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Friday, July 11, 2003
  SOME NOTES ON MUSIC IN FRANCE

you know even though i was in france for 3 days i'm not sure i actually heard any music that i enjoyed at all, how funny. (correction *recorded* music, i enjoyed a couple of supremely entertaining live performances, one live jazz band at the world famous (it says here) lionel hampton jazz club which was IN MY HOTEL don't you know and where a gin and tonic cost 16 ENGLISH POUNDS i am not making this up!!!) and one bizarre big band thing that was playing the gig of their lives at the end-of-year party at the ARCHITECTURAL COLLEGE across the road from where we were eating one night, who knows, maybe the band themselves where architecture students, anyway, they consisted of a brass section and ONE drummer and they played all yr usual big band classics, but then they played the james bond theme, various ska numbers, ATOMIC BY BLONDIE and i kid you not GIRLS AND BOYS by blur they were clearly operating on a different plane! and the drummer just wouldn't quit! also i never even got to see so much as a single musician, just heard this racket for like 2.5 hours from across the road, what a wonderful way to experience this bizarre and beautiful sound, ah....)

but for real, i don't think i listened to/heard/enjoyed ANY recorded music while i was there. and the whole point of this point is that, yesterday, when i arrived back in london, got the tube to tott.ct.road, got off the tube and started down oxford street, ie i'd been back in the uk for a total of about 20 minutes, the FIRST recorded music hear, coming out of a shop, is, i know you don't expect anything else, IN DA CLUB. of course it was! there could be no alternative. it's like the song has a sentient life and is determined to insert itself into every meaningful moment it can, just to underline it's YOU KNOW I AM GOING TO BE THE DEFINITIVE SINGLE OF 2003 DON'T YOU DON'T PRETEND YOU DON'T status. serious though - it's not just that's its good, i mean, it is, but there is some other quality about this track that just wants to silence opposition. it's ubiquity feels totally natural and how can we still not be bored of it?

anyway it gets better: walking past the shop, just as the chorus kicks in, singing along in my head, it's drowned out by the music coming from the next shop up the street: the unmistakable kick-in-the-teeth horn orgasm of CRAZY IN LOVE, the only other song this year that i think challenges 'in da club' for supreme dominance (not in terms of quality you understand, just in terms of unanswerable swagger and self-confidence), and anyway, rambling as usual, but something about the way those two tracks melded together in a horrible sticky sweltering hot oxford street afternoon and the fact that they were the first and only music i'd heard since i'd returned to london seemed worth noting, so i have noted it. have a good weekend!

WE'RE GONNA PARTY LIKE IT'S YOUR STAGNIGHT!!! 
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