From Hamburg, I took an ICE train to Berlin. I was sitting near a young woman who had a lot of candies in a big bag. Since I'm still a child when it comes to candies & biscuits (my favorite is still the Croissant de Lune from Bahlsen), we started to talk. She was a representative going to Berlin for trying to provide TV dressing rooms with her stuff. It was interesting to hear about trends in such a business. For instance, her company tried to sell Oreo in Germany 10 years ago and it didn't work. People said these black biscuits look disgusting. Now, it's so big that Oreo doesn't need a distributor anymore and work directly with the stores. In Denmark, the children have one candy stick which is a 100% vegetal one; a big success, but Germans don't like it. The Pepperidge Farm cookies are already successful in France, and the launch also works in Germany. Why? This is the mystery of cookies.
lundi, juillet 26, 2010
samedi, juillet 24, 2010
In Hamburg, I played a show at the Golden Pudel Club. I was warned by my friend David Fenech that I shoudn't misjudge the venue after one glance: punk is the word. In fact, the people at the Pudel were extremely gentle, especially Thomas, an intern from Leipzig who picked me up at the airport, brought me to the hotel near the club. Thomas spoke about some German re-nationalism tendencies in art, that he tries to fight with friends through a big travelling exhibition (I forgot the name). The club itself is involved in resistance, the area where the club stands along the port being entered in a gentrification era. The Pudel hires homeless people who sleep under the bridge nearby to give a hand: they close the restaurant every night, assemble the fences, pile the benches on the tables outside. This is real resistance against gentrification, not the blabla we are used in the medias.
We organized a double screen with Thomas and the DJ Richard von der Schulenburg, a very nice man who played incredible music after my Jean-Jacques Perrey documentary, early electronics and minimal & melodic stuff. I wanted to ask "what is this?" after every track. The night being hot, we didn't have people until midnight. When I came on stage after the film, we had a lovely little crowd, very there. Starting with the piano, I went on with songs, red my robot text about Werner Herzog and then invited Felix Kubin on stage. Together we read some Molière in German; but I gave him a bad translation as I read the good one. We also made a tac tac competition. I was surprised because Felix didn't play in the seventies with that popular toy.
I was told that the director of a Hamburg film festival was there. I briefly spoke with a French director who I saw the film, Sarah Leonor. She made "Au Voleur", the next to last movie with Guillaume Depardieu, a very good film which reminds me of Terence Malick's wonderful "Badlands".
jeudi, juillet 22, 2010
A picture taken by Dietmar Nass at "Salon des Amateurs", july 14th. This was a very special moment, thanks to Detlef Weinrich - Tolouse Low Trax - who organized my coming to Düsseldorf. He also organised the Helpinspill piano, a very rare and collector one. It was broken, but this is Düsseldorf magic: within an hour, two people showed up and fixed it. Before the show, I visited downtown Düsseldorf but didn't have time to see the Rhein river (we spell it Rhin in France). But I visited the Hans-Peter Feldmann exhibition at the Kunsthalle, the "Salon des amateurs" being part of this modern building. In the other Kunsthalle house, I went to see the many Paul Klee paintings. Detlef took me to a tiny restaurant behind the Kunsthalle where a single chef, doing also the service, served us delicious maritime food.
Around 11:30 pm, Stephan Schneider from To Rococo rot came to see my documentary about JJ Perrey and he also stayed for my show, where I mixed piano tunes, pre-programmed songs, reading and talking about different subjects, like Werner Herzog. Detlef told me that he doesn't like Herzog, who's always whining. Yes, it's true that he's having this Radiohead side, but it's more like acting. He's inclined to complain in a Herzog mode, which is not miserable but ambigüous.
After the show, we talked about the Crepuscule label. Detlef and some friends made an exhibition in Köln about this legendary label. In 2000, I signed a publishing contract with them. This is how we could make the music video "Mon Pantalon blanc". But that wasn't the real Crepuscule anymore, which had its heure de gloire in the early eighties, when they created a pop and intellectual aura, from Brüssels to the world.
mardi, juillet 13, 2010
mardi, juillet 06, 2010
Detlef from Tolouse Low Trax made this nice flyer for my concert//screening in Düsseldorf, at "Salon des Amateurs" the next week. I wish I can see this Beuys's art piece the day after but maybe it's too short. I will play & sing on a very special keyboard called "Helpinstill Roadmaster 64". It's very nice to get an interesting keyboard for this night; especially for an a-beat/oven like me.
samedi, juillet 03, 2010
In my last post I spoke like an American born again. In fact, I am. In 1986, it was through the American evangelism that I came back to the Christian faith. Finding a tiny blue Mormon gospel in the street near my house in Bastille, I red it and believed that it was all true. A few weeks later, I attended my first Christian meeting with the father of a friend. He was part of the French branch of an American movement, called the « Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International » (FGBMFI). I also went with him to different churches. One of them was a « Pentecostal Holiness Church » (PHC), an other American church. It was spectacular, so theatralised. I remember it was in an ancient cinema in Boulogne, near Paris. Cinema?
Then, I met a man who brought me back to my Catholic roots. The priest who I met through him, Etienne Gaujour, was a very intelligent and kind man. I started to study the gospel with young people like me in his own appartment. At that time, I was talking about Jesus to everybody, trying to convert everyone, even my customers. I worked as a real estate representative; one of my two bosses started to call me Jesus-Christ. But the priest, seeing how confused I was, convinced me to start a psychanalysis, which I did. You see the result: I talk about my faith, again.
Later on, I moved away from the Catholic church for many years. Even if I shared the faith, I couldn't stand the fixed ritual, the lack of avant-garde: how could I sing those silly melodies and dull lyrics? How could I sit and stand, stand and sit, over and over? How could I answer immutable answers? Recently, a Muslim friend told me that I cannot say that I'm still a Catholic if I don't go to the church. So I decided to go back! The ritual won't change anyway. The funny thing is that my brother Julien told me that the church where I go now is the one where the priest Etienne Gaujour ended his life. The other funny thing is that eventually, I found the avant-garde I was in search for: in the neighbourhood where we live, there are two mosquees and several synagogues. We are preparing a meeting with the Jews and the Muslims within the church on 11th november; a bank holiday. The imam who proposed the date said: it's a good one, a peaceful one (end of WWI).
(This incredible statue was in Monroe, Ohio. The lightning burned it down on 15th june 2010. It was called Big Butter Jesus, because of it's colour).)