October 2014 Archives

A Vignette of Brahma Blue



Musician, recording engineer, poet, activist, Brahma Blue's beard hangs over his collar. His hair is cut in a way that no trained barber is capable of. He's a skinny man; it's an amalgamation of body-type, and a lack of income. Many musicians have a home-recording studio. For Blue, it isn't clear if he has a home. In exchange for mixing and engineering upcoming artists, he has a bedroom above the Vancouver Island garage that makes I.G. Studio.

A Rising Star in Montreal

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Joel Massinon playing with Soap-box Assembly (Photo: Facebook)

Montreal is home to one of Canada's most diverse and flourishing music scenes; it is an overwhelming sea of genres and styles that has given birth to countless talented artists. Montreal is also home to 24 year-old Joel Massinon. The city is a prime destination for bands and artists on the rise, and regularly hosts already-successful bands (local or not) at its many diverse venues. Being such an important stronghold for new music in North America, it also attracts many others looking to become involved in the music industry: the producers, managers, record labels, etc. It was in pursuit of this dream that Joel first came to Montreal five years ago.

Booze and Boomer Rock



When I was six, my parents threw a party and all the adults got incredibly drunk. There was a band playing and I watched them all night. I watched them playing through all the Baby Boomer classics, getting wilder and drunker between songs. Later in the night, I asked them to play Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix and spirits, the surrealism of it appealed to me.

At ten years old, I got drunk for the first time. I had found a dusty bottle of Peach Schnapps under my parents' liquor cabinet, it seemed like a great opportunity. I stuffed the bottle into my bag, and went to a friend's house. It was four in the afternoon, and we sat in the park, drinking Schnapps from the bottle. I didn't like the dizziness--I hated roller coasters--but it was fun to do something that I wasn't supposed to. And we didn't get caught.

By twelve, my friends and I took turns stealing alcohol from our parents' liquor cabinets. We poured a little bit from each bottle into one big glass, so they wouldn't notice any missing. We watched which bottles they drank frequently and chose those. My friends were delinquents, and I guess that I was too. In a small school with no more than fifty kids, we bonded over rebelling and not much more. But in the background of this new hobby, we obsessed over any CD that we could find with a parental advisory.

Two years later, in high school, many of those friends stopped going to school, and became thieves and stoners--I didn't. My intuition left me feeling uneasy and alone and friendless, and like many lonely people before me, I found comfort in music. If I liked a song, I wanted to know everything about it. I would memorise every word. It wasn't enough. I soon began guitar lessons, and spent countless hours, alone in my bedroom, learning songs that were beyond my ability. Eventually, I met people with a similar fascination. Every day, around four in the afternoon, we stuffed into someone's basement to perform the same songs over and over. We never got bored, and no one's parents ever complained. Over a short period of time, we went from playing in basements to playing venues--where the audience was comprised mostly of other bands--- a community was born, a community that I want to share with you on Montrealites.

A Recipe for Success



If there are two rules I have learned to live by, they are: don't be afraid of anything; and don't underestimate yourself. I tend to have a natural aptitude for most things, and so for me these two rules are not too hard to abide. But sometimes, you find yourself so far out of your own element that it becomes hard not to doubt yourself. For me, that time was the period of a few weeks that I began working as a cook at a Japanese restaurant.