Soleil Hi-Fi

Movie Ticket Giveaway – Breathless!
13 July 2010, 4:03 pm
Filed under: Cinema,Culture,News
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To celebrate Bastille Day, we’ve got some movie tickets to giveaway for the upcoming screening of Jean-Luc Godard’s smash hit À bout de souffle more commonly known as Breathless.

The movie comes out on July 23rd at Landmark’s Embarcadero Cinema in San Francisco. Tickets are in pairs and are good for the run of the engagement. Winners will be chosen at random from the pool of entries.

To enter click on this link and fill out the form!

France, March 1960. Jean-Luc Godard’s film “À bout de souffle,” (“end of breath”) aka Breathless in the USA, is released on an unsuspecting populace. The film is jumpy, non-linear and seemingly unscripted. Lines for the film go around the block. It’s the IN thing to do. The youth love the film, adults dislike or are not so sure what they just saw. Some are weary that it’s the sign of things to come. And that it was, Godard’s film heralded the “nouvelle vague” (the New Wave). Not just a term solely dedicated to film, “nouvelle vague” is really a term of the coming cultural changes of the 60s, particularly the youth movement.
That same week, France also got another taste of the “nouvelle vague” when Johnny Hallyday’s first 45RPM record was released on Vogue. Though he wasn’t the first French teenager to play rock ‘n’ roll, Danyel Gerard owns that technicality *, he was undeniably the most successful.
Yes indeed, the week of March 14, 1960 is one for the books!
*Gerard had released his first single “D’où reviens-tu Billy Boyin December of 1958 on Barclay. He was drafted the following year in 1959 thus leaving the stage open for a young Jean-Philippe Smet. Richard Anthony had recorded some adaptations of American pop songs but he was already 20 by then, thus no longer a teenager.
While not the first French teenager to break into rock ‘n’ roll (Danyel Gerard holds that technicality) Hallyday he is undeniably the most successful and the first name people associate with 60s French Pop. (I know you Bardot A Go Go fans go much deeper than that, don’t worry!)

Hier et Demain
2 April 2010, 6:36 pm
Filed under: 60s French Pop,Cinema,Culture,French Music,Gainsbourg

Hier et demain 45 tour

Original Decca single

This is a rare recording, in fact the only CD version I know of it is on the Mister Melody — Les Interpretes De Serge Gainsbourg compilation.

Here is Marianne Faithful singing Hier et Demain written by Serge Gainsbourg from the film Anna.

Archimède – Vilaine canaille
6 January 2010, 9:48 pm
Filed under: Culture,Modern!,Yum!

Baby Wolf Teeth
2 July 2009, 10:00 pm
Filed under: 60s French Pop,Culture,French Music

One of the challenges I face in making the documentary is illustrating the pleasure derived from the lyrics of French Pop songs. For years my DJ focus was on enjoyable music that didn’t require a comprehension of the language since my audience primarily didn’t know French. As I got better at speaking and understanding the language a new depth of enjoyment opened-up. Some artists have both great lyrics and great music. Gainsbourg for starters. Here’s a little title theme ditty he wrote for a television program called Dents de lait, dents de loup.

(Notice that the cameraman doesn’t quite know who to focus on!)

Dents de lait… aired on January 11, 1967 and is a sort of French American Bandstand except that it was a one time deal with only a single episode. The line-up is jaw dropping – Gainsbourg, France Gall, Françoise Hardy, Eddy Mitchel, Clo-Clo, Sylvie Vartan, The Zombies (actually playing their instruments! almost everyone else lip synchs), The Walker Brothers, a high Marianne Faithful, and a few more Euro pop stars. It was hosted by Annick Beauchamps and Le President Rosko who was an American who made a career DJing on pirate radio (they actually were on a boat on the English Channel broadcasting from “international waters” to the mainland) before he came to Radio Luxembourg and did a show for a French audience.

Here are the lyrics:

France: Dents de lait
Serge: Dents de loup
France: Dents de lait
Serge: Dents de loup
Toi, tu n’es qu’un bébé
Rien qu’un bébé loup
Tu as des dents de lait
Pas des dents de loup
France: Oui je suis un bébé
Rien qu’un bébé loup
Oui, j’ai des dents de lait
Des dents de lait de loup

The term dents de lait (milk teeth) means baby teeth and dents de loup means wolf teeth. So the lyric goes “You, you’re only a baby; nothing but a baby wolf. You have the baby teeth; not the teeth of a wolf.” To which France Gall responds “Yes, I have the baby teeth;I’m nothing but a baby wolf; Yes, I have the baby teeth; the baby teeth of a wolf!”

It’s cute, simple,  emblematic of the time and makes more sense in French than in English.

It’s never been released in any form whatsoever, but here is an MP3 nonetheless.

Dents de lait, dents de loup – (France Gall et Serge Gainsbourg)

Non 2007!
3 January 2007, 5:59 pm
Filed under: Culture,News
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Non 2007 Protest

Protesters in Nantes, France (where Dominique A hailed from in his early music career) declared a halt against the New Year but were unsuccessful as this BBC article elucidates:

The tension mounted as the minutes ticked away towards midnight – but the arrival of 2007 did nothing to dampen their enthusiasm.

The protesters began to chant: “No to 2008!”

They vowed to stage a similar protest on 31 December 2007 on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris.

Which sounds like a grand plan to me – New Years Paris in 2007! Who’s with me?

I particularly like this guy’s outfit which reminds me of some comic book character that I will have to get back to you on if I ever discover who it is.

Non 2007 Protester