Northbound & Out

Paris by (sleepless) night

Funny how you can still surprise yourself, especially when you’re so old like me. Truth is, against all odds: I feel strangely content to be back around my own, my rough-edged people stuck in these dragging crisis times, my unimpressed buddies, my cold bitches. I’m sick of being shouted at and always being bumped into,  I used to sing one year ago, now it almost makes me smile when I get stepped on the foot with no apologies in the metro, not a crooked sneer, no, a genuine warm smile. I love you, you who struggles and complains, you who strives to succeed and enjoy in this wounded world of ours, you French asshole, you friend of mine. It’s been a while I said this, and even longer that I felt it: it’s good to be back.

Dans l’euphorie des jours de gris! There is no walking in this city where walls stick to your skin and time is a ever-shrinking concept. There is only running, and you soon have to accept that you’re always going to be late and be a permanent deceiver to everyone. I  managed to fit in some decent catching-up with old companions though, even if sometimes in the unsastisfactory form of rushed chatter on subway seats or in the narrow line at a grocery store.

After restless jet-lagged nights in Montmartre filled with repeated nightmares/daymares of giant sharks eating up the world (wow) and checking on the bookstores hosting my books to retrieve my millions of euros, I finally reached the time of my exciting first gig of the tour, at the Mo’Fo Festival.

The hip indie fest was on the pleasant side of cool for the most part, even if I found the audiences disturbingly quiet (in an analytical “should i like this ?” or even “do i have the right to appreciate this act ?” kind of way, looking around to see if the others enjoy it) and fond of mild applause. It felt like not even a third of the people in the room cared to put their hands together after each song, probably an epidemy of hand blisters prevented them from showing their enthusiasm, though I personally wouldn’t vote for that option. But at least they shut the eff up, which is great. I loved the Matt Elliot set, making a smart and tasteful use of looping pedals, and the Tender Forever set, sort of a cheap/alternative Beyoncé in an awesome way. She delivered some heartfelt songs and interspersed her dancey numbers with bold comments on politics full of lesbian pride. She even did some live improvised singing-commenting of some “headbanging” viral videos her brother had just sent her, which was surprisingly entertaining though somewhat risqué.

I missed the last subway after talking with all the nice staff members of Les Boutiques Sonores and tried to help a achingly-drunk handicapped fellow who was crying on the groung to find a cab, but when he realized I wasn’t quite sure which way to go, he told me to go fuck my mom so I let it go after a few waves of insults.

It was then time to hop in Sammy’s van with his dog Cinto panting on the backseat and some good ol’ Patsy Cline on, and head northward, to Lille! But you’ll know more about it very soon…

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