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Quebecois Music

Le Vent du Nord at St. James Hall in Vancouver, 3/1/2012

As you know, O Internets, I was extremely eager for my first Le Vent Du Nord show. I’ve been getting ridiculous amounts of glee out of listening to their albums and watching their YouTube videos, and of course, I had the challenge laid down by fellow Le Vent fan Susan that in her considered opinion, Le Vent gives much better concerts than Great Big Sea! Which, of course, is a mighty challenge indeed to issue to this passionate Great Big Sea fangirl. And so, the question of the hour is: how did Le Vent do?

Let’s put it this way. I ain’t saying I’m throwing over The Doyle for Simon Beaudry, when it comes down to Most Favored Bouzouki Player Who Isn’t Dara–but I will say it’s a damn fine thing that I have room in my heart for all manner of joyous music. And love my B’ys as I do, they better be bringing their A game when they go back on tour next year, because the show Le Vent put on for us in Vancouver shot straight up to stratospheric levels of awesome, and it will be extremely hard to top.

I hadn’t been to a GBS show that tiny since they stopped playing the Showbox in Seattle, and the level of energy they let loose was every bit the rival of those earlier GBS shows. Le Vent might not have the same sheer physicality that the B’ys do; they don’t bounce around the stage the same way at all. But that’s every bit of quite all right, because all the energy they didn’t spend bouncing came right out their instruments. They were charming and funny, especially Réjean Brunet. Simon’s singing is a direct threat to the structural integrity of my knees. Olivier Demers does amazing things with his fiddle, especially given the amazing things he does at the same time with his feet. And Nicolas Boulerice? That man commands a room with his voice, and when he unleashed a solo that caused Dara to use the phrase “bitchin’ metal hurdy-gurdy solo”, he was channelling lightning.

But that’s just the picoreview! This being a patented Anna the Piper In-Depth Concert Squeefest, let me get into the details!

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Today in Vancouver

So yeah, Saturday in Vancouver has failed to suck. Made it safely up here to Chez , with hardly any wait time at all at the border. And today, we went out on various and sundry shopping sorts of excursions.

took and and me over to the nearby HMV–which proved to be a way more fruitful visit this time around than on the two previous visits, because this time I actually scored an album by La Bottine Souriante! Also picked up one by the Punters, who I’ve been meaning to listen to anyway by way of introducing myself to more Newfoundland music; plus, this album has the magic words “Produced by Alan Doyle” on the back, so I’m figuring that’s a strong recommendation right there. Lastly, got one by the Rankins, since I like their track on Fire in the Kitchen.

Relatedly, also gave Dara and me a copy of ‘s very first filk CD, Steel Cage Match. Looking forward to listening to this, in no small part because “I Fell Asleep (Reading the Silmarillion)” made me LOL, and also, I want to hear “Livejournal Shanty” too.

And, snagged me a couple of loaner copies of La Bottine Souriante albums from the Vancouver Public Library as well. These shall have to stand me until I can acquire actual copies of these albums–which I have now ordered from Amazon, since apparently Amazon’s actually stocked up on La Bottine Souriante a lot since the last time I looked. To wit, bitchin’. Or should that be bitchin-ez moi?

Anyway, aside from all this musical love, we stopped in at Little Sister’s, which is Vancouver’s oldest queer bookstore. Which was kind of neat. I walked out with a novel called Salt Fish Girl which sounded interesting to me and SFnal (it mentions shapechanging and biotechnology), even though it doesn’t call itself a science fiction novel. I told the dude at the counter that I was a bit surprised that they didn’t have Tanya Huff in their (teeny) fantasy section, given that she’s a queer Canadian author and that she has a whole trilogy of books starring a queer boy, set in Vancouver even! He thought that was cool, so who knows, maybe they’ll stock ’em. Also, they had a big black Labrador-lookin’ doggie who reminded me a lot of Sheriff, the doggie who lives along the goat trail.

OH OH OH, also, they had a magazine on the rack there with a cover blurb about an interview with the actress Alex Hedison. Wait a minute, I thought, Hedison? She did look suspiciously familiar, so I thumbed into the zine to check the interview–and yep, that there was the daughter of David Hedison, my very own Captain Crane from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. And she’s not only queer, she’s the former partner of Ellen DeGeneres! That’s some pretty high-profile queer there.

And after that, went back to his place while Dara and Paul and I proceeded to hop on the bus and head down to the Asian-heavy community in Richmond, where they have a couple of largish Japanese/Chinese/Asian-friendly shopping mails. That was neat. Quite a bit of flashbacks to Japan there what with the layout of the stores and the sorts of stuff they sold. We snagged a couple of gifts for folks, had tasty lunch and later on tasty yogurt, and eventually staggered back to Chez for zzz’s.

We’ll be heading to Steamworks for tasty food in a little bit, and to meet up with and possibly also . Which should be a fine closer to a pretty fine day indeed.