“warm water” that you played through a portable speaker in the basket of your two-year-old bicycle, your last summer in montreal. volume turned way up, riding with two of your best friends — to work with the sun rising at your back, coffee in one hand, or to the bar at night, racing to beat the rain. you pretended you were in “now & then,” embodying every cliche: carefree, sun-kissed, singing at the top of your lungs without knowing the words. you played it at the park in the heat, in your stuffy apartment, on your computer at work, in the studio, and in the early morning when the three of you came home, sticky with sweat and laughter, from a night of partying under seventeen moons.
there’s something to be said about the appeal of anonymity. certainly in dance music, mystery has become a bit of a signature in and of itself. masks a la daft punk or zomby, pseudonyms or aliases, burial’s entire persona, the ubiquitous “special guest” slot on every bill. secrets are the new black, so much so that it’s not really a secret anymore. for that reason, i tend to shrug off these kinds of anonymous producers, but every so often comes an artist like pearl.
i have a strange relationship with osheaga. this is my seventh year taking to montreal’s parc jean drapeau for the three day music and arts festival. you might say i’m a veteran. you might also say i have not ever learned my lesson. true, i know how to come prepared, dress for the weather, sneak in booze, and maneuver through the crowd, but i have not yet learned how to party in such a way that i don’t hate myself for the entire week following the festival. maybe some things are just unavoidable.
this year, like last year, i spent most of july shrugging that i was “not even that excited for osheaga” (that didn’t stop me from spending a whopping $250 on the full weekend pass), but i always change my mind when i arrive on site. i have a pretty well documented love of music festivals, but there’s something special about osheaga — sun shining, with my friends, in the city that taught me how to love music. the weekend was definitely not without its lows, though, so my coverage this year will cover both.