Last week I mentioned Feist’ recent performance on the Black Cab Sessions. If you enjoyed the DIY concert on-the-go, the next logical step would be Vincent Moon’s Take Away Shows. Moon is a filmmaker known for his threadbare experimentation with how music videos are shot in terms of location and intimacy. Often, he makes directorial decisions that seem counter-intuitive (cramming Arcade Fire into an elevator for an almost claustrophobic performance, for instance ). While these videos don’t seem to have much of budget, they do work to heighten the craft of the medium instead of merely serving as three-minute commercials for new albums. They exhibit the raw talent of the performers (warts and all), as well as Moon’s keen eye and visual style. The original Take Away Shows have now expanded into a completely different type of online performance. Other directors now shoot in Moon’s signature style, transporting the audience to wherever the action is happening.
Moon has collaborated with some heavies (R.E.M. and Wilco) as well as indie favorites (Local Natives, St.Vincent and Phoenix). Google his name and you’ll discover that he’s connected with dozens of great artists. The two I’m highlighting today: Maps and Atlases and Pigeon John.
I’ve seen Maps and Atlases twice and their tribal progressive rock sounds never fail to make me want to move. Here they set up in a field in Austin, TX and perform the jangly groove “Pigeon” from last year’s Perch Patchwork.
Pigeon John is one of my favorite MCs. He has a playfulness that makes up for what he sheds in swagger and status. Here, he and his “DJ” comedically struggle through the track, “Higher” in the back of Moon’s van.