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Friday, October 12, 2007

Calendar: Late Sept through October updated

9/19: Edison Woods, Fleche d’or.
Blip 1: Experimental, slow, brooding, chilling, accordion, violin, synthesizers, saxophones, with influences that range from Chet Baker to Cat Power.
Blip2: What if Morissey were less of a crooner? What if Styx had used their keyboard powers for good instead of evil? What if Enya had come of age through punk? In the answer to these questions lies the goosebumping sound of EW!
Blip3: Who turned the images off to this David Lynch/Jim Jarmusch film whose soundtrack keeps playing?
Blip4: This is “patient” music, people. Arty. Have you got what it takes?
Blip 5: Scooby Doo music!
EW plays with an excellent lineup featuring Texans David Mead (Le Concorde, Benjy Ferree, and Josh Rouse are close relatives to his experiments) and SALIM NOURALLAH (catchy melancholic pop), and Danish avatar EMIL FRIIS. All for the low, low Fleche d’or price of…free.

09/25 ShannonWright , Nouveau Casino, (Quarterstick Records). In the mid-90s this Jacksonville , Florida native embarked on a series of low-fi, highly creative indie-folk projects, featuring her clear maturation as a songwriter, singer, guitarist and pianist. Like Cat Power, she attracts the keyword “emotion” for her songs and performances. If you’re into indie-folk, low-fi, creative slowcore that has some rocking moments (both with guitars and PJ Harvey-reminiscent yawps) and you don’t know Shannon, this should give you your fix. If you do know her, then you already love her.

Wright will play with one of the hottest French indie acts of the moment: Narrow Terrence, a group of poly-instrumentalists who draw from a well of Tex-Mex, blues, and latin influences. Vocals very similar to Tom Waits raspiness.

9/26, Flêche d’Or, So So Modern (New Zealand).

Mixing vintage 70s synthesizers, seminal, stripped-down punk guitars à la Gang of Four and Television to janglier riffs like the Strokes, and vocals reminiscent of Rage Against the Machine--these guys have a real signature hodge-podge. And it works. In addition, their spirit is the best of punk a la Joe Strummer: “We show solidarity around creative aural pleasure. Remember the campfire? Hope you do, cos thats what music means to us. A platform for sharing ideas, stories and gathering.” Not your everday wannabe popstars. Playing with: BO (Fr), The Clicks (Can), and ANATOMIE BOUSCULAIRE (Fr).

9/26 Unsane (NYC), Nouveau Casino. Kings of NYC garage, hardcore noise. Heavy feedback, garagey riffs, screaming vocals. They’re recent release Visqueen (Ipecac Records) has been hailed by critics as a return to their origins—that is, it’s kickin’ out the jams old skool, brothers and sisters. Those of you nostalgic for the “hardcore noise” sound of the early 90s (or those curious who missed it altogether), this is your chance for time travel.

9/29 Menomena (Portland, Oregon): They call it Moves between airy indie pop, experimental and punkier rhythms, incorporating acoustic and electric guitars, piano, xylophone. Melodic vocals that recall Le Concorde and The Shins sometimes, others they’re dead ringers for Wolf Parade.

10/2 The Ark (Sweden). These glam rockers from the land of reindeer herders were the number 1 group in Sweden this year, gone double platinum. The echos of TRex are sometimes, uh, deafening. But if you like that particular version of retro…oh, la la. The represented Sweden in Eurovision 2007, and though they didn’t didn’t win it, they received a standing ovation. Can we start speaking of “The Swedish Invasion”? There is also a globalization of music these days like never before. Highly recommended

10/2, My Brightest Diamond (Brooklyn, U.S.) La Maroquinerie: Beauty, brains, brawn, what's not to love? Drawing on roots as various as opera, jazz and evangelical, My Brightest Diamond merges the refined power of classical music with lo-fi indie rock. With a voice reminiscent of Bjork or Judy Collins, frontwoman Shara Worden's operatic soprano delivers sharp poetry with clear and subtly powerful tones, effortlessly dancing up and down her register to perform great feats of vocalism accompanied by Sufjan Steven's band. The ensemble amounts to a dark and whimsically ambient sound. Plus: you can't underestimate a band with theatrical costumes. (by Hilary Camblos)

10/3, Air Traffic, La Maroquinerie. Cancelled. Drag: they rock!

