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Jay’s December Indie Music Picks: Gogol Bordello, Los Campesinos, The NoTwist, Against Me!

Jayson Harsin writing for I V Y paris

Hutz_big December tends to be gray and wet in Paris. To stave off the shivers, you’ll need a warm body to which you can Velcro yours, vin chaud or other holidays “spirits”, or live music, in that order of preference (and perhaps all three at once if you’re lucky). I can’t help you with the first two, so here’s a shot at the third.

On Dec. 16, forget your aerobics class. Go jump around to Gogol Bordello. GB put on a helluva show last spring. Now they're back. Their slogan is "Gypsy Punk Revolution." They serve a mesmerizing combination of spectacle and musical mayhem. Traditional Balkan folk sounds and rhythms are accompanied by more typical punk guitar, drums, shredded acoustic guitar, and scruffy vocals from what looks like the Balkan Iggy Pop — Ukrainian-born-DJ-actor-gypsy- punk-icon, Eugene Hütz.

GB are to traditional gypsy as the Pogues were to Irish folk.The gypsy sound is a natural for punkification, since it’s already often wild and fast in its roots (as many have already learned from the exports of Goran Bregovic). Add a wild, bare-chested, svelt but sinewy mustachioed front man, pouring wine on his shoulders and drinking from the bottle, and they make something unique and unforgettable.

For fans of Emir Kusturica’s Black Cat White Cat: Bataclan, 19h30.




If you need something more melodic than pimped out gypsy sounds, try Cardiff’s Los Campesinos who on Dec. 18 skip in to town with their xylophone-loving, ironic tweecore sound, somewhere between Belle and Sebastian, the Smiths, and Forward Russia.

Their first album, Hold on Now, Youngster… appeared last spring to considerable critical praise, especially in the U.S. After a dance-frenzied show last spring at Le Nouveau Casino, they return to Paris, this time at La Maroquinerie, as part of the Fabulous Inrocks concert series (this time featuring bands from UK’s Wichita label). They’ll be presenting all new material from their second full-length release, which has only been out in the UK for two months.

Photo: Sarah Wilmer © Copyright 2008 NYDailyNews.com

Also, playing Sweden’s Those Dancing Days, contagious pop; Leeds’ skylarkin’,a kind of nostalgic 90s indie guitar rock-pop; and the Lovvers (UK), a noisier pop punk cousin. Note: this one starts early at the Maroquinerie,18h30; 17euros.

Honorable mention:

• Dec. 8 Against Me! Distributed on Paris’s own excellent Fargo Records, AM! are an old school, protest, folk-punk outfit, somewhere between Pennywise, the Pogues, and Billy Bragg. They’re not just any band from the punk revival though. Last year’s major label release, New Wave, earned them praise from Spin Magazine as “Best album of 2007.” The album is more rock than gritty punk of earlier albums. Elysee Montmartre.

• 10 Dec. The NoTwist, A hot indie act these days. This German outfit moves from rough metal-tinged rock to jazz-electro rock. The group has been re-mixed by a number of artists. Le Trabendo

• 19 DEC. FRIDAY: DJAY INDIE ECLECTIQUE GARAGE-HARD INDIE - AND ELECTROPOP XMAS PARTY. Great indie xmas hits (at least The Kinks' "Father Christmas") and the usual Rock on HIGH! ROCK A FEW SHOTS BEFORE YOU HEAD BACK TO THE FAMILY FOR THE HOLIDAYS. YOU'LL NEED IT. TRUST ME. BAR UFO, 49 RUE JP TIMBAUD, 8H30PM-1H30AM.

• Sundays at Le Limonaire cabaret, Cinema Muet et Piano Parlant: Old “Talkies,” silent films a l’ancien, with a group of musicians at the foot of the screen to accompany the vivid spectacle. 18, cité Bergère, 75009 Paris.

Next time: Jay’s Best Paris Indie Concerts of 2008

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Los Angeles, CA
1-9-09

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