Rant: it's nothing personal vol. get ready it's a new day
Alright, so I'ma be real with y'all. today I don't feel like blogging. I know I've answered a couple of emails yesterday saying that I'd be writting something up for them and what not, but I'm waaaaay too hungover to do any of it. I'm actually rocking the Gatorade at this very moment, so it's that bad ahah. Anyway, instead I'll be writting this little piece up about how Above & Beyond Magazine will be two years old as of tomorrow. Yes, I could have waited for tomorrow for posting this, but I gotta do some family stuff on Saturday so I prefer posting it now than forget it altogether.
So yeah, Above & Beyond Magazine is TWO years old. can you guys believe it? I sure ain't. I mean, I'm just a kid who started a Tumblr blog in September of 2008 to see how everything worked because it looked easy to get into. Yup, the whole thing used to be on Tumblr, but as some of you might know, I made the switch to WordPress a couple of months back and yeah. it's much better. Some of you might be like. yeah two years big deal; but when you think about it, it's 104 weeks of me being on my constant grind shit to bring you the music that I like for you to listen and blogging ain't easy you know; but somebody's gotta do it and I never thought it'd be me even less have the will to keep it going for 730 days.
Alot of things changed from last year, the switch to WordPress is one, and the layout is another one, but the main change for Above & Beyond is that it's not just a one-man show anymore. As you may have noticed (or not), there is now three other guys helping me out with the daily task of bringing you the best music out there right to your doorstep. I'll keep it short, but Martin, Ryan and Tommy, you guys are great in a completely heterosexual way, or is it? I don't know; no homo though. With that said, I love you guys and I'll be forever grateful of your help at keeping this machine well-oiled and what not. Seriously though; you guys are the best, Martin being on his club wonders and pop shit, Ryan on that never heard of before shit and Tommy on that indie shit, leaving me and my own stuff which is mainly hip-hop to complete the chaturbate spectrum as Above & Beyond never was about just one genre of music, but MUSIC in general, so don't be a hater listen to that Taio Cruz track, listen to that Tyler, The Creator track, listen to that Interpol and listen to that Kanye; it's all about diversity.
And you know, as much as alot of things changed on the blog, alot of things also happened in my life in the same time lapse and as much as it was ups and downs, it's crazy to say, but this right here kept me connected with something stable. Like I don't want to get into details and what not; but yeah ok; when I think about it, 2010 wasn't so great on a personal level. It all started with a very negative/bad relationship with this girl (surprised? didn't think so), I've also had to burn bridges with really close friends that were from WAY back due to shady shits and you know, uninteresting job and also being played and all that by some other people and I guess that when you roll ten deep and what not; it's very difficult to know who's real and who's in disguise and that was my downfall right there. All cool stuff right? yeah; the worst part is finding out that that stuff can happen to you especially when you're the kind of kid that thinks himself untouchable you know? Yeah, I think that's the worst right there. but you know, we all need reality checks from time to time right? I've got mine and I think I'm good for another ten years. To be honest I hope to never be in a situation that requires to get a reality check to begin with, and I don't want this to become all emotional and what not (even though it already did), but I made changes to my life and still in the process of making them as we speak and I guess I needed to be surrounded by darkness to find the crack of light and go towards it. Some dig through the good apples to find the rotten ones, I had to dig through the rotten ones to find the good ones and I can honestly say that this cleanse in my social life and everything else got me more collected and more focused than I ever was and it feels good. real good, and things are moving accordingly, I mean the feeling of being on that elevator and going up, there's nothing quite like it. It's the laws of attractions in full effect, you want it, you get it, simple as that and it's amazing to see the pieces fall together. And yeah, I never really wanted to make this [Above & Beyond] about me, but this is a rare occasion that I feel like it should. so fuck you and uh. fuck her too /Cee-Lo Green. ahah
So yeah, two years! I hope the third brings new things to the table both for the blog and for me and Martin, Ryan and Tommy and since we're here already, I hope the same thing for all of you readers too, can't forget you guys because if it wasn't for all of you, there would be no Above & Beyond to begin with, and you know, we do our own stuff, we on that guerilla type of shit, but I mean, if it'd be possible I would thank each and everyone of you personally, every time you guys would come on the jasminlive website and once per year might not be enough; but seriously guys thanks for the support and the visits, the numbers has been increasing every years and yeah it's been amazing so far.
