Video: Phoenix – Lizstomania / One time too many – A Take Away Show

Photographs by Vincent Moon – Copyright

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La Blogotheque
Phoenix – Lizstomania / One time too many – A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque

“It’s a weird game going on between the band and the place where they play. A mesmerizing Eiffel Tower or Trocadero usually steal the show with their size and more or less spectacular tricks, but here’s a band no one would expect to find there, competing with all those crowd-pullers. ”

Produced by Chryde for la Blogotheque
Filmed by Vincent Moon
Sounds by François Clos and Guillaume de la Villeon
Edit by Guillaume Guerry
Mix by Francois Clos

9 OCTOBER 2009

Sources: La Blogotheque, Vimeo
Special thanks to Phoenix and Vincent Moon.

Take Away Show #41 — THE ARCADE FIRE

Members of Arcade Fire at the 2011 Grammy Awards.

The creation of Take Away Shows is linked to Arcade Fire. Before the cancellation of their European Tour, Arcade Fire played two amazing video sessions in Paris: one in a lift, and, after, into the crowd.

From Vincent Moon / Petites Planètes
Paris, L’Olympia, March 2007

Take Away Show #41 _ THE ARCADE FIRE

Text by Chryde
Images & edit by vincent moon
Sounds by adrien cordier & chryde
Mix by francois clos
Produced by chryde for la blogotheque,2868

Win Butler had to slouch a little to fit into the freight elevator. He went directly to the back, leaned against the iron door, turned around, looked at the cramped space, and asked us, “Think we can all go back now?” Then he smiled a smile that a kid would give, pure and honest, like he had just found his hiding place. Win Butler smiled, and five weeks of work seemed to crumble before us.

During those weeks, I had been in continual contact with Vincent Morisset, who runs the Neon Bible site. Win and Régine had been responsible for coordinating our Take Away Show. We had discussed dates and places, imagining the Madeleine at night, the knoll at the Île de la Cité, an old café, a roundabout behind the Olympia…We checked the weather every day and despaired about the cold front that was passing through Paris. We had surveyed the entire inhumane neighborhood from top to bottom, trying to anticipate the crowd, the willpower of the group, the cold, and the fatigue. Then, suddenly, we had a plan. Win asked if there was a freight elevator. We found it, Win smiled, and the Take Away Show was no longer in our hands.

We knew that the Take Away Show with Arcade Fire wouldn’t be like the others. The project was made for them because they’re of a different kind, a different essence. We had spent the afternoon with them when suddenly we realized, in a flash: “yes, this group is different.”

We had been playing the role of “outsider” the entire day, like a foreign body that latches onto the daily grind of these magnificent musicians. We had to adapt, through astonishment and wonder, as the band took up their instruments and started to play. But Arcade Fire didn’t take us as outsiders. It all seemed to unfold naturally: we entered into their logic as they awaited us and eventually swallowed us up. It was now Win Butler’s Take Away Show, and we followed.

It was too cold to play outside after the show, so we initially thought about playing in the entrance hall during Electrelane’s performance, but the Olympia didn’t allow it. All we had left was the freight elevator, and we had to do a little convincing to make it happen. On the other side of the elevator, there was a door that would lead us into the concert hall. They could go back to the pit in the Olympia by exiting through there, and then re-exit through the door near the stage. Win wasn’t so hot on the plan…the venue was a little too big and the whole thing sounded complicated. It took us about 20 minutes to convince him, not knowing at all what was waiting for us at the other end of this crazy idea. Win went back to tell Richard and Will to follow him to the elevator, with everyone asking when to play, or whether this was going to happen before or after the show. It was going to be before. Régine was the only one who thought differently, and there were a few seconds of furious looks, which immediately mellowed and eased into resolution. The big guy won, and everyone went back to reconfigure the set-list.

Arcade Fire is a unique group. Everyone’s split up during the day, managing and wandering through his/her own affairs in the dressing rooms and corridors. No one seems to move about as much as Win, who manages everything, knows everything, watches everything, and hears everything. Afterwards, as show time approaches, everyone slowly comes together again, each still folded into him/herself. A couple of notes sound from a bugle, Régina taps on a box, Jérémy amuses himself with a drum, and Tim does a little Monty Python dance. A mobile cacophony, a music that takes form, several people coming together, and some random and various snippets of songs to come. Everyone is concentrating alone, but at the same time following a trace towards the group’s uncanny unity. As the orchestra tuned and grew powerfully aligned, we started towards the elevator.

