Category Archives: Arts & Culture

Montre’arts helps student artists

Strugglings CEGEP artist will have a chance to showcase their work

By Dahlia Belinsky

The Montre’arts website is expected to be launched over the holidays in addition to the long awaited CD coming out in January.

Montre’arts is a Montreal based organization that promotes the music of CEGEP students and also wants to add culture to a normal student’s life as well as the general public.

The main projects for Montre’arts include a CD, an official website, and a concert. “Each band will have a song. It’s a CD for people who are open to new music,” Michaël Lessard Head Organizer of Montre’arts said. “It [will be] easy to hear and [have] a diversity of talent to promote a variety of music.”

The bands on the CD so far are Mango Mango and Les Gourmands, who were the winners of Cegep en Spectacle last year, to name a few.

“We were going to have a magazine and website, but we reoriented it to be more technological, using social networking, informative videos, and interviews with the artists,” Lessard said. “[People] prefer to see a two minute video instead of reading something that takes 30 seconds to read.”

“It’s hard to start as an artist in Montreal and this allows people to consume art of good quality for a low price,” Lessard said.

The CD release, which is expected to be in January, will be announced on the official website which should be finished during the Christmas holidays. There are plans to have a concert with all the bands to launch the CD.

The organizers of Montre’arts are trying to include all CEGEPs around Montreal. At the moment Ahuntsic, Andre Laurandeau, Lionel Groulx, Marie-Victorin, Rosemont, and Vincent d’Indy are on board.

“This is something for the students by the students, [if you] follow us on Facebook you can see [the bands] evolving and give them a voice,” Lessard said.
Any artists that are interested in being a part of Montre’arts can go to the Dawson Student Union (DSU) office to contact Michaël Lessard. For more information, people can visit the Montre’arts Facebook page until the website is made.

Advertisements

I fought the bite and the kids won

Photo Credit: Paige Goldberg

Fundraiser success for healthcare in Uganda

fundraiser show by Carl Perks

Raising awareness for the Mercy Project was a success as Dawson students and faculty alike joined the bands Son of Sam and Double Down at Il Motore for the third and final part of Fight the Bite, a fundraiser separated in three events.

The benefit concert, organized by Dawson’s Club Med and Social Justice Club, was set to raise money for the St. Jude Children’s home in Gulu, Uganda, to add to the near $1,000 that was raised with the two previous events.

The St. Jude’s goal is to render health care more accessible in the area and the money raised during the events will go into buying a van for emergency transport, paying the salary of the many workers, funding the various workshops organised by the foundation, by-annual checkups, and malaria treatment for children.

“The problem [In Uganda] is not that there is no knowledge [about the situation] so much as that the accessibility is limited, because of the lack funding,” said Tori Schouela, co-organiser of the event.

The first band, Son of Sam, comprised of many members including Dawson Humanities Teacher Gabriel Tordjman, played a groovy reggae set and would rarely miss a chance to convey a message of love and charity to the crowd. Their intentions were positive and sincere. On the other hand, Double Down, formed out of the Dawson’s Jam Session attendees, took the evening on a lighter tone as Jacques “Robot Bear”’ Asselin yelled and wailed on stage, passing jokes and jumping up and down.

“The show is an anti-malaria show, as is the band,” said Asselin. “Malaria makes you feel bad, our music makes you feel good… which is the opposite of bad.”
Despite the evening being garnished by two entertaining musical acts, the organisers, Schouela, Jennifer Roberts and Arielle Elkrief, are hopeful that their efforts will go into good use.

“It’s not about us stepping in and telling them what to do, because they are very knowledgeable,” said Schouela. “It’s more about empowering them with the resources and the tools to be able to carry out the things that they do best”
If you missed the event yet remain eager to help, you can always aid the cause by pressing the ‘Donate’ button on the top right of http://www.themercyproject.org.

top five picks of the week

Counting down the Top 5 moments with Sam around

By Chris Pike

This will be Sam’s last issue at The Plant. I can barely hold back the tears to be truthful. But if you’re looking for something that’s sentimental you might as well go read the inductions. As for picks this week, I’m going to be counting down the top five Plant moments involving Sam.