The Tapedeck: The Prologue
Welcome to the launch of The Tapedeck. Actually it's more an introduction than anything else. Alright, so you're probably sort of confused right now, wondering what this is all about. well The Tapedeck is a brand new initiative I've come up with and worked on for the past couple of weeks to [at least] try and break some barriers between Montreal cultures. As you may know, I'm from Montreal and while I love everybody (mostly everybody), language has always been somewhat of an issue here. It used to be worse before, but there's still always a little complaint being expressed once in a while : at times, about English people not speaking French enough, or the English crowd saying that French are not lenient enough about the whole deal.
I was not born, but raised in a French speaking environment. I soon discovered that while the French culture of Quebec was interesting, I couldn't relate to it as much as I could with its less promoted English counterpart. I never really understood why, but it seemed like it was my calling from the beginning even if I totally embraced the fact that was a French Canadian at heart or at least raised as one. No matter what language I speak, I am first and foremost from Montreal and will always be from this beautiful city (even if I was technically born in Taipei, Taiwan).
I think this reflects in Above & Beyond. I mean sure I do write in English, because it is easier for me to write in Shakespeare's language than in Voltaire's, but I always try to bring you guys the music that I like from Montreal. Whether it is in English like Arcade Fire or in French like La Patère Rose, much like the different styles of music I post, language is definitely not an issue for me and it's something that I'll always try to push forward to the readers.
I can thank the Internet for making this possible, because while I do love Montreal with all my heart, I realized that Montreal might be missing on a good chunk of its own culture whenever something is not in French. While many of you already know, I feel the exposure of the English culture of Montreal in the French medias is not as important as it should be. And I'm not only talking about music, I mean, who knows who Marcus Troy is? Or what Indecent Xposure actually is doing for Montreal? Did they hear about this Montreal indie band named No Joy who is currently making major noise in the United States? Or even who was Sugar Sammy before actually getting some recognition for his livejasmine work after doing a French version of his skit at a Just For Laugh show with Rachid Badouri? I only named a few, but these are some influencial and interesting people, yet none of them are widely known outside of certain circles in Montreal and I feel like the French medias are dropping the ball on this one.
Alright, so I might have digressed along the way and rant much more than I initially expected, but it all comes down to this. Yes, before you say it, I do understand the responsibility that the medias have to protect our language from losing more ground to English by pushing French speaking artists up front. I mean we are after all the last breed of population to actively use French in our everyday lives on this side of the ocean, but they seem to forget that Montreal is not only French and that a good part of its people actually speak English as their mother language. In an age marked by social networks, multi-cultural societies, change and embracing that change, their way of putting down gates around us seems such an archaic thing to do as it just extends and reinforces the distance between our two cultures instead of bringing them closer and making us one as they should be trying to do in the first place.
And this distance is something I want to try and fix. Which might sound odd as Above & Beyond is an English blog in the first place, and as you probably know by now, is run by a French Canadian. So no, I won't change this blog to Plus Haut & Plus Loin, or anything similar, but I will do exactly what I feel the French medias should be doing [a lot more], but as English media point of view and by that I mean, using Above & Beyond as a medium to bring forward Francophone personalities and artists that a majority of English readers might not be familiar with or even know at all and take this opportunity get to know their musical tastes and what they're into, basically getting to know what's in their Tapedeck and how music affects their everyday lives and their craft and also using this to showcase a little bit of my hometown through it's people that may be less known as they are mostly Francophones and using their own exposure to bring other Francophones on my blog and interest them into things they might not know.
I'm not exactly sure when the first edition of The Tapedeck will actually come out, but I'm aiming at the upcoming weeks. I already have a bunch of people lined up and all I need to do is actually structure the questions and technicalities. The first person to ever grace the Tapedeck will be this young, talented fellow and good friend of mine named Alexandre Champagne that some of you may or may not know from Contrat d'Gars. Should be a good one!
