Albums »Ame Debout

catherine ribeiro and alpes ame deboutImagine if Nico went on a Primal Scream retreat with Amon Duul II and suddenly began singing in French and you get some idea of the mysterious, sometimes cacophonous, experience of listening to gorgeous hippy woman Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes's 1971 release Ame Debout (which means, I believe, “I am Standing”).

It's definitely a mind expanding album that takes some getting used to, but the more you listen, the more addicting it becomes. Her crazy wails over the guitar stylings of her magnificently bearded partner, Patrice Moullet, sound doomed, urgent, and spacey. This band was at the forefront of the French counter culture in the 70s and their lyrics (I have read) are politically poetic and strongly leftist.

They never attained world-wide popularity, in fact this record can be difficult to find (big thanks to Brian for tipping us off to this blog that features the album), but if you're a fan of psych/prog/folk rock, which it seems like more and more people are these days, it's worth seeking them out, possibly on eBay. I'll also be seeking out the films from Ribeiro's brief career, including Godard's Carabiniers (now on my Netflix que).

Plus the album cover features the most intriguing middle of the woods picnic I've ever seen, sorry Manet, while your scene may also include fruits, crazy hats and bread, these guys have long hair, wine and the potential to break out into an insane prog song at any moment, which takes the cake over shocking nudity (but just barely).

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Posted on November 24, 2008

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