Psychegalic Quebec France Belgium

On two mp3 collections I have gathered over 12 hours of French pop that spans generations, genres & continents. At one time CanCon in Quebec limited the quantity of English music on the radio which during the 60’s & 70’s, resulted in cover versions by PQ groups. I love this music & here I have Quebecois Girl Groups; Les Aristos:Le Top 30; Les Hou-Lops: Le Top 30. Not all are cover versions but much of it is.

The CanCon also resulted is fine home-grown talent such as Eric Lepointe: Le ceil de mes combats (more about Eric when I get to ‘l’); Les B.B. – solid pop that slips from Steve Miller like rock to blues to sweet ballads; Kate & Anna McGarrigle: Entre la jeunesse et le sagesse – iconic music by these Canadian icons; Richard Seguin: Journée d’Amérique – an amazing & emotionally powerful singer with a deep history inPQ folk/rock/blues.

From Europe comes Collectors Items From Belgium – a collection of 60’s surf instrumentals music by various combos. Serge Gainsbourg: l’histoire de Melody Nelson – Serge is a latter day Brel but unlike Brel never made much of an impression in North America. Plastic Bertand: Plastiquez vos baffles – I love Bertand – he’s adapted his sound from punk, to new wave, to disco & here he channels the Beach Boys! I had this as a cassette & was happy to replace it with mp3. It’s a treat. Psychegalic – I love the title of this compilation of various bands heavily influenced by 60’s psychedelic. It include some tracks by Les 5 Gentlemen: Plus Grands Succes – that I enjoyed so I traced down their hits collection.

Madame: Eldorado – is a power pop group in the U2 mold. More about them when I get to ‘m’. Finally in a the tradition Claude Nougaro: Collection Prestige. I caught a video for his Paris Man & loved it. More easy listening than rock & he’s fond of Latin rhythms & Louis Armstrong type jazz. All great fun & if you want to explore music outside of English pop all of these are great starters.

Red Yellow Green

Tom panned the camera slowly up and down the unconscious form on the bed. Frank had insisted that they record as many details as they could before the boy came to.

There was band of  white feathers tied around one of the boy’s leg. On his upper arm was another band of feathers, only these were black. There was also a band of yellow and green beads wrapped around his cock and balls. The paint smeared on his torso was powdery yet none of it flaked off onto the bedding.

‘Turn him over.’ Tom whispered. He stepped back to refocus the camera.

Frank gingerly put his hands on the prone form. The flesh was warm, damp. Dry paint came off on his hands.

‘How?’ he held his hands up. ‘On me but not on the sheets?’

Tom shrugged. ‘Turn him over.’

The boy’s body rolled over easily. His back was streaked with the same red, yellow and green with a large, black zig zag circle at the base of his spine.

‘Tattoo?’ Tom asked as he brought the lens closer to the marking. He brushed it with one finger. The paint smeared, stained his finger, as the paint had done to Frank’s hand.

‘Roll him back.’

Tom put down the camera and went to the bathroom to wash his hands. Frank joined him.

‘Sleeping beauty was here to protect us?’

The colors wouldn’t come off in the hot water; wouldn’t come off when they dried their hands on a towel.

They returned to the bed. The teen remained motionless. Breathing lightly with his arms stretched stiffly at his side.

‘What should we do?’

‘Let try  – what was the name he told us to call him, Tango?’

‘Mambo.’

‘Right. Mambo. Mambo.’ Frank gently shook the boy by the shoulder. ‘Mambo we need you help. We need your protection.’

The form on the bed shook violently. A jet of urine spurted out of him. Yellow and it stank.

‘PU. God. What do these kids drink anyway?’

Mambo’s eyes opened wide. His fingers stretched till the bones cracked and his body levitated off the bed.

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Brigitte Bardot

Brigitte Bardot pop star! Way back in the early 90’s I watched a bio on Bardot & discovered that she had a reasonable pop career in France. Not a great singer by any means but fun. I like this sort of obscure pop stuff (imagine my pleasure on finding Patty Duke’s Valley of the Dolls recordings).

dishes picnic

I did a record store search & bought a cassette called Golden Hits at Sam’s – released many years later as The Bardot Show which I have on an mp3 collection along with Brigitte. These two are sweet – some calypso & light pop. Show has her ‘hits’ & work with Serge Gainsbourg. He never pushes her voice beyond what it can do, a bit of echo seems to be the only manipulation. There is also great wonky sitar work – so 60’s.

construction2 what’s that lurking behind the bushes

I also have a stand alone (bought in Montreal July1993) : La mandrague – with more of sweet stuff. An overview of musical career, including the original Je T’aime with its breathy gasps over a disco beat.

shelf shelf restraint

The French are a great lover of singing actresses & also of this breathy tone that Bardot has. Most recently Asia Argento has release a cd of very Bardot type material – Feist is similar as well, light bouncy songs with a delicate voice.

sample

Press Of Flesh

‘I have to talk to you. Can you  come over right away?’

‘Yes. I have to change my clothes first so it’ll be about twenty minutes before I can get out of here.’

‘Fine. Hurry.’

‘Can’t you give me a clue as to what this is all about?’

‘No. I mean yes but the less time I spend talking to you now, the sooner you will be here.’

‘Okay. Okay. Bye. I love you.’

‘I love you too. Now get over here.’

A quick splash of water, change of socks and I was out the door. Normally I would have changed out of the sweat pants I wore around the house but the urgency in Brad’s voice told me I had best hurry.

The subway platform was crowded with kids from the uniform school near by. Teenagers budding into adults with sturdy bodies. Girls with the second blush of breasts straining white starched shirts and boys with their first spout of hair over their upper lips. Sweet smiles and ugly words to each other.

I never felt safe under these circumstances. As if they paid me any heed at all but memories of my own high school days would creep in. Days when I was taunted and bullied by boys just like these boys.

The train pulled in and all the cars were jammed with people. More high school kids now mixed with adults on lunch hour. I found a pillar to lean against. As the train pulled it out it jolted to a stop and then started gain pushing people into and over each other.

I was jabbed in the back by a knapsack and was in turn pushed into the girl in front of me.

‘Sorry.’ I muttered and I righted myself. She didn’t even turn around. I glanced behind me. A Chinese boy gave me a weak apologetic smile. Not that I expected any thing under the circumstances. If we all apologized for casual bumps there’d be no stop to it.

As I approached my stop I had to push through to get off. People were unwilling to part but I was given extra impetus by someone pushing behind me, also to get off.

I was glad to be free of the press of flesh around me. Not that I mind it because I know it is part and parcel of travel in a big city but I’m always happy to get away from it at the same time.

I stopped to catch my breath when the Chinese boy who had bumped me passed by me and then turned around.

‘You are alright?’

‘Yes.’ I was surprised that he had no accent. I also saw that he wasn’t as young as I had supposed when I first noticed him. ‘Thank you.’

‘Very crowded.’

‘That’s the way of this world at this time of day.’

‘Quite right.’ he smiled broadly.

Where was I going?

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