Monday, 23 November 2009

SETLIST from 24 October 2009

Better late than never, here is last month's setlist, plus an mp3 of one song from each of us...

Brigitte Bardot – La Madrague
France Gall – Pense à Moi
Chantal Goya – Il Court Les Filles
Françoise Hardy – Tous Les Garçons et Les Filles
Ria Bartok – Tu Te Moques de Moi
Serge Gainsbourg – Ches Les Yé- Yé
Pulp – Separations
Pink Grease – The Pink G.R.Ease
Datarock – Computer Camp Love
Kamerakino – Polizei Macht Schule
Stereo Total – Plus Minus Nul

Stereolab – Motoroller Scalatron
Kraftwerk – Radioactivity
Jacques Dutronc – Il Est Cinq Heures, Paris S’Eveille
Serge Gainsbourg – Comic Strip
Michel Polnareff – Y’a Qu’un Ch’veu
Act - Ping Pong
Blancmange – Living On The Ceiling
Sebastien Tellier – Kilometer
Ladytron – Mutron

Coralie Clémént – Vis à Vis
Serge Gainsbourg – Requiem Pour Un Con
Schaatz – Jean Les Pins Michel
Jean-Jacques Perrey – E.V.A.
Les Soundtrack – Ce Soir C’est Ma Fête
Françoise Hardy – Je Pense à Lui
Brigitte Bardot – Harley Davidson
Karo – Sur Ta Moto
All Seeing I – Luxury I
Katsen – Let’s Build A City

Dauerfisch – Ride My Bike
Piney Gir – Hello Chanel
Relaxed Muscle – Rod Of Iron
National Bandit – Pardon My French
Add N to (X) – You Must Create
Sukia – Vaseline & Sound
Christie Laume – Rouge Rouge
Sylvie Vartan – Ballade Pour Une Fugue
Orlane Paquin – Le Train de 10h03
Jacqueline Boyer – Oh Chéri, Je T’aime

Stereo Total – Vive Le Weekend
Pet Shop Boys – Always On My Mind
The Knife – Heartbeats
Françoise Hardy – Je Veux Qu’il Revienne
Mareva Galanter – Pourquoi Pas Moi
Depeche Mode – Boys Say Go
Yelle – 85A
Jane Birkin – Di Doo Dah
Air – Kelly Watch The Stars

Serge Gainsbourg – Ballade de Melody Nelson
Michel Polnareff – Le Roi De Fourmis
Jacques Brel – Jacky
Gillian Hills – Oublie
Stereo Total – Supergirl
Trost – Sans Ta Scie
Human League – Love Action
Telex – Moskow Diskow
Brigitte Bardot – Contact
Takako Minekawa – Fantastic Cat
Michel Polnareff – Beatnik

Les Roche Martin – Tu as Peur de Bruit
Chantal Goya – Dans La Nuit
Sparks – Tryouts for the Human Race (long version)
Soft Cell – Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go?
Brigitte Bardot – Tu Veux ou Tu Veux Pas
France Gall – Baby Pop
Add N to (X) – The Vic Hallam System

OMD – Souvenir
Yazoo – Only You
Deux – Dance With Me
Serge Gainsbourg et Charlotte Gainsbourg – Lemon Incest
Michel Polnareff – La Michetonneuse
France Gall – Nous Ne Sommes Pas Des Anges
Brigitte Bardot – C’est Rigolo
Jacques Dutronc – Fais Pas Ci, Fais Pas Ça
Françoise Hardy – Et Même
Belle & Sebastian – Electronic Renaissance

Stereo Total – Orange Mecanique
Jina Miko – Dum Dum
Jacques Dutronc – Le Responsable
Les Problèmes – Pop Jerk
Polysics – My Sharona
Cats In Paris – Loose Tooth Tactile
Michel Legrand – Digue Ding Ding
Ultravox – Vienna
Zombie Nation – Nightclubbing

Fat Truckers – Teenage Daughter
Quintron & Miss Pussycat – Swamp Buggy Badass
Les Georges Leningrad – Monster Klaw
Chicks On Speed – Lovelife
Tom Tom Club – On, On, On, On…
Stereo Total – Miss Rebellion Des Hormones
The Associates – Club Country

