Home | High-End Audio Reviews | Audiophile Shows | Partner Mags | Daily News | Search        

  High-End Audiophile Review Magazine & Audio Equipment Reviews

High-End Audiophile Equipment Reviews
Your Resource For Show Reports & Industry News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Le Festival Son et Image de Montréal 2004

Introduction
Report By Ian White
Click Here To E-Mail Reviewer

 

  Ou est mon Poutine?

"I can't listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland." -- Woody Allen

As I stood in line with the thirteen other cold and miserable souls awaiting their spot on the milk-run between Toronto and Montreal, the pounding in my head from two hundred systems that I listened to three months earlier in Las Vegas reappeared. I know that G-d is still mad at me for the little stunt I pulled, but two hundred renditions of Norah Jones coming at me from all sides was way over the line.

No more "Nightingale"!!! I will do anything, just someone please get that song out of my head.

No rational person who enjoys sleep or comfort and who has found his or her "happy" place wants to take an eight-hour train ride through Mordor. Notwithstanding the charm and elegance of the female passenger sitting across from me, whose presence made the trip seem surreal (more so, because she actually talked to me) considering the dullness of my surroundings, they really need to do something about rail travel on this continent. Veronica Lake and Claudette Colbert would not be caught dead on one of these boxes with wheels.

 

Thinking Back On CES...

As usual, everyone played the same "listen, you can hear the bassist fart in the background" tripe passing it off as music and my fellow audio journalists told the audience how great things were. Trade shows are about as much fun as contracting a case of bird flu in a Bangkok eatery, which is no small feat let me tell you. Either that or impaling oneself on the heatsink of a Krell. Same feeling. One just kills you for a lot less.

Fortunately, Montreal has some of the better eating establishments this side of the Mississippi, making the Festival one of the few audio shows worth covering. Whoever told you that life was not really about the never ending meal, clearly has never eaten a dozen smoked meat sandwiches (and that is for those of us on a modified version of the Atkins diet... we substitute extra meat for the bread), after standing outside in the shivering cold that is Montreal.

Le Festival, to its credit, is about this crazy little thing called "music." Sure, home theater has become a very big part of the show, but Montreal still cares about music. Culture matters in Montreal, giving this city a level of genuine sophistication that does not exist in Las Vegas, and especially Toronto, which cancelled its hi-fi show. Oh, but they are building an "Opera" house in Toronto for the thirty people over seventy within the GTA who still listen to Opera. (Ian, I am not 70 and I listen to Opera and a great opera house defines a city and just because you never got any culture and you have a tin ear when anything more complex than "I'm a Barbie Girl" and....) -- Neil

Walking around the LVCC, I came to the rather disturbing realization that LG was more likely to sell thousands of their $11,000 fridge that allows bored housewives to check-out online porn while they mix little Billy's brownies, versus a company such as Fi which might in a great year sell 50 of their $1,000 "X" integrated that has managed to completely mess with my head.

Notwithstanding the obvious importance of a fridge, why would I want to check my email while deciding on that last scary looking piece of meat cake? How many live concerts could I attend for the price of that fridge? How many bass lessons with Victor Wooten could I get? How many interesting meals could I have in Montreal in four days prior to the Passover Seders?

When I first started reviewing, I scoffed at a fellow scribe when he suggested that we blow off finishing the daily show report until the morning and spend five or six hours getting lap dances at one of the finer institutions on Industrial before heading over to the In-N-Out for a double-double with fries. I didn't understand his set of priorities at all. Why would anyone pick listening to the same Patricia Barber track over a tasty burger?

Standing in line this year watching the new kid push the potatoes though the press, I figured out the real reason why we went to war in Iraq and why we must never stop fighting until Al-Qaeda is vaporized.

 

Lap Dances And Double-Doubles

Anyone recall where the 9-11 Hijackers were seen prior to their butchery...

In Montreal, replace double-doubles with smoked meat and poutine.

My point?

We live in scary times, so enjoy what makes you happy because in the end we should all go out devouring greasy deli while pretending to conduct or perform our favorite piece of music on whatever stereo that brings us joy on a daily basis.

