mercredi, mars 31, 2010

Paco Rabanne
, André Courrèges, Pierre Cardin. And here is Erykah Badu's video "Window Seat", shot in the Dallas street where JFK was murdered; it's fashion without clothes...

I like this video, because we enter and go out of this life without clothes. Life is like this video, day by day you take off one piece of clothing. Death is the end of the strip tease... What are the after life clothes is an other question; no designer was able to answer it. But, there are elements of answer ici et là.

Shirts made in the China from the sky
Where is all activity and rest before
The appearance of wings clothing
Of service and sharing of royalty

(google translation of one poem called "Chine du ciel")

mardi, mars 30, 2010

la belle indifférence

"La réforme des collectivités, initiée par le gouvernement, remet aujourd'hui en question l'héritage précieux issu de cinquante années de décentralisation culturelle. Mises à mal dans leur autonomie d'intervention au plan politique comme au plan financier, les collectivités, et en particulier les Départements, risquent de ne plus disposer à terme des ressources nécessaires au soutien des lieux culturels, des artistes et de tous les dispositifs qui, en France, contribuent à la prise de risque artitique et à l'accompagnement des publics. Ce renoncement qui n'est pas le nôtre et qui nous est imposé, est brutal, destructeur et injuste.

Nécessaires et vitaux, tous ces espaces de création et de poésie sont irréductibles de notre territoire, nous vous invitons à les soutenir, à accompagner les artistes et les lieux culturels et à venir nombreux découvrir la programmation des Rencontres chorégraphiques internationales."

Extrait du texte de présentation des Rencontres chorégraphiques; Claude Bartolone, Président du Conseil Général - député de la Seine Saint Denis

samedi, mars 27, 2010

No, I won't go to see Tim Burton's Alice. I saw the posters with the horrible design. Beurk!!! I think that Johnny Depp is devastating his filmography. This is what happens aesthetically when you like rock'n roll, motorbikes and dollars. Quel gâchis!

Instead of this one, I recommend a very good Alice, a Czech one with a much smaller budget: the Jan Svankmajer's one (1988).

Speaking about Czechoslovaki, we just discovered the two lovely characters from "Pojdte Pane" by Bretislav Pojar and Miroslav Stepanek. I feel close to the small bear, being naive and candid. And I said to my wife that she's more like the big one; but she doesn't agree.

You can measure the quality of one society through its art. The communist era is not only Stalin, the cold war and the gulag. The successful fruits of communism do exist. If you watch early Otar Iosseliani movies in the communist Georgia, or these animation movies for children, you see that people had a room to dream. They had to fight for it and this is why their dreams are beautiful: they will last forever.

mercredi, mars 24, 2010

Since I couldn't sleep the last night, I started to check Luis Bunuel's biography on Wikipedia, because we just saw Viridiana for the first time (a few days ago, we watched "El", "Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie" and "La vie criminelle d'Archibald de la Cruz", 4 fantastic films). Then I checked some of his son's Rafael's drawings and thought about the story I'm writing. One chapter happens in Ukraine; so I checked some photos of Odessa and Simferopol, a city not for from Sebastopol. I remember that my mother's ancestors are supposed to come from Crimea and checked it on this genealogical website, where I could see that many "Eisenbraun" (my mother's name) were born in Simferopol; I also love this castel on the southern Crimea coast, called Swallow's Nest. It's an Italian restaurant now and the website is fabulous. I was surprised to see how beautiful Ukraine's prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is and suddenly thought about this new model from Morocco: Hind Sahli. I saw her in Crash, the French fashion magazine. She is gorgious and I went to see some more pictures about her. Then, going back to Ukraine, I saw on Google map that Simferopol is close to Yalta. This is how ended my internet tour, one hour and 9 minutes later: from Luis Bunuel to the Yalta conference... It's a good exercise to make, after one or two hours wandering on internet; the connections between informations are restored.

mardi, mars 23, 2010

persian saw

Persian hairdressers had really bad scissors in the past and most of their customers were badly injured… Also, they were very narcissists and always watched the camera while cutting, which caused a lot of accidents. Hopefully, the scissors have changed, the haircuts too and they are more used with cameras.

lundi, mars 22, 2010


It was in 2001 that I thought that I could become a teacher; an occasional French teacher. This is why I called my 2001 album "Easy Toog for Beginners". On the Japanese cover (L'Appareil Photo-Bis), you can see a classroom. This is a not a mise en scène, this is a real classroom, my own classroom, a little one. And the students were listening to me analysing Raymond Queneau's novel "Les Fleurs Bleues", while the photographer Mayumi Ito, very discreet, took pictures. I don't know why, on the way back by train, she started to cry… Was she desperate because of her photos? Or because of my dull lesson?

