Concordia PhD candidate reaches new heights in bioprinting development

After years of research and development, Hamid Ebrahimi Orimi and his team have made great strides in researching and developing new bioprinting technologies

How has illness impacted you and your loved ones? Every year, millions of people are affected by health issues relating to their organs. While the industry surrounding organ donation saves thousands of lives, it simply isn’t enough. Although the field of bioprinting is nowhere near the stage of the reprinting and transplantation of organs, progress is being made incrementally in the eventual recreation of human tissue here at Concordia by PhD candidate Hamid Ebrahimi Orimi and his team.

Among those in the field of bioprinting, Orimi stands out. As he earns his PhD in mechanical engineering at Concordia, he is also part of a team of bioprinting experts in Montreal. The team is composed of researchers and supervisors from Concordia’s Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science, as well as from the Université de Montréal. The team has been working on a new and innovative approach that could have massive impacts in the field.

So what is bioprinting? Bioprinting technology utilizes biomaterials to replicate natural tissues, like those found in human organs. The process involves a special method of layering to simulate biological tissues. These materials are referred to as bio-inks. Based on Orimi and his team’s technological advances, their newly developed equipment can synthesize droplets of these bio-inks at much quicker rate than other kinds of bioprinters. 

What makes the developments of this team so unique is that they have been able to “validate the feasibility of bioprinting primary adult sensory neurons using a newly developed laser-assisted cell bioprinting technology, known as Laser-Induced Side Transfer (LIST).” Through the team’s research, a type of bioprinting technology has been created through the use of lasers. Their paper on the subject was published in the scientific journal Micromachines. The development of this laser has been a game-changer.

As Orimi himself put it, “I’ve been working on this for the past five years — my PhD work has led me to all these discoveries. I’ve spent years on the development of this auto-mechanical device, which will be able to develop cells needed for bioprinting.”

Since the start of this project, the team has come a long way. “One of our main challenges was about developing the capillary cells properly through the LIST. However, we’ve seen progress in other areas. My colleague, for example, has used the laser technology to work on the cells of the cornea, where there are no blood vessels”, said Orimi.

Because capillaries are the smallest of blood vessels, recreating their cells through the LIST is quite challenging at the moment. The development of tissues that don’t contain capillaries has been sped up because of this.

Since the publication of their paper in Micromachines earlier this summer, further developments have been made. While the paper from July mentioned that the viability of the neuron cells was around 87 per cent on average, “we are now looking at a viability rate of around 93 to 95 per cent,” Orini stated.

For those less familiar with the terminology, there is a distinction to be made between the viability of cells and their functionality. As Orimi put it, “the viability refers to whether or not the cells can survive in the proper substrate (proper substrate: a surface where an organism grows). Functionality is about if they communicate with other cells and mimic behaviours found in human tissue.” While functionality seems to be the bigger concern at the moment, the viability of the bioprinted cells is only improving as research continues.

According to Orimi, the development of their LIST will only accelerate bioprinting technology. What the team hopes to do is to use their laser to assist in the manufacturing of medication. 

“Currently, labs primarily use mice and other animals when doing their research. By the advancements of bioprinting, they would be able to test on manufactured human tissue, which would be better for the accuracy of the drugs.”

The prospects of bioprinting, thanks to the work of dedicated researchers across the world, are looking bright. While there is still a long way to go, Orimi and his team are positive that their laser technology will be of great use as they continue their research.


Photograph by Oona Barrett


Happening in and around the white cube this week…

Three years ago the white cube began as a list of art happenings in and around Montreal. Last year, the column took a turn into my own art thoughts and experiences. When the pandemic hit, and Lorenza Mezzapelle took over as arts editor, the column ceased. But now that exhibitions are back, so is the white cube. Here’s to hoping they don’t shut down these cultural institutions any time soon *wine glass emoji*.

Happening in and around the white cube this week… 


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Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery: Concordia LB Building – Bishop Street entrance.
Edith Brunette and François Lemieux, Going to, Making Do, Passing Just the Same. Until March 27.

Galerie Nicolas Robert: 10 King St.
Carl Trahan, La nuit est aussi un soleil and Ghazaleh Avarzamani Particular Good Game for Self Punishment. Until March 13.

