Black Lodge returns with new “THOUGHTS” video

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_dsc5178Photo by Grayson Lauffenburger

Black Lodge, an American Industrial Rock band from Los Angeles, was founded during the summer of 2012 by guitarist Johnny Royal, and consists of:

  • Johnny Royal – guitars
  • Raanen Bozzio (son of legendary drummer Terry Bozzio) – drums
  • Daniel Sahagún – vocals
  • Nero Bellum – synth/bass

They are now preparing their full-length album (which is slated to be released in early 2016) with Lee Miles (producer), Johnny Royal and Daniel Sahagun (co-producers), Matt Dougherty (co-producer/engineer), and Sean Beavan (mixer).

You can hear a track “Thoughts” from the forthcoming album in the brand-new performance video, filmed at the Realm Studios, featuring guest appearance from Carmen Electra.

P. S. : If you’re in LA this Friday, September 4 be sure not to miss Black Lodge at The Viper Room.

All the world’s a stage

The Fall is quite the time of changes. A new season, a new beginning, a new life.

New theatrical season usually starts in autumn and offers plenty of new fascinating plays and shows to the spectators.

I decided to collect all the interesting musical premieres that will take place this Fall in Paris’ theaters and put them in one post.



Grayson Lauffenburger photography

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I have taught kindergarten in eastern Europe and lived in a lighthouse on an island in the Arctic Circle. I have fished for (possibly endangered) giant catfish in Thailand and I moonlight as an archaeologist in Tuscany. I got punched in the face by an Italian guy in Scotland once.

Today I would like to share works of one of my favorite photographers Grayson Lauffenburger.

Grayson is German, but spends a lot of time in the US. He travels a lot and always brings amazing photos from his trips. He shoots in different styles: from fashion to travel and event photography. And each photo has its own story. He’s also a master retoucher!



Would you like to know Gregory Deck a little closer?

Some time ago I posted about French actor and musician Gregory Deck and his eclectic rock band BelHasard.

A lot of things happened since that time. BelHasard released their debut EP#1 (you can download it here), Gregory returned on stage as Jacques in “Salut les Copains“, and joined the troupe of the French version of “The Wizard of Oz” by Andrew Lloyd Webber to play Scarecrow.

We were lucky to ask Gregory couple of questions this spring and get to know him a little better. Not just as a professional, but as a very cute and talented guy.

Many thanks to Inanis from and Audrey Iacometti from Mousai Industries for all your help and participation.

Yé-yé les Copains!



Last week I posted about rock’n’roll. But talking about music of 1950s and 1960s, I can’t bypass the yé-yé phenomenon.

Yé-yé was a style of pop music that emerged from France in the early 60s, and was not known extensively outside of Europe, until recent films by Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson, and the popular American TV show Mad Men. Yé-yé took its name from the onomatopoeia to English “yeah! yeah!”, and the origins of the yé-yé movement itself come from the radio program, and later the magazine, “Salut les copains” (Hello mates).

Most of yé-yé singers were young teenage girls singing French adaptations or songs inspired by British and American rock’n’roll hits. The most recognizable and popular artists of that time were Johnny Hallyday, Serge Gainsbourg, Sylvie Vartan, Claude François, France Gall, Richard Anthony, les Chaussettes Noires and Françoise Hardy.

Even though it may seem that yé-yé is not a big deal, it became a global phenomenon. Maybe because it has this special French charm.

50 years after the launch of the magazine, Salut les Copains and les années yéyé returned to French stage as a musical, and briefly became grand phenomenon à nouveau.

Salut les Copains, le spectacle musical is a catching illustration of history. A story of love and friendship, followed by the sounds of the greatest rock’n’roll hits, interpreted by an amazing troupe of actors, singers and dancers. Jukeboxes, fashion, twist, Concert of Nation and Mai 68.

What can be better than reading about great things? Living, singing and dancing them! So let’s rock’n’twist and twist’n’roll!



If you’re in France this autumn or winter and want to dive into the musical madness of rock’n’roll, twist and les années yéyé, be sure not to miss this show.

Rock’n’roll the world

If anyone asked me what joy and happiness are, I would made the volume louder and played a few rock’n’roll songs to that person. Why? Because rock’n’roll is the pure joy, youth, happiness and life itself, recorded with the sound of music.

It was the major music in 1950s and 1960s, and it shaked the dancefloors all over the world with its irresistible beats and unstoppable energy. Here are some amazing songs that will surely make you move and smile!






What do you know about French music? First thing that probably comes to your mind is Edith Piaf, Patricia Kaas, Vanessa Paradis, Johnny Hallyday or even Serge Gainsbourg. But what about something from XXI century? Oh, yes! You’ve definitely heard of Daft Punk or Calogero. But the truth is, French music is way richer and much more interesting, with many layers and amazing bands to bring to light.

I am a huge fan of French musicals, and this constantly helps me make wonderful music discoveries. This was the way I noticed once a great pop singer Christophe Mae, fascinating Nuno Resende and gorgeous Solal with his incredible voice.

This was also the way I found a real pearl in the music sea. His name is Gregory Deck.


Black Lodge. Celebrating life

It’s always hard to lose someone and let them go. Frustration, grief and fear fall upon you and make you think how fragile life is, how much time and energy people spend on negativity, procrastination and all those things that don’t really matter. And how often we forget simple things that really mean a lot. Like appreciating everything and everyone you have, and making them feel precious.

Facing death is never easy. But it’s also important to celebrate life and remember the legacy those people who passed away left behind.

These are definitely not the words I would ever like to begin something with. But yesterday a great musician and friend Ventura XIII was killed in a motorcycle accident. He was very kind and funny. He loved to fly and had an amazing smile. He played bass.

This is my way of saying goodbye to Ventura. By telling you about his music and Black Lodge band.



Le Printemps des idées, or French Spring in Kiev

Printemps des idees

It’s been a decade since L’ambassade de France en Ukraine, Institut francais d’Ukraine and Les Alliances françaises d’Ukraine started building a cultural bridge between France and Ukraine by creating a franco-ukrainian festival “French Spring”. Now, welcoming French art, exciting meetings, exhibitions, and warm feelings every spring has already become a good tradition.

Today, the French Spring in Ukraine appears as an embodiment of the desire to create and build together, to find new ideas, share experiences of recent initiatives.

This year, French Spring is the Spring of ideas in Ukraine. Its main objective is to bring new cultural formats in Ukrainian culture, as well as open unknown creative implementations. Festival’s entertaining and artistic events will travel to 9 Ukrainian cities: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Lviv, Lugansk, Odessa, Rivne, Kharkiv.

The event has become an integral part of the cultural program in April, and offers a host of modern French projects, a rich program of various genres and eras, common Franco-Ukrainian projects of visual and performing arts, and a music tour in many cities. It also joins the forces with international festival “Book Arsenal” to bring closer Ukraine and France, guest of honor at Book Arsenal.

Atm, the 11th spring festival Printemps françaisis already in the air. There were no traditional opening street performance this year, but organizers presented a highly intensive program instead.

If you are in Ukraine, find a little time to inspire yourself and visit some of these great events: