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january 1 2010
Je veux retourner à  la maison
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"PREUVES DE JEUNESSE 2009", Vivonzeureux! Records, 2010

"PREUVES DE JEUNESSE 2009", Vivonzeureux! Records, 2010

collection : "Not available"
ref : not available 021
release date : january 1 2010
format : 25 track CD

Credits :

Compiled by Pol Dodu
Cover design and liner notes : Pol Dodu
Photos (source : If Charlie Parker was a gunslinger, there'd be a whole lot of dead copycats) :
Front : Fritz Lang
Back : Catherine Deneuve

I don't know if this is going to become a custom but, for the second year running, here is a selection of tracks that, for the vast majority of them, I had never listened to on January 1 2009. Whether they be recent or over fifty years old, these songs are young. Young to my ears who have just discovered them, young because each new listen brings you joy and energy. Time can fly, it doesn't keep it from showing evidence of its continued youth.

Pol Dodu, january 2010.

In the list below, there's just a link to Blogonzeureux! for those tracks that are reviewed there and I give some info for the others.

1. Les Frères Nubuck : Preuves de jeunesse (2009)
First, let's welcome les Frères Nubuck whose song gave this compilation its title. Unfortunately, their 2009 album, Disque mineur, fin de règne animal, shows signs of going as unnoticed as the previous one, Chaque vivant est un mort en puissance. This is unfair. The record is so good that this excellent song has been relegated to the MP3 bonus EP that comes withte it. At 10 €, this super album, with the bonus EP and a code to download the previous album for free, is really the album of the year. You who probably have missed it, it's not to late to cach up !

2. MJ Hibbett & The Validators : My boss was in an indie band once (2009)

3. Les Pinsons : Le digne dindon (1952)

4. Hank Williams : I'm gonna sing (1951)
Time Life has started releasing the 143 tracks recorded by Hank Williams in 1951 for a radio show sponsored by Mother's best flour. I'm gonna sing, an invigorating, is from the first released box, The unreleased recordings. Another box, Revealed, is already available.

5. Jerry McCain : Geronimo rock 'n' roll (1955)
1955 !! Since I downloaded this track at Boogie-Woogie Flu last April I must have listened to it dozens of times, and yet every time I have to pinch myself to admit that Geronimo rock 'n' roll, this wild and furious recording, with its saturated guitar, a sound that I thought was unheard of before Link Wray, really dates back to the same year as the first singles by Chuck Berry or Bo Diddley. A revelation...!

6. Les Rythmos : Frisette, fais pas ça (1959)
After I chanced upon a cheap copy of the Country Quebec compilation at the FNAC Forum des Halles in Paris, my second 2009 semester was placed under the sign of Québec, and this shows a lot in this selection. So, while websurfing, I also found the Vente de garage vol. 3 compilation with its fifties rock'nroll Quebequian nuggets. Fifties, indeed, like rockabilly, but this extra-ordinary Rythmos might as well have been released in 1969. Try to imagine if the few hippy-psychedelic garage freakbeat songs by Les Charlots hda been as good as their titles led you to believe... Well, look no further, Les Rythmos had achieved it ten years earlier.

7. The Jimmy Castor Bunch : King Kong (Pt 1) (1975)
Generally, I'm not much into funk music. But this Summer, when Dorian Feller played me this single he had just bought, I was hooked immediately. This groove is uhndebiably funky and this version of the stroy of King Kong is as funny as it makes you want to shake your booty : "Wild women heard his love call, but he was too big and too tall", lyrics followed by a series of beasty "Wah wah wah wah wah wah".

8. Morgus & The Three Ghouls : Morgus the Magnificent (1959)
I don't remember how I chanced upon an MP3 of this song, but the fact that Bob Dylan played it on his excellent Theme time radio hour must have given it a new boost. This lively tribute to a local horror films host, Morgus the Magnificent, is the work, among others, of a very young Dr. John (19 years old!), probably responsible for the guitar parts of this single, since this was before a bullet wrecked one of his fingers and he switched to piano.

9. Robbie The Werewolf : Rockin' werewolf (1964)
For several years, WFMU's Beware of the blog has been an ever reliable source for musical discoveries. It is thanks to them that we got the chance to listen to the sole album by Robbie "The Werewolf" Robinson, who pioneered beatnik monster comedy folk and was later a founding member of Clear Light.
My favourite track is this Rockin' werewolf, pitched somewhere between Jonathan Richman and the best of the solo live Dogbowl.

10. Jeffrey Lewis : Roll bus roll (2009)
There are not so many songs about the joys of travelling by coach. So, when you hear this one, the single culled from the album 'Em and I by Jeffrey Lewis, you can only associate it with You're crazy for taking the bus, one of the jewels of Jonathan goes country, an album by Jonathan Richman album, one of Jeffrey Lewis's great inspirations. If Lewis's song is not as funny, it doen't keep him from rendering just as well the atmosphere of a long ride on a bus.
Watch : the Concert à emporter version of Roll bus roll by Jeffrey and his brother Jack at a Paris bus stop.

11. Daintees : Roll on summertime (1984)
I bought the first Martin Stephenson and the Daintees album when it was released in 1987, but I'd never had the chance before 2009 to listen too their very first 7", Roll on Summertime. Here too, you can feel the influence of Jonathan Richman and, as soon as the song begins (with one minute of guitar), the evocation of Summer is nearly as succesfull as with That Summer feeling.

12. Pastels/Tenniscoats : Yomigaeru (2009)
After a few years away, The Pastels came back this year with Two sunsets, a collaborative album with japanese band Tenniscoats. The record is quite eclectic and it isYomigaeru, a bucolic pop confection, somewhere between Sonoko and The Pascals, which has my preference.

13. Chhun Vanna & Im Song Soeum : Quand tu me comprendras (1960s)

14. Mary Bolduc & André "Zézé" Carmel : Les belles-mères (1936)
Here's my favourite track from the Country Quebec compilation I mentioned earlier. It is also the oldest recording in this selection. Les belles-mères (The mothers-in-law), that's a theme as old as marriage but this particular instance of a song really deserves a prize in this category !

15. The Jazz Butcher : La mer (1983)
16. The Jazz Butcher : Water (1985)
I've known these two Jazz Butcher songs for quite a long time, but I had the opportunity to listen to them again this year, with great pleasure. In addition to the fact that they are two of my favourite Pat Fish songs, they have at least two things in common : water and elephants ! And I love the chorus of La mer, "Tout le monde va à la plage parce qu'il est bien joli".

17. P.A.O.L.A : Si t'as été à Tahiti (1958)

18. Fernandel et Germaine Duclos : Je te veux (1937)
Here's a song I found on another Frémeaux oldies compilation bought cheap on sale. This time, it's Amour, bananes et ananas. This ultra-hot duo is a song from the film Le rosier de Madame Husson (1932), rerecorded five years after the fact, if I'm not wrong. Despite the fact it's missing the tough love aspect, this song still has something of Magali Noel's and Boris Vian's Fais-moi mal Johnny, some twenty years before.

19. P'tit Frère : Anita (1960s)

20. Roger Miron et ses Laurentiens : En avant le rock'n'roll (1957)
We come back to our early rockers from Quebec, who were indeed in the first place country musicians trying their hand at the new rhythm. With En avant le rock'n'roll, Roger Miron, says goodbye, in dream, to the year 1956 and hails the new year. Solos of guitar, organ and accordion follow one another so you can dance and sing with Roger : "Then I woke up, the year 56 had gone by, leaving as a memory rock'n'roll and its pleasures. Since that dream, that strange dream, I listen to Elvis and think of the year 56".

21. Léo Benoît : Rock'n'roll dans mon lit (1958)
We know that a great many expressions used to describe musical styles have a sexual double meaning. People in Quebec in the fifties knew the other meaning of rockn'roll. Proof is given with Rock'n'roll dans mon lit by Léo Benoît : "Rock'n Roll in the bed is superior I assure you to Elvis Presley's. When I start dancing it with my pretty baby, then I start yodeling. The legs of the bed they start a-trembling when I present to my wife, whom I hold in my arms, what I have of most beautiful, the hottest of loves to be able to start dancing again."

22. Les Frères Nubuck : Pour la survie de l'espèce (2009)
Youth being transent by definition, Les Frères Nubuck were led on their latest album to ask themselves existential questions, while they were whistling and dancing. Here, they reflect on getting old and the survival of the species.

23. David Thomas and The Accordion Club : We have the technology (1992)

24. Dorian Feller : Au garde à vous des sentinelles (2009)
Dorian Feller released this year Drôle de bobine, the seventh volume of his Brodé Tango project, except that, not to make things easier, he put his own name on the front cover instead of Brodé Tango. Still, the set-up remains the same : helped only by drummer Joss Mandall, Dorian records at home alone his songs and rhymes with titles full of puns. Hard to choose between the 24 tracks, but Au garde à vous des sentinelles won for the beauty of its melody.

25. Jonathan Richman : The morning of our lives (1981)
It came from nowhere, nearly, via a Google alert in fact, and it was unhoped for. It was not exactly a "Lost album", as the blog which first made these recordings available titled it, but a series of studio demo recordings by Jonathan Richman dated from circa 1981. Or, to put it another way, it's a bit like discovering an unreleased Beserkeley album released after Back in your life, or a kid brother to Jonathan sings !.
I like the version of Moulin Rouge much better than the one released later. There is a studio version of I'm a little airplane and unreleased rocks like In the checkout line ("First they talked about me, then they talked about you and all the things they wish we wouldn't do, when Mama saw your mother in the checkout line." !), but the essential point of this collection sahll remain for me this version of The morning of our lives. I've known the Modern Lovers Live ! album, on which this song was initally released in 1977, for 25 years now. It quickly became one of the pillars of the optimistic hip-pop doctrine. I had to wait the development of the internet to have the chance to listen to other live versions of it, but I didn't even dream that a studio version might exist. This one even ends with an extra verse in French referencing Maurice Chevalier, who may have inspired this song through one of his texts or lyrics : "If Maurice Chevalier were here today, he'd take us all by the hand and say : Enjoy it while you can. For me, it is the twilight, but for you it's the morning, ladies and gentlemen. Our time is maintenant, le time to do les choses, comment dit-on, tu vraiment veux, le temps est maintenant, le matin de notre vie. (...) Nous avons la jeunesse maintenant.". What better proof of youth could we have found to conclude this selection ?