Thursday, January 24, 2008

Other Music

Yesterday I ventured over to Belleville in search of an independent music store I had read about in Monocle, The store, called Ground Zero, a reference to the diminished state of affairs in the music store/CD buying business, recently moved into a space shared with Calif, the Club Action des labels independants francais, because they couldn't afford to maintain their own space. In this way, they now have government assistance to keep going and are also teamed up with the calif sponsored music store, so there is a double bonus to those who still enjoy a browse through of CDs and vinyl. Ground Zero has an emphasis on rock and alternative music of independent labels from the 1970s-today, and the calif section is dedicated to, for lack of a better term, world music, i.e. fantastic sections of Afro-beat, Reggae, Dub, blues, jazz, latin. They have a large selection of recordings from Studio 1 in Jamaiaca, full of the best of 1960s-early 1970s reggae recordings by Sir Coxsonne Dodd, a Bob Marley album full of previously unreleased recordings, a large selection of the ever delightful series, Ethiopiques, which features recordings between 1969-1979, with each volume focusing on a different group/style/etc. I bought a fantastic Bessie Smith recording, which was part of the Martin Scorsese Blues production. Many of the labels presented are specifically recorded in France, but not all of them. But all of this is highlighted by the friendly staff who encourage you to listen to any CD you want. I was in the store for about 2 hours without realizing it, and almost missed an appointment I had that afternoon, because it was such a pleasure to take in some of these rare musical treats. Check it out. 23, rue Sainte-Marthe, 10th arrondissement.