If you're looking for something different to do on Mondays, which are habitually graveyards for live music, the 14th edition of Les Francouvertes may well be up your alley.
In an era when talent contests have devolved into ostentatious circuses and insult-fests, this one - specializing in opening a window of exposure to alternative acts - lets the music permeate the intimate atmosphere of the venerable Lion d'Or club, peopled by juries of critics and industry pros. Every Monday three acts, many of whom have already released CDs, take the stage in a convivial atmosphere.
Among those who have benefited from Les Francouvertes are such popular acts as Karkwa, Loco Locass, Les Breastfeeders, Alfa Rococo, Les Cowboys Fringants, Xavier Caféïne, Damien Robitaille and La Patate Rose.
As explained by singer-songwriter Louis-Jean Cormier of Karkwa (event spokespersons, along with David Marin, for this year's event): "The reaction of the crowd and the constructive criticism from the professionals combine to help give you focus for the future."
Among tomorrow night's attractions is the singer-guitarist Philémon, whose recent Philémon Chante: Les Sessions Cubaines was recorded in Havana's famed old Egrem Studio (of Buena Vista Social Club fame).
Les Francouvertes' prelims continue Mondays through March 22; semifinals are April 12 to 14 and the grand finale is at Club Soda on May 3. A blog follows the action
on Bande à part's website (www.bandeapart.fm). Tickets cost $6 at Lion d'Or, 1676 Ontario St. E., 514-598-0709.
By JUAN RODRIGUEZ, Freelance