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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

MP3 of the Day: Beirut

Posted By on Tue, May 27, 2008 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge beirut.jpg

The images that best encapsulate the Beirut music phenomenon come from the French site La Blogothèque. The Parisians behind that URL are responsible for a series of Take-Away Shows, freeform videos of indie bands performing live in scenic French locations. But it’s their post on Beirut that best shows the essence of the young man behind the songs. On albums like the most recent The Flying Cup, Condon is a brilliant bedroom composer, orchestrating guitars, Flugelhorns, accordions, mandolins, violins, organs, and harpsichords, which come together in a happy symphony of gypsy pop. The vibe is loose as his romantic croon.

On the Take-Away performance of “Nantes,” though, you see Condon in action. As the prodigious pied piper leads his clan through the Oberkampf neighborhood, he suggests, say, a trash be used for percussion. As one La Blogothèque writer explains, Beirut became “group of noisy, undisciplined, joyful people who took over an entire terrace, gathering around the tables, spreading their instruments and cases, everyone playing songs in their own world.” Things will be much more disciplined when Beirut plays two shows in San Francisco this week – tonight, May 27, and tomorrow night, May 28, at the Grand. To further whet your appetite for the show, however, we have an MP3 of the day from Beirut here: the song “A Sunday Smile.” – Jennifer Maerz

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Ian S. Port

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