Entries tagged with: Serge Gainsbourg
Jane will be performing the work of her late husband Serge Gainsbourg backed by a group of Japanese performers. As a recent review reads:
A Japanese-originating quartet of piano, drums, trumpet and violin (originally assembled, she told us, to play post-tsunami benefit shows in Tokyo which has since coaxed out on tour) executed the tunes with both original details (those cafe jazz breakbeats when called for) and a modern panache that was needed to hold the whole shebang together. One audience member with an accent explained to another that Birkin was "not rock" just before the show. It was, of course, more beatnik-jazz-pop-cabaret than rock. Still, hearing the likes of "Do Di Dah" without guitar picking might not have been the same, but its playful spirit came shining through in a jazz rendition. Birkin's voice and easy way with a tricky series of notes here and there was a bit of a revelation to some, for sure, and proved more than capable of carrying tunes when the band receded. If it wavered over the high notes, it shouldn't have come as a surprise. That delicacy and naturalism was surely what drew Serge and us to her the first time around--um, and the drop dead gorgeous thing, probably.Jane starts up touring again in January, in Spain, Israel, Turkey, and many other places.
Meanwhile, Jane's daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg whose 2010 Beck-produced album IRM gained her lots of attention and brought her to our shores for shows at places like The Bell House, Coachella and Webster Hall, recently released an EP and then an album. The longer album, Stage Whisper, "includes seven unreleased studio recordings and eleven live songs. Many of the studio tracks come from sessions for IRM." The EP, Terrible Angels, was released earlier via Because Music / Elektra, and contains "two unreleased studio tracks, two live recordings, and two videos." All four of the songs are also on Stage Whisper.
You can watch one of the videos, with more info on the two releases, below...
by Bill Pearis
After surviving a couple minor major acts of nature, we deserve a long break. So for your Labor Day weekend... like usual, it's pretty slow, show-wise. But there are some things to do.
We'll start this week with a movie. Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is finally getting a U.S. release (it came out in January 2010 in France), albeit a limited one, thanks in part to great reissue label Light in the Attic. The film started it's two-week Film Forum run last night and will be making its way around the country throughout the fall. All play dates are at the bottom of this post.
Heroic maybe, but for sure Serge Gainsbourg led a wild life before succumbing to cancer at age 62 in 1992. You could make a compelling film out of any period of his life, and that the movie tries to cram it all in -- from fleeing Nazi-occupied Paris as a child through his rise to fame, relationships with Bridget Bardot and Jane Birkin to his his '70s dalliance with reggae -- gives too much of your standard Behind the Music story arc.
But it's also untraditional at the same time. Writer-director Joann Sfar is a comic artist (this is his first film) and injects a big element of the absurd courtesy of a puppet-like alter-ego (alter-Id, really) that encourages Gainsbourg to do bad things. Eric Elmosnino, a dead-ringer for Gainsbourg, is terrific, as is the rest of the cast -- including Lucy Gordon as Birkin and Laetitia Casta as Bardot, plus appearances by eccentric singer Philippe Katerine and the late Claude Chabrol. It's got a great sense of style and, of course, the soundtrack is amazing. Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life could be better, but it's still worth seeing.
As for actual shows, San Francisco's vociferous and awesome Weekend will be here on Saturday (9/3) at Glasslands and Sunday (/4) at Mercury Lounge. Both shows are with the similarly cacophonous Talk Normal.
Weekend have a new EP, Red, out September 20th on Slumberland which finds the trio exploring new sonic territory, though not the quiet kind. It's still rather pummeling but Shaun Durkan's vocals, previously hidden behind echo and backwards reverb, are dryer and more up front now. The sound is a little sharper all around, but the driving, melodic basslines and guitar squall remain. You can download Red track "Hazel" via a Soundcloud widget at the bottom of this post.
In addition to Talk Normal, the Glasslands show features their Slumberland labelmates Brown Recluse; the Mercury Lounge show also has Fan-Tan on the bill. All Weekend/Talk Normal tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
San Francisco's Royal Baths bring their heavy psychedelia to Death by Audio on Friday (9/2) with Xray Eyeballs, Hunters and Mountain Cult. I wrote previously: "Royal Baths are kind of bad trip acid rock, dark and seedy but not atonal. But it's definitely down the rabbit hole. In a good way." At the top of this post you can download a track off of Royal Baths debut LP from last year. The band have a split double-7" with Ty Segall due out on HoZac any time now. Keep an eye peeled for that.
Bejiing's Hedgehog are back in America for the first time since CMJ: they play Bruar Falls on Sunday (9/4) and Cake Shop on Monday (9/5). After that they head out on tour with Xiu-Xiu and Kindest Lines, and all tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
I caught set at The Woods last year and the venue's atrocious sound didn't deter Hedgehog's tenacity, most ably embodied in Atom, their tiny pistol of a drummer. Looking at them, you might expect pop punk a la Japan's Blue Hearts, but Hedgehog make melodic indie rock. There's a couple tracks to download at the top of this post. They're a blast live, and there aren't a lot of shows Sunday or Monday, so here's a good international option for your concert dollar.
That's it of the "big" stuff in my world. Some more shows -- including a fair amount of free ones -- are listed day-by-day below.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
Good show at Shea Stadium tonight. In addition to the recently-profiled Caged Animals, there's also new FatCat singings Forest Fire whose Walkmen-esque album Staring at the X is worth looking out for when it comes out in October on FatCat.
Nerdy rapper and Adult Swim voice talent MC Chris is throwing a record release party at Death by Audio for his new album Race Wars. It's also his birthday. Show is FREE.