10/8, Rykarda Parasol and the Tower Ravens, Fleche d'Or. Cabaret Rock, they call it.

10/11 Victoria Tibblin, NOuveau Casino. Swedish musical autodidact who grew up in London and now calls Paris home. She plays guitar, sings, and writes haunting melodies. Her music comes from a beautiful cauldron of influences each recognizable in different songs and particular moments: Siouxsie, Billie Holiday, David Bowie, Janis Joplin and PJ Harvey. Meeeow, boys!

10/12 Alexandre Varlet , Nouveau Casino. A favorite in Paris, home to his label Fargo Records, Varlet regales us with a quirky brand of indie folk pop. Your handrails:Traces of Nick Drake acoustic; Bauhaus's Peter Murphy for vocals; early Yo La Tengo; clapping hands; "uh-huh"'s and "all right"s--all in one nicely packaged song with a ribbon and a bow for you. Very promising indie frog folk pop.

10/15 Moriarty, La Maroquinerie. Drawing on the likes of Johnny Cash and the Carter Family, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, Irish folk, and even Thom Yorke, Moriarty's kind of folk, kind of country, kind of blues, kind of cabaret, kind of tap yer foot sittin'-on-the-front-porch-sippin'-iced-tea goodness. You'll find yourself swaying to the smooth'n'twangy croons Rosemary Moriarty and, at certain moments, questioning the group's nationality. (by Hillary Camblos)

17/10 Brille Records, the label company that brought us all the Knife and the Bridge Gang, is throwing a records party at La Fleche d'Or for Good Shoes (UK), Hatcham Social (UK), and Operator Please (Aussies).With fast, clean rhythms and socially critical lyrics, Good Shoes' driving sound is everything you've come to love from British indie pop rock (is that an oxymoron?). In any case, they're not to be missed. Oh, and don't be surprised by the young look of OP – their mature sound explains why they've opened for the likes of the Arctic Monkeys and the Kaiser Chiefs.(Hilary Camblos)

10/19 Sukoi Fever La Feline, Free, 7pm
This five-piece from Orleans keeps the Mod pulse pumping. The Who, the Jam, Northern Soul—subculture is still kicking in France , really! Don’t for get your razor-thin tie (if you own a VESPA scooter you may dispense with the cravate requirement).

La Maroquinerie, €15,30, 19h30
The duo Stereo Total is French Vocalist/guitarist/drummer Françoise Cactus and the German vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Brezel Göring (though earlier incarnations of the group included more contributors). Since their 1995 debut Oh, Ah! (Bungalow Records), ST has won over large audiences with their playful creative brand of “kitchen sink” pop in at least three languages, drawing from French ye-ye, new wave, punk, hip hop, and disco, and sometimes even re-casting past smashes such as Salt-N-Pepa's “Push It.” This stop will feature a lot of music from their 2007 release Paris-Berlin. Expect this one to sell out.

25/10 Richard Hawley
Nouveau Casino, €15,30, 19h30
Hawley came of age with Britpop minor stars the Longpigs in the 1990s. He played with Pulp for a stint and did session work with people like Robbie Williams before going solo in 2000 and with growing success with each new release. His 2005 album Cole’s Corner was nominated for the acclaimed Mercury Prize in 2006. Though Hawley didn’t win it, Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys, whose debut album won the prize, is said to have exclaimed, 'Someone call 999, Richard Hawley's been robbed!'. Hawley will be peddling songs from his 2007 release Lady’s Bridge, an impressive, poetic and melodious product full of pop songs and sad ballads, pianos and reverb guitars.

