Monday, October 1, 2007


Awesome show at Sala Rossa last night. Extra points to Zach for holding most of the on-stage banter in very acceptable French. The boy's got raw talent oozing from his trumpet. Their new album is also slowly making its way into my list of favorites and might end up sitting up there with the first one.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Slip me a little Tungle (and flirt with the DEMOgods)

It would be easy to explain the fact that Tungle yesterday were named DEMOgods at the DEMOfall conference by Marc's natural good looks and contagious charisma, or by Jacou's infectious smile and lightning-quick demo clicking...

But I'd rather believe that the crowd were convinced by the innovation and functionality of a technology they feel will make their professional (and personal) lives a bit easier, and help solve the problem of wasted time and effort trying to coordinate meetings.

Congratulations to the whole team !

Check it out for yourselves (6 min. demo). The free Outlook plug-in and Tungle Spaces (web service) will launch as soon as some minor bugs are ironed out, with Google Calendar, iCal, and Lotus Notes integration coming soon, as well as some very reasonably priced premium features.

By the way, the Tungle Blog is also quite worthy of your attention and RSS aggregation. Good stuff. Exciting times.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

More videogame excitement

This time from my A2M buddies...

The song used in the trailer has an interesting story - Link to the Johnny Cash version

Friday, June 22, 2007

Excited about a video game again

Yeah... seems like forever that I've been excited about a game coming up... Things have been pretty quiet on the video gaming side for the last 2 years at Dav's, except for a short-lived DanceDanceRevolution craze and some Katamari Damacy action, plus the occasional NHL2K5 game (still...) ...and I don't even own any of the new generation consoles. But now it looks like it's all about to change :

My favorite toys growing up. I know there's a movie coming out soon. Should be quite the CGI orgy... Hope it's good !

Monday, June 11, 2007

Travel pics from the Western Balkans

Hey all, just a quick word to tell anyone intersted (ie. my dad !) that I've started to upload pictures from my trip to France-Albania-Montenegro-Bosnia-Serbia on my Flickr page, with some comments and a bit of bilingual storytelling thrown in. Latest pics are from Tirana, the colourful, smelly and beautifully chaotic capital of Albania.

Loli is still backpacking in Serbia and regularly updating her own Flickr page. Latest include a quick visit to Kosovo, of all places...

Now... back to board meeting agendas, cap tables and freemium revenue models...

and, why not, a Monday AM song ! (some awesome klezmer...)
Cracow Klezmer Band - Ets Hayyim (The Tree Of Life).mp3

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Albania & Montenegro

Dobar Dan everyone !

So here I am blogging from some basement in Mostar, in Hercegovina, a few yards away from the legendary old bridge that was destroyed during the war 14 years ago... only to be beautifully rebuilt. The Sarajevsko pivo i'm holding is cold and refreshing. So far the trip has been a blast. Upon returning I will post a whole lot of pictures on my Flickr page and try to give more details on the whole trip, but I promised my mom I would give a quick update... so here goes...

After a quick week-end in Paris where I met up with Loli (who I now lovingly call Ljolja) and had a nice dinner on the Seine with our hosts Fannie and François, we caught a flight for Bari, Italy, where we had some tasty red wine and then immediately embarked on a ferry for Durres, Albania. Albania is still very much off the beaten path as far as tourism is concerned and during our time there we had the very pleasant feeling of being the only non-locals roaming the streets.

The country struggled out of a very closed-off 45 year dictatorship in the early 90s and still today is the second poorest country in Europe (Moldavia... oh dear...) and apparently the least visited. It was still relatively easy for us to travel between cities and find nice, cheap accomodation and meals. And friendly people, except for very mean barber. By the way, the LEK is one currency that trades favorably for our Canadian $, but their bankomats are confusing. After Durres we took a slow train to the capital Tirana, a dusty, smelly, noisy but very colorful and overall fascinating city.

