La Blogothèque http://en.blogotheque.net Thu, 28 Jul 2016 11:58:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1-alpha Money http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/07/06/money-3/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/07/06/money-3/#comments Wed, 06 Jul 2016 15:14:24 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=24894 When I said “see you tomorrow”, they replied “maybe”. I have to admit that we trapped Money big time: the appointment was at 8am on a very cold February morning at St Merry’s Church, the day after their Parisian gig at Point Éphémère.

Let’s not maintain the unbearable suspense too long: they came, struggling with a bad hangover, sure, but ready to play in the freezing church even if it meant they could barely feel their fingers.

I’m not going to write about how much their sophomore record Suicide Songs, released this year, means to me. I already did a few months ago, and it was hard enough to find the words to describe my feelings towards this record then. This album is, whatever happens until December, my favourite album of the year – a beautiful, overwhelming and outrageous record that I will cherish until I die.

All I can say is that there was something haunting in the way Jamie recited his poem “prayer” before he started singing, and something almost sacred in the way they played an acoustic version of “You Look Like A Sad Painting On Both Sides Of The Sky” on guitar and piano, with a cello and violin to give the track the scale it has on record.

While everyone was busy filming, playing and recording, I stayed still and got goosebumps. The temperature in the church had, surprisingly, nothing to do with it.

 

Special thanks to Benjamin for his proofreading.

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Mumford & Sons feat. Baaba Maal at Philharmonie de Paris http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/06/29/mumford-sons-feat-baaba-maal-philharmonie-de-paris/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/06/29/mumford-sons-feat-baaba-maal-philharmonie-de-paris/#comments Wed, 29 Jun 2016 13:10:53 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=24865 You leave a band on a sunny afternoon in front of a small venue, and next thing you know, they’re playing stadiums. Last time we were with Mumford & Sons, they were playing La Flèche d’Or in Paris. We had fun serenading a woman on her balcony with a French rendition of one of their songs. They were fresh, friendly, sweet and talented. Little (or maybe not so little) did they know, everything about to change for them. Everything was about to get big, quickly.

Skip to 2016, and Mumford & Sons now have as many vans full of gear as members in the band. They have roadies who ready everything for them at soundcheck. They tour with a chef. They play regularly to over 3000 people (minimum), and yet… here they are, fooling around with us again.

We are inside an empty Philharmonie de Paris (we wanted to play on the rooftop but the weather didn’t feel the same way). The Mumford’s slick, well-oiled road crew arrive early to ready the stage and I start to feel nervous about Marcus and his Sons arrival. When a band gets big so suddenly, you can’t help but worry that the pressure of fame can make a group lose their sense of humour. Thankfully, as soon as they started playing I knew it wasn’t the case. They played, and played and played, like kids on a school break. They played loud. They played well. And even if the song they sang wasn’t as tongue-in-cheek as the one they played for us a few years ago, I was genuinely moved by the joyful power of their music – the same feeling I had when we first met them. Marcus sang so loud that he had to stop before he hurt his voice.

Before leaving, however, he asked us if he could come back later in the afternoon with Bill Ryder-Jones, who was opening for them at the Zénith that night. Imagine if they did a Take Away Show together? (To be continued…)

Very special thanks to Thomas for his proof-reading and corrections.

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Wedding, an unreleased track http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/06/23/wedding-unreleased-track/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/06/23/wedding-unreleased-track/#comments Thu, 23 Jun 2016 12:42:02 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=24854 They were the first band featured in our “And Now Watch Them Grow” serie and in a couple of months, Wedding have grown quickly.

The duo, half-Mancunian, half-Berliner, just signed with Balaclava Records label (home of the also very talented Homeshake, Mild High Club and Yuk) to reissue their very first EP, Ruth.
The new edition will be available on July 8th, and to celebrate this great news, you can now listen to an unreleased track in form of an ode to the North of England: “Cherry Avenue” and purchase it on bandcamp.

See them live
september 17th @ Freakender Festival, Glasgow
october 8th @ Neighbourhood Festival, Manchester
Wedding will tour in Europe in november.

Photo credit : Sophia Larigakis

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Aloe Blacc, Benjamin Booker, Sophie Hunger, Nick Mulvey & Songhoy Blues | Tribute to Montreux Jazz http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/06/16/aloe-blacc-benjamin-booker-sophie-hunger-nick-mulvey-songhoy-blues-tribute-montreux-jazz/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/06/16/aloe-blacc-benjamin-booker-sophie-hunger-nick-mulvey-songhoy-blues-tribute-montreux-jazz/#comments Thu, 16 Jun 2016 13:13:16 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=24842 It’s a mountain overhanging a big lake. A green, bucolic mountain. The kind of place where you expect to find the treasure at the end of the rainbow. This mountain’s real treasure however, is hidden in a vast chalet – a chalet which shelters over fifty years of popular music history.

