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Yesterday was the summer solstice, of course, the longest day of the year, which hereabouts began with the first bits of sun, sometime around 5.15 am, and ended with the last bits, well after 10.30 pm. Last night was also the F?™te de la Musique, with live musical events of all genres taking place in squares and on streets throughout the city, stretching into the small hours. R. and I found ourselves at a café on the Boulevard Montmartre, watching a couple of bands playing on the back of a truck parked right in front.

I quite liked the first band, a very young jazz/funk combo that went by the unfortunate name of Funky Chicken. The second group wasn’t bad, but they were a little too hard-core for my tastes. Which is the point at which I realize that I’m old: I have no idea how to characterize the band’s genre. There was clearly an inheritance from punk, though without the speed, and the bass line had a bit of a funk edge to it. But there was something a bit drony about the guitar part that had me thinking trance, except not electronic, and then there was something screamy about the vocals, that brought me around to hard-core. Which is where I realized I was totally making it up, and had no idea what I was talking about. Whatever: they were pretty good, especially the vocalist, but I enjoyed the first band a good bit better.

In any event, it was a fabulous evening. These short nights aren’t helping with my ongoing sleep issues, but the city is helping everyone recover a bit from their f?™tes by being quite grey and cloudy today. It may be the second-longest day of the year, but somebody’s thoughtfully turned down the lights a bit.


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