We then took a bus to Shkoder in the North of the country, a nice, mid-size town with a great antique citadel. I will definitely give more details on our days in Albania and urge everyone to read up on the country and visit some day. Tell Afrim, at the bleak, grey, Hotel Rozafa in Shkoder that David and Loli sent you. We had to promise. He'll make sure you have electricity in your room and shower you with raki, cigarettes and, honestly, some damn excellent espresso.

From Shkoder we had our own personal furgon to Montenegro, possibly the newest country on Earth. Montenegro is small and beautiful. We spent 2 lazy days in Budva in some post-communist all-included resort called the Slovenska Plaža. Worst. Food. Ever. But the beaches were superb and the walled old town is very pretty and made a nice backdrop for us to watch the Champions League Final. The Italians got lucky. Again. After Budva we rented a trusty Fiat Punto and took the amazing, twisty moutain roads to Zabljak and the Nacionalni Park of Durmitor for one of the most amazing hikes I've ever done. After Durmitor we spent a day and night in Kotor, another ancient fortified town, this one settled on the banks of a spectacular fjord, surrounded by mountains.

More later on Dubrovnik, Croatia and Bosnia. After Mostar, we're moving on to Sarajevo and then Belgrade in Serbia, from which I leave next Tuesday. Now, some pictures... also check out Loli's flickr page, she has nice pics, including a bunch of yours truly:

Loli, Fannie and François, on the banks of the Seine, where we had cheese, saucisson, red wine and chocolate.

Loli on the Durres waterfront, moments after we set foot in Albania.

One of the many colourful buildings of Tirana, where the artistically inclined mayor subsidized paint for everyone to brighten the post-communist concrete block landscape of the city, with wonderful results.
In Skhoder, where streets have no name (or they have 3...), and, so, no use for street signs, we asked directions to a restaurant to the man on the right. He instead invited us back to his appartment to meet his kid, mother and wife, who served us very potent shots of raki and deliciously thick albanian coffee. We felt like receiving Quebecois travellers in their home was the greatest honour ever for them. We felt it, since dialogue was very patchy... I think they plan on immigrating to Sweden. Falemendereit, folks !
Loli in the mountains of Durmitor in Montenegro.
Ice formations in the cave of Ledena in Durmitor, which we reached after a long climb through fiels of snow and a very inapropriate hailstorm.

Internet caffe time is running out... sorry for the spelling mistakes and typoes and bad html... check back the Flickr page next week for a lot more. Take care everyone ! Dav xx

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Off to the Western Balkans

I leave tomorrow for 2½ weeks of backpacking through Albania, Montenegro and Serbia, perhaps with tiny slices of Croatia and Bosnia thrown in, accompanying a delightfully charming ¼Serbian princess in her Balkanic adventures. So I figured now could be as good a time as any to resurrect this page that I have so badly neglected lately that I'm not even convinced it deserves to be called a blog anymore...

Highlights of the last few weeks definitely include closing the deal with Tungle, a very promising Montreal start-up that I've mentioned more than once and for which I personnally have very high hopes.

Great product, one that will finally solve the pain of scheduling meetings... huge potential, unique technology, brilliant founder, fantastic team, great set of investors... the challenges ahead are very real but the foundations are solid and I'm proud and excited to be part of the adventure.

They are going to expand the limited beta very soon, so if you're an Outlook Calendar user, make sure you sign-up here. If you use another calendar, desktop or on-line, compatibility will come shortly.

Press relase is here.

Great post by Rick Segal, a partner at our co-investors JLA Ventures (and a true VC blogger, no wannabe, like me)

Coverage on the Red Herring website

More coverage...

Alright, so maybe this here blog will be converted to a travel/photo blog for the next weeks. In the meantime let me link you to a sample of the kind of music we're going to be looking for, in the obscure, smoky basement bars of Belgrade (Serbs are pretty intense about their brass...) :
Boban Markovic Orkestar - Grom cocek

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Trying a new widget... + Tungle beta

I've put a jaxtr thingy in my blog's template (right side-bar). If you can find a reason to text (one-liner jokes, anyone ?) or call me, please do try it, I'm curious to see how well this works.