The rest waits on film. We all bunched into the elevator, and I took my position at Richard’s feet. They started off with an enchanting version of “Neon Bible” and the door opened, allowing us to approach and penetrate the massive torrent of fans. I didn’t think about anything more. I was taken by the fervor, watching Vincent Moon with his camera, screaming in silence, and thinking over and over again: “We did it. Shit, we really did it!”

Vincent Moon – Health, Live Video

HEALTH _ a live film (paris, 2009)
by Vincent Moon / Petites Planètes Plus 2 years ago

shot in Paris, october 2009
one camera, 40min show, edit of 4 songs
watch in the dark, listen carefully with headphones

filmed and edited by vincent moon
sounds by francois clos
produced by la blogotheque

“Hi, we’re HEALTH. We’re from Los Angeles.”

OK, I’m pretty sure that BJ did say that. Or Jake. But then…I have no idea. Beneath the mess of mutated sounds and the heinous volume that is HEALTH, it’s pretty damn hard to hear a single thing the guy is singing. Which is fine. No one came to the Nouveau Casino expecting to hear Facebook status-quality poetry. Nobody was expecting words of wisdom. People see HEALTH for the experience, the attack on the senses that leaves you just a bit disoriented. Before they go on I meet up with a friend from Los Angeles, a huge fan of HEALTH since the get-go. For weeks he has been going on about the band’s bassist, John Famiglietti. Supposedly the guy makes weird sounds on his bass, but I never really got any more specifics than that. These conversations usually end in my friend dancing on the sidewalk or making sounds that I am confident no one can ever reproduce.

At the show there’s almost a mosh pit. There’s a lot of teenagers not really grooving. There is a guy dressed as a clown. And there is my friend from LA, six foot fourteen. Completely freaking out. The bass, the bass he’s pointing and waving, the bass ! Dean Moriarty come to life. And I cock my ear, searching. And there it is.

The moment that seals the deal comes at the end of “Tabloid Sores,” when all of the band’s energy, the steamroller churning and remarkably tight pummeling of snares, the waves of guitar like bits of glass all come to a screeching halt, leaving only a bass loop that sounds like an animal, an android, Abraham Lincoln. Anything but a bass. And that’s when I start going crazy too.

text by Max

Music Documentary vs Concert Film

Get inside YOUR human condition

Boxer album by National – Get inside YOUR human condition

The Music Film Grows Up

It’s not enough, these days, to simply release a concert film. There’s nothing exciting about a gaggle of paint-by-numbers cameramen shooting the guitarist, singer and drummer from a variety of tasteful angles. No one’s going to be thrilled by a single crane shot over the crowd, not in this era of 24/7 music television.

And so bands are turning to filmmakers who aren’t just TV producers. There’s Martin Scorsese, whose Rolling Stones documentary is in cinemas across Britain. Sam Jones’ I Am Trying to Break Your Heart was a revealing portrait of Wilco at one of the most delicate periods in their career. And this year REM released a series of off-the-cuff films shot by French director Vincent Moon.

Moon in many ways exemplifies this “new” kind of music video. His Take Away Shows have followed bands such as Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens and Stephen Malkmus through streets, rooftops, lifts and subways, always a single hand-held camera and a whole world of spontaneity. He even convinced REM to play along, shooting the band as they squeezed into a car and drove singing through hometown roads.

This May we’ll see the most complete picture yet of how Moon and his partners in crime imagine the music documentary via the melancholy Brooklyn band, the National. A Skin, A Night is a movie about the National, filmed during the recording of Boxer, their fourth album. But the press release makes it clear this won’t just be an indie-rock version of Behind the Music.

“A Skin, A Night is less a movie about the National than a movie about how music is made today,” it says. “Not with classic rock bravado, or debauched indulgence, but through novelistic attention to detail, a collective implosion of personality, and worried worried nights …”

“If the National’s lyrics seem to take us inside the human condition, Vincent Moon’s images take us outside, documenting the beauty of the sounds made by our human skin.”

Admittedly, it sounds a little precious. But at the heart of it, our relationship with music can be a precious, over-earnest thing. Not all of us have listened to a National album straight through, but most of us have stayed up late listening to a record on repeat, drinking a little too much from the bottle of whisky on the table.

A Skin, A Night will be released by Beggars Banquet on May 20, along with a bonus EP of unreleased, demo and live National tracks. Completing the synchronicity of influence, the National have been tapped to open part of REM’s upcoming American tour. The Editors and the Guillemots play the part when REM hit the UK in August. 9 April 2008