Sunday, July 8, 2007

Blame Canada

So, I was reading an article about the band Arcade Fire (awesome band by the way) in an old issue of Entertainment Weekly (I'm at work and there's is nothing to do here) and it said that they are from Montreal. Is it just me, or have other people been hearing that a lot lately too? It seems like everyone who's anyone in indie music right now came from Montreal - or if not Montreal, Canada in general. Spin apparently called it the "next big scene" in February (boy were they right, and apparently I'm a little behind the times).

A little over a week ago, I went to a concert as part of the Celebrate Brooklyn series and all three bands - Malajube, Sam Roberts Band, and The Stills - were from Montreal. It was a Canadian-themed night, so you would think they would've tried to get a little more geographical diversity, but nope. I liked Malajube and The Stills a lot, and all of three bands seemed like really cool people and were pretty solid rock bands. Sam Roberts band was ok. A little... folky for my tastes? No, I don't know. I liked them, I just didn't love them. The Stills were pretty good. I'd seen them last year at Siren Fest too. This show was a little lower energy, but I think that was largely the audience's fault. And I even really liked Malajube despite my lack of French. I know there are tons of other French Montreal bands that I don't know about, but I am still learning when it comes to music in foreign languages (one of my favorite things about listening to music is singing along after all, so it took me a while to embrace foreign music) so bear with me.

Wolf Parade, another Montreal band, formed when given the opportunity to open for Arcade Fire. And while Stars - one of my favorite bands - is not originally from Montreal (they are originally from Toronto), they relocated to Montreal after spending some time in New York City (and I always hear them being referred to as "from Montreal"). I also saw them perform last year at Siren Fest and they were spectacular. Amy Milian, the female singer-guitarist of Stars, has one of the most unique and beautiful voices I've ever heard. The song "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" from the album "Set Yourself on Fire" is positively hauntingly beautiful, and is my favorite song by them. I definitely relate. Coincidentally, Amy Milian and fellow Stars' singer Torquil Campbell also perform with another awesome Canadian band, Broken Social Scene, formed in Toronto. And that brings me to yet another Broken Social Scene performer, Leslie Feist, who's solo career (simply as Feist) has blossomed beautifully.

Though born in New York, Rufus Wainwright (and presumably his sister Martha Wainwright, also a musician) spent most of his childhood in Montreal and began his rise to fame there before moving back to New York. Speaking of sibling musicians, twin performers Tegan and Sara were born in Calgary and Sara currently resides in Montreal.

Montreal is even inspiring American band names. Of Montreal is not from Montreal but from Athens, Georgia - another semi-recent "it" place for the indie scene. Apparently the band was named by founder Kevin Barnes after a "failed romance" with a woman from Montreal (according to Wikipedia).

Ok, so I'm sure there are tons more awesome bands from Montreal and/or Canada that I didn't highlight here, but please don't attack me for it. However, do feel free to tell me about them as I am always looking for new, good music to listen to. And since this is only my second post, I should tell you that I try to post songs by the artists I talk about so you can hear samplings of them. So here ya go. Enjoy:

I've seen Stars' new single "The Night Starts Here" floating around on the internet quite a bit. It's lovely and gives me high hopes for their new album In Our Bedroom After the War, due to hit shelves September 25th. And my favorite from their album Set Yourself on Fire, "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" .

And we'll finish today with my faves from Feist, "My Moon My Man" from the album The Reminder. Also from that album "Sea Lion Woman" and "When I was a Young Girl" (which I can't find except for live versions that I can't listen to on this computer at work and since I don't know if the recording quality is any good I am not going to link to them). Well that is all for now. Tata dahlings.

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