I other news, I invite you all to have a look at the Tungle website here and sign-up for their limited beta. I'll write more, and in glowing terms, about the product and the team very soon, but you should all get on the test-drive, and don't hesitate to give feed-back. Tungle hopes to offer a tool that will solve the very real and frustrating problem of easily scheduling meetings with different people, across organizations. Could be a real time-saver for a whole lot of people.

... and Joyeuse Pâques !

Monday, March 19, 2007

Tungle Under the Radar

I will once again be travelling later this week to (hopefully) sunny California, this time to attend the Under the Radar conference. The theme for this one is Office 2.0, or the gradual adoption by us working folks of the web services we so enjoy in the comfort of our homes. I think this particular topic is fascinating, both as an investor and as a user, and now is a good time to place your bets on which 2.0 type services will be able to penetrate Microsoft and IBM's fortress, and perhaps achieve a monetization that is hard to accomplish with the MySpace and Facebook crowds.

(In other words, if Debbie, from accounting, starts podcasting from her cubicle anytime soon, the possibilities are endless.)

The phenomenon is also having a deep impact on how users relate to the IT-powers-that-be of their organizations. Check out this editorial from CIO Mag on users that know too much, and the shadow IT department.

I'll be at the conference with hot new company Tungle, who are coming out of stealth mode and hopefully will get ON the radar with the launch of their beta. I'll write more about Tungle later but for now let me say that I am very excited by what they have developed, a solution to a very common problem that most of us live with every day, which they want to make better in a very creative, efficient and user-friendly way. Can't wait to use it.

Finally, if anyone reading this happens to also attend the UTR conference, don't hesitate to come and say hi, for I don't get to mingle with Valley folks too often and enjoy every opportunity to do so.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Constellation Software Acquires PG Govern for $25 Million

Link to the press release

A nice exit for a Desjardins portfolio company that started out in Rimouski (a small town in Eastern Quebec) and has quickly grown to become a leader in the goverment management systems space. Congrats to all involved !

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Quebec, # 4 in worldwide VC rankings...

... behind California, Massachusetts and the UK. That's according to the Worldwide VC Rankings recently published by consulting firm Library House. Link to the complete table.

This ranking is certainly something I'll slip into cocktail conversations for a while, even though the methodology behind the rankings seems almost as debatable as the one behind the dreaded FIFA rankings.

Still, Venture Capital in Quebec is indeed an industry (more than just a community) and there's lots of deals made annually. Réseau Capital, Quebec's VC Association, has an ulgy-ass website and all the stats if you want to find out more (and if you can read numbers in French).

But, in general, the Quebec VC industry does a lot of deals, but with typically much smaller amounts invested than in the U.S. Lots of IT, lots of biotech and pharma, not enough cleantech, but also a large number of institutional VC investments in more traditional industries, including more and more sub-debt financings... deals that might not get categorized as venture capital in other countries/states.

I'll definitely write more about VC in la Belle Province in the near future, especially the IT side of it. In the meantime, let me stick out my tongue to Texas, New York, Washington State, Ontario, Israel, France and Germany. #4, baby.

APEX tradeshow feedback

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday of last week at the "IPC Printed Circuits Expo, APEX and the Designers Summit" with the fine young gentlemen of Cogiscan, one of our portfolio companies. I spent most of the 2 days on the APEX / electronics manufacturing side of the Expo, where Cogiscan's booth was neatly located between Siemens' and Panasonic's, two of our major OEM partners. Cogiscan's smart feeder RFID technology was also displayed in Juki's booth, giving them great visibility.

