Montreal… Music, Gear and Poutine

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by Sandy Greene on August 22 '07


What's not to love...

Recently had a vacation to the only “European” city you can drive to from the con-US. During a fabulous dinner with old and new friends, I was introduced to two awesome Montreal recording artists I had not heard of previously: Patrick Watson and The Besnard Lakes.

Patrick Watson’s, 2006 release, “Close to Paradise” brings back fond memories of Jeff Buckley but with a slightly more accessible and psychedelic (Pink Floyd-ish) sound. Like The Besnard Lakes’ “The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse”, this is an album best listened to start to finish.

The Besnard Lakes’ 2007 album, “The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse” is a beautifully crafted and highly-referential album that channels Beach Boy-like harmonies with modern rock touches that range from Smashing Pumpkins to My Bloody Valentine. The Besnard Lakes recording brings in many members from popular Montreal groups for this album, as seems to be the way up north.

Montreal is also world-renowned for its top-tier audio equipment manufactures like Oracle Audio, SimAudio, Classe Audio, Totem Acoustic, and Gemme Audio. Next time I’m up north I’ll have to pay them a visit.

And while I’m up (again) I’ll be sure to stuff myself with plenty of La Fin Du Monde and Lester’s Smoked Meat and or course… Poutine.

PS. Gear reviews coming up: Monarchy Audio’s SE-250 Mono blocks, Gemme Audio’s Tanto loudspeaker, 47 Labs Shigaraki system.


Speaking of Lester smoke meat, you should really try the smoked roast beef (with cheese on rye bread), and instead of Poutine, try some italian food at La Cantina on St Laurent not far from Gemme Audio workshop..
When I visited Montreal two years ago my two favorite discoveries were the local band Kobayashi and the restaurant Chez L'Epicier at 311 Rue St Paul East. Both highly recommended.