And the winner is…

Le Vent du Nord, who take over as my official Second Favorite Band. They narrowly, narrowly beat out La Volee d’Castors on the grounds that:

  • Simon Beaudry is gorgeous, and as previously noted, I have a marked fondness for cute dark-haired bouzouki players! (Note: yes, I am aware he’s holding a guitar in that picture. I have not yet found a suitably pretty picture of him with a bouzouki. Being imaginative, I can extrapolate!)
  • LVN actually seem to periodically do US shows, if their tour calendar is any indication. Which means there’s an off-chance I might actually get to see them perform if they ever head out this way, and if they do, I am ALL OVER THAT.
  • LVN’s website has an English edition as well as a French one. LVC’s website currently does not, and while I can still kinda poke my way around theirs and make reasonable guesses about what’s what, a coherent full English site is still more helpful.
  • LVN also provide lyrics on their website. While I speak only a meager handful of phrases in French, I can at least use the French lyrics to read while I’m listening to the songs, which can let me start to try to parse them as words, as opposed to “lyrical nonsense being sung by guys with sexy voices”! The English lyrics provided are spotty at best, and are clearly the half-assed output of a translation engine, but they are at least enough to give me a half-assed idea of what various songs are actually about.
  • Nicolas Boulerice has a hurdy-gurdy, and Unusual Instruments FTW!

Now, all this squeeing aside, LVC are still very, very close behind the gentlemen of LVN, on the strength of their music alone!
And I fear that Carbon Leaf has now slipped to fourth place. Sorry, lads! (I do however resolve to check out CL’s forthcoming live album/DVD set, and show them some love too.)

Fangirling, French Canadian style!

Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, can ever dislodge my beloved B’ys from the top of my music list–but I gotta say, Le Vent du Nord and La Volee d’Castors are duking it out HARD for the esteemed position of My Second Favorite Band. Especially after I went and found some videos of Le Vent du Nord this afternoon, and realized WHOA HEY WAIT A MINUTE, their guitarist/bouzouki player is really rather cute. Thus continuing my grand tradition of being partial to cute dark-haired bouzouki players!
Here, have some Le Vent du Nord goodness, them doing “Cre Mardi”, one of my favorite songs of theirs. The dude in the front, nearest to the person who took the vid, is the aforementioned cute guitarist/bouzouki player. When he moves out of the way towards the latter half of the song, you can see more of the awesome podorythmie action from his bandmate behind him! WHILE THE GUY IS PLAYING THE FIDDLE. I mean damn.

I grabbed a couple more of theirs for my YouTube favorites list as well, like this one, which is a full ten minutes of a capella excellence (all four guys in the band take turns singing lead, and I got a giggle out of this one featuring a tune La Volee d’Castors covered, “Les Coucous”), and this one, which is also long but is a nice segue from an instrumental into vocals. Mad props to YouTube user bordurat, too, who took all three of these vids and who is clearly an LVN fan.
For comparison, I also give you La Volee d’Castors here and here. I like these guys just about as much as Le Vent du Nord–their harmonies aren’t as smooth and polished in these vids (although NOTE: they’re really a lot more polished on their latest album, Le retour), but they have GBS-like levels of vigor on their awesome live album Y a Du Monde À’ Messe! and I TOTALLY want to see them in concert. And check THEIR foot-rhythm guy, who totally meets and matches LVN’s–LVC’s guy makes with the footstompy + accordion!
I highly recommend both of these groups for any GBS fan who either speaks French or digs the sound of it sung!