Tag: M for Montreal

12 years ago, I started what has been for me — my life’s work.

And honestly, when I started this site, I couldn’t have imagined three-quarters of the things I’ve done and experienced over JOVM’s history to ever happen. 

  • I’ve covered roughly 1,100-1,200 shows in NYC, with a handful of shows in ChicagoBaltimore and Philadelphia.
  • I’ve covered about a dozen or more festivals, including traveling to Montreal for M for Montreal back in 2019. 
  • I’ve been a panelist at Mondo.NYC Festival and at New Colossus Festival, speaking about PR, promotion and press for indie artists, giving my perspective as a indie blogger. 
  • A few years ago, I made a cameo in a JOVM mainstay’s music video. It’s a very noticeable spot towards the end of the video. It was a fun experience, but so far no one has called me about acting gigs. Maybe I need to stick to the writing and photography? 
  • I couldn’t have imagined photographing George ClintonPatti LaBelleSnoop DoggBlondieNile RodgersRoky EricksonPhilip BaileyBlind Boys of Alabama and so many others, as well as this site’s countless mainstays.
  • I wouldn’t have met the countless colleagues and musicians, who have become supporters and friends. And by far, music friends have proven to be the very best of friends. 

JOVM turned 10 in June 2020. And during the middle of the very worst of the pandemic, things seemed — understandably — bleak. And although we’re slowly managed to claw our way back to a degree of normalcy, in which gathering together can happen, things across the music industry still seem rather bleak: Touring has always been a big financial risk for musicians but COVID-19 has made it even more complicated, because musicians are out there risking their health and lives — because they need to make money to live. 

We’re all trying to figure out how to maneuver in a new, confusing and uncertain landscape that may well be with us for an indefinite period of time. But with these past 12 years under my belt, I have no intentions of going anywhere. 

I strongly believe that I’ve managed to carve out a unique spot in the blogosphere, a place that I feel is desperately necessary because both the music and media worlds are often so incredibly homogenous. Someone out there has to do something different. And representation in every aspect matters. So in many ways, this has to continue. 

As I do every month, I want to thank the following folks and organizations. Without them this past few years — and especially this year — wouldn’t have been remotely possible: 

Sash

Alice Northover

Bella Fox

Jenny MacRostie

Janene Otten 

All of those folks have been generous Patreon patrons. Of course, feel free to check out the Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement. And if you’re able to support, your support will be greatly appreciated and continuously shouted out. Any amount really helps. Seriously. 

I must thank the folks at Creatives Rebuild New York. I’m relieved, proud and humbled to be included in their Guaranteed Income for Artists program. The money I’ll receive over the next 18 months will be put to good use — keeping this little dream of mine going. I don’t think there’s enough words to thank them — or to show how grateful I am. (I’ll keep trying, of course!) 

There are other ways you can support. 

You can also support by checking the JOVM shop: https://www.joyofviolentmovement.com/shop 

You can also support my following me on the following platforms:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/william_ruben_helms 

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/yankee32879 and https://www.twitter.com/joyofviolent 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement

And you can hire me for headshots, portraits and events. Seriously, I’m available for that, too. You can click here: https://www.photobooker.com/photographer/ny/new-york/william-h?duration=1?duration=1# or you can contact me directly.

12 years ago, I started what has been for me — my life’s work.

And honestly, when I started this site, I couldn’t have imagined three-quarters of the things I’ve done and experienced over JOVM’s history to ever happen. 

  • I’ve covered roughly 1,100-1,200 shows in NYC, with a handful of shows in Chicago and Baltimore
  • I’ve covered about a dozen or more festivals, including traveling to Montreal for M for Montreal back in 2019. 
  • I’ve been a panelist at Mondo.NYC Festival and at New Colossus Festival, speaking about PR, promotion and press for indie artists, giving my perspective as a indie blogger. 
  • A few years ago, I made a cameo in a JOVM mainstay’s music video. It’s a very noticeable spot towards the end of the video. It was a fun experience, but so far no one has called me about acting gigs. Maybe I need to stick to the writing and photography? 
  • I couldn’t have imagined photographing George ClintonPatti LaBelleSnoop DoggBlondieNile RodgersRoky EricksonPhilip BaileyBlind Boys of Alabama and so many others, as well as this site’s countless mainstays.
  • I wouldn’t have met the countless colleagues and musicians, who have become supporters and friends. And by far, music friends have proven to be the very best of friends. 

