sctroyenne: French, Irish, Spanish (new beginnings?)

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sctroyenne
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Location: Montreal, QC (moved from the SF Bay Area living my dream!)
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sctroyenne: French, Irish, Spanish (new beginnings?)

Postby sctroyenne » Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:25 am

So a funny thing happened to me today. I finally figured out that the reason I couldn't get HTLAL to open on my home laptop was due to the workaround I had made in the hosts file during one of HTLAL's last epic blackouts about a year ago. After digging for a long time I finally found the original instructions I used to set it up which allowed me to reverse the process. It worked perfectly - except for the fact that HTLAL is down again! :o

Anyway, I figure I'll post my last couple major log posts to get going again. I was in the middle of procrastinating in writing a few music guides after my trip to Quebec.

edited to add: OMG, can I just say how much I'm loving the post formatting features??!!? This is so much easier. I can just highlight a block of text, hit "Quote" and it's done?! I'm in love!
Last edited by sctroyenne on Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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sctroyenne
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Location: Montreal, QC (moved from the SF Bay Area living my dream!)
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Montreal Trip Report Pt.1

Postby sctroyenne » Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:29 am

[repost from HTLAL]

Montreal Trip Report - Part 1

Hello everyone! It’s been a while but I haven’t given up on languages. I just got back a few days ago from Montreal so I figured it’d be a nice time to make an update featuring my trip report!

So I had a desire to get away and do something plus I had a decent amount of banked PTO hours. I was browsing airfares on Skyscanner and noticed that Montreal, at $360-$400 was the cheapest I had ever seen it from SFO. I mulled over it for a couple of days. I knew that Montreal has a lot of stuff going on in the summer so I looked up what was on the agenda: the F1 Grand Prix, a mural festival, the Fringe Festival, a world beer championship, and a French music festival, the FrancoFolies. I perused the selection of artists scheduled for the FrancoFolies and saw that a band I really like, Feu! Chatterton would be there – along with a bigger band, Fauve, which I also like! That settled it, I decided to go ahead and put in for the time off and buy the plane and concert tickets.

I gave myself 11 days – plenty of time to enjoy events, explore neighborhoods, and fit in a side trip to Quebec City. To save money I stayed in a hostel: the Gîte du Plateau Mont-Royal which was about $20 a night and really well situated on Rue Sherbrook and Hôtel de Ville.

Which brings me to my first bit of advice for travelling to Montreal: stay in a hostel! That or some other lodging situation that has you meeting people (Couchsurfing, Airbnb, friends of friends, etc). A lot of people who travel to Montreal (besides American teens and college students under the age of 21 hopping over the border to go drinking and clubbing) are French people. Most of the hostel staff was French and were really nice. You’ll meet a lot of new people and get to practice French even if you don’t manage to talk to a lot of people out in the city. The hostel I stayed in has a nice rooftop terrace you can take food and drinks up to and they organize outings.

I visited a lot of the neighborhoods – the closest and main one being the Plateau/Mont-Royal. Rue St. Denis is where a lot of the action is while Boulevard St Laurent was shut down for traffic for a big street fair and the mural festival. The Avenue du Parc was also nice with some nice cafes, the tamtams in the park on Sunday morning/afternoon, and a bus leading up the Mont Royal for some nice views and walks.

There was also the Vieux Port and Vieux-Montréal which is pretty and the most touristy part of town. Some of the hotels/skyscrapers in this area and downtown have some sky terrace bars with great views. I saw the Basilique Notre-Dame which is gorgeous – I’ve wanted to see it since I saw a photo of it in my high school French textbook. A French friend who is studying to be a pastry chef recommended a nice pastry shop there – la Maison Christian Faure. It was heavenly.

Later on I visited the neighborhoods of Mile End and Hochelaga (near the Olympic Stadium). They were also very charming and had lots of good cafes, bars, and restaurants. I was also surprised to discover that there’s a large Portuguese community in Montreal so lots of Portuguese rotisserie chicken restaurants where they serve you some really good chicken, tons of fries, and where you can get custard tarts, pastéis de nata. Lastly, in Little Italy there’s the Jean Talon market which is just amazing (fruits, veggies, meats, a cheese shop, flowers, maple syrup in all its forms, and some prepared food stands).

