08 April 2009

High-school hype

The French newspaper Le Figaro just released a ranking of the best high-schools in France. Turns out my old one, the Lycée Victor Hugo, is ranked 1st public school in the academy of Paris (2 private schools are ahead)! It's ranked 25th in France over 1915 (but most of the top ones are again private schools so it makes my high-school one of the best public school in France). It came a long way, baby so I'm rather pleased. When I attended the school between 1990 and 1993, it was rather average. There were a couple of amazing teachers, like my 1st Russian teacher, but overall none of them made a real positive impression (on the contrary, we had rather really terrible History and English teachers), while the impact my teachers from Junior high made on me is still fresh and enjoyable.
That said, the place itself was a cool stir of people : I got to meet there life-changing friends, I discovered with them and thanks to them some of the best music ever, like Nirvana, Faith no more, Pulp, Nick Cave, Sonic Youth among others (and we went to see all of the above in concert). We weren't hype by the then standards (although we would be very hype now), we were a group of music and pop-culture geeks, we hated being teenagers but we did love each other very much (and also argued with each other a lot a lot).

-- Joëlle.

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11 November 2007

"The biggest twat in Manchester...

being played by the second biggest twat in Manchester” is what Peter Hook, New Order’s bassist, said, commenting on Steve Coogan’s casting as Tony Wilson in 24-hour Party People. Claire told me yesterday Wilson had died last summer - news travel very fast nowadays... It came up as we were wondering how it was possible the Happy Mondays survived from all the drug intake - they played this week at Festival des Inrocks in Paris. I remember when I saw them by chance like 15 or 16 years ago at a signing in the Champs-Elysée Virgin Megastore, I didn't have money to buy their records then but I had a George Harrison tape with me which all the band members signed, incredulous and amused at the object. Soon after, I got the "Pills, thrills and bellyaches" CD for free, as I called Barclay, the french label distributor, and told them I wanted to make a review for a school magazine we were editing in our high-school. Lisa, Cécile, Sophie L. and Sophie F. and I called the magazine "Fulbert" - we made 2 editions in total, wrote articles with hidden names and it had a little success of its own. Tony Wilson's death makes me think about the current music industry and how it is so far away from the way he dealt with his own label, Factory or the bands he helped (Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays) plus all the DJ's he put forward at the Hacienda, the club he opened as a way "to give back to the people". He was maybe a twat indeed, and a desastrous money manager but he made more things for the music than all the current label managers will ever dream to do, just out of passion and pleasure. If all the music industry is interested in at the moment is to find how to keep on cashing on all the rights that are being lost to downloading, then it's for sure going to die. But I'm not convinced it's a wrong thing after all.

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