LDoMoE Podcast #14 – Bastille Day Podcasts

Tokow Boys

A common refrain I have heard over the years is that France is not a “rock-n-roll country”. Someone even pointed out once that talking about French Rock-n-Roll is kinda like talking about British cooking, which is a pretty witty statement. It is also completely false. In both senses really, since I kinda love Bangers and Mash.

And who gives a fuck about Rock-n-Roll anyway? If you wanna Rock-n-Roll, go find a copy of Patrick Swayze’s 1989 classic Road House. I’m sure the Blockbuster Video currently going out of business down the street from your house has a fresh copy on clearance. Pick up Footloose while you are at it and you can kick off your Sunday shoes all you want. What the French are really good at, in my humble opinion is something altogether more sublime and I have the podcasts to prove it.

Yes, in honour of La Fête Nationale Française, Joe Stumble and the inimitable Constance Legeay, caretaker of A Very Special Story, have cooked up three podcasts of pure Gallic Genius. These podcasts will lay to rest once and for all, the myth that France somehow checked out during the Punk / New Wave heyday of 76-86. In fact, when it came to cold-wave and minimal synth, France not only contributed but actually owned it. Don’t believe me? Listen to Taxi Boy, Marquis De Sade, Orchestre Rouge, The Comix and Ruth and tell me otherwise.

And guess what? They had some great Rock-n-Roll bands as well. Brilliant stuff like Les Olivensteins, Les Spurts, Oberkampf, Gasoline and Strychnine. So, as is usually the case, the commonly held belief is a bunch of nonsense. Help us all debunk history and check out these podcasts. Vive Le France!

Bastille Day Podcast Volume One

J’suis punk Bulldozer
Panik Metal Urbain
Attitudes Marie Et Les Garçons
Viol Af Dis Casino Music
Birthday Party Stinky Toys
Sticks in my Brain Martin Dupont
Mercenaire Warum Joe
Quand Musclée Masoch
Ping Pong Act
Fantasmes Strychnine
Cherchez Le Garcon Taxi Girl
Je Suis Fier De Mon Grand Père – Les Spurts
Paris 84 – Private Vices
La Machine À Rêver X-Ray Pop
L’Amour Gratuit The Comix
Mind Kas Product
Polaroid / Roman/Photo Ruth
Electrifié – Calcinator
Chimene Hovelicot Fatsy Wataire
S.A.I.D. Marquis De Sade
Soviet Comet Artefact
On A Clear Day Les Provisoires
Modem Charles De Goal

Bastille Day Podcast Volume Two

Chic Choc A 3 Dans Les WC
La Crise Economique Les Civils
Enfin L’amour Nouveaux Riches
Electrique Sylvie Modern Guy
Roulette Russe Elli & Jacno
Déréglée Marie France
Poly Magoo Asphalt Jungle
J’en Ferais Bien Mon Quatre Heure Les Calamities
Last Night – Pura Vida Pura Vida
Indicateur Ou Dragueur Nini Raviolette
Elle Hotesse Tokow Boys
Felicita Deux
Fuck Off Mopo Mogo
Jeannette Braque
Satellite Retransmission Satellite
Avorton Edith Nylon
Payola Lizzy Mercier Descloux
Freddie Laker (Concorde and Airbus) J.J. Burnel
Le banana split Lio
Broken Windows Warm Gun
Boy Be My Toy Mathematiques Modernes
tous les 7 ans CKC
Carnival Metal Boys

Bastille Day Podcast Volume Three

Sortie De Garage La Souris Déglinguée
Never Trust A Punk Spions, Inc.
Don’t Wanna Be A Rich Guilty Razors
Salted City 84 flesh
Trouble Fête The Dogs
Sally Gasoline
Danse Des Canards Alesia Cosmos
Fast Food The (Hypothetical) Prophet
D. Section 1984
Trottodaf End Of Data
Yekto Le Kreutre Super Freego
Rien de nouveau a l’est Abject
Soon Come Violence Orchestre Rouge
Les Cosmetiques Cosmiques Demars
visions Fall of Saigon
mon lycee les feles
couleurs sur paris Oberkampf
Euthanasie Les Olivensteins
Des Vies Encastrées Face Au Sol Gutura
77 – Electric Callas
Essor Assuré Visible
love machine Space Art

Additional credit is in order here. First of all, let me reiterate that these could not have been done without the help of Constance Legeay. She desperately tried to school me on French pronunciation but I cannot be taught! Constance also gave me some great suggestions about song choices and bands as well. An awesome collaboration!

Secondly, I would not have gone off the deep end with this music and been inspired enough to make these podcasts if it had not been for three very critical comps of the past few years. First of which was, BIPPP: French Synth Wave 1979-85, which I reviewed back in 2008 here on this blog. Second, So Young But So Cold: Underground French Music 1977-83 and third, Jeunes Gens Modernes. All three of these are crucial in proving that bands like Metal Urbain were not exceptions to drab music scene but instead bonafide parts of a cultural and musical movement that produced an amazing amount of under-recognized and under-appreciated bands.

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15 Responses to LDoMoE Podcast #14 – Bastille Day Podcasts

  1. Dan says:

    What no Les Thugs?

    Anyway, part 3 seems to be missing.

  2. Joe says:

    I like Les Thugs. But they fall out of the era I was focusing on….

    Part Three was fixed

  3. Tom says:

    Fantastic. vive la france!

  4. Ben says:

    God bless you Joe!

    More incredible stuff here than I can really take in right now, and that’s just the videos…

    I don’t suppose anyone remembers that ’70s French band who played over the top Stooges style stupid-rock? There used to be a hilarious video of ‘em on youtube, featuring the singer shirtless with a huge afro going nuts between two speaker stacks, like an instant answer to that old chestnut about the French not being able to “rock”…?

