Sunday, September 7, 2008

Initials BB

Look at Serge Gainsbourg. What a typical Frenchman. Smoking a cigarette and acting too cool to stand up. Who does he think he is?

"Initials BB," Gainsbourg's tribute to Brigitte Bardot, is easily my favorite song of his. The chorus is hypnotic, like some sort of brainwashing tool: "Repeat after me--B initials B initials B initials BB." It's easy to imagine a giant neon sign flashing B in time with the beat.

Most Gainsbourg songs irritate me. Either he talks through most of a song (probably because he was too hungover in the studio that day) or Jane Birkin (Gainsbourg's longtime girlfriend and "musical" partner) does her famous "I don't need to sing, I can just exhale" act, causing the song to expire in a fog of Gitanes smoke and Gallic superiority. But "Initials BB" is perfect.

As a public service, here is what happens when you're too cool to stand up in your own music videos.