Sunday, February 9, 2014

Featured: Ye-Ye Girls!


 

Yé-Yé! Girls of '60s French Pop 


"Yé-Yé is a delightful style of pop music featuring young female singers that influenced France and many other countries, as says Susan Sontag, with its particular “camp” style throughout the 1960s.
Yé-Yé pop had secondary explosions in the 1970s and 1990s in Japan and Europe through the likes of Lio (who provides this book’s foreword), and in the United States through singers like April March, whose Yé-Yé number “Chick Habit” was heard in the Quentin Tarantino film Death Proof.
Interest in Yé-Yé revived again recently during the fifth season of the mega-popular television series Mad Men, when Don Draper’s young, sexy wife sang the Yé-Yé number “Zou Bisou Bisou,” originally made famous in the 1960s by blonde actress Gillian Hills.
The most famous Yé-Yé practitioners include the glamorous Sylvie Vartan (married to rock star Johnny Hallyday), French lolita France Gall, beautiful actresses Brigitte Bardot and Chantal Goya, and the statuesque Françoise Hardy.
This collection by French pop music expert Jean-Emmanuel Deluxe includes many interviews with the original singers and producers, visual excerpts of record covers, both 45s and LPs, and remarkable excerpts from a children’s fan diary of the period.
Yé-Yé means “Yeah Yeah” and many music lovers are ready for an immersion in this beloved but little-known genre."
“This lavishly illustrated compendium is like a passport to another time and place…a window into an era in which one could switch on the TV & see Bridget Bardot singing about Harley Davidson motorcycles while wearing thigh-high boots and a black leather mini-skirt. This book may well be the Bible of Yé-Yé .” -Boyd Rice

Also available:





Clothilde: Queen Of The French Swinging Mademoiselle

Vinyl Record

Why CLOTHILDE? Why not that more star-worthy, internationally-acclaimed Françoise Hardy, or the more akin to the sub-genre, France Gall? Because she's the most characteristic, archtypical French mademoiselle, that's why! Christine Pilzer, even Jacqueline Taïeb before her, both may have been rediscovered first in this style unique to French '60s pop, and Stella also may have been the most out and out "anti-ye-ye" with her slightly anti-establishment and derisive lyrics countering the pop system and establishment, but Cleo's all about text, not that much as a whole production. As such, Clothilde takes the crown. Not only has Clothilde the most natural (albeit unknowingly) disposition as a chanteuse, singing such subversive lyrics with as much second degree detachment as possible but also, the music itself is highly original: inventive arrangements including French horn, musical saw, church bells, barrel organ, marimba, brass fiddle, woodwinds, and busy fuzz guitar amidst all that slapstick comedy-like audio bric-à-brac. Almost avant-garde in concept, it was imagined and produced by Clothilde's impresario, manager and indeed creator, legendary Disques Vogue A.D. Germinal Tenas. This could've only come out of France.




 

Brigitte Fontaine Est... Folle
Vinyl Record

French poet and chameleonic vocalist Brigitte Fontaine's career spans over four decades. Only a few years before her 1968 debut, Brigitte Fontaine Est…Folle, she moved to Paris to become an actress and took her prodigiously mature voice into the studio. Rich in the drama she brought to theater, Fontaine synthesized chanson (French pop song) and world music, which eventually won her international acclaim as a performer and collaborator with a variety of artists from around the world (ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO, SONIC YOUTH and STEREOLAB, to name just a few).
On Est…Folle, Fontaine takes flight over conductor Jean Claude Vannier's brilliant arrangements. Vannier, best known for his work on Serge Gainsbourg's Histoire De Melody Nelson, is in fine form, using what would become his trademark stylings: lush strings, taut rhythms culled from across the globe and a healthy dose of whimsy. "Il Pleut" swings from understatement to rapturous delight. "Une Fois Mais Pas Deux" is an infectious pop song that could have been culled from a French New Wave soundtrack. Fontaine is adventurous and multi-dimensional with sophisticated lyrics, poignant melodies and enthralling delivery. Such artful handling of meter and rhyme (or lack thereof) is rare in pop song. Far from the era's yé-yé phenomenon, but never fully removed from its traditions, Est…Folle is an essential link in French pop music, exuberantly pushing the genre into more conceptual and experimental sounds.





Brigitte Fontaine, Comme à La Radio
Vinyl Record

Featuring Areski Belkacem and Art Ensemble of Chicago, Comme à la Radio is the sophomore album in Brigitte Fontaine’s prolific career. While her debut, Brigitte Fontaine Est...Folle, is a unique take on French chanson, here the Art Ensemble provides the perfect setting for Fontaine’s exploration of free-verse poetry. Often arrhythmic and spoken, her vocals command the same spontaneity and grace that her collaborators applied to their instruments. The album’s eight-minute title track sets the tone: a sparse bass line keeps time as Fontaine dances around stabs of flute and trumpet. On “Tanka II,” named for a form of concise Japanese poetry, Areski (who provides percussion throughout) plays hand-drums atop flurries of bass as Fontaine coos and whispers pensively, gradually uttering controversial phrases. “L’Été L’Été” centers around a repeated motif with individual lines of high-pitched melody on a bed of muted horns. Each track is its own world, with Fontaine’s incredible range, both in style and substance, acting as the glue between the immense talent involved. The overall effect is chilling, and it is no surprise that Comme à la Radio is often cited as Fontaine’s best known work.




Wizzz! Volume 2: French Psychedelic 1966-1970

Finally, the long awaited continuation of the first Whizzz! compilation released a decade ago. Features only rare and unissued tracks from the 1960s French garage/weirdos/beat vaults. This new volume will blow your mind like the first one and includes a 38-page booklet with biography of each artist along with cool and unpublished photos. Mastered from the original master when they were no lost or damaged. Artists include SAN ANTONIO, JEAN ET JANET, BRUNO LEYS MAINTENANT, GUY SKORNIK, BRIGITTE FONTAINE, PHILIPPE NICAUD, ZORGONES, SERGE FRANKLIN, NELLY PERRIER, JESUS, ALAIN BOISSANGER, and others. Imported from Born Bad, Paris, France.





Serge Gainsbourg, Histoire De Melody Nelson
Vinyl Record

SERGE GAINSBOURG is no stranger to sexual proclivities, and with his 1971 Histoire De Melody Nelson he shared an erotic tale as seductive today as the day it was released. With help from actress, amour, and inspiration JANE BIRKIN, arranger/conductor and co-conspirator JEAN-CLAUDE VANNIER (L'Enfant Assassins Des Mouches), not to mention a tight hand picked crew of top shelf UK session musicians, Histoire De Melody Nelson is often cited as Gainsbourg's master work, an essential album for the discerning music lover. Light In The Attic's reissue of Histoire De Melody Nelson finally gives this still radical record the respect and attention to detail it so rightfully deserves. For the first time ever, this lavishly packaged and true to the original artwork CD reissue contains extensive English language liner notes and informative content explaining the times and tales behind the making of this passionate platter. Dispelling the countless myths, hearsay, and rumors surrounding Nelson, New York-based writer ANDY BETA contributes a stylish essay for your edification while Finders Keepers' honcho and Twisted Nerve founder ANDY VOTEL shares his deep knowledge of Gainsbourg and the Gallic and UK music scenes with great insight.First time available in US. Limited Edition Vinyl LP feat. 180-gram wax, gatefold hand-numbered old school tip-on jacket, and liner notes. Limited to only 2,000 copies!





  

These books, and thousands of others, can be purchased from:

Brickbat Books
709 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

215 592 1207

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Sunday: 11am to 6pm
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