Emilie Simon – The Cutting Room Experience

Posted on September 25, 2008

Emilie Simon - The Cutting Room

As I write this, my eyes are getting heavier by the minute; the clock ticks perilously to 2 AM, and every fiber of my being is calling for the warm bed behind me. But I dare not finish the day before telling you about my awesome evening – getting to hear Emilie Simon (a noted French pop/electronica artist) perform live in New York!

The venue was The Cutting Room, conveniently located at 19 West 24th Street (between Broadway and 6th). That’s the place co-owned by Chris Noth and Steve Walter. It’s a pleasant, if austere space, with concert posters in the window, candlelit tables, and a Pac Man arcade near the door. You might not be able to hear your date over the oldies blasted from every corner, but at least the ribs are pretty tasty.

At nearly 10:30 (more than 45 minutes the show was supposed to start!), we packed into the cramped music room, and watched Ms. Simon take the stage. Her presence is friendly; demure, but always focused, which is just as well, because as a one-woman act, she produces a whole band’s worth of sounds. She is a technician just as much as a musician – she sings, tickles the ivories, and periodically crosses the stage to adjust the machine producing her beats. But make no mistake – her main instrument is her ethereal soprano voice, which at once channels naivete and an irrepressible energy.

Among the songs she sang that evening was a remix of “Never Fall in Love”. But far more interesting were the new songs she’s been writing during her stay in New York – there’s “Chinatown” – a dark, pulsating dance-influenced track sprinkled with familiar Asian motifs, and “Rainbow”, which was cheerfully upbeat, both in rhythm, melody, and lyrics. I can’t wait to hear these when they’re released!

It’s one thing to listen to your favorite artists at home, on your iPod, or while getting through another soul-draining workday. But live music is definitely a nice change of pace – getting to see how the musical magic is made; feeling each beat as it shakes the walls, pulsing through your very bones. From then on, music ceases to be simple push-button entertainment – it becomes a part of you life’s experience, inextricably tied to your own story. And now Ms. Simon is part of mine.

Thanks to April for introducing me to her music!

» Filed Under Everything and Nothing, Music

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