déranger : inconvenience, bother, disquiet, perturb, trouble....
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -By now all of Canada is aware that Montreal's Arcade Fire won the prestigious Grammy for album of the year for their album "The Suburbs." Following that victory they jetted off to London to accept two Brit awards.
The accolades are pouring from all quarters, even the City of Montreal put up a congratulatory banner on their website and Quebec's Parliament passed a special congratulatory motion.
How do you say 'bandwagon' in French?
The reality is that to Quebec's narrow-minded music industry and the French language militants that run the show, Arcade Fire's win is nothing to celebrate, the group and its newly won Grammy is actually a huge embarrassment.
To these narrow-minded anglophobes, Arcade Fire represents the Quebec's music industry worst nightmare, a wildly successful artistic group, singing in English and claiming Quebec as their artistic home.
For the entrenched music industry in Quebec, English music is considered a threat and a force to be countered, not encouraged.
For ADISQ, the powers that run the Quebec music scene, it is official policy to discourage English music in Quebec and so that is why, while Arcade Fire is eligible for Grammy awards in the USA, the Brit awards in England and the Junos in Canada, they are not eligible at home, for the major categories in the Quebec music industry's awards because they don't sing in French.
The 'Felixs', Quebec's music awards, restrict nominations in major categories to French singing artists and so Quebec's hottest artists such as Arcade Fire, Bobby Bazini, Sam Roberts, or Ian Kelly cannot participate. It's no wonder that the Felixs are about as prestigious as bowling club trophies.
And so even francophone artists that sing in English are treated as lepers by the Quebec music industry, which believes that by shunning English singing artists they will somehow influence and control the musical tastes of Quebeckers.
"ADISQ behaves like a cult with its parish feast which denies the reality of Montreal. It's small and dusty , "tweeted radio host Paul Arcand.Strangely, nowhere on ADISQ's French only website is the policy of promoting French language music to the detriment of English language music explained. Perhaps it is wise of them not to enunciate a racist policy that denies Quebec's English singing artists equality.
This banner appears on the bottom of the ADISQ website, so its a bit disconcerting to see that English Canada is paying in large part for an organization that discriminates against English-singing artists."Since 1978, ADISQ is working for the survival and blossoming of the production of independent music, strong, original and innovative."(Depuis 1978, l’ADISQ travaille à la survie et à l’épanouissement, au Québec, d’une production musicale indépendante, forte, originale et innovatrice.) LINK
In spite of their efforts, Arcade Fire is proof of the failure of this bankrupt mentality that is reminiscent of totalitarian regimes which try to restrict access to the Internet or who attempt to control what citizens read and see on television.
If you think Arcade Fire's win will change this optic, you're sadly mistaken.
"Organizers of Montreal's Fete Nationale celebration say the band would have to sing their songs in French, like any other act playing at the festival for Quebec's annual holidayGiven their lack of success in controlling what Quebeckers listen to, perhaps in conjunction with the OQLF, ADISQ will ramp up the pressure and ban English music altogether. Maybe we will see a new cadre of hybrid music/language inspectors raiding the bedrooms of francophone tweens, ripping Justin Bieber posters off the wall.
The chief organizer said Wednesday that the Grammy-winning band would be welcome to play the June 24 event if it wanted to. "As long as they conform to certain guidelines," When asked whether those guidelines included not singing in English, and performing in French instead," Savard replied: "Voila." LINK
What ADISQ and French language militants refuse to admit, is the hidden reality that the Montreal English music scene, unsubsidized and unrecognized by the Quebec music industry is setting North America on it's ear. Montreal's hip underground music scene based in the Mile End district of Montreal, Canada's most creative neighbourhood, is attracting attention from artists and industry insiders across North America.
"Though Montreal may not have the commercial punch of Nashville, its musical assets extend far beyond Arcade Fire. In a study of Montreal's creative economy I conducted with Stolarick and consultant Lou Musante in the early-2000s, we found musicians from around North America relocating there to take advantage of the city's historic and cultural heritage, openness, and affordable real estate. Montreal is also home to Cirque de Soleil, a cultural force in its own right.
Upon accepting the award for best record, Win Butler, the leader of Arcade Fire--who hails originally from Texas--noted the bond between music and his adopted city. "I just want to say thank you, merci, to Montreal, Quebec, for taking us and giving us a home and a place to be in a band." Talking with reporters after the show he added: "There's such a beautiful arts scene and music and dance (and) a lot of creative forces there." This is clearly a guy who thinks a lot about place: his band's award winning album is titled "The Suburbs." Read the story in THE ATLANTIC
This incredible Montreal music scene is not an anglophone-only invention. The fact that the artistic language is English, hasn't stopped francophone artists and fans from participating.
In fact, Arcade Fire's success lies not only in its Anglo supporters, but in large part to the Quebec francophone fan base which recognized and embraced their talent almost immediately. Long before the world even heard of Arcade Fire, the group was gaining a following in the Quebec music scene, with no help of course, from ADISQ. From artsy coffee houses in the Mile End to suburban shopping centre performances in Longueuil, to the Quebec Summer Music Festival, Arcade Fire's rise can be credited to the group's talent and the support they earned from their Quebec fans, both English and French.
It's a wonderful testament to the musical sophistication of Quebec francophones who embraced an English-singing group before the world discovered them. No bandwagon here and no help from the powers that be, Quebeckers of all linguistic groups proved that it is they and they alone, who decide what music they listen to and moreover, that they have discerning taste.
Of course the French language militants are apoplectic. Louis Prefontaine compared this group to that of a Montreal ethnic restaurant, tasty and good, but not really an authentic Quebecois dish.
No doubt he prefers Poutine.
He rags on the one Francophone member of the group for pursuing a music degree at McGill University and choosing English to perform in. Link
Arcade Fire's success painfully underlines what Mr. Prefontaine wishes to deny, that is, if you want to make it internationally, you've got to perform in English. Just ask Celine Dion (who actually removed the French accent in her name) and Guy Laliberté, Quebec's most successful entertainment exports.
One of the most telling observations was made in a comment by 'Rawkenroll,' under Mr. Prefontaine's rant;
"There are artists who are content to do the CEGEP and the festival tour, generously funded out of our taxes.Touché!
There are other artists who set their sights on the world and promote Quebec across the globe.
Some people praise Loco Locass. Some people shit on Arcade Fire.
These are the people who are overpaid to ring up sales at the SAQ.
Others are playing to audiences in Las Vegas and travelling into space.
You're right Louis, Arcade Fire is nothing like us.
....They are successful and ambitious."
By the way, Saint Jean Baptiste organizers need not worry about Arcade Fire singing in English at the separatist holiday celebration, they'll likely be off on a world tour!