The Frogmarch

"I've got to pull up my stakes and roll, man." --Jean-Jacques Libris de Kerouac

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Heaven and Hell

Beer Festival!
Fifty brewers!
A beer-and-cheese market! (Well, it is France.)
Right on the Metro line so I don't have to worry about getting home afterward!

The Beer Festival features a battle of the fanfare bands!
Fanfares are what French high-school band geeks do on weekends: picture a small-scale high-school marching band --minus the marching-- playing at local fairs, markets, or just on the street. Wearing funny hats, usually, covering Crazy Train or Toxic, and generally being just wacky in the manner of band geeks worldwide.

Here's a YouTube clip of a fanfare doing a barely-recognizable version of Daft Punk's Around the World (or is it a medley with Harder Better Faster Stronger? I can't tell and don't want to pay enough attention to find out*) on the passarelle over the Saone between the marche and Vieux-Lyon.

While fanfares are mildly amusing in small doses --very small, like nano-, pico-doses-- when one sets up shop in front of your apartment building on a Saturday afternoon, as often happened at our old apartment on Rue de la Republique, you begin to realize how quickly your mood can go from "mildly amused" to "murderous".

If you happen to read a news item this weekend about an American being deported from France after drunkenly bludgeoning a trombonist with his own horn at a beer festival after an ill-advised cover of The Skatalites' Phoenix City, then claiming diplomatic immunity... well, you'll know what happened.

[*And really, if you're going to repurpose turn-of-the-millennium French disco, this is how you do it. Stick with it, it picks up at about 1:40. Sublimely pointless.]


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