Fancy a whirlwind tour of Popular Chanson? A broad term referring to contemporary French popular music, "chanson" applies to a startling array of stuff. Just how broad do I mean? Let's start with Grand Corps Malade, sublime slam poet/lyricist. Les voyages en train. Quatre saisons. [more inside]
I have been thinking about masks lately. Masks are ancient and universal, our ancestors put on masks to become an other, to become a god, even unto this day. Greek tragedy and comedy began in the worship of Dionysos, the god of wine, intoxication, and creative ecstasy, in rituals where worshipers often wore or worshipped masks. Indeed, the word for mask in Greek drama was persona, now commonly used to describe constructed online identities. And so we understand ourselves as wearing masks, whole series of masks--behind which we find only emptiness, for we can never see ourselves truly.