The chalet can be found in the idyllic setting of Montreaux, a city where you could picture yourself aging gracefully, gazing at alpine pastures while reading Nabokov, drinking local white wine and breathing the Leman lake surroundings’ pure air. It’s the last place you would associate with the sweaty, druggy all-night jam sessions and creative explosions that have taken place here every year since Montreaux Jazz Festival started in 1967.

Looking at the festival’s history and how many legendary songs were recorded here will make your head spin – just like how our heads started spinning when the Montreux Jazz Festival team asked us to come and make a movie there. We discovered closets filled with thousands of live music film rolls, audio rolls and VHS – which were deemed so precious to the world’s music history that they were made part of the UNESCO world heritage collection in 2013. We saw big names everywhere – Gilberto Gil, New Order, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone – and made new discoveries too (Bessie Smith, Dorothy Donegan, Harlem’s Boys Choir to name a few). The music we found and stories we heard inspired us to share our fascination with the culture and the spirit of Montreux.

It’s the same fascination young musicians tend to have when they come to play Montreux Jazz for the first time. Benjamin Booker was speechless when he saw Montreux Jazz Festival founder Claude Nobs’ chalet and how many legendary musicians had left their mark here.

He was the first artist we filmed for the movie we shot last summer. Booker turned Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind” into a resigned lament, his soft and rasping voice almost bringing us to tears. Songhoy Blues sang a translated version of “Smoke on the Water” exactly where smoke coming from the Casino’s fire started to invaded the Leman lake more than 40 years ago while Deep Purple was recording in Montreux. Sophie Hunger and Nick Mulvey met for the very first time and stripped down Prince’s “Purple Rain” together, dazzling the beautiful Montreux Palace with their immediate and overwhelming bond. And Aloe Blacc paid tribute in the most perfect way to Ella Fitzgerald’s “Sunshine of Your Love” in Claude Nobs’ chalet where everything started, and where music will keep being celebrated for ever.

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Montreux Jazz Festival, 50th anniversary – 1st to 16th July 2016 in Montreux, Switzerland. All infos and line-up the festival’s website.

Very special thanks to Thomas for his precious proof-reading & corrections.

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The Lemon Twigs http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/06/07/lemon-twigs/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/06/07/lemon-twigs/#comments Tue, 07 Jun 2016 14:50:53 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=24838 It’s kind of a gift when someone offers you to listen to some marvelous demos recorded somewhere in Los Angeles.
It’s also kind of a torture when those demos are so beautiful that that someone ends up bursting into tears in front of you and that you have to wait, and wait and wait for way too long before you can share those tracks yourself.

That’s what happened with The Lemon Twigs, a young band from Hicksville, Long Island, fronted by two brothers: Brian and Michal D’Addario, a powerhouse of two virtuosos experiencing everything since their youngest age : drums at 5, guitar at 7, parts in Broadway musicals or in TV shows.
In Europe we’ll have to wait a little more to enjoy their amazing talent, but you can already listen to their brand new single in which the sweetest of melodies that reminds me of the Beatles are meeting the soft psyche craziness of Foxygen.

And it’s certainly not a coincidence that the siblings are well surrounded: when they released their debut album, ‘What We Know’, in 2014, they were already opening for Foxygen and Jonathan Rado just recorded their new album that should be release next fall.

The Lemon Twigs on facebook and twitter.
The Lemon Twigs’ You Tube Channel
See them live :
june 16 @ Pianos, New York
june 18 @ Milkboy, Philadelphia
july 5 @ Horsehoe Tavern, Toronto
july 6 @ The Loving Touch, Ferndale
july 9 @ Hide Out, Chicago
july 11 @ MOTR Pub, Cincinnati

Photo credit : Cara Robbins

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Bitch better have my Money http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/04/07/bitch-better-money/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/04/07/bitch-better-money/#comments Thu, 07 Apr 2016 09:13:00 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=24701 It was 3pm – 3:30 maybe – on an Autumn Friday afternoon. I had just got back from a Parisian studio, where our mad sound directors had asked me to dub an actress walking in high heels for one of our films (true story). Earlier that week, Simon of Bella Union had sent me the new Money album, which was obediently waiting until I could listen to it in the right conditions.

The office was quiet. Everyone was busy and silent, so I put my headphones on, I cut myself from the world, and I pressed play without knowing that, minutes later, I would have to discreetly dry the tears flowing down my cheeks in a very shambolic way.

