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samedi 5 mars 2011

Quebec band 'quivers' to increase its profile

Quebec rock band Karkwa Montreal rock band Karkwa. From left Francois Lafontaine, Louis-Jean Cormier, Stephane Bergeron, Martin Lamontagne and Julien Sagot

Sometimes, people really are “honoured just to be nominated.”

That would be the case with the Montreal alt-rock band Karkwa, who are nominated in two categories for the upcoming Juno Awards, which take place in Toronto March 27.

One of those nominations – for best French-language album of the year -- didn’t really come as a surprise. But the other – for alternative record of the year – did.

That nomination is very important,” says Louis-Jean Cormier, Karkwa’s lead singer. “We’re the first French band to ever be nominated in that category.”

Karkwa is facing some tough competition. The alternative category is loaded with the darlings of the indie music community. There’s Owen Pallett, the avant garde violinist, Toronto geek-rock sensations Tokyo Police Club and previous Juno winners Broken Social Scene. To top it all off, there’s Arcade Fire, the Montreal band that shocked the music world with its Album of the Year win at the Grammys.

Cormier is a realist about Karkwa’s chances “I think Arcade Fire are going to take everything again. We are not up against them. We are honoured to appear beside them.”

Still, Karkwa has scored some upsets of its own. In September the band raised some eyebrows when it’s most recent album, Les chemins de verre, won the $20,000 Polaris prize for best Canadian record of 2010. The award is decided annually by a panel of about 200 music journalists from across the country.

The jurors were mostly Anglophones and probably can’t understand Karkwa’s lyrics without the help of a translator. That made the band’s victory over established favourites like Broken Social Scene, Owen Pallett and, Caribou and The Sadies all the more surprising.

Cormier shrugs off the language barrier. He points out that many Francophones are fans of English bands without necessarily understanding their lyrics.

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I think with the type of music we play,” he adds. “you don’t need to understand the words to like it.”

Karkwa – it’s a phonetic spelling of the French word for “quiver” -- has been together for more 13 years and have established a considerable following in Quebec, as well as making in-roads in Europe and the United States. They remain little known in English Canada, however.

So the band is currently playing a limited number of Ontario club dates, including Hamilton’s Casbah on March 6, hoping to take advantage of the publicity garnered from the Juno nominations and the Polaris victory.

They are touring as opening act with Plants and Animals, an English language band also from Montreal. Cormier admits that in Quebec, Plants and Animals would likely be opening for Karkwa.

Yes, it probably would be the other way around in Quebec,: Cormier says. “They would be opening for us. We both have had a few laughs about that. But we are glad to be doing it … they are better known in English Canada. And we appreciate their help.”

Crowbar will reunite in Toronto April 2 when the Hamilton band’s 1971 hit Oh What a Feeling is inducted into the Canadian Songwriting Hall of Fame. On the following night (Sunday, April 3), the band will return to Hamilton for a special concert at the Leander Boat Club, along with old friends Sonny Del Rio and Trickbag.

The band will include original members Kelly Jay (who’s flying in from Calgary), drummer Sonnie Bernardi, bassist Roly Greenaway, keyboard player Ray Harrison, and guitarists John Gibbard and Rheal Lanthier.

Proceeds from the Hamilton show will be donated to the King Biscuit Boy (Richard Newell) Scholarship Fund which benefits students of the Mohawk College faculty of music. Tickets are $20. For ticket information, call Rob Platsko at 905-512-1717.

The Friends of Richard Newell committee will also be holding its annual Blues With a Feeling benefit tribute to King Biscuit Boy at the Leander Boat Club on Saturday, June 4.

Article by Graham Rockingham, Tue Mar 01 2011, TheSpec.com

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"[Karkwa] qu'on en dise" le cap des 40 000 visiteurs a été dépassé le 21 juin 2011 alors que Karkwa performer à Paris pour le cinquantième anniversaire de la délégation générale du Québec à Paris.

Je remercie tous ceux qui ont trouvé,
depuis avril 2008, intérêt à visiter ces pages dédiées à mes amis de Karkwa et aux musicien(ne)s et musiques qui leur sont proches.

Rendez-vous est pris pour le 50000 éme visiteur ! :-)

Avertissement: Ce blog à pour but de regrouper et archiver les articles parus sur le net à propos de Karkwa. Il est fait par amitié pour les membres du groupe et leur entourage. Les liens vers les sites et articles d'origine sont faits, les auteurs sont cités lorsque possible. Si quiconque se sentait lésé dans ses droits, il n'aurait qu'a me contacter pour que je puisse remédier à la situation.