jeudi 17 novembre 2011

Claude Channes - Mao Mao

Here's a catchy number for you courtesy of Claude Channes, as featured in the Jean-Luc Godard film, La Chinoise.

On a separate note, did anyone catch the UK premiere of Pan Am last night? Wow. As if British television channels weren’t already saturated with audiovisual garbage in every flavour, now something comes along that is so thoroughly feculent and devoid of any merit whatsoever that I actually began to embrace the prospect of sitting down to watch Wayne Rooney’s second cousin battle it out with carpet-fitter-to-the-stars, Bob, on ITV4's forthcoming Celebrity Come Morris Dance With Me to Dubstep On Ice.

Anyhow, it transpired that Pan Am is so historically inaccurate that the writers needed to continuously show a copy of LIFE magazine with the date on it in order to remind the viewer that it was meant to take place in the sixties. This was exemplified by the fact that - somewhere between nodding off and daydreaming about the many ways I could go about destroying my television - I half expected to see one of the passengers updating his Facebook status on his iPad. This almost seems like nitpicking when compared to the storyline – actually scrap that, compared to every other aspect of this show - which was a bit like watching an extended version of Britney Spears' video for Toxic crossed with an episode of schoolboy-come-spy puppet show, Joe 90. To describe Pan Am as “Mad Men on a plane” is tantamount to describing ‘Allo, ‘Allo! as “Schindler’s List in France”. Besides that, it was great! What did you think?

samedi 15 octobre 2011

Un p'tit séjour à Paris (Part Four)

Here is the final set of photos from our wonderful trip to Paris, which saw us gorge on a most excellent breakfast in our apartment; stroll around the splendid streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés; and listen to 60’s French pop on the banks of the Seine - courtesy of an exceptionally cool bouquiniste stall-holder and his battery-powered record player. Amazing! Au revoir et à bientôt mon cher Paris!

jeudi 6 octobre 2011

Chris Kersen - Si j'avais un marteau

Today I'm sharing with you a version of Pete Seeger's If I had a hammer re-imagined by a 1960's yé-yé girl. I love the original, but I'm a firm believer that any song can be improved upon by speeding up the tempo, singing it in French, adding some hand-claps and introducing a catchy hook on an electric organ. What do you think?

mercredi 5 octobre 2011

Un p'tit séjour à Paris (Part Three)

Part 3 of our Parisian adventure saw Kate and I pottering around our lovely neighbourhood in the 10me arrondissement and exploring the Quartier Latin’s plethora of indie cinemas, bookstores and record stores. Following a good rummage, I excitedly unearthed a stash of bargainous French pop records for €1 a piece; some more Diabolik comics; and a great bande-dessinée of Leo Malet’s hardboiled wartime noir 120, Rue de la Gare. The final shot is courtesy of my lovely girlfriend Kate, who put together a sweet pentaptych of our favourite photo booth snaps from our trip.

jeudi 29 septembre 2011

Sophie - Reviens vite et oublie

Of the four international renditions of The Ronettes' "Be my baby" that I've accumulated over the years, this is probably my favourite. Let me know whether you want to hear the German and Spanish versions at some point too!

mardi 27 septembre 2011

Un p'tit séjour à Paris (Part Two)

Part Two of our trip includes my top two *free* things to do in Paris. Number one is to pretend you want to eat at the Georges restaurant at the top of the Centre Pompidou. You get to ride the glass-housed escalator on the outside of the building all the way to the top and get (in my humble opinion) the best view over Paris because it actually includes the Eiffel Tower in its vista (see 3rd photo down). Number two is the Bibliothèque Mazarine library, part of the Institut de France on the Left Bank, one of the most prestigious learned societies in the world (see the final photo).

Although it's free, visiting the library does require that you have a very high threshold for feelings of intense shame; photo ID; and two passport photos. In the tradition of French bureaucracy we had to complete a form just to be admitted into the library and then go to a second desk to fill in another form to be assigned a desk to sit at. In order to actually touch one of the thousands of priceless antique tomes which line the walls from floor to ceiling would have probably required another ten forms, an IQ test and a stool sample, so we chose to skip this step.

We were then ushered across the world's squeakiest floor to our desks, where we felt obliged to spend the next 15 minutes pretending we were engaged in very important research. To say we stood out would be a gross understatement - not only we were not wearing beige, we were below 50 years old and clearly foreign. Our case was not helped by the fact we had neglected to bring any real stationery, so we sat - amidst France's most learned intellectuals - writing into our miniature 2-inch pads with pink glitter pens trying our best not to look at each other lest we burst into laughter. We lasted 15 minutes before we had take a rather shameful walk to the admissions desk and inform them we were leaving. Anyhow, it was worth it. The place is AMAZING!

Unfortunately you can't take photos, largely because the place is so silent that the clunk of a camera shutter would probably make everyone's ears bleed. You can get an idea of how breathtaking this library is by taking a look at these photos made available by Wikimedia Commons.

France Gall - Laisse tomber les filles

Sound familiar? April March's English-language cover version was used in the end credits of Death Proof. Here's the original track for you, from 1964 (again!). Hope y'all like it.

lundi 26 septembre 2011

Un p'tit séjour à Paris (Part One)













Myself and Kate have daydreamed about embarking on a Parisian adventure ever since we first met, so I could hardly contain my excitement when our Eurostar train began inching forward and I could proudly announce that it was actually happening - WE WERE OFF TO PARIS! Having packed our combined weight in camera film and meticulously compiled handwritten lists of places to visit sorted by theme and area, we were well prepared to explore and photograph as much of Paris as possible in the short time we had there. From "Thom & Kate HQ" in our apartment near the Canal St. Martin, we (metaphorically) pushed figurines around a giant map using one of those big sticks like in old war movies and made it our mission to take in as many photo booths, cute cafés and sweet boutiques as possible. This is the first batch of snaps fresh from the photo lab, hope you like them!