La Blogothèque http://en.blogotheque.net Thu, 26 Mar 2015 11:52:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1-alpha Bing & Ruth http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/03/25/bing-ruth/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/03/25/bing-ruth/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 15:16:44 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=23550 The snow in New York City falls in a fugue. A light dust, barely perceptible, begins the progression, growing in quantity and consistency as winds pick up over the waterways. As the elements increase in intensity, the city settles its manifold motif into a blanket of white, insulating sound and sight into a single whole.

The music of Bing & Ruth follows a similar trajectory. A confluence of autonomous sources which, by careful and patient degree, fall gently on the ear and accumulate into quiet and uniform beauty.

On a day early in a winter that would become infamous for its temerity and persistence, we gathered in Red Hook to put to print a document of restraint, a music of growth and decay, of tension and release, of winter and spring.

 

Bing & Ruth album, Tomorrow Was the Golden Age, is available here or via Bandcamp.

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Spoon http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/03/09/spoon-2/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/03/09/spoon-2/#comments Mon, 09 Mar 2015 13:47:58 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=23318 In the voluminous chambers of the Knockdown Center, there is no hope for any physical contribution filling the vacuum between the walls. As Britt Daniel found when he visited us during the October build of our production, Debut, the space has a way of pulling feeling out of the body, an attempt to fill the void and achieve a temporary equilibrium.

We first settle in the overgrowth of our back room set, a barricaded section of our playground where two characters revisit disjointed memories of loss. On this day though, it is filled with redemption and affirmation, Britt’s song playing to a private audience of Hannah Epperson making slow work of a breakfast of oats.

Our piano soundly exercised, we make our way outdoors through the catacombs of the lower level. We enter the roofless enclosure that bore the weight of the final scenes of the Wilder Papers a season prior. Britt again belies the notes to be struck that evening in rehearsals and fills the tattered sail of the long­derelict structure with the breath of his song.

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St Paul & The Broken Bones, episode 2 http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/03/06/st-paul-broken-bones-episode-3/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/03/06/st-paul-broken-bones-episode-3/#comments Fri, 06 Mar 2015 13:54:56 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=23504 Do we really need to explain again why you must listen to St Paul & The Broken Bones and why you must go see them live as soon as possible? We already told you so when we published two videos of their Take Away Show, “Half The City”, played in the middle of le Louvre’s Cour Carrée, and their crazy cover of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You” that made me cry like a kid last year.

What we didn’t tell you though was that, at the time, we kept a third video secret – another track from their first album, “It’s Midnight”, shot in the street near Le Louvre museum.

The band is about to start a huge European tour, so we thought we should give you this little gift and maybe the last undecided minds will be convinced that the only place they have to go in the days to come is a St Paul & The Broken Bones show.

And if you are still doubting, just keep in mind that this video ends with “I’m going to the dentist, you are saving my life.

 

St Paul & The Broken Bones are on tour in Europe. Find all the dates on their website.

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Dominique A at the Musée d’Orsay http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/03/05/dominique-musee-dorsay/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/03/05/dominique-musee-dorsay/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 10:32:56 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=23496 There’s something preternatural in finding oneself practically alone in a museum. You don’t see the artwork the same way. You take more time to look at them, to analyze them. You hear the slightest noise multiply to infinity in the building’s grandeur; the noise of your steps resonating in the labyrinth of corridors and rooms, bouncing on the marble until it’s no more than a distant echo that entertains almost as much as it distresses – it’s not exactly a Ben Stiller scene.

This extraordinary feeling is that much stronger when the museum is none other than the d’Orsay, a place of overwhelming aura in which you can find some of the most precious, well-known and essential paintings and sculptures in the world. A veritable fantasy machine that, temporarily emptied of its visitors but not of its substance, gives the strange feeling of not only contemplating History, but actually being part of it.

It’s in this surreal setting that we had the chance to film a particular Take Away Show with an artist long cherished here: Dominique A. Particular first of all because Eleor, his latest and 10th album, hasn’t revealed itself yet. And particular above all because this time, Dominique A surrounded himself with a string quartet to adorn “L’Océan” with violin and cello, to envelop this timbre we know all too well in the sweet and solemn frame this place required, before delivering a pared-down version of the beautiful “Eleor,” meandering in halls of the museum that you would think were built specially for his music.

