when i paid for it, the cashier remarked that this album is better than the new one. i replied that i didn't know their music too well, that i was checking them out before their popmontreal show. the cashier told me that no joy was opening for them, a band i'd never heard about. he described them as "sound[ing] like sonic youth. a bit too much..."
in the end, fucked up played their show at 1:30am, which was too late (early?) for me, on a school night. the reviews were pretty positive, so i'm disappointed to have missed that.
with no artist/album title on the cover, i guessed that it was some kind of indie rock. it turned out to be an album called "fables of the sleepless empire" by a band called unexpect. i looked for some label information, but there was none; ah, a self-release, this band must be *really* indie. it did have the factor logo, so it had to be canadian. i looked at the track listing. songs were on average about 6-7 minutes. i then guessed that maybe this was a post-rock band.
finally, i saw it at the listening station, in the punk/metal section. seems like my guesses were all wrong. i listened to the beginning of the first track. it sounded like symphonic metal. i skipped to the second track. i realized that the female vocals remind me a bit of the birthday massacre and johnny hollow, in that gothic kind of way.
at that moment, an interesting song was playing in the store; it sounded like a metal band with a string section. i asked the cashier what the songs was, and she told me it was off the new unexpect album. she added that they are a 7-piece local band. ah cool. anyway, it was enough to convince me to get the album.
the cashier recommended me their previous album, "in a flesh aquarium", which is a favourite of hers. she said that she likes it because of the circus sounds. that piqued my curiosity. rather than buy it right away, i listened to some songs i found online first. i agree with the cashier, in that "in a flesh aquarium" is pretty good. i ended up returning to the store a few days later to get it.
the music is mostly metal, kind of prog at times. i am not the biggest fan of metal (nor prog either), but unexpect add such an eclectic mix of other sounds that it makes the music very interesting. i don't even mind the typical (male) metal growls that much since they alternate with the (female) ethereal vocals. i really enjoy the touches of piano and violin. i think i hear a tango beat in there somewhere too.
the first kiosk i visited was actually from a pawn shop. they had a table with boxes of cd's, selling at $1 each. they were nice enough to place them spine-side up, so i could just read, without having to flip through the boxes. it was mostly stuff i've never heard of, or crappy pop fluff from the past (i.e. one-hit wonders and the like).
but i did find a shrink-wrapped copy of exterio's "l'album monstre 1ère partie: le complot". i vaguely knew that there were a local punk/rock band. eh, at $1, i don't mind getting the cd just to check it out. (it turns out they're the guys who sang "whippet". the lyrics are hilarious.)
then, at marché du disque, i browsed through more boxes on the street. i found anik jean's "trashy saloon". i don't know much about her music, but i do remember liking her version of jean leloup's "je suis partie".
about two years ago, i borrowed a compilation, "le pop en duo" from the library, and loved it. but i couldn't find it at the usual music shops. i did find it online, but from foreign webstores, and the currency exchange rate with shipping fees made it too expensive. what a pleasant discovery, when i found it at marché du disque for $5! and tax-free, since it was during the street sale period.