Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Tenniscoats



This very morning I was looking for some good music to send a link to my friend and fellow blogger Kent for his birthday. I was looking for some rock music because this is how I see the guy, stuck between his vinyls and his electric guitar, loving QOTSA more every day.

But I got hooked to this very simple song, repeating those 3-4 words for several minutes. Loved the way the members of the band (Saya & Ueno Takashi) are playing with the location. And how this sweet simple song is gaining in intensity in a very subtle way.

So Kent, some japanese sound for you today. Have a happy happy birthday!! Have fun and be INSANE!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Old love (2000), new love (2010) // Festival des Artefacts

Last saturday, I attended with a few friends and loads of strangers Le Festival des Artefacts in my hometown. As money's still not growing on trees, I had to make a choice between seeing Iggy Pop live on Friday or Nada Surf on Saturday. But as Nada Surf and I is a long-term love story, the choice was not that difficult (even if I have to admit I wanted to see Iggy naked on stage). When it started, I really couldn't believe that finally I would see one of my very favorite bands live. Matthew Caws was just like I imagined (and still he does not look his age, the man is 42!), Daniel Lorca was a bit too stoned/wasted and a special mention to Ira Elliot who was having a big smile during the whole show, which becomes quite rare for a drummer. So despite Lorca not knowing the different between singing harmonies and screaming, the magic worked. I was totally happy, singing along all the songs they performed from their different albums. Too bad, not many people knew their work or who they were. The atmosphere was not the best at all, and I've promised myself I will see them in New York next time. Because the crowd only got mad at the famous "Popular" which is definitely not their best song, if you ask me. Of course, they also win the audience with their perfect french. And to answer people who were wondering in the crowd, NO! they're not french, they attended Le Lycée Français de New York, hence why Lorca and Caws speak very good french.

They also performed a few songs of their new album "If I had a Hi-Fi" (I already wrote about) and I loved Electrocution live. But they also covered a Depeche Mode song and even if it is a very famous song, they managed to make it theirs and it was really marked with the Nada Surf style. Of course, people will say that it is easy to record an album with only covers, but making real covers with your own style with respect of the original is not such an easy exercise. I obviously came home with the new album and I'm glad I did so. As always there is also a french song, and they picked a Benjamin Biolay song to cover. For each song, the explanation of why they picked it, and the lyrics. Because they expect you "to play it maximum volume" and to "sing along". The album will be out for you to purchase in stores or online this coming June.

So this is it for my old love.
And for the new one, I'm talking about Rodrigo y Gabriela. Just stunning.
To be honest, before it started I had some doubts about what these duo of Mexican could give with just playing the guitar and with no singing. I have to say I started getting interested when my friend told me that their music is actually not what people believe it is at the first listening. If you just listen to it very quickly, you might want to say it is a kind of flamenco. But it is definitely something else. And yes, it is more metal than flamenco. But still, no singing and just two guitars...I was just sceptical.

So I sat down somewhere and started listening but also watching very carefully. And I believe I was standing open-mouthed for over one hour. Because the show is very dynamic, because they have a perfect command of their instrument (each having their own style) and because they are real entertainers. And everything is simple : their show is, and so are they. And maybe that is the trick. Real talented musicians giving all they have, the very simple way, just for us to be entertained. I regretted later not to be jumping with the crowd close to the stage but at the same time, I could study the technics, the fingers moving along the strings, by watching the fat screens.

A delight. Do not miss the opportunity to see them live if you can!  


Monday, 12 April 2010

Alela Diane



I waited quite a few days to write this article because this song is part of a playlist I prepared for the birthday of a very special friend, and I didn't want her to discover it before the D-Day which is today.

I know this song is already old (2006) but I just heard it for the first time last week and I really felt in love with Alela's voice and I have to say that I'm quite into folk music nowadays.

And for Steph, you'll be surprised to see that this californian singer/musician was born in 1983, April 20th. (Almost the D-Day :) ) A pretty good vintage, this year 1983, if you ask me :)

Joyeux Anniversaire ma Chtef!

Friday, 2 April 2010

Laura Marling and her new album

Here's Laura Marling's new album. The third one. And she just turned 20 last February.
Maybe you remember her from this or if you've been indie-gossiping, maybe you looked for some of her work with the frontman of Noah and the Whale(and ex-boyfriend), see the Black Cab Session here.

Laura Marling is part of the alternative indie folk scene with a strong voice, a traditional gaelic guitar playing and sometimes a banjo. I recommend you listen to Devil's spoke : the video's here. But the whole album is worth listening. (>> Spotify)

The 60's-70's had Joni Mitchell, and we have Laura Marling. Isn't it sweet?

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Alice in Wonderland

I first had doubts about this movie before I went to see it. But this is probably because people ALWAYS talk too much. I heard things like : this movie is like Charlie and the Chocolate factory (which is not my favorite Burton's movie) or this actress they picked to play Alice looks so boring to be a character of a Burton movie.

But let's stop right here because Mia Wasikowska was fantastic! Oh yes she looks pure and quiet on pictures but she embodies Alice very well. She has a very expressive face and her play is fabulous. I really got hooked and really believe she was the Alice Tim Burton needed.

Needless to say that Depp and Bonham-Carter are meeting the expectations (as always) to fit in the special universe of their favorite film director. A special distinction to Matt Lucas who is giving his face to Tweedledee and Tweedledum. He is just perfect, he (they?) made me laugh a lot (and reminding me of this!)

Alice in Wonderland is also a subject that is very Burton-ish and it even surprised me he didnt come up with this adaptation earlier. And it's good. As far as I think of it, all characters of Wonderland have definitely a burton-worthy look but at the same time they are very close to the image I had from them in my head as per the Carroll's story and the Disney version. The character of Alice really seduced me. She says no to social conventions, has a very creative mind, is straightforward, knows that you don't always have to take things seriously (this is why she's called "distracted") but at the same time, she is bright and ambitious. A real role-model.

Because of this, and because of the singularity of the story and all the speculations and mystery about the story itself and its writer, I get ""Curiouser and curiouser!" :)

Oh and by the way, let's the futterwacken rock!

[About my first experience of a 3D movie : some parts are really good, especially when things/people fall (like when Alice falls in the rabbithole), it feels like it is falling on you (you almost want to grab Alice's hand). But then I am not sure if it is my eyes that are not made for it or if the technology still has to be improved because very often the foreground was blurry.]