JOVM turned 10 in June 2020. And during the middle of the very worst of the pandemic, things seemed — understandably — bleak. And although we’re slowly managed to claw our way back to a degree of normalcy, in which gathering together can happen, things across the music industry still seem rather bleak: Touring has always been a big financial risk for musicians but COVID-19 has made it even more complicated, because musicians are out there risking their health and lives — because they need to make money to live. 

We’re all trying to figure out how to maneuver in a new, confusing and uncertain landscape that may well be with us for an indefinite period of time. But with these past 12 years under my belt, I have no intentions of going anywhere. 

I strongly believe that I’ve managed to carve out a unique spot in the blogosphere, a place that I feel is desperately necessary because both the music and media worlds are often so incredibly homogenous. Someone out there has to do something different. And representation in every aspect matters. So in many ways, this has to continue. 

As I do every month, I want to thank the following folks and organizations. Without them this past few years — and especially this year — wouldn’t have been remotely possible: 

Sash

Alice Northover

Bella Fox

Jenny MacRostie

Janene Otten 

All of those folks have been generous Patreon patrons. Of course, feel free to check out the Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement. And if you’re able to support, your support will be greatly appreciated and continuously shouted out. Any amount really helps. Seriously. 

I must thank the folks at Creatives Rebuild New York. I’m relieved, proud and humbled to be included in their Guaranteed Income for Artists program. The money I’ll receive over the next 18 months will be put to good use — keeping this little dream of mine going. I don’t think there’s enough words to thank them — or to show how grateful I am. (I’ll keep trying, of course!) 

There are other ways you can support. 

You can also support by checking the JOVM shop: https://www.joyofviolentmovement.com/shop 

You can also support my following me on the following platforms:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/william_ruben_helms 

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/yankee32879 and https://www.twitter.com/joyofviolent 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement

And you can hire me for headshots, portraits and events. Seriously, I’m available for that, too. You can click here: https://www.photobooker.com/photographer/ny/new-york/william-h?duration=1?duration=1# or you can contact me directly.

New Video: Yoo Doo Right Shares Brooding Instrumental “The Failure of Tired, Stiff Friends”

Deriving their name from one of Can‘s best known — and perhaps most covered — songs, Montreal-based outfit Yoo Doo Right — Justin Cober (guitar, synths, vocals), Charles Masson (bass) and John Talbot (drums, percussion) — have developed an improvisational-based approach that features elements of krautrock, shoegaze, post-rock and psych rock that the band has described as “a car crash in slow motion.” 

Since their formation, You Doo Right have become a highly in-demand live act that has toured across North America, including making a run of the festival circuit with stops at LevitationM for MontrealSled IslandPop Montreal and New Colossus Festival earlier this year. Back in 2018, the Montreal-based experimental outfit was the main support act for Acid Mothers Temple‘s North American tour — and as a result, they’ve shared stages with the likes of DIIV, A Place to Bury StrangersWooden ShjipsKikagkiu MoyoFACS, Frigs, and Jessica Moss and several others. 

Yoo Doo Right’s highly-anticipated sophomore album A Murmur, Boundless To The East is slated for a June 10, 2022 through Mothland. After premiering the album’s material for hometown fans at Société des arts technologiques de Montréal, the band knew that there was only one way to record the album — live off-the-floor at Hotel2Tango. The band recruited acclaimed producer Radwan Ghazi Moumneh to assist them in crafting their vision.

Last month, I wrote about  A Murmur, Boundless To The East‘s first single, the epic “Feet Together, Face Up, On The Front Lawn,” a brooding mix of malevolence and uncanny beauty. The album’s second single, the instrumental track “The Failure of Stiff, Tired Friends” is centered around arpeggiated synths, twinkling keys, a relentless bass line serving as a silky bed for a Ennio Morricone-like guitar theme. Much like its predecessor, “The Failure of Stiff, Tired Friends” is a brooding and uneasy track that evokes lonely late night walks from the bar or a party in which you’re lost in your thoughts.

Directed and animated by Jared Karnas, follows a bored and lonely guy at a packed party. The night has stretched on, and he has spent a significant portion of the night, peeling the sticker off a beer bottle. He leaves the party and walks through the night streets of Montreal — to me, the video seems set in the Williamsburg-like Plateau Mont-Royal section — lost in his own brooding thoughts, barely noticing the couples in love or a sweet pup.

“The mood from this piece by Yoo Doo Right brings out a feeling I’m well accustomed to, which comes when we walk alone in the city, either very late at night, or very early in the morning,” Jared Karnas explains. “This moment of twilight that comes with sadness and loneliness, as we head back home after an evening that drew on. Time stops, we encounter people along the way, we hear the birds sing, yet we are lost in our thoughts, detached from our surroundings. It is this moment afloat that I set out to illustrate in this video.” 

New Video: Yoo Doo Right Shares Mind-Bending and Epic “Feet Together, Face Up, On The Front Lawn”

Deriving their name from one of Can‘s best known — and perhaps most covered — songs, Montreal-based Yoo Doo Right — Justin Cober (guitar, synths, vocals), Charles Masson (bass) and John Talbot (drums, percussion) — have developed an improvisational-based approach that features elements of krautrock, shoegaze, post-rock and psych rock that the band has described as “a car crash in slow motion.” 

Since their formation, You Doo Right have become a highly in-demand live act that has toured across North America, including making a run of the festival circuit with stops at LevitationM for MontrealSled IslandPop Montreal and New Colossus Festival earlier this year. Back in 2018, the Montreal-based experimental outfit was the main support act for Acid Mothers Temple‘s North American tour that year — and as a result, they’ve shared stages with the likes of DIIV, A Place to Bury StrangersWooden ShjipsKikagkiu MoyoFACS, Frigs, and Jessica Moss and several others. 

Their full-length debut, last year’s Don’t Think You Can Escape Your Purpose featured the slow-burning exercise in restraint and unresolved tension, album title track Don’t Think You Can Escape Your Purpose,” and the forceful and trippy motorik groove-driven “Presto Presto, Bella’s Dream.

Yoo Doo Right’s highly-anticipated sophomore album A Murmur, Boundless To The East is slated for a June 10, 2022 through Mothland. After premiering the album’s material for hometown fans at Société des arts technologiques de Montréal, the band knew that there was only one way to record the album — live off-the-floor at Hotel2Tango. The band recruited acclaimed producer Radwan Ghazi Moumneh to assist them in crafting their vision.

A Murmur, Boundless To The East‘s first single, the epic “Feet Together, Face Up, On The Front Lawn,” features a lengthy introductory section featuring oceanic guitar feedback paired with thunderous drumming before morphing into a brief krautrock section featuring oscillating synths, driving rhythms and glistening guitars paired with punchily delivered vocals. The song ends with a lengthy coda of oceanic guitar feedback and thunderous drumming.
The end result manages to be a brooding mix of malevolence and uncanny beauty.

Mackenzie Reid Rostad created an accompanying short film shot with thermal cameras, which gives the entire proceeding a spectral vibe. “We knew we wanted to explore a narrative or continuity with the film and in the end, this happened to be that of enclosure. It’s both a product and a process of something that itself has no end,” Reid explains. “The track’s title and those for the rest of the album really echo this general desire to transcend this something as manifest in the proliferating enclosures of the visible (fences, power lines, highways, etc.) and non-visible (frontiers, thresholds) world. The entire video was shot with a thermal camera and beyond the materiality of the image (light/heat and visible/non-visible), its very existence is a fragment of the latter, as this kind of technology has been developed and heavily deployed in the service of private property and national frontiers. These are the kinds of things I’m thinking about when listening to Yoo Doo Right anyhow and again this something, of which enclosure is an aspect, is a process. I started with this somewhere in the back of my mind and the music pulled this process out of everything that followed.”

