Yesterday, Tom and I walked over to the FNAC
Digitale store on the boulevard Saint Germain to buy cordless phones for
the apartment, since the ancient cordless phone that was here died last
week. We finally figured out, I think,
why sometimes you have to get a “facture” (bill, or invoice) from a salesperson
before proceeding to the cash register on the ground floor, and sometimes you
don’t. The factor requiring a
“facture” seems to be when an item is on sale. When there is a price reduction, the
cashiers seem to need a special piece of paper so that they can enter the
sale properly and you will be charged the appropriate price. The process is unnecessarily cumbersome,
but so typically French bureaucratic.
Having successfully made the purchase, we walked
down to the Luxembourg
Gardens where we arrived
in time for a concert that we did not know about. The musicians were warming up their
instruments, and it sounded like the music might be jazz, so we decided to
stay. Tom stayed to hold our space
while I had to cross the park to find some metal chairs for us to sit in,
since all the hundreds of chairs around the gazebo/stage were already
taken. The group turned out to be
David Krakauer’s Klezmer madness! (See http://www.davidkrakauer.com/.) It was strange and fun. He has successfully combined eastern
European klezmer music with jazz/rhythm and blues and even classical.
Sorry I don’t have photos of the Klezmer
band. I didn’t take the camera because
that is too confusing when I’m going to FNAC.
I don’t carry a purse, for security reasons, so the camera stayed
home. Tom was fascinated by the
drummer, who had to manage with some rapid and very weird beats. Krakauer plays the clarinet, and he is a
master. I thought I had heard him
before, and it turns out that I have.
He formerly worked with the Kronos Quartet, a group I heard at the
Short North Tavern in Columbus,
Ohio, on at least one Sunday
afternoon quite a few years ago. He
wasn’t playing klezmer music then.
Other instruments included in the band were a
guitar (played expertly by a very young woman), an electric bass, two
accordians, and some kind of special electronic keyboard.
The concert went from 6 to 7:30PM, so this kept
us thoroughly entertained until it was time to walk home for dinner.
Next week’s free concert at the Luxembourg Gardens
is going to feature Theo Hakola, another American who spent a little time in Ohio. (See www.theohakola.com.)