Monday, September 19, 2011

Indie Guide Nightlife: French House Electro in Toronto

Where to Find French House and Electro in Toronto + Wicked French Playlist

Okay fine, I'll admit it. I have an affinity for all things French, goddamn. I can't help it though. I spent the best year of my life on exchange at the ScPo, and now I'm waiting on my visa so I can start my baller' media and communications job in gay ol' Paris. I'm just jonesin' for the culture while here in Toronto.  And while that makes me a bit of a floater loser it has given me superhero powers! Seriously. I can gravitate to anything in the city related to Frenchness.

Sort of.

The DJs Nicolas and Steven (Photo cred: Franco Deleo)

Recently I was pulled to a cool, cozy bar in Ossington where you can listen to the classics of French Electro and house like Daft Punk and other Ed Banger super stars the third Wednesday of every month. The bar is Unlovable and the event is called Soirée LXXXVI with a great crowd of those 20 somethings who dress cool without trying too hard. Rock n' Roll.

It's normally headed by Toronto DJs Steven Manning and Nicolas Pilaprat but the upcoming event on the 21st will have guest DJ slash magic fingers Josh Chong bustin' the tunes alongside Steven. Go for a pint or two, flirt a little with the cuties and maybe shake ton derriere if the mood strikes you as hard as Napolean struck Europe. Seriously kids, it's probably the coolest thing you can do with this one Wednesday night of the month.

A plus tard!

1415-B Dundas St West, 
Toronto, ON M6J1Y8

Wanna know what it's like to party in Paris? Listen to this mini list

This is "not a party"  with les meufs in Paris

French Musique Playlist
 I wish I was a DJ so I could play these songs..or maybe I'll just request them through my blog! Excited to see you guys!

1. Hit Pop- Numero.mp3
Just want to start dancing and French kissing to this Kitsune produced artist. An oldie but goodie.

2. Gio Gio-Tiger Love.mp3
I'm obsessed. They're a London electro synthy trio featuring a French lady. Amazing. Plus they're coming to Gladstone in October!!

3. Drugs in my Body- Thieves Like Us.mp3
A classic in Paris. More chill.

 4. Homecoming (Gentlemen Drivers Remix)- The Teenagers.mp3
Gentlemen Drivers are some sick djs in Paris who do a wicked remix of this Teenagers song.

5. Sur la Planche- La Femme.mp3
Funky pop electro song with a surfer feel

6. Je veux te voir- Yelle.mp3
This is probably not the most well known Yelle song amongst anglophones but it is certainly a must know amongst your French friends.

Have you ever ate French cheese while having a ménage à trois? Me neither, but it's probably not more satisfyingly French than following this blog on Facebook and Twitter . Oui monsieur!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Concert Review: SebastiAn at the Hoxton TORONTO

From Inside the Pit: All Hail SebastiAn

Sure, kissing your own face for an album cover may border on narcissism but reenacting the Third Reich while substituting speech with turntables and a Mac definitely puts you in the Shaquille O'Neil of the self loving. But while SebastiAn manages to exude both forms, namely the latter last Thursday at the Hoxton in Toronto, this Ed Banger DJ takes you through one hell of a concert ride.

To start with, his set was a party bag of awesome and bang. To some disappointment he only teased with the beginning of Embody, preferring to play more climactic tunes off his latest album, Total,  like Tetra and Total's bonus track, Organia. But hey, it got the crowd dancing in a sweaty pulsing mass of human. It even turned into crowd surfing that I may have partaken in (in a dress) and may have worn panties so granny they make Beatrice Arthur look like Lady Gaga and which was gloriously displayed to the world.  Whateva.

But if ol' Seb noticed he didn't act it probably because he was too busy looking like the head of a totalitarian state, fist pumping without the pump, his angular face straighter than a Christian jock at Pride Parade. I'm gonna take a leap of faith and assume this politicized theme is connected to the album's name, Total.  With the juxtaposition of the projected images saying 'Votez" behind him and his face over the tricouleur of the French Flag and on the other hand, militaristic videos one has to wonder if this is more than just narcissism but a politically charged message to youth like 'Yo, use your voting privileges you fools, or else your democracy will be headed by scary looking people like me.' Or maybe I'm just being an International relations loser. Whateva x2, it strummed my brain strings which has a direct line to my heart.

