Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Carpenter Brut: Release Party

A great opportunity to catch a live performance by the mighty Carpenter Brut thanks to the good people at Arte.

Our favourite purveyors of 80s horror soundtrack electro-rock star in a performance at an American high school gig we all wish we were at some time in the early 90s.

Carpenter Brut recently released their soundtrack for Blood Machine, a 50-minute SF film collaboration between the band and director Seth Ickerman that follows up their Turbo Killer music video.

The film's in the final stage of production and the soundtrack is available on digital platforms, and to be released on vinyl later this year.

Meanwhile, this live set has all the 80s/early 90s movie style elements in place, with a set that's not a million miles from Nirvana's Smells like teen spirit video, and an audience who have come straight from teenage late-night movie central casting, with a little bit of appropriate narrative suspense to add to the flavour.

Clair: Danser ou crever

Here's something nice. In difficult times there's a need for something that's apparently simple, perfectly crafted and 

Clair's Danser ou crever is like a welcome reminder of better times, and a hope that things might be that good again. We can choose to die or we can choose to dance. 

As long as we keep a metre apart.

The song's by Philippe Katerine and was produced by Philippe Katerine and Pierre Daven-Keller. Daven Keller is a long-time friend of this blog, first coming across his  Reaction in C album in 2015, to enjoying his Kino Music collection that was released last year.

Philippe Katerine's Confession album was released in November last year, and Clair features on the track Un Jour Sans.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Feu! Chatterton: confinement cover version

Feu! Chatterton

As the lockdown lifts gradually in France, with shops beginning to open and movement restrictions loosened, some great material recorded under the confinement continues to emerge.

Here's a great new track from Feu! Chatterton which appeared on their Facebook page at the end of May,  a cover of  Mon nom, originally by Rodrigo Amarante. It featured originally on Amarante's 2013 Cavalo solo album. Amarante, a member of Brazilian band Los Hermanos as well as Little Joy, a band also featuring Fabrizio Moretti from The Strokes.

Feu! Chatterton's most recent release was last year's Feu! Chatterton Live 2018 EP, released as part of last year's Disquaire Day event. The five-track release was recorded on their live dates promoting the  L'Oiseleur album, a collection that was nominated in the Best Rock Album category in the Victoires de la Musique 2019 awards.

Singer Arthur Teboul featured on Christophe's final album, Christophe, Etc. Vol. 2 - released in December last year -  on a re-recorded duet of Le Beau Bizarre.

Feu! Chatterton's plans for a run of eight sold-out live dates at the  Bouffes du Nord theatre in Paris in March and April were cancelled. 

It won't be long until things are back to normal, and hopefully more new material from Feu! Chatterton and more live dates will be confirmed before too long.

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Up on the roof with Aloïse Sauvage

Coronavirus confinement means artists having to find new ways to present themselves, so respect to Aloïse Sauvage for taking to the rooftop for a special video for Mega Down.

Locked down in a house with friends, she was determined to make a video for one of the tracks on her Dévorantes debut album using the means she had at hand - a drone and the house she was staying in.

A visit to the rooftop at sundown and some gravity-defying moves later it makes for an engaging clip, and one that's a little different from the usual home studio/playing at home videos that have emerged in the light of the pandemic.

Well, I suppose parkour was invented in France and health and safety issues are no hindrance to the bold Aloïse.

Fortunately, she's got good footwear, a pretty photogenic building under her feet and a nice location. The roof looks in good nick too, perhaps she removed some moss and cleared the gutters while she was up there.

Previously established as an actress, she's appeared in amongst other films 120 battements par minute, she released her debut EP Jimy in 2019 ahead of Dévorantes. Her performance of  À l'horizontale at this year's Les Victoires de la Musique televised award ceremony was a highlight of the event and an unforgettable introduction to her work for a huge audience across France.

Many of her scheduled live dates have fallen due to lockdown in France but she's goy=t some scheduled for later in the year which may yet happen.

Another (troubled) return for Bertrand Cantat

A new musical project - Paz - emerges from Bertrand Cantat.

It comes three years after Amor Fati, his first proper solo album following the termination of Noir Désir in 2010.

Cantat's personal history with regard his public career remains an unresolved and very public moral debate. Found guilty of killing his partner Marie Tritignant in 2003 and sentenced to eight years in jail, he was released in 2007.

His subsequent decision to resume his public musical career led to widespread condemnation and protest, some seeing him as a symbol of societal acceptance of violence against women, others maintaining that despite what he did, he has the same right as any former convict who has served their sentence - even a public figure - to pursue their career without continued punishment.

It's a question that's unlikely to be resolved to the satisfaction of either party. The irony of the situation being that in the debate, Cantat and Noir Désir having previously been politically aware and involved, would probably have sided with those opposing Cantat today.

The work had been intended for a stage show to be performed in a theatre near Bordeaux in March,  which was cancelled following multiple objections. Cantats's not performed live since his 2018 tour which saw tour dates and festival appearances cancelled in light of demonstrations and objections.

This release is quite different from his Amor Fati album or his Détroit collaboration with Pascal Humbert, Paz instead being a work that combines poetic spoken word with musical backing, at times ambient, at other times more rock influenced.

Férey's work, while in the French Policier tradition, reflect on larger political themes such as political repressions, apartheid and colonialism. Paz, released last year, is set in Colombia and tells of family tragedy amidst the backdrop of the Colombian guerilla war against the FARC.

It's a dark work, reflected in the Paz album which sees entirely new pieces of text rather than passages from the book used in the seven tracks

It's available in digital formats at the moment, with a physical release expected later in the year.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Maxwell Farrington and Le SuperHomard - The Good Times Are Coming

A bit of vintage-styled positivity from Maxwell Farrington and Le SuperHomard with a cover of The Good Times Are Coming.

The John Barry/Hal David song was originally recorded by 'Mama' Cass Elliot and released on an album in 1970. It also featured in the Western film Monte Walsh the same year, a movie which starred Jeanne Moreau as well as Lee Marvin and Jack Palance.

Last year's Meadow Park Lane album by Le SuperHomard was one of 2019's highlights, a sophisticated and smart serving of melodic indie pop. It's something that their label Elefant Records specialises in.

The new track's a welcome slice of Californian sunshine that's much needed these days. When it's easy to dwell on the negative news that hits us every day, the need for optimism is greater than ever and it's worth remembering that better times will come.

Home haircuts with Yelle

A lockdown re-styling for Yelle by the looks of things in the video for the new song Je t'aime encore.

It's been six years since Julie Budet, Grand Marnier and Tepr dropped an album, 2014's Complètement Fou and since then there has been a slow and steady stream of singles, most recently 2018's OMG!!!

Directed by Loïc Prigent, a French director noted for his documentaries about fashion, the video features Haute Coiffure hairdresser Charlie Le Mindu. If you're going for the lockdown haircut, you might as well call in the best.

The song's a lot less frenetic than their usual technicolor technopop, and could easily be interpreted as a song about Julie's relationship with France, where the band have not perhaps enjoyed the success that they should have. Yelle have, after all, made some significant inroads in the USA including a tour supporting Katy Perry, while in France they still remain better known for their debut single Je veux te voir, released back in 2006.

As well as a new album, They've got live dates ahead, fortunately much later in the year, with a sold-out show at Paris La Cigale on October 29 and a second date now added on the 30th.