways to get the files you want without using torrents and praying that the file you want has been seeded. This is a guide to get what you want faster than any other method I have discovered.

Also, for the record, pirating helps artists.

Trista - New Age Pirate

And the risk of you getting a virus using this method is about the same as it would be if you’re using a torrent. I’ve done this over 500 times and have never, not once, got a virus, so take this into consideration. Don’t download files that seem strangely small. No album or movie is only going to be 2MB. Be smart when you’re downloading, not just with this method, but with everything. Also, you’ll be getting over 800KB/s depending on your internet connection. This is safe, simple, and fast. Enjoy.

If you want an album literally any album there are a few ways to go about doing this, and they all involve Google. All you have to do is this:

Step 1: Go to Google

Step 2: Search for the artist and album name in quotes followed by Mediafire so it looks something like this…

Step 3: Go to the Mediafire link. Most of the time it will be the first result of the search.

Step 4: Download the file, and it’s yours. Unzip it and bang. Instant album. This works for just about ANY album you can think of too. Give it a try. And if you can’t find it on Mediafire, feel free to replace Mediafire with something like Megaupload, Rapidshare, Filesonic, or something along those lines. Or, you can do this:

Step 2B: Type in the name of the band and album but replace Mediafire with “”. The reason for this is that a lot of people have blogs devoted to album downloads and normally have a link waiting for you when you enter the blog. Piece of cake.

School textbook prices got you down and your wallet empty? Not to worry.

Step 1: Almost the exact same thing as how you download music! Here’s an example…

Step 2: Download, and never have to worry about having to pay money for school books again! Your wallet will thank me.

Want movies? By now you probably have the idea on how to download things faster than torrents, but now, because I’m so nice, I figured I’d provide you with my all-time favourite streaming, downloading and video sites. Here we go:

Heavy Metal fan? – All you need to do is register and you’ll have unlimited access to tonnes of albums all ready for you with Mediafire links. – Loads of obscure albums from countries such as Russia, South Africa and Uruguay. A really good website to say the least. A tip for this site is that if you find an album you like but dislike the method of downloading they’ve provided is to take the album and artist name and (you guessed it) proceed to step one of my downloading music guide. – One of the best metal sites out there. Only issue is the site isn’t in English… for the most part. But it’s still easy enough to navigate. This forum honestly has about thirty new albums uploaded every single day. And some are really rare. Amazing site to say the least.

Film / TV sites? – Incredible site for finding full seasons of TV series and films. This site provides numerous links for all your viewing pleasures. – Badass for foreign films and new releases. This site also provides links to download films too. If you ever have the urge to watch The Room, this site is for you. Haha. Or, you know, good films especially foreign ones from Japan, South Korea, Russia, etc. Good stuff.

Like sports? – Not very often does a website provide links for KHL hockey games, but this one does. If you’re a fan of hockey, soccer, football, baseball, basketball, or any sport even ping pong and want to watch live, then this site is for you. And if you love foreign leagues, even better. Beach soccer anyone?

I’m not advising you to download things illegally. It’s never a good thing to do. I certainly don’t do it. This guide is strictly for referral purposes in case someone asks you if you know how to get things for free online without needing to use torrents. I hope this guide has helped you, and as always, may the force be with you.

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This week Friday Film Review explores the best websites for web-savvy cinephiles.

Are you interested in exploring anything and everything film related on the web, but don’t know where to start? Well aren’t you lucky you’re reading Friday Film Review today, because we are going to look at some of the best movie websites out there right now.

MUBI (formerly The Auteurs) is facebook for the above average film lover. The social networking website allows you to create your own profile, browse and post your own reviews of film festivals, join forum discussions. The best feature of MUBI is their extensive, Criterion quality online film library. And while the range of films you can stream for free is limited, what they do charge (3$ for per film, 12$ a month) is very reasonable.

