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,
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 alt.country 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.
27/10 Vampire Weekend, La Marockinerie!: Touted as the biggest American thang since Arcade Fire. Hmm. Holds up to the hype? Sweet vocals and jangly guitars meet world music?
1/11 The Wombats, La Maroquinerie, 21 euros, 19h30
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
01 42 21 17 38
2/11 The Wedding Present, La Maroquinerie:
11/3, La Fleche d’Or, Lippie (http://www.myspace.com/lippiemusic) (
With simple, perhaps even minimalist songs that build by layered tracks, with a patience permitting you to savor each sweet note and attendant harmony, Lippie makes listening like passing hours with a sensitive, passionate lover. She presents a slow groove that reaches in and resonates with some primordial instinct, in which you hear the influences of rock, blues, and reggae, plus a little jazzy syncopation tossed into the mix – wait, is that Bjork I hear there too? Lippie’s got a sound that clears out all the cobwebs and presents glimpses of the elusive essence of music. Playing with Juan Spark and Anton Stars, the Dodoz, and Fantôme.
11/6, Le Trabendo, !!! (http://www.myspace.com/chkchkchk) (
Is it rock? Is it electronic? Is it funk-dance-punk? Who cares! Just groove! Having released their critically acclaimed album Myth Takes this past March, !!! (pronounced with any monosyllabic sound repeated thrice: for example, chk chk chk or uh uh uh) is living proof that white people CAN dance after all. Even the most dedicated wallflowers will bust a move to !!!’s energetic, funk-a-liciously bass-heavy instrumentals and Nic Offer’s rapid-fire lyrics.
11/7, La Fleche d’Or,
The theory: fiercely and unapologetically refusing to conform,
7/11 The Donnas , La Maroquinerie, 20h, 18euros.
Petasse Punk! These
11/14, La Fleche d’Or, Laura Marling (http://www.myspace.com/lauramarling) (UK/Virgin)
Following in the footsteps of the likes of Emmy-Lou Harris and Judy Collins, singer-songwriter Laura Marling gushes evocative lyrics far more mature than her 16 years would lead you to think. Her clear and subtly powerful voice is her greatest asset, which, accompanied by her delicately plucked acoustic guitar, produces sounds to soothe savage beasts like you and me.
14 Nov., Fleche D'Or , , Free
This re credited with being one of the great musical paramedics resuscitating the ailing indie rock post-punk genre. They hooked up with producer J Robbins, of legendary D.C. post-punk band Jawbox, for their 2006 record Ideal Lives (French Kiss Records). That record was hailed for its incorporation of trumpets, driving drum components, and bass-guitar- vocals that play catch up and then impressively synchronize. Of the many reviews from various publications on metacritic.com, the score for that album was 74/100 favorable. Playing with Kennedy (
16 Nov., La Fleche D'Or, 8pm, Free
Mai is Swede vocalist and musician Johanna Wedin and Frenchman Dorian Dumont (musician sharing songwriting duties). Their recently released album of lush electro-psych-folk, Still Need a Kiss(June 2007 on
Also playing: Da Brasilians (FR), Pete and the Pirates (UK)
Vic Chesnutt à la Cigale
Chestnutt is a peculiar American singer-songwriter, a cripple in fact, who nevertheless manages to strum some beautiful songs famous for their poetry and his inimitable voice. Recommended, even last minute.
19 Nov., La Maroquinerie, 20h, 16 euros
Autumn of the Seraphs (2007 Touch and Go), Pinback's fourth full-length album has garnered rave reviews. But this band has long been a key vertebrum in the spine of American indie rock, having bounded on to the scene in 1999. While some indie bands have incorporated various non-traditional rock instruments, played with lots of effects and layering of tracks, and renounced lyrics and guitars altogether, these San Diego rockers have moved away from the precipice of stop-start rhythmically complex Math Rock in 2001 and established themselves as a dependable guitar rock band, with contagious pop harmonies, driving rhythms, and a kind of solid collective timing and craft that has been hailed as "swiss" (the watch, not the cheese). Seeing is believing: the swatch of indie rock.
23/11 Hot Hot Heat (
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
Tom Mansi and the Icebreakers(
Saturday 24 Nov., Fleche d'Or , Free
Quirky blues rock, melding garage influences like the Cramps on songs like "Holly" and moving to a softer Ryan Adams type of alt.country on songs like "Can't Take It When." Gritty Vocals that recall Tom Waits and Scott Biram. These blokes ain't American, but they've diligently studied the American blues rock tradition.
Sayag Jazz Machine
Tuesday, 27 Nov., 19:30, La Cigale, (http://www.sayagjazzmachine.com/)
(Paris/Indie), (Nu-Jazz/HipHop/Drum'n'Bass) 25 euros
Eclectic is the word that immediately comes to mind -- this ain't your
daddy's Gainsbourg, that's for sure. Starting with a base of jazz and
bossa, Sayag Jazz Machine then mixes in hip-hop, IDM/electronica, and
jungle for a sound that's like meets Boards of Canada
and Le Peuple de l'Herbe. But they wouldn't let your ears have all
the fun -- their live shows treat your eyes with a crazy video show as
well (check out their website for an idea of what you can expect).
Wednesday, 28 Nov., La Fleche d'Or, (http://www.caribou.fm/)
(Canada/Merge) (Psychedelic/Indie Electronic/IDM), 11 euros
Dan Snaith is the head of Caribou, the instrumental-and-electronica
project formerly known as Manitoba. His appearance at la Fleche will
be the first since the release of his latest album, , which
delves into psychedelic, sun-drenched pop-rock straight from the 1960s
– dreamy harmony, airy flute, and jangly percussion to boot. Having
toured in the past with the likes of Four Tet and , Snaith's
complex and sometimes messy electronica will satisfy the toughest IDM
connoisseurs, but is melodic enough that it appeals to those outside
of the IDM circle. How un-fleche-like to charge admission, but we'll
gladly pay for it.
Friday, 30 Nov., 20:30, Le Cabaret Pirate (www.trainstone.com)
(Bordeaux/Patate Records) (Ska Jazz), 10/8 euros
Put yer dancin' shoes on, man, cuz you'll cut a rug with Train's Tone.
Cool, jazz-infused big band sounds spiced up with reggae rhythms put
the boogy in my step the old-fashioned way!