Some French Friends

Club Congress, Friday, Aug. 22

When French rockers Little Rabbits traveled from their native Nantes, France, to Tucson to record at Jim Waters' Waterworks studio in 1995, little did they know they were stepping into a cross-continental relationship that would stretch into the next decade.

While recording, Rabbits' drummer Eric Pifeteau forged many friendships within the Tucson music scene, later extending touring invitations and booking shows for Tucsonans, such as the wildly successful "We Got Cactus" European tour in 2005. In turn, Pifeteau and his Tucson friends organized the multimedia, multi-venue Some French Friends fest here this month, featuring more than a dozen performers, artists and filmmakers, a few of whom converged at Club Congress last Friday night.

Friday's post-hardcore opening trio Papier Tigre are obviously influenced by Fugazi, but their jittery rock has more contemporary comparisons, such as DFA-produced acts like Bloc Party and The Rapture--minus the dance beats, i.e., Gang of Four. One of Tigre's smoldering, dramatic opuses prompted me to ask the band if they were fans of Tool or System of a Down. No, they firmly replied; though those bands were popular with French youth, they preferred Dinosaur Jr. or Sebadoh.

Dominique A. followed with a mostly solo performance, occasionally joined by his longtime right-hand-man Mellano. On more aggressive numbers such as "Le Courage des Oiseaux," Dominique sounded like a French version of Franz Ferdinand; elsewhere, he crooned like Jens Lekman or Morrissey covering the Velvet Underground.

From the ashes of Little Rabbits emerged French Cowboy, and on Friday night, the polyester-three-piece-suit-wearing foursome got help from some locals to recreate their spaghetti-Western-inspired Euro-rock. Jon Villa and Michael J. Carbajal of The Jons added a horn section (and when's the Jons' first European tour?) while Mr. Tidypaws provided saxophone jabs throughout the set.

Closing the night was Tucson's Al Foul and the Shakes, augmented by Nantes DJ French Tourist on turntables (and theremin!), plus Naim Amor, a French expat, on guitar. Though it wasn't quite Public Enemy meets Johnny Cash, I'm dying to hear the collaboration on disc--Amor interjecting the "Tequila" riff throughout the night hints at the possibilities of a delicious mash-up.

You've got one more chance to catch Some French Friends this Friday, Aug. 29, at Plush; more details at the Friends Web site.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Sonoran Soul: Carlos Arzate

    On Got Me Wrong, Carlos Arzate explores struggle with melody
    • Sep 3, 2015
  • Heartbreak Pass

    Howe Gelb navigates the joy and sorrow in his double life
    • May 7, 2015

The Range

After Orlando: An International Theatre Action

Fifth Annual Rock Lottery with The Flycatcher

More »

Latest in Live

  • Noise Annoys

    Baby Gas Mask, absurdist soul and prog, plus Chaka!
    • Oct 13, 2016
  • B-Sides: DJQ

    • Jul 28, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Vintage Vinyl Tucson

    This week: The Spiders 'Don’t Blow Your Mind' b/w 'No Price Tag'
    • Nov 24, 2016
  • Court and Spark

    This Tucson singer-songwriter, who moonlights as a jailhouse psychotherapist, overcame career-killing circumstances
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation