Quite a kafuffle was made of the “Montreal scene” this past Sunday in the New York Times, so much so that media everywhere are clamoring to keep up with the revelation. But to those in the know, both the Times article and a similar Spin article are somewhat suspect. When Times writer David Carr describes The Dears as goth-pop, fails to identify Nicholas Diamond of the Unicorns or places commas in between the ‘yeahs’ in the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, he is either doing word-of-mouth research or just carelessly name-dropping. Carr also misses the point on the Stills – stating that Montrealers hate the Stills when really everyone hates the Stills. The real danger of the New York Times piece, however, is that Sunday readers like my father may be tempted to actually listen to Les Georges Leningrad. No, but the REAL danger is that whatever musical “scene” or community in Montreal may be ruined by trend-sniffing industry louts who read said articles and look for the next “thing.”
On the subject of the so-called Montreal scene, Mr Win Butler of Arcade Fire had this to say: “In my experience, wherever there aren’t those music industry hawks, wherever people aren’t just walking around trying to ‘make it,’ the quality of music is generally ten times higher. Then something interesting happens, and everyone gathers around, and then this crap comes out, and then it’s the new Seattle.”
The issue then arises: Who is at fault? Is it the hackish rock critics that point the herd toward these “scenes,” or is it the herd themselves? Here’s the Mixtape.
1. Pony Up! – “Shut Up and Kiss Me”
Montreal band mentioned as “hip” in the Times.
2. Republic of Safety – “the Moon”
A non-Montreal band that has not been mentioned as “hip” by the Times. Includes the best member of the Hidden Cameras.
3. The Sexy Magazines – “Take Some Time”
The Sexy Magazines are a New Yorker band that most New Yorkers hate (similar to our friends the Stills in Mtl). If Toronto had similar disdain for a local band, which would it be? A few come to mind, but we shant say who right now…
4. James Chance – “Contort Yourself”
NO, contort yourself.
5. The Harlem Shakes – “Eighteen”
More New Yorkers that sound vaguely Pixiesish.
6. Les Georges Leningrad – “Supa Doopa”
One more “hip” Montreal band. Had to do it. Except “Georges V” is arguably a better song…
Okay, so we’re off to Montreal. See you next week. Mixtape out.