Usually it began like this. Two spindly women clattering in their stack heels give chase. Julie’s garb is the ammonia-smelling wardrobe of the junkshop. Celine is one of those dangly women, made of lolling lips, feathercut and bosoms.
I tried to write a thing about Jacque Rivette’s lovely, extravagent Celine and Julie Go Boating. At the moment, it’s still stuck in that not-yet-ready stage: gross generalisations and cod mysticism. For now, there’s plenty of ponderous Deleuzing elsewhere on the ‘net.
For me, French-Tunisian Taieb’s jaunty lament about the tragedy of having to get out of bed in the morning is yé yé perfection. It’s winking insolent chatter, interspersed with – talkin’ ’bout my g-g-g-generation – fragments of the early pop meteorites of The Beatles, Chuck Berry and The Who. Yé yé was France’s cultural call-and-response to the British invasion and American rock and roll, ventriloquised via a rotating assortment of ingenues. What’s different about Taeib’s Sept Heures du Matin, is here she’s actually singing along to Swinging Radio England, miming yé yé’s influences straight back into a hairbrush in front of the bathroom mirror.
A warning: the English version – as with so much – is a bit of a let down.
Of course, a post about yé yé couldn’t possibly be complete without a quick Gainsbourg anecdote:
When France Gall, singer of the Gainsbourg-penned Les Sucettes, caught wind of a possible second meaning behind his ode to aniseed lollies their partnership (which also resulted in Eurovision winner Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son) immediately dissolved. Gainsbourg, the vaudeville iconoclast, riposted: “It’s the most daring song of the century”.
Well, see what you think; there’s winking and hair twiddling aplenty here:
The English translation is here.
Hmm.. this feels like to lead-in for something much more involved about sex and ‘baby pop’. Later, I think.
For now, there’s Yé Yé Land and news of a new Jacqueline Taieb album here.