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French Letter

Concerts in your home!

Sep 27

Written by:
Sunday, September 27, 2009  RssIcon

Even if you don't read La Blogothèque you may be familiar with their series of Takeaway Shows - Vincent Moon's films of hip indie acts busking or playing impromptu concerts around Paris. The series has inspired variants around the world.

A quiet night in with Bon IverLately, though, the Takeaway Shows have lost their central concept of spontaneous public performance. This summer there have been sessions recorded backstage at festivals, an altogether more exclusive and controllable environment. And Moon seems to have jumped the shark by featuring Tom Jones in the latter's New York hotel room - the whole thing feels contrived and cynical.

Now La Blogothèque has come up with a new video series, Les Soirées de Poche (loosely translated as 'intimate/pocket-sized evenings'). Quite simply, the idea is to film indie artists playing for a few people in the home of an ordinary Paris person. (We're not sure how this person is chosen and we're a little cynical about how 'ordinary' he/she may be, but we'll let that pass for the moment.)

Where the Takeaway Shows have a hand-held DIY feel, Les Soirées de Poche have more serious production values. The concerts are carefully staged - the films have soft lighting, multiple cameras, perfect sound and lingering close-ups. Franco-German cultural channel Arte are involved, hence their logo in the top left corner of the videos.

So far the series has featured Bon Iver (right), Patrick Watson, Ron Sexsmith, Beirut and Herman Dune.

But here's our favourite to date: Andrew Bird and St Vincent together in the same punter's apartment. (The film is 30 minutes long and every second of that is enthralling.) Thanks to Lihan for telling us about it - Château French Letter is available for any future shows:


Location: Blogs Parent Separator French Letter

5 comment(s) so far...


Re: Concerts in your home!

Cool prospect. Amy Rigby, partner of Wreckless Eric, has been doing a similar thing.
Her block has some yarns on the topic.

By Mike on   Monday, September 28, 2009

Re: Concerts in your home!

To me that suggests the logical next step: concerts in the pop star's home! All round to Bono's!

By aidan on   Monday, September 28, 2009

Re: Concerts in your home!

Imagine a meandering violin enticing you up a winding stair...and finding Andrew Bird at the end of it. Magic.

By jan on   Monday, September 28, 2009

Re: Concerts in your home!

Yes, that opening tracking shot is fantastic. I like how you can't hear anything at first, then you just catch a little bit of violin that grows as you get closer... all these people rushing to the same place... such a beguiling tune too... you've to inch your way through the crowd at the door... and then you see: Ah!It's so well-made, this video: even the still frame of the embedded video (above) is perfectly lit and composed. (Her head is at the same angle as his violin.)

By aidan on   Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Re: Concerts in your home!

It's shot so beautifully alright, there's a straw hue to the light...just draws you in.

By jan on   Tuesday, September 29, 2009

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Aidan Curran, based in Paris, has been writing for CLUAS since 2004. More info about Aidan...

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