Sunday 14th Feb 2010
EVERYBODY WAS IN THE FRENCH RESISTANCE...NOW!
feat. EDDIE ARGOS of ART BRUT and DYAN LANDES of THE BLOOD ARM
Brudenell Social Club
Leeds, LS6 1NY - Tel: 0113 2752411
Tickets £7 advance.
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Avril Lavigne is a bitch. When she's not gloating about her totally undeserved success or berating and sneering at young mothers, she is attempting to steal men from loving happy relationships.
Do not worry. Everybody Was In The French Resistance....Now have the "motherfucking princess" in their réticule.
Everybody Was In The French Resistance...Now are correcting the mistakes of pop songs past. So far they have defended the belittled blue-collar worker from Kanye West's "Gold Digger," told Gerry and the Pacemakers that in fact it is okay to walk alone, dumped the manipulative Martha Reeves on behalf of poor Jimmy Mack and have taken the misguided instructions of a 17th century ballad to its logical conclusion.
THEY ARE FIXING THE CHARTS.
And unlike U2, they actually recorded their album in Joshua Tree (and didn’t just get their photograph taken next to one).
Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now are comprised of Eddie Argos from Art Brut and Dyan Valdés from The Blood Arm. The band (also a couple) formed on a car journey home from San Francisco to Los Angeles. “Jimmy Mack” by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas was playing on the radio - Eddie has always had a problem with this song, as it is cruel to sing a song to your boyfriend telling him you are planning to cheat on him – so Eddie told Dyan that someone needed to defend poor Jimmy Mack. Jimmy was probably off fighting in Vietnam (the song was released in 1967), and there she was singing about getting off with some other boy who “talks just as sweet.” Dyan agreed with Eddie’s disapproval of Martha’s infidelity, and they went home that night and wrote a response to the song from Jimmy’s perspective.
Soon, they began to think of other pop songs with which they disagreed, and set about “fixing them.” They demoed 12 songs in their house in LA, then decided to make a proper record and headed out to Joshua Tree to record them with producer/engineer David Newton (ex-Mighty Lemon Drops guitarist/songwriter; Little Ones, The Blood Arm producer).
These are the songs.
Response to “Creeque Alley” by the Mamas and the Papas
“Creeque Alley” by the Mamas and the Papas is the story of the late sixties West Coast folk scene and the formation of their own band in the midst of it. “Creeque Allies” is the story of the early forties French resistance scene and the formation of the freedom fighters who eventually drove the Nazis out of France.
G.I.R.L.F.R.E.N (You Know I’ve Got A)
Response to “Girlfriend” made famous by Avril Lavigne
Pop songs have traditionally been “boy meets girl,” “girl meets boy,” “boy/girl overcome a problem,” or “boy/girl break up” – in the last decade or so, there has been an alarming new archetype in pop songwriting: “girl steals other girl’s boyfriend.” This is a divisive message to send to young girls everywhere, and songs like “Girlfriend” (see also “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift) only teach young women that they can derive more worth and status from stealing each others’ boyfriends than they can from realizing their own achievements.
(I’m So) Waldo P. Emerson Jones
Response to “Waldo P. Emerson Jones” made famous by the Archies
The Archies can’t figure out Waldo P. Emerson Jones, a new character on the block who impresses all of their girlfriends and generally shows everyone up. The Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now version tells Waldo’s side – he was a little-known “nerd” at their school who spent the summer reinventing himself and came back with added confidence, a new haircut and a much cooler name (Waldo P. Emerson Jones is clearly not the name his mother gave him).
The Scarborough Affaire
Response to “Scarborough Fair,” traditional
The singer of the 17th-century ballad “Scarborough Fair” instructs the listener to locate his former lover and charge her with a series of impossible tasks. The Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now response takes his unreasonable demands to their logical conclusion.
Response to “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson
The kid is your son.
Think Twice (It’s Not Alright)
Response to “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” by Bob Dylan
Breaking up is hard. Not everyone can be as tough as Bob Dylan, who claims that he needs to “travel on” when his lover wastes his “precious time.” Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now have read between the lines, and have rewritten the song based on how Bob Dylan most likely actually felt when he bid “fare thee well.”
Hey! It’s Jimmy Mack
Response to “Jimmy Mack” made famous by Martha Reeves and the Vendellas
Jimmy Mack heard Martha’s song. So he’s never coming back.
He’s a “Rebel”
Response to “He’s A Rebel” made famous by the Crystals
The Crystals sang a love song to “dangerous” men. Everybody Was In The French Resistance opened up the conversation to other men, who see through the “rebel” schtick and argue that it’s all just an act.
Response to “Gold Digger” by Kanye West
Kanye West patronizes the chip-shop janitor who is working his way towards cooking the fries. Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now know that the janitor is just working to make ends meet until he gets his shit together and releases a hit record.
My Way (Is Not Always the Best Way)
Response to “My Way” made famous by Frank Sinatra
Paul Anka admires a selfish man’s death-bed declaration that living his life according to his own convictions and desires alone is enough. Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now think that one should take others’ opinions into consideration.
Response to “Vaseline” by Elastica
If Elastica had used superglue instead of vaseline (or for that matter, heroin) maybe they would have stuck together.
Response to “You’ll Never Walk Alone” made famous by Gerry and the Pacemakers
Gerry and the Pacemakers (and all of Liverpool) are terrified of being alone. Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now are comfortable with their own company.
“Fixin’ the Charts, Volume One” is a companion piece to all of these pop songs, but can be appreciated as a work in its own right. Pop music transmits all of our culture’s most valued ideals from one generation to the next; let’s make sure we get it right.
Vive le Resistance!