McClure Gallery: 350 Victoria Ave.
Marie-Eve Martel (Concordia Alumni), Hétérotrophies. Until Feb. 27

OBORO: 4001 Berri St., #301
Christof Migone, Press Record. Until March 20.

Art Mûr: 5826 St. Hubert St.
Group exhibition for Art Mûr’s 25th anniversary, Terra Nova | Looking at the present and the future. Until April 24.

Bradley Ertaskiran: 3550 Saint-Antoine W.

Marie-Michelle Deschamps, Oasis, and Celia Perrin Sidarous, Flotsam. Until March 13.

Blouin Division: 2020 William St.
Group Exhibition, Quarante. Until Feb. 27

ELLEPHANT: 1201 Saint-Dominique
Group exhibition, Floating Paper. Until April 3.

VOX: 2 Sainte-Catherine E, #401
Sky Hopinka, Dislocation Blues. Until May 29.


New galleries

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Somewhere GalleryVisits by appointment. 6830 Ave. du Parc #358. Alternative gallery space set up in an office building, owned and curated by recent Concordia Fine Arts graduate, Katherine Parthimos.

  • Digital Daydream, Feb. 20-27. Featuring five emerging artists and recent Concordia graduates.
  • Upcoming VAV Gallery collaboration, yet to be announced, date set for March 17-24.

Gallery Jano Lapin: 3819 Wellington St. Exhibition space and artist studios for rent.

  • Ribboned Rainbow until March 12. Celebrated creativity during the pandemic, curated by gallery owner, Anne Janody and visual artist/recent Concordia Fine Arts graduate, Jose Garcia.
  • Upcoming: My Magic Reality. From March 28, featuring over twenty local artists. Curated by Marilyne Bissonnette


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Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA):  By reservation only.

    • Manuel Mathieu, Survivance. Until March 28.
    • Yehouda Chaki, Mi Makir. À la recherche des disparus. Until March 14.
    • Group exhibition, GRAFIK! Until July 3. 
    • Riopelle : à la rencontre des territoires nordiques et des cultures autochtones. Until Sept. 12.

Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC): By reservation only.

  • John Akomfrah, Vertigo Sea. Until April 4.
  • Recent acquisitions, Des horizons d’attente. Until Sept. 19.
  • Group exhibition, La machine qui enseignait des airs aux oiseaux. Until April 25.

Canadian Centre for Architecture: By reservation only. 

  • Main galleries: The Things Around Us: 51N4E and Rural Urban Framework. Until Sept. 19.
  • Octagonal gallery: Eye Camera Window: Takashi Homma on Le Corbusier. Until Aug.15.

McCord Museum: Reservation recommended.

  • Christian Dior. Until May 2.
  • Robert Walker, Griffintown – Evolving Montreal. Walking exhibition. Until March 7.


Warehouse studio hubs and artist-run-centres

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Fonderie Darling: 745 Ottawa St.

Belgo: 372 Ste. Catherine W

*More but potentially out of date information about the many individual galleries within the Belgo building available here. I guess you’ll just have to go and see for yourself! 

5445 & 5455  de Gaspé Ave:

Never Apart: 7049 St-Urbain








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Place Publique, Fonderie Darling: 745 Ottawa St. Until April 11.  Everything Merges, Emerges, then Fades Again: Selected works from artists-in-residence at the Fonderie Darling over the course of the pandemic to date.

Cinematheque québécoise: 355 De Maisonneuve E.
Jamais seul. Until April 4. Free entry to view video installation by Stéphane and Philémon Crête.
Catherine Ocelot, une année à la Cinémathèque. Until April 11. Culminating work from Ocelot’s artist residency.
Exhibition: Excursion dans les collections : l’image à la maison. Until May 23.


Vitrine exhibitions

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La Centrale galerie Powerhouse: 4296 St-Laurent Blvd.
B.G- Osborne, A Thousand Cuts. Until March 21.

Pierre-François Ouellette: 963 Rachel E.
Ed Pien, Somnambulists and Luc Courchesne,  Anamorphosis. Until March 13.