I wish I could explain what happened with the most accurate words, but I already know that I can’t. The best I can do is to say that, above all, it was a very physical reaction, an electric shock, powerful, astonishing, but not crushing. Just like in one of those movies when the main character finds himself caught up in an emotional whirlwind that’s too heavy to be dissected, too raw to be identified properly when it happens; or just like one of summer’s unexpected, torrential rainfalls, which rages madly for what seems forever, before suddenly giving way to a dazzling sun between some dark, threatening clouds.

“What I’m trying to say it’s that I don’t want to be god
I just don’t want to be human”

I’ve always been fascinated by thunderstorms and how they can switch from pure violence to absolute quietness, from darkness to light, in a split second – boom! – and I think that’s exactly what Suicide Songs did to me – ‘I Am The Lord’, ‘I’m Not Here’ and ‘Night Came’, especially.

Through to its end – the flickering, stumbling and beautiful ‘Cocaine Christmas And An Alcoholic’s New Year’ – the album left me stunned. It was like I had smashed my head into a wall: the difference here, however, is that with this record the wall opens up after the first shock and you find yourself back to a hopeful square one, without realising how you were able to return. A musical Sisyphus myth.

“If I can give you a piece of myself
I would give you a box of night”

Even before I had listened to it in its entirety, I knew that Suicide Songs was going to become one of those rare records that would carry me for years. An album that I would listen to compulsively, sure, but not everywhere, not anytime. At the top of my hometown mountains, maybe. On the long Icelandic roads, in the middle of those surreal lunar lava fields. By night, walking in a Paris emptied of its life. By night, mainly.

But it was the afternoon of Friday 13th November. And everything was about to tumble.

“Night came very fast
As if it had fallen over drunk”

For days, locked in my flat and in my head, distraught, I couldn’t listen to any music. Hours of silence and emptiness that only one album eventually filled: Suicide Songs.

I was terrified to introduce this record to the point afterwards, where nothing seemed to make sense. Not because I didn’t want to associate it with death, but because the effect it had on me the first time was so overwhelming that I was scared I would collapse, swallowed by a wave of suffocating emotion.

I was wrong.

“All my life, I’ve been searching for something
So I always ended up with nothing”

Each track on Suicide Songs is an internal storm, but also an extraordinary light in the middle of infinite obscurity.

The guitar notes, full of reverb, almost smelling like summer peace. The drums, gently stroked so they won’t be wounded. The undefinable timbre, between a scream for help and absolute bliss. The admirable slowness in a world where the perfect popsong has to, supposedly, be under two minutes and thirty seconds. That plaintive brass and their majestic melancholy. The turbulence of the words, dancing together like they’ve been sewn by the most delicate hands; arrangements that make your head spin; strings climbing up the walls; celestial choirs from another world. An outburst of sounds, instruments, complex melodic structures like some sort of brutal rollercoaster. And this voice, like a perpetual Ariadne’s thread in the middle of chaos: losing control, then rising to the surface – before drowning again – rising and drowning and rising and drowning – constantly.

And then it’s over.

“When I was a child I made a deal against the sun
That if it died out that I would carry on
So you can feel and you can see
That it’s all real
And you won’t have to cry”

The storm has gone. No one is totally unscathed. There are some visible scars, but also a new hope at heart.

I have never been in the eye of a real cyclone, but I guess that the brief feeling of appeasement before the lightning and the wind come back is close to what Suicide Songs has achieved musically. It carries in itself, in the way its notes are assembled, in its melodic structure, and how it’s painted brightly by Jamie Lee’s poems, the insane expectancy of an exit door somewhere: a light at the end of the tunnel. A possible breathing. The air I was cruelly starved of in the weeks following Friday 13th November. The air I sometimes lose when life becomes inescapably oppressive.

“I’m married to the sky
I’m a servant of the hour
I’m open as time
And I’m perfect without power”

Since then, I’ve been listening to Suicide Songs on repeat: everywhere, anytime. Day. Night. Six feet under. Aloft. In my bed. In other people’s beds. In idyllic locations. In the seediest of places. When the escalator gets outside and I’m suddenly blinded by the sun. When I drive too fast. When time passes too slowly. When I need to breathe without feeling choked. Like each of its songs is the beginning of a perpetual epiphany. Like an unsuspected release when asphyxia is too close.

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Suicide Songs is available for purchase on Bella Union website.
Find out about Money tourdates on their official website.

Special thanks to Benjamin for his very precious proofreading and help.

