Yeezus gives us what we need

After denying Montreal fans a visit in October due to routing logistics (that somehow didn’t stop Toronto from getting two shows), megastar Kanye West finally brought his YEEZUS tour to the Bell Centre this past Monday night.

Kanye went back and forth between old and new songs from his catalogue, all while providing fans with outstanding and wild set changes, pyrotechnics, and a 25-minute sermon that was short of being considered one of Yeezy’s famous “rants.”

The Louis Vuitton Don divided his YEEZUS set into five sections: “fighting,” “rising,” “falling,” “searching,” and “finding.” It wasn’t totally clear if any of his song choices for each section were appropriate or purposefully selected for its respective section, but it did not seem to affect concert-goers’ enjoyment in the least.

Alas, the most disappointing facet of the concert was Ye’s energy level for the first few sections. West relied on the material of the opening sections to be the “espresso” of the faithful in attendance, all while wearing various lavish masks. It doesn’t take much to get people going when you’re playing songs like “Black Skinhead,” “On Sight,” “Power,” “I Don’t Like” and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” as your opening songs.

Among the first few highlights of the show was a heart-wrenching performance of “Coldest Winter,” a song written in memoriam of his late mother, Donda West. West laid down on the stage, which had risen a couple metres into the air, and crooned with Auto-Tune as fake snow and a spotlight adorned him.

Later on in the show, Kanye played another showstopper, “Blood On The Leaves,” whose first beat drop brought the first use of pyrotechnics in the show.

After playing “Lost In The World” and “Runaway,” Yeezus began addressing the crowd about the quality of life, the importance of treating people right, his ideas outside of the musical realm, and even mentioned why “Blood On The Leaves” wasn’t the opening track of YEEZUS, all the while singing opening tracks from his previous albums to the tune of “Runaway.” Kanye continued to address the crowd with a mask on, complimenting the Montreal crowd for not asking him to remove it.

In the show’s homestretch, Kanye unearthed classics from College Dropout, Late Registration, Graduation and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and brought the house down, playing old favourites like “Stronger,” “Diamonds From Sierra Leone,” “All Falls Down” and even “Get ‘Em High,” a cut from Ye’s debut album, The College Dropout, a song that few expected would appear on the setlist.

In addition, a very special guest paid a special visit to Kanye just before West’s performance of “Jesus Walks” — a Jesus Christ-like figure himself. A surreal experience for all involved.

Kanye, fittingly, ended the show with “Bound 2,” minus the underwhelming visuals with Kim Kardashian, sending a crowd of Yeezus fans home happy. Yeezus gave the crowd what it needed, perhaps not when we wanted it.



Jay Malinowski sets sail with The Deadcoast

Jay Malinowski has grown from his days as a young singer-songwriter in the Canadian band, Bedouin Soundclash. Even if he won’t completely admit it.

“I don’t think I’ve changed much,” said Malinowski. “I think I’m less mature than when I was 19.”

Malinowski, who continues to make music with his most recent project under the name Jay Malinowski & The Deadcoast, has been doing some self-reflection while Bedouin Soundclash has been on hiatus.The time away has allowed him to fabricate an audio coming-of-age story, filled with adventure and tales with his ancestor, Charles Martel, as the protagonist.

The double-disc album entitled Martel, is essentially a musical travel log of his voyages during the 1800s.

“After 10 years of touring [with Bedouin Soundclash], I was asking the questions of life like ‘who am I’ and ‘what do I become?” he said, “I loved the idea of a sailor, that you’re always moving, because the choices I made were very similar. My lifestyle was more or less the same.”

While the goal of the record was to honour his past, Malinowski sees a bit of himself on the new album.

“I wanted to do a journey of this person named Martel,” he said. “It’s based on the history, it’s based on me, it’s based on my grandfather’s notes, going around the world from Pacific to Atlantic, over 18 songs.”

Martel has received its fair share of buzz on CBC Radio’s website, being previewed as one of the 10 Canadian albums to look forward to in February, alongside other artists like Sam Roberts, Mas Ysa and Solids.

Malinowski even has a website for the album,, an interactive site that allows fans to look at the track list for the album, gaze at Martel’s travel log, and use an interactive map that tracks his journey at sea.

“Even with Bedouin [Soundclash], it’s always been about hailing things that came before you.”

According to Malinowski, Charles Martel traveled from France to Halifax in 1757. After the country outlawed Protestantism, many fled to other European countries and to North America. Martel fought alongside British soldiers when they attempted to capture the Louisbourg Fortress, which belonged to the French. In return for his service, the British gave him land, where he settled and established a family.

