ROADLOG 2015 - 2 GIVERNY, FRANCE
ROADLOG: Giverny, France
Staying at the guest chateau
Of the Carriere family
that runs the venue.
It's like my own little private house
In France for the next two days.
Giverny, France is a village and former artist colony
that was home to many painters, most notably,
who spent the last 30 hrs of his life
painting in Giverny.
Many of the houses in the village are 500 yrs old
Including the one I am staying in.
They're all brick gingerbread
Very quaint and peaceful.
I go for a walk up the hill
Past the farms
And see a group of white horses.
One of them approaches the fence
And I pet him.
Not sure what it is
But ever since I put out
The HOW TO KILL A HORSE album
I see a white / grey horses
I do not question why.
I just accept it.
Like many other things.
ROADLOG: Gig: Giverny
Small theater, packed.
Very responsive and respectful audience.
I'm not used to that.
Usually, during solo shows,
It's a war of volume with the crowd
And I lose.
It is hushed and quiet,
So much so that I think
I played the quietest show of my life.
Acclaimed French-Belgian actress
Yolande Moreau attended the show
And sat right up front throughout
She's won three Cesar Awards
Which is the European equivalent
Of an Oscar.
Been in some cool films.
I meet her afterward.
Very sweet person.
We make arrangements with my hosts
To visit her house in the country tomorrow.
After the show,
I drink beer and vibe with the natives
Of the village.
I kick myself in the nuts
For not learning and remembering
The French language when i was a kid.
Now I must apologize for not
Being able to speak their language
Even though I am from a French speaking
Part of Louisiana.
Shame on me, I know, I know.
Youth is wasted on the dumb.
My host Martin and his friend Francois
Jump in an old car and tear across
The French countryside
To the home of
Yolande Moreau, the actress I mentioned.
Beautiful. Big sky weather once again.
We hang with Yolande and her family
And walk around the property.
They show me the permaculture garden
And various things.
We play a game with steel balls
Called Pantook or something like that.
Being around a tight group of French speakers
Who know little English
Definitely makes one feel
Like a dumb American.
GIG: Évreux, France
We load in
And roll with the dudes from
French psych band You Said Strange
Who are my hosts.
Only 17-21 yrs old
And they already have a really good sounding
It should be law that your first record
Sound like shit.
But this is not the case here.
I bang out the gig.
They throw down and jump around
When I get in the Audience.
After the show,
A handful of local rock & roll MFers
Invite me to jam, drink, smoke,
At their basement practice space
Located two blocks away.
It's the First week of tour
And I trying to pace myself
And not get too crazy just yet.
People may assume these gigs
Are first class affairs with some of the luxuries,
Pampering, and benefits of rock star
Or even folk band tours
But the majority of them are not.
Most of them are punk rock level affairs
In clubs, bunkers, regular venues
With a nice festival or two thrown in,
Which is nice.
But if you don't pace yourself,
You end up a ragged mess.
And crap out.
Or get sick.
So basement jam and hang??
What the hell.
Let's go to the drunken dope jam session.
A group of strangers lead
Me up the ancient streets
And down a flight of stairs
Into an old French building
Into a dank basement
Where you can smell the bricks.
Room is Filled with band gear.
Somebody gets on drums
Another few guys get on the other instruments.
A toast is made, wine passed around.
Somebody counts it off
And we kick into a 30 min freak jam
With me singing crazy shit
And about 15 drunk people
Dancing around in this small room.
Just making shit up
And letting it fly.
And wine passed around.
Fun people, the French.
There really is a thing about them
Where they truly like to enjoy life.
I don't know what it is
But it's very evident here
Just like Louisiana.
Although I wasn't expecting it,
This basement jam will serve
as a very good memory
Years from now.
You do all this planning for the tour and gigs
To make it special and make it an "event"
But it's the unplanned things
That you have little control over
That always knock you in your ass.
Somebody was shooting video
So I may actually get to experience this again
And either raise a toast to the French of Évreux
Or wince at our buffoonery.
You were a good surprise.