Voted by Movie Maker Magazine as the best blog for filmmakers, initially attracted me with its catchy title. What kept me coming back as a reader was the Features section, including “Vintage Trailer of the Day!” “Movie News after dark” or “Reel Sex”. These guys have a wicked sense of humour and I love them for it.

A great resource for anyone interested in classic cinema… features a different classic film every day, the day that I’m writing this for instance the film was 1963’s Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor. Make sure you check it out while you can, the facebook page is currently warning that the site may be down soon due to lack on donations (on the flip side if you aren’t broke bum and like the site, make sure you contribute so it’ll stay available longer!).

EW is your ultimate resource for everything pop culture related. Not only can you hear up to date casting rumors, track opening weekend box office numbers and watch exclusive interviews, but EW also gives you REALLY important news like the fact that an Arrested Development movie is finally a go! Did I mention how frickin’ excited I am for the Arrested Development movie?

Variety is one of the oldest magazines to report on Hollywood and beyond. With their database of film reviews going back to the early days of film, Variety provides an invaluable research resource for film students. For the reader who doesn’t have to do a paper on The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari then Variety’s value as an inside source of up to date news about the modern entertainment industry is also up to snuff.

Speaking of valuable online film resources I use IMDB (internet movie database) every week here on Friday Film Review (Re: take a peak at the link on the previous entry). With information about every film ever made, this website has long provided me with the backup evidence, especially when I want to shove in people’s faces what an annoying film geek I am!


Whereas EW is the resource for syrupy pop culture gossip, is the online source for serious film criticism. Besides marrying Joseph Gordon Levitt and never having to worry about bills again, one of my dreams in life, is to one day is to write an article entertaining and intelligent enough be published in this magazine.

Rotten Tomatoes is a database of film reviews which they add up and give each film a rating, so as a potential viewer you can get a broad idea of how the film was received by critics. And of course we critics are absolutely right in our judgments on films and you should never question us 🙂

Alright fellow film geeks come out with it! While these are the websites that I visit on a regular basis I’m sure many of you have other must-visit sites to recommend to Forget the Box readers… comment away!

Ever since the 1930s proto-nerds have been meeting in dusty old dingy churches to assemble and trade things; they were collectors – hoarders if you will. Those were the infant days of nerddom, when comic-book nerds and sci-fi geeks lived in the shadows of their parents basements, trading, cataloguing and collecting.

But now they can step into the artificial light of a convention center! As the annual Montreal Comiccon begins this weekend!

The Montreal Comiccon is coming to town in full gear as the alter-ego and science fiction fair hits Place Bonavanture on the 17h and 18th. And, holy Ford Galaxie, Batman!   The Batmobile will be there.

Besides comic book writers and illustrators, there will be stars of the big and small screen from science fiction, fantasy and horror genres including (among others)

The man that made Batman Dance: that’s right, Adam West will be there – pure West (please tap chest).

Also present will be Michael Dorn, known from his role as Tactical Officer Worf on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Does he have a new book out called “I am not Worf”? We shall find out.

Also from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Marina Sirtis will be appearing. Yes, that sexy counselor from the Enterprise will be making a her presence felt.

The man who played the most evil villain in the galaxy, Darth Vader, Dave Prowse will be there.

For those of you who are fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, James Wesley Marsters, Mercedes McNab are coming.

From the horror genres category, Sid Haig, who played Captain Spaulding in House of a 1,000 corpses will be there to sign autographs and talk about his many roles during his long career in cinema.

And the guest of honor, Stan Lee, will be hosting an evening with cocktails. Amateur artists and fans alike are welcome to join him for a a drink and discuss the magic of Marvel comics.

There will also be an autograph session with Stan Lee: You can increase the value of your comic books as well as meet Stan ‘fuckin’ Lee!

ForgetTheBox ranter and raver Laurence Tenenbaum and music reviewer Jerry Gabriel will also be on the scene signing autographs and giving you an in-detail account of all the strange and wild anomalies at Place Bonaventure this weekend. Embedded in a horde of zombie comic  nerds, they might even find out the true meaning of Comiccon!


