Today's first tune is "Elephant Gun" by Beirut, a band whose whimsical, wonderful video above (directed by Amal Har'el) proves that music videos are not entirely moribund as an art form -- at least not when you're having this much fun. Oh let me count the ways I love this video, from its quietly romantic opening notes to its gloriously silly end! (Many thanks to Howard for this recommendation; which he, in turn, got from a theatre colleague in Portugal. Beirut's music is clearly getting around. )
The band is the brainchild of Zachary Francis Condon, a young jazz trumpeter from Santa Fe, New Mexico, now based in New York City. Beirut's music mixes jazz, rock, folk, and world music ranging from Mexico to the Balkans. If you like iconoclastic folk-fusion bands like Mumford & Sons, Stornoway, and The Decemberists (with a pinch of Ojos de Brujo and Calexico thrown in for good measure), then I suspect you'll love Beirut (or already love Beirut) as much as we do.
Below, Zach and crew wander the streets of Paris looking for, and eventually finding, a cafe that will let them play. It's part of La Blogotheque's fabulous Takeaway Shows series, which I also recommend. The song performed is "The Penalty."
Damn Zach Condon, just when I'd gotten more-or-less comfortable with the age I am, he makes me want to be 20-something again -- wandering the world with an instrument in my hands this time, instead of a pen and paintbrush. . . .