Frères Nubuck : Preuves de jeunesse (2009)
First, let's welcome les Frères
Nubuck whose song gave this compilation its title. Unfortunately,
their 2009 album, Disque mineur, fin de règne animal, shows
signs of going as unnoticed as the previous one, Chaque vivant est
un mort en puissance. This is unfair. The record is so good that this
excellent song has been relegated to the MP3 bonus EP that comes withte
it. At 10 €,
this super album, with the bonus EP and a code to download the previous
album for free, is
really the album of the year. You who probably have missed it, it's
not to late to cach up !
Hibbett & The Validators : My boss was in an indie band once
Pinsons : Le digne dindon (1952)
Williams : I'm gonna sing (1951)
Time Life has started releasing the 143 tracks recorded by Hank Williams
in 1951 for a radio show sponsored by Mother's best flour. I'm gonna
sing, an invigorating, is from the first released box, The
unreleased recordings. Another box, Revealed,
is already available.
McCain : Geronimo rock 'n' roll (1955)
1955 !! Since I
downloaded this track at Boogie-Woogie Flu last April I must have
listened to it dozens of times, and yet every time I have to pinch myself
to admit that Geronimo
rock 'n' roll, this wild and furious recording, with its saturated
guitar, a sound that I thought was unheard of before Link Wray, really
dates back to the same year as the first singles by Chuck Berry or Bo
Diddley. A revelation...!
Rythmos : Frisette, fais pas ça (1959)
After I chanced upon a cheap copy of the Country
Quebec compilation at the FNAC Forum des Halles in Paris, my second
2009 semester was placed under the sign of Québec, and this shows
a lot in this selection. So, while websurfing, I also found the Vente
de garage vol. 3 compilation with its fifties rock'nroll Quebequian
nuggets. Fifties, indeed, like rockabilly, but this extra-ordinary Rythmos
might as well have been released in 1969. Try to imagine if the few hippy-psychedelic
garage freakbeat songs by Les Charlots hda been as good as their titles
led you to believe... Well, look no further, Les Rythmos had achieved
it ten years earlier.
Jimmy Castor Bunch : King Kong (Pt 1) (1975)
Generally, I'm not much into funk music. But this Summer, when Dorian
Feller played me this single he had just bought, I was hooked immediately.
This groove is uhndebiably funky and this version of the stroy of King
Kong is as funny as it makes you want to shake your booty : "Wild
women heard his love call, but he was too big and too tall",
lyrics followed by a series of beasty "Wah wah wah wah wah wah".
& The Three Ghouls : Morgus the Magnificent (1959)
I don't remember how I chanced upon an MP3 of this song, but the fact
Dylan played it on his excellent Theme time radio hour must
have given it a new boost. This lively tribute to a local horror films
the Magnificent, is the work, among others, of a very young Dr.
John (19 years old!), probably responsible for the guitar parts of
this single, since this was before a bullet wrecked one of his fingers
and he switched to piano.
9. Robbie The Werewolf : Rockin' werewolf
For several years, WFMU's
Beware of the blog
has been an ever reliable source for musical discoveries. It is thanks
to them that we got the chance to listen to the
sole album by Robbie "The Werewolf" Robinson, who pioneered
beatnik monster comedy folk and was later a founding member of Clear Light.
My favourite track is this Rockin' werewolf, pitched somewhere
between Jonathan Richman and the best of the solo live Dogbowl.
Lewis : Roll bus roll (2009)
There are not so many songs about the joys of travelling by coach. So,
when you hear this one, the single culled from the album 'Em and I
by Jeffrey Lewis, you can only associate it with You're
crazy for taking the bus, one of the jewels of Jonathan
goes country, an album by Jonathan Richman album, one of Jeffrey
Lewis's great inspirations. If Lewis's song is not as funny, it doen't
keep him from rendering just as well the atmosphere of a long ride on
Watch : the
Concert à emporter version of Roll bus roll by
Jeffrey and his brother Jack at a Paris bus stop.
: Roll on summertime (1984)
I bought the first Martin Stephenson and the Daintees album when it was
released in 1987, but I'd never had the chance before 2009 to listen too
their very first 7", Roll
on Summertime. Here too, you can feel the influence of Jonathan
Richman and, as soon as the song begins (with one minute of guitar), the
evocation of Summer is nearly as succesfull as with That Summer feeling.
: Yomigaeru (2009)
After a few years away, The Pastels came back this year with Two sunsets,
a collaborative album with japanese band Tenniscoats. The record is quite
eclectic and it isYomigaeru, a bucolic pop confection, somewhere
and The Pascals, which has my preference.