Malinowski recalls hearing these stories from his grandfather, who fed him countless tales of his ancestors and his family lineage. In addition, Malinowski did some personal research around Cape Breton with other relatives, where he uncovered old family heirlooms.

Martel features the single, Patience Phipps, a name Malinowski fell in love with once he read it amongst his grandfather’s notes. The song itself is about Martel promising his hand in marriage to Phipps, once he has returned from his travels.

Teaming-up with Vancouver string trio, the End Tree, Martel brings together folk, European and Caribbean influences, including calypso music. One song in particular, “Carnival Celebration”, (a personal favourite of his), was recorded in Trinidad. The song was originally recorded in the 1950s by Small Island Pride. The song speaks of Americans trying to leave Trinidad, and also the West Indian Federation, where a group of Caribbean countries joined together to escape British control.

“We did this kind of Eastern European, gypsy rumba [on the track],” Malinowski said. “It was really fun to record.”

Malinowski has enjoyed his time recording and preparing for Martel, and recording as a solo artist in general. The album allowed Malinowski to not only find out about his past, but allowed him to discover himself as an artist. However, he hasn’t closed the door on reuniting with bandmate Eon Sinclair and returning to Bedouin Soundclash.

“Everything’s a journey for us and we’re never going to fake it,” Malinowski said. “As long as Eon and I are friends, we’re going to make a record.”

Martel debuts on Feb.11. Jay Malinowski & the Deadcoast will be in Montreal performing on April 5.


Quickspins – The Gaslight Anthem, Supreme Cuts, Sleepy Sun, Isiah Rashad

Isaiah Rashad – Cilvia Demo (Top Dawg Entertainment; 2014)  

After blowing up at the 2013 BET Hip-Hop Awards with Kendrick Lamar and other artists from his label, Top Dawg Entertainment, Isaiah Rashad is one of the many artists to watch out for in 2014 with his debut EP, Cilvia Demo. The tracks flow perfectly into each other from one to the next, and Rashad himself rarely missteps on any of his beats or hooks. His introspective story-telling fits perfectly with the beat selection, meshing together tales of drinking, smoking, and of course, women. While Rashad isn’t afraid to go in and glorify these influences, he can acknowledge these as faults as well. The EP’s beats bleed the jazzy and soulful influence of Outkast making for a smooth and cool listen. (Fun fact: Rashad aspired to be a preacher before listening to Outkast’s album ATLiens, which inspired him to be a rapper). While the EP doesn’t feature Lamar, Top Dawg Entertainment’s Schoolboy Q and Jay Rock are among those featured on Cilvia Demo.

Trial track: “Shot You Down” (ft. Jay Rock & ScHoolboy Q)

-Julian McKenzie

Rating: 7.5/10

The Gaslight Anthem- The B-Sides (SideOneDummy; 2014)

The Gaslight Anthem’s newest album, The B-Sides, is, as the title suggests, a compilation of covers, a live recording, outtakes and acoustic versions of previously released material. The acoustic renditions are the meat of the album but are hit or miss. Certain songs, like “The ’59 Sound,” translate beautifully from electric to acoustic, at times sounding better than the original releases. Others however, such as “American Slang” and “Boxer,” do not hold up as well when stripped of their punk influence. The covers on the album are good, but few will consider The Gaslight Anthem’s version of “Tumbling Dice” better than the original released over 40 years ago by The Rolling Stones. Overall, a handful of the songs on the album really shine; for instance some of the acoustic renditions convey the emotional weight of the lyrics better than their amped brethren. Sadly, subpar songs clog up the track list, holding these few gems back.

Trial Track: “The ’59 Sound”

Score: 6.5/10

-Justinas Staskevicius


Supreme Cuts- Divine Ecstasy (Dovecote; 2014)

If you love the music of Disclosure and Flume, then you will absolutely fall for Supreme Cuts. Their newest album Divine Ecstasy, is a breath of fresh air in the music world. The Chicago-based duo consists of Mike Perry and Austin Kjeultes who began their music careers together in 2010,according to the website Pretty Much Amazing. Apparently, Supreme Cuts began originally as hip-hop producers and have now emerged on the front stage as electronic artists.
Their new sounds are hard to file in respect to any specific genre. The best way to describe their sound is a psychedelic, tech-house with undertones of an earthy-ambient hip-hop. The album also has a variety of female and male vocalists featured with soundscapes of the synthetic world. The vibe is very laid back but the clarity and the sound designing is impeccable. Overall, the album was also very well mastered.

