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Le Cabaret de L’Enfer: Turn of the century Paris nightclub modeled after Hell
06:53 am



As a general rule, theme bars are embarrassing affairs. You have your corny waitstaff, your overly literal decor and a sense of forced performance that’s… annoying. Once in a blue moon though, there has been a theme bar so fucking cool you would sell your soul to get in. Tragically, you would have to strike some kind of deal with the devil to go to Le Cabaret de L’Enfer, since the Paris red light district nightclub opened around the turn of the last century and closed sometime during the middle of it. Very little information exists on L’Enfer, but the detail in the decor is absolutely gorgeous—almost Boschian elements of twisting human, animal and skeletal forms—couldn’t you just die?

An entry from National Geographic says that the doorman and waiters dressed as Satan and an order of coffees with cognac was translated as “seething bumpers of molten sins, with a dash of brimstone intensifier.” Okay, so that’s a little bit corny, but come on, it’s a goddamn hellmouth! If you’ll notice the external photographs, some cheeky (or possibly just opportunistic) mind opened a club next door called “Ciel,” the French word for “Heaven.” I appreciate the consistency, but let’s be honest-which bar would you rather go to?









Roughly translated: “L’Enfer (Hell), the only cabaret like it in the world, every night from 8 to 2:30 in the morning, devilish attractions, torment of the damned, round of the damned, the boiler (whatever that was), metamorphoses of the damned
Via Retronaut

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Oh, la, la: 19 incredible color photographs of Paris from the early 1900s
07:37 am


Early Photography

These beautiful and fascinating color photographs of Paris were taken between 1907 and 1930, using the Autochrome process devised by the Lumière brothers.

Therichly colored images are like a mini-time machine taking us back to a world long gone, though the landmarks and streets are still instantly recognizable.
More after the jump…
Via Curious Eggs

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Performance artist arrested after dancing around Eiffel Tower with a chicken tied to his penis
10:01 am



As one does, right? Looking like a cross between Leigh Bowery and a whacked-out Vegas showgirl, South African performance artist, Steven Cohen thought it would be a reasonable idea to dress in a bird-like costume with a rooster tied to his penis on a long ribbon and shimmy around the Eiffel Tower. Why not? Lots of reasons…

“He danced with the cock for around ten minutes, before being arrested by the police,” his lawyer Agnes Tricoire told French daily Le Parisien.

Cohen was held by Paris police on charges of indecent exposure.

His lawyer expressed her disgust with the duration of his arrest, telling Le Parisien: “It’s a disgrace. With this performance, Steven Cohen wanted to evoke his situation, split between two countries.”

“South Africa, his native land, and France, where he lives at the moment,” she explained. “France is throwing artists in prison,” she added.

Cohen was released Tuesday evening and is expected to appear in court on December 16th.

Sadly, there is no video evidence.

Via Arbroath

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Legendary poet Christopher Logue reads: ‘I shall vote Labour’

In 1964, The British Labour Party was elected into government with a slim majority of 4 seats. Such a small majority made governing the country difficult for canny Prime Minister, Harold Wilson. Therefore, after 17 months in power, Wilson called a second election. In support of winning re-election, the Labour Party’s magazine, Tribune asked a selection of writers and artists who they would vote for in the 1966 General Election. In response, sensing Labour might not hold to their socialist ideals, poet Christopher Logue wrote the poem “I shall vote Labour.”

I shall vote Labour

I shall vote Labour because
God votes Labour.
I shall vote Labour to protect
the sacred institution of The Family.
I shall vote Labour because
I am a dog.
I shall vote Labour because
upper-class hoorays annoy me in expensive restaurants.
I shall vote Labour because
I am on a diet.
I shall vote Labour because if I don’t
somebody else will:
I shall vote Labour because if one person
does it
everybody will be wanting to do it.
I shall vote Labour because if I do not vote Labour
my balls will drop off.
I shall vote Labour because
there are too few cars on the road.
I shall vote Labour because I am
a hopeless drug addict.
I shall vote Labour because
I failed to be a dollar millionaire aged three.
I shall vote Labour because Labour will build
more maximum security prisons.
I shall vote Labour because I want to shop
in an all-weather precinct stretching from Yeovil to Glasgow.
I shall vote Labour because
the Queen’s stamp collection is the best
in the world.
I shall vote Labour because
deep in my heart
I am a Conservative.