Articule: 262 Fairmount W.
tīná gúyáńí (Deer Road), k’ō-dī īyínáts’īdìsh (new agency). Closed Feb. 21. Upcoming programming available here.


Upcoming Exhibitions and Festivals

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Fondation PHI pour l’art contemporain: 451 & 465 Saint-Jean
Lee Bae, UNION. From Feb. 24 until June 20. By reservation only.

Centre Phi: 315 Saint-Paul W.
Multiple exhibitions and virtual experiences. Reopening in-person on Feb. 24. 

Projet Pangée: 1305 Pine Ave. W
Group exhibition, The ideal place is an open field. Feb. 25 until April 3.

Art Souterrain:
The 13th edition of the festival will feature the work of over 30 artists and performers, both online and in-person, from Feb. 20 to April 30. More information here.

Art Matters: More information and updates to come here



Social isolation participation masterlist

Here’s a list of things worth checking out this April


RAW is looking for 250 fashion designers to create masks to help support hospitals around the world.


Visit Skawennati’s AbTeC Island in Second Life by following the instructions at this link. Free to participate with the Second Life software.


Skin Tone: how will we hold onto each other live-streamed performance at the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery (part of In the No Longer Not Yet) Watch here on April 1, at 5:30 p.m. Free to participate.


Living with Ataxia , virtual exhibition from April 4 to 10 at GHAM & DAFE Gallery’s online platform available here. Read more about the exhibition on Facebook. Free to participate.


Parallel Lines, virtual artist residency at Centre Phi, applications upon until April 1 at midnight. Free to participate, and 10 lucky artists will receive $2000 for their work!


Balcony sing-a-long, courtesy of POP Montreal and URSA , with local bands, every tuesday until April 28. Free to participate.


The Good Drama, a virtual intergenerational activity, held in collaboration between the Office of Community Engagement at Concordia University, the Sustainability Action Fund and Bâtiment, will be facilitated by Drama Therapy Masters student, Sandy El-Bitar via Zoom. These sessions will take place Tuesdays at 5 p.m. until April 14. Zoom ID posted in the event’s discussion page on Facebook. Free to participate.


Art Hive Live, on Facebook, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 4 to 5 p.m. until April 15. Free to participate.


Online salsa classes with the San Tropes Dance School every Wednesday from 7 to 8 p.m. until April 15, for as low at $10.


The Social Distancing Festival, international celebration of visual art, dance, music, comedy and theatre (even operas!) Events running until the end of May are free, though there is an opportunity for donation.


Visit Place Less, an online exhibition space designed by Concordia student, Colin Courtney. Currently only viewable through Instagram (@place.less), Place Less’ first, form-free exhibition features eight local artists working in both digital and material practices.


A collection of free and paid videos (ranging documentary films to experimental productions and animations) is available on Vithèque, with special programs, May We Live in Peace, screening free until April 13, and Funny Women (no end date as of yet.) You must create a free account in order to view. Stay tuned for the release of dv_vd : Rachel Maclean on April 23.


Don’t forget about the National Film Board of Canada’s online database, now also offering educational programming for children and teenagers, as well as online “campus” resources for teachers.


ArtJam vol. 36 will be available via Facebook and Youtube Live on April 3 for their first-ever virtual edition.


Google Arts & Culture is encouraging users to “Recreate art at home” through their “Pose of the day” feature. Among Google Arts & Culture’s plethora of collections and activities are lab experiments, virtual travelling, and, naturally, Harry Potter: A History of Magic, a special from the British Museum.


Visit La Cenne’s current exhibition, Lentement le temps, a collaboration between visual artist and illustrator, Charlotte Gosselin (@charlotteecharlotte) and Camille Lescarbeau (@camillelescarbeau), via the space-rental tour on La Cenne’s website.


Artnet also put together this list of “11 Things Not to Miss in the Virtual Art World This Week.”


The Dark Poutine podcast community is putting together a digital cookbook! Instructions about how to participate are available here.


Grimes released the greenscreen footage for “You’ll miss me when I’m not around,” which she invites fans to download and edit via We-Transfer link found in the video’s descriptions. The artist also included a lsit of free/cheap software to use to do so. Upload to Youtube and tag your videos with #grimesartkit to share!