Favorite Song: “Divine Ecstasy”

Rating: 9/10

-Jonathan Cohen


Sleepy Sun – Maui Tears (Dine Alone Records; 2014)

Maui Tears is the fourth studio album from the California-based collective, Sleepy Sun. Often labeled as psychedelic surfer rock, the entire album is drenched with sunny guitar riffs and trippy instrumental distortions. Tracks like “Words”  and “The Lane” are heavily laced with the signature ‘60s California surfer spirit, while others like “Everywhere Waltz” play up the trippy echoes and heavy synth sounds to create six minutes of pure neo-psychedelia. While most of the album features fast-paced instrumentals and chaotically hazy guitar playing, “Slowdown” stays true to its name. On this track, the band turns down the tempo, allowing for frontman Bret Constantino’s distorted vocals to stand out next to the deep feedback loops from the guitar amplification. On the title track, Sleepy Sun dish out smooth jazzy bass lines that continue subtly throughout the rest of the 10 and a half minute instrumental epic, leaving listeners on a next level trip.

Trial Track: “Maui Tears”

Rating: 7.8

-Jessica Romera


What your iPod playlist says about you

What do your musical preferences say about what type of person you are? The Concordian conducted an experiment where writers asked strangers if they could check out their iPods to see if they could deduce their personalities based on their playlists.

If Lauriane’s iPod says anything about her, it’s that she’s a person who loves variety. She clearly can’t be easily defined, but I’m going to try. First, you’ll find the staples of most young women’s iPods: Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Carly Rae Jepsen – you get the idea. You may be under the impression that she’s your typical teeny bopper, but she’s full of surprises.

The mix of classical music and show tunes, such as Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” and “Defying Gravity” from the popular Broadway musical Wicked, make me think Lauriane’s a prim and proper sort of person. Maybe she’s that studious girl sitting in your class frantically taking notes, or the timid one in the corner.

However, the numerous dance hits on her playlist, like “Sexy B*tch” by David Guetta and Akon, prove that Lauriane isn’t the quiet girl she comes off as. I bet she loves to let loose at the club, while belting out a Lady Gaga song and moving her hips Britney Spears-style. The fact that she also has some songs by En Vogue, Nelly and Daddy Yankee make me think that she’s not afraid to get down and dirty when given the opportunity.

With a little bit of classic rock thrown into the mix, Lauriane is obviously not only someone who likes to let loose, but who loves a good party and a great song to rock out to.

-Marco Saveriano

Flickr photo by Sucello Leiloles

One must never judge a book by its cover…but they never said anything about an iPod. I took Concordia student Briana Musto’s iPod and here are a few notable songs that jumped out at me:

“Yesterday” – The Beatles

“Dancing In The Dark” – Bruce Springsteen

“I’m God” – Clams Casino

“Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own” – U2

“Miss You” – Ed Sheeran

“Tennis Court” – Lorde

“The Scientist”- Coldplay

“November Rain” – Guns ’N’ Roses

“Leave Out All The Rest” – Linkin Park

“Take A Walk” – Passion Pit

“Wipe Your Eyes” – Maroon 5

“Video Games” – Lana Del Rey

I can picture Briana being the type of person who enjoys tea, (Earl Grey? Mint? Maharaja Oolong Chai?) in the morning to go with her Coldplay, U2 and Ed Sheeran songs. Something that keeps her calm and relaxed. There’s also a lot of music in her playlists with acoustic instrumentation. Briana seems to take pride in her Italian heritage. She stays true to her roots with her inclusion of Italian music from artists like Tiziano Ferro, Zucchero and Il Volo.

Finally, I will admit, I was thrown off at the song, “I’m God” by Clams Casino: she doesn’t have a God complex…but I could be wrong. After listening to the song, I can deduce that it’s great, and so I guess we can say she’s humble.

-Julian McKenzie



Top 10 albums to look out for in 2014

While 2013 brought us some unforgettable albums, there is a great deal of music that is already being eagerly anticipated for 2014. Although many artists have not divulged the details of their upcoming releases, make sure to keep an ear out for release dates.

Kanye West – TBA – summer 2014


Yeezus was consumed, debated, lauded and criticized at nauseam in 2013. Despite its critics, it received plenty of praise, which resulted in Yeezus reaching the top of many end-of-year music lists. So, it is only natural that we await with bated breath for West’s seventh studio album, due out in the summer of 2014. So far, all we know is that he will be recruiting super producer Rick Rubin, and A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip for the project.


