Paris – Day ten – Noel fini + Last Django In Paris

30 12 2013

SonoramaKeeping with yesterdays flexi theme, here’s another audio bauble, both plastic and Christmasie – the Nov-Dec 1961 issue of  Sonorama (No. 35, includes text and 5 white, two-sided flexi-discs, 33-1/3rpm, France, 1960. Hole for playback drilled though entire package).

Aside from the format, graphics and ads (ie; everything) of interest here is the cut and dance instructions courtesy of Régine.  This Polish-born hostess with the mostest reigned over Paris nightlife from the 50s into the 60s, said to have coined the term ‘discothèque’ and first to introduce dual turntables into clubs.  More research need here, but a very nice fleamarket find for a buck.

Here’s the tracklist posted on the incredibly useful Discogs site.

A Unknown Artist Informations Politiques
B Unknown Artist Hommage A Marguerite Monnot
C Charles Aznavour Chante Un Noël Inédit
D Choeur De Saint-Eustache Noël
E Sviatoslav Richter Concerto N°1 De Tchaikovsky
F Georges Brassens Interview, Et Chante
G Unknown Artist Sono-Gags
H Régine Apprend A Danser Le Twist
I Henri Tisot L’Imitateur De L’Elysée
J Jacques Martin Présente La Revue De Fin D’Année

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Our last night here we went to hear some jazz Manouche, or ‘Gypsy’ jazz a la Django Reinhardt @ L’atelier Charonne – a lovely evening with a jam session featuring a stream of talented, pencil-thin mustachioed guitarists.

I now bid adieu to Noel, and Paris, and welcome la fête de Saint-Sylvestre (New Year’s Eve in France, the feast day of a 4c Pope) and prep for a just-off-the-plane Le Jour de l’An l’Amerique.





Paris – Day 9 – Europunk + the Anonymous B.George

28 12 2013

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Today a visit to the immense and impressive music complex at the Parc de la Villette to see the exhibition Europunk @ the Cité de la Musique. Cité is a wonderful space hosting a musical instrument museum, concert, teaching and listening areas, a library and special exhibitions.

Europunk showcases the influences and output of punk music from 1976-1980 within the region. I believe this music in the EU emphasized style and image more than in America, and this is reflected in the show. After all we had no interested fashion, print publishing or graphics industry, nor a Svengali (McLaren), to push it forward as a commodity. This partially explains identifying the designers of the recordings and most of the posters, but in a show dedicated to music, not listing the names of the record company, band members, or manufactures numbers on the museum walls or in the publication.  Creepy.  They did manage to list the names of all the donors.

The look is quite good and a good solution to safely displaying a great deal of fragile ephemera in a cost effective manner – strong magnets to metal board. But here again, would you post a Matisse drawing with four metal bits on the quadrants? OK, Sniffin’ Glue is not a Fauve masterpiece, but the presentation disrespects the objects they present in a museum as art works. Punks can have it both ways, curators can’t.

So here’s a few of my ups and downs. No cassettes (important part of DIY movement and only access to any public at all by the truly indie music maker). Only one book of the era.  Crass get a nice display, but ATV? Odd considering the space given to Sniffin’. Hey, if you display ‘The day the world turned Day-glo’ 45 by X-ray Spex, how about showing the sorta dayglo disc? (first 15,000 pressed in orange vinyl). Nice – the touchscreen computer ‘jukeboxes’ with country by country playlists – would be nice to see more of this material on the walls. A revelation for me was the graphics by the French collective Bazooka and that of Lulu Picasso.

Here’s the kicker; MY record from 1978, Punkappella, is in the show. So like some ‘anonymous’ female quilter I am not identified on the wall or in the book! My name is on the cover. My company name is on the cover. I suggest that anyone doing a show on music in the future consider a new invention that is a very nice research support tool; the Internet. Discogs, for one, insightfully describing Punkappella as, ‘A Persiflage On Punk.’ And by the way, I am not a European.

