Brendan Kelly, Showbiz Chez Nous, The Gazette, 15 février 2011
This is Arcade Fire’s week, with non-stop chatter in the media, real life and all over the social media networks about the Montreal alt-rock band snaring the album of the year Grammy Sunday. Things heated up even more for band with news that they are to headline Bonnaroo fest, per Gaz Words & Music blog.
But it takes Culture Montreal president Simon Brault to underline in La Presse Tuesday that the band also sent out a powereful message about cool, bilingual Montreal by talking in English and en français from the Grammy stage. Singer Win Butler, who originally hails from Texas, started in the language of Bowie but then added a « Merci to Montreal, Quebec for taking us and giving us a home…. » and then fellow band-mater (and Butler’s wife) Régine Chassagne, a franco Montrealer, added: « Merci Montréal. Merci à tout le monde au Québec. »
« To repeat it in French and English gives a modern and cool image of Montreal, » Brault told La Presse music writer Émilie Côté.
What’s interesting here is how Arcade Fire are poster boys and girls for this hip Montreal – but are also a product of the city’s cool, multi-cultural, multi-lingual arts scene. Drummer Jeremy Gara told my Gaz colleague Bernard Perusse that « I can’t imagine we would have done the things we do in any other city, » said Gara. « I don’t know any other cities that nurture the arts the way Montreal does. »
The neat thing is that Arcade Fire are repping this new 21st-century Montreal – maybe the first big sign that the times they are a changed in ways that the media and political establishment simply don’t understand (or want to understand).
« Arcade Fire happy to play up bilingual, bicultural Montreal »
Brendan Kelly, Showbiz Chez Nous, Montreal Gazette, 15 février 2011