June 24th had slipped my mind. Across France, towns explode with the sound of music in the streets. And there are few accordions to be found. Last year on this date, I was in the southern town of Perpignan, where stages dotted block after city block, filling the city with rock, rap, jazz and curious performances best classified as “Noise.” But throughout Paris’ Latin Quarter this year, straight-ahead rock rules the day.
Indie kids bang out Police covers with mangled English lyrics, others offer rambling guitar scenes conjuring the best and worst of Jerry Garcia and on other stages, serious, extended riff sessions abound, transcending all the languages spoken in the audience: everyone present understands loud. Including those of us lucky to have a hotel window within earshot of a stage. Or three stages.