2. Frank Ocean – TBA – summer 2014


The Odd Future crooner gave the world one of the best R&B releases in a long time with 2012’s  channel ORANGE. While Ocean did have a quiet 2013 in comparison, he’s been hard at work creating new music, material we’ll hear “when summer comes round again,” according to a Q&A on Tumblr between Ocean and his fans in 2013.


3. Foo Fighters – TBA – Date TBA


Frontman Dave Grohl has announced that the Foo Fighters will begin recording a new album at the beginning of 2014, and that they’ve already written the lyrics for the album. During an interview at XFM radio station back in August, Grohl divulged that they’re doing the album “in a way that no one’s ever done before.”


4. Pusha T – King Push – Date TBA


Fresh off the success of his debut solo album, My Name Is My Name, Pusha T is already hard at work on a sophomore album, King Push, releasing photos of him in the studio with his production group, The Neptunes. It will be interesting to see how Pusha follows up from the brilliance of MNIMN.


5. Lana Del Rey – Ultra-Violence – Date TBA


Not much is known about Lana Del Rey’s Ultra-Violence album, the followup to 2012’s stellar Born To Die, other than the fact that it will be released sometime during 2014. Lana fans could sure use some new material from the songstress with hits like “Summertime Sadness” being played non-stop since since its release almost half a year ago.

6. U2 -TBA – April 2014


The Irish rockers are slated to release their first album since 2009, and their 13th to date, reportedly in April. Acclaimed producer Danger Mouse, one half of soul duo Gnarls Barkley, will be behind the recording of the album.


7. Wu-Tang Clan – A Better Tomorrow – Date TBA


The Wu-Tang Clan intended on releasing A Better Tomorrow in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of their debut album Enter the 36 Chambers. However, according to RZA, getting fellow member Raekwon (who is also slated to release an album in 2014) to attend recording sessions has been the reason for the delay, and may result in their last album together.


8. Johnny Cash – Out Among The Stars – March 25 2014


It was announced recently that an album featuring unreleased material from the late country music legend Johnny Cash will surface. The recordings from the 1980’s were shelved, only to be rediscovered by Cash’s son in 2012.


9. Multiple artists from the Top Dawg Entertainment label – dates TBA


Rapper Kendrick Lamar had an outstanding 2013 and is rumoured to record the followup to Good Kid, M.A.A.D City in January 2014. His label mates at Top Dawg Entertainment are also looking to do it big in 2014. Schoolboy Q, who has worked with A$AP Rocky, Macklemore and Mac Miller, will reportedly be releasing an album in February. California hip hop artist Ab-Soul recently submitted not one but two albums to the label. Jay Rock and newcomer Isaiah Rashad also plan on releasing albums. If you’re keeping score, that’s six albums due to drop in 2014 from, arguably, the hottest rap label right now.


10. Adele – TBA – Mid/late 2014


Back in March of 2013, Adele said she would only record a new album once there was something to sing about. This was months after her label XL Recordings said that her next album “may not come for some years.” However, it seems as if we may expect an album from the award-winning singer in 2014. She went back in the studio in 2013, working with many producers and songwriters, including OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder.



James Blake takes over Metropolis

Flickr photo by Craig Cloutier

The electronic scene took over Montreal this past Saturday night, as the city was host to a few concerts from electronic DJs and producers, including Alesso, and Kavinsky. There’s a good chance those venues were rocking with loud, booming party tunes, sending everyone into a tizzy, and leaving bodies dripping with sweat from jumping around and wilding out.

Meanwhile, another electronic act, critically-acclaimed English producer and singer-songwriter James Blake stopped by Metropolis on his recent tour, accompanied by yet another electronic musician, Nosaj Thing. In comparison to the aforementioned DJs, Blake’s set was calmer, warmer and filled with bliss. This isn’t to say that Alesso and Kavinsky’s sets weren’t as good, but there’s a good chance one’s deodorant had to do less work on the human body after Blake’s show.

For those unfamiliar with Blake, the London-born triple-threat producer, singer, and songwriter has been making the rounds in the music scene since 2009. One of Blake’s first EP’s CMYK, consisted of samples from artists like Kelis and Aaliyah over his own rhythms. Sampling and looping are necessities for Blake, whether he fiddles with his own or other musicians’ voices.

Blake began to achieve recognition and success with his cover of Feist’s “Limit To Your Love” that appeared on his self-titled debut album in 2011. This year, Blake released his second album, Overgrown, an album that recently won the Mercury Music Prize for best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland. Blake has collaborated with artists such as Bon Iver, Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA, up-and-coming rap sensation Chance the Rapper, and has even worked in the studio with Drake.

