The Second Hand Marching Band – We Walk In the Room
‘Do you feel out of touch? Do you feel down on your luck? Do you feel loved?’ Beirut-like ensemble of 22+ from Glasgow intent on exploring the avenues of the “untraditional” by blending together guitars, ukeleles, mandolins, triangles, accordians, trumpets, tenor horns, saxophones, trombones, glockenspiel, castanets, marching drums, melodicas, woodblocks, tamborines, bells, violins, flutes and clarinets. Their debut EP A Dance To Half Death is out now on a limited pressing, so make sure to get a copy.
Something tells me that relatively obscure indie cover versions may become a trend in 2009. Already we’ve had Scarlett Johansson giving Jeff Buckley’s Last Goodbye the X-Factor treatment and hype starlets Florence and the Machine reworking Beirut’s Postcards from Italy. But if that seems too sacrilege to bear, Brooklyn’s The Antlers show how it should be done: a beautiful, almost entirely a cappella take on Beach House’s Apple Orchard that both adds to the original and works as an eerie reinterpretation. (more…)
I’ve had the new Beirut release for about a month now and it’s definitely a departure…but not one I have taken to the way I would have hoped for. For a start, it’s two EPs together rather than an album, each half distinctly different both from each other and everything that came before. The first part is a collection of Mexican funeral march arrangements conducted through a brass orchestra, the second a gathering of ’80s inspired keyboard pop recorded in a bedroom under the new name Realpeople. It’s not without its moments, however. Instrumental ‘No Dice’ is a blast of kitsch fun and penultimate track ‘The Concubine’ is a gem. I would post the latter here but I am not legally entitled to do so. However, it will be on my forthcoming mix CD!
Parisien guerilla video bloggers Vincent Moon and Chryde (aka The Take Away Shows) bring music and film out of the venue, onto the streets, and onto your computer. Cian Traynor tracked them down on the streets of Paris.
Whether it’s squeezing Arcade Fire into an elevator or getting Grizzly Bear into a bathtub, French music site La Blogotheque has a way of capturing bands in a moment of haphazard beauty. The Take Away Shows are a series of vignettes that lure artists, with instrument in hand, out to wander the streets of Paris under the gaze of a loosely held camera. (more…)