LIVE session: Orouni’s “Speedball”

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Performing at Les Trois Baudets

Monsieur Pas de Merde really likes the sounds these Parisians make. Orouni remind me of London’s hipster indie iconoclasts  “The Leisure Society,” with a similar mix of strings and wind instruments – très groovy.

Orouni claim influences of Leonard Cohen, The Kinks and Stereolab. Their mix of minimalism and lush arrangements also recall The Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen, Supergrass, Belle & Sebastian, and (Monsieur Pas de Merde favorite) – ’60s Brit Invasion legend, the Zombies!

C’est groovy – non?

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video courtesy of Le Cargo

Belleville, the Secret Birthplace of Communism 

Learn why you’ve probably never learned about the Belleville Commune in French history class.

Belleville, which encompasses most of the 20th arrondissement of Paris, is a neighborhood that feels a bit like its own country. And that’s not just because the “Beautiful City” is currently Paris’s Chinatown, or, more accurately, its Little Saigon.

This sprawling quartier built on a hill was actually once a suburb of Paris, which was accumulated by the French capital in the early 1800s. But in 1871, the citizens of Belleville worked together with members of the Parisian working class to overthrow the French government in the quartier and form the Commune of Belleville, which lasted for 72 days and resulted in one of the biggest massacres in French history. In one week, known as “the Bloody Week,” more than 15,000 people were killed in Belleville’s fight for working class independence. This event even went on to inspire political leaders like Karl Marx when he wrote his infamous Communist Manifesto.

If you’ve enjoyed this little history lesson, don’t miss more videos from anti-tourist Messy Nessy Chic, including this adventure into the Paris catacombs to watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Source: Belleville, the Secret Birthplace of Communism – Frenchly

French government wishes Trump had shown ‘common decency’

Among the problems with Donald Trump’s latest tantrum against France was his unfortunate timing.

Among the problems with Donald Trump’s latest tantrum against France was his timing. As the American president mocked our French allies yesterday – complete with an all-caps missive that read, “Make France Great Again!” – France was recognizing the three-year anniversary of an ISIS terrorist attack in Paris that killed 130 people.

Trump may not have realized the significance of the date, but he didn’t bother to check, either. Reuters reports that this did not go unnoticed.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who attacked his French counterpart in a series of tweets on Tuesday, should have shown “common decency” instead since the country was mourning the anniversary of deadly attacks in Paris, a French government spokesman said.

In five posts sent on the same day France marked the anniversary of the 2015 attacks that killed 130 people, Trump blasted the key U.S. ally over its near defeat to Germany in two world wars, its wine industry and President Emmanuel Macron’s approval ratings.

“Yesterday was November 13, we were marking the murder of 130 of our people,” French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux told Reuters. “So I’ll reply in English: ‘common decency’ would have been appropriate.”

It’s a difficult sentiment to disagree with.  [ . . . ]

Continue reading at MSNBC: French government wishes Trump had shown ‘common decency’

Ballaké Sissoko et Vincent Segal

The very first time I heard the magnificent musical dialogue between Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal  – I was blown away by the beautiful mating of sounds between the kora and cello.

Here’s what Songlines says about the latest recording from this unique artist collaboration:

Ballaké Sissoko is one of Mali’s great kora players and Vincent Segal is a French cellist and producer of remarkable refinement. Their debut, Chamber Music, was one of Jo Frost’s picks of 2010 and this is just as good – perhaps better as the duo have performed together so much they seem to respond to each other instinctively. The contrast of plucked and bowed strings is much of the magic, although Segal is frequently playing pizzicato or creating percussive or flute-like sounds on his cello. The title comes from the fact that much of the album was atmospherically recorded at nighttime on Sissoko’s rooftop in Bamako. SB

Listen via Spotify