Monday, January 7, 2008

Serge Gainsbourg

Ok, another youtube post... hey, i've been busy, what can i say? Plus, it seems a great way to do a Serge Gainsbourg post, as it almost amazes me i have not done one yet. If James Brown was my entrance into funk music (or Dizzee Rascal my entrance into grime), Serge was my doorway into French music. I can't really recall what or where my first exposure to Serge was. Maybe hearing one of Mick Harvey's Serge cover records on college radio? I'm really not sure. There was a period in the late 90's where suddenly Gainsbourg's name was bandied about in just-under-the-radar pop culture, a name to be casually dropped in interviews and best-of lists. It seems strange now that I can't remember, as for a long period of time, Serge was the only French singer of the rock-era that I could name. I just remember reading and hearing enough about him to be really intrigued.

I finally got some a Serge record on a trip to Quebec City in winter 1998/99. I was really impressed and haven't looked back since. In an effort to remedy my lack of attention on the man who made it all possible, I present "Requiem pour un con."

This is one of my favorite Gainsbourg songs and one I came across fairly late, as it is a semi-obscure soundtrack cut. While Serge has other songs that have a strong rhythmic feel, or that have breaks or been sampled, this is his funkiest track. It was reissued on vinyl a few years back as part of a bootleg series of Serge's film music.

The video itself is awesome. I love the whole "band playing in the studio" thing going on, it reminds me of "The Harder They Come." It's great to see Serge performing on actual film. I know he acted in many roles, but I have never seen any musical clips of him performing with such high production values. He has a twitchy magnetism, that I haven't seen in other clips of him, that reminds me of Bob Dylan...


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