New Video: Meggie Lennon Releases a Feverish Visual for Shimmering “Night Shift”

Meggie Lennon is a Montreal-based singer/songwriter, who started her career as the frontperson of acclaimed indie pop/indie rock outfit Abrdeen, an act that received an  Alternative Independent Music Gala of Quebec (GAMIQ) nomination for 2017’s Endless Dreams and Dreamlike Mornings EP.

Abrdeen supported their material touring with a number of indie acts including Good Morning, JOVM mainstays Elephant Stone, The Dears, Julie Doiron, Sugar Candy Mountain and Laura Sauvage. And the band made the rounds of the provincial festival circuit with stops at POP Montreal, M for Montreal and FME. Additionally, Lennon developed a reputation as a go-to collaborator, lending her vocals to material by Debbie Tebbs, Lucill and Super Plage.

Lennon fully steps out into the spotlight as a solo artist with the July 9, 2021 release of her Samuel Gemme-produced full-length debut Sounds From Your Lips through Mothland. Featuring guest sports from Elephant Stone’s Gabriel Lambert and her longtime friend and collaborator, Super Plage’s Jules Henry, the album finds Lennon and her collaborators crafting a sound that meshes late 60s and early 70s psych, The Byrds, T.Rex, Melody’s Echo Chamber, MGMT, and Beach House into something that Lennon describes as “make-out dream-pop” with a glowing and infectious sense of optimism.

Sounds From Your Lips’ first single, album opening track “Night Shift” is heavily indebted to Scott Walker psych pop as the track features a gorgeous arrangement of soaring strings, twinkling Wurlitzer and a sultry yet propulsive groove paired with Lennon’s breathy vocals and fuzzy guitars within an alternating quiet, loud, quiet song structure, a trippy break. And as a result, the song manages to capture the intimate thoughts of late night trips home — but with a cinematic grandeur.

“The first part of the song came to me while cycling home back from L’Esco after a wild night. I was on a Box and the streets were completely empty,” Lennon explains. “I was riding fast through the night and it felt both meditative and exhilarating – this feeling is reflected in the dreamy verses and then heavier guitar crescendo at the end. When we got in the studio, I laid the lead track on the Wurli and it all came naturally. The second part, ‘take a glimpse outside,’ came while doodling on the synth. We were in the studio without windows but we both went outside and the sun blinded us, the lyrics were inspired by this.”

Directed by Marielle Normandin Pageau, the recently released visual for “Night Shift” is a gorgeous visual featuring sequences shot during golden hour, with others shot through dreamy filters to evoke the a feverish and hallucinogenic vibe.

New Audio: Montreal’s Yoo Doo Right Releases a Trippy Motorik Groove Driven Single

Deriving their name from one of Can‘s best known songs, the rising Montreal-based act Yoo Doo Right — Justin Cober (guitar, synths, vocals), Charles Masson (bass) and John Talbot (drums, percussion) — have developed an improvisational-based sound and approach that features elements of krautrock, shoegaze, post-rock and psych rock that the band describes as “a car crash in slow motion.”

Since their formation, the members of the Montreal-based band have quickly become a highly demanded live act that has toured crossed their native Canada and the States while making stops across the North American festival circuit with stops at  Levitation, M for Montreal, Sled Island and Pop Montreal. Back in 2018, You Doo Right was the main support act during Acid Mothers Temple‘s North American tour — and as a result, they’ve shared stages with the likes of DIIV, A Place to Bury Strangers, Wooden Shjips, Kikagkiu Moyo, FACS, Frigs, and Jessica Moss and several others. 