Blink-182 is also seeking contributions to their music video for “Happy Days” to combat social distancing blues. Videos must be filmed on mobile devices vertically and can be submitted here. Read more about the initative here.



Not on the list? Know of anything more? Send an email to and I’ll be happy to add your event!

Student Life

Listen up, people! Three new(ish) podcasts to listen to

Like many folks nowadays, I’m a huge fan of podcasts.

Although many of my favourite shows have been around for years, like My Dad Wrote a Porno, S-Town, and Planet Money (to name a few), there’s a constant stream of new releases hitting the market, and a number of them have become staples in my playlist. Here are three new(ish) podcasts that I’ve been enjoying in 2020.

For the consumer of current-events: Why it Matters

Hosted by Gabrielle Sierra, Why it Matters aims to tell us precisely why we should give a damn about today’s biggest events, issues and stories. Topics include the threat of nuclear war, the accumulation of space-junk, the pros and cons of artificial intelligence and more. Backed by extensive research and in-depth interviews with researchers and analysts, the podcast serves as a quick and effective way to catch up on some of modern life’s biggest topics, calling into question how tomorrow might be changed by the events of today.  

Trigger warning: sexual assault 

For the true crime enthusiast: Chasing Cosby 

Just as the title suggests, Chasing Cosby chronicles the myriad of sexual assault allegations made against Bill Cosby and the events leading up to his consequent arrest. The show is reported and hosted by Nicki Weisensee Egan, the first American journalist to dig into the issue after initial allegations were made in the early 2000s. 

In many ways, the nature of the subject matter in Chasing Cosby makes it difficult to listen to—Cosby was accused of assault by up to 60 women, some of them as young as 15 when the alleged abuse occurred. That being said, the podcast is definitely worth a shot if you can stomach it. Its narrative is ultimately driven by the voices of survivors, their stories exposing the dangerous intersections of the power and predatory behaviour that have come to shape our world today. 

For the culture-curious: The Dream, Season 2

In the first season of The Dream, host Jane Marie dove into the world of multi-level-marketing and pyramid schemes. Now, in season two, she explores the ins and outs of the “wellness” industry, from Bible-approved essential oils to Gwyneth Paltrow’s infamous vagina eggs. At its core, the podcast ultimately serves to dissect our culture’s growing obsession with alternative medicine and the risks associated with its wide-spread commercialization. So if you’re a self-identified skeptic, or maybe you’re just looking to learn something new, this one’s for you.

While this list doesn’t even begin to cover the abundance of new podcasts out there, it’s a start. So next time you’re sitting on a bus, doing your dishes, or walking the dog, try giving these shows a listen. Happy listening!


5 Must-See Films of the 2010s

Selected highlights from a decade of gems

The 2010s were undoubtedly an interesting time for cinema. The decade saw the rise of superhero movies and shared universes, the popularization of streaming services, the standardization of digital de-ageing, innumerable sequels, and even reboots and remakes that no one asked for. Still, the last 10 years gave us some incredible, wholly original and unique films that are absolutely worth your time.

Here are just five of them.

Cold War (dir. Paweł Pawlikowski, Poland, 2018)

By the time the credits roll at the end of Paweł Pawlikowski’s period drama Cold War, you cannot help but be overcome by an astounding sense of melancholy and emptiness. Pawlikowski’s film is bleak and despondent, allowing its viewers very little in terms of consolation or assurance; but it is that very same bleakness that lies at the essence of Cold War’s efficacy.

The film tells the story of an ill-fated relationship between a male musical director and a young female singer. Beginning in post-World War II Poland, the film bounces between several time periods and settings, and follows the couple as they are repeatedly separated but ultimately brought together again under different circumstances. Cold War boasts a beautiful black and white visual aesthetic that accentuates the coldness of the film and the detachment of its characters.


Shoplifters (dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan, 2018)

“What makes a family?”: a question Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda sought to answer in his 2018 film Shoplifters. Time and time again, Hirokazu has proven himself a master of the modern familial drama, crafting thoughtful, contemplative films that assess the intricacies of family life. The 2018 Palme D’Or winner follows a group of shoplifters that steal a young girl from a broken home, “adopting” her into their household. Despite not being biologically related, the characters are kept afloat by an intimate bond that fastens them together as a family.

