Posted in music | pictures on November 8, 2005

"Muted brass moans and trades fanfare, static crashes, the guitars ring, and slowly it begins to come together. The structure is modest at first, but as sweat pours in, the project's scope reveals itself. Recording a Tape the Colour of the Light is colossal. The payload of six years' determination, the debut album from Bell Orchestre (French pronunciation: 'or-kest') gives orchestral post-rock the update it has desperately needed since Godspeed You Black Emperor! reached the genre's creative apex with their classic Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven five years ago." [Pitchfork]

Bell Orchestre played Tonic in NYC Monday night (November 7, 2005).

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

I don't think you can talk about Bell Orchestre without mentioning that they share two members with The Arcade Fire. I think it's worth comparing the two groups musically too. Add keyboards, vocals, helmets, crazy hooks, and some violence to Bell Orchestre, and you should end up pretty close to The Arcade Fire's slow songs. It helps that the very dynamic Richard Parry is one of the shared members. Maybe I haven't listened close enough yet, but the Belle Orchestre album seems like background music. Live they made me want to dance.

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

Bell Orchestre @ Tonic

Clogs opened. The guitarist that joined them for their last song is a member of Clogs.

Previously
Bell Orchestre Updated Tour Dates & Instore
Final Fantasy's Dream of Win & Regine Video
Arcade Fire & Bell Orchestre @ Summerstage

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Comments (6)

i'd bang the violin player...

Posted by Anonymous | November 8, 2005 4:46 PM

And for your listening pleasure, a recording of Friday night's show in Boston...

http://www.bradleysalmanac.com/2005/11/mp3s-clogs-bell-orchestre-live-in.htm

Posted by brad | November 8, 2005 4:56 PM

Of course you can talk about this band without naming the arcade fire. It's offensive to suggest otherwise. Although there is some commonality in the music the differences are far more profound. I think if you are just making a comparison you are missing the point and will continue to have tepid responses to the music.

Posted by Cliff | November 11, 2005 11:05 AM

It's unrealistic to suggest otherwise. The Arcade Fire are one of the biggest bands in the world right now. They share two members with Bell Orchestre. If you're telling someone about Bell Orchestre, you're going to tell them the connection.

AND Bell Orchestre make good music, but you've got to admit that a major reason they just toured with the Arcade Fire, played the massive Summerstage in NYC, toured with "members of the National" (and yes, their press material STRESSES the Arcade Fire / National connections), and are signed to Rough Trade Records is because of their connection to the Arcade Fire.

My point was just that you have to mention the connection, and that unexpectedly they gave off a similar vibe in concert.

P.S. My reaction to the music is not tepid. I love it.

Posted by brooklynvegan | November 11, 2005 11:29 AM

No doubt the band promotes the connection I just mean as discriminating listeners we should make an effort to minimize the similarities a bit since the majority of sources are already doing so and this can be misleading. I also mention the connection when I bring the band up but I usually temper that fact with some other info (which I suppose you did too). True that the live show of both acts has some of the same feel, I'm not sure what to call it warmth, openness, energy. I guess I just hope people are able to appreciate the music on its own since it is plenty strong enough to stand up for itself. If the connection helps the band get listeners that's great, hopefully it won't alienate potential listeners coming from different musical backgrounds, probably it won't.

Posted by Cliff | November 11, 2005 12:25 PM

fyi..the guitarist who joined bell orchestre is also a member of the national.

Posted by paul | November 11, 2005 8:57 PM

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