Wednesday, September 19, 2007
In Hell the French Make the Rock and Roll
There is this joke--several variations of it exist as well—but anyway, this is the gist:
In heaven, you are greeted by the Italians, the Germans organize it, the French make the food, and the English make the rock and roll. In hell, of course, you are greeted by the Germans, everything is organized by the Italians, the English make the food, and the French make the rock and roll.
(You DO know that Quebec is a French-speaking province, right? Montreal is in Quebec.)
I've been listening to "Sur La Route" (On the Road), a French station on XM Radio, and the results have been, well, uneven. The French, for all their superiority, have a wee bit of a problem in le department de originalité. Everything seems to sound like an American song that you recognize, but with different lyrics. ("Hey, that's Elvis Costello, waitaminit....what the eff?...")
Serious rock and roll just sounds a bit silly with a French accent. I dont doubt their sincerity, but a chorus of "Rock and roll! Un! Deux! Trois!" um, sounds, wiggity, and not in a good way. Then you have the usual goofy stuff with banjos and 2 string violins, and what sounds like boots stomping on the hardwood floor. Nothing as cool as Cajun, far goofier. Currently a French version of Suzanne Vega's 1985 "Luka" is in heavy rotation ("Mon nom est Luka..."). There is a lot of fake drama in minor keys from earnest young songwriters railing against life's injustices, like no one didn't ever think of that before.
But what did I expect. In Montreal they dig jazz, man. Jazz. Smooth, sophisticated, stylish wanking to eat a salad to.
And I love Montreal. I love Canada. But O Canada, someday, in a brighter, more just world somewhere, there will be atonement for the sins of Bachman-Turner Overdrive. And Rush. Ca plane pour moi, dude.