Hirokazu’s leisurely-paced film examines familial relationships and dynamics, stressing the importance of having people to care for and depend upon. Although the situations presented in the film are likely far removed from the realities of its viewers, Shoplifters still somehow manages to carry an indescribable familiarity with it. The moments when the family members are idly lying about, spending a day at the beach or stepping outside to catch a glimpse of nearby fireworks, each tap into a certain universality that recalls distant memories.


Certified Copy (dir. Abbas Kiarostami, France/Iran, 2010)

Director Abbas Kiarostami’s first film outside of Iran is arguably one of his best. William Shimell plays an author that meets an antiques dealer on a trip to Tuscany. At first glance, what seems to be a romantic comedy turns out to be anything but, as the film slowly reveals itself as something richer and more complex than initially anticipated.

The film opens with Shimell’s character, James, holding a press conference to discuss his latest book in which he examines the worth of an original piece of art compared to a replication. This opening scene sets the stage for themes and ideas that Certified Copy will spend the remainder of the film exploring: the fluidity of identity and the value of truth.

A remarkable shift occurs midway through the film, in which the man and the woman who we had believed to have just met, begin acting as though they are on the last legs on a lengthy marriage. From that point on, things begin to get even more intricate and strange, and details become increasingly obscure and unverifiable. Juliette Binoche’s character switches seamlessly from French to Italian and then to English, and it has us questioning the validity behind everything we’ve been told thus far. What, then, happens to truth? To meaning? How do we know if something is authentic or not? Certified Copy will leave you wondering.


Poetry (dir. Lee Chang-dong, South Korea, 2010)

Like the aforementioned Cold War, Poetry is a difficult watch. South Korean filmmaker Lee Chang-dong’s heartbreaking film tells the story of a woman in her sixties, Mi Ja, trying to cope with an inundation of life altering news. Recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and informed that her grandson was involved in a horrible crime, Mi Ja meanders through her days disconnected and adrift. It is not until she enrolls in a poetry class that she begins to find meaning and purpose in her life.

The performance of lead actress Yoon Jeong-hee is understated yet captivating, with tiny gestures and expressions conveying the ways in which she is quietly aching. Chang-dong’s Poetry is a consistently gut-wrenching film that examines personal struggles and suffering and how we choose to deal with our circumstances.


Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand, 2010)

Upon first viewing, Uncle Boonmee may seem like a hard film to crack. But perhaps director Apitchatpong Weerasethakul intended it to be that way. In a 2010 interview, Weerasethakul told The Guardian: “Sometimes you don’t need to understand everything to appreciate a certain beauty. And I think the film operates in the same way.”

Weerasethakul’s ethereal, dreamlike film follows the last days of the titular Boonmee, a dying man who is visited by the ghost of his deceased wife and an apparition of his long-lost son in a non-human form. At the same time, Boonmee is having hallucinatory visions of previous lives he may have lived. These glimpses are sudden and without explanation and there is little to explicitly connect them to Boonmee. But much like real-life instances of déjà vu, sporadic memory flashes, or concepts of afterlife or reincarnation, the film’s vignettes defy any sort of logic or explanation. It eludes us because we, too, do not have the answers.

The film perhaps raises more questions than it resolves, but its non-linear, almost stream of consciousness-like presentation will envelop you in a trance and leave you hypnotized.


Best albums of the summer

The summer heat has reached peak levels, but these albums can withstand the warmth. Here are the best albums released this summer

Elder – Reflections of a Floating World (Armageddon Record Shop)

On Reflections of a Floating World, Boston stoner metal outfit Elder encompasses cinematic grandiosity with a tightly-wound, six-song barrage. The result is an album which encapsulates boundless creativity through a refined sense of mood and composition.

Opening tracks “Sanctuary” and “The Falling Veil” counteract bullet-proof guitar riffs with ethereal post-rock fingerpicking. The sounds that echo throughout the album transport listeners to sonic realms where nothing is familiar, but the surrounding environment nonetheless begs observation.

