I am crossing my fingers that Mod lang will be able to get this for me, any super import like this, they have hooked me up.
I saw Beirut open for Sunset Rubdown at Mercury Lounge, and it hit me all of a sudden that there was no amplification, apart from vocals, it really was a bunch of people in a room playing for everyone there. It's what it must have been like, or be like in areas of the country where people just play regularly for themselves and their friends. There was just something different about it. It's funny that experience would happen on the lower east side of Manhattan, but that's how I experience music now. Of course he was amazing, the cover of Gulag Orkestar left me wondering where he came from, was he even american? It was such a foreign experience and sound.
That was a case also where they really managed to capture that sound, it is just as good recorded.
Now I don't think we've ever disguised our unashamed love for the man we've come to know as Beirut. He's really called Zach Condon and he put his alphabetically challenged initials on one of our favourite albums last year (just check those end of year charts, pop pickers) leaving us wondering who the hell he was and what the hell he would end up doing next. I mean, he couldn't possibly follow up 'Gulag Orkestar' could he? Wrong, he quickly showed the world that he had two fists to fight with and gave us a left-hand jab with the killer 'Lon Gisland' EP - the lead track of which is featured here finally in coveted vinyl form. 'Elephant Gun' is easily one of the finest tracks the lad has put his name to, with all the pop hookage you'd expect from mainstream indie re-wired into a track that sounds like it came from the annals of an Eastern European opium den (that's a good thing by the way) and a better 7" track couldn't possibly be found. But I know what you're all waiting for - the flip side contains two (yep two) new tracks, both of which hint at the themes explored on Condon's forthcoming full length which is taking a markedly Gallic turn. However rather than simply tank himself up with garlic and croissants, Condon busted out the accordion and wrote something daringly close to Chanson music. 'Transatlantique' is the choice cut here and if this is evidence of the full length then he's got another list-topper to launch at our already slack jaws, and then just to show off his French language skills he taunts us with Jaques Brel's 'Le Moribund' (which was recorded as part of a KEXP radio session). Coming housed in some quite spiffy artwork from Touch's Jon Wozencroft there's only gonna be one chance to grab it (there's only 20 copies left here at the time of writing!) so you'd better be quick, I'm sure I don't need to tell you twice. Huge recommendation....
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