Second bit of advice – besides word of mouth and Yelp, Instagram is a great way to find interesting places in the area. I found a lot of really nice cafes and other places to visit thanks to Instagram photographers!

Third bit of advice – I was a bit torn between discovering lots of cafes/bars/restaurants and having regular spots. Most nights I ended up mainly visiting two bars near my hostel and that ended up being the best option. One was a great cocktail bar called La Distillerie where they serve elaborate and creative cocktails in mason jars and the other was Pub Ste. Elisabeth which has a beautiful terrace in the courtyard. I ended up getting to know the staff and some of the regulars and since I was a “regular” and chatting with the staff others at the bar would chat with me as well (not to mention I got some free shots and got to be a guinea pig for custom cocktail creations).

The same French friend recommended a brewpub, Broue Pub Brouhaha, that features B-movie nights on Mondays put on by Douteux.org. When I visited they were putting on Flash Gordon dubbed in French followed by a recording of a regular podcast they do. It reminded me a lot of the B-movie series played at the Nouveau Latina cinema in Paris I used to go to.

Quebec City was beautiful, but a bit more touristy which is to be expected. A couple streets outside the city walls are great for pubs, bars, and restaurants with lovely terraces which are great in the summer: La Grande Allée and Rue St. Jean. At one bar/pub that had been recommended, La Ninkasi, I managed to stumble on an improv match. There’s a decent improv comedy tradition in French which was born in Quebec (if you watch improv matches in France they’ll be commonly done Quebec-syle: in a faux hockey ring with hockey jerseys). I watched a lot of improv while in France and was hoping to catch some while in Quebec but most of the groups had already ended their regular seasons. So I was happy about this little happenstance :)

I did quite a bit of book buying while in Montreal. My focus was nonfiction and some newer fiction that would be harder to get back home. I didn’t find any used bookstores with very low prices (1 to 5 EUR) like in Paris, but I still was able to get a lot and the USD/CAD exchange rate gave me a 20% discount. I met up with emk and we hit up a few shops and spent the day chatting in French. I finally ended up getting Maus (which has been on my list since my high school senior English teacher recommended it to me) and took note of some other BDs which I might acquire in the future. We also saw the film Une Nouvelle Amie. If you’re a Romain Duris fan you may have trouble not thinking of him in this role when watching him in other stuff… There’s also a biopic on Daft Punk called Eden which has been making the festival rounds and should be coming out shortly.

And now the concert! So, as I said, this band Feu! Chatterton being in town was what compelled me to decide to take the trip. They haven’t hit it really big yet, but they’ve been getting a lot of buzz, have been doing quite a few festivals, and have been opening for Fauve who’s been very successful, and will be releasing their first full album shortly so it should only be a matter of time before they’re well-known. They have very poetic, literary lyrics and style that’s mostly rock, sometimes a little dance, sometimes a little bluesy/jazzy. The press has been touting them as a return of chanson française tradition accompanied by good rock (with comparisons to Alain Bashung and Serge Gainsbourg) and the lead singer has a distinctive “dandy” look. I first heard them on a podcast of new French music on Le Mouv and I’ve loved them ever since!

They were playing one free outdoor concert one night then opening for Fauve the next night along with the band Grand Blanc (a sort of synthrock band). I went to both performances. For the FrancoFolies, a whole section of Montreal (the Quartier des Spectacles) gets shut down and they set up a bunch of stages (which I’m sure they keep up for the jazz and comedy festivals that take place later in the summer). Since all the concerts are free and it was a nice night they got a decent crowd, though I’m sure only a few of us knew who they were. The crowd *loved* them! After they went off stage for the last song the crowd kept clapping and cheering hoping they’d do an encore. Eventually the lead singer had to come out and say that they couldn’t do one but sang a short verse and encouraged everyone to come to the Fauve concert. It was so nice to see a lot of people discovering a great band for the first time! They came back out to break down their set and load up their equipment and I managed to talk a bit to the two guitarists and told them that I had come from San Francisco. They were pleasantly surprised to hear that and one insisted that we faire la bise. We also interacted a bit on Instagram.