Show from Oct 15, 2013 – Jan 19, 2014. So if you’re a wannabe or remembering you’re wilder days you may or may not have lived, its 9E ($12.50, w/ some discounts and free days) to enter and 40E ($60) for the oversize paperbound catalog. I passed on the book, despite my interest in the material, because it is a picture book and does not contain a discography or properly identify ANY of the recordings.

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Paris – Day eight – EEU + Hungarian Zoot Suiters

26 12 2013

Today we moved Paris a bit to the East as we started the day at the massive Brassai show (born: Gyula Halász – like me, a Transylvanian) @ the Hotel de Ville, lunched at a Jewish delicatessen Sacha Finkelsztajn in the Marais (old Jewish quarter – now Yuppieville) and took in the Béla Bartók, Allegro Barbaro exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay.  Here is the cover of a literary journal, Fidibusz,  depicting some hipster Hungarian dancers in the early 20th century (teens). How I wish I could tell you more about the artists or the story it illustrates.  Hungarians feel free to give me a call. IMG_1254





Paris – Christmas Day

26 12 2013

Yesterday was a BIT opaque, so today, Crystal Creche on a platter, 4 Christmas @ N. Dame…

At one time selling things in a church, by a church, cost the church half of Europe – these days only 95 Euros!





Paris – Day six – L’Empire des Signes

24 12 2013

The Marché de Noël des Abbesses in Montmartre was offering a course on Roland Barthes this Christmas Eve, with vinyl examples…

record_Sign13Here a vendor uses the disc to advertise his wares.  Enamored by it’s surface, and delighted by its re-application, I forgot to read it, or have a drink.

painted records

Using vinyl discs as a canvas deKo Facto creates objects depicting musical icons and images.  Is a appropriately corresponding disc used, or are the Beatles adorning an Abba LP?  What meaning/songs lie beneath the red Steve McQueen vs the blue?  Doesn’t Serge seem to be listening?  Who is the author?  Sign or symbol?  Lost in this plurality of meaning, my head spinning (like a record), am I quoting Pete Burns, Little Nell, Adam Sandler, or yet another re-mix?  A simple fellows seeking universal meaning in a closed situation I opt for the obvious bourgeois solution; lunch.





Paris – Day five – Locks’o’Love

23 12 2013

locksOlove_Paris13Passed over the Pont des Arts today, a bridge sagging from tens of thousands of padlocks, left by lovers, a recent trend here in Paris.  So while I’m taking this picture, a man falls off a tour boat under us in the Seine, a police boat hurries towards him sirens blaring, two rescue guys dive headfirst into the chilly waters filmlike no wetsuits, the skipper tosses in a floating stretcher, they load in the drowning man up a chute for just that purpose, and the boat takes off with the rescuers half in the water.  All in a flash, as if in a dream.  Forgive me if I can’t seem to make a music connection to all this…

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But earlier that day…
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  Matisse_Mandolin  barBaseParis
A book featuring the photos of Robert Doisneau, a Matisse I’ve never seen (Woman with Mandolin) at the Musée de l’Orangerie, and an etched glass bass player at a cafe along the Rue Voltaire.





Paris – Day four – Sun Ra Learns to Weave

22 12 2013

musicians Dufy13Visited Decorum, a tapestry exhibition by artists @ Musée D’Art Moderne and there was an unexpected soundtrack running throughout.  My ear caught by Sun Ra’s aptly named “Tapestry From An Asteroid.”  Pretty hip, not to mention Can, Dave Holland, John Cage, Aphex Twin, Eno and the Poetics.  All programed by a Jean-Philippe Antoine.

Never been to this museum and it was treat and a surprise, mainly for the many gigantic works, much of it from the site of the 1937 Paris Exposition.  One highlight is the monumental-roomsized Le Fée Electricité (The Magic of Electricity), some musicians from the broadcast section above.  Also from the fair are massive versions of ‘The Dance’ by Matisse, designed for archways that I had never seen.  I had also never seen such large paintings by Robert Delaunay – here’s the aptly named (for ARCsters) Rythme Number 1.

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