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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

March: Out like a Lion

Jayson's end of the month calendar:

Next Two week’s calendar by Venue, followed by chronological order…

3/29 The Long Blondes at Le Trabendo (get tickets now; will probably be the third show of the night to sell out!); Another great act on this cursed night that pits Air against Andrew Bird and the Long Blondes in our fine musically thriving city. But the LB’s are a formidable competitor for your attention on this night. Hailing from Sheffield, UK, the LB’s are three women and two guys playing witty pop-punk reminiscent of the Buzzcocks In 2006 they received New Music Express’s prestigious Philip Hall Radar Award, which has gone to bands like Franz Ferdinand in the past. Been looking for the chance to dust off your pogo? This is it!

Café de la Danse

3/30 Bright Eyes

Bright Eyes is the backing band for Conor Oberst, the 27-year-old, multi-instrumentalist, indie-folk boy wonder from Omaha, Nebraska (who first caught critical attention at age 14). American Coastal lovers, ignorant global stereotypers, eat your hearts out! Mid-West’s Little Omaha has been indie central in the last few years, built around Oberst’s label Saddle Creek Records and associated with other local and regional acts like Simon Joyner, Tilly and the Wall, Cursive, Lullaby For the Working Class, and The Faint, to name a few. Oberst has shown impressive skills in indie folk song-writing and his vocal style has become semi-legendary (I have a friend who says he can’t stand Oberst because the latter allegedly sounds like he’s always on the verge of crying, which is precisely one of the reasons he appeals to me!). Trying his best to walk in the gargantuan shoes of greatness critics have thrust upon him, comparisons ranging from Neil Young to Bob Dylan and Emmylou Harris, Oberst has just released an American epic EP called “Four Winds,” from which you can expect he’ll be playing and also complaining about American foreign policy and the corporate threat to musical creativity. If you’re nice, he might even cry for you.


4/1 The Shins at Elysee Montmartre (Actually Both le Trabendo and Elysee Montmartre claim to be hosting the Shins April 1; one of them is surely an April Fool’s gag, but which?). The Shins are a highly critically acclaimed indie jangle pop band from Albuquerque, New Mexico on the venerable Subpop label. Their long awaited third album Wincing the Night Away is only two months old, which they’ll likely be promoting on this tour. Expect this to sell out.

Nouveau Casino

3/31, 4/1 The Naast (FR) These wunderkinder play some great Hammond Organ-driven nostalgic 60s rock. If you like that ye-ye thing and Gidget beach party films, your retro dance dreams have been answered. See you in your mop top and Beatles boots, Austin Powers.

Le Triptyque
3/28 FUJIYA & MIYAGI (Tirk Records / UK): These guys were on many critics' "Best Of 2006," and you've probably heard their hit "Collarbone" (if you haven't, check it on their myspace page). Catchy, electronic, but also in to adding real guitars, F&M cull from a range of influences including Kraut rock's (Canned and Kraftwerk) love of slow drawn out vocals and repetitive sounds, but also the electro-guitar arrangements of bands like the Talking Heads and Brian Eno, and the sweet melodic synth dancebeats and vocals of 80s bands like OMD. Strangely, this show is only 5 euros. Can't beat that drum any harder!

La Maroquinerie

3/29 Andrew Bird--Full: Chicagoan Andrew Bird is a classically trained violinist, who can pluck it, strum it, and bow it in ways that boggle the mind. He has matured greatly as a songwriter/composer over the years and can move effortlessly between a kind of Squirrel Nut Zippers swing in “Candy Shop” (1999) to an Eastern-tinged extremely fresh soft-loud driver like “Fake Palindromes” (2006). This little fiddler has incredible range and imagination. And that’s why it’s “complet.” Someone’s always trying to get rid of a ticket on Les Inrocks list though (if you speak French).

4/3 19h Babylon Circus Experience: “Circus Experience” is a good way to put it. Their music makes ample rollicking use of brass and woodwinds to produce some sort of circus-gypsy hybrid.

Le Bataclan

3/27 LCD Soundsystem. For my recent blurb about them which situates them historically via Rick James and MC Hammer, click here.

La Fleche D’Or

3/23 The Fatels ( UK ). play a kind of pop punk a la The Undertones (witness the track “Tough Luck Kid” sometimes, and at other more like the early Clash—sometimes in the same song. The vocals recall the grit and energy of Joe Strummer, but the band deliberately blunts its harder edge with sweet female backing vocals. They appear with the energetic ska-Jam-influenced Cheenah (My Sister’s Records); and Blah Blah Blah who play a unique indie funk-skiffle-new jazz-jenesaisquoi. Like catchy? Catch this.

