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Music

Unsettlers @ Quai Des Brumes- Sat. March 7th

Posted by Olivier / March 8, 2009

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An impromptu trip to the underrated Quai des Brumes last night resulted in a night of music quite unlike anything I've seen in Montreal. Maybe it was the location in francophone centrale on St. Denis and Mount Royal, far from the judging eyes of cruel, sex-deprived hipsters, or maybe it was simply the indomitable energy of the 10 or so members of the Unsettlers, but the bar was bursting with unabashed exuberance. With their otherworldly music and dress, it felt, to quote a friend of mine, like being in a Tim Burton film.

unsettlerstwo1.jpgI am tempted to describe the Unsettlers as Gogol Bordello meets Leonard Cohen , though that wouldn't leave me anywhere to place their earnest lyrical rendition of Salt N' Peppa's Shoop laden overtop Balkan band rhythms. The band is based in Montreal and features the rarest of rarities: three members born and raised ici. One of them, bassist Ram Krishnan, runs the infamous Grumpy's Open Mic night, which has been a nexus of local talent for years.

In any case, the bona fide Montreal cred of the group was established by a drunk tourist from Boston at the show last night: "These guys are so Montreal!" he yelled as he spilt his pint. For maybe the only time that evening, everyone in the crowd agreed with him.

Photos from talented photographer and bar mate Daniel Cooper

Discussion

13 Comments

lk / March 8, 2009 at 10:43 pm
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ouch, what is with the hipster-bashing?! i though that midnight poutine was a blog that appreciated creativity and the arts, much of which is brought to you by these hipsters that you scorn.

also, i would say the area near st-denis and mont-royal, that you refer to as francophone central, is actually quite heavily anglophone in comparison to many other parts of montreal. montreal (and the plateau) does actually extend east of st-denis you know! i recommend bar la place à côté on papineau for a great small venue that's heavily francophone.
Schmitten / March 8, 2009 at 11:23 pm
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Uh, sorry, but hipsters ARE extremely cliquey and judgy. Don't get me wrong, I'm the first one to applaud their tendency to create great art, but it doesn't mean that because some of them are talented, that their posses should grant themselves the right to be so snobbish.
I swear sometimes going to an indie show feels like being in middle school again. It's a shame really, but it appears to be a trend in some artistic movements.
All I'm saying (and what I think Olivier is getting at) is that it can be a relief to be able to attend shows without having to be surrounded by the hipster crowd.
Olivier / March 9, 2009 at 01:07 am
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I will plead guilty to hipster-bashing, but the difference in atmosphere just jumps out at you when you're not at a show on St. Laurent. Each has it's charm, but you have to appreciate the relaxed and upbeat atmosphere at these St. Denis/francophone venues.

And I appreciate the tips on francophone bars east of St. Denis, but believe it or not I actually live east of St. Denis myself, and I still haven't found an area on the island that is as distinctly francophone-nightlife oriented as the blocks around St. Denis and Mount Royal, though I will admit that a large number of those patrons are French as opposed to Quebecois.
Dragonslayer / March 11, 2009 at 09:19 pm
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Hippies get made fun of, punks and jocks too. I dont see why anyone should be so sensitive to mockery. We all take out turn on the stocks these days. The trouble is that "hipsters" whatever they really are, have become a big enough group to be recognized and therefore targeted. Remember when we used to make fun of goths or emo kids? Its all the same shit.
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