If you’re cool, you probably already know this

So, how about that internet! (Sorry, I think I’ve made a contest with myself to write the worst introductory sentence conceivable. I think I’ve literally written this one before, but oh well.) A while back I wrote about blogotheque.com/takeawayshows. These shows, as I’m sure you all know, are videos of artists playing their music in unconventional ways and places. Architecture in Helsinki shouted “Heart it Races” from different windows of a Parisian apartment building. Arcade Fire crammed into an elevator. You get the idea.
Maybe inspired by this, a new website has popped up that does a similar, but slightly more specific thing. The Black Cab Sessions (blackcabsession.com) films musical sessions filmed in a … black cab! The crew, along with the featured musicians, hail a big black cab in the streets of London and ask if they can play in the backseat. Apparently, most of the cabbies are pretty cool about it. I couldn’t really see many cab drivers in any major city in the States being as cordial, so the friendly drivers only add to the charm of the site.
The music that comes out of these sessions is stripped down, subtle and intimate. The camera watching the storefronts and streetlights puts you in the front seat and makes you feel like you’re listening to the radio on a rainy weekend road trip.
Going on for some time now, there have been 29 different sessions that have been recorded. Big timers include The Kooks, Cold War Kids and The New Pornographers, and psuedo-legends like Scout Niblett and Daniel Johnston have also taken rides.
The two bands that I interchangeably deem the best American band ever also have acoustic cuts in the Black Cab Session. The National play a not-well-known treat and Okkervil River’s Will Sheff sports a harmonica while singing Big Star’s “Big Black Car.” You’ve got to give credit to Sheff, a well-versed student of music, for picking such an apropos song. Unfortunately, Jens Lekman has yet to make an appearance and obligatorily sing “Black Cab,” but fingers crossed, right?
Though other big names also appear like St. Vincent and The Ravonettes, the best part of the site may be the smaller, lesser known groups, specifically a London group named Fanfarlo.
Fanfarlo is a yet to be signed, album-less group that consists of saxophones, mandolins, musical saws and, my personal favorite, glockenspiel. The six-member group has put out a series of 7” and has received gushing praise. A couple of blogs and English papers are digging on them, but that’s not the important part. David Bowie likes them. The coolest man alive likes them — isn’t that enough to give your heart and soul to this band? Check out the site and maybe one day D. Bowie will use his magical powers to cram an orchestra in the backseat of a cab to sing “Life on Mars.”

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