4/2: Ill Ease is one Elizabeth Sharp, an extremely talented young composer-rocker-artiste from Brooklyn born with a neurological disorder that favored music as pleasure, the practical effects of which were her mastery of multiple instruments in her teen years. And does it ever show. “Texture” is a word that circulates through her reviews. She lays down a beat and then writes over it with other experimental sounds and her vocals that sometimes recall PJ Harvey, but that reference is only partial. There’s a kind of groove to her that is hard to place. It’s “catchy different,” not “alienating different.” Catch her now and you can brag about how you knew her before she was huge.

Point Ephemere

3/26 Trans Am

(Thrill Jockey). This band was hailed in the 90s as an exemplar of that slippery non-genre called “post-rock.” They playfully quoted classic rock and 70s Krautrock-electronica. Their postmodern irony has not won over all critics, however, some of whom see their more earnest compositions as extremely praiseworthy while the rest of their efforts across eight album since 1995 are demeaned as “silly.” Geniuses or tired hacks? You be the judge of this band that clearly draws a very “in” crowd.

Guingette Pirate

3/21 Arlt (Sing Sing and Eloise): Free Concert.

In Chronological Order… *=jayson’s best picks

March 21 Arlt at Guingette Pirate for free

March 22 The Patriotic Sunday at Le Divan Du Monde

March 23 The Fatels at La Fleche
March 25 Avril Lavigne at Elysee Montmartre: LOL
*March 26 I'm from Barcelona at La Cigale

“ “ “ “ “ “: Trans Am at Point Ephemere
March 27 LCD Soundsystem at Le Bataclan

March 28 FUJIYA & MIYAGI at Le Triptyque

March 29 Air at La Cigale (sold out; go to les inrocks site and make a post for a ticket if you like)
March 29 The Long Blondes at Le Trabendo (get tickets now; will probably be the third show of the night to sell out!)
*March 29 Andrew Bird at La Maroquinerie (sold out)

*March 30 Bright Eyes at Café de la Danse

March 31/April 1 The Naast at Le Nouveau Casino
*April 1 The Shins at Elysee Montmartre

*April 2 Ill at Ease at La Fleche

April 3 Babylon Circus Experience at La Maroquinerie

*April 16 Peter, Bjorn and John at le Trabendo

*“”””””””: Joanna Newsom at La Cigale

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Fleche tonight! TUesday, March 20

Essie on tonight at Fleche D'Or.

March 20 Excellent set tonight; Finnish-French guy-girl act the Do are a highlight

Tcharlz (UK)

Wilfried* (FR) –Also not to be missed; Wilfried can somehow channel T. Rex one minute, and Gainsbourg the next.

The Do (FR/FIN) – This two-piece act combines a background in film score composition and vocal performance with fascinating,bizarre, and beautiful results.

Phoebe Killdeer and the Short Straws (AUS) – “Edgy rock guitar and tribal rhythms”

Lapin Machin (FR) – Indie outfit from Paris; stay for the vocalist’s unique sound and the band’s toy robot aesthetic.

Update on our blog/site status

Dear gentle Parisnormalien readers:

I'm quite happy with Parisnormale's readership, since its launch back in October. We have been steadily attracting readers from about 5-10/day in October to 50-130/day now. We also have nearly 50 subscribers to Parisnormale and growing every day. Apparently, even those outside of Paris dream of being Parisnormalien! Who wouldn't? :)
Now, we put a good amount of work into providing you info about gigs and hangouts in Paris, happenings, music reviews in general (not just Paris)and an overall damned good time. All we ask is for a little love in return now and then. Not your money, just a comment every once and awhile. Apparently lots of people read, but they don't comment. Like most kids raised in the thralls of capitalist modernity where both parents worked during our childhoods, we are attention and affection deficient. Help us please. Comment now and then--even if it's to tell us how much you disagree with our take on something. Okay, keep up the good work. Perhaps we should have a Parisnormale meet up some night for those in Paris. Let us know if you're interested.
cheers,
Jayson

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Kirk Rundstrom, 1968-2007: Thank you.

