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Culture Briefs

Making music the scientific way

If the name José Gonzalez isn’t already familiar, you may have unwittingly come across his music while watching the stunning Sony Bravia commercial shot in San Francisco (the one featuring the multicoloured balls bouncing down the city’s paved hills). For the video, he recorded a cover of The Knife’s “Heartbeats.” In fact, he’s pretty well-known for putting his own spin on a couple of other timeless favourites: Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Ghost of Tom Joad,” and, more recently, Massive Attack’s “Teardrop.” But Jose Gonzalez has plenty of original material under his belt as well. 2003’s Veneer propelled this Swedish-born Argentine to European fame, with tunes inspired from sources that range from eighties punk to Fela Kuti and Nina Simone. He was, by the way, studying biochemistry to become a researcher at the University of Gothenburg. According to his web site, he applies the scientific method to his artistic process; he composes and records “patiently, methodically, and with great interest in finding new angles.” Now, Gonzalez is getting noticed internationally for his post-Sony-advertisement In Our Nature. At 29, he’s finally getting the attention he deserves.

José Gonzalez plays the Cabaret de Musée Juste Pour Rire (2111 St. Laurent) with Mia Doi Todd on March 14. Visit for more information.

– Caroline Zimmerman

For art’s sake

Art matters. It’s a pretty obvious statement, but as many artists will attest, it’s not always so apparent in practice. While established artists face an appreciable amount of difficulties having their art recognized in public, fine arts students often have an even harder time finding venues to express themselves. Eight years ago, five Concordia students in the Fine Arts program took on a project in hopes of surmounting some of these challenges. Thus, the unsubtly-named annual festival – Art Matters – was born.

This year’s instalment is celebrating student-made artwork in galleries, bars, and other venues across the city, such as Casa del Popolo, Art Mur, FOFA Gallery, Galerie Espace, Le Cagibi and many others. The closing party is on March 15, but in the meantime don’t forget to check out the range of multidisciplinary work by some of Montreal’s emerging artistic talents. Visit for gallery listings and artist profiles.

– Claire Caldwell

Arts, crafts, and poetry in Shatner

Usually, the Shatner building is a pretty quiet place at night. Dailyites, Players Theatre cast and crew, Gert’s regulars, and a few security guards frequent the quiet stairwell, the darkened cafeterias, and the glowing vending machine oases in the wee hours. Tonight, however, as part of the Arts Undergraduate Society’s celebrations, the Shatner building will open its doors to all students with a slew of artistic events and activities from 10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.

For the literary minded, the Department of English Student Association has organized a poetry reading at 10:50 by the couches. Four students will read selections of their own work, as well as a short story they’ve written collaboratively. Veg Magazine, a student-produced creative writing zine, will have a reading area set up for the entire evening in the fourth-floor lounge.

The Daily will be hosting Photoshop and InDesign workshops in our office, room B-24, as well as an interactive Microsoft Paint extravaganza.

Be careful not to step in splattered paint this evening – exciting and interactive visual arts activities are happening all over the building. Check out the live mural painting in the second-floor cafeteria, or, if you feel like getting your own hands dirty, head to the third floor for finger painting. MUPS, the photography society, is holding a darkroom workshop at 12:15 A.M. For some good old fashioned arts and crafts, head to Gert’s.

Several talented student groups will be acting, dancing, singing, and shaking what they’ve got for you this evening. Don’t miss the fantastic a capella choirs – Soulstice and Effusion – sing their hearts out on the second floor from 10:45 until midnight. If you feel like staying later, you can watch belly dancing in the cafeteria at 12:30. Dance aficionados can also catch several different groups – from the highland dancers to Inertia modern dance collective – in the Shatner Ballroom all evening. For aspiring thespians, Players’ Theatre is hosting an hour-long acting and directing open house at 10:30, followed by a performance at 11:30. Ross Kanter will also play some folk music at 12:30.

If all this art makes you hungry for a midnight snack, there will be cookie decorating and a SNAX booth in the second floor caf all evening.

– Claire Caldwell