Happy December to everyone. The holiday season is here and downtown looks so cute when it is all lit up. We’ve put up festive decorations and ornamentations all over Tellus360 and An Sibin and The Public Records sure look swell all gussied up. The lights, the music, and the smell of old vinyl and botanicals make the room even more cozy if you can believe it.

We have been collecting holiday music for the last year and have a great little Christmas section and each week we’ll update the ‘on deck’ racks along the back wall – so be sure to check it out for tunes to get you into that December cheer. However, with our albums of the week – we are going to keep on giving you randoms to keep your music knowledge in an ever expanding state.

With that in mind, we thought that since the holiday season is one of reflection it would be a prime time to spend the month focusing on world music from the past to the present. So open your ears and your minds and get ready for going around the world in 31 days!

Our first album for December, 2018 is ‘French Cafe Music Of The Opulent Era (la belle epoque)’ (Everest Records, 19?). This is a lo-fi recording of classic French cafe music from the very early 20th century. The actual ‘La Belle Epoque’ began in the second half of the 19th century after the end of the Franco-Prussian war.

Although colonial imperialism was in full swing world wide, many places in the world were experiencing a massive growth in culture and civil liberties. Places such as Japan, Mexico, Brazil, the United States, and of course western Europe had an explosion of wealth and the beginnings of a middle class with France leading the way.

The creation of art for arts sake, the burlesque movement (think the cancan and Moulin Rouge), the bohemian lifestyle began taking off. For those without money the bistro and cabaret were the place to be. Haute culture and cuisine were created as the ability to import exotic fabrics and grow exotic fruits and vegetables under glass (greenhouses) became available. Movies and cars were invented and artists such as Monet and van Gogh were the talk of the town. Pasteurisation, the rabies vaccination, and radiation were discovered and as a result lifespans increased.

All in all it was a massive leap forward for humanity with France leading the way. Unfortunately, the opulent era ended quite un-opulently; with World War 1. However, in this season of giving and reflection, perhaps we can take stock of how great our lives our thanks to the innovations of those times and how we can benefit the world around us.

Be sure to enjoy French Cafe Music Of The Opulent Era with a Lillet Vesper.