Vanna & Im Song Soeum : Quand tu me comprendras (1960s)
Bolduc & André "Zézé" Carmel : Les
Here's my favourite track from the Country
Quebec compilation I mentioned earlier. It is also the oldest
recording in this selection.
Les belles-mères (The mothers-in-law), that's a theme
as old as marriage but this particular instance of a song really deserves
a prize in this category !
Jazz Butcher : La mer (1983)
16. The Jazz Butcher : Water (1985)
I've known these two Jazz Butcher songs for quite a long time, but I had
the opportunity to listen to them again this year, with great pleasure.
In addition to the fact that they are two of my favourite Pat Fish songs,
they have at least two things in common : water and elephants ! And I
love the chorus of La mer, "Tout le monde va à la plage
parce qu'il est bien joli".
: Si t'as été à Tahiti (1958)
et Germaine Duclos : Je te veux (1937)
Here's a song I found on another Frémeaux oldies compilation bought
cheap on sale. This time, it's Amour,
bananes et ananas. This ultra-hot duo is a song from the film
Le rosier de Madame Husson (1932), rerecorded five years after
the fact, if I'm not wrong. Despite the fact it's missing the tough love
aspect, this song still has something of Magali Noel's and Boris Vian's
Fais-moi mal Johnny, some twenty years before.
Frère : Anita (1960s)
Miron et ses Laurentiens : En avant le rock'n'roll (1957)
We come back to our early rockers from Quebec, who were indeed in the
first place country musicians trying their hand at the new rhythm. With
avant le rock'n'roll, Roger Miron, says goodbye, in dream, to
the year 1956 and hails the new year. Solos of guitar, organ and accordion
follow one another so you can dance and sing with Roger : "Then
I woke up, the year 56 had gone by, leaving as a memory rock'n'roll and
its pleasures. Since that dream, that strange dream, I listen to Elvis
and think of the year 56".
Benoît : Rock'n'roll dans mon lit (1958)
We know that a great many expressions used to describe musical styles
have a sexual double meaning. People in Quebec in the fifties knew the
other meaning of rockn'roll. Proof is given with Rock'n'roll
dans mon lit by Léo Benoît : "Rock'n Roll in
the bed is superior I assure you to Elvis Presley's. When I start dancing
it with my pretty baby, then I start yodeling. The legs of the bed they
start a-trembling when I present to my wife, whom I hold in my arms, what
I have of most beautiful, the hottest of loves to be able to start dancing
Frères Nubuck : Pour la survie de l'espèce (2009)
Youth being transent by definition, Les Frères Nubuck were led
on their latest album to ask themselves existential questions, while they
were whistling and dancing. Here, they reflect on getting old and the
survival of the species.
Thomas and The Accordion Club : We have the technology (1992)
24. Dorian Feller
: Au garde à vous des sentinelles
Dorian Feller released this year Drôle
de bobine, the seventh volume of his Brodé
Tango project, except that, not to make things easier, he put his
own name on the front cover instead of Brodé Tango. Still, the
set-up remains the same : helped only by drummer Joss Mandall, Dorian
records at home alone his songs and rhymes with titles full of puns. Hard
to choose between the 24 tracks, but Au garde à vous des sentinelles
won for the beauty of its melody.
Richman : The morning of our lives (1981)
It came from nowhere, nearly, via a Google alert in fact, and it was unhoped
for. It was not exactly a "Lost
album", as the
blog which first made these recordings available titled it, but a
series of studio demo recordings by Jonathan Richman dated from circa
1981. Or, to put it another way, it's a bit like discovering an unreleased
Beserkeley album released after Back in your life, or a kid brother
to Jonathan sings !.
I like the version of Moulin Rouge much better than the one released
later. There is a studio version of I'm a little airplane and unreleased
rocks like In the checkout line ("First they talked about
me, then they talked about you and all the things they wish we wouldn't
do, when Mama saw your mother in the checkout line." !), but
the essential point of this collection sahll remain for me this version
of The morning of our lives. I've known the Modern Lovers Live
! album, on which this song was initally released in 1977, for 25
years now. It quickly became one
of the pillars of the optimistic hip-pop doctrine. I had to wait the
development of the internet to have the chance to listen to other live
versions of it, but I didn't even dream that a studio version might exist.
This one even ends with an extra verse in French referencing Maurice Chevalier,
who may have inspired this song through one of his texts or lyrics : "If
Maurice Chevalier were here today, he'd take us all by the hand and say
: Enjoy it while you can. For me, it is the twilight, but for you it's
the morning, ladies and gentlemen. Our time is maintenant, le time to
do les choses, comment dit-on, tu vraiment veux, le temps est maintenant,
le matin de notre vie. (...) Nous avons la jeunesse maintenant.".
What better proof of youth could we have found to conclude this selection