by carl wilson

Salut Hello: Getting the Montreal Story Right

Call Me Poupeé in a tableau typique de domestique de Montréal.

An article that should have been written a year ago, but finally appeared in The Globe this weekend: Chris Frey's bang-on piece on the francophone side of the ballyhooed Montreal music scene - and the fact that the most significant thing about that scene is that there no longer really are francophone and anglophone sides. The same thing was dramatically in evidence to me at Pop Montreal this fall, and is the single greatest shift I've seen in Montreal music culture since I first lived there long ago (in the Og Records era, which Chris's piece, perhaps alone among all the Montreal-scene articles of the past couple of years, pays its due). That breakdown of the lingo divide is clearly part of the reason why Malajube was able to become the first French-Canadian rock band to gain significant attention outside the province in a long while, particularly without singing in English. Chris's article will introduce you to some other artists worth your time who are rockin' en francais. My only complaint would be that he doesn't mention the very significant electronic and experimental scenes in Montreal, which breached les barricades linguistique first, and still tend to a higher average quality than the majority of Montreal rock (although they haven't been all that attention-grabbing in 2006).

| Posted by zoilus on Monday, December 04 at 2:48 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (4)



It seems the copy editors were sleeping that evening when scanning Chris' article, I agree Simon. And there's more stuff that was cut out as well out of this article. Oh well. I attended the Call Me Poupee and Les Breastfeeders show last weekend at the El Mo and they blew the socks off the room. My favorite was those who had not seen either band before, just checking their reactions - particularly some of the MuchMusic producers who I know speak little French and were totally into it. The world music folks figured it out ages ago - sometimes it's little to do with the language but everything to do with the music.

Posted by becs on December 6, 2006 11:34 AM



The article is good and I, too, deplore the fact that the more experimental side of things wasn't mentioned (and even the noise scene that is comprised equally of French and English). I tried to explain some of that in a wide-eyed, very non-critical way, in my fairly poorly written article at

That said, the gramatical error in the first sentence of Chris' article just kills me. When French is concerned guys, please consult some knowledgeable person.

Posted by Simon on December 5, 2006 8:38 AM



don't know if this fits under the "electronic" category, but don't forget Ghislain Poirier's Bounce Le Gros party... At the last party, this Toronto anglo was shocked and amazed at the anglo/franco mixed-ness of the crowd, along with the franco shoutouts by ghis, the franco mcs, the MTL version of Jamrock, and the Pierre Lapointe hit that had the crowd chanting along!

Posted by andrew on December 5, 2006 2:10 AM



thanks Carl. yeah, you're right about the experimental & electronic stuff, alas space constraints required their omission, in addition to other indie rock acts (les trois accords, fred fortin). i only recently heard the records by DJ Champion who was also here a couple weeks back. one of the better fusions of rock & electronica i've heard. had my neighborhood banging the ceiling.

Posted by christopher Frey on December 4, 2006 8:56 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson