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SXSW Music 2010

Reviewed by Michael Bertin, March 26, 2010, Music

Everybody Was in the French Resistance ... Now

Mohawk, Friday, March 19

"Does everyone know the song 'Billie Jean'? That's a fucked-up song." To those who never thought about it, Eddie Argos of Everybody Was in the French Resistance ... Now explained that it's about a guy who picks up a girl in a club, knocks her up, then disavows any responsibility for the kid. So Argos, better known as the singer of Art Brut, wrote "Billie's Genes," a song from the standpoint of the fatherless kid, now all grown up. In fact that's the whole musical strategem of EWITFRN: write response songs. The band actually takes the bit pretty far without degenerating into schtick. Musically, they write decent homages (their response to Elastica's "Vaseline" is simply a shamelessly flattering Elastica rip-off), but Argos' wry wit and genial irony has a half-life longer than a SXSW showcase allows. Plus, he's legitimately funny. As he explained after they played "Creeque Allies" to open: "In Europe, when you open with a song about the Nazis, you get different reactions. When we were in Switzerland we sang, 'Everyone was in the French Resistance ... but you people.' That didn't go over too well."

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