Something eclectic from Dan Black 

Eccentric British composer Dan Black admits that he’s guided by one key aesthetic principle. “I hate it when music is saddled with all this so-called coolness, or saddled with all these stupid rules,” he says. His addictive debut recording, called “((un)),” isn’t easily pigeonholed — it bounds through genres like pop, folk, funk, dance, even classical in his lushly orchestrated new single “Symphonies.” He brings this delightful modern mélange to Popscene in San Francisco tonight.

So you recently moved from London to Paris? Two years ago, I think. Prior to being solo, I was in many bands, and where we had success in those bands and really connected with people was outside the U.K. And I was always touring and never in London, so my apartment there was kind of pointless. And then I was getting more and more into Paris, until it just seemed logical to take a place there. Plus, I didn’t want to die having only lived in one country.

Do you speak French? Very badly. I can get by in shops, although it is a challenge — I’ll be ordering things, but they’ll send something else. But it’s also fun, because I quite like the feeling of being a perpetual outsider. It locks me into my little world and heightens my focus on my music.

Some of the most creative minds were French. From Cocteau on down, no? And I love Jean Cocteau — his “Orphee” is my favorite. And those Parisian coffeehouses that you see in that film are still there. That’s the thing I love about the city — everywhere, on every corner, there’s a café where you can order a really nice, inexpensive meal, and there’s a whole sense of a life to be lived and you don’t spend all your time killing yourself at a job that you hate.

You have a home studio in your basement, right? It’s exactly that. I live in a really old apartment, a 14th-century townhouse, and I’m on the ground floor looking out on a courtyard. And down below, there’s an arched cave. And there’s a long line, heading back into the distant past, of people who were my neighbors who went mad through me driving them nuts with noise. So this is the first time I haven’t had anyone complain. The stone walls are half a meter thick, so I can wail away all night and day.

Do you have a fabulous French girlfriend yet?
I do. So now I have the 360-degree French experience!


IF YOU GO
Dan Black

Where:
Popscene, 330 Ritch St., San Francisco
When: 9 p.m. today
Tickets: $10 to $13 at door
Contact: www.popscene-sf.com

About The Author

Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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