late night chansons

In addition to the 7:30 p.m. performances of Push, Alexia Monduit and Thomas Rannou are doing special late-night concerts on Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30 p.m. at P.S. 122 (150 First Ave. at E. 9th St.) The concerts are only $5 or free with ticket stub from the earlier show.

Alexia Monduit goes first with Fucking Dirty Birds, a sort of surreal, sonic/poetic environment, reminiscent of Bjork‘s work with Matmos. Alexia’s voice is strong, beautiful and quirky, her stage presence elliptical and compelling. As in Push, Rannou creates a darkly hallucinatory soundscape, using samplers and other equipment to remix and distort Alexia’s voice, found sounds and musical instruments.

After a 15-minute changeover, Rannou returns to the stage with Ideal Daim, chanson pure, which is a program of songs he has written, composed and performs. This is a delightful 45 minute set of French electro-cabaret. Accompanied only by his electronic equipment, Rannou sits, and smokes, and drinks beer as he sings his dark confections. Imagine Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields meets Serge Gainsbourg meets Nick Cave meets… well you can start to get the idea. Even if you don’t speak French, one gets the sense of the songs and can enjoy the music. Also – the sound process is specific to this program – a dozen small speakers are deployed for the broadcast of the song, affording the listener intimacy and proximity to the words and the voice itself. The style is sober and conspiratorial, the tone off-handed and sincere.

Last night’s audience was enthralled as they relaxed on pillows, drank beer, wine & champagne (that they snuck in under their coats)and listened.

These concerts are a truly underground, unique, informal and entertaining late-night adventure. Check it out.

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