The act’s full-length debut Don’t Think You Can Escape Your Purpose is slated for a May 21, 2021 release through Mothland. Last month, the members of the Montreal-based act released the album’s first single, album title track “Don’t Think You Can Escape Your Purpose,” an expansive, slow-burning and carefully sculptured soundscape divided into three distinct parts: a lengthy introduction with atmospheric synths, tribal drumming and shimmering guitars; a towering middle section with scorching dirge-like power chords, twinkling keys and crashing cymbals; and a gentle fade out as the song’s coda. The song is an exercise in restraint, unresolved tension and delayed release.

Don’t Think You Can Escape Your Purpose’s second and latest single “Presto, Presto, Bella’s Dream” is a layered song that finds the team weaving shimmering and angular guitar riffs, twinkling synths, propulsive drumming and bass lines into a relentless, repetitive and trippy motorik groove. The band’s Justin Cober says of the song “Driving, simple, straight forward repetition, built into a psychedelic haze with no apparent meaning. Like the day the clocks struck midnight on January 1st, 1970. The title is an ode to both the tempo and a good friend who indirectly influenced us, helped us write this song.”

New Video: Montreal’s Yoo Doo Right Releases an Expansive and Brooding Single

Deriving their name from one of Can’s best known songs, the rising Montreal-based act You Doo Right — Justin Cober (guitar, synths, vocals), Charles Masson (bass) and John Talbot (drums, percussion) — have developed an improvisational-based sound and approach that features elements of krautrock, shoegaze, post-rock and psych rock. Or as the band describes it, “a car crash in slow motion.”

Since their formation, the act has become an in-demand live act that has toured across Canada and the States, making stops across the North American festival circuit, including Levitation, M for Montreal, Sled Island and Pop Montreal. In 2018, the band was the main support act during Acid Mothers Temple’s North American tour — and as a result, they’ve shared stages with the likes of DIIV, A Place to Bury Strangers, Wooden Shjips, Kikagkiu Moyo, FACS, Frigs, and Jessica Moss and several others.

The act’s full-length debut Don’t Think You Can Escape Your Purpose is slated for a May 21, 2021 release through Mothland. Clocking in at exactly six minutes, the album’s first single, album title track “Don’t Think You Can Escape Your Purpose” is slow-burning, brooding and carefully sculptured soundscape divided into three distinct parts: a lengthy introduction with atmospheric synths, tribal drumming and shimmering guitars; a towering middle section with scorching dirge-like power chords, twinkling keys and crashing cymbals; and a gentle fade out as the song’s coda. Sonically and structurally, the song is centered around unresolved tension and delayed release.

“Title track. It’s about a person who is losing touch with reality. Who thinks he has a higher purpose, and is supposed to be an ambassador to a higher extraterrestrial race. It’s a looming atmospheric rhythm and crawl,” the band says of their latest single.

New Video: Follow Montreal’s Les Deuxluxes on a Campy “Star Trek” Inspired Romp Through the Galaxy

With the release of their critically applauded mini-album, 2014’s Traitement Deuxluxe, the Montreal-based psych rock duo Les Deuxluxes — vocalist and guitarist Anna Frances Meyer and multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Etienne Barry — exploded across their native Quebec. Building upon a rapidly growing profile across the province, the duo released their critically applauded full-length debut, 2016’s Springtime Devil.

After Springtime Devil, the Montreal-based duo released a batch of attention grabbing singles, including a French translation of album title track “Springtime Devil,” “Diable du pringtemps.” Adding to a rapidly growing profile, the band played sets at Montreal Jazz Fest, Festival d’ete de Quebec, POP Montreal and M for Montreal — and they’ve opened for the likes of Lisa LeBlanc, Marjo, and Jon Spencer. They ended 2016 with a mini-tour of South America that included stops in Santiago, Chile; Valdivia, Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and São Paulo, Brazil.

