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quebecois music

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A few things make a Sunday post

John Scalzi has a good post up addressing the question of whether self-publishing has rendered Yog’s Law obsolete. Good commentary in the comments about this, and the importance of distinguishing between oneself as “writer” and as “publisher” when one self-publishes.

I saw this come up in the last backer update that went out to all of us who supported the Long Hidden anthology: an issue of whether it’s an expression of privilege when you dismiss the use of dialect in fiction. There’s a Storify link of the Twitter discussion here, and Insatiable Book Sluts has a thoughtful post up about it here. A lot of food for thought at both of these links, for both readers and writers.

Sad to hear that Angry Robot is closing a couple of its imprints. Scalzi has cogent commentary on this here, and I know this impacts several authors whose works I’m interested in. Notably, userinfomarthawells.

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For tumblr users, Dara’s started a couple of extra tumblr blogs in addition to her main one. One is called Oldphemera and is for pics of old oddities that she finds. The other is Seattle–July 20, 1971, where she’s posting scans of a bunch of old bits of newspaper she found being used as packing material. It’s a fun glimpse of Seattle from that year, as seen in the newspaper.

Check ’em out!

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Next weekend I’m going to have the pleasure of attending a house concert starring Claude Méthé, Mario Loiselle, and Pascal Gemme. Pascal is of course one of the three members of Genticorum, one of the contenders in the pitched three-way fight for Anna’s Favorite Quebec Trad Band! He’s recently released an album with Mario, and meanwhile, M. Méthé is another excellent Quebecois fiddler. They’re all on the way to Fiddle Tunes, and they’re stopping in Seattle to do their house concert.

VERY excited for another chance to hear Pascal play! And also excited about hearing M. Méthé–I’ve got a couple of recordings that feature him, and this’ll be the first time I get to see him in person.

I will report on the concert in depth. Stand by for that to come!

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And one more music-related thing, this time on filk! This is an excellent little academic study on filk, which is NOT a sequence of words I’d normally think of putting together. The study identifies the various kinds of filk, and explores how male vs. female filkers deal with using material by others, and whether there are any differences between genders. Fun reading. I was particularly interested that this story got picked up by io9!

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Last but not least, off to go see How to Train Your Dragon 2 this afternoon. All signs indicate it’ll be stupendous great fun. Hoping I’ll stay awake during it, since I’ve been recovering from dental surgery for the whole past week and I have to take antibiotics and painkillers right now. But for Hiccup and Toothless, I’ll do my best to stay awake!

Quebecois Music

Festival du Bois trip, Day 1: Saturday!

My belovedest Dara and I have done the trip up to Vancouver quite a few times at this point–but still, it’s a bit rough getting up at stupid-o’clock in the morning in time to get on an early bus, go all the way down to King Street Station, and get on a train to go all the way up to Vancouver. There was quite a bit of yawning involved.

But then, with Festival du Bois waiting on the other end, I was quite willing to spend my Saturday morning snoozing on a train!

As always, our friends Geri and Rob kindly put us up for the weekend at their place. This time around, we brought Rob a bottle of Scotch by way of a “thank you for letting us snooze here!” gift. (That, and I’m sure their dog was happy to have two extra pairs of hands to throw the ball down the stairs.) And, this time around, Geri elected to come to the festival shenanigans with us on Saturday!

My only regret? Realizing only after we were on our way north that I’d totally forgotten to bring Jean-Claude. AUGH. For the best, though, since the weather was wet and cold and let me tell you, Internets, there’s nothing quite as pungent as the smell of wet mammoth.

(Full deets and pics behind the fold!)

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Day of Signal Boosting! And also news!

So happy Boosting the Signal Premiere Day, y’all! If you haven’t seen ’em already, I’ve got the first two posts up, featuring Genevieve Griffin and Anna Kashina!

Quite excited to give these authors a shot at getting the word out about their work, and I hope y’all will consider giving them a look.

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And now, additional items to signal boost!

Michael F. Stewart is a fellow former Drollerie author, and he’s got a Kickstarter! He’s writing YA, with zombies. And as y’all know, zombies ARE relevant to my interests!