There’s something preternatural in finding oneself practically alone in the Musée d’Orsay, listening to Dominique A’s guitar and voice take hold of the immensity.

Translated by Lauren McCracken.

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The Staves – ep2 http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/03/03/staves-ep2/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/03/03/staves-ep2/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 14:11:49 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=23493 It was a recurrent topic with the Staves. They had this desire, almost an obsession, to give to their music a heavier, deeper sound. They were seeking to distance themselves from the accurate – but too narrow – image of those three sisters who know how to harmonize their voices in a beautiful way.

Recording their new album with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver was the first step toward this goal. Now, they just had to give a live session that would make it real, with fiercer guitars and a steadier rhythm. They decided to entrust us with the task.

We had the afternoon to showcase the band’s full potential and reveal its different sides. It actually went pretty softly. Their performance of « Don’t you call me anymore », in a noisy Blackfriars, was filled with melancholy. They then took up the entire room with a percussion-driven version of « Black & White ». Finally, they  invaded the kitchens, surprising us with an unplanned performance of « Teeth White ». They were happy, they were resolute, they were soft, and they were fierce.

 

 

Translated by Johan Diouf

 

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Avi Buffalo http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/02/18/avi-buffalo/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/02/18/avi-buffalo/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 13:59:40 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=23452 A month ago, these two tracks would have had a different echo. We would have seen them just for what they were : two songs from an album – the second one –  by a talented 24-year-old songwritter with a high-pitched voice that we cherrish. At Best Cuckold, a record that we’ve been listening to on repeat since it went out last year, played acoustically and beautifully in a not so beautiful skatepark and an abandoned house near Paris.

But a few months after we shot this Take Away Show, Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg announced that Avi Buffalo was over. No more desire. No more energy. A conviction that this band, founded when he was 15, became bigger than it should have had and ended up almost consuming him. We know the frightening feeling an artist can get of being swallowed by its own creation.

In the light of this events, it’s hard for us not to see these tracks as weird premonitions. The first one is called “So What” – an affirmation, without question mark, nor doubts, just like the long text a seemingly exhausted Avi wrote when he told the world that his band was splitting a few weeks ago.

The second is named “Won’t Be Around No More”,a premonitory title chosen months (years maybe?) before the idea of splitting the band was born in Avi’s head.

We don’t like goodbyes here at Blogo, but if we have to do it, we’re glad it’s happening in such a beautiful and prophetic way.

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Her name is Sarah McCoy http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/02/16/name-sarah-mccoy/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/02/16/name-sarah-mccoy/#comments Mon, 16 Feb 2015 16:51:10 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=23442 I could have turned off my television and the constant flow of horrific and nerve-racking images that goes with it, and scream “I don’t give a shit, I’m gonna go listen to Sarah McCoy” (which I did).

I could have thrown the remote control in the living room and say something like “a little bit of nobility in this insane world, for fuck sake”, and lock myself in my room to hear her voice coming from my little speakers and try to calm myself down (which I did).

I could have kept her name – given by a very sweet friend of mine – just for myself, but that, I can’t do.

Her name is Sarah McCoy. She has the kind of powerful voice that must impress the drunk guys looking for a fight in the New Orleans bar she plays in. She plays the piano wearing a black leotard because she doesn’t give a fuck about what you think Sarah. She chain smokes. She has a big piercing in her nose. She drinks a lot of beer, and because she’s everything that I love, she also has a big “Jurassic Park” tattoo on her arm.

Sarah McCoy sound like if Amy Winehouse and Tom Waits had a kid. I know it’s a bit weird to say this, but that’s the best analogy I found to give you an idea about her. There is some blues and some music hall in her music ; a sens of theatrical performances and a sould in her overwhelming voice that any wanabee-MTV-diva would die for.

Sarah puts all her heart and soul, all the energy that she has in her body and brains into the stories she sings, sat behind her old piano. That’s at least what you see in the rare videos of her playing in old greasy funky US bars.

The good news is that Sarah will be playing at La Maroquinerie in Paris on February 25th (you can win tickets here) and in a few other French cities (Annecy, Hérouville-Saint-Clair and Angers) during French festival Les Nuits de l’Alligator, which is celebrating its 10th birthday this year and already invited her in its last edition. After all this, you should go see her without any hesitation because her voice can cure any pain.

