Friday, July 06, 2007


The internet in France and I, we are friends again. We found a café (Le Contrescarpe) where the password is easy so it’s all good. Also, Telerama, which is like Time Out, has a great site listing all the shows and things to do in Paris, super easy to use; and FNAC, the culture megastore, has the best internet ticket sales. It’s easy and user friendly and the extra charges are already included in the price of the ticket so you don’t feel the pinch. They have a page in English and it is a breeze to buy tickets. They don’t threaten you with the amount of time you are given to purchase. It’s so delightful I wanted to buy more tickets just for fun. Steely Dan will be in town, but it’s 100 euros a ticket, which seems tres cher, no? But I’m very tempted because it is at an old deco cinema called Le Grand Rex and because I do like their “dentist music”. And because I can buy the tickets at
In the meantime, looking for something to do last night, we went to see Brazilian pop singer Lenine at La Cigale, in Pigalle. I had not heard his music, but I had heard about him in the NY press and was curious. He was great. Ordinarily, and this is considered either an eccentric quirk or unspeakable sacrilege, I’m not a huge fan of Brazilian music. Sure, I love Jobim and Bossa Nova. I believe Aguas de Março is the best song ever written. But Caetano Veloso puts me to sleep and many of the singers seem exactly the same to me: breathy, cutesy, boring.
Lenine has other influences: lots of good hot funk and a bit of reggae and rock, and his pop music is melodic, beautiful and strong and it doesn’t sound like a cliché, even though it is unmistakably Brazilian somehow. He is also a charismatic and charming performer, very connected to the audience, which as expected, was composed of many Brazilian expats who knew the lyrics to the songs and also of French people, who are a tremendously appreciative, passionate audience. He played for an hour, there was an intermission and then in the second part he saved the best for last: rocking, powerful music. He gave 2 encores, one rousing and one beautifully intimate and quiet, to calm the audience down. A class act. We decided he must get laid a lot. He’s one of those guys who isn’t handsome but who is very sexy.
The last time I was at La Cigale, smoking was permitted, so the place was really a toxic cloud. It looks like they passed some laws in France where people cannot smoke absolutely everywhere anymore, although they are kind of lax in enforcing them. Yesterday some people lit up, but it was manageable. Also, you are allowed to bring your cup of beer inside, which is highly civilized.

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