Blake’s set was a mixture of old and new songs from his repertoire, going as far back as “CMYK”, the title track from his CMYK EP, mixed with favourites from his last two albums. Blake’s soothing and tantalizing vocals over his tracks were on point, and enhanced the intimacy of the show. The emotion that poured over from his vocals and lyrics even got into the crowd, as a lot of couples started cuddling and dancing together.

Among the highlights of the show were  “Voyeur,” track off Overgrown. This live version sounded more intense than its studio counterpart, and was probably one more beat drop away from getting the crowd to jump around and dance. The live version could easily fit in a house producer or DJ’s setlist. But of course, Blake’s charm comes through on his quieter and more quaint songs, where his vocals intertwine beautifully with his samples and beats.

Blake drew a lot of applause for songs like “A Case Of You,” mostly because of a particular lyric where he references Canada. Others included two old favourites from his self-titled album, “Wilhelms Scream” and “Limit To Your Love,” as well as “Retrograde,” where most of the ladies in the house swooned at his looped hums throughout the song. Finally, for Blake’s encore, he played another old tune, “Measurements,” from his debut.

Blake was a delight to the standing-room crowd at Metropolis, thanks to his warm  and beautiful vocals, minimal but outstanding beats and his fan favourites. Blake is a talent, who should be on your playlist if he isn’t already. His warmth and emotion is heart-melting, and will tug at the heartstrings, or at the very least come up in a sampled beat from your favourite artist.



Quckspins – New music releases Nov. 5, 2013

Arcade Fire, Reflektor; Merge Records (2013)

On Oct. 29, Montreal rock icons, Arcade Fire, released Reflektor; the group’s fourth album and the follow-up to the 2010 Grammy album of the year, The Suburbs. The new album brings a slight change in style from their previous works, adding synthesizers that stir up recollections of the disco era. Caribbean drum patterns give the whole package a laid back feeling in stark contrast to their previous work’s sense of urgency.

The highly anticipated album does not disappoint with several thought provoking and catchy songs covering a variety of topics. Arcade Fire delved deeper into symbolism than ever before; Reflektor presents lyrics that can be analyzed on several levels and rarely present a straightforward message. Overall, Reflektor is an amazing achievement and a major step forward for a band that was already arguably one of the top groups of modern rock.


Trial track : “We Exist”

– Justinas Staskevicius


Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – The Speed of Things (Warner Bros., 2013)

The sophomore slump doesn’t seem to have affected Detroit electro-pop duo, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.. Following the critical success of their 2011 debut, It’s A Corporate World, Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott have returned with an album that solidifies their place in the post-new wave revival.

With comparisons ranging from The Beach Boys to Vampire Weekend and Phoenix, The Speed of Things thrives in the bands’ pop sensibility and sense of humour. Their sound is both nostalgic and modern, with ’60s pop and Afro-Caribbean tinged melodies and vocal harmonies over a layered electronic background.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. certainly did not reinvent themselves with their second release, but what they did accomplish was a cohesive album that feels lighthearted and accessible, yet still thoughtful and dynamic.

Trial Track: “Run”

Rating: 7/10

– Paul Traunero


Big Dreams – REAL (Independent ;2013)

 REAL, the latest mixtape from Montreal rap group Big Dreams, has lyrics that hit harder and features better production than its predecessor, Stars. REAL is laced with emotion, even on tracks like “YDKM” and “Shut It Down” where you’d expect the group to leave their deeper undertones to the side. Instead, they creep up to the surface.

That being said, their emotional side doesn’t hold them back. The group’s members are between 19 and 20 years of age and are not living lavish and rich lifestyles. They’re rapping about what they feel, what they’ve gone through, and what they know. However, it is refreshing to hear them go off and spit, like on “High Tech/Mos Def 2,” where three quarters of its members, Task the Radd, Timeliss, and Myles spit over an old-school sounding beat.

It’s chill, and perhaps a bit safe and lacks a bit of variety, but the group is growing and maturing and they’ve got time to branch out and be larger than life.


Trial Track: “High Tech/Mos Def Part 2”

– Julian McKenzie

Albert Hammond Jr.- AHJ (Cult Records; 2013)

It’s been five years since Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. released his sophomore record ¿Cómo Te Llama? During this hiatus, he battled crippling drug addiction and other demons. Since his tour in rehab and subsequent recovery, Hammond Jr. has been channeling his energy and concentration into his latest record, AHJ. The 15 minute album showcases the guitarist’s entrance to sobriety and maturity with basic clean-cut sounds, dropping many instrumentals that were prominently featured on his previous releases.