The duo isolated themselves in a 19th century church in the remote Quebec countryside, where the duo wrote and recorded last year’s sophomore album Lighter Fluid to tape. Released through Bonsound Records, the album’s material is centered around old school, power chord riffage and classic psych rock vibes. Now, if you were frequenting this site throughout the course of last year, you may recall that I wrote about the swaggering AC/DC-like album title track and pure ripper, “Lighter Fluid.”

Interestingly, Lighter Fluid’s latest single “Vacances Everest” climbed to the top of Influence Franco’s charts as a result of airplay on SiriusXM — and the track eventually found its way into rotation on CBC Radio 3. The track’s success shouldn’t be surprising: it’s a no bullshit, no filler, boogie woogie 12 bar blues ripper, centered around some Chuck Berry meets AC/DC like riffs, a thumping backbeat and Anna Francis Meyer’s sultry and self-assured crooning. But underneath the song’s bluesy stomp, the song lyrically is about the perseverance to overcome life’s obstacles and the idea of giving it all, even when you feel low.

Directed by frequent visual collaborator Ariel Poupart with artistic direction from Matthieu Turcotte, the recently released video stars Les Deuxluxes as a pair of intrepid space travelers who go on a campily retro-futuristic romp through the galaxy. Spaceships hurtling through the cosmos? Check. Shimmery space jumpsuits? Check. Laser guns? Check. Otherworldly landscapes? Check. Fights with weird humanoid creatures, who probably didn’t want to be bothered by humans? Check.

Visually, the video lovingly pays tribute to old Star Trek episodes, Jane Fonda’s Barbarella and Zsa Zsa Gabor’s Queen of Outer Space among other things. “With Mathieu Turcotte, the video’s artistic director, we were inspired by iconic landscapes from Star Trek to come up with our own interpretation and blur the lines between the future and the past,” Les Deuxluxes say in press notes. “All the components in the video were created with recycled materials; from the scale model spacecraft to the 100% vintage outfits and the liquid light backdrops recreating the cosmos. Even in space, nothing is lost, everything is transformed!”

Montreal-based collective TEKE: TEKE – Yuki Isami (flute, shinobue and keys), Hidetaka Yoneyama (guitar), Sergio Nakauchi Pelletier (guitar), Mishka Stein (bass), Etienne Lebel (trombone), Ian Lettree (drums, percussion) and Maya Kuroki (vocals, keys and percussion) —  features a collection of accomplished Montreal-based musicians, who have played with Pawa Up FirstPatrick WilsonBoogatGypsy Kumbia Orchestra and others. Initially started as a loving homage and tribute band to legendary Japanese guitarist Takeshi “Terry” Terauchi, the Montreal-based collective came into their own when they started to blend Japanese Eleki surf rock with elements of modern Western music including shoegaze, post-punk, psych rock, ska, Latin music and Balkan music on their debut EP 2018’s Jikaku.

Last year, I caught the genre-bending Montreal collective play an energetic set of material that reminded me of The Bombay Royale at an M for Montreal showcase at the Cafe Cleopatre, one of the most interesting venues I’ve personally ever been in. (A live music venue with a strip club down stairs? Uh, sure.)

Earlier this year, the members of TEKE: TEKE released “Kala Kala,” the first single off the rising act’s forthcoming full-length debut. Deriving its title from a phrase that roughly translates to clattering, “Kala Kala” captures the band’s frenzied live energy and difficult to pigeonhole sound centered around a mind-melting arrangement and song structure and Kuroki’s wild howling and crooning. Since the release of “Kala Kala,” the rising Montreal-based act signed to Kill Rock Stars Records, who will be releasing their forthcoming debut.

“We are deeply honored to be joining the great Kill Rock Stars family, a label we’ve long admired and that shares our community-oriented values and artistic vision,” the band shares in press notes. “Not to mention, the incredible roster that was pretty much the soundtrack to our lives, featuring artists we humbly look up to. Exciting things to come.” Slim Moon, Kill Rock Stars’ President and Founder adds “I learned about Teke::Teke from Mi’ens, who are another Canadian band on our roster.  I love every single thing about them, and I believe they will be embraced by fans of all ages, cuz the magic of the music and their personalities are just impossible to deny. They are perfect ambassadors for what Kill Rock Stars is all about as we head into our 4th decade.”

