Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Back in Tokyo/French rock?

I'm back in Tokyo after a two-week break in France. It was a great trip, but because I was away I missed a couple of rock shows here that I wanted to see -- advantage Lucy's July 2 show, their last before their next album comes out sometime later this year (something that will undoubtedly be a major event for me), and Lost in Found's show on the 4th of July, at which two old members that had left Japan performed. I've scheduled overseas holidays around must-see shows in the past, but it didn't seem practical this time to fly into France and take the TGV train to my friends' wedding in southern France on July 2 after attending Lucy's show on the same day in Tokyo. The difficult decisions one is forced to make in life.

I was curious to see whether there's a cool rock scene in France, particularly in Paris, but I didn't go to any shows, though I saw a few shows advertised in flyers on city walls. I did go to a Virgin music store in Paris, however, and listened to about a dozen French rock and pop CDs on their trial CD players. The verdict -- hmmmmm. Many of the rock songs started out promising enough, but when the singer started to sing in French (they never sing in English, a national pride thing I guess), it just didn't work. The singing sounded too formal, too proper, too orderly, too pretty for the devil's music that is rock'n'roll. It seemed silly.

Did I feel this way because the music is strange to me, and I don't understand French? For that matter, Japanese rock and pop move my heart, but how would it feel if I didn't know the language? I'd still like to listen to good French rock if it's around, but wasn't able to find it in my short trip.

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