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“L’Autre midi à la table d’à côté”; Mofatt – Tremblay discussion summary, post 3 of 3 (#152)

This post will tie the last two posts together, and you can use the audio track to as an opportunity to work on improving your French (if you’re at an elementary or intermediary level), or to help you develop an ear for French (if you’re at a more basic level).

In the audio track of this episode of radio program “L’Autre midi à la table d’à côté” (The Other Afternoon, at the Next Table…”), Ariane Moffatt and Guylaine Tremblay sit down for a one-on-one meal together.  I get the impression they have never met before, but they spend the hour learning about each other, and focusing on what they have in common.

Both are mothers, but both did not carry their own children (in Moffatt’s case, it was her spouse who carried their children, and in Tremblay’s case, her children were adopted).   They also speak about a number of other topics regarding children (such as Christmas and childhood memories).

I think you’ll hear both of their personalities shine (the intimacy and one-on-one nature of the conversation greatly facilitates the conversation).

The dialogue summary (below) is written in chronological order with the audio track, highlighting various discussion points and the dialogue continues.   You can use the summary as a crutch when listening and improving your French listening skills.

The official link-page for this episode of L’Autre midi à la table d’à côté can be opened by clicking HERE.  (Click “Audio fil” half way down the page… that will open an audio window with the sound track).

Dialogue summary;

  • Both spoke of Christmas as children and their Christmas experiences with their own children, what they like about Christmas, and how it fits in with their own experiences.
  • Guylaine talks about how Christmas in Québec used to be celebrated different than how it is celebrated now (mass traditions on Dec 24th have been moved to 7pm now from midnight decades ago). She says Christmas today seem to be all about gifts, whereas when Guylaine was a child, she could hardly remember receiving any gifts.
  • Ariane talks of her family’s Christmas traditions.
  • Ariane talks of how she slowly starting to fall into music as a child, and her family’s role in influencing her artistic talents. Guylaine also shares her childhood development stories and relates them to her family.
  • They talk about their different styles of communication and how they perceive their respective styles.
  • Guylaine took her two daughters to the 2012 protests, “le Printemps érable” to protest university tuition hikes
    • (Comment: “Le Printemps érable” (the “Maple Spring”) was a period of mass student protests in Québec in the spring of 2012, which greatly divided Québec society as a whole.  Students refused to accept government tuition hikes – and (in a very very general sense) it pitted right-against-left, and opposition parties against the government at the time.  Many believe it had a direct impact in the defeat of the Charest government, but it left much bitterness in Québec’s society – involving accusations flying everywhere;  against the government, the opposition, school bodies, and even the media.  It also greatly divided student bodies).
  • Guylaine talks about having being an angry child, and how she still becomes vexed and involved if she believes there’s an action she judges to be unjust.
    • (Comment:  This actually surprised me when she said this – she seems like such a calm, cool headed person whenever I have seen her in interviews, the type of person with measured and empathetic emotions.  It seems like this is a part of her character which she doesn’t regularly show in interviews – but she also seems very self-aware, which in itself is a very good thing – regardless if you do or do not agree with her politics or the battles she chooses to fight, and how she chooses to fight them.  Something also quite interesting is that she states she took her children to the protests.  I also found this surprising because many people were criticized for taking their minor children to events which (a) involved much emotion which minor perhaps could not have conscious control over, and (b) periodically turned quite violent, resulting in many arrest and police action.  However, I do not know the context in which she involved her own children.  All-in-all, I find what Tremblay says to be extremely interesting.  I will probably pay much more attention to her public appearances in the future.  Like I said in the earlier post about her, she has a personality I really like and greatly identify with, even if I don’t agree with her politics.  And I have learned many other things about her in the last couple of years, which makes her a very intriguing figure.  I don’t have to agree with her views on various issues to have to like her – and I still very much like her.  She’s the type of person who is difficult not to like – and as you listen to the audio track, I venture to say you’ll agree with me).
  • Both spoke about how they act upon what they feel is right (Ariane speaks about her own coming out, and both talk about how society has changed to be accepting of the new normal).
  • Both speak about their choices to have children which they didn’t carry themselves, and what their children signify to them in this context, and in general. Guylaine said people often ask her “Do you love your children as much as if you had carried them yourself?”
  • They speak of their worries as mothers.
  • At 44:00 minutes, they sing a Capella songs which bring back Christmas memories for both. For the remaining 15 minutes of their meal, they just sing Christmas carols.   You may be interested in this part, because they sing certain carols which do not exist in English – and even for me, they brought back memories from my childhood when much of that period of my life was in French.