OMD – Red Frame/White Light
Antoine – Les Élucubrations D’Antoine
Mareva Galanter – Les Cornichons
Yazoo – Don’t Go
The Knife – We Share Our Mother’s Health
Human League – Empire State Human

Fad Gadget – Fireside Favourite (I Monster toasted crumpet remix)
Les 5 Gentlemen – Si Tu Reviens Chez Moi
Annie Philippe – C’est La Mode
Jacques Dutronc – Sur Une Nappe De Restaurant
Stereolab – John Cage Bubblegum
Dusty Springfield – Reste Encore Une Instant
Johnny Halliday – Noir C’est Noir

A-ha – Manhattan Skyline
Pulp – Seconds

Hot Butter – Popcorn
Serge Gainsbourg – Docteur Jekyll et Monsieyr Hyde

France Gall – Computer Nr 5
Fernand Reynaud – Oh! He! Hein! Quoi

Eurythmics – Love Is A Stranger

mp3 links
Schaatz - Jean Les Pins Michel
[visit Schaatz at their myspace]
Jane Birkin - Di Doo Dah
Chantal Goya - Dans La Nuit
[buy Chantal Goya:]

Monday, 16 November 2009

Let's take a Trip

Happy Birthday Lysergic acid diethylamide – 71 today!

LSD was first synthesized on 16 November 1938 by Dr. Albert Hofmann at Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland. 5 years later, he accidentally ingested an unknown quantity of the chemical, and felt a bit funny – he had discovered that LSD had psychedelic properties. He also learned to never bite his fingernails in the lab without washing his hands first.

In 1943, Hofmann intentionally ingested the chemical as an "experiment", he freaked out on the cycle ride home, and became convinced his neighbour was a "malevolent witch". I imagine his peers took his research papers less seriously from that day on…

Set the guitars to Pictures-of-Matchstick-Men octave-up fuzzzzzzzz, slap a blotter on your tongue and psych out to the sound of Les 5 Gentlemen. The group were from Marseille; LSD-25 was an early code-name for the drug more commonly known as acid; I have no idea who Margaret Steinway** was – a lonely spinster perhaps, whose world was turned upside down after some serious malpractice on the part of her Doctor. He fed her a harmless looking little square of paper, you see, he told her it was a cure for her overwhelming melancholy. She tripped for two hours in beautiful rapture, but in a flash she plunged deep into freak-out hell. Oh Doctor, what have you done?

Les 5 Gentlemen - LSD 25 ou les mėtamorphoses de Margaret Steinway
[Les 5 Gentlemen - L'Integrale 1965/1968 is out of print]

**Margaret Steinway does, of course, have her own myspace.
She has 5 friends. None of them are Tom.

And now, Serge Gainsbourg has a cautionary tale for all you RockandRoll little Lord Fauntleroys flouncing around in your fine lace threads, behind the wheel of your chocolate-brown Rolls Royce. He’s seen you, cruising for teeny boppers: you take them for a wizzz in the country, racing down the winding roads, they giggle as they slide around in their knee-socks and mini-skirts on the leather upholstery of the backseat.

There’s a bag of sugar lumps in the dashboard, you offer one to your little filly, she shouldn’t take sweeties from strangers, but, sure, she knows you…

Then the real trip begins, a trip down the river to the edge of madness, flowers of exquisite colours drifting and bleeding in the strong currents. Is that Mick Jagger in the Thames? She dives in to get a kiss off ol’ rubber-lips, and she drowns in her beautiful Biba twin-set.

France Gall - Teenie Weenie Boppie
[buy France Gall: iTunes |]

The moral of both of these stories is that girls can’t handle their pharmaceuticals. At least that’s what the boys in the sixties would have us believe. As for Dr. Hofmann, he recovered from his "Bicycle Day" and continued to research hallucinogenic substances, convinced of their benefits for use in psychoanalytic practice. He died of natural causes on 29 April 2008. He was 102.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Creepy Crawlies (the return of the...)