 Regardless of the message, it was still Orwellian creepy with the mindless indulgence of the pulsating crowd and with one man relishing in his control of it all. Yet it was exactly this attention to theatrics in combination to a great set that distinguished the electro show from any I've ever been to before. Even Justice on their Toronto tour years ago at Circa didn't compare, with cool light displays but not much more. On the neg side, at the Hoxton it did seem to be a pre-determined track list without much live action goodness, but hey I'm no expert. Anyways, it was still cool to have the massive venue concert experience without being forced to see the Black Eyed Peas or somethin'.

Partying on a (or no) budget
Being the broke as bumble bee I am (until I start real adult job in Paris), I was wicked lucky to go. I had seen SebastiAn at the epic opening of the Social Club in Paris back in 2008 when studying at SciencesPo and I was dying to see him again especially in my home city. Thus came Operation Billet Gratos. Plan A consisted of writing directly to the man himself on Facebook with a Five Point Plea for reasons why he should hook me up with guest list. I put in a solid hour of forgotten French and carefully thought out arguments like 'I bet I can make you laugh' and 'we bring dance to dance party' but his response was colder than a Siberian labour camp. Zilch. My pride was wounded but I wasn't going to let my deflated ego and povo situation hold me back, hell naw!  And so I turned to friend and former Trin school mate also one of the guys behind Salacious Sound, Dave King.  After some convincing of my situation he finally hooked a sistah up. Legend.

French electro is some of my fav' shows to see outside of Paris, and the dancing and sweating at the front and centre of this one while the madness of TIFF had added electricity to the whole city that night made all my groveling for Billet Gratos, totally worth it.

If it's anything like this show in Toronto, I'd definitely see you again in Paris, Seba!

While on the subject of Ed Banger DJ's my sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of DJ Mehdi who passed away a couple days ago. I would have loved to see him live at the Grand Palais in Paris in October and I liked his work a lot while apart of Carte Blanche. You would've rocked man. RIP.

If you want to be cooler than Dr. Grant in Jurassic Park, Follow on Facebook and Twitter !! Plus see the rest of the photos here!

Completely unrelated but kind of: Go F*ck Yourself
If SebastiAn could, he would.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Indie Guide Nightlife TORONTO: Pop Kult at the Gladstone Hotel

Newest Toronto Event at the Gladstone is One of the Best Yet

 Photo credit: Felicia Moursalien 

Take the mad chill and good looking folks from those dim sum dance parties my blog has been deep fried in recently and boil in sexy location and you have probably one of the raddest new parties around. That location is the Gladstone Hotel. The night that made me a believer is called Pop Kult, a new event thrown by and The Mansion.

I hadn't realized the heart shaped hole in my soul until I showed up at the Gladstone. Location seriously makes all the difference. Whereas Happy Endings, thrown in a crazy restaurant in China Town gives it a super underground vibe, rockin' out at the newly renovated scene spot, the Gladstone, with its subtle but classy decor and well lit brown tones made me feel like I could be partying in Paris. I also realized I'm a huge believer in good lighting. It holds everyone accountable for not looking like/making out with dirt turds (even Konrad put on a striped sweater!)

 Girls travel together in the bathroom so they can take pics together, duh.

Of course the music was a mega huge factor as well. They had djs from RAC playing most of the night and they busted out a very "dancey" (merci Thomas) set, remixing electro hits from Cut Copy to adding their own flare to pop tunes. It doesn't hurt that the djs were ridiculously gorgeous, fitting them in perfectly with the electro disco ambiance kinda thang.

I know I have a tendency to jump on the golden eagle of excitement and fly away to the moon, but honestly cats, throwing an event at the Gladstone + good music + the cool following these guys have brings you to the kind of soiree full of sexy funkiness without pretension that gets my heart beating. I'd like to say I'm looking forward to the next one, but I probably won't be in Toronto anymore, so please party hard for me!

