Many of the sites I’ve featured in the “Other Stuff You Might Like” series have a common thread: excellent, impromptu concerts by established and upcoming musicians. We’ve looked at Luxury Wafers, Black Cab Sessions, They Shoot Music – Don’t They, and NPR Music. (And I’m sure to get around to Daytrotter before too long…) Now, from France, we’ve got the excellent blog La Blogotheque, and its excellent Take-Away Shows (or, if you prefer, Les Concerts à Emporter). The site’s catalog of artists is truly amazing, as are the performances, and so I invite you to come have a look…
The concerts are largely unedited, and are perhaps all the more special for this rawness. As the folks over at La Blogotheque describe it:
Every week, we invite an artist or a band to play in the streets, in a bar, a park, or even in a flat or in an elevator, and we film the whole session. Of course, what makes the beauty of it is all the little incidents, hesitations, and crazy stuff happening unexpectingly. Besides, we do not edit the videos so they look perfectly flawless, instead we keep the raw sound of the surroundings. Our goal is to try and capture instants, film the music just like it happens, without preparation, without tricks. Spontaneity is the keyword.
As you’ll see, the majority of the recent articles on the site are available in both French and English – which is great, if you’re looking for an awesome way to learn French that hardly feels like work (ahem). Honestly, I’ve rarely seen a site that feels so passionately dedicated to bringing high-quality, unique performances to your house… for free. This site really sets the gold standard in music blogging, and I highly recommend you have a look.
It’s very difficult to choose just a few videos for you to look through – not only because there are so many, but because they’re just so varied in style and genre. But here are some of my favorites, and a list of recommended entries. And as ever, you can view all the concerts here: English or French. Enjoy!
Here’s some excellent Sigur Rós. More on that performance here.
Recorded in New York, we have some lovely Au Revoir Simone. More on that here.
And really, those are just three of dozens. I guarantee you’ll find something you love there. Personally, I’d start with Fleet Foxes, Yo La Tengo, Okkervil River, Mojave 3, and Vic Chesnutt. Come to think of it, it’s hard to go wrong with Marissa Nadler and Horse Feathers. And hey, make sure to drop the folks at La Blogotheque a line, and give them a big “merci!” for all their excellent work.