At our monthly L'Amour Electronique soiree back in July someone came and asked me if I had any Jean-Claude Vannier. "I have Histoire de Melody Nelson", I replied. But he wanted Vannier solo. He said there was this Jean-Claude Vannier solo album that was recorded around the same time as Melody Nelson, and it was even more nuts.

I did my research a few days after and found L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches, which was re-released by Finders Keepers Records in 2006. I made a mental note to get with the times and purchase a copy as soon as I had a bit of spare cash. In September I picked up it up on CD from Rough Trade, and it has made a gleeful romp of a soundtrack to my washing-up sessions ever since. At times I've been caught laughing out loud at the sheer ingenuity and craziness of it all. And I can't help recommending it to anyone and everyone who shows a passing interest in anything French or off-the-wall.

Released in 1972 under the guise of the fictional group Insolitudes, Vannier's composition and production technique throws everything AND the kitchen sink onto tape, then chops it up with razor-blades and re-arranges it: the taut Melody Nelson core-session players; Vannier himself on harpsichord, piano, flute, recorder, toy pianos, chimes and bells, klaxons, whistles and tape recorders; a powerful choir of eerie, valkyrie-like voices; and a simple string quartet, multi-tracked twohundredandfifty-fold to create his trademark lush, sweeping "1001-piece orchestra".

The story goes that Vannier dropped by chez-Serge with a test pressing of his new record, seeking the opinion of his friend and collaborator. Serge asked him to leave the copy with him for 24 hours, and put pen to paper. The result: a strange and macabre story to accompany the strange and unhinged music, L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches or The Child Fly-Killer.

The re-release has an English interpretation of the typically Gainsbourg-ian tale in the sleevenotes (hmmm, methinks some of his twisted sense of humour may have been lost in translation):
[click the linked titles for mp3s]

1. L'Enfant la Mouche et les Allumettes
The Child the Fly and the Matches: A wounded fly is in a fluster. The child gets his matches ready. He chases the fly and tries to burn it.
2. L'Enfant au Royaume des Mouches
The Child in the Fly Kingdom: The wounded animal leads the child into an underground, humid and dark place: the fly kingdom. The child crosses the stream that runs along the entrance to the forbidden caves.
3. Danse des Mouches Noires Gardes du Roi
Dance of the Black Flies, The King's Guards: As the child approaches, the king's guards take up a warrior's stance, then move aside revealing the king of the flies playing billiards**
4. Danse de L'Enfant et du Roi des Mouches [Dance of the Child and the King of the Flies]
The king of the flies invites the child to dance with him. But during the dance, the child plans an act of treachery.
5. Le Roi des Mouches et la Confiture de Rouse
The King of The Flies and the Rose Jam: The child rips the cellophane off a pot of rose jam and pours it onto the floor. The huge lake of jam slowly covers the king. The king of the flies efforts to break free only get him stuck even more, watched helplessly by the guards who slowly draw away.
6. L'Enfant Assassin des Mouches
The child Fly-Killer: The king, hindered by the jam, drags himself to the human's beach. The child joins him there, jumping around and tormenting him with a rod.
7. Les Garde Volent au Secours du Roi
The Guards fly to the King's rescue: Several troops of black flies harass the child one after the other and try to save the king, but in vain.
8. Mort du Roi des Mouches
Death of the King of the Flies: The child murderer ruthlessly pursues the king of the flies lashing out at the tall grass with his stick. The king of the flies is beaten to death.
9. Pattes de Mouches
Spidery Scrawl / Fly Legs: The fly people take counsel together and prepare their revenge.
10. Le Papier tue Enfant
The Paper Child-Killer: The whirling flies meake the child's head spin. They try to stick him onto a paper child-killer. The child tries to escape the flies punishment twice, then gets stuck onto the paper child-killer***.
11. Petite Agonie de L'Enfant Assassin
The Death Throes of the Child Murderer: The child is covered in flies.

**Serge's cunning plot device to explicate a sound collage-d game of snooker.
***Giant, child-sized sheet of stinky, sticky fly-paper

[Buy Jean-Claude Vannier from Finders Keepers Records]