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Andy Shauf http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/03/31/andy-shauf/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/03/31/andy-shauf/#comments Thu, 31 Mar 2016 13:14:55 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=24692 It was at The Great Escape last year. Brighton was surprisingly sunny, and I was walking to one of the festival’s venues to go watch a musician I had discovered a few months earlier in the very long list of bands booked: Andy Shauf.

He was playing an early evening slot, not too far from the beach, and I was pretty proud of myself for being not only on time, but even a little bit early to the show – a miracle.

The room was packed. People seemed to be excited when Andy sat down behind a keyboard. “Weird“, I thought to myself, “He was supposed to play with a band, and to be on guitar…” Was it going to be some sort of piano solo show?

 

First track: “What the fuck is that?
Second track : “What is this wannabe-pop-star voice? It can’t be him.
Third track : “Tell me it’s not him.
(Yes, I talk to myself quite a lot)

Around me, nobody seems to be baffled or disappointed. People are singing along – dancing even – to some kind of sloppy pop, so far away from Andy’s graceful lullabies.

I’m so confused that I eventually text one of my friends who’s supposed to be at the show too:
What is happening with Andy Shauf? It’s so bad.
Are you kidding me? It was beautiful“, he replies.
No, it’s not! It’s terrible! I don’t think I’m gonna stay“, I say.
Wait, where are you? Andy’s gig ended two hours ago.

 

I’ll never know who I saw that evening, but, thank God, it wasn’t Andy, whose show got rescheduled earlier that day in another venue – I do not thank you stupid French phone with no data abroad.

Big fail, yes, but not a complete fail, though. A few months later, by a warm August afternoon, we walked throught the almost-empty streets of Paris with Andy and his band to shoot a Take Away Show, and to confirm that the Canadian boy is a precious songwriter. Someone who sings about (other people’s) life in melancholic but bright pop and dreamy folk songs.

The band played “Jenny Come Home” and “The Worst in You”, a new track from their very promising upcoming album ; then Andy grabbed a guitar and sang a delicate stripped-down version of “My Dear Helen” solo. To think that I could have missed that because of a rescheduled gig and a big misunderstanding…

 

Andy Shauf’s album, The Party, will be released on May 20th on ANTI-.

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Albert B. http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/03/25/albert-b-2/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/03/25/albert-b-2/#comments Fri, 25 Mar 2016 09:49:31 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=24662 Last December, when all the traditional music tops were being published, I remember complaining again about how these tops were a never-ending list of expected names. I thought it was sad that no one would use them as a good excuse to put some light on albums that were (sadly) released quietly.
I’m lucky because someone did posted the top I was waiting for and put Albert B. on my path.

Albert B. is 21 years old, counting. He’s from Philadelphia and now lives in New Orleans for Uni. His debut EP, No Good, got eventually released on tape in December after being available for download for free for months.

When Albert told Stay Curious Collective that he loves music that helps you getting to know the person who made it, I believe him because I listen to his songs like I would listen to a friend updating me on his life over the phone.

No Good is a 9 lo-fi rap tracks ep, 9 lascivious songs that remind me somehow about King Krule productions – Albert has rather listed Frank Ocean has one of his major influences.

20 minutes and 33 seconds, that’s barely what you need to get attached to him, the kind of boy who would give his personal cellphone number away on his Facebook page in case someone is alone for Thanksgiving.

Order the EP No Good on tape (also available via  via Third Floor Tapes) ou en digital
Follow Albert B. on facebook

Thanks Damien et Alban de Penny Lane for this precious tip.

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Fractured Air x Blogothèque – S01E03 | March mix http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/03/24/fractured-air-x-blogotheque-s01e03-march-mix/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/03/24/fractured-air-x-blogotheque-s01e03-march-mix/#comments Thu, 24 Mar 2016 13:20:00 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=24665 Each month, Craig and Mark from Irish music website Fractured Air will curated an exclusive mix on Blogothèque with old favourites, new comers, excerpts of interviews and premieres.
Listen to previous episodes -

fracturedair-mars16

Welcome to part three of our monthly mix series.

Presented in this month’s mix is the first in our new series of exclusive tracks which will be submitted by guest musicians each month. For March, we include “In the fields”, an exclusive unreleased track by independent music stalwart Benoît Pioulard (Seattle-based musician Thomas Meluch). Since the release of his debut opus Précis (via world-renowned Chicago-based Kranky in 2006), Meluch has amassed an incredible body of work, comprising both solo and collaborative recordings. Most recently, Meluch released the debut self-titled album under his Perils guise – Meluch’s collaboration with Canadian composer Kyle Bobby Dunn – as well as Sonnet, his most recent solo full-length and the solo E.P. Noyaux. Meluch has released music on some of independent music’s finest and most esteemed labels including: Kranky, Morr Music, Desire Path Recordings and Type.