Some thoughts:
  • It was my first time attending, but everyone says the show is getting smaller every year, becoming more of a regional affair. A lot of the decision making still happens in North America, but the bulk of the production is now in China and a handfull of other developing countries. Asian and European tradeshows are getting more traffic. Productronica seems to be growing fast.
  • China has most of the high volume / low mix production, but the EMS there are also starting to offer more flexible, limited run, production.
  • North American (and Mexican, even, it seems) EMS plants are more and more focussed on highly specialized, verticalized, more complex, low volume / high mix, higher margins manufacturing.
  • Walt Custer's conference on industry trends and macro-data was a powerpoint slidefest like I hadn't seen in a while and if you e-mail him, you can probably get them. Bottom line: a small lull in growth this year, back at higher levels in 2008-9.
  • The tradeshow moved from Anaheim to L.A. and apparently this negatively affected attendance. From Cogiscan's booth, though, I have a feeling that attendance (and sales leads) was of better quality than before... less people in town to just browse and kick the tires before taking the kids to Disneyland. I saw a lot of people from EMS and OEMs looking for solutions to specific problems and they seemed to have budgets for new technology.
  • The area around the L.A. Convention Center is incedibly bland and boring. I guess I can recommend the Figueroa Hotel, 3 blocks away. Interesting decor and very affordable, but don't expect either luxury or friendly staff.
  • I am pretty much an outsider to the industry and don't get some of the subtleties in the different tech offerings but it looks to me like a lot small and larger guys offer very comparable products. There's probably going to be a wave of consolidation and acquisitions in the next few years, where the major players (Siemens, Panasonic, Fuji, Juki, Yamaha) acquire technologies left and right to try and give themselves an edge.
  • Finally, I didn't see one other VC in attendance. Low margin industries usually don't attract much VC money.

Friday, February 16, 2007

IPC Printed Circuits Expo, APEX and the Designers Summit

I'm leaving on Monday to spend a couple of days in L.A. at the APEX Expo with DVC portfolio company Cogiscan. Should be a good opportunity to get a feel of the industry, see the trends and observe the buzz around Cogiscan's booth. It'll be nice to take a brake from software and Web 2.0 business plans and spend a few hours gazing at actual machinery and learn about manufacturing innovations.

I'll try to update my blog from there and give my impressions.

Friday, February 9, 2007

A2M named one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies

Artificial Mind & Movement, one of our portfolio companies, and one of the first deals I got involved with when I came on board, was just named one the country's 50 best managed companies. Like founder and CEO Rémi Racine says in the press release, the A2M team have succeeded in creating and implementing a very structured approach within a usually chaotic industry. In other words, they're really good at what they do and they make a profit doing it. And they have been managing their fast-paced growth very well, consolidating Montreal's position as major hub in the video game development scene.
(Now, let's see the spectacular exit they're going to create for their investors)
Congratulations guys !

Geostationary Banana Over Texas

Yes indeed. I'll let you guys read this one by yourselves. Montreal creativity (and government spending, apparently) at its best.

In other (somehow related) news, I loved this post on the "Creating Passionate Users" blog, about passion for employer vs. passion for work. I can certainly relate. It's something I've observed in the organizations I've worked for and the companies I work with, and I feel that professionals from my generation definitely more often fall in the latter category.

"The company should behave just like a good user interface -- support people in doing what they're trying to do, and stay the hell out of their way. Applying the employer-as-UI model, the best company is one in which the employees are so engaged in their work that the company fades into the background."


Going further down my list of starred items in my Google Reader, Andrew Parker, after attending the Brave New Web conference in Boston, concludes with

"Overall, the conference was entertaining, but no more informative than a day of posts on the blogosphere. The information exchange going on everyday on the blogosphere is the cutting-edge of thought leadership today. That being said, I dig conferences for the value of getting out from behind a computer and meeting people. There’s no substitute for face-to-face conversation."

I have to agree and I feel that becoming a heavy RSS user and reading a long list of tech, finance and VC blogs every day is making me better at what I do. But what Andrew says about conferences is also how I've been feeling about books lately. Every time I finish reading a business or non-fiction book I have this overwhelming sensation that the few new and good ideas it contained, the actual value added of the book, could have been written in a few blog posts and taken me 20 min. to read instead of a week. Shortening attention span, I guess.

Finally, a song for your Friday morning, taken from the amazing upcoming album Dividing Opinions by Giardini Di Miro, an indie/post-rock band from Italy. They have 4 or 5 older albums under their belt, all wonderful.
Giardini Di Miro - Spectral Woman

Monday, February 5, 2007

Miro: X-treme Sledding

Here are 2 quick youtube videos, taken last week-end on Mont-Royal (on my birthday ! 31...). The star of these videos is young Miro, 4 years old, nephew of my childhood buddy Olivier. Younger brother Elliot was cheering on, trying to keep his feet warm.

