FairlyChatty presents…… 'Songs That Changed My Life'. Today’s episode is brought to you by your dear friends Gladys and Agnes. The structure of the series is as follows: our host invites their guest to choose three songs that have ‘changed their life,’sharing their experiences of the music before postulating its deeper impact on them as individuals.
--------Translation (more or less)--------Gladys: The idea for this series came to me when I was reading a novel by Francoise Sagan. In the book, ‘A Certain Smile’ the writer compares songs to nostalgic portals, kind of like time machines. As in, the idea that when we hear certain songs, we have the choice to either
a) remain indifferent
b)be totally transported: to another time and space altogether. Either to different points within our own timelines; (like the first time we heard the song, for instance, //the last time we heard it //wherever else the melody might take us). It made a big impression on me. The idea that just the simple lyrics, or a simple melody line could be interpreted in an infinite manner of ways depending on the emotional state of its listener. All of this completely independent of the original intentions of the composer, of course. Or even that the very same song could remind one person of, well anything...
But anyways, enough of the preamble, let's get on it with, podcast, shall we...
Today we have a very special guest in store for you . Even though I was hoping to bag French-Icon-singer-songwriter-and-all-round-legend SoKo; I was told that our budget couldn't stretch to it. It's a bloody shame. Really,now, she would have made a great guest. But anyways, at the last moment I phoned an old friend to ask if they could step in. And guess what? They are willing. Sure. They are no Soko, and sure, they aren't really qualified to talk about music at all. But THE SHOW MUST GO ON.
I'm very fond of her, and I am sure you will be too. Ladies and Gentlemen, lets give it up for ......
Agnes! How's it going, my love?
Agnes: To tell you the truth, Gladys, I thought this thing would be in front of a studio audience, you know, the real deal. If I had known it would be just the two of us, sitting on the floor in your closet, talking into an imaginary microphone, I wouldn't have worn such a revealing outfit. But hey, I see you have closed the door. My legs are numb anyway, so I guess I'm here for a while. Tell me, my love, what is 'Soko'?
Gladys: You mean 'WHO is SoKo' ?????
Agnes: Yeah, I'd rather not know actually
Gladys: Fairs, SO : what is your first song going to be then?
Agnes : My first track, is going to have to be an old classic from a dear friend, Joe Dassin
Gladys: That name sounds familiar. Tell me: when did you first hear the song?
Agnes : ***unironically quoting lyrics *** "Tu sais, je n’ai jamais été si heureuse que ce matin-là" the first time he sung it to me ..... "On marchait sur une plage, c'était l’automne, un automne où il faisait beau" - "c’est une saison qui n’existe que dans le nord de l’Amérique. Et je me souviens, je me souviens très bien ". Joe turned towards me and said I was just like a watercolour painting from Marie Laurencin. Obviously I corrected him and said my aesthetic was much more Renoir than Laurencin. And that's when he whipped out his guitair and started serenading me with ‘L’été Indien’. And oh-my-christ, it was god-awful! Potentially the worst thing I have ever heard. Ever. Bless his cotton socks, a great ass but zero sense of rhythm. Obviously I'm still fond of Joe, but it just reminds me that not everyone can have talent in this world. Most of the time, its just a question of having a decent head of hair.
Gladys: Yeah, I agree.
Agnes: with which part ?
Gladys: The bit about you being nothing less than a Renoir! And now...let's have a listen to the song...
****Gladys actually starts playing 'Lovetrap' by Soko instead, Agnes cottons on, has a go at Gladys, punches are thrown, ***subsequent cries drowned out by slow dramatic fade into ‘L’été Indien’ by Joe Dassin *****
Gladys: God, its a bit long, that one! Do you mind if your next song choice is a tad shorter? The attention span of our listeners is not what it used to be.
Agnes: Look, I don't bow down to the public. This new generation is too delicate. So, sure, maybe my next tune won't be to everyone's liking. It might even shock you all a bit. So what? Sue me! . Because I chose this song from my *mortal enemy*, Brigitte Bardot: 'Moi je joue '. I'm sure you already know, Gladys, my history with this woman. I'm not exaggerating when I say she completely tried to rip me off back in the day. I'm talking my whole aesthetic: right down to my insufferably iconic hairstyle. The fucking cheek of it! Regardless, I'm not the type to hold a grudge, but i I will say that it was an absolute liberty. Anyways, I chose this song because it reminds me of those halycon days of Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll in Paris.
Gladys: Okay. With this next song,then, we are going back in time. To the sixties. But this time round, let's not over-do The Sesh, okay? . (as in: less of the pills, parties and waking up in a different time zone, naked and a afraid, feeling like a pig shat in your head)
** plays My precious by SOko, fighting ensuing with Agnes, kicks flying, followed by slow fade into 'Moi, je joue' by Bridget Bardot **
Gladys: Do you know that Bridget Bardot was the same age as our favorite writer, little Françoise Sagan? That's right, they were born just a couple months apart from each other. Like....you and me: how we both arrived in this world at the same time. But with totally different destinies, of course .
Agnes: You and your constant 'fate' chat.....
Gladys: It's always comes down to fate, my dear. I'm telling you. But hey, you never want to listen. And that's on you. So. Your last song? Whats it gonna be?
Agnes: My last choice is a song from .... ***shock horror*** the 21st century. One for girls, one for the summer, you know? When I think of this song, I feel …....well, tbh, still very much dead inside, as per. But, you know me, Gladys, I don't normally go in for all your 'emotional' stuff. However, it will say that I do love the beach and i do love the summer. FUnnily enough this song is called ‘At the Beach’ In my opinion, the band, Juniore, ranks quite highly on the 'chaotic evil' alignment chart. Very sinister and elusive. Very much ‘I'm gonna take her to the beach, and then goodnight, sweetheart', you know?
***Gladys tries her absolute luck, puts on the same old Soko song, and both of them, instead of resuming their unfinished wrestling match, opt for a more pacifist giggle before ultimately conceding and putting on the aforementioned track......'A la PLAGE' by Juniore***
Gladys: Right well, thank you Agnes, for all your of your song selections and lively anecdotes. To end today's program, I chose a tune by Christophe. Every time I listen to it, I feel transported to a different world. In fact, this specific song reminds me of the same feeling I had when I first heard Joe Dassin's '‘L’été Indien’'. Only this time round, with even more over-the-top orchestration and gratuitously melodramatic lyrics. (I live for the drama, what can I say?) The song tells the story of a young woman who goes missing at the beach. A haunting image. It makes me this of many things, like the novels of Françoise Sagan, those romantic heroines of yesteryear, compelling yet frustratingly inaccessible at the same time . But above all, I think of the tragic figure of a woman, who disappears, all of a sudden, without the chance to say goodbye.
Agnes: So, is that everything?Gladys: Yes that's everything
Agnes: Okay, I'll be getting back to bed, then . Have a nice day and goodb---------
*****cuts out the final song. Cristophe's 'ALine'***