“Chidori,” TEKE: TEKE’s second single of this year is a cinematic mosh pit friendly freak out that’s part psych rock, part surf rock part of Ennio Morricone soundtrack centered around a propulsive groove, shimmering organ arpeggios, Dick Dale-like guitar lines, delivered with a frenetic aplomb.

Musings: A Decade of JOVM

I started this site 10 years ago today. . .

There aren’t many things in my life that I’ve done for every single day for a decade that I’ve loved as much as this very unique little corner of the blogosphere. When I started this site, I  didn’t — and couldn’t — imagine actually having readers, let alone readers across the US, Canada, the UK, the European Union, Australia and elsewhere. After all, this sort of work is deeply rewarding and yet strangely isolating.

I couldn’t have imagined the over 1,000 shows I’ve covered all across the New York Metropolitan area. I definitely couldn’t have imagined it being possible for be to cover shows for JOVM in Chicago while on a business trip for a day job; nor would I have dreamed of the possibility of covering M for Montreal last fall.

I couldn’t have imagined being a panelist on a Mondo.NYC Festival panel on PR and promotion for indie artists.

I couldn’t have imagined having a cameo in a JOVM mainstay’s video several years ago. (It’s a noticeable and prominent spot towards the end of the video, too. No one has called me up for acting gigs, so I may need more work on that. Or I need to stick to the writing and photography!)

I couldn’t have imagined photographing Patti LaBelle, Snoop Dogg, Charles Bradley  Sharon Jones, Nile Rodgers, Roky Erickson, Philip Bailey and so many others, as well as this site’s countless mainstays.

What will the next decade hold? I don’t know. If you asked me that question last November, I’d probably discuss my the very real possibility of repeated visits to Canada for festivals like Canadian Music Week, Montreal Jazz Fest and M for Montreal — with the hopes of building a deeper Canadian audience. I’d talk about my interest in music from across the African Diaspora. I’d spend time talking about my interest in covering acts outside the US. I’d also speak about my interest in wanting to cover more artists across the diverse LGQBTIA+ community  — particularly those of color. I’d probably also mention my deep and abiding interest in covering women artists and women led acts.

Live music won’t be a thing for quite some time to come. And whenever it does, the landscape will be different — and something we’ve yet to envision. So far, beloved venues have been forced to close because of economics. That will continue for the foreseeable future. What will happen to bands, who no longer have a place to play, where they can hone their sound and their live show? Who knows? After watching an industry-based panel, I don’t feel particularly optimistic about things in the short term. Some of us will figure out a way to adapt and survive; others sadly, won’t.

But in the meantime, JOVM will continue. It’s only the first decade, as far as I’m concerned!

**

I also wanted to talk a bit about some of my favorite albums of the past decade. This is by no means a comprehensive list; but I think that they might give some insight into the inner world of JOVM. And

Montreal-based DJ, production and electronic music artist duo The Beat Escape — Addy Weitzman and Patrick A. Boivin — can trace the project’s origins back to a short film they collaborated on when they were both in college. “We made a short oddball work; a video piece that followed two characters through a psychedelic waking dream,” the Montreal-based said of their initial collaboration together in press notes. Interestingly, since that collaboration, Weitzman and Boivin have continued working together on a series of creative endeavors that have combined their interests in music and visual art, including a lengthy local DJ gig, which eventually led to the creation of The Beat Escape.

Released in early 2018, the Montreal-based duo’s full-length debut Life Is Short The Answer’s Long thematically and sonically found the duo returning to their origins — somnambulant, atmospheric art that feels like a half-remembered waking dream. Personally, the album’s material evokes a weird two-and-year period of international and domestic travel, in which I’d wake up in a hotel room and briefly wonder where I was, what time zone I was in and if I was even in the right place. Additionally, it evokes that weird sensation of everything being the fundamentally the same, yet different. If I’m in Grand Central Terminal, I think of Frankfurt-am-Main Hauptbahnhof and of Amsterdam Centraal Station. If I’m traveling underneath an elevated train, I’m reminded of the Chicago loop and so on.

