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Fun et strangeness, Rouyn-Noranda style

Posted by John / November 21, 2005

g&m.jpgI've posted previously about francophones' ability to have significantly more fun than anglophones, and a more detailed investigation of that theory would probably reveal certain nuances along regional boundaries. That is, francophones from Quebec's boonies (i.e., the entire province except for central Montreal - that's right Montreal East, you're in the boonies) have more fun than sophisticated urban francophones. Exhibit A: Geneviève et Matthieu, a couple from Rouyn-Noranda (10 hours from Montreal by bus) who make their living as artists with a sideline as musicians. There are many things I can't tell you about this duo (for one: what their songs are about, exactly - though I suspect they couldn't tell you either), but I can tell you this: they are crazy, and they are fun, and they are playing Tuesday at Quai des Brumes (4481 St-Denis).

The longer version of the story goes something like this. I first heard G & M several years ago, when, like the majority of anglophones, I was pretty much ignoring French music altogether, with the possible exception of Stereo Total. What I heard was music made by people with no regard for the rules. No, not quite that -- they had regard for the rules, but were perhaps too far removed from the rules to be able to take them properly into consideration. They were goofing off not just for the sheer pleasure of it, but because they couldn't even conceive of doing otherwise.

When I first saw them play in Montreal, they brought a collection of props and costumes that was far larger than their collection of instruments. When I first met them, they were both royally hammered, and both emitting some kind of radioactive waves that broadcast the fact that they were going to continue to have more fun than me. When they first came to a party I had at my apartment, they arrived at 3 a.m. with a posse of northern quebecers and unflinchingly accepted my offer to rip it up as late as they wanted since I was going to bed. I think they left at 5:30 or 6 a.m.

In summary, you should go see them. Their music is occasionally hit and miss, because their focus in creating it isn't purely musical. But the spectacle is usually unforgettable, and should be even more so given the addition, rumour has it, of guest artists including Lederhosen Lucil, the World Provider, and others.



maraska / November 21, 2005 at 10:16 pm
after seeing them in jonquière this summer i have to say that i found their music had about 90% more misses than hits. the props *were* cute but their set petered out pretty quickly in terms of the actual music. theatrics wear thin when the songs are putting you to sleep. i was briefly jolted back into consciousness when they started singing about being "chinese and eating chow-mein" but only because it struck me as being somewhat racist. i mean, they probably didn't mean to sound racist - it certainly wasn't a white power anthem - and i could almost excuse them for being provincial and living so far off the map that they could be isolated from other cultures and think it was just an artsy, fun song, but y'know, it is 2005...
Dave / November 21, 2005 at 10:55 pm
Jay Watts III / November 22, 2005 at 12:08 pm
What do Chinese people eat then, hamburgers?

Kidding, kidding...
J Mac / November 22, 2005 at 12:46 pm
Yes, if McDonalds has their way.

I can't speak to that song in particular, but I will say that the suggested 90-10 miss-hit split seems pretty high. I'm actually pretty devoted to a few songs on their first record, which have a certain pop savviness in spite of the disregard mentioned above. And the second record, which has more of a Quebecois folk vein, reveals Matthieu to have the deadly sexy throaty Quebec baritone many suspected. He could be fending off panties at the Bell Centre and releasing Christmas albums -- if he wanted.

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