Photos courtesy of the Montreal Comiccon

Born in Sept-Iles and raised in Quebec, local Verdun artist Katerine Darveau uses her limitless imagination, engineering experience, and natural talent to create some of the most fascinating tableau sculptures and naturally beautifying jewellery imaginable.

Spending her teenage years in solitude, Katerine learned to develop an elaborate imagination, finding refuge in her dreams and spirit, and allowing her to surpass the borders of the average world. Creation has always been an insatiable need for Katerine. Her fascination with science and energy led her to study electrical engineering. After completing her diploma, and working a few years as a Project Director, the desire for artistic freedom could no longer hold her back, and in 2007 she relocated to Montreal to pursue her dreams.

Using her artistic tables as a motor to propel her own inner transformations, Katerine began superimposing her artistic displays and integrating movement in a circular form. This circular support symbolizes totality and completion; the infinite possibilities that open windows into multitudes of parallel universes, where everything is in order, structured, and calculated, creating a perfect equilibrium.

Katerine’s work is spiritually enlightening as well as self enhancing, giving us the strength and desire to reach within ourselves to discover and take hold of both who we are and who we would like to become; it allows us to combine both these things, making our spiritual goals promising and attainable.

The three dimensional and natural appearance of her artwork is brought upon with the fusion of her imaginative representation of mineral and vegetable textures with animals. Katerine adds intense colour combinations to complement and complete her pieces’ purity with energy, thereby bringing the hybrid creations to life. Apart from the aesthetic attention and beauty of her art, she also implants subliminal messages within her work, engraved inconspicuously with her own symbolic language that evolves along with the art itself.

Her work has been displayed at the 2010 Transmorphologie Exposition and at the 2011 Mois de l’Histoire des Noirs, and she was a finalist at the Concours d’Art de la Ville de Quebec at the Musée National des Beaux Arts de Quebec in 2004. Currently, her pieces are displayed at the Fromagerie Copette and Cie, located on Wellington Street in Verdun, and she will be one of the many artists presenting their artwork during the Verdun Sidewalk sale in August.


All photos Courtesy of Katerine Darveau

I am writing this review with a splitting headache.

If you got off this week at Bonaventure metro and walked through the underground to Windsor Station expecting to find the beer fest, you probably (like I did) found yourself lost, confused and with an intensely whetted pallet for a “drop” of the sweet libation of the gods (also known as beer).

In that case, you would want to head in the other direction to Place Bonaventure.

The 18th edition of   the Montreal Mondial de la Bière happens to be one my favourite summer festivals — especially when you crave a break from a Pabst/Trembay/Old Milwaukee/BB10 dependency. Damn you cheap beer!

At the new location you will find a whopping 550 different beers. 550! That is an incredible  increase over past years, which have been limited in space and selection at the outdoor venue that is Windsor Station.

The new space is nearly double in size. Which means more elbow room for drinkers and less fights starting from accidental bumps between drunk patrons. Woo hoo! One of the main complaints about the original space at Windsor Station was that it was seriously overcrowded.

Seating will also be more available, as the new space can now seat over  2,000, as opposed to the 50 at Windsor Station. So instead of trying to find a place to rest your bum in a small patch of green (which is one thing I kind of missed) we can now  all sit and be merry!

Two indoor pubs will be featured at this beer-fest, the Bistro Petit Pub Européen, which has beers from all over Europe, and Petit Pub Oktoberfest, which offers the brews of North and South America.

A bunch of Kiosks will be offering food, like Buffalo on a stick. Mmmm, extinct meat….but most of the time you would find me hanging out near the apricot beer. Which I have to admit, is my preference for taste. However you will find every kind of ale to appease your palate. And the currency system is pretty good. 20 bucks will get you 20 tickets and a beer mug, with which you can sample 3 or 4 beers. About 24 tickets later I was glad I found my way there…

I feel like Germany, Poland and Russia visited all the way from Europe to lovingly curb stomp me. But that’s probably in part because the approaching weekend came and resumed pouring rat piss down my throat. Thanks, depanneur beer.

