We met @ ICA coffee shop in-between Travis Jeppesen’s The Suiciders reading on Saturday 26 Oct (See post 23 oct 13) = Lee Tesche and Ryan Mahan from the band Algiers (Franklin James Fisher lives in the US)
and Anthony Faramelli (lecturer) of DCR.
Deplechin. 80’s-90’s US hip-hop/rap. Massive
Attack. Klaus Nomi. Serge Gainsbourg. Spike Lee. Iggy Pop. Yo Soy Cuba. M.I.A. Black Panther. Samora
Machel @ BernardPivot’s Bouillon de Culture. Steve
Buscemi. Living in small towns with restricted access to film or music. Les Inrocks. Gay. Grunge. Brit-Pop
and Tony Blair’s conspiracy. My Bloody Valentine. 4AD. Michael Clarke. Jarvis
Cocker. Relaxed Muscle. Familly’ alienation in US and France. Youth. Young people today. Becoming
older. James Batley. Nippett...
We never met but we were boun(ce)d to meet. Quantum
Physics. Ryan and Lee (both North American) say that
there is an element of anti-colonial struggle in their band’s name Algiers = a place of freedom – sense of
resistance... and it’s their relationship to freedom that influenced the name.
For their latest video, Lee says he sat and
watched thousands of hours of images-moving images footage to put the video
together. It’s about race because there is a race issue in the United State and
both of them wanted to expand the idea of Black identity. Ryan continues in
saying that when they listened to Public
Enemyor other hip hop acts, it led them to
jazz, free jazz, the history of Black culture. It opened their minds about
their place as white men within a mixed and repressed culture. The music they
listened to might have been somehow commercial and yet very underground. They dug
the origins of everything they liked and paid tribute to it. It’s about their
joy of discovering!
Both Ryan and Lee talk about the political
element in what they do but they also feel that their work can be seen as “you can leave the politic out because they
are elements of pushing boundaries” = Klaus Nomi or Serge Gainsbourg were
not known for being leftfield propaganda(h)ists but were definitely
controversial and provocateurs.
Algiers is also influenced by ambiguity, contrasts
and contradictions, difference of experience and acceptance of others’
perspective. But as we go deeper in conversation, they definitely don’t want to
give in in processed-music-and-ready-to listen made in a pre-digested cultural
vomit environment. Since their teens, they are on a research journey in any
kind of art = graphic, street culture, films, music, photography...
DCR’s Anthony Faramelli tells me that 31-10-13 will
be a “full sensory experience.
Mysterious. Live experience. Dark. Moody. Definitely moody. And fun. The Crows will perform live ahead of
their forthcoming album out on Pop Noire
label (they are Savages’ little bros).
James Batley will show his
previously shown in Cannes short film Kneel Through the Dark, in a loop. Brad Feuerhelm-mister analogue photography-
will present a photographic flagellation of the macabre and uncanny... Lee Tesche and Andy Becker will tickle your desires through a sound installation.
DJs fighting it out for your soul will be Algiers, Jen
Schande and SALU.
Sunday 27 October, as I was writing this post,
Nick Cave came up to my mind “... and the
wind did howl and the wind did blow... and the wind did roar and the wind did
moan” I had a thought for Nippett and wondered if she was purring quietly
in her finger-made castle (Make sure you ask Sir Batley next time you see
him... on the 31-10-13!)
Monday 28 October, as I am about to post, I
read The Crows might pay a tribute
to El Maestro Lou Reed, now resting
on the wild side...
Friday 18-oct-13 = email from French Embassy
in India “We are very interested in
touring your DJ-VJ in five towns in India for 2014. We would like to know if
you could lower his cachet @ €700 per date (we obviously pay for flights, hotels
I thought my Yahoo was getting a bit
temperamental and brought back a 2011 email. I read it less than 10 times until
I decided my French was still quite good. It was not a 2011 email and forwarded
it to Parisian Ninja representative, whose artist name is taken from an Ed Rusha’s painting-meaning-crazy-in-Verlanland.
2009, that artist-businessman wants to tour
in Latin America and wonder if I am still there. Euh, non. Just had an accident, relearning to walk, but I can help
if you don’t mind touring via the French Embassy // French Institutes-Alliances
based there. “I’m dealing with Gilles
Peterson in Paris. I get you on the guest list. He plays tomorrow. We can talk
there?” – “Am not based in Paris, but
I can come next week.”
The office is full of young lads, cool guys
who say vous to me when I say tu to them... so far, I hadn’t realised
I had aged! Or maybe... I am a woman? Eventually, DVJ turns up, we speak, he
gives me DVDs of his work to watch and goodbye. First impression = he is a
business man. He is very charming. By experience, I don’t trust charming guys
and less when the word money serves as a comma in each sentence. But, by
experience, I should not have prejudice. Back in the snowy street of the 9th
arrondissement, I managed to make a show of myself at peak hours and got almost
ran over as my legs are hanging around in the air. Bad omen! BUT, by
experience, do not be prejudiced against bad omens = sometimes bad shit happens
and it can be good shit... Rama Rama.
In Latin America, I was not an expat’ = I was
not paid by a French government or sent by a French organisation. I was a
foreigner, having to leave the country every three months for a stamp on my
passport. I taught French and English at local rate ($10 dollar an hour) and
managed projects such as Bjork, Matthew Barney etc @ $300... per project = 2 to
3 months = lower than the local rate! When it was fiesta time, I drank and
smoked spliffs, but didn’t coke. I repeat = I didn’t whiten my nose. Not even
once! You do it or you don’t. There is no in-between in Latin America. It’s a
political choice (and no one, absolutely no one smuggles cocaine unless under
threat!) I came back... poor. Some people get married, have kids and divorce =
it’s a fuck up, but an “acceptable” one, others need to breath another atmosphère and fuck up too, which few
For a businessman, the AV’s work is quite
good although no filmmakers have given permission. My motivation takes me to researching
all contacts of Cultural Attachés in the world. Because... of course, the world
is not big enough, so I searched for these Cultural Attachés in Embassies and
Institutes based in Latin America, Asia, Africa, Eastern and Northern Europe.
Managed to interest quite a few of them = I wrote PR in three languages to ease
the Cultural Attaché’s job and I arranged meetings with the Parisian French
Institute and the Foundation of French Alliance. On those meetings, I learnt
that he has a female booking agent already in contact with “my” network and
that his cachet is not €1500 per date, but €800 per date. I even learnt that he
actually toured in West Africa for €500 per date. I write to the Cultural
Attachés network, explaining the situation. Despite this, India was highly
interested in touring him in five towns for 2011, but it took him two weeks to
reply... by then the potential tour had been cancelled. Being paid on a
percentage of a cachet... I earned nothing! And my expenses were my expenses.
Having made all those worldwide contacts, I
had now to research French artists.
Out (in their September issue) call “These
two synth-wielding Frenchmen know how to freak out, with plenty of
disco-melting Krautrock...” are actually two talented musicians whose
booking agents find normal to put me on a paying guest list in their Parisian’s
gig... and refuse to give me their album in order to promote them well. One influential
cultural attaché in Latin America felt so insulted by their booking agent that
it looks like they might not tour via the Latin American network sometimes
Unfortunately, every single artist or agent I
contacted happened to be a friend of that artist-businessman. Paris is a
cultural microcosm = most artists-agents rotate around themselves and only bend
to kiss their own belly buttons! What they don’t seem to realise is the amount
of work it requires for those based in third world countries // the over reduced
team // the lack of money to get some good acts going there. These artist-businessman simply behave
like spoiled brats asking for extravagant fees, expecting people like me to slave around!
So, on Friday 18 oct 13, I forwarded that
email from India after a two years hiatus between DVJ and myself. I just want
to believe there must have been a misunderstanding, that we can sort something
out, that we have to go beyond...
Sunday 20 oct 13 @ 2.30 am = he actually
contacted my network in India in August and sold himself for over €700 per date
saying my “job” was insignificant. He didn’t contact an Indian local
promoter... he went straight into a door I opened for him! The new Cultural Attachée
in India had been given my files and emails and she contacted me by mistake.
He’s going to pocket money €3500 out of an opportunity I created. Behind that
“peace and love” macho who tatooes his FB’s wall of “let’s fight against the
system” hides a “business is business” misogynist, opportunist and narcissiquefaux-hippie-pinkfloyd-esque! I wonder how many other countries’
Cultural Attachés he has contacted on my “behalf”!
But then again, in Paris, women decide who
fly or not and they can see from my last email, the rip-off doesn’t come from
me... + now, he will have to pay in Poundland, not in Euros...