Like a lot of people in this world, I have a million things I’m supposed to be doing today. But it’s gray again in Paris, my beautiful old dog is an old dog, I’m sitting in a room full of furniture that’s been sold on-line as a major symbolic step in a harrowing divorce process, and it’s Sunday. That there are other puppies that will be born, that people can fall in love again—it all just makes me sadder; seems more just if they could not. But most of all, I can’t justify going one more goddamned day without talking about Kirk Rundstrom. New puppies and loves? Maybe. Another Kirk Rundstrom? No fucking way.

Kirk Rundstrom of the ever-beloved insurgent country groups Split Lip Rayfield and Scroat Belly was taken by cancer on February 22. I’m disgusted with myself for having deferred my memorial ‘til now. His passing has had a considerable impact on me, and it's not only because we were the same age.

I first saw Kirk playing with Scroat Belly in Lawrence, Ks some time in 1995. Though I’m not precise on the date, I’ll never forget the impression that Kirk left on me. One word comes to mind: energy. The man was Shazzam on guitar. He beamed (smiled right back at the Grim fucking Reaper, I’d bet), he rocked, and yet tattooed, work-booted and capped by farm feed suppliers, the man never played the cocky rocker. When you watched him shred that acoustic (or electrified acoustic) guitar you witnessed an electrical storm on guitar strings. He and his comrades would play until they either couldn’t physically play any more or the club owner pulled the plug, as Kirk looked out disappointedly from a small pond of sweat he had generated over the last two hours of giving everything he had to an audience. He loved to share his energy. He forgave us our faults and welcomed us asking nothing in return save for our attention. Were Jesus to return as an alt.country rocker, Kirk Rundstrom would be an obvious form for him to take—what? You didn’t read that sermon: “Will preach for beer?”

After that first kiss, I henceforth slept with only one eye shut, the other ever looking for a new Scroat Belly or Split Lip Rayfield—in a word: Rundstrom—show to be announced, which I could not possibly miss, I said to myself and not overstating the matter all that much. I moved to Chicago in 1997 but had the good fortune of seeing Rundstrom perform often there, Chicago being the headquarters of Bloodshot Records, which boasted Rundstrom's bands on their impressive roster.

Like others, I was never ever disappointed by a Kirk Rundstrom performance. I never felt ripped off as if by one of these bands who appear to prefer playing to a wall and who are more than happy to be off stage in 30 minutes and no encore, no matter how much you paid for a ticket. On the contrary, Kirk would encore until the cows came home, and then some more.

If you all don't believe me, listen to some of the praise from more credible critics:
"Slap your knee to these guys and you'll be sore the next day." - New York Press

A band of badasses with the avowed intent of kicking the oldtime sound in the posterior till it shouts out a brand new tune. CMJ New Music Report

"The fearsome foursome of Split Lip combines a traditional bluegrass sound with the blazing speed and energy of punk rock, and in the process manages to improve on the formula. Should have Seen it Coming is quite possibly the best recorded document of its myriad skills and charm." - Tucson Weekly

In the late 90s I had the opportunity to meet the man personally when he came to Chicago, generously appearing with his band mates to record live for the alt. and classic country show on Chicago’s WNUR radio station, “Southbound Train,” which I hosted with Keith Cook. Not only was Kirk a fine musician and performer; he was also a fine human being by all standards. Talented, friendly, generous, an un-pretentious bon vivant who loved his beer, American gothic, and barbeque. His big tattooed forearms gave him the air of a scrappy farmer, even a man who had had his share of winning bar fights—until you saw that smile of his. There was nothing macho about it. He seemed to bridge waters, peoples, styles, classes, regions.

As others have also remarked, it is unsurprising that he would with his bandmates bridge what had seemed naturally gulfed audiences and styles of music: bluegrass, speed metal, punk, and hippy jam bands. There were elements of each in his music, his style, his way of being. Perhaps others had tried: they had failed where he succeeded, even if not enough people have been able to appreciate his talent for this bridging and hybridity.

"You put electricity and drums behind us and we're a rock band," he said in a well-circulated quote. "We play bluegrass instruments, but we don't do covers. We don't wear rouge or bolo ties. I don't know any traditionals. I couldn't play a flat-pickin' song to save my life. I'm a hack of a guitar player. Eric may be one of the best guitar players I've heard, but we forced him to play banjo. I don't know what Wayne is doing. He's just shredding his mandolin. I wouldn't even want to be associated with the state of bluegrass today. It's lounge music."