So now, it is time for my after beer nap in the summer sun. See you later.

I stepped outside of my tent and instantly noticed how many cars had disappeared from the campgrounds.

People traveled from far and wide to attend Sasquatch, so it seemed as though everyone need a day to return to work on Tuesday, and with the exception of the select group of Wilco fans, every stage was fairly barren and open to easy front row access.

Dressed in suits and tuxes, Noah and the Whale came out with a set up equally polished with their well-orchestrated mournful and occasionally inspirational pop tunes. The first time I saw them live a few years ago, the lead singer had apparently just gone through a break-up and their set was a bit of a depressed mess, but in a way, that’s what made them relatable. Now, looking confident and put together, Noah and the Whale lost a bit of their charm, but still surpassed many expectations and presented a lovely set.

Next came beloved Montreal-natives Chromeo on the main stage. As always, Dave-1 and P-Thugg put on the show their fans have come to expect—cocky, smooth, and ironically cheesy. Even though it was the third time I’d caught them live since August, their lovability has far from deteriorated.

90’s four-track, lo-fi college rock kings Guided by Voices took the stage after Chromeo for one of the smallest crowds I observed all weekend at the main stage.

From a distance, the lack of support was a bit understandable; their music didn’t come off well in a large open space like the Gorge and the instrumentation felt dated. But from the pit, hardcore fans joined together, sang along, and helped make Guided by Voices feel at home.

After, Bonobo treated the Banana shack to a DJ set of obscure tracks and mash-ups, coming across as one of the most accessible dance artists of the weekend.

Then, at 7:30, !!! (also known as chk chk chk) brought forth the best set of the day and maybe of the weekend. Somewhat akin to LCD Soundsystem if James Murphy was replaced by a flamboyant karaoke singer at a gay bar, !!!’s lead singer, Nic Offer stormed out with most likely coke-induced energy.

“Don’t kick the photographers out of the pit after our first three songs, let them stay in the whole time…. I have a few surprises for them.” With those words, I became painfully aware of the absence of my photographer attending Best Coast instead.

Offer walked through the crowd, tried on audience members’ accessories, posed for photos, and basically cage-danced on the P.A.’s. But in the end, it was the flawless disco/electronic music that held the performance together.

Everything after felt like a bit of a disappointment, especially Wilco, strumming through some even more mellowed out versions of their songs, commenting on how the last time they played at the Gorge was their worst show ever…

But Major Lazer gave what can be best described as a frenzied, womanizing, lawless two-encore performance of crowd-surfing, daggering, and cloth-fucking.

Mental note: if given the choice between a legendary group’s acoustic jam set or Major Lazer—choose Major Lazer.

And with that, comes the conclusion of Sasquatch 2011. Within the next week I’ll have a full overview sorting out my thoughts, observations, and highlights on my first major festival of the year.

Chk Chk Chk Playlist by ChkChkChk

See more photos by Matt Shanafelt from Sasquatch! 2011 via facebook.

*** Editors note: that guy, standing (yes you know the one I’m talking about) is not in a band, but is seriously awesome.

Cate Blanchett is one of those rare actresses who manages to have a thriving career in Hollywood despite having turned the big 4-0

In an industry that revels in youth and sex, getting older is an issue that affects any actor working in Hollywood.  Movie stars have to work extremely hard to stay on top because there are countless people below them vying for their own glimpse at the spotlight.

As a woman, it seems you have to work even harder to get roles once you hit your forties – and many just don’t make it! So what is it? What is that elusive quality needed to keep a woman working in Hollywood after 40?