The next day was my last proper day of vacation – I had a very early flight the next morning – and it was the night of the Fauve concert. I lined up about half an hour before doors opened at the venue, the Metropolis, and I ended up off to the side in the front row. I had no idea what to expect from Fauve live. They’ve been pretty successful and do a spoken word/hip-hop/rock style. Up front I was surrounded by a lot of teenagers which is apparently one of their core demographics. As it turns out they are incredible live! It was one of the best concert experiences I’ve ever had! The lead singer has so much energy and keeps the crowd pumped up. It was especially fun jumping up and down with the whole crowd shouting “va te faire enculer” over and over with middle fingers raised. Montreal seems to really love them and they seem to really appreciate their fans there.

The concert got out at 12:30 and I had to leave for the airport at 4:00 am (for flights across the Canadian/US border they have you go through all the immigration/customs before getting on the plane which means having to get to the airport earlier). I decided there was no point in going to bed so I visited my temporary regular bars one last time. Everyone was really nice and they even hugged me. From La Distillerie after some witnessing a drunken sing-along to a French Celine Dion song, I went to Pub Ste Elisabeth.
Guess who was there…Feu! Chatterton! It was pretty close to the venue so in hindsight it’s not that unusual that they’d end up there. They said, “You’re the one from Instagram!” and I got to have a beer with them. They were interested to know how I knew French, how I had heard them and what kind of music I like (I felt a lot of pressure to cite impressive artists). Their manager was there too and I told them that they have to try to come out to San Francisco (we’ve been getting a bunch of francophone artists who’ve done really well so it’s not too far-fetched). This was the perfect way to cap off my trip!

In my next post I’ll provide details such as more places to check out, my book haul, links to the bands, etc.

I heartily recommend a trip to Montreal/Quebec – especially during the summer! I would be so happy to spend the whole summer in Montreal and enjoy all the upcoming festivals (especially the international fireworks competition which will be featuring fireworks displays every weekend in July). Anyone with a little extra money and some vacation days lying around should definitely consider making a visit before it gets cold (though I’m sure it’s beautiful in winter). Otherwise you have a year to save up. :)
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sctroyenne
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Montreal Trip Report Pt.2

Postby sctroyenne » Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:32 am

[repost from HTLAL]

Montreal Pt. 2

In this second part of my trip report I'm including all the media and links I was too lazy to put in Part 1.

My book haul:

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As I said, I focused on buying stuff that would be difficult to find and/or expensive to get locally. So I got a lot of nonfiction (history, politics, sociology, etc), some new(ish) fiction, and a few BDs. I'm a social science geek so I'm interested in the topics plus at C1/C2 level I think reading a lot of nonfiction will help develop key fluency skills, especially argumentation which is emphasized heavily on the exams.

emk has a roundup of most of the bookstores on this page of his log but I had a couple more to add:

Librairie Le port de tête (New and used)
262 Avenue du Mont-Royal E, Montréal, QC H2T 1P6, Canada

La Librairie Du Square (New - apparently a bookstore of historic significance)
3453 Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2X 3L1, Canada

Boutique Volume (Used)
Cégep du Vieux Montréal, 277 Rue Sainte-Catherine E, Montréal, QC H2X 1L4, Canada

And a couple used ones that I saw but didn't manage to make it to:

Librairie Mona Lisait (Used)
2054, Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC, H2X3K7, Canada

Le Colisée du livre (Used)
908, rue Sainte-Catherine Est, Montreal, QC H2L 2E7, Canada

And finally a full Yelp list with lots of stores I tagged but didn't get to. Basically you can make a big loop along Saint-Denis and and a parallel street between rue Sainte-Catherine Est and Avenue du Mont-Royal and you'll stumble on a lot of them.

Some BDs that are on my "to consider" list:

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The Lunes Birmanes one had some beautiful color inside so I was really tempted.