I hope you enjoyed this 3-part mini blog series, and found it insightful on a few fronts.




Pierre Lapointe (#143)

A couple of posts ago (Examples of Stereotypes France has of Québec, and vice-versa), I wrote about a discussion between a well known Québecois music reporter and a well known French (France) song writer, André Manoukian.

It was Manoukian’s comments about a Québécois singer, Pierre Lapointe, which touched off the entire discussion.  So who is Pierre Lapointe?

He’s a multi-award winning, top-album selling singer.    His awards include multiple Felix awards (some of the highest music awards available in Québec).  Two of his albums ranked first-place best-sellers on two occasions in Québec, and two other albums ranked second place best-sellers (two platinums, one gold).   His songs and albums have also had high rankings in France.

His music is truly quite different.  I’m not sure how to describe it.  I’ve read others describe it as “melancholic”, “cloudy”, “foggy”, “out-there”, and “psychedelic” (I’m not sure how this latter one applies to music, unless the listener is on something).

Myself, I’m not sure that any of these apply as an accurate description in any great substance.  His genre is certainly different.  So here is my own attempt to describe his music using well-known Anglophone Canadians as comparisons:  -Imagine rhythms similar to those of Leonard Cohen, but much more modern and with more melody.  Mix that with a beat similar to many of Jan Arden’s songs (with the ability to carry lyrics in a much more patterned manner), and then wind it up with a spattering of Rufus Wainwright-styled lyrics and tones, but with a voice much more like that of Michael Buble (actually, I’ve thought on a number of occasions if Buble were Francophone, his voice would be very similar to Lapointe’s, and he’s 6 years younger than Buble).

See if you can find some of his videos (on official sites of course), and see what you think.  Am I sort of in the ball-park with my description?   I don’t really think his songs are melancholic… but they give you a fuzzy-foggy kind of feeling – yet strangely give you the desire to keep listening (they’re mesmerizing in that sense — is that “psychedelic”?).

He has been regularly coming out with albums from 2002 to present.   Some of his more popular songs have been (but are not exclusive to):

  • Je reviendrai
  • L’étrange route des amoureux
  • Nos joies répétitives
  • L’étrange route des amoureux
  • Deux par deux rassemblés
  • Tel un seul home
  • Dans la forêt des mal-aimés

Pierre Lapointe’s official website is :  http://www.pierrelapointe.com/nouvelles.php.

His website lists his next concerts (all in Québec for the next few months).  But if you are in the area, it would make for a really nice out – some fine dining then a night out with friends at the concert hall 🙂 .

His songs and albums are available through various venues and platforms.  Please do not pirate and stick to official sites.   Our artists are part of our cultural fabric.

Today’s French hit music countdown (#134)

Many of you may be looking for new music for your iPod or MP3 player to listen to while jogging away the Christmas pounds. It has been three months since I gave the last hit music countdown. Instead of averaging the rankings from several different radio stations like I did last time, I’ll provide you with the count-down rankings from three separate radio stations. Some names you’ll definitely recognize from the last countdown I provided.  Some singers have also been the topics of previous posts. From Sirius XM Satellite Radio – Station Franco:

  • # 1 – “Translators” by Louis-Jean Cormier
  • # 2 – “Piscine” by Fanny Bloom
  • # 3 – “Supernova” by Koriass
  • # 4 – “Ces gens qui dansent” by Gazoline
  • # 5 – “Dernier jour” by Hôtel Morphée
  • # 6 – “La Jeunesse féline” by La Bronze
  • # 7 – “Lumière” by Alfa Rococo
  • # 8 – “Le matin des raisons” by Philippe Brach
  • # 9 – “Ej feel zoo” by Radio Radio
  • #10 – “Rest Area” by David Marin

From Radio NRJ 93,4 FM – Montréal: 

  • # 1 – “Lili” by Vincent Vallières
  • # 2 – “L’amour est un monstre (avec Karim Ouellet) ” by Misteur Valaire
  • # 3 – “Fleur bleue” by Simon Boudreau
  • # 4 – “Maxyme” by Caravane
  • # 5 – “Révolver” by Sally Folk
  • # 6 – “Là dans ma tête” by Marc Dupré
  • # 7 – “Je cours après Marie” by Patrice Michaud
  • # 8 – “Menteur” by Jonathan Painchaud
  • # 9 – “Le sexe des anges” by Alfa Rococo
  • #10 – “Vivre pauvre” by Alex Nevsky

