I’m Gonna Kill You One Thursday

askehouAbsolutely no chance to overlook a bigger-than-life eccentric like Mathieu Aschehoug, and certainly we didn’t so – this time, think the rebel mind of Philippe Katerine meeting with the ghost of Alain Bashung in a Breton brothel once owned by Barbey d’Aurevilly. Of course, Aschehoug and his band Askehoug defy any pointless comparisons. Je te tuerai un jeudi (translation see headline), now finally released as well in other European countries, recently won the Georges Moustaki 2013 Award – another dandy, yo – for its sheer cool, cleverness and shit-eating grin. Aschehoug and Askehoug are touring France, Germany and Switzerland in the next weeks – your opportunity to go down in style and ingenuity.

Askehoug – Du style

Under the radar (10)

Serge Gainsbourg’s L’Homme à tête de chou is the underrated masterpiece in his catalogue, lesser known then ‘Melody Nelson’ but certainly not a lesser album. Just before he died, Alain Bashung worked on a ballet about the man with the cauliflower head. The videos for the ballet look interesting, the album was a bit of a letdown to be honest. Yet this is a great video for Bashung’s version of Variations sur Marilou. What I didn’t know, is that Serge-soundalike Rodolphe Burger recorded a live tribute of ‘Tête de chou’ in 2006. With help from Mick Harvey, Jacques Higelin and Fred Poulet. Last year, a registration popped up on Bandcamp, featuring extra tracks like a duet with Jane Birkin. I can’t believe it’s not Serge singing there.

Also on Bandcamp, an album by the British jazz band Les Effrontés. It says release-date February 4 2012, but you can stream and download it already. The band started out as a Jacques Brel coverband, with Paris-born Tiffany Schellenberg on vocals. They do two Gainsbourg-covers, the best is Black Trombone. The song, one of my favourite SG-tunes, gets a tango make-over that really works.

Rodolphe Burger & Jane Birkin – Dépression au Dessus du Jardin (See the original version by Cathérine Deneuve, and this version by Serge himself)

Les Effrontés – Black Trombone
(See Serge’s original here)

FS Rerun: Alain Bashung

When Alain Bashung hit it big in 1981 – Gaby oh Gaby was in the French charts for 54 weeks and sold a million copies –, they called him the „Johnny Hallyday de la New Wave“. Actually, the Gallic super-antistar who garnered eleven Victoires de la Musiques awards between 1985 and 2009, sounded all-too-often more like Paolo Conte merging David Bowie attitude with an unhealthy Dylan obsession, stadium rock style – including a whole lot of obnoxious Frenchican rock bummers (especially the Tom Waits/ Michel Sardou amalgam of 2008’s Bleu Pétrole), but also some significantly dazzling results, especially on 82’s Play Blessures, then teaming up with lyricist Serge Gainsbourg who probably would have liked to inflict these wounds himself: Combining lupine lamentos with No Wave splinters, this is French Rock’s Metallic K.O., with unmistakably hypnotic qualities.

Alain Bashung – J’envisage

Alain Bashung – Bistouri scalpel

Alain Bashung – Trompé d’érection