Thursday, December 07, 2006

France 24, on-line TV

JustmeinParis has often wished that one simple connection to the internet would bring voice, video, text and images directly to the television, local PC and please, just one, one portable telephone with one unique number that we can carry anywhere and talk with anyone.

Internet Channel France 24
We are one step closer to this dream with the introduction of France 24. This on-line, live channel on the internet is a 24/7 news channel based in France and certainly France's answer to CNN. Jacques Chirac proposed this concept four years ago and last evening at 7:30pm, the station president pushed the "go live" button. The broadcast is made on normal televisions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The rest of the world must go on line to France 24 to watch the broadcast.

In an recent interview Chirac said that France has it's view of the world and should broadcast this view that conforms with the French traditions and their concept of peace, humanism and globalism.

On this live telecast, there are a French, Englih and Arabic versions but.. hmm, the Arabic version switched to English this evening. Well, this will be resolved soon I am sure.

Also this evening at 8:30pm France time, France24 introduced the full France 24 website. Wow, it's so cool to click between the French and English versions. The news stories are not exactly the same but they are quite similar and are broadcast in parallel. Certainly for the students of French, it is a great tool to improve the comprehension of French.

It is estimated that this channel will reach 190 million viewers. Hey, why not be the 190 millionth at first viewer ?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Crooners Busking in Paris

A friend Lucinda who writes for BonjourParis, introduced me to a band she's passionate about, The Crooners, who got their start busking in Paris. Here's what she writes about her discovery of the group along the streets of Paris...
The Crooners, dressed with old-fashioned charm, their hair worn long and shaggy, appeared to me on rue Mouffetard, like a vision from a bygone era. I learned they were not from Colorado as I presumed, but were actually boys from upstate New York, recent post-grads who had started a band during their days at Cornell. This is the dynamic, and the energy, the band will always capture, the “unbridled revelry” of three collegiate friends. But unlike most college bands, the Crooners had artistic integrity—they were dedicated students of the old-school. There aren’t many of the Napster Generation who listened to Dylan and Nat King Cole as religiously as did the Crooners... Nyles Fitzgerald, Kevin Denton, and Chris Merkley.

Then again, Nyles of the famous washtub bass, had incredible mentors. While a student in Paris, he was able to train under and perform alongside his great-uncle, Danny Fitzgerald, the “granddaddy of busking” who played with the best of them, including Madeleine Peyroux, and introduced Nyles to the world of street musicians and a to a swing revival that European culture had been catching onto since the early 1980s. Fitzgerald taught Nyles the almost technical art of street performance—how to discern the best spots to draw the attention of passerbys, without also attracting the notice of the police. Busking, for Danny Fitzgerald and later for the Crooners, was beyond a technicality—it was a way of life inseparable from the pursuit of art, connecting musicians to their listeners at the most basic, grass roots level.
Brooklyn, New York is now home to The Crooners. They have gained wider following since their days in Paris (take a look at the references to The Crooners or their 'my space'). The Crooners will always fondly remember their roots busking on an unlikely and crowded street in Paris and drawing the attention of a crowd of passersby.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Mois de la Photo-Off and Frédéric Tran

November in Paris, the Mois de la Photo and the parallel Mois de la Photo-Off were indeed the highlights for the month when for JustmeinParis takes time to visit the new photography expositions in the more accessible formats (Mois de la Photo) and the more contemporary (Mois de la Photo - Off) formats.

Recently, I found myself at the Gare du Nord and there in the adjoining Gare du Magenta was displayed the photography of Frédéric Tran. Frédéric Tran's too few photographs were displayed in large format along a wall of a hallway along with videos of photographs in series (taken by another photographer in the exhibition). This exhibition, as part of Mois de la Photo-Off, featured movement and I thought there was no better way to pay tribute than to take a few photographs to "abstract" the work.

Although a few people stopped to enjoy the photographs and videos of the exposition, most walked by without a glance. What a shame since Paris has wonderful art like this to enjoy and many new and exciting artists like Frédéric Tran offering contemporary art in places as common as a train station.