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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

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