SZA – Ctrl (Top Dawg Entertainment)

SZA’s remarkable second outing with Top Dawg Entertainment shines like a beam from heaven. At its core, Ctrl is an R&B album. Upon closer listening, however, subtle embellishments are revealed that draw nods from all genres of music. Tinges of neo soul and guitar pop permeate these tracks about love and loss. Sonically, the album channels a pristine quality of its own, but really, it’s SZA’s disarming and ever-confident vocals that take centre stage.

Billy Woods – Known Unknowns (Backwoodz Studioz)

Known Unknowns is a bleak exploration of the black American experience. A New York native, Billy Woods’s strident honesty regarding the history of grief in black America is akin to Kendrick Lamar’s masterful To Pimp A Butterfly. But whereas the latter album relies on empathy, the unmitigated expressionism of Known Unknowns feels strikingly tangible. For Woods, it’s not enough for the listener to experience his anguish. He wants you to feel dejection. The album plays into the fact that every generation of artists in every medium tries to be more authentic than the artists before them. And in hip hop, that loosely translates into whose experiences hold more validity and weight. This, in addition to the rhythmic staccato Woods raps with, results in a brutally sincere and accomplished album.

DJ Sports – Modern Species (Firecracker)

Modern Species is a hotchpotch of enigmatic sounds coupled with a devout reverence for 90s house music. What really ties these influences together, though, is the laser-sharp production savvy of Milán Zaks and his brother, Central. Don’t be fooled — Modern Species is more than just a charming throwback. The album harnesses familiar motifs, but its tracks are executed with a varied sonic palette that combines equal parts from the past and not-so-distant future. These guys are tinkering their fingers to the proverbial bone.

Fleet Foxes – Crack-Up­ (Nonesuch Records Inc.)

After a six-year hiatus, Fleet Foxes return with its most ambitious statement yet. Crack-Up is equal parts challenging and engrossing, but still serves as a welcome addition to the Fleet Foxes canon. The album delves into experimental territory by way of long-winding guitar noodling that usually finishes with a lofty crescendo. Sure, these moments are pretentious, but the Seattle band tackles this messy splendor with natural finesse. This is thanks to the album’s sprawling instrumentation, which is beefed up by gorgeously ornate strings and woodwinds. Yet, despite all its over-inflated moments, Crack-Up manages to establish a newfound artistic maturity in Fleet Foxes.


Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory (Def Jam Recordings)

Synthesizing U.K. electronic textures with his singular rap flow, Vince Staples’ triumphant Big Fish Theory chronicles the ennui that comes with transcending amateur status — specifically in the rap game. Enlisting the warped stylings of producers Sophie and Flume, as well as feature spots from Juicy J and Kendrick Lamar, Big Fish Theory just goes to show that Vince Staples is the most hopeful nihilist working in the industry.

Laurel Halo – Dust (Hyperdub)

Laurel Halo’s Dust defies classification but distills her diverse gamut of influences with seamless precision. While her electro-centric sound remains intact, there’s a free-for-all attitude to Dust that feels completely organic. Dexterous-free jazz freakouts and funk instrumentation intermingle on these tracks like peanut butter and jelly. Halo’s electronic flourishes still manage to navigate the album with ease, which really come through in the album’s production.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Murder of the Universe (ATO Records)

Murder of the Universe is a concept album divided into three epics. Each story is tied together by an idiosyncratic narrative that’s read aloud by a lethal female cyborg. The album’s fried-out progressive rock aesthetic is augmented by the raw and disjointed psych-rock King Gizz is known for.

Jay-Z – 4:44 (ROC Nation LLC)

Jay-Z’s 13th studio album reads like a comprehensive confession. In 2016, Jay-Z’s wife Beyoncé released her breakthrough masterwork, Lemonade. In a lot of ways, 4:44 is a response to Lemonade. On it, Jay-Z laments his personal faults while addressing intergenerational friction in modern hip hop. The album draws its power from Jay-Z’s dissatisfaction with the artificiality of mainstream rappers. It’s an intensely personal effort, but at the same time, the artist’s bars feel like anecdotes finding redemption in vulnerability. 4:44 is very much an ode to marital fidelity, but Jay-Z doesn’t leave room for listeners to scrutinize his mistakes. He already did it for us.