I obsessively played Life Is Short The Answer’s Short through my time in Montreal. And now whenever I play it, I can picture specific locations, specific paths I took to get there, certain Metro stations with an uncanny precision.

Throughout the course of the site’s decade history, I’ve written quite a bit about Superhuman Happiness. The act has managed to survive through a number of different lineup changes and sonic departures necessitated by those lineup changes — and from the act’s core members following wherever their muses took them, Hands though is a joyous, mischievous yet deeply intelligent work that will make you shout and dance. Considering the bleakness of our world, this album may be much more needed than they ever anticipated.

Deriving their name from a Vladimir Nabokov short story about a traveler, who finds a place so beautiful that he wants to spend his life then but who cruelly  gets dragged back to brutal reality, the Dublin, Ireland-based act Cloud Castle Lake — currently Daniel McAuley (vocals, synths), Brendan William Jenkinson (guitar, piano), Rory O’Connor (bass), Brendan Doherty (drums), and a rotating cast of collaborators, friends and associates — received attention with 2014’s self-released debut EP Dandelion, an effort that firmly established the act’s uniquely sound: deeply influenced by and indebted to  Alice Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders, the Irish act pairs McAuley’s tender and soaring falsetto with cinematic arrangements and expansive song structur es.

Released in 2018, the act’s Rob Kirwan-produced debut Malingerer is an ambitious, challenging and breathtakingly beautiful work that’s part film score and part cosmic meditation, full of aching yearning.

A couple of years ago, I caught the Irish act play at Rockwood Music Hall, as part of the Lower East Side venue’s monthly Communion showcase — and their set was met with awed and reverential silence.

Stockholm, Sweden-based garage punk outfit Sudakistan — Michell Serrano (vocals), Maikel Gonzalez (bass), Carlos Amigo (percussion) Juan Jose Espindola (drums) and Arvid Sjöö (guitar) — have one of the most unique and perhaps most 21st Century backstories of any band I’ve ever written about: four of the band’s five members emigrated to Sweden from South America with the remaining member being the band’s only native Swede. With the release of their debut album, 2015’s Caballo Negro, the members of Sudakistan received attention across Scandinavia and elsewhere for crafting material that draws from Latin-tinged garage punk rock with lyrics sung in English, Spanish and Swedish. Interestingly, the alum is arguably hardest and most mosh pit friendly of the band’s albums to date, the album’s material found the band expanding their sound through the incorporation of non-traditional punk rock instruments — seemingly inspired by the band’s desire to make each of their individual roles to be much more fluid. . “It was much more of a collaboration between the five of us,” the band’s Michell Serrano explains in press notes. . “Things flowed differently. Carlos sings on two or three songs, and Mikael sings on one. We swapped instruments quite a lot, and because we had access to everything in the studio, we were able to use some piano, some acoustic guitar and some mandolin, too.”

Additionally, the album’s lyrical and thematic concerns draws from the band members’ everyday reality with each individual member contributing lyrical ideas. “Our first album was made over five years, rather than five months, so the themes on it weren’t as heavy as this. Now, we’re talking about a lot of the things that we’ve gone through together since we started the band, as well as personal things – like, why do I keep repeating the same mistakes. We talk about pursuing our own Swedish reality, but that’s just because we’re living in Sweden – it’s relatable in any other country, I think,” Maikel Gonzalez says in press notes.

The album’s material resonates in an age of divisiveness, xenophobia, fear mongering and strife because its an urgent and passionate reminder of what’s possible with cultural exchange, empathy and curiosity —  bold new ideas, new takes on the familiar, as well as equality for all with everyone’s story behind heard, understood and championed. One day that will happen but we will have to work our asses off to get there.