We are a few weeks into the tour now with Louise Attaque, and the response from the audience has just been overwhelming. The energy is incredibly positive, I’ve rarely experienced such kindness and warmth from the crowd. The guys in the band are generous and fun, and the songs speak to some of the best sides of the human nature, so I suppose there is a logic to the fact that the band draws a positive, open-minded audience. Still, it’s a privilege to be a part of.
If you like music in any shape or form, and if you have 15 hours to spare, you should check out this extraordinary series of lectures by Leonard Bernstein from 1970. It is a true tour de force. The level of musical sensibility, historical knowledge, analytical capacity, musical and linguistic virtuosity, wit, passion and most importantly the ease with which he transmits some very complicated concepts in easily understandable and unpretentious terms is truly awe-inspiring. A master at work.
Most of the time, one of the hardest things in this job is to manage times and calendars – options moving around, cancelled gigs, postponed events, last minute proposals etc. But things have fit well together this month – the available days in the Louise Attaque schedule coincide with a few TV promotional things with Keren Ann for her cool upcoming record, “You’re Gonna Get Love”, produced by Renaud Letang. Here’s the title track from the record from last Friday’s “Ce soir ou jamais” on France 2.
I’m very proud to have been associated with a brand as cool as Nord for many years now. I strongly believe they are the best keyboard instrument makers around. That is why it is such an exceptional honor to have been picked for artist of the month on their website. I am indeed in very good company with these guys and their amazing roster of artists.
I’m as sensitive as the next person to the arguments of New Criticism, a movement in literary criticism that argues that any piece of literature should be regarded as an isolated aesthetic object, detached from the author, his or her intentions, the historical context, etc. And I believe that it is important to appreciate any piece of art or creative content in this way from time to time.
But I’m also a complete sucker for anything that gives a peek backstage. I love to watch or listen to documentaries, interviews or articles that lift the veil on what the artist actually intended, what life was like when the a work was created, who ordered it, how it was received at the time of its conception, and so on.
In the realm of recorded music there are several ways to get behind the scenes. The “Classic Albums” documentaries are an obvious example of how well the TV format works for showing how recordings were made. It turns out that radio is just as good. I’ve been a fan of the Song Exploder podcast for a while. I discovered the show as it happens to be a part of the same Radiotopia collective as my sister’s wonderful podcast “Strangers”. Song Exploder episodes are 15-20 minutes of an artist taking us through the creation of a song, and letting us listen to the individual tracks that make up the song, and the thoughts behind them.
Last year, one of the records I enjoyed the most was Björk’s Vulnicura, and Song Exploder rounded the year off with a nice christmas present: an insight with the lady herself into one of the strongest songs on the record: Stonemilker. Hearing her explain how she wanted the strings to give the impression of standing inside a monument of equilibrium is just great. Click here to listen to it.