This approach to music made Scroat Belly’s one and only album on Bloodshot Records, Daddy’s Farm a cult classic. Each song seemed to be a tempest of twang, loud, hard and fast, preceded by a more traditional lull and followed by the same. There was always something rough and not really ironic about Kirk’s and Wayne’s vocals in the slower parts of the songs which kept them from sounding like straight duplicates or caricatures of a Louvin Brothers or Bill Monroe number; and always something twangy in voice, style and arrangement that kept them from ever being confused with Metallica or Agent Orange imitators.

An acoustic version of Scroat Belly (on some songs at least) lived on in Split Lip Rayfield also on Bloodshot, which produced a number of impressive albums in this unique genre, my favorite of which is perhaps the first and eponymous album in 1998. With Kirk, Eric Mardis joined on banjo, while Jeff Eaton strapped a lone cat-gut string to a truck fuel tank and bloodied his duct-taped hands on bass; Scroat Belly’s Wayne Gottstine returned later to “shred,” as Kirk said, a mandolin in the mix. Can you start to imagine what this looked like live, had you never tasted the sweet nectar of a Split Lip show? The syncopated beats and minor chords of “Outlaw” and barnburner; the auctioneer-ish vocals and sped up, even if often rudimentary, picking of “Long Haul Weekend”; a kind of truck-stop poetry to numbers like “Pinball Machine”; a necessary simplicity and celebrated naiveté of “Sunshine”; a vaguely Balkans-like pace and punchiness to some of them—they stuck with you all day and commanded your return to them, a command that has me often returning to this album almost ten years later.

Unlike with Heehaw and some of its alt.country descendants, it was never completely clear to what degree Split Lip/Scroat Belly embraced and lived the country motifs and clichés they rearranged, added to, and played with, which was probably a good thing. This complex relationship with the rural, the land, and its culture (like Faulkner’s with the South!) also emerged in their DIY streak, such as t-shirts they made with the montage of a well-nourished hog in silhouette, the name Split Rip Rayfield and the text “100% pure fat.” Funny, ironic, knowingly embracing what the mainstream South Beach Dieters feared in food, culture, music? Who knows? But it was good.



My ex- and I shared a lot of wonderful things together, perhaps the most powerful and satisfying being music, especially live music. For us, going to their shows was like the revivifying trip to the spa that our bourgeois counterparts swear is indispensable for getting out of bed in the morning and continuing this often perplexing daily cycle. From SxSW 1998 to various gigs in Chicago and Lawrence through 2004, we would leave Kirk’s shows re-charged, beaming, Kirk’s smile as contagious as the music he played. If I could change one of the many things I don’t like about myself, it might very well be to take Kirk’s smile and use it like an Evil Eye. It seemed to offer asylum and to ward off bad luck, even if its limit was death.

Kirk’s (his bands’) recordings of course must lack that visual zest. Yet, more than a little strangely, you can hear without much effort and concentration that missing sense. The sound evokes the image. Kirk was and will continue to be a spirit. You listen and you can see him behind those lifeless speakers and that grim faux-metallic stereo, his playful bulging eyes and unquenchable smile refusing to fade—ever. So thank God for recorded music, and despite Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, thank God for memory: Kirk’s spirit, his smile, lives on, and God knows I, like others, need it. Thank you, Kirk. You will not soon be forgotten. Myspace tribute video
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Friday, March 16, 2007

TONIGHT: Throwing Muse's Kristen Hersh



Throwing Muses were one of the bigger names in the American College Rock scene of the 1980s and 1990s. A "girl band" (well, in the beginning) and a great band period, they were the first American band to be signed to the prestigious Brit label 4AD in 1986. They disbanded in 1996, a couple of years after Tanya Donnelly of the Breeders, then Belly, left TM duet to creative differences. Kristen Hersh started a solo career and has produced some little indie folk-pop gems. I never thought Belly quite compared (although the Breeders definitely had their moment in the sun!). I believe there are still some tickets left for this one at the Nouveau Casino tonight. A good way to decompress for TGIF...dude.--jh


More Muses video links here and here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

LCD Soundsystem at Le Bataclan March 27

Let me say that again (headlines are so forgettable, and this is, after all, the age of attention deficiencies, speaking from experience): LCD Soundsystem at Le Bataclan March 27
Bataclan is, unfortunately, always a FNAC affair. So run off to the magasin to pick up your tickets (can't print them) and, oh, don't forget to buy a few cds and accessories while you're there...

I love the Rick James rip off (nod? wink?) in "Daft Punk is Playing at My House": Check it here!