Christopher Logue was a poet, writer, journalist, dramatist, screenwriter, actor and performer. Born in Portsmouth, in 1926, Logue was an only child of middle-aged parents. After school, he served in the Black Watch regiment, from which he was given a court-martial for selling stolen pay books, and given a 16-months’ jail sentence.

On release, he moved to Paris and started his career as a writer and poet, ‘out of complete failure to be interested by what was happening in London at the time.’

‘It was so drab. There was nowhere to go. You couldn’t seem to meet any girls. If you went up to London in 1951, looking for the literary scene, what did you find? Dylan Thomas. I thought that if I came to the place where Pound flourished, I might too.’

In Paris, Logue met writer Alexander Trocchi (who saved Logue from an attempted suicide), and the pair set-up and edited the legendary literary magazine Merlin, which premiered work by Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, Chester Himes, as well as Logue and Trocchi. The pair also wrote pornographic novels for Maurice Girodias’ Olympia Press, and briefly met William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso in the late 1950s.

George Whitman, propietor of Shakespeare and Co., described the pairing of Trocchi and Logue as:

‘True bohemians, Beats before Beats officially existed. Christopher was the scruffy poet, quite down and out most of the time. He definitely fancied himself as Baudelaire or somebody like that.’

In Paris, Logue toyed with Marxism, and was once famously put down by the author Richard Wright.

‘You’ve got nothing to fight for, boy—you’re looking for a fight. If you were a black, boy, you’re so cheeky you’d be dead.’

But Logue lost none of his mettle, or his socialist convictions and he continued to be a gadfly throughout his life. In the 1960s, he collaborated with Lindsay Anderson, giving poetry readings at the National Film Theater between features. He was a pacifist and a member of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, taking part with Bertrand Russell on the marches to Aldermarston.

He appeared at Peter Cook’s club The Establishment and wrote songs for jazz singer Annie Ross, and had one recorded by Joan Baez. He also appeared at the Isle of Wight Rock Festival, and contributed the wonderfully bizarre “True Stories” to Private Eye magazine. He acted for Ken Russell in The Devils, wrote the screenplay for Russell’s Savage Messiah, and acted in Terry Gilliam’s Jabberwocky. Logue’s poetry was incredibly popular, even appearing in posters throughout the London Underground. His most famous works were Red Bird, a jazz colaboration with Tony Kinsey, and War Music, a stunning and critically praised adaption of Homer’s Illiad. He was awarded the 2005 Whitbread Poetry Prize for his collection Cold Calls.

Logue died in 2011, and Wilson won the 1966 election with a majority of 96 seats.

This is Christopher Logue reading “I shall vote Labour” in 2002, as filmed by Colin Still.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The impulse to dress as a pirate: Woody Allen talks film-making and ‘Manhattan’

Film-making is about having something to say—something that can only be said in a film and not a short story, or a play, or a novel.

That’s how Woody Allen described his movies—it’s the best way for him to express and explore his ideas, his feelings, and well, because he has ‘to do something for a living.’

It was June 1979, Woody Allen was said to be hiding in Paris. His latest film Manhattan, had opened in New York to overwhelming critical acclaim. As the reviews filtered back to his hotel suite, Woody talked about the movie and film-making to Barry Norman, for the BBC’s Film ‘79.

As Allen explained to Norman, Manhattan was inspired by a dinner conversation with Diane Keaton and cinematographer, Gordon Willis, where they discussed the idea of making a film in Black & White.

