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Monday, August 31, 2009

Thursday, sept. 3 vernissage and rock dj set

Back to school/rentree kickoff for Djay Indie Eclectique/Le Grand Duc du Kansas Thursday with a fantastic vernissage at the UFO featuring the rocknroll art of Natacha. DJ le Grand Duc will be playing his newly acquired vinyl including Mod Soul, the Misfits, The Pretty Things, the Who, Sonic YOuth, Cracker, The Dead Kennedys, Eddie Cochrane, and the Clash (more recent stuff like The White Stripes, Dirtbombs, and Detroit Cobras are also on the list). The set will range from origins of American rocknroll, through, motown/soul, early ska, garage, surf, punk, new wave, and noisy indie rock--pretty much the kitchen sink, meinen leiblings. Don't miss it.
49 Rue JP Timbaud
75011, Metro Parmentier

Other DIE/GDK dates this month: Residence at La Feline
Sept. 10, 11 (with The Fugitives live), and 17 at the Feline: 6 rue Victor Latalle, Metro Menilmontant

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Review: Against Me!'s Original Cowboy

Strong, reflective, critical album by this popular pop-punk outfit. These guys played Nouveau Casino last year and will most likely be back soon. Check them out if this interests you.

Against Me!

The Original Cowboy



Against Me!‘s The Original Cowboy is a re-release in demo form of their fine 2003 work The Eternal Cowboy. The Original Cowboy differs from its more polished predecessor on paper only by sinking “Sink, Florida, Sink!” and by “A Brief Yet Triumphant Introduction”, which was was originally “A Brief Yet Triumphant Intermission” (and has different lyrical phrasings here and there). Look, let’s be honest. This is not an album of demos like the early Elvis Sun Records recordings, where one song is straight-up country and the next is this rebel struggling out of its womb called rock-and-roll. There are differences. How big and important these demos are depends on your tastes—slightly more produced versus rougher. This band was certainly not as well-known in 2003 as they are today, after their major label debut New Wave last year was hailed by some critics as the most important rock album of the year. So let’s go back and treat these songs properly, especially for those who don’t yet have the back catalog.

Against Me! protests and documents…and with their few love and loss songs, documents and identifies in humanist fashion. But, going beyond those political prereqs, they also ask questions, even about the usefulness of protest or of asking questions about the usefulness of protest. This reflexive quality, too in-your-face earnest for some, is what especially sets them apart from less mature brands of a-punk allergies to authority. The Original Cowboy has been arranged in a way to emphasize those qualities of protest and self-reflexivity and -critique, perhaps in a more coherent fashion than did its predecessor. Critique and self-reflection are the lyrical hallmarks of almost all these songs, while their author’s anger, hope, and desire for change comes out in Tom Gabel’s yelp-yawp-howls and their fleeting more whole-noted echoes of Glen Danzig. The instrumental side is what everyone has said and will say: it’s grittier and, if that’s what you like, better. It ranges from pop-punk to more complicated, sometimes stuttered but melodic indie rock riffs (Jawbox comes to mind) and also acoustic folk. Guitarist James Bowman and bassist Andrew Seward’s backing vocals also play an integral role in the memorable singalong choruses Against Me! has given us. The bottom line: This is great punk rock with a sometimes folk/alt-rock-guitar twist. The only problem with it is it’s not exactly new.

From the get go Against Me! was tagged as a political folk-punk act. To me it makes no sense at all to even remark that a band is political if you’re not going to analyze their lyrics or explain how some aspect of their identity is political. With Against Me!, as with Woody Guthrie or The Dead Kennedys, what is political is mainly the lyrics. The reviews of these tracks in their more produced 2003 album form did not pay much attention to the lyrics (partly because of the approximately 120-word review format for lesser-known bands). Let’s fix that once and for all.
Read on here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

You Know What's Fucked Up?

I have a confession to make. While I often listened to hardcore in high school in the presence of friends, I didn’t own more than a few Black Flag and Suicidal Tendencies tapes (though plenty of Dead Kennedys, but their entire output is not hardcore, despite the usual categorization). So when a friend told me I had to see the Fucked Up show in Paris, I was a bit suspicious. But I trust his instincts, and I went. Thus, the following review is from someone who heard them for the first time at this concert. I liked them so much that I bought a CD of their singles collection and a T-shirt emblazoned with a quote by Tom Jones.

On the way to the show I wondered who the hell was going to be there. I rarely see any semblance of punk in Paris, and in the few bars where you can find those signs, there’s no guarantee that such people will all be at a show that costs 15 Euros. I was a bit surprised then, maybe even refreshed, to find a mostly very non-punk-looking audience of about fifty people. This was the first of many expectations that were pleasantly shattered at this concert.
Read on here

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Concert Review: The Fleshtones at Nouveau Casino

The Fleshtones will be rockin’ and good-timin’ until either St. Peter offers them a tequila-shot-entry into heaven, or Lucifer drags their dancing ass’ down to hell. This was one of the most fun concerts I’ve ever attended.

I had my doubts, though.

Most of the guys in this garage/blues/soul/rock quartet are in their early 50s. Frontman, Peter Zaremba—with his long, graying bangs, weathered face, blue blazer, and clean white shirt—looked like he was a club owner. At first, we thought he was introducing the band, not in it. Two songs in, we felt sheepish for our inability to recognize the man. While his face bore a slight resemblance to Mick Jagger, his on-stage energy and swagger was far closer to a dandified Iggy Pop. Zaremba, guitarist Keith Streng, drummer Keith Milhizer, and bassist Ken Fox produced some of the vise-grip tightest rock ‘n’ roll I’ve ever heard. Throughout the show these guys had about two hundred butts swinging and swaying, or at least moderately jiggling. The audience was almost all over thirty-five and the twenty-something audience of White Stripes fans and garage rock revivalists could take a lesson from these party rockers drunk on the fountain of youth.

Read on here...
Formerly "Parisnormale: Paris Rocks"