And once again, Check the Rick James "Super Freak" classic video here. Oh, and while we're at winks and nods, sampling and rip offs, better revisit another classic: it's Hammer Time!

--Jayson

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Earlies and Maps at Maroquinerie Thur. March 15

My God this life is too short! So much great stuff coming through here, and I have so much other work to do! IN any case I urge you, Parisnormaliens, to check out the Earlies and Maps this Thursday night at the Maroquinerie. Earlies play some weird-ass psychedelic electronica. Others have noted their likeness to the Flaming Lips, but they're a little less energetic and more tripped out. Also Mercury Rev, and dare I say, dare I say...stripped down Styx, and you young'uns will just have to look that one up. Here are a couple of critics' takes that I agree with:

Q Magazine: "A work of baroque detail, crossing between Mercury Rev's psychedelic Americana and The Beta Band's bucolic electronica." [Aug 2004, p110]

"Imagin[e] the Beach Boys getting strung out in a field on cider midmorning in some alternative universe Texas, surrounded by retro-sounding DIY synths, a raggedy brass section, and a hippy cello player." --Pop Matters

And Maps are a great electronic indie group with a serious buzz in the UK. They received the honor of Radio 1’s Colin Murray’s top25 records of the year, and recently had a full page live review in the NME. They’re signed to Mute and have an album out in the summer. Check their Myspace. Nice My Bloody Valentine and Yo la Tengo influences among others--yes, we all need "dolt-headed signposts" as a wise man once said.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Return of Peter, Bjorn and John! OUaisssss!

Just announced, those loveable Swedes (ahem, Peter, Bjorn and John in particular) are back in town next month: April 16 at Le Trabendo.
But WTF is up with this town having so much indie action that two, even three, good acts are competing on one night?!! In this case, it's Peter, Bjorn, and John vs. Joanna Newsom.

VS.

March 29 is similar. Long Blondes, Air, and Andrew Bird all on March 29. As Mork used to say, "Shazbot!"
:)
JH

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Early Warnings

March 19 Bonnie Prince Billy Le Trianon Theater
March 19/20 Arcade Fire
March 19 Damien Rice at Le Grand Rex
March 22 The Patriotic Sunday at Le Divan Du Monde
March 25 Avril Lavigne at Elys.Montmartre: LOL
March 26 I'm from Barcelona at La Cigale
March 27 LCD Soundsystem at Le Bataclan
March 29 Air at La Cigale (sold out; go to les inrocks site and make a post for a ticket if you like)
March 29 The Long Blondes at Le Trabendo (get tickets now; will probably be the third show of the night to sell out!)
March 29 Andrew Bird at La Maroquinerie (sold out)
April 2 The Shins at Elysee Montmartre
April 6 The Stranglers (classic post-punk/new wave) at La Cigale
April 8 The Deftones at Le Trabendo
April 12 Asian Dub Foundation at Elys.Montmartre
April 16 Joanna Newsom at La Cigale
April 16 Peter, Bjorn, and John at Le Trabendo
April 27 Bloc Party at Olympia
May 5 Low at Cafe de la Danse
June 9 INXS...just kidding, though they are indeed playing.

Reminder for this week: March 11-18

Big Week, and my pick is The Supersuckers:
  • Monday night at Fleche D'Or, The Cinders: The guitar work often reminds me of X, and at other times the seem like a hybrid of the Ramones and the Stones. The vocals are very poppy and polished. Check it out here.
  • Supersuckers on Tuesday at Nouveau Casino.
  • High Llamas at La Maroquinerie on Wed. night.
  • Kristen Hersh (formerly of Throwing Muses)Saturday at Nouveau Casino.
Supersuckers blurb in English and French below (from my Gogoparis.com contribution)
Have fun! JH

SUPERSUCKERS
Formed in 1988 in Tucson, Arizona, Supersuckers quickly developed a strong niche following after the release of their first album on Sub Pop. The band has a penchant for hyperbole, calling themselves, for example, ‘the best rock-n’roll band ever’. They mix punk, à la The Didjits, with twang. If you like to rock and miss this, then you super suck. JH


Créé à Tucson, Arizona, le groupe Supersuckers a vite trouvé ses fans après la sortie de leur dernier album sur Sub Pop. Le groupe a un goût prononcé pour l’hyperbole – ils s’autoproclament ainsi ‘meilleur groupe de rock de tous les temps’. Ils mélangent le punk, à la The Didjits, avec caractère. Si vous aimez le rock mais que cet album ne vous plaît pas, c’est vous qui avez tout faux. JH

Tue 13 Mar, 7.30pm, 16€/19€.
Nouveau Casino, 109 rue Oberkampf,
11th. M°Parmentier.
01.43.57.57.40.
www.nouveaucasino.net/

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

CD Review: Scott Biram's Graveyard Shift


Scott H. Biram’s Graveyard Shift is certainly one of the best among the many fine albums Bloodshot Records has put out over the years.