 

One Final Observation...

Copland? Do they have a video yet on VH1?

While listening to Aaron Copland on my iPod as I shifted uncomfortably on the train, a teenage girl with numerous body piercing tapped me on the shoulder to ask what I was listening to.

"Copland," I replied.

"Cool, I really like that "Clocks" song," she shot back with a look of satisfaction that suggested she had just triumphed on Final Jeopardy.

Slightly amused but also quite perplexed I replied, "No, not Coldplay... Copland. Aaron Copland."

"Oh. Well anyway, I could hear it through your headphones and it sounded pretty cool."

"It is pretty cool stuff. Do you want to hear it?" I asked.

"Does it have lyrics?"

"Not unless I missed them. It's orchestral music and unlikely to contain a lot of vocals, if any," I explained becoming increasingly annoyed with those who feel that we need bigger and more extravagant sports stadiums in this country rather than music in the classroom.

"I'm not a big fan of that stuff. It is like classical music, which is totally boring," she replied. She shuffled her feet, thanked me for letting her know, and straggled back to giggle with her friends who were pretending to be asleep in their seats.

As I drifted back into the music and continued with some light reading from James Ellroy, I started thinking about what she had said.

Is orchestral music boring? Is classical music boring? Am I the only one who feels that retailers, in particular, treat classical music as if it carries the Ebola virus?

It is either hidden away on the fifth floor requiring a six-pack of Krispy Kremes in order to build up the energy to climb that many stairs, or you have to do the "Get Smart" thing and pass through five sets of doors before some snotty PETA coed working the register gives you the evil eye as you try to hide your new copy of Sabbath's Paranoid.

While it is certainly normal that a teenage girl would find Mozart less interesting than Justin Timberlake, has the pendulum swung so far to the dark side of the force that there is no hope that anyone under thirty will be listening to classical/jazz/blues in a couple of years? Have we completely underestimated the impact of zero funding for music in the classroom and what that will eventually mean for the audio industry? The ultimate irony is that while the quality of audio reproduction in the home has never been better, interest has never been lower. Apple sold more iPods in the past twelve months than the high-end sold CD players in the past ten years. Apple, however, is not the villain.

The high-end is the villain for promoting technology ahead of the most important thing of all.

Music.

While we adjusted, levitated, painted green borders, became obsessed with the last 3% of sound, 97% of the music went into the dumpster.

Hi-fi shows need to be more about music.

Where did they put my Pulitzer?

 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

 

Click here to see last year's show coverage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

Quick Links


Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews

 

Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Preamplifiers
Amplifiers
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc

 

Superior Audio Archives
Ultra High-End Audio Reviews

 

Videos
Enjoy the Music.TV

 

Columns
Editorials By Tom Lyle
Viewpoint By Roger Skoff
Viewpoint By Steven R. Rochlin
Various Think Pieces
Manufacturer Articles


Show Reports
High End Munich 2019 Show Report
AXPONA 2019 Show Report
Zagreb AV Show 2019
CanJam Singapore 2019 Show Report
Salon Audio Montreal Audio Fest 2019
Florida Audio Expo 2019 Show Report
Warsaw Audio Show 2018
New York Audio Show 2018 Report
Capital Audiofest 2018 Report
Copenhagen HighEnd 2018 Show Report
Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show 2018
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest RMAF 2018
CanJam 2018 Denver RMAF
KL International AV 2018 Show Report
High End Munich 2018 Show Report
AXPONA 2018 Show Report
CanJam SoCal 2018 Show Report
CanJam NYC 2018 Show Report
Click here for previous shows.

 

Other
Audiophile Contests
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty

 

Resources & Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions

 


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information

 

Partner Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
HIFICRITIC
HiFi Media
Hi-Fi World
NOVO (CANADA HiFi)
STEREO Magazine
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine

 

For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics

 

Contests & Our Mailing List

Our free newsletter for monthly updates & enter our contests!

 

Social Media & Video
      

 

 

 

       

Home   |   Industry News   |   Equipment Reviews   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us

 

All contents copyright©  1995 - 2019  Enjoy the Music.com®
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.