It's nothing personal vol. indecent
You might have noticed the lack of updates as of late. well, not only was I extremely busy with alot of things, but as of today, I am officially part of the Montreal collective known as Indecent Xposure and will be acting as their executive music editor. Nick approached me a couple of months ago, and after some thoughts, I decided to jump onboard.
This means that I will be taking a hiatus of Above & Beyond Magazine. I say hiatus, because I extended my domain name and server for another two years just a little bit before Nick contacted me. Timing is a funny thing, and you never know what will happens anyway right? Maybe I'll come back here at some point. So yeah, this was a hard decision for me to leave everything behind, I mean this is my baby which I've seen it grow for more than two years and a half now, but I feel like I've accomplished everything I wanted [and even more] and ready for new challenges and I feel like this is the perfect opportunity for me to not only achieve that, but to leave while everything is still a-ok.
To be honest, I feel like Above & Beyond became much bigger than I ever anticipated. not that I once thought that I'd reach 100,000 monthly visitors, but I once had ambitions to make this blog big you know, but as it grew, I realized that it wasn't the numbers that matter, it was about who was visiting. I mean, I know that more than a half of my traffic was just people searching through stuff via Google, and that's great, but I realized that I wanted to create a bigger "dedicated followers" base and I feel like this is too far gone to do massive work on the foundation. BUT I want to thank each and everyone one of you who took a little time of their day to visit if daily, weekly, monthly or just once in a while. I probably don't even know the 90% of the people who came over, but seriously, it really meant alot to me that you made my blog your personal destination when it came to music and happy to know that I was not the only one with such an wide range of musical taste, even if heavily hip-hop influenced.
So yeah, on that I say goodbye for now and once again, I want to thank you guys for sticking around for two years for those who did and I hope to see some of you on Indecent Xposure as I will also be blogging a little bit on top of . you know being editor-in-chief; as well as other bloggers of the Montreal area and might want to be on the lookout for a new Above and Beyond Mag under a brand new name and on a much smaller, but more focused scale. but this might be too early to tell ;], all I know is that the practice wheels are off and things are happening.
I finally made the switch to the almighty Wordpress, it's 4 in the morning and I'm tired as fuck. I have no clue why, but 3Oh!3 is actually playing on my iTunes and I cannot wait to finish this post so I can close my iTunes, yes, I could just take off my headphones or turn off the volumes, but my hands and fingers are busy typing this up, plus I'd be losing my precious momentum that seems to fueled me to setup everything starting late tonight.
This is definitely not the final template, but I never did a Wordpress template, so I'll have to get hands dirty a little bit. I was just checking template libraries and stumbled upon this template that looked alot like one of my previous layout. So I thought it was somehow fitting to use this one until I get a new layout. At least it will get me to post new stuff as Tumblr decided that it didn't want to post embed youtube videos in text posts anymore.
Anyway, the hardest part is definitely done has importing all of my 1700 posts was not an easy task, so here's to Wordpress era of Above & Beyond! and off to bed I go.
Prince Club - Love Jackson (Original Mix) x Foals - Blue Blood (Prince Club Remix)
Despite what the picture might be saying at first glance, this post has nothing to do with Levis whatsoever ahah. Now that we have this little fact out of the way, let me reintroduce you to my good buddies from Montreal Prince Club who were once known as Mad Kids with two of their latest songs; one being an orignal mix and the other being their own house rendition of Foals latest single, Blue Blood.
Prince Club is a house outfit composed of two young dj/producers, Zacharie Jos-Montpetit & Max-Antoine Poulin, that have been making quite a name for themselves in 2010 locally and internationally, even with a little bit less than a year of activity on the scene as that year was spent mostly doing gigs and festivals all over the world and more recently scoring a record deal with Discobelle Records. Granted this is not the usual music that find it's way to the blog, but if you're running in them circles, you've probably heard of them already. and if you ain't well here's a chance to widen the span of your music spectrum.