French Theory
October 25, 2007 2:20 AM   Subscribe

This post isn't about the great Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine - too many guitar posts recently - it isn't about the Belgian singer Katerine (nothing to say). It is about the French singer Philippe Katerine, who has been changing the way lyrics are written, as well as giving a whole range of new topics to French song. With Je vous emmerde (F*** you) he explains what's on a loser's mind. Excuse-moi is about the things a man focuses on during sexual intercourse in order to avoid early ejaculation. The individual struggling with an meaningless society is always present : Borderline (warcraft version with English subtitles). His lists and his humor clearly link his work with the texts of Poets like Raymond Queneau, Boris Vian (and Serge Gainsbourg), or the prose of Georges Perec. He can be Elegiac, Paradoxical, Funky, prosaic, he's always twofold.
posted by nicolin (13 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
A nice alternate version of Excuse-moi, same session as Borderline.
posted by nicolin at 2:31 AM on October 25, 2007

Il n'est pas Gainsbourg.
posted by zemblamatic at 3:03 AM on October 25, 2007

Hah ha! That Excuse Moi clip is really charming and very funny! I'm certainly not up on my French singers, so thanks for this post.

As it happens, I did know who Philip Catherine is: I lived in Brussels for most of the year 1983, and Catherine was THE Belgian jazz star at the time. I think I met him (introduced at a party or something) during my time there.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:06 AM on October 25, 2007

addendum: Catherine was THE Belgian jazz star after Toots Thielemans.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:10 AM on October 25, 2007

Je vous emmerde (F*** you)

It's been a while since I have been in France, but I'm pretty sure je vous emmerde means I bore you (to shit) or I piss you off. Fuck you is roughly, aller se faire enculer, or simply, enculé.

Great post.
posted by psmealey at 4:00 AM on October 25, 2007

Nope, «je vous emmerde» is "fuck you". Although there are several other ways of saying this.
posted by Wolof at 5:07 AM on October 25, 2007

«Ça m'emmerde» means "it bores me shitless" though.
posted by Wolof at 5:08 AM on October 25, 2007

Yeah, that's what I was thinking... c'est emmerdant! But whatever, that was the new thing I learned today.
posted by psmealey at 5:10 AM on October 25, 2007

Hi psmealey,
I didn't intend to provide a very accurate translation. But actually "emmerder" has a slightly different meaning when you are the one who "emmerde" and when you're the one who is "emmerdé". Back to etymology (but not too far back) : "merde" meaning "shit", the two different structures mean : (you don't look like you're knowing it but) You're covering me with shit so please stop (= Tu m'emmerdes) / I perfectly know that I'm covering you with shit, and I don't care (= Je t'emmerde). That last meaning I've translated by "Fuck you" but it really means "I don't care about what you think". The lyrics of Philippe Katerine's song goes like : "I'm a shit and I fuck you"
posted by nicolin at 5:18 AM on October 25, 2007

Qu'est-ce qu'elle a, ma gueule? Hein?

posted by Wolof at 5:26 AM on October 25, 2007

Nice post nicolin, thanks. My first introduction to Philippe Katerine was this witty, camp and seriously rocking Louxor J'adore clip on TV5. I love how he dances the whole rural village into an urban club vibe.
posted by duncan42 at 5:27 AM on October 25, 2007

Metafilter: I'm a shit and I fuck you
posted by cortex at 8:04 AM on October 25, 2007

Snails flying through a starfield. Yep that image oughta do the trick.
posted by damo at 8:41 AM on October 25, 2007

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