Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ladies et Gentlemen!

Hello flower girls and beat boys.

I have been in the depths of a very busy summer, helping my boyfriend put together a smashing music festival and traveling as a merchandise-bearer with dear friends Rasputina on their whirlwind summer tour.

So please, forgive me for not updating this blog more regularly (it's been a month--egads!!).

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Today, I give some much deserved time to the boys of 1960's Paris pop music. Yes, these dashing men often shared the spotlight in sultry duets with foxy French femmes fatales, but they had some of their own terrific music going on as well.

First, some duets.

In the coveted and rare musical "Anna", broadcast on French television in 1967--and written by Serge Gainsbourg--the absurdly sexy Jean-Claude Brialy plays Serge, a photographer who pines for a mysterious woman(played by Anna Karina, the smokin' muse of Jean-Luc Godard) after she accidently infiltrates one of his fashion shoots. Sadly, she has her glasses off when her picture is taken, which cause a Clark Kent-like effect of Brialy not recognizing her when she wears them, even as he desperately posts her picture all over Paris.



Strange, trippy dance numbers and weird sci-fi tributes ensue. The movie loses track of it's plot about halfway through, but who cares? We get to see Anna Karina dance around with no pants on!

One of the most lovely duets in the film takes place between the characters of Anna and Serge. "Ne Dis Rien" is a fantastic number, filled with longing and heartbreak. Their voices (Anna's-- breathy and sexy, Jean-Claudes-- masculine and forward) compliment each other perfectly, making for a delightfully romantic tune. Clip below.






Ye-ye girl Sylvie Vartan owed many of her songs to French pop singer Frankie Jordan (born Claude Benzaquen). Jordan took an easy, swingin' approach to his music, emanating the laid-back American style of approaching pop music during the sixties(hence his alias). He innocently sings back and forth with Sylvie in the fun, lighthearted duet "J'aime Ta Facon De Faire." Find the teeny-bopper delight here, and rock out.






France Gall, another ye-ye singer, was part of many notoriously naughty duets. Case-in-point; her televised duet with Serge Gainsbourg on 1965's "Les Sucettes", a song that was obviously about more than liking to suck on lollipops.





Here's a rough translation for your amusement:

Annie likes lollipops,
Aniseed lollipops
Annie's aniseed lollipops
Give her kisses
An aniseed taste.
And when the barley sugar,
Perfumed with aniseed,
Slides down Annie's throat
She is in paradise.
For a few pennies
Annie,
Gets her aniseed lollipops.
They have the color of her eyes,
The color of happy days.
Annie likes lollipops,
Aniseed lollipops
Annie's aniseed lollipops
Give her kisses
An aniseed taste.
When on her tongue
Just a small stick remains,
She jumps to her feet
And returns to the drugstore.
For a few pennies
Annie,
Gets her aniseed lollipops.
They have the color of her eyes,
The color of happy days.
When the barley sugar,
Perfumed with aniseed,
Slides down Annie's throat
She is in paradise.






Are you blushing yet???

France claims she never knew anything about the innuendo, which makes her sexual innocence all the more alluring. In yet another Serge Gainsbourg-penned tune, she duets with the much-older French film actor Maurice Biraud in the song "La Petite". The song is about an older man having a "close" relationship with his friend's young daughter. He says that she is "still a little girl" but she insists to him that she is "all grown up". See the delightfully creepy video below:



Lastly, an opportunity for French fellows to have their moment in the spotlight. The compilation Gentlemen de Paris does a stellar job of letting these boys shine.




It's currently out of print in the States, but I have it here for your pleasure. Plenty of sexy swinging French sixties boys. O la la!

5 comments:

spikedcandy said...

hi! i just found your blog via a comment you left on feministing. funny coincidence, because earlier today i was just thinking about my feminist feelings about 'les sucettes'. my youtube uploads of it have received some pretty gross comments before, and i found it quite unnerving to realise that some people were watching this not in the same light as a fascinating but icky artefact, but rather in a dirty-old-man way.

i love gainsbourg and i do believe his daughter when she says he was not a misogynist but it's also obvious his desire to provoke outweighed his sense of decency. as a youngster, france g. had such a lovely spirited wholesomeness about her, it makes me cringe to think of these moments she's made into an unwilling lolita.

great blog you have here and thank you for linking me :). i shall link back once i step foot on my blog again.

btw i'm not sure if it's out in the US, but i've seen on one of the amazon sites a box set which features all the femmes de paris cds + gentlemen de paris.

spikedcandy said...

PS did you happen to read brigitte bardot's comments on sarah palin? :D

spikedcandy said...

me again - meant to say "outweighed his sense of decency *at times*" - i did not mean it to sound as if i was damning of his character altogether. and by decency, i mean treating others well, not being 'decent' which obviously he was not about.

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Flanders Beat said...

Link doesn't work anymore - sendspace has blocked it...

what now???...How can i get 'gentlemen from paris'????