Monday, November 17, 2008

notre dame de paris

I'm back in the States now. Sorry for the lack of posting for the rest of the trip; I was hoping to add photos but I lost my camera at the Cold War Kids concert in London.

I did have a great moment that perhaps bears relating while eating a brie-and-cucumber sandwich in the churchyard behind Notre Dame. I was listening to my iPod on shuffle mode, and the R.E.M. song "1,000,000" came on. This is a song from the band's first EP, Chronic Town, which features a picture of one of the very gargoyles I was looking at:

A neat coincidence.

The next song to come on after that was "Roforofo Fight" by Fela Kuti. Kuti was the leading figure of the Afrobeat movement, without which "world music" as we know it almost certainly would not have existed. Paris is the de facto capital of the world music scene, and it owes Kuti (and Africa in general, for that matter) a great debt. Hearing the ordered chaos of Fela's music while gazing at Notre Dame, the enduring monument of Europe's rapidly fading Christian colonialist past, was a great juxtaposition.

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