Sex appeal is without a doubt one of the most important factors that keeps an actor working. While completely deplorable, we all know that in our culture women are viewed as less sexually attractive as they age.   On the other hand, even when looks fade, men can still get leading roles well into their fifties and beyond: Mickey Rourke, Nick Nolte and their horribly misshapen middle aged faces immediately come to mind.

Women of the same age, meanwhile, find themselves mostly relegated to playing the mother or wisecracking cleaning lady of the young starlet cast as the romantic lead in the film (As Good as it Gets from 1997 or 1954’s Rear Window).

What a lot of young actresses do not realize is that while sex appeal is important, it is not the sole quality needed to ensure your enduring power as a star. Think about Hollywood’s most famous sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe. Monroe died when she was thirty six. What kind of roles do you think she possibly could have gotten when lines appeared on her face and those fabulous breasts of hers started to sink?

Monroe had undeniable charisma on the screen, but honestly, just like Megan Fox today, she didn’t have the talent required to continue on in roles that weren’t about showcasing her sexuality. While it might be fun to play a MILF in American Pie 12, once you pass a certain age, how much can you really connect with an audience in those kinds of roles?

Think about the trajectory of the career of actresses that have passed the 40 plus curse. Beyond needing the raw talent to portray roles that aren’t all about your tits and ass, the crucial element in a long career is making sure you never get typecast. Meryl Streep is the perfect example of a beautiful and talented actress who has aged gracefully from playing a Holocaust survivor (Sophie’s Choice, 1982) to a Danish plantation owner (Out of Africa 1985) to the bitch queen of New York fashion (The Devil wears Prada, 2006);   she has shown she can play a variety of different roles.

At 42, Cate Blanchett is another actress who, like Streep, has the talent and versatility to continue on for many years to come. Like Katherine Hepburn, whom Blanchett won an Oscar for playing in The Aviator (2004),   she is a woman who while absolutely beautiful, backs up her talent by radiating confidence instead of sexuality. There’s just something about these women that tells you they don’t take any shit from men and you love them for it.

It would be wonderful to expect one day Hollywood will start producing an equal amount of quality roles for actresses of all shapes, sizes and ages, as they do for men, but this author won’t hold her breath for it! That’s not to say there aren’t positive signs out there these days about the future of women in the movies. One of the biggest hits so far in summer 2011 is Bridesmaids, a female-driven raunchy comedy starring 38 year old Kirsten Wiig. As with most things she’s done, Wiig   is absolutely hilarious in it and after years of being a supporting character in boys’ comedies deserves to become a full fledged movie star in her own right. Let’s hope she does, and does it for a lot longer than two years!

The Barr Brothers are back in Montreal to perform a full show after months of touring that brought them to Canadian Music Week, Japan, SXSW, and a few American cities.

After seeing The Barr Brothers for the first time in Toronto for Canadian Music Week, I have to say I was seriously impressed with their work.

It was invigorating, especially when I was feeling extreme burnout from attending a bunch of shows in such a short period of time; The Barr Brothers raised my spirits with their cerebral, harp influenced bluesy rock.

The Barr brothers have a story to tell: Whether it’s a story about having epic battle in front of the living-room television while growing up in Toronto, or the story about how the modern day version of the band formed in Montreal. For the Brothers, there is always a story to tell.

The Brothers had spent most of their early musical carrier in The Slip, a band that would eventually disbanded to form The Barr Brothers. That Spring the band played in a venue in the Plateau, which happened to catch that fire. After that incident, seeing it as a good omen, only one year later, Brad and Andrew Barr moved to Montreal.

Brad lived in the same apartment with Sarah Page, a classically trained harpist from Montreal, who had an itch for experimentation. Her music seep through Brad’s wall and eventually he would ask her to join the group.

The group now consists of   Brad Barr (guitar, vocals), Sarah Page (harp, voice), Andrew Barr (drums, voice), Andres Vial (bass, keys, voice).

And boy! do they have their sound down; the way they perform together creates incredibly ominous ambience-especially with the amazing sound coming from ethereal harp. What can I say? I have a soft spot for harps and violins.

