Chartreuse Organ Stops

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The Chartreuse Organ Stops were a garage-rock band from Mascoutensi, consisting of Étienne and Claire Chartreux. They were known for, among other things, their stripped-down, contrey-esque style of rock, their rapid alternation between French and Algonquin (their most famous hit "Armee de Sept Nations" containing four verses alternating between the two languages) and their curious almost complete lack of guitar parts in favour of highly elaborate upright bass compositions.


Étienne and Claire were the youngest of ten children in a family of French and Native descent. As children, the two were known for being inseparable, and Étienne in particular was noted for his high levels of eccentricity. They often explored their neighbourhood as children, and became fascinated in particular by the house of an aging artist named Patrick McCarney, who owned a large organ decorated in gold leaf and red velvet. Étienne frequently practised his instrumental skills on it, which kicked off his passion for music. As they grew up, they no longer payed visits to McCarney's house as frequently, and eventually started to work in non-music related jobs. Étienne worked as an upholsterer while Claire worked as a waitress; the two lived in a house together, trying to make ends meet. On Bastille Day 1997, they were attempting to think of some way to commemorate their French heritage when Claire suddenly suggested half-jokingly they start a band and cover La Marseillaise. Despite her tone, Étienne considered it a serious possibility, and that very night they played a club in Imnizaskadan to complete success.

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