Biram’s wild country-blues-punk whirls fast and dirty like a Texas Tornado in your ears, full of the sound and the fury. On some songs Biram partly reminds me of the stripped down garagey blues rock the Flat Duo Jets once mastered. But then Biram adds a fuzzy-gospel rhythm and response-vocals to his own un-gargled calls sung through an antique microphone. He even experiments with a death metal hybrid on “Church Babies,” which, while interesting in terms of the album’s breadth and a kind of expressionism at which Biram excels, is a sound that really pushes my threshold of music tolerance. But one marvels at his barely controlled one-man-band energy a la Hasil Adkins, which is legendary live, but even comes through on the recording. On the other hand, a number of slower numbers figure in the bag, almost all prodded along by a strong acoustic guitar and a stomping left foot (he has amplified a “stomping board” as his percussion section).

Witness “Been Down too Long.” This ditty injects gospel into the blues punk mix. And Biram’s sound has a distinctive rural devotion about it. Bibles are a motif running through many of his songs. Witness again “Lost Case of Being Found,” which of course plays on the biblical parable of the “prodigal son,” who after leaving the family farm and passing a fair amount of time whoring and doping comes home and finds the Lord. This one is followed by “Only Jesus (gonna set you free).” George Jones’s “Please, Jesus, Please Take the Devil Out of Me,” haunts that one, which travels at about the same tempo, but like most of his songs, has an acoustic guitar driving the vocals along. His influences range from chain gang recordings to Bill Monroe and various punk.

Biram’s subjects come from the underbelly of rural America, where whiskey, Jesus, hard work and heartache are common bedfellows. Documenting that world, Biram sounds like insurgent country’s William Faulkner. This Kingsbury, TX, native is hardly another recovering punk rocker discovering creative opportunity in twang. Nor is he a whiney indie singer-songwriter or pretentious college-educated indie rocker from the suburbs (which I admit to liking equally well, and even though Biram has been to college). He’s the real deal. He’s the American work ethic. He’s punk DIY. He does his own artwork for his albums, the first three of which are self-released, makes his own fan t-shirts, and so forth.

Biram's style belches the heartland. Yet this sound is likely often too radical for that very heartland (like Jesus himself!), as is the majority of insurgent country that Bloodshot Records boldly unleashes on the many mostly urban ears who hear it creeping into the frayed edges of their indie scenes. Make no mistake; this guy has been to hell and back and has earned the right to climb on stage, preach and rock. We’re talking about a guy who in spring 2003 collided head on with an 18-wheeler on a highway near San Antonio. Result: broken legs, crushed foot, and a broken arm. Yet, six weeks later he wheeled himself into Austin’s prestigious Continental Club and started stomping away, still attached to an IV.

The guy is scrappy, and he brings a kind of an ambiguously playful punk combativeness to his shows recalling the spitting contests the Sex Pistols used to have with their audiences. Not really a surprise: Biram has done his punk time, too. Finally, when a Pitchforkmedia.com reviewer gave him his only scathing review, Biram wrote back in refutation,which can be found circulating around the internet. Like Hasil Adkins to whom he’s sometimes compared, the stories that surround Biram start to give the guy a bit of a lunatic-demigod streak. But hey, that’s interesting to us more predictable folks, and is why we read Faulkner and Bukowski, and watch Oz, The Sopranos, Ken Loach and Larry Clark films. Guess what, Sunshine? The world is also a dirty stinking mess. But I reckon it’s an unquestionable pleasure seeing artists who are bent on showing us the dirty, ugly things in the most fascinating and even strangely pretty ways. Biram does that dirty deed with nearly unparalleled flair.

(Also published by Blogcritics Magazine)


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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Vernissage! Tues. March 6: Music by Sing Sing

Check out Ann Guillaume's new work, listen to Sing Sing, drink and eat at one of Paris's coolest indie galleries. See you there!
Jayson

Formerly "Parisnormale: Paris Rocks"