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Thursday, February 15, 2007

February: them bones, them bones, them bare bones

by Jayson
Due to a computer data snafu (it was deleted--note the lack of responsibility conveniently provided by the passive voice), the calendar isn't going to appear except in bits and pieces this month. So here's a shot at the next couple of weeks.

If January got off to a slow start, wow: February is hot and it looks like March just keeps getting hotter. Go global warming in indie Paris! (Kidding, of course: Go green, Parisnormaleans, go green!)

La Fleche D'Or

Feb 17: FOALS (UK), plus Shit Disco (word has it they're The ShXX--yes, the bad pun is my favorite genre of humor). Punk-funk and math rock, Foals are another example of how indie music scenes have rediscovered dance. Gang of Four revved up and wildly complicated. Early electro-techno German influences, but that doesn't quite capture it either. Better give it a listen. Popular in the UK, SD is one of many in the new generation influenced by the Gang of Four and The Jam.

Feb 19: EF (Sweden) Plus

TAHITI BOY AND THE PALMTREE FAMILY Feat. TUNDE Adebimpe (TV on the Radio) : "ef was formed in Gothenburg, Sweden in may 2003. We met under quite human circumstances in may 2003, and soon we stood in a small basement and created quite heavy music. It didn't take long for us to find that melodies, emotions and explosions was more interesting. ef use three guitars, bass, drums, organs, glockenspiel, accordion and a lot of effects to create the soundscapes." Plus from Myspace: "People often say we have the melodies of Explosions in the sky, the heaviness from Cult of Luna and the energy of Drive Like Jehu. A perfect blend! Other bands often mentioned: Godspeed you black emperor, Mogwai and Sigur Rós."

TV on the Radio is well-known. Not sure what to expect of their fearless leader TUNDE Adebimpe. But I reckon it'll be interestin'. Check the kudos for the latest TVOTR sorti: "The latest experiment from TV on the Radio goes horribly right." A- "The disc might be the most oddly beautiful, psychedlic and ambitious of the year...Consider your mind blown."-Entertainment Weekly

La Maroquinerie:

Feb 14: The Fuzztones: These guys have been called "the gurus of grunge and garage." For good reason. They've inspired hundred of bands (and not a few derrieres thought to be unshakeable) since they started on NYC's Lower East Side 26 years ago. Their current tour is proudly called "Horny as Hell." A good way to spend Valentine's Day without a sweetie. No hand-holding expected here, but people might jump all over you.

Feb 15: Les Inrocks: The Inrocks brings us Blood Arm from LA, U.S. Annointed Franz Ferdinand's favorite band, their last album was called, with no hyperbole whatsoever, 24 karet gold and given 4.5/5 stars. Eminently danceable, these guys often remind me of the Clash circa "This is the Radio Clash." Incontournable if you like that sort of thing.

Feb 20: Bonobo (Ninja Tune). Ambient, Chill, Electronica. This is what happens when you give some keyboards, guitars, and a lot of other high-tech toys. Chill soundscapes.

Feb 26: My brightest diamond (Asthmatic Kitty). Another one outta Brooklyn. And yet most of them sound different than the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. Ain't no sound. Certainly not from MY Brightest, whose atmospheric, experimental indie pop is anything but packaged. Powerful yet disciplined, Shara Worden's voice and songwriting makes me think of Chicago's Diane Izzo mixed with Tori Amos' alter ego. I like the jazzed up piano and vocals, which progressively unjazz themselves to a stop, and the fresh experiments with the string family (cello, viola, violin), in songs like "Riding Horses," which sounds at times like "Eleanor Rigby" with the Izzo/Amos vocals and strings. Try this drummer for a different march.

Feb 21: Girls vs. Boys. I shared playgrounds with these guys in the nineties, in Chicago and Lawrence, Kansas. The only better name for a band at the time would've been "Girls Kiss Boys." What? You didn't play that on your playground? Ah yes, the band: they were royalty of indie rock's noise family tree during the nineties, the heirs to Fugazi and Sonic Youth, and many people still think they hold up. Their contribution to a Joy Division tribute album in the 90s remains one of my favorites: "She's Lost Control." If you want yer old school cred, better skeedaddle over to the Maroq.

Feb. 22 Decembrists (Capitol/Kill Rock Stars): Not necessarily fans of the wintery month, this group's name partly refers to the 1825 Russian army revolt against absolutism. Ergo, they give you light and snappy rhythms seething up from below (or from the side? would the army be partly below and to the side?). How else shall we place this product? Organs, acoustic guitar, light electric gheee-tar licks, snare drummer from James, vocals from Neutral Milk Hotel and James again. Mmm mmm Good. Revolt used to be so easy before internet surveillance.

Nouveau Casino

Feb 19 Pop Levi: Synth pop with a distinctive indie voice. Nice xylophones (easily one of the most fetishized indie instruments of the moment, and for good reason) and textured, elongated "ah, ah" back vocals. Up, Up and away:in a word, levitating.

Feb 21 Acoustic Ladyland: Darlings of British critics, this bunch was called one of five groups not to be missed in 2005 by the Observer Monthly and the Guardian. Punk funk/jazz/rock. Judge for yourself in this video.

Feb 26: Bromheads Jacket: Indie Brit punk-pop that has been said to be notoriously devoted to the 70s British punk eruption. However, some of their slower stripped down songs recall mid-career Billy Bragg.

Feb 28 The Junior Boys: Here's how Pitchfork described their 2006 EP "So this is Goodbye": "its brittle rhythms and gleaming synths coalescing with the dark shapes and city lights in constant renewal on the other side of my window, the unfamiliarity of my surroundings giving it all a further resonance..." and "glowing synth lines and frigid percussions."

Divan Du Monde

Feb 16: Like the Gypsy stuff from Gogol Bordello to the Emir Kusturica and Tony Gatlif films? Check the “Jam Tsigane” at 19h and at 21h you get the Tsigane allstars, a rotation of djs mixing gypsy sounds.

Feb 26 Tobias Froeberg: Another Nordic indie singer-songwriter in the elastic mold of Nick Drake, Jose Gonzales, and I’m hearin’ pas mal de Simon and Garfunkle and Cat Stevens in it too. And after all, Froeberg's delicate and searching For Elisabeth Wherever She Is (2004) seems a clear hearkening back to S&G's song "For Emily, wherever I may find her."

Point Ephemer (coming asap)

But for now try:

Feb. 20:
The Album Leaf + Jason Edwards + Corrina Repp


jcdelbarcoii said...

my friend and i read this frequently. thank you. can we hang out? we will be here till late May.

Jayson said...

Of course! write to the email in the header.

Formerly "Parisnormale: Paris Rocks"