Also worthy of mention is the very modern and risqué camera-style, reminiscent of the late 90's Danish Dogma cinema (at the risk of freezing my fingers and/or breaking my trusty Canon point-and-shooter in an horrible krazy karpet vs. sno-racer accident). Edgy, I know.

Technology Entrepreneurs Montreal Breakfast Meetup

Ben, at the aptly named Instigator Blog, has announced the launch of a monthly breakfast for tech entrepreneurs, next Tuesday (the 13th) at Cafétéria (3581 St-Laurent). Discussions started here.

I think it's a brilliant idea and I'm definitely forwarding the invite to a few people. Don't hesitate to do the same.
I plan to attend from time to time, even though I'm not sure I can make it next week.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

While we're cuddled up in a corner of a local brew pub, reading books, exchanging neck kisses:

Christy: Do you think people sometimes think I'm your retarded sister ?
Dav: Of course not, sweetie.
Christy: Really ?
Dav: Yeah I'm sure they can tell you're my girlfriend.

Earlier this week Christy sent me a link to, and I have to admit it's pretty hilarious. And apparently more so because the boy in question is French Canadian.

Funny was important this week since work was kind of a bummer; I learned that my boss André, who I really enjoy working with, is going to work for our newly formed buy out and major investments group, and I also had to pull the plug on a 2 M $ investment in an early-stage company I had been working on for months, after weeks of due diligence and a lot of efforts on both sides. Never a fun phone call to make.

Oh, and my dad called with the news that Lulu had left us for a better world, a world full of juicy doggy treats and unlimited petting behind the ears.

At least I won both my soccer games with the Celtic and FC Fabrose, and got to play my first games of shinny of the year at Parc Lafontaine.

But, more funny stuff:
We watched both seasons of the "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" sitcom over the last 2 or 3 weeks and it's the best TV comedy I've seen since Arrested Development. It's been described as "Seinfeld on crack" and it's sortof accurate. It's a very lo-budget, politically incorrect production about 3 guys and a girl who own a bar. Danny DeVito also has a role in the second season. Downloadable here, but only for U.S. customers, so I had to find it somewhere else...

MP3 for your Sunday evening: Radio Dept. - Worst Taste in Music

Thursday, January 18, 2007

How many consoles is this going to sell ?

Seen on Engadget...

A 25 yr. old from Philadelphia shed 9 lbs over 6 weeks by playing 30 min. of Nintendo Wii sports video games daily. Perfect example of how user-generated content can become a promotion/advertising tool. Deliberately or not.

Our CFO at A2M suggests that Desjardins Insurance reimburse or give discounts to their customers who buy a Wii (or A2M games !). Well, maybe.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The electricity in your house wants to sing

Fortune editor David Kirkpatrick believes that subscription services, like Rhapsody, rather than iTunes-type online stores, are the way of tomorrow, fueled by ubiquitous broadband and the proliferation of mobile devices. That made me pause and look at my own music set-up.


I have, on my PC, close to 200 GB of high bitrate mp3s. Most of them I encoded myself from my collection of CDs, some I've acquired through iTunes-type online stores (and un-DRM'ed) and, yes, there's a bunch I acquired by encoding some of my friends' CDs and sometimes filesharing with them.

That PC is in the small office I have in our apartment. My modified XBox, running the awesome open-source software XBMC, is in the living room, connected to my HDTV screen, to my sound system, and to my home wi-fi network... this makes my set-up the Poor Man's Sonos (also mentioned by Kirkpatrick).

With XBMC I can stream all my mp3s, build playlists and use visualizers on my TV screen. I can also stream Shoutcast stations (including my own server, which resides on an antique laptop). I can also watch my digital pics, DIVX movies, youtube clips and do many, many more things, (including playing XBox games...). Setting up and customizing XBMC takes a bit of skill, or, in my case, trial, error and a lot of tutorials, but the possibilities are plentiful.

