Monday, February 2, 2009

La Blogothèque: Concerts À Emporter

It seems as if you can't stumble upon creative things without finding a few things French people are good at. It sounds redundant after a while, but when it comes to culture, they've got plenty of it, and they don't mind sharing it.
La Blogothèque produces a series of 'Take-Away Shows', with Indie Rock, Folk & Alternative artists where they perform songs in impromptu settings for a crowd or otherwise. The idea was started in April 2006, by Vincent Moon and Chryde, and since then, a skew of artists have strolled the streets of Paris, the sidewalks of New York, and the parks of Los Angeles, gyms, bathrooms, car parks, you name the place, surprising fans, and passersby alike :

"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."

The first time I saw one of those Take Away shows, it was back in 2007, when the Kooks played an acoustic version of 'Ooh La' in a nearly empty Parisian walkway, in the summer of 2006 and landed meticulously on an all-girl high school where they made their way through the multiple cellphone capturing competition, and the amazement of a load of teenage girls singing along with Luke. 

But my favorite Take-Away Show, was hands down, Yeasayer en route to an apartment 'with a piano', and along the way, pour their hearts out in the Metro, the alleyway, the staircase, and finally, at destination, where they cause such a ruckus, the neighbors had to interrupt the session with complaints. What's great about that one, is that the band was reluctant to go ahead with the plan in the first place,and to add insult to injury, Vincent wasn't really a fan of Yeasayer after seeing one of their shows in Brooklyn; but by the end of the show, everyone had a treat! And balance was restored, both band and Vincent was delighted to have been part of the experience:

2080/Tightrope - La Blogothèque Take-Away Show 87.2: Yeasayer

Lately, Current has been teaming up with La Blogothèque to bring the videos to the small screen, so if you have Current, you shouldn't miss the chance to catch these shows, in way better resolution than a PC screen.

To see the full lineup of artists and bands who have made Take-Away shows, go here!

And as a last treat, here's Beirut, performing in Paris:

And Fleet Foxes, in Paris: