by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Tap Tap - "Way To Go, Boy". Out of the success of The Unicorns, Franz Ferdinand and "Float On" came a hundred and one squawkin' dance-beat indie rock bands. You know the type - they are everywhere. Especially on mp3blogs. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! were the first big breakthrough - and with their ridiculous name, massive hype and horrible live show, it's not surprising the backlash is what it is. Still, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is the only album of this 2005-2006 genre that gives me any measure of satisfaction. I have no love whatever for Tapes 'n Tapes, Oh No Oh My, Cold War Kids, Birdmonster, and on and on. No love. Why? I don't dig the songs. If you do, ok ok, fine, ok - cool. That's cool. But when I hear them I don't feel my heart beating faster, I don't feel my feet tapping. I just wait for the track to be over so I can put on something better, like, uh, a Unicorns album.

With all this lead-in, I suspect you're going to know what I'm going to say. But I'll say it anyway. Tap Tap sound like these bands. No getting away with it, even if they are from England. But here's why I'm posting them on Said the Gramophone: because "Way to Go, Boy" is an awesome song! An awesome one! It's got a disco sort of beat, with bass-drum up front. It's got a lead singer who strains and yelps like Robert Smith and Spencer Krug. It's got a chorus that's silly and electric guitar. And it has an accordion, guys! An accordion! A squeezebox! You remember? The kind of instrument that appears in those dreams where the tablecloths are red-and-white check, the candles are flickering, and MEN COME OUT OF THE BUSHES, WEARING THE BUSHES. Yes they were in camouflage! The men! The bushes were really just men, hiding! And the men storm the cafe, they grab the baguettes, they steal the pepper-grinders, they smash the clocks. They dance and thieve and eat and crash around in their outfits while you and the rest of the diners wait in motionless awe, hoping they have a bush costume in your size.

[buy! get the bee-yootiful Limited Edition while you still can! and give the band a tip, too! yeah!]

Camille - "Jolie bruine". Jolie, you know. Right? It's a beautiful word. Say it: "jolie". It doesn't sound like "jolly". The j is softer. The o is more hushed. The emphasis falls later in the word. Jolie. And it means cute, lovely, pretty. It doesn't really mean anything in English. It means pretty girls when the sun is out; it means your 5-year-old cousin in her new sunglasses; it means sun-dresses and daffodils in your windowsill. And bruine? That's a tougher one. I had to look it up. But I'll tell you: it means drizzle. Rain. Soft rain. "Je suis un cactus sur une terre aride," Camille sings. "I am a cactus in dry earth." And then she introduces the jolie bruine. The reason I spent so much time on meaning and pronunciation is that the bruine is mouth sounds and gibberish. It's beatbox and raindrop. It's the noises that drip twinkle fall from Camille's mouth, like The Books, Psapp or Bjork's Medulla. It's jolie, guys. It's really jolie. It's crazed enough not to be dull, kind enough to plant in your garden.

[buy US / UK]



As part of the 2006 Charity Blogathon, I will be making a (very very minor) contribution to Clever Titles Are So Last Summer's 24-hour posting marathon, this weekend. We're raising money for the Global Fund for Women. Please consider sponsoring Bethanne and the other guest contributors.

An excellent, carefully written piece about Spiritualized over at A Bark In The Dark.

Magnolia Electric Co's guitarist, Jason Groth, is filing tour diary posts at Marathonpacks. The first is surprisingly sensitive, meditative, and feels very true.

Destination: Out is a free-jazz mp3blog. (Hooray!) And they have an absolutely fantastic recent live recording of the Ornette Coleman Quartet doing Coleman's too-classic-for-words "Lonely Woman". Great, great writing, too.

Indieblockedapella is the weirdest thing I've seen in forever. Ever wanted to hear Wolf Parade's "You Are A Runner And I Am My Father’s Son" as an acapella? We're in luck!

And finally... Tuwa's written a modest and exceptional post that reminds me why I love mp3blogs. Yes.

Posted by Sean at July 28, 2006 3:00 AM

I don't really get why many people love Camille. Is it because of the French language ?
I'm French and I think she is soooo overrated : we have several other French artists better than her ! Check "BabX" for instance.

Posted by Absolut Noise at July 28, 2006 4:10 AM

Ah ! I'm still waiting for the Tap Tap album I ordered from Catbirdseat last week. And I wanted to wait for it before writing about them. And now my friends are gonna say that I write about stuff after I discovered them on Said the Gramophone, once again. They're gonna pull my leg. It's gonna be awful. I love you.

And I can imagine how difficult it is to say "bruine" when you speak english. It's like sentences with a lot of "th" for the French.

Posted by Chryde at July 28, 2006 4:20 AM


I couldn't stop laughing at this- and I don't even know what you're talking about! But I guess that's what it's all about sometimes.

Posted by Dylan at July 28, 2006 4:21 AM

Sean, also "Jolie Bruine" is very close to "jolie brune" which means "cute brunette". Combined with her voice and intonation it makes this all more charming...

By the standards of typical French music (believe me I have lived through it), it is suprisingly inventive and fresh, which probably explains her success over there!

Posted by Matthew in London at July 28, 2006 5:43 AM

Absolut Noise - As a former resident of Quebec, no, I'd say it's not bc of the language... It's because some of these songs are lovely and fresh-sounding, in their MOR way. Do you hate fun? :)

Chryde - I do apologise. Would you like me to email your friends and tell them to lay off? I will happily do so. Meanwhile, Camille's pronunciation is one of my favourite things about her... Not "bruine" (I still remember trying to teach my mum the 'u' sound when she was learning french) so much as the ease and fluidity of her rolled r's. She FILLS the songs with them, and it's such a foreign sound in english - full of motion.


Matthew - aHA. When I first read heard the song I actually assumed I was misremembering the word for brunette and it was really 'bruine'... So I'm relieved that the play-on-words is, well, legit!

The last couple of French songs I can remember posting here were that Bear Creek tune and... Alizee. So I think the country's in good hands.

Posted by Sean at July 28, 2006 5:51 AM

I Think we'll soon have a new blog. An english one. About french music.

Posted by Chryde at July 28, 2006 8:16 AM


I couldn't stop laughing at this- and I don't even know what you're talking about! But I guess that's what it's all about sometimes.

I also had a reaction to this, but it was one of fear. The Lady and the Tramp scene was being infiltrated by black ops soldiers or something.
Sean: I'm convinced that Dylan gets it, because we're only different in that he laughs at what I fear. Good post, Sean, though I think that I take issue with your translation: "Je suis un cactus sur une terre aride," Camille sings. "I am a cactus in dry earth." However, since French is only my second language, I wanted to simply point to this, inviting experts to weigh in.
PS Ha! I did it again!

Posted by Joel Taylor at July 28, 2006 9:35 AM

The Lady and the Tramp scene was being infiltrated by black ops soldiers or something.


And yeah, come to think of it, my translation might be off. Maybe: "I am a cactus on a dry Earth?"

Posted by Sean at July 28, 2006 9:38 AM


Posted by Dave at July 28, 2006 2:44 PM

They dance and thieve and eat and crash around in their outfits while you and the rest of the diners wait in motionless awe, hoping they have a bush costume in your size.

This made me laugh. And the songs are great, too.

Thanks for the shout out. I woke up worried that the post might come off as disrespectful of my neighbor; I'm glad it seems to have dodged that.

Posted by Tuwa at July 28, 2006 4:10 PM

J'adore la chanson de Camille... But now I have that popular Quebec song about cacti in my head. Looked it up: Jacques Dutronc, Les Cactus. My friend Anders tried to sing it once at kareoke.
I can never tell if I've spelled kareoke right or not.

Posted by JKelly at July 29, 2006 2:16 AM

so happy you call a spade a spade. T n T, cold war kids, all so bad

booo, but yay to your post

Posted by hap at July 29, 2006 11:59 AM

Well, is Camille "fresh sounding" ?
To me, she found one day that she could make funny noise with her mouth and now she does it again and again and again. Isn't it a bit boring ?

PS : ...and yes I hate fun ;-)

Tu le lances finalement ce blog sur les artistes français ? Ca risque de demander du boulot, mais c'est vraiment un truc à faire.

Posted by Absolut Noise at July 30, 2006 8:55 AM

Let there be a new genre for these guys: Twitchy Accordian Ska. I didn't want to like it, then I did.

Thanks much for the link, Sean.

Posted by chris at July 31, 2006 6:52 PM

Sorry, I can't like this at all.

For one, I lived through the Second Coming of Ska once already (P+C 1978-1982). It wasn't all that great then, except for "Ghost Town" which ramains just plain amazing but isn't really a ska song, is it? If you need a song that is all fun but nothing else, grab a copy of "Kickabout" by the Teenage Fanclub. It contains: a chorus (three words long, the latter two repeated) and a bridge. There is no verse. It is infernally catchy.

As for the Frogliness, yeah, that's nice and all, but it suffers by comparison with here-repped Dutronc (whose '60s work I played at a grad-student party in Oakland, California in the early '90s; the lone Frenchman approached, and asked simply, "ees zees Dutronc?!") or the Cajun standard "Jolie Blon" the original of which you need to hear at http://www.archive.org/details/Breaux Recorded 1929 and it sounds like music for the new millenium. So good.

Posted by wcw at July 31, 2006 7:44 PM

Classifying that track as "ska" simply b/c of the style of the beat is like classifying it as "polka" simply b/c there's an accordion. Like it or don't like, but let's be fair: it's not a "ska" song.

Posted by Don at August 1, 2006 1:00 PM

tap tap rock rock.

Posted by ::..:...:..::::.. at August 2, 2006 6:03 PM

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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

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