Broken Social Scene – Hug Of Thunder (Arts & Crafts)

On Broken Social Scene’s first album in seven years, the band condenses their best attributes into a titan-sized album. Hug Of Thunder, like its name implies, is replete with infectious hooks and sparkling neon synths. It’s a surprisingly solid effort, especially for a band that hit its stride in the midst of the early 2000s indie wars between contemporaries such as Arcade Fire and Interpol. The album bleeds confidence and is bulletproof indie pop at its best. I guess you have to reinvent the wheel every once in a while to find new artistic essence.

Graphics by ZeZé Le Lin


Top 5 Coolest Dressers in Music

In most cases, music is about how someone sounds – their lyrics, their technique, their passion. However, the following five artists have chosen to give their audiences something more: a visual flair to compliment their auditory feasts.

Whether you choose to view it as a gimmick or an extension of artistic expression, something to be mocked or admired, one thing is guaranteed – you won’t be able to buy these outfits anywhere anytime soon.

Lady Gaga performs at the MTV Europe Music Awards on Nov. 6, 2011 at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

5. Lady Gaga

 Let’s get this obvious one out of the way first. Gaga certainly does not own the copyright for odd garbs, nor was she the first to dress in outlandish fashion, but what makes her stand out is the scale of her audience. While well known, the other artists on this list could only dream of holding the public’s attention the way Lady Gaga held it. Some of her greatest outfits include an ensemble made of raw meat and a dress that was inspired by the universe, complemented by a mask of the sky.


4. Marilyn Manson

Manson has been criticized time and time again for his appearance, but the demonic artist finds a home on this list.  The criticisms about his look probably even played an important role in propelling Manson to superstardom. Manson is nearly always seen wearing mismatched eye-altering contacts and white makeup, which leaves him looking pale, and often wears all black clothing. If one were to describe Manson’s appearance in one word it would undoubtedly be ‘unnatural,’ and this is most certainly his intent. The artist has often said that he hopes his appearance inspires people to be truer to themselves and reject societies’ standards—a noble endeavour indeed.


3. The Locust

While on stage, members of The Locust all dress identically so they collectively hold the third spot on this list. All four members of the group perform in green and black body suits and wear masks that are made to make them resemble their namesake. As a group stylistically defined as belonging to the powerviolence genre, The Locust’s songs are fast, frantic, and full of screeches. All of this combined with creatively naming their songs things like “The Half-Eaten Sausage Would Like to See You in His Office” and “Gluing Carpet to Your Genitals Does Not Make You a Cantaloupe” has earned The Locust a respectable following over the past two decades.


The Residents:
The Residents perform as part of their “33 rd Anniversary: The Way We Were” tour as part of the “What is Music?” festival on March 12,2005 at the Brisbane Powerhouse in Brisbane Australia. (Amé Kolodziejczyk/Flickr)

2. The Residents

 The Residents, like The Locust, all wear the same attire on stage – giant eyeball helmets usually complemented by tuxedos and a top hat. Details on the art collective are scarce since they often attempt to misinform their audience and contradict themselves. In fact, no one is truly sure who The Residents are, though it is assumed that their members have changed multiple times since their formation at some point around the early 70’s. Other visual performers often accompany them dressed as everything from death to jesters. The only thing stranger than their uniforms is their music, which escapes description and must be heard to be appreciated.


1. Dave Brockie aka Oderus Urungus

Known to his fans as Oderus Urungus, Brockie was the frontman for GWAR from 1984 until his death earlier this year. GWAR as a whole is truly something to behold, as all of its members dress as different types of extraterrestrial warriors from the planet Scumdogia and rarely break character in public. Their live shows leave audiences drenched in fake blood and other bodily fluids. While this list could have been totally populated by the various GWAR members’ amazing costumes, their leader, Oderus, stands as a personal favourite. His horned head, spiked shoulder and crotch pet known as The Cuttlefish of Cthulhu make Oderus the unchallenged greatest dresser in music – and a great Halloween costume.

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