#5 Laughing Contest
One day The Plant Troika, which consisted of Sam, Sean Tepper (former sports editor) and George Pantazopoulos (former arts editor) decided they were going to, after watching a unnatural amount of the television show Kenny VS Spenny, have a laughing contest. Whoever was able to go the entire production night without laughing would decide what punishment the other two would receive. Needless to say Sean lost immediately (he actually made himself laugh, dumbass). However, George and Sam continuously battled it out all through the night. Neither of them lost and Sean was never actually punished because Sam and George are both pussies. Although, for the rest of us the funniest moment of the night came for the editor-in-chief. There is a sign in the office which says pha-q. Sound it out. Yeah. Sam kept repeating it over and over. Okay so maybe it’s not that funny, maybe you just had to be there.

#4 Sam’s overall destruction of the office
There are wholes in the walls. There is mustard all over. There is a random Baudelaire quote that only makes sense to Sam. The windows are broken. Both of them. The desks look like they were mouth-raped by a gang of angry beavers.

#3 The “Pits and Shoulder” incident
I’m going to cut to the chase here. Sam got drunk. Really drunk. And then began rubbing his armpits. And then he wouldn’t stop. He then moved on to his shoulders. This went on for about twenty minutes. Okay so maybe you had to be there this time too. Give me a break here.

#2 Sam’s testicles bleed
Once upon a time Sean speared Sam with an umbrella and then his balls started to bleed. Shit got real. And no one ever hit anyone in the balls ever again. The End.

#1 Darren gets slapped and then pukes
One night we all got drunk. This was the same night Sam decided he was going to rub his pits and shoulders profusely. Darren got so drunk that he asked me to slap him. So I did. Right across the face. As hard as I fucking could. Afterward he thanked me. Soon after he puked. It was fucking awesome. How does this have anything to do with Sam? He was there. Deal with it.

Student Photography at the Warren G.

Photo Credit: Amy Lee Corkum

Two vernissages in two weeks for third year Photography students

By Brian Lapuz

Once again, another exhibit, promoting the works of Dawson’s creatively inclined, opened its doors to the public.

On Tuesday, the first batch of 13 students had the chance to display their semester portfolios for the first time, ‘til Dec 3. They are all in their fifth semester in the Professional Photography Program.

The second group of students have yet to reveal theirs during the planned vernissage on Dec. 7. That exhibit will be running until Dec. 10.

Its time will have to wait, but the well-attended evening had some fine photographs available for the visitors’ consumption.

Two students worked the theme of food. Shaney Marie Herrman had spent a weekend with father who helped her prepare for her portfolio. Kathryn Milligan worked on the same subject, but had a different angle. “I originally started off with food photos, but I then moved into food as still life,” she said. “I also tend to go for brighter shots.”

Amy Lee Corkum’s portfolio was more inclined towards fashion. Don’t look for brightness in her works, or a wide array of colours for that matter. Her works are dark, but not in the sense that they will scare you away. The photographs touch on death, fashion and eroticism.

“The photos are associated to death as it’s still alive,” Corkum said, commenting on the lingering effect that the dead elements had in some of her works.
“La petite mort,” is the title of one of them, named after the coin phrase in French for an orgasm. A woman is seen sort of crawling over a skeleton while smoking a cigarette.

“That’s the stereotype in films,” said Corkum. “People smoke cigarettes after sex.”

Many of the photographs in her portfolio feature women revealing themselves to some extent.

“I like to work with friends or people I’m comfortable with,” she said. “That way they are more comfortable with me and the photos appear more natural.”
On the same tone, Marc Antoine Dubois’ composite works are all set at night and gave a feeling of crime, as a detective appeared to be searching for something.
“I find composite work easier for the models and for the transport of equipment,” Dubois said.
The downfall to his portfolio is the clothing worn by the model that his hanged by the neck. He appears to be underdressed in comparison to the other models in Dubois’ portfolio.
Photographs of rural landscapes and indoor wedding scenes were also to be found in the exhibit.
Stephanie-Laura Teresiuk had some interesting close-up shots of everyday objects. “They are photographs of things you don’t notice everyday,” she said.

