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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Next two weeks at La Fleche, etc.

A lot of clubs are closed for the next two or three weeks. Not the mighty Fleche D'Or. Check it out.

Christy & Emily , la Fleche D’Or, August 1. C&E have a buzz about them, thanks especially to a couple of New York Times articles about the classically-trained pianist Emily. Their Myspace page doesn’t lie about their sound: “Folk / Psychédélique / Expérimentale” They claim the Velvet Underground as their biggest influence. But their stripped down, butt naked folk pop is richer than one might think, at least in that they lay down layer upon layer, track upon track, lollipop-sweet vocals upon vocals, creating a varied and rich composition that reminds me of Andrew Bird. Well worth the metro ticket to La Fleche and their blessed free shows.

Jason Kent Aug.1 La Fleche
Another great artist featured in the hot lineup at the Fleche August 1. The Canadian Kent serves up some very catchy indie twang that rarely makes it across the
Atlantic. An acoustic sound that is reminiscent of Bright Eyes, Elliot Smith, and Uncle Tupelo, accompanied by vocals and time signatures reminiscent of Neil Young, Graham Parsons and Grandaddy. Coming off big openings for Neko Case, Rufus Wainwright and the Arctic Monkeys.

Also Aug. 1 at La Fleche. Nighting Gale Music (UK)
T. Rex, The Cramps, Mission of Burma cocktail. Mmm. Not bad.

The Ettes (U.S.).Aug. 4, Fleche D’Or. Signposts: Detroit Cobras, Bellrays, The Yeah, Yeah Yeahs, Jesus&Mary Chain. Raw, rockin’ garage punk. Let’s twist again, like we did last summer—but hit the accelerator.

Hawnay Troof , Aug. 4, 9, and 10 Fleche D’Or. This California outfit call their sound progressive house. Clever samples and beats, claps to banjos, back vocals reminiscent of the early Beastie Boys and other white rappers. Not your everyday house or hiphop.

THE MODELS (Sweden) Aug, 10 and 11 La Fleche
The Models are a pop-punk girl trio from Sweden. That’s probably all you need to say to piedpiper about fifty guys to the Fleche. Well-known for their energetic live performance, these Norsewomen drop anchor in the Seine and take no prisoners. Shades of the Gore Gore Girls, Blondie, the Donna’s. X-Ray Specs, and Sleater Kinney. Excellent cover of the GoGos’ “We Got the Beat” in their repertoire.

Also playing with The Models Aug. 10 are four blokes from London called The Mourning After . TMA offer a very inoffensive guitar-driven sound, something like The Strokes meets Forward Russia!.

ROBERT GOMEZ (Us) Aug. 13 La Fleche
The vocals sometimes recall Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle. The tender acoustic guitar and keyboards flag Elliot Smith, Jose Gonzales, and Sufjan Stevens. Indie Rock magazines are anointing him “most likely to succeed.” He hails from
Denton, TX along with a couple of other major indie acts recently touted by the American music press—that’s right fellow Eurotrash, it ain’t all cowboy hats, rodeos and the electric chair !
Gomez will be playing with DEXATEENS (Us) who serve up a skillet full of southern-fried indie rock,.with a pinch of T. Rex and psychedelia. With Jason Kent this month Dexateens bring
Paris a taste of an underground twang-tinged indie scene that is practically unknown on both banks of the Seine.


Architecture in Helsinki :Fri 3 Aug, 9pm. Arènes de Montmartre
These eight Aussies may have created the best electric blender on the market these days. Whipping up electro-post-rock-reggae-house and the kitchen sink blends, AIH have distinguished themselves as serious chefs of an indie fusion cuisine. They’ll most likely be pushing their latest album of mostly slow-mo-ed housed up remixes, We died, They Remixed (2007 Inertia).
Arènes de Montmartre, corner Rue Chappes and Rue Saint-Eleuthère,
18th. M°Anvers.

STUCK IN THE SOUND: 17 Aug, Paris-Plages.

FESTIVAL ROCK EN SEINE: 24-26 Aug, Björk, Arcade Fire, The Hives, Mogwai, CSS, Jarvis Cocker, Kings Of Leon, Kelis, Dinosaur Jr., etc., Saint-Cloud. Tickets here.

Video for shits and grins: Ukele band does Nirvana:

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fleche for Fantasy

(I'm starting a series of lengthier articles, spotlighting key Paris indie music venues. Here is the first. Cheers! Jay)

Flèche for Fantasy
By Jayson Harsin

La Flèche d’Or, a charming rock venue and late-night dance club situated in a former train station of the ceinture, does not host the most famous bands. However, it has built a reputation as the most exciting Paris venue for cutting edge indie music (folk, rock, electronica).

TheLa Flèche d’Or was once-upon-a-time (1867 – 1934) the gare de Charonne, and the name La Flèche d’Or comes from the train that chugged from Paris-Nord to London-Victoria every day, passing through Calais and Dover.

In the 1990s the Flèche was opened as a music club by some former students from the Ecole des Beaux Arts. It hosted a range of musical acts and genres. Since 2005 it has been under new management with a new programming direction. Above all, the Flèche today wants to be a place where the public and music industry representatives can experience and discover new artists. This distinctive venue with a long horse shoe bar can hold up to nearly 500 people, age eighteen and higher, s’il vous plait.

At the Flèche you can see bands that are little known but recently feted in the press (usually in England or the U.S., though some of the bands there appear in the pages of Liberation and other French papers); but you can also see more established indie figures who either have not quite gone big-time or who refuse that status for various reasons. Most recently, the artist who would fit into that almost-big category is Ted Leo and his Pharmacists. Others who have graced the Flèche stage include: Tv On The Radio, Stuck in the Sound, Nelson, The Dead Sexy Inc, Poni Hoax, Lo-Fi-Fnk, and Momus.

Here you get a serving of four bands per night (occasionally an artist will also be featured in the post-midnight club scene). It usually begins around 8pm and is finished around 11:30pm.

Besides showcasing rising British and American stars, the Fleche is also a great place to plug into the local French music scene, where you can see premiere acts such as Narrow Terrence and Hey, Hey, MY, My. In fact, some of my favorite recent shows have been tribute nights to Neil Young and the Velvet Underground, organized by a local band called Morning Star and featuring almost all local talent.

Sometimes these artists even do a dj set later when it becomes a dj-ed dance club after midnight.

While the drinks are not cheap at the Flèche —you pay 4.50 euros for what appears to be a demi-demi—one shouldn’t forget that it never has a cover charge. If you figure in that you pay between six and 30 euros at other clubs plus your drinks, you still come out on top at the Flèche . They also always have a drink du soir, such as mojitos or punch for about 5 euros.

Flèche also boasts a fairly inexpensive restaurant that serves an upstanding burger, for those of you who crave that elusive cuisine in high-falutin’ Paris. The resto is housed in an atrium, overlooking the abandoned tracks of the old ceinture, the railroad that circled old Paris in the way the peripherique does today. Quite striking is also the kitschy yet gargantuan faux-dore’ horse and rider that dangles like the Damoclean sword above your head as you gobble up your burger or chew down your confit de canard.

The Flèche isn’t going to give you Franz Ferdinand. But that’s its charm. A few years ago the fledgling Franz Ferdinand might well have come by there had it been under the current management. If you are weary of the tourist-saturated jazz bars, repulsed by the stadium acts and prices, and fancy cutting edge indie music and the occasional French pogo, it’s hard to beat the free shows at La Flèche d’Or.
Key Info:
Myspace page
102 bis, rue de Bagnolet 75020 Paris
Subway / Métro : Gambetta (3) & Alexandre Dumas (2)
Must be 18 years old or over

also published at Ivy Paris News, a great site and resource on Paris.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Jazz anyone?

This is mainly an indie rock, folk, electronica,etc. site, but some of you may, like me, also be interested jazz. Especially since the indie rock merry-go-round is grinding to a halt, you might want to check out the Jazz festival these last two weekends of July (Merdre! That's right: the summer is about over!).
through- 29 Jul 2007; Weekends only (annual)
Parc Floral de Paris
Metro Vincennes
€5; concesssions €2.50; under 7s free
Opening Hours:
Concerts from 3pm-6pm
Festivities from 1pm-7pm
Party in the park… the Paris Jazz Festival blows its horn in the Parc Floral
The Paris Jazz Festival is an annual summer event which presents a programme of free concerts in the beautiful surroundings of the Parc Floral, with gigs every Saturday and Sunday from early June until July.
The concerts begin at 3pm and are free to all those who have paid the standard park entry fee. To ensure that you get one of the 1500 seats available, you will need to get there early. Otherwise there is the equally appealing option of packing a picnic and basking by the park's miniature lake.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

to help you get through the music lull in Paris

I'll be posting weekly videos for your entertainment.
Here are the first ones.

Formerly "Parisnormale: Paris Rocks"