Beat Mark's 2011 album Howls of Joy is being reissued this week by Ample Play (Tjinder Singh of Cornershop's label.) He heard the group's debut record while in a small Paris record shop and the music knocked him out. Same thing happened to me.... substitute dark cubicle for small Parisian record shop though. The thrilling mix of singalong C86 pop and fuzzy noise hit me right away, but the deeply hooky songs and the kooky voice of Julien Perez kept me coming back for more. It's pretty brilliant stuff, each song delivering the same kind of poppy punch that bands like the Shop Assistants and the Vaselines did years ago, but with a weird and wonderful modern twist. Please check the album out right now and then come back to read what the band has been into lately.

Or check out this video for "Breezing!" It's my favorite song of the year so far!!
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9svgRv2Zip0[/youtube]

Lola
The Jacques Demy film was restored quite recently and came out on French screens again a few months ago. Some of us got to see it at the movie theatre, Anouk Aimée as Lola is particularly endearing and absolutely gorgeous.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffpLE632kcI[/youtube]

Dixit
An exhibition curated by Karin, with works by Saâdane Afif, John Batho, Anthony Freestone, Mathieu Mercier and Mamali Shafahi. If you wander around Paris this winter you can go check it out, it's to be seen from January 26th to March 16th at Galerie Nicolas Silin, rue Chapon, Paris 3.

Kourosh Yaghmaei
He is an Iranian singer and musician whose music was censored in Iran in the 70's and got re-released on a triple LP a year ago or so. Great guitars, great drums, major melancholy, beautiful voice and language, if only we could understand the lyrics. I've heard the Gole Yahk ones were written by a now famous Iranian poet Kourosh met in University. He could sing more traditional tunes as well as play highly psychedelic and rhythmic stuff, it's brilliant.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9t-v5HYJK4Q[/youtube]

Les Détectives Sauvages by Roberto Bolano
We, probably like many other people, started this book thinking we would read a detective novel, but then we realized it wasn't. It rather proved to be some sort of an ode to art, creativity and friendship, and one of the best novels I have ever laid my eyes upon.

La Düsseldorf- La Düsseldorf
They were a German band who managed to be punks AND hippies at the same time, very cool. This track is from their first album.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as2o__uUMrM[/youtube]

Bonus Kourosh Yaghmaei:
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o12XpqWeyLQ[/youtube]