Oui / by laurel

This blog has been a long time coming, and I am formally recognizing right now the Elephant in the Room, being that commenting on the Montreal music scene is like running around frantically, screaming, "Guys, I just heard the COOLEST new album...Suff-jan. Suff-jan something. It's sooooo good!"

Nevertheless. Montreal's been exporting some pretty good tunes lately (and not so lately), so while our border-mate Frenchies are still on the proverbially shifting Music Map, I'll snap up the opportunity to offer my two cents.

For what it's worth, Winn and the Funereal Party Animals aren't the only ones able to spin some quality jams. Some of these are new, some of them are old. But they all speak French as a first language.

Stars (Heart): If you've read my previous blog, you know how I feel about this band.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor (Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antenna to Heaven): Get a bottle of wine. Go ahead. Probably something complex and heady like a good pinot noir or a cab sauv. Now grab your ipod. Dial up "Storm: Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antenna to Heaven..." and walk. Doesn't matter where you walk. Swig that wine from a paper bag if you have to. See where it takes you. Even if it's slumped over against a wall in the disquieting lull of predawn disappointment, it won't leave you wanting for anything. Least of all another swig from the vino.

The Stills (Logic Will Break Your Heart): This band seems like old hat, but I've never been one to be on top of the newest and best (who has the time, anyway?). So here they are, two years later. The music is still pulsing, moving, never still, always engaging. Sway and sing along.

Wolf Parade (Apologies to the Queen Mary): Jarring. But in a good way. Especially the stuck-in-traffic-on-a-rainy-day "Modern World."

A Silver Mt. Zion (He Has Left Us Alone But Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corner of Our Rooms): An offshoot of GYBE. A little more focused--more concise at the very least. Nuanced guitar noise and brooding, building, pent up orchestral swells woven with disturbingly familiar (and vaguely apocalyptic) squalls of distant, disjointed radio broadcast preaching. A collision of the sonic fuzz at the end of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot with, say, the soundtrack from Schindler's List.

Mogwai (Young Team): You'll wonder where this band is going. Turns out, the destination isn't important. So kick back and enjoy the journey. (Oh, and they aren't from Montreal...that was a tactical error on my part. Many thanks to Ryan for the heads up)