And I'm not sure, emk, if you were ever talking about this author, Jacques Abeille. A local I met up with to check out book shops was saying he's considered a bit the French JRR Tolkein (he's not a fantasy reader but he liked the first in this series):

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Some food and drink suggestions:

For a really good nice dinner (not cheap but not the most expensive in town either - that would be more like Joe Beef) there's the renowned:

Au Pied de Cochon by Martin Picard
536 Avenue Duluth E, Montréal, QC H2L 1A9, Canada (514) 281-1114

The whole menu is basically pork, duck, foie gras, all topped with more foie gras. Not for vegetarians. In winter they do a whole sugar shack/cabane à sucre. They also have a food truck that serves foie gras poutine if you want a taste for less money.

Portuguese rotisseries all over the city.

Beer:

Dieu du Ciel
29 av Laurier Ouest, Montréal, QC H2T 2N2, Canada (514) 490-9555

Broue Pub Brouhaha
5860 Avenue de Lorimier, Montréal, QC H2G 2N9, Canada (514) 271-7571
Go Monday evenings for a Mystery Science Theater 3000 kind of experience with Douteux.org

L’amère à Boire
2049 Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2X 3K8, Canada (514) 282-7448

Le Sainte Elisabeth
1412, rue Sainte-Elisabeth, Montréal, QC H2X 3C6, Canada (514) 286-4302
Has this lovely courtyard terrace where I had a beer with the band :)

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Cafes:

Cafe Arts
201 Fairmount Avenue W, Montréal, QC H2T 2M8, Canada (514) 274-0919
(also try Fairmont and/or St. Viateur Bagles nearby!)

Pikolo Espresso Bar
3418 B Avenue Du Parc, Montréal, QC H2X 2H7, Canada (514) 508-6800

Café Parvis
433 Rue Mayor, Montréal, QC H3A, Canada (514) 764-3589
Discovered thanks to Instagram due to it being the prettiest cafe in Montreal

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Bars:

Just one (they have two other locations)

La Distillerie
300, Rue Ontario E, Montréal, QC H2X 1H6, Canada (514) 288-7915

Really creative cocktails and super nice staff! If you sit at the bar and get the bartender Fred on a kind of a slow night (during the week is best) he'll offer to make up some crazy concoctions for you based on what you like, like this one:

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I told him I like Moscow Mules so he mixed a coctail based on tequila and orange bitters, took out a cigar and a smoker, put some of the cigar leaves in the smoker and torched it (there's a blow torch at the bar that gets a lot of use), poured the smoke over the cocktail and let it infuse for a while. It was really good!

A couple other activity-based places I wanted to check out but didn't get to:

Le Bordel Comédie Club
312 rue Ontario E, Montréal, QC H2X 1H6, Canada (514) 845-4316

Randolph Pub Ludique
2041 Rue Saint Denis, Montréal, QC H2X 3K8, Canada (514) 419-5001
(pub with a ton of board games - could be good for meeting locals)

Montréal Improv (plus tons of other improv places)
3697 St-Laurent Boulevard, Montréal, QC H2X 2V7, Canada (514) 507-3535
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sctroyenne
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Location: Montreal, QC (moved from the SF Bay Area living my dream!)
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Montreal Trip Report Pt.3 Music Edition

Postby sctroyenne » Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:35 am

[Repost from HTLAL]

Montreal Trip Report Pt. 3 Music edition

So I decided to make a Part 3 to feature music rather than make Part 2 an epic saga. This will mostly be about convincing everyone to go and listen to Feu! Chatterton right now but I'll put in some extra content.

So I went to Montreal for the FrancoFolies Festival to see Feu! Chatterton and Fauve (who were also appearing with Grand Blanc). The festival's site is great for discovering some new French music, as is the mobile app which is excellent. (**Could be another good tip for discovering French music - check lineups for major French festivals like Printemps de Bourges, Solidays, Rock en Seine, Les Vieilles Charrues, Les Francofolies de La Rochelle - the Francofolies would have exclusively francophone artists).

I didn't catch many other artists. There was one that I wasn't too inspired to check out afterwards, but this Quebec hip-hop act, Dead Obies, came on the big stage after the Feu! Chatterton set and they are apparently HUGE in Quebec right now. I stuck around a little bit but started getting a contact high from all the substances being smoked so I figured I'd check them out later.