‘And as we talked about it, gradually a story spun out in my mind about it. And, you know, it could be anything, it could be a sudden anger over something or, the impulse to want to dress as a pirate. You know, any one of those things could do it.’

But why Manhattan? asked Norman.

‘I live in Manhattan and wouldn’t think of living anywhere else, really,’ said Allen, before going on to explain it’s a great place to live—‘because you know you’re alive.’

With thanks to NellyM


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Kraftwerk: ‘Kometenmelodie Eins & Zwei’ performed live in Paris, 1976

Audio of Kraftwerk performing 2 tracks from their album Autobahn, “Kometenmelodie Eins” and “Kometenmelodie Zwei”, as recorded in Paris, 1976.

“Kometenmelodie” (“Comet Melody”) was inspired by the Comet Kohoutek (which proved to be a rather “spectacular dud” as far as comets go), and the track became Kraftwerk’s first single, released in December 1973.

Comet Kohoutek also inspired Sun Ra to perform a special concert for the comet in December 1973, while singer Burl Ives hoped to increase his bank account with the release of his single “The Tail of the Comet Kohoutek” in 1974. But it was Children of God founder David Berg, who received the most column inches when he pronounced Comet Kohoutek as a sign that a Doomsday event would destroy America in January 1974.

With thanks to John Kowalski

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Anne Pigalle: Performing at David Lynch’s club Silencio

An exclusive clip of the fabulous Anne Pigalle performing to a packed house at David Lynch’s Parisian night club Silencio, where she sang a selection of songs from her recent album, L’ Ame Erotique, and a some of her classic early work. Ms. Pigalle was performing at a special event, created by Diane Pernet, to celebrate the international Festival A Shaded View on Film Festival.

Bonus clips of Anne Pigalle, after the jump…

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‘Let There Be Rock’: AC/DC live in Paris, 1979
07:25 am


Angus Young
Bon Scott

Let There Be Rock is a film version of one of AC/DC’s greatest concerts. Recorded during their Highway to Hell tour, at the Pavillon de Paris, France, on December 9th, 1979, this concert contains a great selection of some of the band’s best known early numbers (“Highway To Hell,” “Let There Be Rock,” “Whole Lotta Rosie”), together with stunning performances from an unstoppable Angus Young (only pausing for some oxygen) on guitar, and blistering vocals from Bon Scott.

Track Listing:

01. “Live Wire”
02. “Shot Down in Flames”
03. “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be”
04. “Sin City”
05. Interview
06. “Walk All Over You”
07. Interview
08. “Bad Boy Boogie”
09. “The Jack”
10. Interview
11. “Highway to Hell”
12. “Girls Got Rhythm”
13. “High Voltage”
14. Interview
15. “Whole Lotta Rosie”
16. “Rocker”
17. “Let There Be Rock”

Tragically, 2 months after this concert, Bon Scott died, his body found in the back of car outside a friend’s house in London.  His demise started the version of AC/DC we know today, with former Geordie singer, Brian Johnson on lead vocals.

With thanks to Miles Goodwin

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Otis Redding: Electrifying performances in Paris and London, from 1967

Otis Redding was a child when he started singing and playing with the Vineville Baptist Choir. He also tried out his skills playing with the school band. His obvious natural proficiency led him to enter talent competitions at the Douglass Theatre. You see, Otis was more than just prodigiously talented he was thoughtful and kind-hearted and wanted to earn money for his family. That he did and after winning the $5 top prize 15-times in a row, he was banned from the competition.

The ban led him to start out playing with his idol Little Richard’s backing band The Upsetters, and by the early 1960s, when he was performing with The Pinetoppers, it was clear Otis was a dynamic and unstoppable talent.

In 1962, after recording tracks with The PInetoppers at Stax Records, co-owner Jim Stewart allowed Otis to cut some solo material. The result was “These Arms of Mine”.

