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Friday, January 7, 2011

Memories of Cannes, Midem, Gangsters, and Croissants

January is Midem month for many people in the music industry. Midem is a higher-end trade fair where labels and publishers and anything connected with music (video, software, internet, etc) gathers to make deals. 

The Midem Conference - a cruel knife to the soul of all who are weak of heart and endeavour. This is where the heavy deals and scramble go down, thousands of industry types clutching demos and press kits, looking for entry points to foreign lands and foreign musical adventure.

My own adventures in Cannes always revolve around what vinyl records or second hand books i've bought at the weekend flea market or what interesting book or cd at the FNAC store which gets sadder and sadder each year with less and less music, more and more dvds and so on.

Of course, the wonderful pastry shops where I sneak off to during breaks; croissants and baguettes and hand-made chocolates. I can only take so much sometimes - you need a capuccino break.

For business, I have always managed to come out with a distribution deal or sub-publishing or new contact - sometimes it may take years before you actually do business with a contact but the important thing is that you're on the radar. Lately, the exhibit floor has seen less and less attendees with everyone selling and no one buying. On the surface, anyway. There's always a deal to be made if you play your cards right.

Cannes itself can be an overpriced playland since all the hotel rates double for any convention coming to town but there's always a cool spot that's not TOO overpriced. It is a funny old town where rich and not so rich stake out their turfs; where both crowd into the shops for the January sales. 

January is usually mostly cold, sometimes rainy. During the day, it might be sunny and you can stroll along the beach.

I've printed a few things on my myspace blog over the years and I've rounded them all up here plus a few other things I just found from my notebooks; stuff written in the hotel at night or on the plane coming in or bus to Nice or sitting in a cafe after some guy from some label in Norway has told me "your label is too smart for us"

It's a compliment I guess. Too bad, cause I like Norway.

Nice Tour of Oslo, Norway. Click here.



Gangster's girlfriend

drinking wine

dark hair

Juliette Greco style

all black

long dress turtleneck


Cote d'azur avec un dur

hard living Riviera

too many secrets between them

I try not to look but

her mouth

black lipstick smile

hard to say no to

the gangster sees me

there's a scar from his ear to

his mouth

his little eye

burrowing a hole in my head

it's understood

i look again

i'm dead

well, now

i know

ralph alfonso


desole petite fleur


petite fleur

qui attends le vent

qui a faim pour le soleil

c'est moi qui ta quitte

c'est moi qui s'en vole

dans la nuit

vers la plui

d'un futur rien compris

ralph alfonso



I'm sitting all alone on the edge of the world

I'm waving hello to

everyone down below

and did I jump or did you push?

Only you and I will ever know

Ralph Alfonso



la plage a paris

un rencontre a minuit

un cigarette entre les deux

j'aime tes cheveaux dans le vent

odeur de


des gens qui rit

les amants dans la nuit

sous les etoiles


au centre

de notre monde

ralph alfonso



There's a full moon on

the sand dunes

a cool breeze that will end soon

a sad little poem

sent adrift to find a home

lovers going round the verse

still trying to find the chorus

and this is where we cue the violins

the girl is his, the good guy wins

and I wish that's how the story ends

but in this case, it all depends

Ralph Alfonso



It's a coffee cold October

All the leaves have

fallen down

There's nowhere

to go to

cause there's no one else around

but there's no mistake

that's the road

I want to take

I guess there's 

no colours left 

in the world

it's a choice between

brown or brown

I put a call in to somebody

I want to complain

I'm sick of all the

cold walks

I'm sick of 

alll the rain

Ralph Alfonso


BONJOUR TRISTESSE with Juliette Greco




CHARLES TRENET - La Romance de Paris

JULIETTE GRECO - St Germain de Pres

Saturday, January 1, 2011

CHRISTMAS WEEK - Saturday After - New Year's Day

Our Christmas week adventures through our emotional back pages end with a toast to a new year, a hope that this is the year when things will right themselves, when the compass holds steady as our life's sails go forward into the unknown. You can be on deck sucking in the fresh air or hiding in the cabin - either way, the journey has started. See you somewhere.


happy new year

the bells are all ringing

happy new year

the backslaps and


and all of the cheer

the pop of the bottles

the champagne is here

and backwards all misty eyed

the last year's parade

but forward now march

into nowhere known yet

my flag will be first

let no one forget

ralph alfonso


DEC 29: cigarettes and ashtrays

cigarettes and ashtrays

scheming through

the haze

of red wine bravado

this is the plan

the world

our oyster



our bullion

crackers the fortress

to climb

and here....

bright green grapes


careful with the bread

not too thin a slice

not too thick


your name

is Spanish Red

you have conquered all

your peers lie at your feet


now is the hour

of triumph

a twist of the cap

the prize is here


dig deep the fork




antipasto for all

raise high the crackers

the crunch of victory


ralph alfonso


Ohbijou, "New Years"