The variance fo their music is also very intriguing; as it can sway between Buddhist position on a top of a mountain with songs like Beggar in the morning, to an ally way blues cover of Lord I Just Keep From Cryin’.

Barr Brothers – “Beggar In The Morning” by indiemusicfilter

Their last album recorded in their makeshift studio in an old boiler room was written over the course of adopting their new city, Montreal. Along with Sarah (Lhasa DeSela/Amon Tobin), the record also features Miles Perkin (Lhasa DeSela), Elizabeth Powell (Land of Talk), Nathan Moore, Jocie Adams (The Low Anthem), Elvis Perkins and Emma Baxter, and is beyond excellent.

Elfin Saddle

What did you expect an army of elves on horseback?

With influences in experimental, folk and Japanese classical music, they bring exotic and wonder of new sounds in your ear.     After listening to a few tracks how can you not want to see them live in concert?


Check out The Barr Brothers and Elfin Saddle on Thrusday, June 2 @ Cabaret Mile End

5240, Avenue du parc
doors / show: 8:30pm / 9:30pm
Tickets: $12.00 or   $15.00 at the door


Photo Courtesy of Chris Zacchia


Starring: Paul Kaye, Beatriz Batarda, Kate Mogowan and Mike Wilmot

Written and Directed by: Michael Dowse

Distributed by: Matson Films

90 minutes

The following is not based on a true story.

One could say It’s all gone Pete Tong is just writer/director Michael Dowse trying to recreate the success of his debut feature, the cult classic Fubar. Both films do have the same structure: a mockumentary in which the lead character faces a severe health issue. But the similarities between the two films end there; except for the fact that they’re both absolutely hilarious.

In the opening montage we are introduced to Frankie Wilde (Paul Kaye), the hottest DJ in Ibiza. After a little more than a decade of being in the music business Frankie leads the kind of hedonistic lifestyle we mere mortals dream about. Dowse could have made an entire film just about this part of Frankie’s life; his orgy yacht parties, his trampy wife and son that’s obviously not his, or his coke fuelled studio sessions with touchy Austrian musicians Alfonse and Horst (aka Fubar‘s Paul Spence and David Lawrence in yes, a tad clichéd but still thoroughly amusing cameo).

Instead the film decides to explore that subject that partiers rarely like to think about: the long term affects of their lifestyle. After 11 years of non stop booze, drugs and loud music, Frankie discovers he is going deaf. This news would be an unpleasant revelation to anyone but when you make your very lucrative living off being a DJ, Frankie promptly has a nervous breakdown.

While the subject matter is presented comedically, the themes of It’s all gone Pete Tong are the serious issues of illness and addiction. With Fubar and now this film, Dowse has shown that as both a writer and director he is keenly adept at mixing comedy and drama.  Paul Kaye’s performance as Frankie is obviously also crucial to keeping the balance between any moment becoming too serious or ridiculous. Kaye is so charming that he easily captivates you as an audience member.

So instead of disregarding Frankie as nothing more than an aging party boy, this character becomes a real person that you can’t help loving even when he’s at his most outrageous. This is depicted perfectly in the sequence where Frankie finally realizes he has to face up to his addictions and move on if he’s going to survive. You’d never think a dream sequence where Frankie shoots himself dressed up as the badger coke fairy would be moving, and yet it oddly is.

In the final act of the film Frankie emerges from his self-banishment healthy, yet deaf. I have a friend who complains that the film is great up until this part, because then it becomes just like every other Hollywood film. I completely disagree. Frankie manages to find happiness both in love and work, but he’s still the cheeky bastard he always was. No character in this film gives up their partying ways to become a saint. Instead they realize just like the rest of us who aren’t in  our late teens or early twenties that you have to pace yourself, cause there’s a lot worth sticking around for.

What can you expect at a Lachine Canal Pirate Party? Maybe a few pirates prancing around with loot, eventually forming a conga line and   dancing off the plank?