From there, Otis Redding went onto become one of the biggest stars of the 1960s, the King of Soul. In 1967, the year of his untimely death, Redding outsold that year’s combined record sales for Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, and toppled Elvis Presley from the top of the Melody Maker‘s Best Vocalist chart. It should have been the start of an even greater career when it was cut short in a plane crash December 1967.

All these years later, you can still have sunshine on a cloudy day with Otis Redding. Here he is at his best in Paris and London performing some of his best known and biggest hits “Respect”, “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”, “Shake”, “My Girl”, and “Try a Little Tenderness”.

Push back the chairs, turn it up and cut a rug.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
David Lynch: ‘Ideas flow through like these beautiful little fish, and you catch them’

David Lynch - describing the one that got away?
Confidence has nothing to do with David Lynch’s endless supply of ideas. He credits meditation for that. It helps his ‘ideas flow through like these beautiful little fish, and you catch them,’ as he tells Miranda Sawyer, in this interview from The Culture Show in 2011.

The interview is loosely anchored around the release of Lynch’s album Crazy Clown Time, and bobs around various subjects before fading out on Lynch’s flow of ideas.

Going by how long the likable Ms. Sawyer is on screen (compared to Lynch), this interview has been heavily edited. Perhaps because Lynch rambles? Or, is he too intelligent for BBC viewers? Or, more likely he wasn’t giving the Beeb the sound-bites they required - which is always an issue with interview packages like this.

And note also, there are no cutaways of Mr Lynch, or any shots of the great man pottering about the beautiful Idem Studio in Paris, where he was working last year. Still, these are minor quibbles, as Lynch, with his Jack-Nicholson-on-helium voice, and Stan-Laurel-grimace, is always watchable and never less than interesting.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Mausolée: Unbelievable time-lapse footage of a 430,000 sq ft graffiti art project in Paris
11:53 am

Pop Culture


An extraordinary underground museum of graffiti art has been painstakingly assembled in the ruins of a formerly squatted grocery store in the north of Paris. Organized by two artists, Lek and Sowat, forty French artists and crews took over the building after police had cleared the space of its residents.

Sowat told Dangerous Minds:

On August 12, 2010, Lek and I found an abandoned supermarket in the north of Paris. For a year, in the greatest of secrets, we continuously wandered in this 430,000 sq ft monument to paint murals and organize an illegal artistic residency, inviting forty French graffiti artists to collaborate with us, from the first to the last generation of the graffiti movement. Together we built a Mausoleum, a temple dedicated to our disappearing underground culture, slowly being replaced by street art and its global pop aesthetics. Amongst other things, we made a stop motion movie of the whole experience, showing a years worth of work in 7 minutes of high speed sequence shot, a bit like watching Graffiti through the windows of New York Subway system.

To illustrate this movie, we chose Philip Glass’ ‘Opening’ track. When we reached out for permission to use the music, we were offered Mr Glass’ own master of the song, a version that is less known by the public than the track that was put out in the ‘glassworks’ album. We didn’t do this movie for financial reasons, we wanted it to be free and accessible to the most people possible.


The Mausolée space reflects French social, political and human drama today, as few museums or more traditional art spaces could. Due to the nature of the space, people can’t really visit there, so the artists have published a book commemorating their 40,000 m² “mausoleum” of graffiti art as well as posting this gorgeous Koyaanisqatsi-esque time-lapse video of how the project came together.

It’s a knockout.


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Jam: Perform A Powerful Showcase in Paris 1981

A powerful performance from The Jam, recorded in Paris in 1981, and originally shown as part of the French TV series Chorus (presented by Antoine de Caunes, no less). Here The Jam thunder through:

01. “David Watts”
02. “Private Hell”
03. “Butterfly Collector”
04. “But I’m Different Now”
05. “When You’re Young”
06. “Eton Rifles”

It’s a fine selection of songs, which highlights The Jam’s musical progression from the influence of sixties Mods, through Punk to New Wave and onto Paul Weller’s distinct political commentary with “Eton Rifles”.  Excellent stuff. Mind you, it’s still hard to believe Tory PM and professional nincompoop, David Cameron was naive enough to claim he had a great liking for “Eton Rifles”, during a radio interview in 2008. However, the Eton-educated Cameron’s admiration for the song did not impact on his politics, something Paul Weller picked up on:

“Which part of it didn’t he get? It wasn’t intended as a jolly drinking song for the cadet corps.”

