Les Sans Culottes
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Les Sans Culottes


Band Rock Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Rolling Stone"

It takes a special strand of rock & roll quirk -- or is it lunacy -- to be an American-born band but sing in French. Yet the seven hipsters in Les Sans Culottes ("Those Without Undergarments") may just pull it off -- and, to be fair, one of the group's singers is originally from Paris. The rest, though, hail from the States, all eventually enrolling in the Rhode Island School of Design, where they formed. And on Fixation Orale , their fourth proper album, the Brooklyn-based septet bops through twelve tightly-wound guitar-songs that might otherwise be Kinks-like, if it weren't for all the French. As it is, this sharp pop is ironically inventive and totally fun. Swirling keyboards and airy, toe-tapping rhythms flutter around boy-girl harmonies that discuss "menage a toi"s and ice cream. Sill, though, it's near impossible not to snicker at the band and wonder if they're for real. Perhaps some questions are better left unanswered. -BENJAMIN FRIEDLAND - Rolling Stone.com

"The Examiner - San Francisco"

If the chaussures fit ...

Stateside couch potatoes are already unknowingly familiar with the music of the Brooklyn-based Francophiles known as Les Sans Culottes. Their song "L'allumeuse" is featured in the Hewlett-Packard commercial where the young girl uses her HP digital camera to take panoramic shots of Paris from the Eiffel Tower.

Not one of the members of this pseudo-Parisian septet is actually French, but they all virtually eat, sleep and breathe the Left Bank, making kitschy retro Franco-pop. They regularly sell out dates in NYC, where downtown hipsters think they're the cat's meow.
- The Examiner - San Francisco

"LA Weekly - Los Angeles"

Les French — why are they so very très enchanté ? Je ne sais pas , but ici est un spirited sept -member ensemble from l’arrondisement known as Brooklyn (pronounced “Bruke-leen”), which we couldn’t locate on a map but must be the Silver Lake of Paris, judging by the band’s mismatched old clothes and smoky aura that’s both alluring and repulsive. Named for the “ill-clad and ill-equipped volunteers of the French Revolutionary army,” Les Sans Culottes (meaning “without underpants”) take on the ‘60s French pop sound of Serge Gainsbourg and add arrangements à la the 5th Dimension to ridiculously groovy effect. Their Faux Realism (yeah, they met at art school) CD features such escargot-y fluff as “Non Merci, Oncle Sam” and “La Langue de L’Amour,” une chanson so very Jean Paul Belmondo, it’ll have you parlez-vous -ing all over yourself. Hip hip beret! -Libby Molyneaux - LA Weekly

"SignOn San Diego"

The love-child of Serge Gainsbourg and Combustible Edison, Les Sans Culottes delivers a cheeky homage to '60s-era French pop replete with clever lyrics, ridiculous aliases and spot-on vocals and instrumentation that could've been lifted from the "Umbrellas of Cherbourg" soundtrack.
The band's upcoming CD… was produced by local hitmaker Mike Andrews (of Gary Jules/"Donnie Darko"/"Mad World" fame).
- Sign On

"Soul Shine Canada"

French power pop strikes again! Their indie French drawl makes "Allo Allo" a ringing success. All the high school French goes out the window and returns as fun, chic words like "Telephone Douche". A follow up to their more rock-centric debut album, "Fixation Orale" brings the softer side of the band to the forefront. This is most evident on "Tout Va Bien". Les Sans Culottes do however carry enough drive to make the French side of the Cheerios box develop new meaning. -Writer: LW - Soul Shine

"Baby Sue Online"

Cool French pop with plenty of tricky twists. The tunes on Faux Realism range from straightforward pop to new wave rock...something like a cross between Serge Gainesbourg and The B-52s. Though the band sings in French, they are based in New York City...injecting a much needed shot in the arm to folks in the Big Apple. Les Sans Culottes (the name translates to "those wet undergarments") are happy and upbeat...while never sounding phony or overly sweet. Probably destined for cult status because they sing in a foreign language, these folks provide plenty of upbeat hummable treats on this album. Our favorites are "Sa Sabine," "Ecole de Merde," "Apollinaire," and "Funky Peripherique." Cool stuff...! (Rating: 4+++) - Baby Sue


Les Sans Culottes are a band that delights in a good bad pun - with stage names like Jean Luc Retard and Celine Dijon, they make a musical mélange of garage, cabaret and 60’s ye-ye pop that lends itself to descriptions like “Roquefort & Roll.” This ersatz French-by-way-of-Brooklyn septet writes songs in the Franglais of a high school student who’s used his French-English dictionary to look up all the dirty words. To the inattentive listener, the crooning chorus girls and psychedelic organs of songs like “Sa Sabine” are sexy and fun, with the campy, danceable appeal of the B-52’s. Those who’ve spent some quality time with French language tapes are rewarded with wry and raunchy translations, and even some playful social commentary (“I do not wish for a McFoie Gras/ Do not supersize me/ It is completely crazy/ The Anglo-Saxon global system of cultural imperialism”). With their self-released previous albums of cover songs, Les Sans Culottes proved they could ape the “classics” of the genre by the likes of Francoise Hardy and Serge Gainsbourg – material already ripe for satire. Yet somewhere amid the artifice – the day-glo colors and Pepe le Pew accents – Les Sans Culottes show themselves to be more than just a high-kitsch send-up, and deliver something real. –Kerry Miller - CMJ


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


Feeling a bit camera shy


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.