Ahoy Matey! These are not  your father’s scurvy ridden, sea motion addled pirates. These pirates like to party-down!

The Pirates of the Lachine Canal are a community based promotions group with a focus on the south west of Montreal (encompassing the neighbourhoods of St. Henri, Griffintown, Verdun, Pointe St-Charles, Ville-Emard, Little Burgundy and N.D.G.)–the group started so musicians and hipsters who lived in the south west would have a venue to hang out, perform and listen to great music.

From there it developed into a thriving underground music scene, and brought a now flourishing nightlife to the area.

There wasn’t   much to do in terms of nightlife before the mid 2000’s in the southwest. The pirates have brought  fun, parties, good music, good times, and a more or less buccaneer attitude to the music scene;   sailing around the marginal regions, treading darker, more experimental waters.

Oh, you might remember the days of their live outdoor shows. Unfortunately Parks Canada had their way and interfered during an outdoor premiere Bar-B-Q. So now, most of their shows are held inside.

As a production company they have been quite successful. Some of the bands they have promoted in the past have gone on to great things. You’ve probably heard of a few of these names: Jay Reatard, Times New Vikings, Tyvek, Clockcleaner, Human Eye, Vivian Girls, etc.

Performing this Saturday (May 21) at 9:30 will be : SXW Rager, Fried Alive Membrane boys! Porn Persons and Father Dust.The event is pay-what-you-can and will take place at the Fattal building, 617 St. Remi street (enter through the parking lot and hit the stretch along the train tracks. Beware of the razor sharp fence with vicious barking dogs…Just kidding!)

I’ll meet you at the edge of the Plank. Land Ho!

Photo courtesy of the Montreal Mirror (2008).

To a certain (albeit small) percentage of the world, London’s Fabric is the Mecca of nightclubs.

Founded slightly over a decade ago in a (paradoxically) historic building, Fabric boasts more height than width. Three separate dancefloors on three separate stories create an atmosphere appealing to anyone who subscribes to the mantra of “variety is the spice of life”. Each floor hosts multiple DJs a night and hundreds, sometimes thousands of dancers. With a roughly 2,000 capacity, every floor is always packed.

If there’s any variation in clientele per room, though, it is likely due to one of Fabric’s biggest draws—Room One’s “bodysonic dancefloor”, in which 400 bass transducers emit the deepest frequencies of the already bass-heavy music being spun by the current DJ. Fabric views music as a multi-dimensional experience and allowing clubbers to literally “feel” the music vibrating up through their feet to the rest of their bodies is a necessity in floor design.

FabricLive, their Friday night “soundclash” is all about the bass: Room One is likely most akin to an all night earthquake that thousands of British clubbers felt like starting a dance party on. Each DJ and room focuses on various genres, but dubstep, drum & bass, and electro are at the core. Almost every self-respecting, bass-obsessed DJ has made an appearance at FabricLive, and one of the highlights of this upcoming Friday will be Room One’s dedication to Boys Noize Records.

Boys Noize have made a name for themselves within the hard electro community, playing at multiple festivals across the world, and are sure to put on an intense show along with their fellow record-label companions.

Not all artists at Fabric are as universally accepted as Boys Noize, though—because Fabric has made a priority of helping to break out and showcase underground DJs. It’s all about the music and having the most memorable night possible, so a big name isn’t all it takes to get on the bill.

Fabric has its priorities in order and that’s one of the key reasons it is consistently ranked as either number one or close to number one on every club ranking possible. And five sound-systems, three bars, 25,000 square feet, a 24-hour liquor license, and unisex toilets probably don’t hurt either.

