Maybe you never lived in the world we're about to describe. But there was once a day -- say, pre-1998 -- when knowing what was new in music in places faraway from one's own address often meant heading down to the local indie record shop, which offered dollar lapel pins at the register and recommendations from hands-on staff. The young and aspiring musical know-it-all was in heaven.
But today, in 2010, at least in LA, a lot of what's fresh in faraway spots comes directly to us, and often. The annual Ooh La L.A. Festival, which is happening Sept. 30-Oct. 2, is a fine example of how the world has changed. The weekend-long music celebration front-and-centers the newest, cutting-edgiest of French sounds, and the artists pushing various envelopes. Or, as WordReference.computs it, "faire reculer les limites du possible."
"Limites du possible" sound exciting regardless of whether you speak French or not. Easily translatable.
Sébastien Tellier, Acid Washed, Kavinsky, and more begun-overseas outfits will be playing the El Rey and Club Nokia and Spaceland from Sept. 30 through Oct. 2; find times and prices and ticket info here.
Do we want the indie corner shop supplanted by travel and technology? Never. Do we want interesting bands to appear down the block from us? Always. Now, to look up the French for "happy medium"...