Les Sans Culottes

Les Sans Culottes

BandRockPop

Like Jose Bove pelting your McDonald's-eating ass with a bushel of apples, the French-by-way-of- Brooklyn party band Les Sans Culottes readies the crowd for a roquefort and roll revolution. Les Sans Culottes is a Top 20 CMJ band.

Biography

Les Sans Culottes borrowed their name from the ill-clad (i.e., long-trousered) citizen soldiers of the French Revolution. The band—like revolutionary era France—has seen its share of ups and downs, comings and goings, coup d’etats, etc.

The band plays songs in French and English. The band began in 1996 playing spirited covers of 60’s era French pop icons like Gainsbourg and Dutronc. Known for its take-no-prisoners live shows, Les Sans Culottes has "earned a reputation for excessively fabulous performances and intoxicatingly catchy pop music." (NY Daily News, 2/22/02).

LSC was featured on NPR’s “Weekend Edition” in April of 2005.

In May 2004, the band released their second disc on the Aeronaut Records label, "Fixation Orale." The disc was recorded at Hollywood's Elgonix Labs by Mike "R. Mutt" Andrews (who composed the music for the cult-film hit Donnie Darko, as well as Freaks and Geeks, and produced and played with the likes of Inara George, Brendan Benson, Metric, and Greyboy Allstars).

The Fixation Orale disc features ten songs in French, one in French and English and one in Esperanto.

The band's sound has variously been described in the press as: “The Love Boat, making stops in Ibiza, Rio De Janeiro and Cannes, and picking up partygoers at each port,” as well as “the most adorable band since Shonen Knife,” and “the catchiest slice of francophone Dada yeh-yeh since the Plastic Bertrand’s “Ça Plane Pour Moi.”

The band members hail variously from Paris (chanteuse Celine Dijon), La Jolla (guitarist Calvino "Cal Damage" Dimaggio), San Francisco (keyboardist Mars Chevrolet), Ft. Lee, NJ (chanteuse Kit Kat Le Noir), Denver (bassist/guitarist Jean Luc Retard) and Pittsburgh (drummer Harry Covert).

They met at the Rhode Island School of Design in the early nineties, drinking in the sounds of 60's French ye-ye pop from Gainsbourg, Dutronc, and Ferrer. They relocated to Brooklyn in 1998.

The sound they crafted is as various as the cities they grew up in, your typical Paris meets La Jolla meets New Jersey meets San Francisco meets Pittsburgh and Denver sound but all forged in the foul rag and bone shop of French Pop: a musical marinade that involves a 1960's French twist on British music based on the music of African Americans. Et voila! The result is mind-altering, elegant, twisted, bi-lingual, Grand Guignol, Rock and Roll.

French critics also give LSC their props. Their previous Aeronaut Release "Faux Realism" received a "Bonne poilade, donc, et maximum respect" shout out from the French edition of Rolling Stone magazine.

While the band's passion for singing in French in Brooklyn might appear at first blush to be quixotic or even absurdist, as time goes on more and more people seem to realize exactly what the band is saying regardless of what language they are saying it in, and even while it is filtered through assumed personas. And perhaps there is something revolutionary in that.

Discography

Fixation Orale - LP
Faux Realism - LP
Ennui and the Ecstasy - LP