Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Les Concerts a Emporter : Lykke Li & El Perro del Mar

LA BLOGOTHEQUE is a fantastic french music blog. The Take it Away Shows (les concerts a emporter) are their first video podcasts (available free on itunes) and feature music videos of noteworthy indie bands performing live in semi-impromptu, unique settings. The minimal editing and intimate nature of these videos is really wonderful to watch. I especially loved seeing The National play late one evening around a large outdoor dinner table in the south of Spain. (It reminds me of the the garden parties long ago at 14 Chestnut...)

"Every week, we invite an artist or a band to play in the streets, in a bar, a park, or even in a flat or in an elevator, and we film the whole session. Of course, what makes the beauty of it is all the little incidents, hesitations, and crazy stuff happening unexpectingly. Besides, we do not edit the videos so they look perfectly flawless, instead we keep the raw sound of the surroundings. Our goal is to try and capture instants, film the music just like it happens, without preparation, without tricks. Spontaneity is the keyword."

I have been listening to the Swedish band El Perro Del Mar lately, who recently collaborated for The Take Away Show with super cute/hip Lykke Li (also Swedish) in San Francisco. Here are the videos for Lykke Li and El Perro Del Mar, as well as the commentary (story by Will Abramson) from La Bogotheque:


"The swedish pop singers were troopers. They fought against the wind, sickness and travel, but in the end we got to witness these little gems...We were a motley crue, traveling in little bundles, I barely got their names, but knew who they were. We were like gypsies, nomadic, carrying homes on our backs, stands, guitars, percussion, a tiny piano that schroder from peanuts might have played, bells, a trunk full of odds and ends, I really wanted to talk to them, make them laugh. At the heart of the civic center is city hall, 1 point in a triangle of puritan white buildings with jutting columns, marble-like steps and daunting doorways that also includes the opera house and some museum you can skip. The consistent coastal wind raced and howled like a child showing off and ruffled the keffiyeh wrapped around Lykke’s neck. I was told she had a cold and was trying to keep her throat warm, I was worried. They decided to shoot the first song on the steps of city hall, in the long shadow those columns cast where it had to be at least 5 degrees colder. You can hear the wind whining behind their singing."


"Halfway through the song, 2 police officers in cacky uniforms with hissing shoulder radios came from inside the building onto the steps. They ambled toward the group like a couple of gunslingers, in no hurry, holding weight on each foot before pivoting back, advancing slowly and giving each other the eye. For a second I considered letting the cops stop the song, after all isn’t the point to let circumstance consume the experience? But i stepped in front of them with my 1st finger up asking for 1 minute, because i just wanted to hear them finish. So they did."


"About 500 yards away, in the sliver of sunlight San Francisco had granted that day was a fenced in playground. I mounted the monkey bars and swung like an idiot while everyone else got ready for the second song. Again the group crowded around the girls, shielding them from the wind and us strangers. Just as the band began to play and Lykke began to shimmy and shake, two little girls followed loosely by their father charged the blue obstacle course with native speed and it started to feel like we were all there to play. Like the song Lykke sang was written on that same playground several years ago and then stored away in her memory waiting for those ladders, tic tac toe, squeaky footbridge and curvy slide to bring it back with a rush of memory and we were just lucky enough to see it come out."

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