Is it a rock video? Is it an art film? Yes

Americans may have invented the music blog — that peculiar mixture of industry gossip, rare MP3s, and assertive passion no other medium can provide — but the French have perfected the form, combining the intimacy of a blog with indie-rock music to produce a haunting, original work of art.

On the Parisian Website La Blogothèque, photographer and filmmaker Vincent Moon regularly contributes a video feature called Les concerts à emporter (“The Take-Away Shows”) in which he films emerging bands in distinctive locations around France, performing songs in one continuous take. In a particularly memorable installment, the Brooklyn-based quintet the National play their forthcoming track “Start a War” while seated around a dimly lit dinner table, a somber setting that adds an extra layer of atmosphere to an already eerie song.

In more than 40 episodes of “The Take-Away Shows,” Moon has already
documented breakthrough artists such as the Shins and the Arcade Fire. If he keeps this up — and a certain music cable channel continues to ignore its original raison d’etre — we may not want our MTV much longer.

“>VIEW the National performing “Start a War” on “The Take-Away Shows”

“>VIEW the video archives of “The Take-Away Shows”

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here. Is it a rock video? Is it an art film? Yes