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Sun. September 26th 2010 8:00pm doors at 7:00pm PNE Forum (All Ages) 8:00pm doors at 7:00pm
Tickets at: All Ticketmaster Locations, Zulu Records, Red Cat Records
Presented by: Live Nation
General Onsale: Jun 11 2010 10:00AM

Highly acclaimed Gallic quartet, Phoenix returns to Vancouver this fall, performing at the PNE Forum on September 26th.

Guitarist Laurent Brancowitz and his bandmates Thomas Mars (vocals), Christian Mazzalai (guitar), and Deck D'Arcy (bass) recorded their latest album titled “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” in the Montmartre home of Philippe Zdar, the producer known for his work as half of French house duo Cassius. Zdar, a longtime friend, lent Phoenix his studio and wound up producing the record alongside the band—the first time Phoenix has recruited outside help. "He's very European, very dramatic," says Mars. "We worked in his studio for a year and a half, so he was around the songs. He had a lot of good comments that helped shape them. There was no in between with him; either the songs were great or we'd ruined them. Every day was either time to open a bottle of Champagne or to go home depressed."

The results collected on Wolfgang demonstrate a kind of deliberate, considered approach, and in turn, they’ve created what is the best album in their already-amazing catalogue. Featuring the band's signature melding of synthetics and organics, of sharp, danceable rhythms and intense guitars, of effortless melody with a considerable dose of aural panache, the album's ten songs are more layered than previous efforts. "On our last album, we were trying to make a minimalist record—something austere, almost ascetic," Brancowitz explains. "This time we wanted to create something more elaborate." That's evident on electro-tinged slow jams like "Fences," the sweeping and mostly instrumental "Love Like a Sunset," and the spirited pop of lead-off track "Lisztomania," on which Mars sings the transcendent chorus, "Like a riot, like a riot, oh!/ I'm not easily offended/ It's not hard to let it go/ From a mess to the masses." On first listen, his lyrics might seem obscure, but Mars definitely intends to reference the Hungarian composer: "Franz Liszt was the rock star of his day," he explains. "Other musicians hated him for getting all the girls; his concerts were out of control. This song is about playing live, the romantic beauty of a crazy crowd...and about the loneliness of still being one in a group of many."

The four men of Phoenix are a close-knit group of childhood friends from Versailles, which Mars calls "one of the most beautiful cities in France, but a place without a soundtrack. People don't listen to music there." Nevertheless, the foursome have deep roots in the modern French music scene: Brancowitz, for instance, who is Mazzalai's older brother, played in a band called Darlin' with Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, later to become Daft Punk. Phoenix, meanwhile, was formally founded after they performed backing Air for a few shows in the UK. Mars also sang the vocal on Air's "Playground Love" which appeared on the soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides (the film introduced him to his girlfriend, Sofia Coppola). The band then released their debut, United, whose song "Too Young" became an underground hit when Coppola used it in Lost in Translation; they followed up with Alphabetical in 2004, a critically acclaimed record whose labored creation took almost two years and produced precise, measured material like "Everything Is Everything" (so endearing them to then-Dior Homme menswear designer Hedi Slimane that he commissioned the band to provide music for one of his runway shows); and followed that up with 2006's It's Never Been Like That, a much rawer collection of rock ‘n’ roll gems.

Though they're obviously fond of the studio, they say that playing shows is what's sustained them most over the years. As Brancowitz says, "What I love most about playing live is the feeling that you can fail," he says. "It's always a gamble as to how well it's going to come across. But what makes it good is that you have to fight for it. Our friendship is what keeps us together. We're a gang, and when we're all working together, it can be beautiful."

"Phoenix" (HITS OF THE '50S TO THE '80S)

4-40, AC/DC, Bryan Adams, The Archies, BTO, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Chuck Berry, The Blues Brothers, Bon Jovi, CCR, The Cars, Eric Clapton, Eddie Cochran, Neil Diamond, Dire Straits, The Doors, The Eagles, The Guess Who, The Hollies, Buddy Holly, INXS, Michael Jackson, The Kingsmen, The Kinks, Loggins & Messina, Loverboy, John Cougar Mellenca... more info
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