Rockabilly from Switzerland with a Serge twist? Check out Hillbilly Moon Explosion from Zurich with a sexy version of Gainsbourg’s Chick Habit a.k.a. Laisse Tomber Les Filles, originally composed for France Gall. Video garnished with some pics feat. Betty P.  – parental guidance recommended.

EXTRA: Hillbilly Moon do a mean version of Poupée de cire as well. HERE

New Loane song

For the new movie by Michel Gondry. Awesome track:

Original version by France Gall:

Metal Gainsbourg

No, it’s not a joke. Swedish goth metalband Therion just released an album with covers of French 60s and 70s popsongs. Featuring a few Gainsbourg-tracks: Poupée de cire, Initials BB and Les Sucettes. Among tracks made famouse by Sylvie Vartan, Marie Laforet and others (see tracklist here). Therion’s not the first loud band to cover Gainsbourg (see FN Guns’ Les Sucettes, Rummelsnuff’s Bonnie & Clyde, for instance), but Therion’s versions are hilarious. Unintentionally, I guess, but still. Their ‘Initials BB’ is okay, but try ‘n keep a straight face while listening to this. Then imagine a corpsepainted, leather-clad crowd banging their heads to it. Even their fans aren’t sure what to think of it.
As a teen I listened to a lot of hardrock and metal (Judas Priest, Motörhead, Metallica, etc), but when I hear Therion, I think of the bestest metalparody ever.

Therion – Initials BB

Do Your Math

In 1965, comic illustrator Jean-Claude Forest created futuristic heroine Marie Mathématique for French TV, kind of a little sister of Bébé Cyanure (Baby Cyanide) and 60s icon Barbarella who brought Forest world fame and was played by Jane Fonda in Roger Vadim’s masturbation blockbuster. Venusian Marie, “la jeune fille comme il faut”, appeared in six all-too short episodes within ORTF’s Dim Dam Dom tv magazine — a pop art kitten sexed up additionally by the low-pitched cool of singer/ storyteller Serge Gainsbourg. Extraordinary stuff, not to be missed. Giggles and chuckles by another outlandish creature: France Gall.

The Weeknd quotes Gainsbourg

Well, he ís Canadian. So Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd using French lyrics isn’t that strange. On his new (third), free downloadable mixtape, Abel sings a few lines from France Gall’s Laisse Tomber Les Filles (written by Gainsbourg) in his song Montréal.  On first listen, I didn’t recognise it, so hat tip to @Rvlanen for bringing this to my attention. The Weeknd is considered by many as a very talented leftfield R&B-singer. Abel is like an emo-punk singer making silky soul. Coeur de Pirate loves The Weeknd too, she covered his Wicked Games. Nope, that’s not a Chris Isaak-cover. The Weeknd did cover Michael Jackson on his new mixtape, and used a Siouxsie & the Banshees sample on an earlier one. Talk about varied influences.

The Weeknd – Montréal
France Gall – Laisse tomber les filles

Marième Ndiaye

Yet another brand new Gainsbourg-cover, France Gall’s Laisse tomber les filles is re-vamped by Canadian singer Marième Ndiaye. Who has Senegalese roots and is called the ‘black pearl’ of Quebec hiphopband CEA (who used a big part of Initials BB for a song). Her solo-debut sports hiphop-, soul- and some African-influences. Laisse tomber les filles isn’t the only cover, there’s a version of Françoise Hardy’s Tous les garçons et les filles, and Mitsou’s Dis mois dis mois. Jean-Pierre Ferland, writer of Le chat du café des artistes (covered by Charlotte Gainsbourg on her last album), turns up for a duet. Old meets new, meets urban styles, and blends in quite easily. I’m not saying Marième is breaking new grounds, but she has a pleasant voice, looks great and her music is sunny. That’s how we like it here at FS HQ, when the rain pours down. Summer’s what you make it.

Marième – Laisse tomber les filles
(see video)

Baby pop

A Dutch version of France Gall’s Baby Pop, a song written by Gainsbourg. A pleasant surprise, I wasn’t aware it existed. It was the b-side to the only single Eindhoven-born Leontien Snel made in the 60s. See ReadySteadyGirls for some background. Many thanks to @LatoUno and of course @Frans_s for unearthing this gem. Anyone who saw the Gainsbourg-Vie Héroique movie (and if you’re a regular visitor, I’m sure you saw it), remembers the kind of cruel scene with Sara Forestier playing France Gall, singing Baby Pop totally out of tune to a bemused Gainsbourg, played by Eric Elmosnino. The only other cover of Baby Pop that I know of, was made by French singer Antoinette. If you know of other versions, please send me (guuzbourg (a) gmail) an mp3!

France Gall – Baby pop
Sara Forestier (as France Gall) – Baby pop
Leontien Snel – Baby pop
Antoinette – Baby pop

Les sucettes

Les sucettes, written in 1966 by Serge Gainsbourg for France Gall, is without a doubt the best song ever about a girl sucking on a anis-filled lollipop. You don’t need a dirty mind to get the sexual innuendo – though the underage France Gall had no clue. Nor did her minders. Or maybe they were in on the joke Gainsbourg pulled. France did not take it lightly, as this interview-clip shows (in short; she distrusted men ever since). Yesterday somebody asked me about Les sucettes covers. Were there any good ones? To be blunt; no. France’s version (and the duet-version with Serge in this video) was never topped. There are some pretty weird ones out there. I can’t decide which one is the most disturbing: this puppeteer-version, this (gay?) choir version or this Japanese rework (also posted below). This is from Japan as well, and again pretty outthere.
Below are a couple of versions I collected in the past years. I know there are more (a dull cover by Les Tres Bien Ensemble), but if you know of a really good one/odd one, please contact me!

France Gall – Les sucettes
Serge Gainsbourg – Les sucettes
Nezhnoe Eto – Les sucettes (Russian version)
FN Guns – Les sucettes (metal version)
Hanayo – Les sucettes (weird Japanese version)
Lio – Les sucettes (close-to-the-original version)
Jumpin’ Quails – Les sucettes (jumpstyle r&b version)
The Lovejoys – Les sucettes (loungepop version)
Hbsk – Les sucettes (electronic dreampop version)
Patrick Péronne – Les sucettes (cocktailjazz version)

Joseph Gainsbourg (Better late than never)

Christmas 2010 did already pass, I know, Christmas A Go Go already shut its door for this year, but luckily there’s always room for some Serge Gainsbourg paraphernalia here at FS.

In 1965 a television show started at ORTF in France called Dim Dam Dom, which stood for Dimanche, Dames and D(h)ommes. The show ran for six years until 1970 and intended to be informative and humoristic with musical intermezzi. It was presented by girls like Françoise Hardy, Mireille Darc, Nathalie Delon, France Gall, Marie Laforêt and Sheila.
In 1966 Dim Dam Dom made ‘Noël à Vaugirard’, a rather bizarre Christmas abattoir edition with a talking cow and donkey, singing nuns and Serge Gainsbourg as Joseph and Chantal Goya as Mary. Other appearances came from Guy Marchand, Sylvie Vartan and Jacques Dutronc.

Enjoy 17 minutes of Christmas strangeness here!

UPDATE: FS-reader Jan Willem recognised the music in the beginning of this movie, turns out it’s the ultra-cool Gil Evans:
Gil Evans – Where Flamingos Fly