Before entering a classroom, my first encounter with teaching was private teaching. It was in 2000 and the Parisian school I sometimes worked for sent me to my first and unique client: a young girl who lived close to the Jardin du Luxembourg; a very chic area. I decided that I wasn't looking like a teacher at all, and found a pair of neutral glasses, a costume, plus an attaché-case. With some gel for fixing an ultra neat hair parting, I got close to my own imagination about what a teacher should look like.

As I entered my future student's courtyard, I started to feel more and more uncomfortable, like a disguised person, almost like an actor. But I decided to play my role, the role of a man playing the role of a teacher, which wasn't exactly the same as being a regular teacher. Life was ahead of me: I knew that my student's name was Auteuil. And suddenly I saw in front of the house, one of the most famous French actor: his name is Daniel Auteuil. Me, dressed like an actor playing the role of a teacher as I was facing a real actor, a famous one who could easily unmask the fake one I was at that very time...

In fact, everything went OK. The only problem was about the glasses; since I came with it the first time, I had to wear it everytime…

The last teaching experience was in 2003, in a suburbian highschool. One day, I had my photo as Toog in a very popular teenager magazine in France, where they asked me to propose a list of gifts for Christmas. Suddenly, I wasn't a teacher anymore for my students, an excellent reason for them to "foutre le bordel" . Before I entered the classroom, they wrote Toog on the board; they called me Toog during the classroom; they asked me to sing. My sudden fame made the teaching impossible... Eventually Toog asked me to leave this actor's dress and this was the end of a life period.

jeudi, mars 18, 2010

During the second world war, the Steinway piano factories were commandeered by the army. The American factory in New York had to build gliders. The original factory in Hamburg (both still exist) was asked by the nazis to build… lure planes. What a strange destiny for piano factories: the heaviest becoming the lightest! Music & humour noir, isn't it?

mardi, mars 16, 2010

train web

The new issue of Novo magazine is out, with an interesting interview with Jürgen Teller (this is why you have Kate Moss on the cover), or an article which made me discover the very interesting artist Sue Mei Tse (see the youtube video below). The train drawing by Florence was made for my article, but couldn't fit in. It's the train that I took in New Jersey to meet Angelo Badalamenti in Lincoln Park, with the trees whipping the wagons...

You can read my article in French (page 44/47) about the filming of my documentary "Prelude to sleep", and older memories from 1951, 2007, 2003 and 1982... The band drawing (page 46/47) is Pavillon 26, a legendary local band I briefly played with when I was 16. Right after, there is an article about the poet Matthieu Messagier. I recently saw this good documentary about him. There are two articles about poetry in the same magazine, incredible. Where do they talk about poetry, now?

dimanche, mars 14, 2010

Alma Marceau



Paris IXeme

Les Halles



La Villette


mardi, mars 09, 2010

tamaralichtenstein photostream

A few nights ago I dreamed that I kissed the beauty. The beauty was only a face, un visage, the overwhelmingly splendid, glorious face of a smiling girl, probably 17 years old. I especially loved her mouth… It was a strange dream, because nothing else happened but this one and only kiss. No speaking, no hanging around, just one kiss to the smiling beauty…
As long as I can remember, I have always been tremendously sensible to the beauty, even as a kid. At the age of 14, I fell in love with the beauty and never told her, just for keeping it and celebrating it (or her) in my mind. At 15, while improvising on the piano, I understood that the beauty could be recreated through art…
In my dream, I was in the same position as the father of the young Melvil Poupaud, who falls in love with his 16 years old son's girlfriend ("La Fille de 15 ans", Jacques Doillon, 1989). A very young beauty played by Judith Godrèche. A courageous film, with a filthy atmosphere. Beauty of the landscapes, beauty of the young girl, and the unsound mind (and pure) of the father, played by the director himself…
I recently figured out that beauty and pornography were not the same, and I definitely choose the beauty. Beauty is beyond reach, it's a calling.