    I wanted to reference them in a blog post pointing people in the direction of this one, but I can’t remember what they were called… Sticky? Soggy? Fluffy? – some odd one word name like that…

    Er, anyway, yeah – thanks again – a whole new world to explore here!

  5. b e h j a n says:

    Ben,I guess you mean SOGGY ?
    Btw,the 125 GRAMMES DE 33 1/3 TOURS compilation LP of 1979 is another GREAT PuNk release from France (Electrochoc,Strychnine,Les Fracas,ETC)
    Hopefully it appears in a blog someday

  6. Brian C. says:

    Thanks for this Joe, only ever seen the Metal Urbain video (pure ’77!) Lots of adventurous stuff I doubt even Foucault could make sense of. Greatest punk bass player = Burnel. Tightest red dress I have ever seen = Stinky Toys. Postmodern Hawaiian drum circle = X Ray Pop (my roommate had a record of theirs I hated but I quite liked this). Didn’t know the rest unless that Marquis de Sade is the same who did “Henry”.

    Anyway France and Italy both get the spits for their punk but I’m findin they had a lot more goin’ on that Salted City and UFO Dictator. I also love stuff like Magma (1001 Centigrades is the one in my book, don’t believe what Cope says about it sounding “Blood Sweat and Tears”, “MDK” is very diff, an opera basically. Kohntarkoz is slow and scary and you can skip the first album) also Ange (1st two albums I like) and a whole genre of Magma-like rock that I tried to mix with punk in one of my bands (still hoping too). Italy has some good prog albums too . . . man last night I was talkin to this guy at the bar and when I said “Syd Barrett was kinda prog” he walked away without saying anything.

    Behjan’s right about the 125 Grammes comp, but beware! There’s an evil doppleganger of it called Le Rock d’Ici a L’Olympia which has tempted man due to an otherwise unavailable Guilty Razor track called “Wake Up”. It’s pretty good, though it sounds more like poppy Devo being attacked by crowd dubbing. But the rest of the LP is a horrorshow:

    (1) Kicks off with Marie et les Garcons who do okay until they without warning break into “Macho, Macho Man”!

    (2) Stinky Toys have their subtle charms (thanks for the videos of Elle) but in the heat of performance the poor woman shrieks all over the place. She heats up halfway thru . . . but here’s the problem with a lotta French punk, IMO: they’re obsessed with taking it back to the American ’50s (twangy guitars, reverb tanks, saxes) rather than the garage ’60s. Stick Elle in front of a band like Taxi Girl, give her a valium, and you’d have something great.

    (3) Diesel are sub-Little Bob Story, musically, but the mangled English lyrics have them repeating “A tooting rock’n'roller, a tooty rock’n'roller”

    (4) Rare vinyl appearance by all-girl Lou’s, but its a skinny guitar cover of “No Escape” but (especially by ’77 standards) its more Pat Boone than Sky. You’ll want to play Cab Voltaire’s take to cleanse yourself afterwards.

    (5) Bijou (never the KBD punkers’ fav) have two tracks which bear the names of good studio tracks by them but really what they do is segue “Train Kept a Rollin” into the “Batman” theme. The only vocals in the entire two tracks are by the crowd, and if you didn’t get enough of that, the side ends with a minute more.

    (6) I was looking forward to Electric Callas because their tracks on the 2nd Le Grandes Success comp are right from the fun house (especially 77). Haven’t heard their other vinyl but here they do THE WORST I WANNA BE YOUR DOG EVER RECORDED. The chords are clipped in this clumsy way that makes me wonder if they were trying to do a ska version. The vocals are spoken without menace or energy and to totally ruin the listener’s life they coat the last minute with “la la las”. Maybe that’s how dogs bark in France.

    (7) Starshooter do “35 Tonnes” from their LP (the one with all the cowbell and overdubbed Fender) but in the heat of L’Olympia it sounds like the MC5′s introducer being drownt out by a high school band’s first swipe at “We’re an American Band”.

    (8) Leaving it to Asphalt Jungle to save the day. I’m wary of these guys cuz they’re like Kickboy Face’s little brother fronting a slightly rougher Stray Cats, and yeah, that’s what they do here. And besides the Guilty Razors, its the only keeper (they’re the last two tracks and it’s a challenge to get that far.)

    The reason I’m warning you about this, is I spent the last two days listening to every French record I have, and this was the worst . . . which I bought because I got confused between it and what Behjan’s recommending, which really is killer. The live L’Olympia is however not good and I’ll give you a final reason why: find a scan of the cover. What do you see? Sausages? Red Twinkies? A black market of organ meats? Hell if I know.

    Cheers and beers,
    Brian C.

  7. jeffen says:

    What no G.P.S.?

    (Perhaps they were a little pop for this list – which was very well done by the way.)


  8. ian says:

    great stuff – looking forward to this – lots of listening ahead. You may be intersted in this audio doco about the Sydney post punk scene – excellent stuff & very intersting (esp. if u come from here)…one on melbourne coming up…some pretty cool music here that I was unaware of also – check it out:

  9. Erich says:

    What, no STALAG? (to add my own “what, no”-thing)

    great job, joe. thanks a lot.

  10. Nicolas Sarkozy says:

    What, no Johnny Hallyday?

  11. texas bell-end says:

    WHAT??!!! WHAT, NO BOCAL 5????!!!! Just Joking

  12. Joe Stumble says:

    you guys are killing me

  13. alex says:

    are you going to make a new post at some point?

  14. elliott says:

    lookin good joe! i got these podcasts a wile ago and was too damn busy to comment. well sorry. anyway great podcasts. hope you post something soon though.

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