I took three years of French in high school. I can still sing "La Marseillaise," and remember most of "La Cigale et la Formi" but, otherwise, it’s mostly forgotten.* It certainly was of no help Sunday night at Mercury Lounge while watching French-Canadian rockers Malajube, though their music doesn’t really need translation despite singing en Français.
I’m not even sure why that is even an issue for anyone. From the Kingsmen to Iron Butterfly, R.E.M., the Cocteau Twins, Sigur Ros, etc, there have been bands that you had know idea what the singer was mumbling. And most bands aren’t singing about anything anyway.
People should just pretend that Malajube are merely incomprehensible. Because, they’ve got just about everything else going for them: hooks, looks, musicianship, winning stage presence, knit hats… a combination lacking in 93% of all other bands currently active today. Maybe it’s that they’re singing in French. Surely people aren’t still holding a grudge. They’re from Canada anyway.
Speaking of anyway, very good show. Tourmates Snowden did nothing for me, but you should definitely check them out as they make their way around the lower 48…
02.21 Washington, DC The Rock And Roll Hotel
02.23 Chicago, IL The Subterranean
02.28 Seattle, WA Neumo’s
03.01 Seattle, WA Dante’s
03.02 San Francisco, CA Independent
03.06 Tucson, AZ Plush
03.09 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge
03.10 Kansas City, MT The Record Bar
04.13 Sorel/Tracy, QC Marine Cabaret
04.14 Joliette, QC L’ Azile