If they’re relevant to yours, go give him a look and maybe a pledge, mmkay? Do it for Canadian indie science fiction! Do it for Michael! Do it for ZOMBIES.

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My pal Dejah Leger, about whom I have enthused on this blog more than once, performs with her family under the name La Famille Leger! And they’ve just dropped a brand new shiny album! It’s called L’étoile du nord, and it’s chock full of tasty Acadian music. If you have any interest in French-Canadian trad, you should totally check this out. This is La Famille Leger’s first professionally engineered album, and I’ve listened to it now streaming off of Bandcamp, and whoa and damn it sounds good. I particularly commend to your attention tracks 8 and 12–especially track 12, which contains a tune I’m learning how to play since we’re doing it in session! Come for Dejah’s lovely singing and the wry vocals by her beau-père Louis, as well! Stay for the cracklin’ foot-stompin’ tunes!

The album lives right over here on Bandcamp. And if you can see the embedded player in this post, you can just click right on it! Check it out! And if you like what you hear, give it a buy, won’t you? All that’s stopping me from buying this RIGHT NOW is that I’m buying a physical CD directly from the Legers. But the rest of you out there in Internetland, throw ’em some dollars through Bandcamp and tell ’em I sent you!

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And speaking of awesome French-Canadian music, Dara and I are about to scamper up to Canada for round one of our March musical shenanigans! We’re hitting Festival du Bois, the Francophone music festival in B.C., at which quite a few of my favorite musicians will be performing! Not only the aforementioned La Famille Leger, but also the Yves Lambert trio! Real excited about seeing Monsieur Lambert, since he’s the singer whose lead vocals on La Bottine Souriante way back in 2000 got me hooked on Quebec music in the first place.

And! AND! There will also be Vishtèn! Y’all may recall that Dara and I got to see them in Newfoundland in 2012, and they were awesome, and I am very much looking forward to seeing them again!

Last but most assuredly not least, my boys of De Temps Antan, about whom I have failed to be able to shut up, almost as much as I’ve failed to stop gushing over Le Vent du Nord. ;D

Forecast for this weekend is perfectly ridiculous amounts of fun, and I’ll be roping several friends into attending the shenanigans with us! Best of all Dara and I get to meet up with userinfomaellenkleth and userinfosiestabear for the De Temps Antan show at St. James Hall–two years and a day after the delightful Le Vent du Nord show at the same venue! Which means that Sunday night will be our second anniversary of getting Canada-married, which means we’ll have not only badass music to enjoy, but an anniversary to celebrate as well! SO AWESOME. \0/

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Fun with French and German newspapers

So this past Thanksgiving, the most awesome userinfomaellenkleth and userinfosiestabear came to stay with us for most of the weekend. Many lovely conversations were had, and much discussion of the forthcoming Plans for Le Vent du Nord, to come this next March. But THAT is a topic for another post. Because this post is about how userinfomaellenkleth, knowing my language geekery, showed up with a couple of German-language newspapers and a French-language one for me to play with.

Now me, I’m old enough that I grew up when newspapers in America, actual physical printed newspapers, still meant more than they do now. (And I’m saying this as someone who worked for a newspaper for a few years.) But I’m also young enough that I took hard to the Internet, which to this day remains my primary source of news. So if somebody hands me a newspaper, I tend to make a o.O face at it.

Which is what I initially did at the French and German ones userinfomaellenkleth brought–but then I actually opened them up and started discovering things that I could read, which made it significantly more fun!

I already know from my ongoing Trilingual Hobbit Reread that German for the most part remains fairly impenetrable to me, just because I have a lot less active vocabulary in that language than I do in French right now. I haven’t been working on active study of German for as long, and I also don’t have the musical connection like the one Quebecois trad gives me to French. But that said, going through the German papers (Frankfurter Allgemeine and Süddeustche Zeitung), I did at least spot a couple of things I could sort of understand.

