Before we left for France, I asked Josh what he wanted to do there. His only request was that he wanted to go see some live music, specifically jazz. So we showed up in France with vague plans but definite desires to go to a flea market and hear some live jazz music.
I'll just spoil this here and say we did not see any jazz in France.
On a rainy Saturday, we asked our Parisian friend where we might go to see some jazz. He directed us to a part of town famous for jazz. He assured us that jazz would just be pouring out onto the streets. But that night, after a day of walking around in the rain and cold, Josh didn't really feel like going to a different part of town and then having to come back late at night. Instead, we walked outside and followed the sound of rock music, which happened to be pouring out into the streets where we were. Around the corner from our flat, we found a cafe called The Hideout by la Station. They were supposedly an Irish pub, though the extent of the Irishness was that they served Guinness.
We went inside, grabbed some giant glasses of delicious Belgian beer, and sat at a table to watch the show. The band consisted of two guys, guitar and bass, plus a laptop for drums and a light show. They started with their backs to us, the drums building as the projector flashed random patterns across their backs. The music was a bit metal for my tastes, a lot of distorted guitar and yelling. At one point, they pulled a guest singer up from the audience, and he was pretty good. They thanked us, we cheered. I am always supportive of live music, even when I don't like it. It takes a lot of guts to get up there and play crappy music.
It was early, so I figured they were just taking a break, but I was ready to find some different music. We walked out into the drizzle to find another spot. We heard more music being poured out into the streets, the problem was just to find the source. We searched fruitlessly for fifteen minutes. We'd walk down a street towards the sound, only to find that it now seemed to be coming from behind us. We'd walked giggling by the same late night market three times before concluding that someone was probably throwing a party in one of the flats. We'd also figured out that we were a little tipsy, as had the dudes working in the late night market.
So we ended up back at The Hideout to find that a new band was playing, and they were much better. They had two guitarists and a bassist, plus the laptop drums. Maybe there's just no room for a drumkit in Paris. One of the guitarists was playing a twelve-string, which looked sort of unwieldy to me, but Josh said he was totally destroying it.
Rock the Casbah." Josh held out his hand.
You may not know this about us, but Josh and I love to dance. I do not think we are very good at it in any sort of traditional definition of good. But we like to dance. Who doesn't like to dance? Almost everyone enjoys dancing, but they hold back because they think they are not good at it. We have decided that is a silly reason to not dance. You're never going to get better at something if you don't practice. So we ignore the fact that we probably look like fools to wholeheartedly embrace it and have fun anyway. I like to think that we are putting joy in other peoples' hearts by dancing, and maybe even we give other people the social courage to dance. And if not, whatever, we have fun.
So we danced. We rocked the casbah. And then there were more songs, and we danced to those, too. The band loved it. The band always loves it when people dance, because it's a validation of their performance. We were panting and sweating and glowing by the end of it. We stayed a bit to talk to the band members, most of whom spoke reasonably good English. Even though I knew we'd never see these people again, it felt like we were making hip new Parisian friends. And then we said goodbye to our new friends and tottered around the corner back to our flat, where we climbed the stairs in the pitch dark, happy, because it's nice to have someone to dance badly with.