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Features

Can Osheaga challenge the likes of Coachella and Lollapalooza and come out on top? We certainly think so.

Say what you will, Montreal is a music hotspot. We always knew it – and were damn proud of it too – and judging by the record-breaking turnout at this year’s Osheaga festival, the rest of the world is finally starting to catch on.

Now in its seventh year, Osheaga drew 120,000 music lovers to Parc Jean-Drapeau from August 3-5 to watch 105 acts perform their asses off in everything from scorching killer heat to monsoon-worthy storms. For the first time ever, all three days were sold out, making history and proving that we have a pretty good idea about what it takes to offer local and international music-loving fans a good time.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Land of Talk “Cloak and Cipher”

I cannot solve ciphers. At least not yet, anyway. Released on August 24, Land of Talk’s sophomore album, Cloak and Cipher, is just that to me – a cipher I cannot solve.  The album is an incredibly ambitious juxtaposition of tantalizing poetry and concrete rock, but leaves me wanting. Why?

Elizabeth Powell (singer, songwriter and guitarist), Eion O Laoghaire (bassist) and Andrew Barr (drummer), with the help of a few talented friends (members of Stars, Wintersleep, Besnard Lakes, Arcade Fire, Esmerine and Patrick Watson) have begun to unlock a treasure chest of music. Swirling, sweeping, rough, delicate, cold, hot and dark lyrics lament over lost love, love lacking, longing for lasting light, and letting go for liberation.

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Artists and Bands

The City Streets talk Edmonton, women, The Jazz Age, and cheese

I recently had the chance to sit down and chat with The City Streets, a Canadian band from Edmonton, Alberta, on the night they played Montreal’s Le Barfly. When I called them in the afternoon to confirm our pre-show interview, they happily offered to pick me up in their van, which instantly gave me a pretty good feeling about them. The three members – Rick, Matt and Mark (who I quickly learnt are all vegetarians) – grew up together in Edmonton, but now call Montreal home. Here’s what they had to say about inspiration, cheese, and their latest release, “The Jazz Age.”

Q: How was the music scene in Edmonton when you were growing up?

A: Growing up in Edmonton, we were lucky as there were many different bands to listen to. In Alberta, everyone plays music, so it was very inspirational.

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Features

Reliving some of Osheaga 2010’s greatest musical moments, from The National to Arcade Fire

Where else in the world would you rather have been on Saturday, July 31 than in Montreal, where the annual Osheaga Music and Arts Festival went down? Over twenty bands shared this eminent day, as music junkies gathered from across the country for this unforgettable experience of talent debauchery.

My heart was pulsating and I could feel the adrenaline creeping as I arrived at the gates of Osheaga 2010, all the bands running through my mind – Jimmy Cliff,  Stars, The National, K’NAAN, Arcade Fire – what an amazing day it was going to be! The weather was flawless: sunny, slight breeze, and immaculately warm. I entered, much to my surprise, without any wait, digging out my map to see where I was bound and the first show to see. Beautiful people littered the grounds, everyone eyeing one another up and down – I give kudos to those who braved the show with kids in tow.

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Features

The good, the bad, and the unfortunate: A look at Osheaga 2010

July 31 and August 1 saw the fifth annual Osheaga music festival in Montreal. Usually a pretty modest affair, most of what Osheaga does, it does right. Beer, for instance. Osheaga does beer really well: the lines are short and the price isn’t too steep. And they’ve done away with beer tents, allowing Canadians the freedom to roam with their brew – just as God intended. There isn’t an overwhelming sense of corporate sponsorship, and the free metro ride home is very much appreciated. Oh, and the music is pretty good too.

In past years, Osheaga hadn’t attracted as many big performers as Coachella, Lollapalooza, or Bonnaroo, but this year it joined the ranks of the heavy hitters. Weezer and Snoop Dogg were some of the high profile names, but the band that made Osheaga truly transcendent was Montreal’s own Arcade Fire.