Thursday, April 17, 2008

Des jeunes gens mödernes

Last week, on her terrific style blog, Chloé mentioned the exhibition Des Jeunes Gens Mödernes at fashion designer agnès b.'s gallery, rue Quincampoix. The show celebrates the songs, spirit and aesthetics of the French music scene in 1978-83, a time of experimentation and hyper-creativity. Some bands had really cool names, like Edith Nylon or Electric Callas - Chloé recommends the latter's So Chic. Many musicians seemed influenced by Germany and by a kind of imaginary USSR (see the cool poster for the Centre Pompidou's 1979 show on Paris/Moscow). I'm no fan of French pop/rock at all, and agree with the statement I saw on a T-shirt today, Le rock français c'est comme la cuisine anglaise (French rock is like English cuisine)... But I liked the exhibition because it reflected a zeitgeist with a raw energy and post-punk attitude - ah, I'm a punk at heart, as you may know. To sample the music, go to the show's MySpace page.

I hope some of you checked out Uruguayan rock, with NoTeVaGustar, which I mentioned yesterday. My favorite track on the featured album is El Oficial....


Mrs.French said...

I just checked out NoTeVaGustar's MySpace page...they were quite good. Kind of had a David Bowie type sound...very glam.

I love the fact that you like the same movies I do. Not everyone does because they are kind of dark.

Taocito said...

Ooooooh! Love the french rock is like english cooking t-shirt! Do they make them in pooch size?

Anonymous said...

Love that poster!

Anonymous said...

"I'm no fan of French pop/rock at all, and agree with the statement I saw on a T-shirt today, Le rock français c'est comme la cuisine anglaise (French rock is like English cuisine)..."

well it looks to me like you totally misunderstood this show. these people/musician were not listenning to english stuff. they were doing their own thing.... for the first time in history of french pop/rock! for the first time, french bands were developping a different sound and image; typically french and continental european.
it's true : french music sucks ..... when they try to imitate english music! don't get confused.... these people didn't give a damn shit to brit music. you missed that part. and that is what the show is about.....
and i will be very curious to listen to your band. after you did such a statement!!!


Mary-Laure said...

Taocito - I'm not sure they make the t-shirt for pooches but maybe your boss may want it for herself...

Loik - thanks for your input. I don't know much about that era or that music, so it's cool to hear about someone who knows more and can explain it to me.
Any specific bands and albums you'd recommend?

Anonymous - Jen, is that you?

Anonymous said...

first i'm no Jen!!! as i wrote it i'm Loik. sometimes w a c instead of the k but that's who i am.

thank you for not being pissed. i don't like french rock too but i thought the t-shirt you mentionned was quite insulting; and not true of course.

es-pe-cial-ly if we talk about this french post-punk scene! names, names..... Marquis de Sade, Kas Product, Elli & Jacno, Taxi Girl, Charles de Goal

i'm so happy this exhibition exist so we can show young music fans that this era was not cheezy. the 80's have a terrible image!!! but the era we are talking about here is the very late 70's and very early 80's. did you look at the pics? these people were super cool!!! they had an attitude. they were still punk but so arty at the same time. that's the difference with english bands. the social background (w. consequences for their worries & interests) of most of the musicians is not the same. England is more about pop songwritting, social values etc being a football player or playing music in a rock band were the 2 options to get out of your social background. which is not the case in France.

actually MOST (not all of them) don't try to mimick (right spelling?) english bands. that is sthg english people don't understand. btw the very few english bands i really like have no success in their own country!!! ha! being ON the continent stuck between northern and mediterranean influences is a very specific position. but also influences comming form eastern europe. and at the time they bands were more looking towards the east - as you mentionned it in your post talking about aesthetic.

that's it for today. i thought we didn't deserve this t-shirt. and it sounds so much like propaganda..... we do things our way here!!! l

Mary-Laure said...

Hi Loik, and thanks for your answer.
Maybe my post wasn't clear, but actually I loved the show and also love the style of those years. I'm a fan of punk aesthetics, with that devil-may-care attitude and darkness. I really liked the style of those cool bands on the pictures I saw at the show.

I see what you mean about France being at the crossroads of so many geographical and cultural influences. That's very interesting.
I'll listen to the groups you mentioned.
Thanks for taking the time to give me such a detailed and intersting answer!

When I quoted the t-shirt "Le rock francais c'est comme la cuisine anglaise", it was just for a little touch of humor!
And actually, I love British food: scones, strawberries with cream, cucumber sandwiches, fish & chips etc....

Anonymous said...

love fish & chips too.... only with a pint. love english pop culture. different approach. english musicians were at the time much more professionnal than us. loik