Having released AHJ on fellow bandmate Julian Casablancas’ Cult Records, Hammond Jr. does not entirely lose his gritty guitar riffs signature to the Strokes on tracks like “Strange Tidings”. Familiar Strokes drum beats and basslines can also be heard sporadically through the album, most notably on “Rude Customer.” Though the EP is well-crafted displaying a new chapter of his musical career, the short track list leaves listeners waiting and wishing for a full length release.


Trial Track: “Strange Tidings”

Rating: 8/10

-Jessica Romera


Drake had Montreal fans eating out of his hand

Whether it’s through his music, Twitter account parodies, or memes, Canadian rapper Drake is present in pop culture and his aura is felt throughout the Internet. Those who did not attend the show on Monday Oct. 21 might have been tired of seeing the constant posts on social media that night, but those in attendance can attest to the fact that the show was stellar.

Drake, better known to Degrassi: The Next Generation diehard fans as Jimmy (or Wheelchair Jimmy), grabbed the attention of the tens of thousands in attendance at the Bell Centre from the moment he appeared onstage, opening with only the first verse from “Tuscan Leather,” the opening track from his most recent album, Nothing Was The Same.

Drake then played some old favourites, namely “Headlines” and “Crew Love” both from his sophomore effort, Take Care, before rapping the second verse of “Tuscan Leather.” Drake’s setlist featured the entire track list from Nothing Was The Same, with sprinkles of Take Care, and verses from some of his noteworthy collaborations, including his verse in “F**kin Problem” with A$AP Rocky, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar, “Pop That” with French Montana, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne, and “Versace” with Migos, as well as “The Motion” featuring Sampha.

In between songs, Toronto native Drake would praise the city of Montreal, calling it his second home, and reminiscing about days where he would drive down to take advantage of the city’s drinking age—Ontario’s drinking age is 19 while Quebec’s is 18. Drake simply had the crowd eating out of his hand, whether it was through his singing and rapping, or showing love to fans by singling them out in the crowd. Drake acted like the ultimate showman and appealed to everyone.

In between his songs, Drake brought out opening act Future, to accompany him on select tracks, including “Same Damn Time” and “Love Me.” Drake also referred to Future as his “brother,” a week after reports surfaced that Future wouldn’t be on the tour after he mentioned comments that were perceived as negative over Drake’s latest album. Drake also brought out Jhene Aiko for her to perform her part on “From Time” and “Come Thru.”

Drake’s opening acts, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Future and Miguel, set the tone for Drake’s act. While PARTYNEXTDOOR couldn’t completely take advantage of the crowd—many people were still trying to get into the building—Future and Miguel captivated the crowd with theirs. Future’s set was heavy with club bangers and hooks, including “Turn On The Lights” and his hook from the Ace Hood hit “Bugatti.” Miguel crooned, rocked, and almost stole the show with hits like “Adorn,” “Do You,” and “How Many Drinks.”

The entire concert, from the openers to the main event, was meant to be a party, and Drake ensured that everyone had a good time—with mass Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts to prove it.


Super zombie band, The Macabre, will turn your world upside down

Graphic by Jenny Kwan

In the spirit of the Halloween season, The Concordian did some digging in musical graveyards and assembled a supergroup of the undead.

Our ensemble is a four-piece set, featuring a drummer, vocalist, guitarist, and bassist to form the chilling and thrilling zombie band, The Macabre. The band members will give you smoother material, but will nevertheless rock out, and most importantly, will make you want to sing along to their music and repeat their tunes over and over again.

Without further ado, we present to you The Macabre:

Freddie Mercury

As the frontman of Queen, Mercury delivered timeless classics with passion and excitement making it hard to not get caught up in any Queen song that plays. Being a zombie would hardly keep Mercury down. Zombies are usually droning slow-moving creatures; Mercury would be the liveliest zombie rock star them all.

Honourable mention: Michael Jackson. Jackson outgrew the whole band concept once he reached puberty. That being said, seeing zombie MJ perform the “Thriller” dance would be worth the highly inflated price of admission.

Jimi Hendrix

Hendrix will give the band its rocking and psychedelic image. While Mercury will command the crowd with his presence, Hendrix will often steal the show with his guitar skills. Give him a few guitar solos and soon we’ll be debating who the greatest guitarist ever is: ‘real’ Jimi Hendrix or ‘zombie’ Jimi Hendrix.

Keith Moon

The drummer of The Who had a reputation for being reckless with the drums —amongst other things—yet his drumming will forever have a place in music history and opening sequences of the various CSI TV shows. If any of his limbs fall off from drumming too hard, he will likely keep on drumming and tape them back on during the set. It’s all done for the love of Rock’ n’ Roll.

