mercredi 13 octobre 2010


Well, that was interesting. Mathilde and I got free tickets to see Manu Chao last night at the Paramount. And we had great seats. First balcony, third row. Had it not been for the writhing woman in row one of the balcony, who for some reason felt she needed to stand up and dance, though she looked more like she was writhing in agony or had to pee, I would have had an unobstructed view all night. Luckily, she could not keep up with Manu and sat down every so often and then permanently. She was a really bad dancer, with no sense of rhythm at all. It was actually kind of hilarious.

But the real thrills were down below, in the mosh pit. Call me old, old-fashioned, no fun, whatever. But a mosh pit--what a stupendously horrible idea. Lip-service crowd control for a bunch of stoners pushing and shoving one another in random fashion, interspersed with random people being lifted off the ground and used as human projectiles. It doesn't look like fun at all. (Je sais que la maman de Mathilde lit ce blog, donc: Pas de panique! Mathilde et moi étions très sages, assises et loin de la mêlée.) It just looks like a bunch of vaguely unhappy, usually overweight, slightly awkward, mostly male humans with free-floating anger issues that they need to work out. Ick. Just ick.

Manu was pretty amazing. Quite energetic, especially considering he was born in 1961 and thus is a mere five years younger than me. In fact, he has more energy than a five year-old on speed. There are lots of influences in his music, from years of wandering around the world, from being born in Paris to Spanish parents and having a musical father with (I think) some Cuban roots. Manu is also un chanteur engagé, which is always a nice plus. Anyway, you can read all about him on the Internet if you are interested in knowing more about Manu Chao (and his original band, long since disbanded, Mano Negra). I am sure one of the influences on Manu Chao is the French rock group Les Negresses Vertes. Check them out. And Manu has produced for Amadou and Mariam, a truly amazing duo. Check them out too. Yeah, world music.

Unrelated: I found this on the Internet. It is by my dear friend Pierre Vella. You can see his name (and that of the late Cathleen Vella, his lovely wife and my dear friend) and address on the postcard he illustrated and sent to a friend.