Les Nuits de l’Alligator will be held in Paris, Nantes, Amiens, Rouen, Clermont-Ferrand, Saint-Étienne, Mâcon, Évreux, La Rochelle, Vannes, Brest, Angers, Hérouville-Saint-Clair, Nancy, Strasbourg et Annecy from February 17th to March 10th.
Find out about the festival whole line up on the festival website.
And win tickets for all the Parisian nights here.

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Alt-J live at La Chapelle des Beaux-Arts, Paris http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/02/04/alt-j-paris-chapelle-des-beaux-arts/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/02/04/alt-j-paris-chapelle-des-beaux-arts/#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2015 14:11:48 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=23415

I will always remember that 2012 concert in Manchester, where, I think, the four members of Alt-J were performing for the second time. “Were performing” may be a little too strong: the venue in which they were about to play (with Money and No Ceremony///, who were giving their first ever concert) was actually an art gallery, turned into a venue for a student party. There was an illegal bar that sold tepid beer for £2. It was mostly a lot of noise and a lot of people, many of whom weren’t even paying attention to what was happening on the platform that served as a stage – the acoustics were terrible and nothing the young band tried could stop the little disaster.

An Awesome Wave wasn’t even out but its brilliant songs were already there: “Matilda,” “Tessellate,” “Fitzpleasure,” “Bloodflood,” “Taro” and “Breezeblocks,” of course, which NoiseNews had sent me at the beginning of the year with a note saying to listen to it “right now.” I know it’s cheesy, but it was love at first sight. The live performance, despite its weird atmosphere, allowed us to distinguish the richness of the band’s pieces, their tortuous structures – sometimes too involved and broad to reproduce onstage for such a young band.

It was easy to predict that such an album would be successful, but we couldn’t yet imagine the hordes of fans waving their hands in the air to make the famous triangle sign with their fingers. Nor could we imagine the voices that would come together to shout the lyrics to “Matilda,” which the band would play a few months later, stripped of any artifice, for one of our Take Away Shows. Far from the commotion starting to buzz all around them, the young men were careless, amazed, a little shy maybe and but at ease. Above all, they looked happy to be there, deconstructing the complexity of their music on a bench in Montmartre, surrounded by groups of tourists, in a video series that – they say it themselves about the Take Away Shows – had accompanied them since their college years and the band’s beginnings.

Three years later, and one member fewer, the band has released a second album, This is All Yours. They now headline the biggest venues and festivals, fill the Zénith de Paris in a few hours, sleep in a tour bus the size of a small apartment, feature in Hollywood movie soundtracks, have thousands of fans (including Miley Cyrus), get on the prestigious Brit Awards list and are soon expected to win some Grammys, if we’re to believe the predictions of our American friends.

Of course, we’d seen each other in the meantime, during their show at the Casino de Paris that we filmed last September. But when Gus, Joe and Thom walked through the door of the Chapelle des Beaux-Arts de Paris, where we were going to film them one more time on that cold day in January, the expressions on their faces were exactly the same as three years ago: between wonder, carefreeness, timidity, profound simplicity and the joy of being there, only days after filling London’s giant O2 Arena.

Alt-J is the kind of band we’ve followed closely from the very beginning, from some bench in Montmartre to one of the most stunning venues in Paris. When the idea was born to film them somewhere unique and precious, we couldn’t have imagined a place more beautiful than the Chapelle des Petits-Augustins.

Under the protection of a copy of the The statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni, whose original form stands in Venice,in front of Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment, in the historic site’s surprising acoustics, we offered to this beloved band the perfect setting to house the orchestral grandeur that their music assumes, to let the percussion reverberate to infinity, to let their voices and guitars echo against the centenary walls covered in artwork. Three years after I first saw them in Manchester, this show felt like a complete holy communion and the audience was speechless.

 

Translated by Johan Diouf & Lauren McCracken

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The Districts http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/02/03/districts-2/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/02/03/districts-2/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 13:32:02 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=23410 Addiction is generally a bad thing, except in music. It was, by the way, this process of immediate dependence that started when I saw The Districts onstage for the first time, kind of by accident, at the 2014 Great Escape in Brighton. It was 25 minutes of concert performed in socks, a crazy extremism, and a need to give everything right there, right now, in case the world were to collapse. And it was a song that I hummed for days before being able to finally listen to it again at home: “Long Distance,” a track from their first EP, Telephone.

