SNP’s word of the day: Paradisco

Illustration by Lewis Mirrett

Word: Paradisco

Meaning: A supranatural dance club? Music for the specially-abled? Nobody knows…

Usage: “In paradiscos, we get bored of breaking actors/Turning beggars and the heroes.” — Charlotte Gainsbourg, in “Paradisco

You should know it because: The actor-chanteuse Charlotte Gainsbourg has just released her new double album Stage Whisper and the first single is “Paradisco.” I’ve been listening to it for weeks, because as my editor here can attest, there’s pretty much nothing in music I love more than emo lyrics over a shimmering beat. This Beck-produced track has a lot of scattered glass and hallucinatory anomie, but I can’t really say what it’s about; it might as well be Franglais. Like, what is a paradisco? It sounds like a club David Lynch would design, or a new designer drug, but—sadly—it’s not. Nor is it on urbandictionary.com. It is, however, the name of a Seattle drag queen, a terrible-looking 2002 French musical, a M.A.C eyeshadow, a sound system, and a limo bus line in Southern California. You’d think for all that the word would have a meaning, but no. Sometimes words are just words because they sound pretty. Okay, let’s dance!

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