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As I said above, Feu! Chatterton has gotten a lot of media buzz so there are a lot of articles and interviews talking about their style and their poetic lyrics. They've been hyped as the next big thing in the tradition of Chanson Française but with...how to put it...good music. Here's a little feature by Le Grand Journal:


That's always been my trouble with traditional Chanson Française - I can only listen to a couple of songs in a row before I get tired of the style since the emphasis is not so much on the music or the vocal quality. Feu! Chatterton is music I can listen to all day and the lyrics are just exquisite. Now that I've seen them live and have been watching more of their live videos on YouTube I'm really struck by just how good the instrumentalists are (the "deuling" guitarists that add a lot of rock energy live, some really nice bass).

They experiment a lot with different styles but their biggest rock sounds are on La Mort dans la Pinède, which recounts the awkwardness and electricity of a first sexual encounter:

La Mort dans la Pinède

"...
Tu étais mal dans tes godasses
Dans tes baskets converse
Et je priai les godess
De la promenade des anglais
D'abord je paradais
Puis tu appréhendais
Mes audaces
D'un geste tu les chassas
Comme les moucherons
Au dessus de nos têtes

Et mes largesses
Tu les mis à l'index
C'est déjà ça
A l'index ah!
C'est déjà sale

Au café du commerce
Voilà du grain à moudre
Le grand amour commence
Par un coup de foudre

Et le vent désertique a mis le feu aux poudres
Pendant qu'on s'aime
Crépitent les arbres brûlants
Entends-tu la violence sourdre?
C'est la mort que les flammes sèment
En sens-tu les relents ?

C'est la mort dans la pinède!
Nos cœurs s'embrasent
La forêt aussi."


Their danciest tune is La Malinche which also talks about love but also has a verse about the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs and La Malinche:

La Malinche

"...
Native des contrées
Où Cortés est venu
Trouver haine et fortune
Tu sais de mémoire ancienne
Te méfier des braves
de leur soif inopportune !

Combien de lâches sont venus ici
Courir chimères à coup de fusils ?
Ivres de gloire ont-ils pensé que ton coeur
Serait conquis percé de flèches et de rancoeur
Comme tes côtes mexicaines !

De Malinche, de Malinche
Il n'y en aura qu'une"


They have a few "slow" songs. One is about the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster and is really well done.

Côte Concorde

But I think the strongest is A l'aube, a sort of spoken-word rock ballad about the loss/separation of a friendship from youth. I won't post all the lyrics but the whole song is really a masterpiece:

À l'aube

"...
Et si nous avons pleuré ensemble ce jour de septembre où nous nous sommes quittés c'est qu'on savait que l'infini tendresse, la mémoire et le téléphone mobile sont peu de chose contre la distance, que tout allait changer

il est parti
C'est qu'il se lève à l'aube
Ouais il faut bien s'arracher

D'abord il y a l'âge libre avant la vie domestique qu'on attend tous comme sentence absurde et nécessaire et puis ces chimères à fuir que l'on pense laisser à la porte des avions long courrier

Enfin la peur de s'engraisser aussi, que le confort nous abêtisse
il est parti c'est qu'il se lève à l'aube
..."


And finally, a new song I only just heard live. It's their most "concept" song, running about 14 minutes in length with two "movements". No lyrics online yet but from what I've made out so far they're incredibly rich and it's really worth listening to: Bic Medium.

Bic Medium

I'll make another post about Fauve once I've had a chance to "study" them a bit more. Before seeing them live I had only ever listened to their albums while at work so I haven't delved into their lyrics much (which are rich and dissectable as well but in a different, more vulgar/familiar way).

I hope a few of you come to appreciate Feu! Chatterton as much as I do!
Last edited by sctroyenne on Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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sctroyenne
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Location: Montreal, QC (moved from the SF Bay Area living my dream!)
Languages: French (C2), Irish (beg-intermediate), Spanish (intermediate but mostly passive)
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Music

Postby sctroyenne » Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:06 am

And finally some new content!

Before moving on from Feu! Chatterton, just a few exciting updates.

First, they announced their first full album, Ici le Jour (a tout enseveli), will be released October 16th with the first single, Boeing, being released August 24th. Here's a teaser!


Next, they've been featured in a Heineken commercial (as both the song, J'aime regarder des filles, and on-camera in a cameo). There's definitely better beer in the world but the commercial showing off Paris is pretty cute and makes me nostalgic:
The Insider

And finally, they've been performing a lot this summer playing the French music festival circuit and winning over a lot of audiences and press. In addition, they've teamed up with writer Eric Reinhardt in a series of performances featuring his novel, L'Amour et les forêts. It's part an author reading part concert part pre-rehearsed poetry slam session. Both Reinhardt and the lead singer Arthur read and the band also plays at intervals. The last one was performed Sunday at the Festival d'Avignon (the biggest or one of the biggest theatre/performing arts festival in France) and it was broadcast by France Culture. I had no idea what to expect but it was pretty extraordinary!

Here's the web page explaining the performance in a bit more detail: L’Amour et Les Forêts d'Eric Reinhardt. It *says* that the recording is not available for podcasting/replay. *But* this link is still working. I don't know if it will end up being taken down so if you're interested in checking it out, act quickly! It's long but it really picks up at about the 14 minute mark when the band kicks in with their specially-written song for this performance "Dans les Vosges un jeudi" (which is incredibly beautiful). Their performance of their song "Mort dans la pinède" is later spliced with excerpts from the reading, then things get really intense (and quite vulgar...) when the main character's husband questions her about where she has been.
Last edited by sctroyenne on Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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sctroyenne
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Music Pt. 2

Postby sctroyenne » Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:54 am

I was going to write a lot more about Fauve but I was getting a bit stuck on their "concept" as a music "collective" which I need to read more about to understand. But as far as I know they remain unsigned even though they are now immensely popular (which means they're keeping all that money for themselves :lol:). They have a spoken word/hiphop/rock style and they've earned a lot of adulation from adolescents which has provoked a bit of a backlash. They do tend a bit towards the emo rant side but I still like them (their fans can get a little over the top though, especially the one I saw who drew their logo on her wrist to look like cut marks). I could see myself smoking a pack while listening to their album if I were a smoker.

I might delve into their lyrics later but for now here's a few songs:
Blizzard


Infirmière
Haut les Coeurs
Kané

And a video I took from the concert in the front row. It's what you can expect from a cellphone concert video from the front row (attention if you have motion sickness!) and about half of it is in darkness. Though it lacks in quality to me it imparts the experience. There was a special love between the Montreal audience and the lead singer - you can tell he really loves the reception they get from their Montreal audience. And he has a massive amount of energy (must be drugs otherwise he should bottle and sell that) and is constantly right in front of the audience drawing them in. I couldn't help but get caught up in all the energy, making it one of the best concerts I've been to!


And briefly, some more musical discoveries:

Spotify has a feature where it will come up with a custom radio station based on an artist or genre of your choosing. I wanted to discover more French-Canadian music so I started with a rap group I know of who sings in Chiac (an Acadian dialect that consists of constant code-switching between French and English that will blow your mind):

Radio Radio - Ej Feel Zoo


(How can you not love these lyrics?)
avec fur coat de bébé phoque
j'aime bien du pita
mais chu contre les peta pita
ej veux des bottes faites de cheetah
avec d'la graisse de baleine


It worked really well. I got a great eclectic mix of French-Canadian artists:

Galaxie - Camouflar (this one made me sit up straight in my chair when it came on - epic!)
Bernard Adamus - Entre ici pis chez vous (an old-timey ragtime style)
Jean Leloup - I Lost My Baby (a more traditional French singer-songwriter style)
Alfa Rococo - Marcher (dance pop)

Plus, there was recently a concert in my area featuring trad celtic-style French Canadian music (which made me really want to go back and visit the deep Canadian country and islands):

Vishtèn - Joli Coeur
De Temps Antan - Mépriseuse de garçons

Bon, il y en a vraiment pour tous les goûts - there's something for every taste!
Last edited by sctroyenne on Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: sctroyenne: French, Irish, Spanish (new beginnings?)