Opening this month’s mix is the fascinating Walt Whitman-inspired collaborative E.P. Leaves Of Grass – thanks to Berlin-based Morr Music – where Iggy Pop reads excerpts taken from Whitman’s legendary poetry collection of the same name, while German musicians Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto) together with Ronald Lippok and Bernd Jestram (Tarwater) provide the intriguing musical accompaniment.

Elsewhere, we have selections from: Munich-based producer Skee Mask’s Junt E.P.; Canadian violinist and composer Sarah Neufeld’s glorious new solo album The Ridge; peerless U.K. producer Chris Clark; A Pleasure’s essential debut L.P. Minor Youth for Other People; Kevin Morby (ex bassist to Woods)’s masterful symphonic Dead Oceans full-length Singing Saw and Irish/U.S. super-group The Gloaming make their triumphant return with 2 (via Real World Records). Meanwhile, even Dale Cooper, resident FBI Special Agent to Twin Peaks, makes a guest cameo somewhere before the dust settles.

01. Iggy Pop / Tarwater / Alva Noto – “As Adam Early In The Morning / I Am He That Aches With Love” (Morr Music)
02. Anna Homler & Steve Moshier – “Yesh’ Te” (RVNG Intl)
03. Julien Neto – “Questionable Things” (Type)
04. Benoît Pioulard – “In The Fields” (Unreleased)
05. Perils – “The Unbecoming” (Desire Path Recordings)
06. The Gentleman Losers – “Silver Mountain” (Büro)
07. Vashti Bunyan – “Here Before” (FatCat)
08. Max Richter – “Path 5” (Clark Remix) (Deutsche Grammophon)
09. Clark – “Hide on the Treads 3” (The Last Panthers OST, Warp)
10. Mikael Seifu – “The Protectors” (RVNG Intl)
11. A Pleasure – “Arthur Russel” (Other People)
12. Skee Mask – “Junt” (Ilian Tape)
13. Prins Thomas – “E” (Smalltown Supersound)
14. Odd Nosdam – “Sisters” (Boards of Canada Remix) (Leaving)
15. Arthur Russell – “Habit Of You” (Audika, Rough Trade)
16. Woo – “A Complex Art” (Drag City)
17. Kevin Morby – “I Have Been to the Mountain” (Dead Oceans)
18. Bullion – “Dip Your Foot” (DEEK Recordings)
19. Rayon – “Il Collo e la Collana 02” (Alien Transistor)
20. Mary Lattimore – “The Quiet at Night” (Ghostly International)
21. The Gloaming – “Fáinleog (Wanderer)” (Real World)
22. Sarah Neufeld – “Where the Light Comes In” (Paper Bag)

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Fractured Air is an online music webzine based in Cork, Ireland, which focuses on the best of independent music. Having started in July 2012, Fractured Air offers in-depth interviews, insightful reviews, original artwork and frequent mixes (including guest mixes), spanning the broad spectrum of today’s independent music scene.

Compiled by Fractured Air, March 2016. The copyright in these recordings is the property of the individual artists and/or record labels.
If you like the music, please support the artist by buying their records.

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Wedding http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/03/01/wedding/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2016/03/01/wedding/#comments Tue, 01 Mar 2016 18:03:35 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=24589 I should have talked about Wedding and their debut single “Ruth” months ago. It breaks my heart to think I didn’t.

Wedding has a beautiful and improbable story that started on Craigslist, on which Thomas Craig (native of London, adopted by Manchester) and Zachary Taube (from New York) met in Berlin (improbable, we said).

A tape recorder purchase and a few demos later, their first EP, Wedding, was out on tape on RIP Records.

Wedding, the band, professes their love for Kurt Vile and Woods – there are worst influences, right ?
Wedding, the EP, brings back some kind of summer vibes. It reminds me of Craft Spells, Beach Fossils, some soft riffs that one could link to Mac DeMarco’s music (him again yes, don’t freak out)

There will be a full album soon, for sure. Maybe it will have a different sound because Thomas – who’s currently living in Manchester – now works without Zachary (who stayed in Berlin), and with a new band, on some new tracks. He already has a lot of songs, too much songs, he says.

Until then, we highly recommend that you go listen to that EP over and over again.

It would be silly not to take the chance to mention an other English artist that you should keep an eye on: Charles Howl, with whom Thomas Craig used to play before starting Wedding. His debut album was released last year, and it will definitely please psych-pop lovers.

Order Wedding EP on RIP Records
Order Charles Howl album on Ample Play Records
Wedding on Facebook / Charles Howl on Facebook

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