We have a similar set-up in the bedroom, where I use another old work laptop, connected to the wi-fi network and to a set of speakers, and running VLC.


I've never owned an iPod (but Christy has one). I have a pre-iPod, old and bulky RCA Lyra Jukebox residing in the car and a trustworthy Archos Gmini400 for running, working out, or just walking around (I usually walk to work).

But, the new exciting addition to the family (merci papa !) is the Archos 604wifi. The thing has a full color 4.3" touchscreen, plays mp3s and other audio formats, videos and pictures. It has a wi-fi card which allows me to connect to a hotspot or to my home network, browse the web with its Opera browser, but also stream all the tunes and flicks I have on my network, whether I'm in bed, in the bathroom or on the balcony. Current firmware doesn't allow it but I can easily see the day where a device like this one would allow me to connect to any hotspot and stream music from my home server, or from a subscription service. Maybe I'll write a more detailed review of the 604wifi soon.


I have transferred a few GBs of music to my work laptop, but recently started using Vibe Streamer, which allows me to stream all the music I have on my PC at home, from work. I also used Vibe Streamer to DJ at the New Year's Eve party we held at my friend Cyril's loft. Really cool, although not everyone was pleased by my disdain for 80's hits. Streampad has a similar feature, but I couldn't get it to work on my system. I also tune in to my Shoutcast station (and others) from work.

So basically with Vibe Streamer I can now access my own music collection anywhere there's broadband internet. In theory, I could also give that access to anyone I want, giving them a free subscription to my music collection. And they could do the same, creating our own private Rhapsody...

I also finally started spying on myself and installed last week, on my computers and enabled it on XBMC. I need to spend more time with it but it seems very exciting. Pandora, the Hype Machine and the various music blogs are other music sources I've enjoyed in the past months.

So, I haven't really used CDs (and their evil jewel cases) in the last 2 years, except to encode, right after I buy them. I realise that, for digital music, I'm very much the early adopter and that today's tools and products aren't for the average consumer. But these tools are getting more and more user-friendly and affordable. And the average consumer is getting more and more tech savvy.

I think Kirkpatrick is probably right and that subscription services are the future. I don't need to carry around CDs and even today I don't always need to have the actual mp3 files with me. But I definitely believe that a lot of those subscription services will be open and user/community generated and will, once again, evade being controlled by the music industry. I can easily see a future where I will stream all the music I need from my own server or from my friends/neighbours' radios, not necessarily Rhapsody... It'll also be interesting to see what kind of free subscription access the piracy groups, darknets and other filesharing communities will make available...

In the meantime, according to I Am Robot And Pround - The Electricity in your House Want to Sing. If you ask me, that's damn good news.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

101 Blog Tips

Chrystian Guy, a very-early-adopter of all things Web and a Québécois web start-up pioneer (and ex-entrepreneur from our portfolio) has a nice francophone tech-science-fun blog, where I found a link to this handy list of Blog Tips. Very useful for a newbie like me.

#18 is definitely my biggest blog-related issue right now...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

What the Internet really is for...

Cute animals.
Last night I got sent off from my soccer game (i'm sparing you the details), so I got back home in a deservedly shitty mood. Seconds after coming back to our place I sat down with my girlfriend and watched this video 5 or 6 times straight.

And then I had a cookie.

Forget Web 2.0, new business models, social networking, web services... Cute animals will save the world. Especially if they sneeze on camera.

Cute Overload; one of the most popular blogs around. I do wonder if they have a business model.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Firefox-Mozilla made 52.9 M $ revenue in 2005

Chairman Mitchell Baker recently disclosed that number on his blog. It's more than I personally was expecting and now I'm really curious about the 2006 number. Apparently, most of the revenues come from the top right Google search box (and, I assume, the other drop-down options; Amazon, eBay, etc.).

It's always good to see open-source business models that actually work, although, once again, it all comes back to Google.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

2006 quickie music retrospective- Part 2

OK, I know everyone is sick of these by now. But, it's Sunday night, tomorrow is back-to-work and seriousness for Dav, I want that streampad widget you see on the right side-bar to be well populated and it's my blog so I do whatever I want.

Barzin - Let's Go Driving the opening track from My Life in Rooms
A great album of slow-paced, dreamy songs from this Toronto artist.

Kimya Dawson - Underground from Remember That I Love You
Kimya came back this year with another nice collection of lo-fi melodies and witty lyrics. Pretty good.

Beirut - Mount Wroclai (Idle Days) from Gulag Okestar
Probably my favorite album this year. Deservedly the darlings of the indie blogosphere. Check out the review of their Pop Montreal concert, written by my sweetie.

Calexico - All Systems Red from Garden Ruin

I miss their usually more mariachi infused sound, but this a very solid rock album.

EPO-555 - Maid in China from Mafia
Let me win back some of my indie cred by pimping this (more obscure) band from Denmark. Flaming Lips fans should like this.

The Appleseed Cast - Mountain Halo from Peregrine
More great inventive shoegazey indie rock from these ex-emoers.

Tokyo Police Club - Nature of the Experiment from their debut EP A Lesson in Crime
Very promising debut by these Toronto kids. If you like the Strokes, Franz Ferdinand, etc.

The Hot Springs - The Fog and The Horn from the Québec Émergent comp
I don't think The Hot Springs have an album out yet, but they're hyped as the next big thing out of Montreal. This girl here might be the next indie rock superstar.

Ratatat - Wildcat from Classics
This duo fuses synthetic beats with guitar riffs (and panther roars) for a very unique sound.

Booka Shade - Darko from Movements
One of the few electro albums i truly enjoyed in 2006.

Ellen Allien & Apparat - Do Not Break from Orchestra of Bubbles
More German electro-goodness resulting from this collaboration. They held a contest to pick the video for one of their songs. Beautiful results.

Mouse on Mars - Chartnok from Varcharz
Warning - this one isn't for everyone... a delicious brainf*ck. MoM are the grandaddies of German IDM. Their recent set at Salla Rossa are the 2nd time I actually busted a move in 2006. 1st time was the Sharon Jones' 50th Birthday Part in NYC.

Alias & Tarsier - Dr. C from their coast-to-coast collaborative effort BrooklandOaklyn
Reminds me of the good days of trip-hop.

Zuchini Drive - Sombre City from Being Kurtwood
Electro-hip-hop by a Belgian and a Sweden. Markus Acher (of the fantastic German band The Notwist) appears on this track, perhaps the most European one ever recorded.

Fat Jon & Styrofoam - Runnin' Circle from The Same Channel
Again, a great electro-hip-hop collaboration. US-Belgium. Go globalization.

Keny Arkana - Mère des enfants perdus from Entre ciment et belle étoile
Alright, I don't know much about hip-hop. Clipse, The Game, Nas, all great albums, but the one hip-hop record that really kicked my ass this year is the debut by a young, angry, immigrée Marseillaise. Very angry.

Asobi Seksu - New Years from Citrus
Let's end with a few louder picks. Asobi Seksu in a NYC shoegaze band fronted by a tiny Japanese girl. Great live show.

The Thermals - A Pillar of Salt from The Body, The Blood, The Machine
Very dynamic and gritty post-punk from Portland, OR.

Priestess - Talk to Her from Hello Master
Heavy arena rock band from Montreal. Long hair, old-fashioned riffs. I wish I could play in a garage band.

Mogwai - Travel Is Dangerous from Mr. Beast
These Glasgow post-rockers are long-time favorites of mine and this album didn't disappoint. Loud but melodic.

Triple Burner - Bride of Bad Attitude from their self-titled debut
Allow me to finish with this local act that I've particularly enjoyed seeing live a few times in the last 2 or 3 years. Triple Burner are Harris Newman (wonderful guitarist) and Bruce Cawdron (percussions). Hypnotic.

Alright, that's enough.
I'm going to bed. Happy New Music Year everyone !