Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Take Away Shows: Vincent Moon

It has been difficult for me to write about the work of French filmmaker Vincent Moon without sounding like a overbearing first-year film student, but I do want to try to pass along some of his amazing work. Over the last few weeks, Moon's Take Away Shows have earned a lot of attention on my computer and iPod. The concept behind Take Away Shows is to present some of the world's most talented musicians performing spontaneous, single-shot takes of their songs in an urban environment.

Several weeks ago, Moon debuted Episode 40, featuring two songs from The National's forthcoming LP Boxer. (Those of you that are familiar with this blog might remember my second-ever post featured three Moon-shot videos of The National performing live. In my mind, Moon's take on "About Today" is still a perfect marriage of the music and moving image.) Moon's use of light and shadow is again a perfect foil for the acutely nuanced mood The National creates in its songs.

On the acoustic "Start A War," the band enlists its dinner guests to join in on percussion with whatever they have in front of them, a seemingly happenstance occurrence that succeeds in creating the kind of shared yet intimate moments evoked in the music.

Other Take Away Show highlights:
The Arcade Fire, "Neon Bible/Wake Up" - An amazing take on Neon Bible's title track performed by the band in a service elevator. Watching Jeremy replicate the song's understated percussion by ripping pages from a magazine is a moment of genius. [In English]

Tapes 'N Tapes, "Insistor" (2nd video) - The best moment comes at the end when the band punctuates the closing moments of the rhythm-heavy song by kicking the scaffolding that lined the street as they walk by. [In English]

Okkervil River, "Song Of Our S0-Called Friends" (2nd video) - Will Sheff and an acoustic guitar performing one of my favorite songs from Black Sheep Boy.

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