(photo: - see also

dimanche, mars 07, 2010

(DJ Strobocop & Chica Paula, Photo Tina WinkhausThorsten Lütz, Karaoke Kalk's founder (Toog's label) & his girlfriend Chica Paula. Photo Tina Winkhaus

Since 1997 Thorsten Lütz aka DJ Strobocop runs the label Karaoke Kalk. With artists like Wunder, Donna Regina, Pascal Schäfer or recently Dakota Suite he released modern pop music under the roof of electronic production. And this sometimes less, sometimes more experimental. Furthermore in 2005 he established the subdivision Kalk Pets – a more danceable unit of Karaoke Kalk, where acts like Junction SM, Antonelli, Paul Frick or DeWalta released some edgy House, Minimal and Techno rhythms. For Carhartt Radio Strobocop now did a mix together with his girlfriend Chica Paula. To receive an impression about his label work we did a little one-on-one interview with the Berlin based DJ.

Karaoke Kalk is a label that’s not easy to pigeonhole in terms of a predominant musical style. When you founded the label in 1997 what was your motive?

At the time, people were extremely euphoric about every kind of electronic music. Back then, my main work was as a DJ, and so I started looking for ways to get even more involved in what was going on right then. At about the same, two of my friends – both of them typical bed room producers – were just finishing their first production. And it just happened so that this first production was released on my label. So, you could say two of my friends were responsible for the first two CD releases and also for the first eight vinyl releases on Karaoke Kalk. They are Jörg Follert, aka Wunder, aka Wechsel Garland, and Jens Massel, who appeared as Senking, Kandis, and Fumble on my label.

How would you describe the musical bandwidth of Karaoke Kalk in your own words?

Well, in the beginning I refused to release anything with guitars. That used to be the enemy back then. Total bollocks, of course. I mean, until the early nineties I grew up listening to so-called alternative music. But it seems that I wanted to distinguish myself at all costs to present the label as exclusively influenced by electronic music. Naturally, this attitude changed relatively soon – definitely by the end of 1999 – when Karaoke Kalk released the first Donna Regina album. In my opinion, as far as the music is concerned, the label has opened up to all sides after this release.

Do you think that music fans will once remember certain Karaoke Kalk artists in the same way people remember Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart today? If so, of which artists are you thinking?

No, I wouldn’t put it like that, because the composers you mentioned were musical geniuses. But I think, one or other of my releases has been quite seminal for electronic music. Wunder comes to my mind spontaneously, but also the first release by Duo März. That’s something that I’m sure people will still like in 30, 40, and 50 years. However, if that’s going to hold on for an even longer period, I can’t say.

What do you aim at with the music released on Karaoke Kalk?

Well, the main intention is to get out good music to the people, I reckon. Of course that’s a completely subjective point of view, and it doesn’t necessarily follow that the music I like is enjoyed just the same by other people. First and foremost, it’s a lot of fun for me to work with unknown artists, to see how some artists develop further and become more and more successful with their music. Take Hauschka for example. When I released his first album on Kalk in 2005 his particular kind of piano music wasn’t as popular as is it is now, four years later. But I can say that although Volker has been released on Fat Cat in the meantime, Karaoke Kalk has already released this kind of music, I’d call it Post-Electronica, very early on. Also, it always feels great when you finally hold the finished product in your hand – time and again.

Are you still happy with every title you have released on Karaoke Kalk today?

I’m still 100 percent behind all of them. Some releases came out at a time that was right for them and are therefore not so current anymore. Nonetheless, I dare say that almost every release on Kalk has a certain kind of timelessness about it. I’m still happy to listen to all of them today and also keep finding old pieces that fascinate me in a new way.

What motivates the open approach, let’s call it the open door policy, of Karaoke Kalk when you could also easily restrict yourself to a certain musical style in a more or less consumer-friendly way?

I believe that this open door policy, as you call it, only mirrors my own way of dealing with music. Of course I have my own musical preferences every now and then, but I’d still say that I have a very broad musical taste. And in the end the label is meant to reflect this, too.

How big is your influence on your releases? Would you say that label bosses are not to be sold short as filters for music?

Of course I’m a filter for music. 99,5 percent of all the demos I receive are crap. That’s what a label is for. A record store or a mail order shop fulfils the same function. It’s exciting to see how this is going to resolve in the future, since the numbers of record stores and labels are continuously decreasing. Nonetheless, I’m convinced that the average music consumer, who doesn’t have the time to deal with every new release, is dependent on this kind of selection. Only, who’s going to fulfil this function in the future?