So in advance, I would like to thank the promoters at Fabric to granting me access as a member of the press, because no matter what happens, my night at Fabric will generate a story worth retelling.

photo one and photo two

Audrey Hepburn doing a little window shopping during Breakfast at Tiffanys (1961)

For a film to be good, you need a strong script combined with solid acting and directing. Obviously. Then there’s also all those other elements that go into filmmaking; elements that we as audience members often don’t think about as we’re too mesmerized by Vin Diesel kicking butt, Johnny Depp acting like a lunatic pirate or Ryan Gosling breaking hearts.

For a film to truly go from good to great, details like lighting, set design and music are absolutely crucial.   And we can’t forget fashion of course, the wonderful light and fluffy icing on a great film cake!

Since the beginning of cinema, filmmakers have realized  that the right outfit on an actor is an important part of creating iconic characters that resonate with audiences. Film is a dream machine, and so when we mere mortals gaze up onto the screen and see films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Flashdance, afterward how can we not want to cut up all of our sweatshirts and try to rock a tiara?

Without further ado here are Friday Film Review’s top five favourite fashion moments in film;

1. Diane Keaton making menswear sexy in Annie Hall (1977)

When you think  about a Woody Allen film you think about the great ensemble casts and razor sharp wit of the dialogue, not the style. And yet with Annie Hall we have one of the  all time greatest moments of fashion in film: the character of Annie may be a flaky wannabe singer/actress, yet  no one can deny that her style is perfect  1970s ‘New York cool’.    One would imagine men’s pants and ties working on a butch lesbian and yet Diane Keaton manages to make the look effortlessly feminine.

2. The entire cast during every single moment of A Single Man (2009)

Anyone who knows even a little about film and fashion can’t be surprised why this film is on the list.  A Single Man is the debut feature of well known fashion director Tom Ford. With a cast of Colin Firth as  a  depressed  university professor mourning the death of his lover  (The role that he REALLY should have won his Oscar for) Julianne Moore as his aging party girl best friend, and Nicholas Hoult as a beautiful young student who just might help Firth  move on with life, the film  has all those three key elements: script,  acting and directing in spades. But what really makes this film is the fashion.  Just like on Mad Men every  suit, jacket and dress is swoon worthy and makes you wish you could time travel back to the 1960s.

3. Sienna Miller as Edie Sedgwick in Factory Girl (2006)

While the film itself was mediocre at best, in Factory Girl Sienna Miller reinforced her status as a fashion icon. There was plenty to envy  about the life of 1960s party girl Edie Sedgwick; she came from a fabulously wealthy family and  made it into the inner circle of pop artist Andy Warhol. And then, of course, there  was that style of hers. Miller brings all of that to the screen with such energy and confidence that you can’t help but want to put on some on  leggings and giant drop earrings, throw on a fur coat and head out for a Saturday night on the town.

4. Kirsten Dunst making fashion royally cool in Marie Antoinette (2006)

It took me awhile to truly appreciate Sofia Coppola’s third feature film as a director. Like her other films Marie Antoinette has some slow moments and as  I’ve admitted before in  this column, I don’t have allot  of patience for slow films.  Yet, from the very first time I saw this film while  on a trip to Paris, I fell head over heels in love with the style.  Contrasting a 17th century bio pic with a  20/21st century indie rock soundtrack? Awesome. Costumes full of lace, bows, furs and vibrant colors that are so appealing you find yourself wishing that it could still be socially acceptable to wear corsets and hoop skirts in your everyday wear. Brilliant.

5. Grace Kelly helps Jimmy Stewart solve murders and looks fabulous while doing it in Rear Window (1954)

Movie stars come and go. But then every now and then there are those elusive  actors and actresses who reach movie god status; no matter how much time goes by they will always be beloved and worshiped. Grace Kelly, the drop dead gorgeous actress who left Hollywood to become a real life princess, rightfully earned her status as a movie god with films like Rear Window.    As the girlfriend of Stewart’s  commitment phobic photographer,  every single moment Kelly is onscreen she is perfectly put together. And with the mid calf dresses with full skirts and shear collars, pearl necklaces and of course topping it all off with red lipstick, makes you immediately want to raid your grandmas closet.