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Quebecois Innovators in NYC: Le Vent Du Nord (video)

06/23/2015 12:07 pm ET | Updated Jun 23, 2016

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Le Vent du Nord (The North Wind) is one of Quebecois music's premiere exponents, and they performed a rousing set at Roulette as part of a "French Connection" series presented by Robert Browning Associates. They are innovators in the tradition, who as one might say, "know the rules, then break them." The setting of "Lanlaire" combines a straightforward singing of the song with the expected foot stomping, with an arrangement of subtle sophistication. I included the band intro because along with explaining the song, it shows off the band's brand of ironic humor.
My apologies up front for shaky camera work- when a band has complex arrangements, is spread out on a stage, and every member sings and plays, it is quite a task to second guess who is going to be singing or soloing, and where to focus. My monopod and I were doing quite a dance throughout!

Lanlaire
from La Part du Feu

Did you know Lanlaire, whose death we're mourning
Others like him we rarely see, we don't see at all
Barely out of the womb, instead of crying and moaning
He was already making rounds, singing in every hall
Go Lanlaire yourself, so much people called him

Lanlaire Lonla, go Lanlaire yourself, Lonla you!

He was sent to college to learn Latin
He was sacrilegious and libertine
And whenever the stern master condemned him to old bread
His usual meal, he would tell him in Greek
Go Lanlaire yourself - that's all he knew

He was told to leave or stay, the life of a soldier is too frugal
A doctor too modest, a merchant too loyal
So you'd rather be a notary, but it's a costly position
Since you have no skills, be a lawyer, a stockbroker
Go Lanlaire yourself, the Devil was there

His wisdom he put only in allowed pleasures
Often with a new mistress but never changing friends
He was offered an agreeable wife with a sizeable dowry
Me, I'd go sell myself and be an idiot tomorrow, said he
And go Lanlaire myself, how do you call that

He did nothing of his life, so he did no evil
He was an envy-less poor, he lived on his native soil
He stayed single and didn't even have children
If you think you'll find countless heirs of his on this earth
Go Lanlaire yourself, they don't make 'em like him anymore.
credits

from La Part du Feu, released 06 October 2009

The members of Le Vent Du Nord are: Nicolas Boulerice, Simon Beaudry, Olivier Demers and Réjean Brunet.