One hard working Weiner

Photo Credit: Hombeline Dumas

Dawson’s very own Alex Weiner is acting up a storm and making a name for himself in the business

student profile by Maya Malkin

Cin/Vid/Com student Alex Weiner is a professional actor on the rise. Though he is new on the acting market, Weiner is making a name for himself in the business quickly.

At only 19 years of age, the young actor has had a lead role in a film that has been to the Cannes Film Festival, a recurring on a popular American TV show, has been in TV commercials, and starred in countless plays.

He started acting in high school, doing theater at Royal West Academy (R.W.A.). “I really loved it, I was doing three plays per year.” Kim Vaincourt, a Montreal agent, signed Weiner on when she saw him playing the MC in R.W.A.’s production of Cabaret.

“I spent about six months trying to get into ACTRA [Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists], which is that really vicious cycle that you have to go through. It’s a catch 22, basically, to get in to ACTRA you have to get a job, but to get a job you have to get in to ACTRA.”

Weiner got his first lead in an Olivier Abbou film called Territories, which was in the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and will be released in Montreal in 2011. He plays a lovable mute boy with asthma, who has been kidnapped, along with his sister and their friends, by two former Guantanamo bay torturers. Weiner went on to join ACTRA and has been working professionally as an actor ever since.

After Territories, he got a role on American TV series Blue Mountain State, playing Ricky “the pizza boy” which is a recurring role. “That episode should be coming out pretty soon, it should be pretty funny, I snort vodka in it,” Weiner said. He’s been in numerous short films, including Max Walker’s Simon, Max Walker’s Les Robitailles, Nikila Cole’s My Father, Joe, and did voice over/dubbing for The Girl Who Played with Fire, originally a Swedish film.

Weiner was in a Desjardins commercial, and also a Yoplait commercial which was played on YTV. “Other than jobs, it’s about honing the craft, which is really important, I think,” Weiner said. He strained on how important he thinks it is to take hard acting classes that will not only improve your acting skills, but teach you more about yourself as a person.

“Whatever will stop you as a person, will stop you as an actor and the process of acting is a process of growth,” he said. “It’s kind of a hole that an actor will get into when they think that they’re already at the top of their acting potential, it’s really important to not think that you have nothing left to learn. I, on the contrary think that I’ll never stop learning about acting.”

Look out for Alex Weiner. He’ll be on the big screen, on your TV, and in film festivals in 2011. He is an actor on the rise and with a last name like Weiner, he’ll be hard to miss.

Debauchery at the CIXS’ Zombie Party

Dawson’s Radio organizes a sick party at Warehouse on St-Laurent

Party review by Gabe Gilker

What do you get when you combine a wet t-shirt contest, hard bass, free condoms, free zombie makeup and sex in the bathrooms?

Quarantine: Dusk till Dawn. 

Last Friday, CIXS, Dawson’s radio, brought the bass home for one hypersexual mess of a good time.

Sponsored by ONE Condoms, the night was filled with a lusty atmosphere, already the ground was littered with free condoms, there were condom balloons drifting around and the prizes were all sex toys, such as anal beads, vibrators, free piercings and pocket rockets.

Upon entering The Warehouse, a private club on Saint-Laurent Street and Duluth Avenue, all party goers were immediately presented with the option of getting free zombie body paint. The professional make-up artists used spirit gum, tissue paper and massive amounts of fake blood to make every open, bleeding wound and burn look as eerily real as possible.

“Dawson needs to get its party game on.” Skunch, a DJ said.

Chocolate Milk and Ωhmar started the night off strong, bringing the crowd in with their superb electro house mixes, warming up the crowd and getting the party started. 

Not only were the DJ’s on their A-game, but so were the girls. CIXS, hosting a wet t-shirt contest, had five girls brought to the front of the dance floor and gave them white t-shirts. Let’s just leave it to imagination and say that none of these girls were just a’s.

“It [the event] was amazing. Fantastically so. There were a lot of tits and I love tits,” Fred Kowalczy, event administrator said. 