25/10 Jason Kent (Izumi Records, UK) Thursday, La Feline, Free, 20h
A pearl in the rough off Menilmontant. While at times Kent sounds too much like a Neil Young cover act (which is of course no problem for those who like that sound), he also has his own particular take on a tradition of North American little known in the French capital. Dreamy, twang-soaked music that recalls Mazzy Star, and vocal echoes of Thom Yorke.

26/10 Les Savvy Fav (where else? Brooklyn) Nouveau Casino: Disco-tinged, gritty punk, influenced by the classics: you know, Beethoven, The Buzzcocks, The Gang of Four, The Clash, and Modest Mouse. Their 2004 singles compilation Inches made critics' best of the year lists, and the much feared and heralded follow up, this year's Let's Stay Friends has earned them critical standing ovations. As Pitchfork recently said of this latest album: "If "Meet Me in the Dollar Bin" had been the last song Les Savy Fav ever released, the band would have written themselves a fitting epitaph: "We got old, but we got good/ And we did all we said we would." For a taste, try this video.

29/10 Gallon Drunk, La Maroquinerie, 15 rubles:
Difficult to argue with the endorsements of Nick Cave: "Gallon Drunk? Cool as Fuck!" And John Peel: "Why do I like them? Because they don't sound like anybody else." See for yourself.

1/11 The Wombats, La Maroquinerie: IN Liverpool, their native bourg, one hears a drunk limey accent lifting above the rundown smokestacks and mythical clubs: "The Beatles are Dead! Long live the Wombats!" "It is unfair to tag all Liverpool bands with the Beatles legend but it will start to happen with this three piece," raves These guys give us a driving, melodious, three-part-harmonied rock. As Lester Bangs once hyperbolized about the Mekons: "Better than the Beatles."

2/11 The Wedding Present, La Maroquinerie:

7/11 The Donnas , La Maroquinerie, 20h, 18euros.
Petasse Punk! These California highschool girls busted into 90s American indie and mainstream music with a dirty sex appeal that made the moral police pee their petticoats! Their early brand was focused on the rejection of high school in favor of sex, drugs, and punk-garage rock, evident in songs like "I Don't Want to go to School," "Teenage Runaway," "You Make Me Hot," and "Party Action." Now, on their 7th studio album titled Bitchin' released last month, and on the previous one, they're talking 'bout relationships and love, but with the token youth anthem tossed in the lot ("Like an Animal," "Bitchin'"). Nostalgic? Were/are the Donnas just a hyper-sexy, trashy, Lolitaesque high school girlpunk phenom, now having outgrown their thongs and heels of last winter? Is soccermomitude right around the corner for them? Prove thysevles, Donnas! Sucks growing old, but might be a consolation doing it with the Donnas.

2/11 ARlt, Le Vieux Leon: The dreamy psych-folk pop of Arlt has long scratched the spot on my back that makes my hind leg twitch uncontrollably. Now word has it SingSing (composer of the duo) has penned some new shanties and ballads. The Vieux Leon is a new patron of the nouvelle chanson francaise--indie frog folk, for those looking for the gallic counterpart of Nick Drake, Elliot Smith, Connor Oberst and Cat Power. Well worth the coup, as the locals say.
18, Rue Grande Truanderie
75001 Paris, France

Get Directions
01 42 21 17 38

23/11 Hot Hot Heat (Canada), Nouveau Casino 18,7 euros, 19h30.
HHH bounded on to the N. American indie scene in 2002 with their “dance punk” Subpop EP Knock Knock Knock, which they toured with indie faves like the Dismemberment Plan. Since then they’ve stood out for their witty lyrics and increasingly poppier hooks, while they’ve moved from Warner to Sire. Their fifth album Happiness Ltd was released earlier this year to considerable critical acclaim. Even better, they are reputed for wild live shows true to the punk and New Wave traditions they celebrate in their sound.

HOt HOT Heat in Vancouver 2006

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Formerly "Parisnormale: Paris Rocks"