Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Various Artists-LES PLUS GRANDS SUCCESS DU PUNK.II. CD (Skydog France)

A lotta Amerigans like to get their jollies bashing the French, and even though you would never call me a Francophile as you would Russell Desmond I should admit to you that I find such behavior mighty objectionable. True there are a good number of lousy French antecedents which would account for such an animosity towards the nation dating back to the Huguenots and French Revolutionaries, plus any nation that could produce the Marquis de Sade maybe should bow its head in shame once in awhile. Then again, who are we Amerigans to "talk" especially since we've given the world such watermarks of gulcher as the Ku Klux Klan and J. Neo Marvin, and yeah I remember a whole buncha people over here getting all mad at France when they wouldn't let Amerigan planes fly over their nation on the way to bomb Libya as well as for not wanting to participate in any Mideast warfare even to the point where "Freedom Fries" were becoming the new "Liberty Cabbage" in family eateries nationwide. Frankly, I would have expected the exact same behavior from the French that I would have from any nation that went through two destructive world wars that were more ruinous than anything that mighta happened here in the U. S. of Whoa, but unfortunately clearer minds were not being listened to at the time. Well, after a good five years I guess the anti-interventionist French do look better'n alla those anti-Frogsters woulda given 'em credit for and so what if they sneer at furriners trying to speak their lingo...didja ever hear the jokes and revulsion being tossed at Vietnamese boat people trying to utter just one English word correctly???

And what I say about the French goes double for their rock & roll music! I remember hearing people for years complainin' that the French can't play rock & roll, as if these people really had an opportunity to hear enough of it to make a valid judgement. Heck, even I from the foggy haze of three decades remember that exchange between Lester Bangs and Lou Reed in CREEM's METAL MACHINE MUSIC article where even Mr. Reed mentioned that they couldn't play rock & roll even though the French loved him to bits. Well, lemme tell you that I've heard enough French rock to come to the conclusion that these guys sure do know how to be rock & roll maniacs just as much as Amerigans (even more so...dunno if the cult of the "Classic Rock" station lives on there) or even the English, and if the reams of bands that have appeared on this Skydog CD I pulled outta the compost heap called LES PLUS GRANDS SUCCESS DU PUNK.II. are any indication of just what kinda rock the French can play on a regular basis then bands like Rotomagus, Mahogany Brain, Metal Urbain and Soggy are the norm rather than the exception and it would seem as if Mr. Reed has a little apologizin' to do to an entire nation that put out more than its fare share of high quality rockism back when the world was headin' into the dark ages of hippie belief systems and other affronts against the name of good 'n honest jamz kicking out!

The players on LES PLUS GRANDE... read like a roster from an issue of ROCK NEWS with such 1976-era French punkers the likes of the Dogs (who were longtime fanzine faves well into the eighties), Electric Callas, Lou's and 1984 popping up on this comp giving even the most unaware of listeners a pretty good idea of just what p-rock meant before a load of limited individuals began cluttering up the landscape with their comparatively pallid take on this once-vital sound. Some of it comes off like the Flamin' Groovies with a French accent (which is alright by moi) while even the early rumblings of a few of these acts show the influence that the up-and-coming English punks were having even at this early stage in the game. There's even some post-fifties rockabilly from the likes of Willie and the Nighthawks that makes evident to all that the French could mess it up just as well as the Amerigans and English, but they can't all be perfect. Still, that Skydog sense of high-energy rockism that's permeated just about everything this label has released since GREASE hit the racks way back in 1973 can be absorbed on this French-only Skydog release which should make you want to drag out alla your old BOMP! catalogs and dream about how much you coulda bought with the pittance you have back in 1979, if you only had that pittance to begin with!

For me, the standouts on this disque are the tracks by Shakin' Street, who more or less represented a French take on Blue Oyster Cult-styled smart-before-the-commercial-tide metal (you older BTC readers might remember their quite-publicized Amerigan debut album which featured the guitar work of ex-Dictator Ross the Boss) and Marie et les Garcons who had more of a Velvet Underground approach to their entire raison d'etre. If their other recordings including an EP on Rebel (the same company that released the debut Mars single) and a 12-inch single on Ze are as good as les Garcons' two tracks here, perhaps a well-annotated collection would be most welcome. That is, unless there's one already out there being ignored by the sometimes-astute record/Cee-Dee on-line businesses that I like to frequent.

Stay tuned for more French reviews heading your way this holiday (at least here inna US) weekend, and to our Amerigan readers happy goofing off day tomorrow!


Davis Jones said...

Are you jealous of J Neo Marvin? This negative portrayal of such a great music man is trivial and stupid, given the facts.

J Neo Marvin is a brilliant producer, composer, and singer-songwriter, radio DJ, and was formerly one of Puncture's best informative music critics!

And he is also an incredible musician, singer songwriter who functions to produce creative works! 102 songs at BMI! And provides a record label for direct access at Ear Candle Productions!

He also tirelessly brings, at his own expense, brilliant underground, and rarely heard pieces on his own online radio station: Ear Candle Radio, a show that reaches listeners who send their records for airplay from all over the globe, and who actively participate in a top twenty monthly contest to own a button!

J Neo Marvin is so creative, he has four bands! His experimental music (The Experimental Bunnies)have two digital albums, The Integrity Tone Scale, and Biology and Physics: see links at the website Ear Candle Productions.

And what about the bold releases of The Blame? From his husband and wife Duo, come The Full Disclosure Principle released last year, with another coming in soon!

And who doesn't remember the legendary X-tal, the band he founded in San Francisco in the 1980's through the 90's, who toured Europe and the USA for six tours? His music continues to be timely as you can see in this beautiful piece by X-tal

But wait! He leads also a fourth band, with famous players like Nick Phelps, Carrie Bradshaw, Rico Bell! Give a listen, buy some CD's of J Neo Marvin and The Content Providers this Christmas and have people really feel life today in song!

So why do you say such harsh things about him and couple his name with evil people?

Christopher Stigliano said...

In your own particular way, I think you've stated my case very well.