Oui, Oui, all the way home…

13 01 2014

Back from Paris and have added a pile of new pulp paperbacks to my ouiouipulp.com page featuring French girl pulps, like this two-covered, covering all the bases take on the Loos novel that you probably never read, but perhaps saw.

blond  brunet

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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 – 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 Three = Pagan

21 12 2013

Pagan SongAs you may or may not know ARC (et moi) maintain websites of rock pulp paperbacks ,  and those depicting French girls – the infamous Oui Oui Pulp page.

Odd maybe, yet you must collect something when you give away all your records!  (by the way you should consider doing so).  ‘Chanson Paienne’ is one of four new ones that will soon be added when I get back to the trusty scanner.  As luck will have it a title like ‘Pagan Song’ can be  posted on both sites, the perfect flea market find, suggesting both music AND flesh.

Got this along the booksellers quay in the 6e, ‘left bank,’ near Shakespeare & Co.  The legendary bookstore, fallen into dusty hard times a while back, is now teaming with life and well worth a visit.





Candy kisses, raspberries, banana-nana-babouvism

14 02 2011

Well, it’s a traditional view of pair bonding, but at least the title, Girl Meets Boy, gives the majority gender top billing.  Happy Valentines from your institutional love machine, ARC.

No kisses for the latest show up at the Museum of the City of New York where I saw, Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment, on Saturday. Now it’s not their fault that this was wall-to-wall webpages, blown-up and boringly the same; blame the Smithsonian and the National Museum of African American History and Culture who put the show together, who own most of the material on exhibit.

This is a show designed for easy travel, hence the modular panels, so slack given.  But after Carnegie Hall, the Apollo is America’s greatest venue.  It wouldn’t hurt to bring some vision to the task, certainly offering more than the same small and smaller screen presentation you could sample from your couch.  I suggest a re-look at one of the few good music exhibitions ever mounted, Rock ’n’ Roll 39-59, at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain in Paris (June 22–Octobre 28, 2007) – if not exactly waxing philosophical (but at least trying), offering an exhaustive and spectacular look at what happened, beautifully mounted and thought out. Then again, imagine anyone complaining about the depth of a gallery show about popular music.

I arrived behind forty Black high school students, who whisked through the whole thing in under six minutes.  Other than that viewers were me-like, post 50, white.  My highlight was seeing Mr. Schiffman’s (longtime owner) index cards listing artist payments and comments on their performances.  Take these first and last entries on Bo Diddley:  “8/19/55 – Very lowdown rhythm and exciting”… “10/17/58 – Popularity seems to have diminished to nothing”. Tito Puente’s first note complains that he has no drawing power.   A nice surprise was learning that minstrel’s blackface was once available commercially in a tube.

Speaking of bad execution, as the Egyptian ‘revolution’ in Tahrir Square was playing out, I was immersed in reading source documents of the French Revolution. Now whenever you think you know something about something, there’s another level of specificity, a realm of concerns, a focus unique to the inheritors of a tradition that brings you up short.  So I struggled through ‘babouvism’, an extreme take on sharing, made real in a movement entitled, “the conspiracy of equals” (our next blog rename?), a touchstone of communism.

I’ve attached some portions of the unsuccessful defense mounted by one of the founders, François-Nöel Babeuf (“Gracchus”) at his conspiracy trial in 1797.  He touches on a million inequities (“Education is a monstrosity when it is unequal”) and makes an easy slip and slide into a discussion that presages the creative commons and the ethics of filesharing.

“The products of industry and of genius also become the property of all, the domain of the entire association, from the very moment that the workers and the inventors have created them, because they are simply compensation for earlier discoveries made through genius and industry, from which the new inventors and workers have profited within the framework of social life, and which have helped them to make their discoveries.  Since the knowledge acquired is the domain of everyone, it must therefore be equally distributed among everyone”.

No wonder they killed him.

Inexplicable, ridiculously, the only way I’ve been able to keep the movement’s unfamiliar name in my head, is to incorrectly sing Shirley Ellis’ manifesto-like “Name Game”.

Obviously Shirley knows Presidents Day is upon us, and in the second verse she deconstructs Lincoln, not a very common name to posit haphazardly.

As I walked my 60 block walk to the museum, I found this mural on Lex around 116th St.  Not French, but honored in Spanish Harlem; another Queen with big hair, but always kept her head; a Cuban who loved Reagan and shunned revolution; called that “skinny Negresse” when she replaced Myrta Silva in La Sonora Matancera, they let her eat cake; Reina de la Salsa, Celia Cruz…

Tuckered out, after a great lunch @ Sisters Caribbean Cuisine (47 E. 124th St), I took the Lex line home.  On the platform, huddled and pretty much singing to himself, I couldn’t believe the miniature foot-powered double drum kit this genius had put together.  I gave him more than I gave the museum.








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