From Radio CKOI 96,9 FM – Montréal :

  • # 1 – “Comme Joe Dassin” by Les Cowboys Fringants
  • # 2 – “Lili” by Vincent Vallières
  • # 3 – “Good Life” by Jonas & The Massive Attraction
  • # 4 – “Retour à l’institut” by Les Trois Accords
  • # 5 – “Désaccordé” by Éric Lapointe
  • # 6 – “Je cours après Marie” by Patrice Michaud
  • # 7 – “Dans ma tête” by Marc Dupré
  • # 8 – “La bonne franquette” by Kaïn
  • # 9 – “C Okay” by Swing
  • #10 – “Sommeil” by Stromae

The above music is available for purchase through various online platforms.  When searching for music or videos, please stick to official websites and do not pirate.  Our artists are part of our cultural fabric. Bonne écoute!

Marc Dupré (#112)

There’s a twist in Marc Dupré’s background (I’ll let you in on it at the end of this post).

Marc Dupré has made quite a name for himself over the past few years as a famous chart-topping singer in Montréwood.   His songs have been chart-toppers and he’s done the concert circuit.

In his earlier public life, he was known as a comedian – doing comedy as far back as the 1990s (and he still does stand-up at the Juste pour rire festival).  His acts are a combination of jokes and imitations of other famous Québécois singers, such as Éric Lapointe and Kevin Parent.

In interviews, he often speaks of his family and children with pride.   Dupré had a very public touching family moment brought him to tears on television, when his young daughter, Stella, performed an Adèle song on the Radio-Canada program En direct de l’univers.

He was one of the coaches on La Voix which boosted his presence to a new level in Québec.

Dupré can often be seen in various high-profile appearances, be it talk shows (the likes of Le mode Salvail and others), or major events such as the Festival d’été de Québec (the Québec City summer music festival).

Some of his more well-known songs include:

  • Nous sommes les mêmes.
  • Être à toi
  • Voyager vers toi
  • Si pour te plaire
  • Qu’est-ce que t’as fait de moi
  • Entre deux mondes

He has won best artist and song awards of various types.

Now for the twist I mentioned at the beginning of the post :  His wife is the daughter of René Angélil (Celine Dion’s husband).  He has performed with Celine and she wrote the song Entre deux mondes for him.

His work is available for sale through various venues.  Please do not pirate and stick to official sites (our artists are part of our cultural fabric).

Harmonium – Mythic Three Series (#84)

This is the last in a four-part series on “The Mythic Three”.  The first post gave the context (both politically and socially) to introduce the three subjects of this series;  Robert Charlebois, Beau Dommage , and now Harmonium.

Harmonium’s active period roughly ran parallel to that of Beau Dommage (Harmonium began as a group two years earlier than Beau Dommage and broke up roughly around the same time as Beau Dommage).

Unlike certain members of Beau Dommage, those members of Harmonium who were amongst the most famous (most notably Serge Fiori and Michel Normandeau), did not continue careers in the public limelight (although Michel Normandeau became a radio-show host on Radio-Canada’s Ottawa / Gatineau).  However, the members by-and-large did remain in the music industry (studio, teaching, or instrumentalist side of the industry).

The group’s music was associated with the political fervour of 1970’s Québec, and they did participate in some of the best known “political love-ins” of the day (such as the politically charged 1973 and 1976 Fête Nationale, which together attracted more than 600,000 in-person spectators).

Harmoniums songs remain famous and well-known, even to this day — just as those of Beau Dommage and Robert Charlebois remain popular can continue to played on the radio.

Some of Harmonium’s best known songs include:

  • Un musicien parmi tant d’autres
  • Pour un instant

Much in the same vein as Robert Charlebois’ and Beau Dommage’s music, Harmonium’s music today does not carry the same political sense that it did 30 years ago – perhaps a sign of the times.  Nonetheless, they’re cherished as in integral part of Québec’s culture, and continue to be popular.

Their music is for sale through various platforms.  Please stick to official websites and do not pirate.  Our artists form part of our collective cultural fabric.