Gainsbourg, Je t'Aime... Moi Non Plus
The Tribeca Film Festival runs this year from April 21st to May 2nd, and the offerings include a number of music flicks, many with in-person Q&A's attached. The schedule includes two new biopics Gainsbourg, Je t'Aime... Moi Non Plus and the life of The Blockheads' Ian Dury Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll. There's also Rush:Beyond the Lighted Stage with members Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson in attendance, and Last Play at Shea, which focuses on the stadium's history as a music venue and includes footage of Shea's last concert, by Billy Joel, who will be at the screening.
Mars Volta's Omar Rodriguez Lopez directed The Sentimental Engine Slayer which makes its North American premiere at the festival on April 22nd with Omar in attendance.
Less than two weeks later Omar headlines a concert at Highline Ballroom. Omar was set to play a NYC show less than two weeks later, but it has been postponed.
Free programs include Tribeca Drive-In movie series from April 22-24 at the World Financial Center, which will screen Big and other films.
Festival packages are on sale now. For individual films, tickets go on AmEx presale starts today at 11am. Then there's a presale for "downtown" residents only (in person, with proof of zip code below Canal St) on Sunday, April 18th. Finally, tickets go on sale to the public Monday, April 19th at 11am. "Tickets for the Festival will be $16.00 for evening and weekend screenings and $8.00 for daytime weekday and late night screenings. TFF will also offer a selection of screenings that include in-depth panel discussions with filmmakers and talent for $25.00."
Info on the above-mentioned films and more, below...
Gainsbourg is playing two nights at Brooklyn's Bell House tonight (1/19) and tomorrow (1/20). Both are sold out. The opener for the first night is pop duo Dean and Britta; the second night's is Francophilic Brooklyn band Dinosaur Feathers (who have other dates, below, and their debut due this March). She plays Philadelphia's Theater of Living Arts on Friday, January 22nd, and then NYC's Hiro Ballroom (with no opener announced) on Saturday, January 23rd. Tickets for the Hiro show are still on sale.
Gainsbourg is on the lineup for Coachella in April. She recently cancelled some of her non-NYC shows (like Montreal and Toronto scheduled for the end of the month) due to scheduling conflicts. Those are expected to be rescheduled.
Charlotte isn't the only member of the Gainsbourg/Birkin family in the news. As previously mentioned, Jane Birkin (her mother) is playing in NYC in February. And a biopic about her father Serge, titled Serge Gainsbourg, vie héroïque, comes out tomorrow in France (no US screenings scheduled as of yet, though it screens in the UK in September). The trailer for that (NSFW) and all Charlotte Gainsbourg and Dinosaur Feathers tour dates are below...
Tickets are on sale for the two shows Jane Birkin is playing in NYC in February. Tickets to the two shows her daughter Charlotte Gainsbourg is playing in Brooklyn are still on sale too, but now there's a third option. Tickets ($37.50) go on sale Thursday at noon for a January 23rd Charlotte show at Hiro Ballroom in Manhattan.
Charlotte Gainsbourg, with a new Beck-produced album out in the US this month, is coming to NYC for a pair of shows on January 19th and 20th at Bell House. Clips from that album are streaming on her website.
Jane Birkin, her mother, is also going to be in town for a pair of performances soon. She'll sing at French Institute/Florence Gould Hall on February 11th and 12th. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, January 5th at 5pm.
Last September, Birkin put out Jane Birkin au Palace, a live collection of songs by herself and her late ex-husband Serge Gainsbourg (including tracks off her most recent studio record, 2008's Enfants d'Hiver). Clips from the album are streaming on her site.
Before coming to the US, Jane Birkin has January dates in France and Belgium. Her full schedule and a few classic and recent videos are below...
By Andrew Frisicano
Avant-jazz cross-over act the Bad Plus will play a series of NYC shows as part of its neverending schedule of gigs. First, the trio - Ethan Iverson on piano, Reid Anderson on bass, Dave King on drums - hosts a special performance as part of French Institute Alliance Française's "Crossing the Line: FIAF Fall Festival 2008"
From the band's blog, Do the Math, (updated by pianist Iverson):
"Once in a while TBP gets a commission to arrange a well-known piece of music. So far, we have done Bernstein, Sedaka, Radiohead, and turned down a couple of others. This Saturday [9/20], thanks to FIAF, we will be unveiling our transfiguration of "La Ballade de Melody Nelson" by the great hero of French pop music, Serge Gainsbourg. ...[opening the show] Dave King will play duo with the fabulous Benoît Delbecq."The piano-playing Delbecq will play a solo set to begin the night.
The following Tuesday (9/23), the Bad Plus will kick-off six nights of 9pm- and 11pm-set club gigs at New York's Village Vanguard. (Tix here.) The band, which recently left Columbia for indie label Heads Up, is most well-known for its free-form rock-song covers; their latest, Prog, features renditions of "Life on Mars," "Tom Sawyer," "This Guy's in Love with You," "Everybody Wants To Rule the World" and (as an iTunes-only bonus) Interpol's "Narc."
Pianist Iverson will perform and speak with jazz legend Lee Konitz on September 18 at Joe's Pub. (Tix here.) Iverson and Konitz, whose many notable appearences include alto sax on Miles Davis's Birth of the Cool and an extended stint with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, will engage in a "free-form combination of music and conversation." Among other things, the pair will discuss free-jazz progenitor Lennie Tristano, who Iverson recently wrote about at length on Do the Math.
All tour dates below...