NEW INFO: I just found out TIGER LOVE IS GOING TO BE AT THE NEXT ONE IN OCTOBER. Do you know how long I've been waiting to see these guys?? I'm turning into a super hero called Mega Jealz !!! Pussy Cocaine is not Under Control. Gio gio! I'd postpone my flight to Paris for this.

Photo credit: Felicia Moursalien
RAC doing their thing

ps. I took some of the pics for the event! I used my toy camera so excuse the non-pro star stuff of it, but hey you get to see the point of view of a person partying with the crowd rather than standing outside of it, non? Plus it was my first time photographing for someone who wasn't me. Here are some of them. The rest can be found on Facebook.

Photo credit: Felicia Moursalien

Photo credit: Felicia Moursalien
Immigrants at a party, always a good sign.
 Try following this blog on Facebook and Twitter for ultra high levels of cool bombs. Pow! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Indie Guide Nightlife: 3 Rad Hip Hop Nights in Toronto

 Hip Hop Parties Where you Don't Need Diamond Grillz to Fit in (unless it's ironic?)
What the hell do I know about hip hop? Probably as much as I know about making my booty clap and let's just say if a bow legged, curled spine grandma and I got into a competition I would get pwned, so yea. That doesn't stop me from kind of loving the opportunity to try to swagger and wine to Young Money and Kanye once in a while and I'm finding out in Toronto there are mad fun places to do that.

Seriously, I'm way into dancing like a bird that can't fly to electro and indie rock but damn girl, sometimes I want to feel my legs cramp up from shakin' my healthy butt to hip hop. It sucks though because the clubs in Toronto where you find that scene is typically filled with dumb broads who listen to Kiss 92 and aggressive dudes who like to hang out their window and drool like you're Dr. Heiter's sweet three dog. That's why I've been totally surprised in a joyous way that I've found somewhere to bust it out with a super cool crowd.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Stupid Shit French People Say or..

7 Ways the French will Ruin your English

There are very few times in your life where you will sympathize with Madonna, but living amongst the French for prolonged periods of time will lead you down such a sad, dreary path.  Remember how diva everyone thought she was for taking on that corny, fake British accent? Well, you'll find out for yourself that she wasn't faking completely. If you are an expat or a student in France you are definitely experiencing your own language transmogrification except you'll learn that in your case it's to a degree worse than the outdated pop Queen herself. (Read more on Erasmus website!)

I mean, all expats go through language warp regardless of country, but this is to the worst extent because a) it's not even English unlike North Americans who go to Oz or UK. While they may come back sounding like cylindrical turds saying 'reckon' or 'bloody hell' at least their grammar and expressions make sense and b) the French are so smug about their language superiority in France, don't let them conquer your English too!

Bref, listed here are 7 weird things all French people say all the time, enough to wear down your wall of reason and overrule years of English class. In order to prevent the spread of the pretentious disease known to many as the Frenglish accent, they have been documented. 

7. It changes nothing

Translation: Ca ne change rien 

Example: It changes nothing for me, we can speak English if you want.

What they're trying to say: It doesn't matter. It may not be grammatically incorrect but it's still weird. This is precisely what's so tricky about hanging out with French, they change the language ever so slightly that it hoodwinks correct common speech. Saying the dramatic 'it changes nothing' to replace the casual 'it doesn't matter to me' is forcing you to speak like a soap opera superstar and I will not stand for it. 

6. To read diagonally

Translation: Lire en diagonale 

Example: Of course I read your blog posting, says the Ex, I read it diagonally.

What they mean to say: To skim something over, which is what my hand did to his face.

5. That tells me something

translation: Ca me dit quelque chose


Me: Hey Justine, do you know that crazy, sexy new site Beautiful Men in Paris?
J: Hmm..oui...That name tells me something..
Me: Oh la la! It's an artistic and creative version of the site Cute Boys Make me Nervous but dedicated only to the sheer beauty the men command in their stunning city.  Hellooo septième ciel.