Rick James

If you have to double take at his name,you probably haven’t watched enough of comedian Dave Chappelle’s sketches. The man behind songs like “Super Freak” (MC Hammer would later sample it for “U Can’t Touch This”) and “Give It To Me Baby,” James can provide background vocals and kill it on bass. He might also have the best stories to share while on tour.



Quickspins – HAIM, Pusha T, KoRn, Danny Brown, Autopilot

Pusha T- My Name Is My Name (GOOD Music, Def Jam Recordings; 2013)

Ever since Terrence Thornton, better known to the world as Pusha T (and half of the brother duo, The Clipse) joined Kanye West’s GOOD Music label, fans of the artist were wondering about the possibility of a full length album. Pusha T has since delivered with dark, drug-pusher stories, proving there is life after The Clipse and you needn’t worry about him.

Trial track: Pain (ft. Future)Pusha T delivers on the entire album with his streetwise demeanor, over-tune thumping and head bopping instrumentals from Hudson Mohawke, Pharrell, Swizz Beatz, and son of Metallica drummer Lars, Sebastian Ulrich.  The album, which features artists  from Kendrick Lamar, Future & Jeezy, all properly accompany Pusha.

Rating: 8.5/10

-Julian McKenzie

KoRn – The Paradigm Shift (Caroline Records; 2013)

In their 11th album The Paradigm Shift, Korn return to their early days of violent, in-your-face metal that does not disappoint. The appearance of a traditional Korn album could very well be due to the recent return of Head, the group’s original guitarist who had left the band in 2005.

The dreadlocked, nu-metal pioneers have distanced themselves from their previous album, 2011’s Path of Totality, which they had

considered an “experiment,” as it had been heavily influenced by dubstep. The band does not completely drop the electronic elements however, they are lightly sprinkled throughout the new record in key moments rather effectively. While the lyrics are somewhat lacklustre, comprised mainly of the standard elements of the genre such as abandonment, self-seclusion and anger at societal norms, the guitar work is superb. Musically, this is one of Korn’s greatest works, and debatebly on par with their breakthrough album from 1998, Follow the Leader.

Trial Track: “Spike In My Vein”

Rating: 9/10

-Justinas Staskevicius


Danny Brown – Old (Fool’s Gold Records; 2013)

If you’re new to Detroit rapper Danny Brown and his music, don’t be alarmed at the fact that there are 19 tracks on his latest album, Old. Despite its length, going through a Danny Brown album is arguably more enjoyable than listening to Justin Timberlake’s last two releases.

Old is divided in two: Side A features tales of poverty, drugs, sexual activity and occasional depressing monologues. Danny Brown brings us into his world by rapping over trap-inspired, pure hip-hop beats. Side B is a loose, fun, molly dipping, EDM trip, with the exception of its final track, “Float On” featuring Charli XCX, where Brown talks about using drugs and popping pills in order to cope with the stresses of making hits and performing at concerts, allowing Brown to come full circle by the album’s end. While Brown can easily be the most fun rapper to listen to, he reveals himself as an entertainer with deeper, underlying issues in Old. The diversity in subject matter, combined with some of the best production heard this year make for a winner, and a top album of the year across all genres.

Trial track: “Dip”

Rating: 8.5/10

-Julian McKenzie


Autopilot – Diamond Rough (Independent; 2013)

Autopilot, a three-piece collective from Saskatoon, Sask., released their latest album Diamond Rough in late September. After a brief hiatus, the band reconvened to churn out a well-crafted alt-rock sound with slight pop melodies sprinkled throughout. Tracks like “Last Night” highlights the band’s ability to pair a catchy chorus with strong guitar riffs, while “Down and Out” shows an angstier side to their sound fueled by steady drum beats.

With vocals subtlely strained from emotional delivery, Autopilot sound like they would have fit in perfectly in a ‘90s grunge festival lineup. Diamond Rough showcases a sound that is familiar and comforting but with a twist that is all their own to create a well-rounded alternative rock sound.

Trial Track: “Down and Out”

Rating: 7/10

-Jessica Romera


HAIM – Days Are Gone (Polydor Records; 2013)

HAIM are generation-defining in their ability to seamlessly channel our obsession with nostalgia with an edginess and originality all their own. Days Are Gone, is a perfectly curated mix of ‘90s soft rock and Top 40 pop with a modern edge.

Refreshingly bold and listenable, Days Are Gone will be a heavy contender for album of the year.The sister trio from California’s San Fernando Valley have been creating a huge buzz since the release of their EP in 2012.