The song reached number 3 in the U.K. in November 1979, and was the beginning of The Jam’s dominance over the charts until 1982, when guitar bands were replaced by Blitz Kids, and synthesizers.

During their 5 years of recordings, The Jam brought an edge to pop music by fusing musical ambition to strong Left-wing conviction, which wouldn’t happen on such a similar scale until Pulp in the 1990s, and the likes of which are very much required today.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Paris: City of Fashion 1950-59
05:05 am


British Pathe

Paris: City of Fashion is an elegant little featurette from British Pathé, which looks at a variety of women’s fashions from the 1950s, posed against the boulevards and avenues of the gorgeous City of Lights. Watching it makes me feel I should be Cary Grant wandering around markets on the lookout for a Swedish 4 shilling, an “Hawaiian Blue” or a “Gazette Moldar”.


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Captain Beefheart and The Tragic Band: Live in Paris 1974

Captain Beefheart and The Tragic Band, recorded live H.E.C., HEC Jouy-en-Josas, Paris, France May 24, 1974

01. “Mirror Man”
02. “Upon The My-O-My”
03. “Full Moon, Hot Sun”
04. “Crazy Little Thing”
05. “Improvisation”
06. “Peaches”
07. “Who Will Be Next?” (Chester Burnett)
08. “You’re Gonna Need Somebody On Yer Bond” (Traditional)




Captain Beefheart and The Tragic Band, recorded live at the Cowtown Ballroom, Kansas City, Missouri, April 22, 1974

“Tragic Live Band”

Captain Beefheart Don Van Vliet vocals, harmonica, saxophone, clarinet
Fuzzy Fuscaldo guitar
Ty Grimes drums
Del Simmons tenor saxophone, flute
Dean Smith guitar
Michael Smotherman keyboards
Paul Uhrig bass

01. “Mirror Man” (0:00)
02. “Upon The My-O-My” (7:31)
03. “Crazy Little Thing” (10:48)
04. “Full Moon, Hot Sun” (15:56)
05. “Sugar Bowl” (20:17)
06. “This Is The Day” (23:19)
07. “It’s Mighty Crazy aka Keep On Rubbing Lightnin’ Slim” (31:17)
08. “Be Your Dog” (36:14)
09. “Sweet Georgia Brown” (43:32)
10. “Abba Zaba” (47:18)
11. “Peaches” (50:46)

With thanks to bookheaven1000

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Their Last Tour: The Velvet Underground - Live in Paris, 1993

In June 1993, Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison and Moe Tucker kicked-off their official (sans Nico, who had died in 1988) Velvet Underground reunion tour with two nights at the Playhouse Theater, in Edinburgh. There had been rumors of a VU reunion for years, and these rumors slowly became real after Reed and Cale had successfully toured with Songs for Drella - their musical collaboration celebrating the life of Andy Warhol.

From their opening gig in Scotland, The Velvet Underground then played London, before taking their show to Holland, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Switzerland, and Italy, where the tour finished on 9 July. During the tour, they also gave a headline grabbing performance at the Glastonbury Festival, and had a WTF? moment when they supported U2 for five dates.

The VU reunion was so successful that an American tour was planned, and a showcase on MTV Unplugged… was all but booked. However, before any of this happened, Reed and Cale fell out and all plans were shelved.  In 1995, Sterling Morrison died. The following year, the VU were inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Reed, Cale and Tucker reformed the Velvet Underground for the last time.

This footage is from the Velvet Underground’s performance at the L’Olympia, Paris, in June 1993.

More VU, ‘Femme Fatale’ and ‘Waiting for the Man’, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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