It has to be said that in matters of music, I work in unhealthy obsession. I can listen to an album or even a single song on repeat for weeks, months, until I know every chord and every nuance, until overdose. This was the case for “Long Distance”, and then for the rest of this EP full of the famous sacrosanct juvenile energy celebrated forever by the music industry, often mistakenly.

But with The Districts, it’s not just about that. Yes, they’re young – we neared apoplexy when Rob, their singer, informed us quite simply that he was born in 1995. Yes, they have an amazing ardor onstage; an urgency that gives the impression each of their concerts is a runaway train crashing into you at full speed. Yes, they sing songs of love, of breakups, of long-distance relationships kept alive via Skype, like kids barely past adolescence.

But The Districts have something more: a mastery of delicate and impressive composition that keeps them from slipping too easily into the punk/DIY bubble. A love of pause and silence too, that makes tracks like “Long Distance” something other than a simple rock song calibrated at three minutes and thirty seconds – in adding four more, the American kids made it a southern rock anthem that smells nicely of dust and rotgut whiskey. And then, above all, a voice simultaneously broken and touching, much older than the body it inhabits: that of Rob, capable of great emotional shifts that remind me a little of the Kings of Leon at their start, before they drown into a stadium rock wave and became U2 apprentices.

When we met up with them behind the Cabaret Sauvage, where they were preparing to open for the Raveonettes, the little Districts were intimidated but excited. They threw together a portable drum kit for their drummer with pieces of tape and bits of string. Underneath this canal bridge, they gave a voice to two of their new songs, “Suburban Smell” and “4th and Roebling.” They showed us these excerpts from their first full album, A Flourish And A Spoil, as if to show that Telephone was no accident – It wasn’t one, these young men have talent. They had pretty moments of grace, guitars in hand in the setting sun at the end of a cold afternoon – one that ended between two tramway rails, in front of the Parisian public transport operator security team who scream at us because they were playing under high voltage lines… But that’s another story, we’ll tell it to you soon.

I don’t know if this means much anymore, but these young men, all the way from their native America, have made my new favorite band. Some advice from a friend: listen to them.

 

The Districts are on tour in the US and in Europe – find out more here.

Translate by Lauren ‘Wonderful’ McCracken

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Run The Jewels http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/01/28/run-jewels/ http://en.blogotheque.net/2015/01/28/run-jewels/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:42:41 +0000 http://blogotheque.net/?p=23394 We had already filmed some hip-hop artists in the past. Sometimes, it can be hard to work with them: even though you give your maximum, you can always be sure that they won’t do the same. But Run the Jewels proved us wrong: they were simply unbelievable.

Let’s sum up. Killer Mike and EI-P had just landed from the US, were very tired since they had barely slept, had had lots of interviews and had to take a flight back home the day after. The show took place at la Recyclerie, a beautiful but derelict old train station, where we had to build up a stage ourselves.

It was freezing outside and the people in the audience still had their coats on (since La Blogo jokingly forgot to provide a cloakroom), which isn’t really comfortable when it comes to dancing… Plus, the audience was far from being made of the same kind of fans that had been completely fired up at la Bellevilloise a few weeks ago (you know, Parisian indie boys are shy compared to Americans).

But, as we said, Run the Jewels were the kings of the world that day. Their record had just won the Album of the Year award on both Pitchfork and USA Today, which was a really unexpected combo. They certainly were exhausted champions, but champions anyway. And they gave a show that went far beyond our expectations.

They never gave a minute for the audience to catch their breath. They mocked them, astonished them, and engaged them in a formidable show. They were on fire; Killer mike was dancing, playing with the cameras, shouting all over the place. EI-P was telling stories, jumping like he had waited for this moment for 10 years. They were truly having fun and, that day, nothing could have stopped them.

At the end, they were the winners. They had won over this reluctant audience. People were sweating under their coats, their hands up in the air. Everybody knew why they were jumping. Bravo Run the Jewels.

Translated by Johan Diouf

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