How do you recruit new artists? From your own circle of friends maybe? Do you accept applications or do you go strictly by the power of musical expression?

A little bit of all of the above. By now I’ve noticed that I have a tendency of wanting to publish the music of my friends and acquaintances. Unwanted submissions only rarely have a chance, since the musical quality is oftentimes simply too low. As always, there are exceptions to rule, like in 2009, when I released a disc by Dakota Suite, someone I hadn’t know before.

Can you think of an artist that you’ve always wanted to sign for Karaoke Kalk?

In the very beginning, around 1998, I received a tape from Jan Jelinek. I’m not really sure any more, but I believe that he still went under one of his pseudonyms at the time, either Farben or Gramm. In any event, stupid me didn’t do it back then. Don’t ask me why. I’ve regretted it a lot, since I’ve become a big fan of his music.

Thorsten Lütz, Karaoke Kalk

Do you think Karaoke Kalk releases would sound differently if you were a woman? What kind of sound would that be?

How am I supposed to know that? After all I’ve released women on my label. Not every label can claim that much.

How do you think Karaoke Kalk is going to sound in five years?

If I only knew…

How did you select the tracks for your Carhartt Radio show?

Us der Lamäng [German dialect for off the cuff], as they like to say in my old hometown Cologne.

Could you put together the perfect soundtrack for each of the four seasons from the range of the records released on Kalk?

For winter, I’d definitely say Dakota Suite: The Night Just Keeps Coming In. It fits perfectly. For spring, I’d recommend Wechsel Garland’s album Easy. For summer, my two compilations Kalk Seeds 1 and Kalk Seeds 2, and for autumn everything by Donna Regina for sure.

logo kalk


samedi, mars 06, 2010


Today I'm working on a book project: "Jonas vomi" (Jonas vomited). The title comes from an art brut painting, quoted by Gaston Chaissac. The book starts with stories about the origin of electronic sound, plastic & electronics; then it crosses autobiographical notes. There is also a mini-novel in the center, which is Jonas disparearing in the whale belly...
I received this proposal after having written a 4 pages article for the Novo free magazine in France. Novo is run by Philippe Schweyer, who also started a publishing company in Mulhouse. It's a 9000 copies magazine. According to the Media Institute in Barcelona, 9000 copies in France means an average of 500 000 readers (family, neighbours, friends, etc...). Philippe already published one excellent poetry & drawings book: "About rock, sex and cities". The poems are written by Denis Scheubel... When I was 16, Denis asked me to play the bass in a new wave band called the Jet Beuys (no; I rectify: the Jet Boys). Later, Denis became Big Mini and released two albums on Saravah, Pierre Barouh's record label (Brigitte Fontaine, Jacques Higelin...). Now Denis's artist name is S.i.n.e.d.. Henri Walliser, engraver & illustrator, was a camarade de classe. I remember that he already was making engravings at the age of 18.

The article will be published in the april issue of Novo, with 2 drawings by Flo.

vendredi, mars 05, 2010

04 mars 2010 - La Java

Dear Toog, I saw you yesterday reading poetry in Paris with David Fenech, singing your songs, and I wanted to tell you a few things... First of all, it was a great show, very intriguing and mysterious! You looked a little bit drunk during your second solo time, when you sang the "Goto" songs. And I remember that you said to the audience "I will read some boring poetry". It's not boring, it's unusual to listen to poetry in a gorgious sound atmosphere. Please be more confident, Toog! Thanks.


Tonight you'll be in Chicago. Good luck!

mercredi, mars 03, 2010

I know that this sequence has already been on this blog not so long ago ("Die große Ekstase des Bildschnitzers Steiner" by Werner Herzog; music Popol Vuh). But since it's the most beautiful music and the most beautiful images together, it's never enough... Now my wife claims that it's her favorite music for a long time too. It sounds like she's stealing my statement, saying that she said it before me, which is untrue. I'm going to break her skis; but she doesn't have skis. I should break her glasses instead, they are reading skis, or drawing skis... In fact, she says that we are very lucky to share the same tastes. It's true; what a chance.

If you're in Paris, please come to the great Ekstase tomorrow (see the previous post). You will not know sur quel pied danser, or sur quel pied skier.