mercredi, mars 25, 2009

Fishy Failures, Part 2 (plus a concert)

So, a continuation of my fish-related woes today.

While I was teaching at l’Ecole des Chartes in the evening, I got a call from a friend, who had an extra ticket to a show by Jamait a French musician in the chanson française tradition. But the show was starting at 20h00 and I wasn’t going to get out of class until 19h00, so I was in a big hurry to get home, eat something, and head out to the concert.

Thankfully, my friend decided to go to the concert after the intermission and told me to show up at 20h30 instead, so the prospect of me showing up on time became a bit more realistic. Nonetheless, I had to eat quickly. “Thank goodness I made that ceviche yesterday!” I thought. More than 24 hours later, the acidic lemon and lime juices should’ve properly pickled the shark and caused the flesh to become more firm.

Alas, alack, that wasn’t the case. If it’s possible to imagine, the pieces of shark had actually become both gelatinously-soft and inedibly-chewy. It was the weirdest sensation, like eating marshmallows and rubber at the same time.

Anyway, I had read online that shark flesh gets soft when it’s beginning to go bad, so I decided that I must’ve been sold bad shark and gave up on it. I won’t tell you how much money I lost on that kilo of shark meat. Grrr.

And so I made it to the concert venue, La Cigale, in time to meet my friend and catch the second half of the concert, although I was feeling pretty hungry through the whole thing.

The concert itself was interesting. The artist, Jamait, is a bit of an anachronism, performing a 1950’s-era musical style, dressed in Depression-era attire, with contemporary emo-pop, fist-clenching emotionalism. I found the overwrought performance style to be cringe-inducing, but his lyrics were sometimes quite good and occasionally clever. I was amused by one song, “OK, tu t’en vas,” all of which can be paraphrased as “OK, you’re leaving me. That’s bad and I’m sad. But on your way out, can you take out the trash?” On the other hand, I found the melodies to his songs overly formulaic; they all sounded very similar to each other in contour and rhythm, and they all resembled the canonic repertoire of French chanson too closely. It was like I had heard all of these songs before.

Besides all of that, Jamait’s band was excellent. They weren’t always playing styles that I enjoy, but I was really impressed with their technical skill. The bassist at one point pulled out a contrabass and provided an echo for the singer’s melancholy song, perfectly mimicking the sliding inflections of the singer’s voice.

After the concert, we were both deathly hungry and already in the Montmartre area, so we went to my favourite salad place, Le Relais Gascon, and had massive salads covered in fried garlic-potatoes. So delicious.

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