Editor’s note – Troy Gronsdahl aka soso, a Saskatoon-based musician, producer, poet, artist and all-around gentle soul, is off gallivanting about in France for Les Transmusicales Music Festival from Dec. 3 to 4, which features several international artists as well as local electro fop Maybe Smith.
Mr. Gronsdahl has been kind enough to send us his tour diaries, which will hopefully detail his shows, getting wine drunk in the afternoon and the continued absurdity of Saskatchewan indie talents encroaching on the rest of the world.
Maybe Smith aka Colin Skrapek and I spent the past couple weeks crafting our set and practicing comical French phrases. I’m hoping to string together charming, semi-coherent sentences using my rudimentary high school French vocabulary. Colin is threatening to bring out his creeping Quebecois jargon, but I expect he’ll be nothing short of diplomatic.
An uneventful flight to Toronto and one predictable, expensive and kinda shitty meal in the airport later and we’re airborne once again. I capitalized on a temporarily unsupervised drink cart parked dangerously close to my seat. With stealth and cunning beguiling my otherwise gentile appearance, I slipped two little plastic bottles of red wine into my storage pouch. I’m a rapper. We steal things. While a planeload of sleepy travelers nodded off, I sipped from one slightly pathetic little plastic bottle of wine and then another as I watched a Will Ferrell movie about a drunk whose life goes to shit. Movies are so fake.
“France is beautiful,” our driver, and trumpet player, Julian quips. Piloting a tour van through a particularly unattractive area in the city of Renne, we eventually find our way to the venue, Aire Libre. A proper concert venue, the space is ballin’ hard with three chandeliers and almost too much red velvet. I left a nauseous, post-vomiting Maybe Smith in the hostel-style lodging just steps away from the venue to meet one friendly French musician after another and tour the new home I will share with twenty of my new best friends. Kutu Folk has pulled together an ambitious one-week program of collaborations and rehearsals with members of its roster culminating in soso performances on Saturday and Sunday. That’s what I’m telling everyone at home anyway.
I’m amped up and exhausted. No sleep yet. I need to brush my teeth. Communal meal at 7 pm.