by Leslie Harpold
A Proper Fan Site
You know what the web doesn't need? Another Nine Inch Nails or Rush fan site. We should turn our attentions, now that we've gotten all the major bases covered, to the uncelebrated and unsung pop stars, and I say it was a good idea to start with Serge Gainsbourg.
Look, France is known for being the arbiter of style on so many things, food, clothing, art, you name it, if its got aesthetic value, France is usually leading the way for the rest of us. Even Americans have come to appreciate the genius of jerry Lewis in good time, although I confess I'm little scared that the Mickey Rourke worship the French are doing will catch on. The one thing the French aren't known for is their music. I mean, sure, there's Debussy and Piaf not to mention that Josephine Baker came into her own on French soil, but she was an import from over here, so she doesn't count.
Rita Mitsuko is Canadian. Les Thugs were okay for a minute and I'm always infinitely amused by the pop stylings of Johnnie Halliday, but whoops, he's actually Belgian. Who then, to serve as the poster child for that crazy French sound? Think about it: what music goes with women who wear scarves and lipstick flawlessly, escargots, heavy sauces and perfect bread? What lilting melodies should underscore both the Eiffel Tower and Marcel Proust. Ladies and gents, I submit that there is only one choice, and that is Serge Gainsbourg. Sure he's been dead for 8 years, but I'm a little tired myself, and no one could smoke with as much panache while moaning his way through some tale of unrequited love than Serge.
"Je t'Aime . . . Moi Non Plus". recorded in 1969 paved the way for Prince's International Lover with it's "sounds like sex to me" background tracks of guttural utterances He recorded mambos, a weak attempt at rap and that thing chicks think is really sexy where you have a big orchestra and you sing really softly. He was not always ahead of his time, but with a recording career that rivals the Stones, Serge was omnipresent.
Finally in the middle of a sea of fan pages arguing over who the favorite Spice Girl is, in the midst of a ocean of Smashing Pumpkins bootleg MP3s, there's a place offering respite from the blink tag, and the pseudo satin where-did-the-text-go background images. A proper Serge fan site, with tasteful understated design, a fair sampling of audio and that feeling of love that all tribute sites need to maintain their integrity. Bonus points too, for lots and lots of images of Serge smoking and looking bored, the way he should be remembered.
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