Like the word “Zeitung”, for example–which is, of course, newspaper. I also recognized “Wirtschaft” (economy) as a vocabulary word I’ve had pop up in SuperMemo. And it intrigued me considerably to recognize the word “Feuilleton”, because I’ve had that word in SuperMemo as well–but in French. I’ve already noticed a few of my SuperMemo German vocab words looking a lot like French words, and there’s apparently a reason for that. German has apparently slurped quite a few words over from French.

Once I figured out that “Feuilleton” was the cultural/entertainment section of the two German papers, it was easier to find stuff I could actually make sense of. Like this bit here about Monty Python!

Monty Python auf Deutsch

Monty Python auf Deutsch

I went looking on the online site for this paper and found this article, which seems to be a longer version of the article in the print copy. I also recognized that a small snippet of an article was about C.S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia. And I was really rather impressed that another article covered the recent story of a kid getting to be “Bat-kid” in San Francisco, covered here in the online edition.

Meanwhile, the bigger kicks were to be found with Le Devoir, and specifically, the November 22nd edition thereof. Since I’ve been following various Quebecois bands for a while now, I of course have heard of Le Devoir. And since I have in fact been following Quebecois bands for a while now, it was particularly gigglesome to spot this!

This Looks Familiar

This Looks Familiar

Because, y’know, I have this album, and I quite liked it! Le Devoir’s online article about it, dated the same date as the print edition, is here.

Giggles as well for spotting this, which was the print edition’s version of what was covered online here:

This Looks Pretty Familiar Too

This Looks Pretty Familiar Too

Car oui, moi, je suis une maniaque de science-fiction. Et du Docteur. 😉

So yeah. Fun! Merci beaucoup, und auch Vielen Dank, to userinfomaellenkleth for providing me the linguistic amusement!

Quebecois Music

Album review: Ici on fête, by Various Artists

Ici on fête

Ici on fête

I owe a large debt of gratitude to my friend Melanie in Montréal for alerting me to the gem that is Ici on fête, a recently released live compilation album featuring a broad swath of bands and artists in the Quebecois trad genre. This thing features not one, not two, but FIVE of my top favorite Quebec bands, all of whom I’ve posted about in glowing terms as you all know. La Bottine Souriante! De Temps Antan! Le Vent du Nord! Genticorum! And Les Charbonniers de l’Enfer!

It’s pretty much only lacking Galant tu perds ton temps to be a stunningly accurate summuary of my entire collection, really. And while I must sadface at the lack of that fine group, there is much consolation to be found in several other familiar names out of my collection here–Les Batinses, Mes Aïeux, Nicolas Pellerin, Yves Lambert & Le Bébert Orchestra, Les Chauffeurs à Pieds, and Michel Faubert.

Melanie pointed me at this communique about the album, from which I learn that the redoubtable M. Faubert (whose voice I came to know as part of the Charbonniers) is a driving force behind the collection. He in particular is represented on three of the tracks, and he’s in excellent voice in all three, setting the bar very high for everyone else’s performances–and, happily, every other artist on the album meets and matches him.

Tracks 2 and 3 all by themselves make this collection worth the price of admission for me. Y’all already know I’m a De Temps Antan fangirl, and hearing them whip through a live take of “Buvons mes chers amis buvons” is always fun. But what really blew my socks straight off is La Bottine Souriante’s track 3, “Le p’tit porte-clé”–which I immediately recognized as the song I know as “Le ziguezon”, a very early footstomper from La Bottine’s first couple of albums, recorded with André Marchand singing lead. “Le ziguezon” is one of my regular repeat favorites, and to hear it sung by Éric Beaudry here, doing it fine lively justice, made me want to start stepdancing through the streets of downtown Seattle.

Of course I cannot talk about my favorite tracks without talking about Le Vent du Nord. They’re here too, checking with a very strong take of “La fille et les dragons”. This is a song I’ve experienced as its studio take as well as on both of Le Vent’s live albums–but not with a drum track, which was a startling and fun addition, though I wouldn’t want to make a habit of that. (The drum track, after all, rather drowned out the laser precision of the feet of Olivier Demers. And we can’t have that, now can we?)