For their debut album, the girls enlisted producer, Ariel Rechtshaid—from Solange and Vampire Weekend fame—to help create a coherent sound, full of complexity and an abundance of melody and hooks. With constant comparisons to Stevie Nicks and Wilson Phillips, HAIM have crafted an album that feels effortless and cool, despite its heavy study of the past.

Trial Track: “Don’t Save Me”

Rating: 9.5/10

– Paul Traunero


Stingers winless in their last three games

The Concordia Stingers men’s soccer team dropped a 4-0 decision to the top-ranked Université de Montréal Carabins on a cloudy Sunday afternoon at Concordia. The loss gives the Stingers a 2-6-0 record on the season, plunging them to the bottom of their division, one point behind Université de Sherbrooke.

The Stingers team looked like frustrated individuals, unable to generate any offense. Their shots barely troubled the opposing keeper, and a lot of their offensive attacks were thwarted by their own mistakes and wrongdoings.

On the defensive, goalkeeper Nick Giannone did all he could to keep his defenders and players focused, yet ultimately was on the hook for four goals (two of them converted penalties).

The Carabins first converted a penalty a couple of minutes before half time. Midfielder Maxime Laurey sent Giannone the other way and put the Carabins on the board 1-0.

Once the second half began, the Stingers came out with more life and spent a good deal in the Carabins’ half of the field. The Stingers had the momentum until third-year Carabins defender Alexander Haddad made it 2-0. Not too long after that, another penalty was given to the Carabins, and Carabins’ Jonathan Bourgault made no mistake converting from the penalty area. Carabins defender Vincent De Bruille, applied the final nail in the coffin, scoring a fourth goal for the Carabins.

Second-year Stinger forward Gabriel Quinn felt his team was out of it once the second penalty was converted.

“I think the two penalties that the ref called on us kind of disappointed us, demoralized us,” he said. “When you get [behind] 3-0 nil, you’re demoralized.”

Quinn also felt the referee wasn’t up to par with his calls during the game.

“The referee wasn’t working with us. Didn’t help us at all.”

Despite players’ frustration on the field, Stingers’ midfielder Jose Prida maintained that the players would be looking to keep a positive attitude for the remainder of the season.

“The results haven’t helped but we try to keep a positive attitude and we like to get things going forward,” Prida said. “It’s frustrating to lose sometimes by this score, or more. But we try to keep our heads up, that’s the mentality all the time.”

The Stingers have a lengthy break to prepare for their next match, a home game versus Université de Quebec à Trois Rivières (UQTR) on Friday, Oct. 18. UQTR is currently at 3-4-2, sitting in the fourth and final playoff spot in their division. The Stingers now have four games to avoid the cellar.


Women’s soccer team suffers heartbreaking loss at hands of Carabins

The Concordia Stingers’ women’s soccer team was delivered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss in the final moments of their match versus the Université de Montréal Carabins squad at Concordia Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The loss put a dent in the Stingers’ hopes for a playoff spot, as they are now 10 points behind Sherbrooke, who occupy the fourth and final playoff spot.

The Stingers’ next match is at home, against Université du Québec à Trois Rivières on Friday, Oct. 18. Photo Julian McKenzie

After holding up for the men’s game earlier in the day, the rain began to fall on the pitch just as the game started. As the match went on, the rain started to get worse, progressing from a light drizzle to a chilly, autumn rain.

The first half was largely uneventful, save for chances by both teams that missed the net, or did not particularly perturb either keeper. Given the wet conditions, spectators seemed  more concerned with keeping themselves as dry as possible, than watching the game. Some even began checking scores of the National Football League games and their fantasy football squads.

The second half was a lot more interesting, as Concordia broke out on the offensive with purpose to start the second half.

The Stingers finally broke the deadlock in the 68th minute, when fifth-year defender Philippa ‘Pip’ Lyttle opened the scoring. The crowd definitely got livelier toward the end, with certain parents showing more emotion than others, cheering their kids on.

Concordia seemed on their way to their fourth win of the year, and second in a row, until the 89th minute, when fourth-year defender/midfielder Steffy Roy-Ouellet managed to chip the ball past Stingers’ keeper Saby Dagenais.

The script was seemingly flipped from a well-deserved win to having it snatched in place of a tie game. Alas, it was not to be.

Moments later, in added time, Roy-Ouellet fired a strike into the back of the Concordia net, and a dagger into the hearts of the Concordia faithful who were on hand for the match. It capped off an exciting game, with a result that some wish could’ve been thrown the other way.

The Stingers’ next match is at home, against Université du Québec à Trois Rivières on Friday, Oct. 18.


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