Sly and Gallows came on next bringing the dubstep. Gallows showed dexterity and skill with the turntables and Sly entranced the crowd, using popular mixes to reach the Dawson population while making them sound as fresh as a pair of new Nikes. 

“She [Sly] definitely drew in the biggest crowd. From what I heard of her tonight she definitely has the talent and ability to move the audience,” said the anonymous bartender. “Keep your eye on her.”

Along with great contests, there was also an initiation process for one of the Dawson radio crewmembers. He was presented with a girl with whipped cream covering her chest and then he was blind folded. The crowd was all told to be silent, as a guy with his chest covered in whipped cream replaced the girl. As he was instructed to lick the whipped cream off, the crowd cheered.

“Events like these make me proud to be a Dawson student” Caiti Birenbaum, third semester Social Science student said.

Gnave came up next and showed the crowd some chill beats. There were some technical difficulties during his set, but he worked through them and continued without stressing or skipping a beat. He also brought Don Clark as a special guest DJ.

At around 1:30 a.m. the venue started to empty out, but all those who left early missed out on a real treat. They missed some of the best take-your-pants-off-music provided by Skunch.

“The party was amazing, and the people who threw it [CIXS] are equally amazing.” Catherine Pepe, third semester, Social Science Student said.

 

Birthday Girls will make you party like it’s your b-day

Releasing a first EP like a nice present with holes in the wrapping

EP review by carl perks

Most dance punk bands doom their credibility when their music fails to make the crowd move. This is usually due to the proportion of time they spend on-stage compared to off-stage.

When I saw all three members of Birthday Girls, a post/dance punk band from Ottawa, rocking out on the dance floor at the Dubma$hine rave on Halloween-Saturday, I knew that getting anyone’s two left feet to step into dance shoes was not an issue that was out of their comprehension.

They recently released a self-titled EP that concludes my hypothesis with concord. Though composed of only four songs, the album sets the band’s musical intentions in a promising direction.

Birthday Girls is Kyle Kilbride on vocals and bass, Kevin Donnelly on synth and Lloyd Alexander on drums. The trio makes a sound that is easily recognisable by the rather uncommon choice of instruments, whereas the bass is unaccompanied by a guitar and the keyboard is not used in conjunction with a drum machine. This unusual composition produces a musical style that is somewhat like the offspring of Does It Offend You Yeah? and Death From Above 1979, if bands had the capacity to copulate and conceive.

Furthermore distinguishing Birthday Girls’ sound is Kilbride’s manner of signing, as most vocalists would moan through heavily auto-tuned microphones when accompanied by dancy, beat-driven synth melodies, he chooses to scream his soul out with the voice of a whiskey-habituated, heavy-metal front man.  Somewhat like a milder version of what [Trap] does when they have vocals. 

Now having a different sound doesn’t always make the deal, with all the originality in the world, song composition is what causes the waves, but on the make or break scale, Birthday Girls’ first EP makes the break, but breaks even.

The record is divided in two sets of two songs. The first set, “Teenagers” and “Let’s Take This Party Downstairs,” is upbeat and dancy, reminiscent of The Strokes, and the better Shiny Toy Guns songs. The second set, “Balcony and Siren,” are slower songs, sounding more like the latest Yeah Yeah Yeahs works.

All of these tunes, with no exception, start out with excellence and talent, outfoxing electro-rock bands such as The Faint at their own game, stirring head-bobbing, action-inducing instrumentals with beautifully dirty and upbeat drums. The tracks are practically flawless until the choruses, where the melodies seem forced and out of place. 

The songs’ refrains are in no way written without talent, but gorgeous keyboard and bass riffs such as the ones found at the beginning of “Siren and Balcony” lead to expect much more than is delivered. The same issue appears in the first set of upbeat songs where energy-inducing verses such as they are found in “Teenagers” reach an anti-climactic end when met with a chorus that is downbeat, yet non-the-less catchy.

Despite that hiccup of a problem, any chance to get your hands on Birthday Girls is a good one. Rock out to tunes like “Let’s Take This Party Downstairs” and hope that the whole piece of cake will be as delicious as this slice of an album.

And to address the matter of the choruses, this is this band’s first EP, considering the fact that they will only get better with time, was is there not to look forward to?