Genticorum also represents, with a take of one of their earlier instrumentals, “Cascou”, from their album Malins Plaisirs. The only lament I have about this performance is that Alexandre de Grosbois-Garand is not playing his flute on this set. But since he is cutting loose on the bass, that lament is actually fairly small. I’ve seen and heard that bass with my own eyes and ears, people. Five-stringed fretless basses are love.

And then there’s Les Charbonniers de l’Enfer, who offer up what to my ears is a treat indeed: a song of theirs that I do not, in fact, have represented on any prior album of theirs I own! The song is called “Tout l’monde est malheureux”, and it flips back and forth between morose and full harmonic speed. My ear for a song is tugging at this, convinced I’ve heard it before at some point, but I don’t currently have anything else by the same title–so if some other band I’ve purchased music from has recorded this, they did it under a different title. Clearly I’m just going to have to listen to my entire collection again until I find it. Oh darn.

“Souliers rouges” was another song I immediately recognized, though here it’s performed by Manigance, and I’m familiar with the version by La Volée d’Castors. Still, I find it great fun to hear different artists’ interpretation of the same song (the aforementioned “Le ziguezon” is a great example of this, given that I’ve got a version of that by Mauvais Sort in my collection too!). This time was no exception.

Les Tireux d’Roches, as if to console me for the lack of Genticorum’s flute firepower, handed me some of their own and filled my ears with glee. And harmony, for that matter. Very much liked their take of “Maluré soldat”. I’ve got a bit of this group represented in my collection now, but I didn’t have this song yet, which is one on of their albums I have not yet acquired. I shall be rectifying this problem at my earliest opportunity.

I was quite pleased, too, to see women take the lead on the singing at least on a couple of the tracks, so I’ll call them out both by name here: Mara Tremblay on “La chanson du bavard”, and Angèle Arsenault on “J’ai un bouton sur le bout de la langue”. This wasn’t quite enough consolation to make up for the lack of Galant tu perds ton temps, but it did help!

All in all the album is upbeat in spirit, which is befitting a release targeted for the holiday season (c.f., the communique I linked to above). While the material here isn’t specifically holiday-themed, it is nonetheless quite festive–one of the things that made me fall in love with this entire genre of music to begin with.

So if you’re looking to get into Quebecois trad, Ici on fête would be an excellent place to start. Investigation leads me to find it only available to a limited degree–it’s on iTunes, but only on the Canada store, here. And if you want to order the album from Amazon, I’d strongly advise hitting Amazon.ca in particular, since the Amazon.com site has it at import prices. You’ll get it much more cheaply from Amazon.ca, here. (Note the slow delivery time. But also note that Amazon.com right now isn’t showing the album in stock at all.)

Quebec listeners can get it from Archambault digitally here as well as on CD. Renaud-Bray is also carrying the disc here.

Outside of Quebec though, your easiest bet will be to try to scarf an iTunes gift card for the Canada store and buy it that way. It’ll be a hard hunt, but if you can find it, your ears will be rewarded.

Quebecois Music

Fun with La Bottine Souriante lyrics

So y’all know that fun La Bottine Souriante concert video I posted yesterday? I totally got songvirused by the second song Éric Beaudry sings lead on in that–because the back of my brain kept going “HEY YOU TOTALLY KNOW THIS SONG”.

Except that it doesn’t appear on the later La Bottine albums, the ones M. Beaudry appears on. So it took my audio memory of the melody a bit before it finally went DING and appended “you know this song, but sung by André Marchand“! Turned out I recognized it because it’s “Pinci-pincette”, on the early La Bottine album Y’a ben du changement, and it was in fact on my playlist in iTunes for my favorite La Bottine songs!

‘Cause yeah. As I’ve said before, two of the biggest things I adore about Quebec trad are call-and-response and podorythmie, and this song’s an excellent example. Once I figured out which song it was, I promptly found the words right over here.

Let’s see what happens when I try to read through the lyrics without Google Translate, shall we? Here are bits and pieces of it I can take a guess at without looking them up. Translation attempts behind the fold!

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