Beirut – Cheap Magic Inside DVD (2007)

Beirut’s Flying Club Cup album is one of the most soothing, delightful records I’ve got, and I thought it would make a great feature for this Live Saturday, given that spring has finally decided to assert itself. There’s a change in the light outside, it’s not a question of temperature anymore, it’s official. I saw hyacinth for sale on the street yesterday – it’s on!

This is a live performance, no doubt, but done in a fresh manner, something I haven’t really seen anyone else do. I won’t describe what’s going on, just that there’s a fair share of coordination and directing involved, and it pays off really well. It’s one of those rare live videos where it really pays to keep an eye on what’s going on instead of just shutting out the lights and the crowd and getting lost in the music (or am I alone in doing that at most concerts I go to?…) Sure, that takes away from the usual tension one can feel between performer and crowd in a live setting, but Beirut’s music isn’t really all that much about tension anyway, it’s more about flow, filled to the brim with an open, relaxed mood, swaying and slightly nostalgic. This style of video is the concept and trademark of independent film maker Vincent Moon, famous for The Take-Away Shows, a collection of over 120 such videos, usually spanning only two or three tracks, but sometimes acting as a full-fledged concert. Cheap Magic Inside was released as a DVD in 2007, it sold out in approximately 2.3 seconds, and has since been made available for free digital download and distribution, with the sanction of the band. Lovely!

There’s a wealth of story to tell about Beirut, but, as I promised, I’ll keep the words scarce on Saturdays. I’ll probably end up writing about The Flying Club Cup anyway, on a regular day, since it’s one of my favorite albums for good, warm, hopeful days. I leave you with this really quite beautiful live video of this really quite beautiful music. May it brighten your day!

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