Thursday, January 20, 2022

The vexation of Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton in Paris, 2006

Extra-musical reasons have dragged Eric Clapton in the conversation this past year. What conversation? As usual with social media, it's a bit muddled but the two main things that come up are his racism and his anti-vaccination stance. Those are two big, real issues and they needn't be conflated with one's opinion of his singing,  playing, songwriting, performing or what-have-you.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Friday's Playlist: Third Stream

Happy Friday! For this playlist, we've put together a small selection of so-called Third Stream compositions. The Third Stream as theorized by conductor and composer Gunther Schuller  is a musical genre that fuses jazz and classical music. It's an intriguing approach to both composing and improvising and it should come as no surprise that there are as many approaches to this aesthetic as there are participants: Mingus sounds nothing like Miles who sounds nothing like Ornette.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Friday's Playlist: Gary Lucas - Sessions & Contributions

For the first Friday's Playlist of the new year, we are focusing on the career of journeyman guitarist Gary Lucas. We've been on a Gary Lucas kick since he played an exquisite show in Paris back in November, and we decided to prolong the experience by concocting this selection of songs from his numerous sessions and contributions.

Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year in Black & White

Another year bites the dust. 2021 finally comes to an end. And just as things were looking up, guess who decided to mutate and unleash his Omicron variant upon the world? Fucking COVID. I guess the world will be shutting down again. Most concerts we were looking forward to are already being postponed or even outright cancelled. We did manage to squeeze in a few decent gigs in the short time when things were somewhat safe, this is what we're celebrating in this post.

Friday's Playlist: The Best of 2021

Happy New Year!

As much as I hate seeing time slip away so quickly, I must admit I'm pretty glad to see 2021 coming to an end. I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking I didn't care much for that year. Don't get me wrong, it was no 2020. Don't get me started on that one. But if I had been in a coma for most of 2021 it would have been no big loss for me. Still, there were a few things that didn't totally suck about the year that's about to end. Some of that was the music.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Thank You For Talkin’ To Me Africa

Something a little different this Friday. If the title of this Playlist is lifted off a song by Sly & the Family Stone, the ressemblance ends here. Well, not completely: this Playlist gets plenty funky, too. Especially towards the end.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Unsung Guitar Heroes

Happy Friday! 

Are you in the mood for some tasty guitar? Good. For some unfair reason, these cats are not considered royalty. They're not the Claptons, the Becks, the Hendrix, the Pages of rock n'roll. They're not the Charlie Christians, the Wes Montgomerys, the John McLaughlins, the Pat Methenys of jazz. They're not the BB Kings, the Stevie Ray Vaughans, the Guitar Slims of blues.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Upcoming gigs

Well, I think we're done with concerts for 2021. Here are some of the next shows we should be covering in the new year... Hope to see some of you there!

Friday's Playlist: Robert Quine - Sessions & Contributions

In contrast with the other episodes in our Sessions & Contributions series, this installment doesn't focus on superstars but rather on an unsung hero of rock music.

Although not a household name, Robert Quine was a pioneer guitarist in the punk, post-punk and no-wave genres although calling him that is greatly limiting the breadth of his talents. Free jazz, folk music, avant-garde...

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Murray Head @ Olympia, Paris - December 8th, 2021

Murray Head has always enjoyed tremendous success in France and his 1976 record Say It Ain't So yielded some of his best known songs, including the hit Say It Ain't So, Joe. So forty-five years after the release of the LP, the Englishman's embarking on a tour where he plays the entire album in sequence. Well, not exactly in sequence: he cleverly starts at song number two, plays the album and then plays the climactic first song of the record, the aforementioned Say It Ain't So, Joe.

Chloe Foy @ Olympia, Paris - December 8th, 2021

Opening for Murray Head, and later joining him as part of his band, is a young British singer songwriter named Chloe Foy. Her first full length album Where Shall We Begin was released last summer. Accompanying herself with a guitar, and aided by another guitarist who would also be part of the main act's band later in the evening, Chloe Foy sang her delicate songs in an angelic, ethereal voice that left the audience spellbound. This is what a support act should always be: a wonderful discovery.

Monday, December 6, 2021

JJ Wilde @ la Maroquinerie, Paris - December 6th, 2021

Canadian rock sensation JJ Wilde is embarking on her first ever European tour, and this is was her first proper concert in France apart a few acoustic promo showcases and radio appearances. Ruthless, the album she released last year, is a great slice of hard driving, good old fashioned rock full of groove and melody.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Madchester and Rave Rockers

This Friday's Playlist focuses on a particular time and place, namely Manchester in the early nineties. Inspired by New Order and similar artists that blended psychedelic pop and electronica, the artists in this Playlist created this specific idiom that is informed equally by rock and rave culture.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

The Black Lips @ Trabendo, Paris - December 2nd, 2021

The reformed bad boys of garage rock have been on a country tangent since the release of their excellent new record Sing in a World That's Falling Apart. But their version of country music is very informed by the seedy, druggy sounds of the Velvet Underground and they end up sounding like murky, punk version of Exile-era Rolling Stones, or Royal Trux attempting Americana, or an even more chaotic version of the Clash. Needless to say, that's a good thing.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Steve Hackett & Genesis Revisited @ Salle Pleyel, Paris - November 30th, 2021

While (what's left of) his former band is wrapping things up with one last tour of the world's arenas, the ex-Genesis guitarist is also embarking a nostalgia trek of sorts. But where his erstwhile bandmates concentrate on the hits of their post-Gabriel (and post-Hackett) career, pleasing aging yuppies and soccer grandmas, Steve Hackett is here presenting a veritable prog extravaganza consisting of the very best of his Genesis days as well as a couple of solo pieces.