Postby sctroyenne » Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:55 pm

I remember in my conversation with emk about reading comprehension at the advanced levels we were discussing whether it is language or content that poses the most difficulty. Here's an example of one of my reading selections, Nous et les autres de Tzvetan Todorov where it's definitely a matter of content:

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This isn't very skimmable reading and I frequently have to read over sentences and paragraphs due to some very precise analysis and argumentation he often makes. It would also be better to be more familiar with the writers he analyzes (such as Diderot, Lévi-Strauss, Ernest Renan, etc). As a non-native reader it's also hard to tell if Todorov, who isn't writing in his native language, has any "tics" to his writing that aren't typical for a native. Academic writing can also be a very mixed bag - some scholars are much more obtuse than others which can make reading academic writing even in one's own native language difficult at times. I have to say the second part of this book, which deals with racism rather than "otherness" is much easier to read (though not easy due to the content of the writing he's analyzing).

Since this is slower reading I've taken a mid-point break to read one of my fiction selections (by DOA, a sort of French Tom Clancy).
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Re: sctroyenne: French, Irish, Spanish (new beginnings?)

Postby tastyonions » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:03 pm

I remember that someone left a comment on the YouTube video for "Infirmière" to the effect of "Quelle saloperie de refrain!" I like that song, though.
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Re: sctroyenne: French, Irish, Spanish (new beginnings?)

Postby rdearman » Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:03 pm

Wow! Sounds like you had an amazing trip. I love Montreal, such a beautiful city!
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More Music! (YouTube warning)

Postby sctroyenne » Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:33 am

I was going to space out my next music post to avoid overloading the first page of my log but since this is now a browser resiliency test post I'll just go ahead and add a few more selections. :)

As far as I know all the following artists are French-French (though you never know if a Belgian or two slip through undetected). Thanks to Feu! I've been following more up-and-comers and used them to generate some Spotify lists for me. There's a lot of great rock and alt/indie rock being produced by new French artists right now but unfortunately a lot of it is in English (can't blame them for trying to capture some of the success other French artists have gotten worldwide). Which is one reason why Feu! gets so much attention from French press for elevating the status of French in contemporary music. Fortunately for French students there are still some artists still opting for la langue de Molière, at least part-time.

Let's start with Grand Blanc, who was the other opening act for Fauve along with Feu! Chatterton. To say that their synth-rock style is inspired by the 80s is an understatement. More like they were forming a band in around 1984, got sucked into a time warp and re-appeared about last year. They have dual lead singers, one female who one could probably liken to Blondie due to her being blonde. :)

Degré zéro
Samedi la nuit
L'homme serpent

Radio Elvis was part of Feu!'s "class" in various competitions for newcomers. They frequently lost but they're also very good. Their sound boarders on the traditional French singer/songwriter sound that I sometimes find annoying. But they stay on the right side of the boarder, have a really good rock sound with that special Frenchy flavor.

Goliath
La Traversée

A nice indie/folk rock male/female duo, Part-Time Friends who sing "part-time" in French. They showed up on some compilation albums (a good way to check out a bunch of artists) and Spotify playlists.

Summertime Burns

Cléa Vincent has a much more typical French pop sound but stays on the non-annoying side of the boundary for me (at least so far among the songs I've heard). Her backing band (especially the bassist) sound really good which keeps her songs interesting.

Château perdu
Retiens mon désir

Philémon Cimon - no commentary yet, just had some of his stuff pop up in Spotify and he seems promising.

Baden Baden - not terribly new but I'm just discovering them. They split between French and English and I get a Modest Mouse or a far more mellow Arcade Fire kind of vibe from them.

A tes côtés

And to make a detour into the world of hip-hop, there's Nekfeu (which I'm sure has been brought up on HTLAL before). I'm not a hip-hop fan by "default" but I find some stuff I like and I'm enjoying them.

Ma dope

And that's all for now! Let me know if your computer dies viewing this thread!

(edited to take away the embedded YouTube clips)
Last edited by sctroyenne on Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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