What they're trying to say: That reminds me of. This sneaky strain has pervaded the deepest levels of my speech. Even in the company of Anglophones it tumbles out of my mouth like rotten escargot, and it's only now that I've spent some time outside of La France do I wonder if I even make sense to my peers. News flash: You don't.  

4.  For when is it?

Translation: C'est pour quand?


For when does this website start? 
Me: As soon as I get back to Paris! Which is hopefully in one month. FYI French administration in August essentially shuts down shop and it's impossible to get anything done. Putain.

What they're trying to say: When is it? Adding 'for' in front of questions is quite stupidly common for French people, like For what are you going to be in Paris?  Attention for this useless word messin' up yo flo!

3. To talk alone

Translation: Parler seul

Example: *mumble mumble? What? Sorry Félicia, I was just talking alone.

What they're trying to say: Talking to oneself. First of all, my name isn't French, so stop bastardizing it. Second, are we in a Shakespearean tragedy? Keep talking alone, Frenchies, no wants to hear your crazy ass English.

The muse and inspiration for the alluded to site coming soon. Beautiful Men in Paris. Be the first 100 to follow for privileged status for future giveaways and stuff.

2.  The scooter of Jacques Léopard was stolen (abandoning the possessive apostrophe mark)

Translation: Le scoot de Jacques etait volé. 

What they're trying to say: Jacques Leopard's scooter was stolen.

You'll find this happening and not even realize how prevalent it has become in your speech- 'the party of Camille will be amazing, the dinner of Caroline ended with us making music! etc etc.' Because in French they use the 'de' for possession, meaning 'of'. It's not wrong per se but another step towards Lingual No Man's Land.

1. Take a drink/ take a glass

Translation: Prendre un verre


"Oui Laurène, I am a beautiful charming and brilliant French man who will be featured on a website called Beautiful Men in Paris, do you want to maybe take a drink tomorrow night and talk about it while I make sweet love to you?"

What they mean to say: 'Get/have a drink.' This is the most forgivable of all their follies because when a French person wants to have a drink with you, you do it. You are in one of the most visually and linguistically beautiful countries in the world and while it sucks to sound like them or have your dull Canadian name sound like a luxury perfume line, it'll make your sejour in France that much more romantic when you integrate. Your answer in broken English should be "Oui, Pierre ouiiii! I was just asking myself if you would ever ask me to take a glass with you. I do!" Plus, if you don't come out of France sounding like an English Mutant Ninja Turtle then you have not experienced the culture nor the people nearly enough.

En revanche.. The French View
Besides as one of my charming French friends, Dimitri (from the band Western Indians I posted about last week), pointed out when I told him about how rotten my English gets, he said, "Good! It's nice to know that it works both ways. For us French who speak English, we become aliens in our own language too." Apparently they start saying things like "Ca fait du sense" meaning 'that makes sense' but things don't make sense in French, they're logical (C'est logique). There are some more but I forget slash don't care just keeping talking to me because I'm with Josephine Baker on this one who once said, "I like Frenchmen very much, because even when they insult you they do it so nicely".  Can anything sound bad in French?

Anyways forget what I said before. Having the best time in France means finding other citizens in the Land between Languages where French try to speak broken English and you try to speak bad French. In doing so you proliferate the greatest language of your young life and make the best of friends while doing it, Vive le Frenglish!

French people being normal at my French Stereotypes party

 If you've been contaminated or diagnosed with Frenglish,  help add to the list with your own symptoms!

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Some French Music: Birdy Hunt

More underground indie music discoveries and a small sneak peak at the music I will use when this blog is featured on T.mofuggin' V next month!!  This band just rocked out at the Parisian Music Festival Rock en Seine and it's no surprise at their success with the catchy indie pop sound full of fun and happy feelings. Thanks to my lovely and ridiculously bilingual friend Claire for introducing me! I'm reminded of Two Door Cinema Club. Although I'm loving Toronto,  I can't wait to get back to Paris and bask in everything cool.

Mediafire: Furies and Lights- Birdy Hunt.mp3

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