We all know about the Jazz Fest but Les FrancoFolies de Montreal, June 9-18, is also a contender for one of the city’s most exciting musical events. The second-largest French song festival in the world welcomes hundreds of thousands of people every year to hear iconic and innovative acts from France, Quebec and the French diaspora…
Since 1989, when the first FrancoFolies was founded by the brains behind France’s Francofolies de La Rochelle and Montreal’s Jazz Fest organizers, bigger crowds every year have gathered to chill out, dance and party with 200+ French acts from all over the world and right here in Montreal.
With a jam-packed program, it’s hard to make up your mind, so here are five sure bets for Francofile-favouring fans of FrancoFolies 2011…
Local flavour: Les Breastfeeders, one of Quebec’s most beloved contemporary rock bands, sing all in French but have a huge English fan base as well. They played at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the video above was a Pitchfork video of the day and they’ve been voted The Montreal Mirror’s best local act. They even once opened for the New York Dolls.
Jah Glory: Alpha Blondy has been one of the biggest names on the reggae scene since the early ‘80s. After an early career in his native Ivory Coast, he migrated to Paris where he built his career by unifying a European and African fan base. In 2005, he was declared UN Ambassador for Peace, and his humanitarian work is almost as well-known as his smoldering stage presence.
Icons: Algerian/French chansonnier Etienne Daho and cinema icon Jeanne Moreau, share the stage for a dramatic, musical reading of Jean Genet’s The Condemned Man. Genet’s first novel, written in prison, is about a killer, a guillotine and gay prison fantasies. The text is read by Moreau, and sung by Daho, who also did the arrangements.
French rap: Loco Locass are a popular, actually probably the most popular, of all Montreal hip-hop acts: Political, danceable, it’s party central every time they take the stage.
The porno: Erotique PQ is quite possibly the best idea the FrancoFolies ever had. A collective of 10 musicians and a VJ take the stage to reinterpret pieces form the soundtracks of classic 60s and 70s Quebecois porno films: Orgiastic psychedelic funk of the highest order.
Bon Spectacle, as the French say.
Guest Blogger: Melora Koepke
Les FrancoFolies de Montreal, June 9 to June 18, 2011