Having been moved from La Cigale to the smaller-sized La Boule Noire only two days prior to its kick-off due to poor ticket sales (the organisers thought it would be best to have a 200-people capacity room completely full than a sad looking bigger venue), City Sounds Festival brought some NYC-sounding acts to Paris for a second edition of what had previously been done in 2013 at Le Centquatre, with San Francisco as the theme.

Beech Creeps opened day one, the room still half full (it would be completely packed by the end of the night, since most people came later on to see Thurston Moore), and although I can relate to their VU-esque sound, I have to say it was too. Damn. Loud. Seriously, everyone was complaining about the sound being totally overboard (otherwise I would assume it's just me getting too old for this). I had to leave the room a couple of times, listening to half of their set from the bathroom stairs. They played for about half an hour, and The Men followed.

Although they play straight-forward punk (loved the honky-tonk, mid-set though), their sound wasn't as loud as Beech Creeps' (or maybe by that time I'd become half-deaf?) and was infinitely more enjoyable. Highly energised, they seemed to combine both the I-don't-give-a-fuck old-school punk attitude to the fact of actually being great musicians and caring about providing a great show.

And Thurston Moore. Such class. Such coolness. I saw him a few minutes before outside with a couple of LPs under his arm, completely at ease and un-mobbed - Paris music fans are too cool/shy/snobby (choose accordingly) to mob famous people in the streets, and I heard someone say he'd been in and out of town for the past two months, just hanging around, seeing the sights. The minute he gets onstage, oh boy. You feel his presence like an aura, and even if you're not the biggest fan of his music, you'll be in a trance for the next hour, at least. Being the effortlessly brilliant musician that he is, you can't help but feel fascinated. He obviously played the longest set (about an hour and 15 minutes), and seemed to enjoy every single second of it.

Day two kicked off with a replacement: due to "logistical difficulties" The Mystery Lights were a no-show (properly announced by the organisers two days prior to the beginning of the festival via social media), so beat-rock duo Chinese Army took their place. I must confess that due to, erm, time mis-management from my side in the afternoon (plus I was kind of bugged because Mystery Lights were one of the acts I wanted to see the most, so it was probably my subconscious messing around with me) I arrived late and missed their performance, so sadly I can't provide any feedback.

This must have been the second or third time I've seen White Hills in less than a year and a half, and I never seem to properly remember their sets. Thanks to their hypnotic qualities (also, kudos to the guy in charge of the lights on stage, who was doing a wonderful job), the details always seem to escape me -- like that scene in The Witches of Eastwick where nobody ever seems to remember Jack Nicholson's name, you know? Their sonicness (is that even a word?) is nevertheless engaging and leaves you sort of light-headed for a couple of minutes after the gig has ended, as if you'd been brusquely awaken from an enthralling dream.

Headlining day two (and closing the festival) were Jon Spencer's Heavy Trash. Despite being a less obvious choice for this specific slot (sonically), there's no denying how powerfully the quartet delivers a mélange of psychobilly, neo-rockabilly, and pure vintage badassness. On vocal duties were of course Jon Spencer and Matt Verta-Ray, both moving from excellent musicians to natural-born showmen. And there was double-bass. I instantly fall in love with any band that has a double-bass player. They performed an excellent one-hour long set, returning for an encore full of faux-endings after a long break, during which the audience never stopped cheering and applauding (or, as we call it, "faire la fête").

If the interval between the first year and this one is repeated, we're looking at 2017 for two more celebratory days of a specific city's own rock'n'roll vibe - that constantly mutating, never static entity. Judging on this event, It'll be worth the wait.