Vagina Panic (post tenebras lux)

From the department of “from darkness comes light”…

Above: Girls is a new show on HBO.

As the title reveals, “Les Damnés” was a track that I wrote for my band Nous Non Plus during a dark time in my life when I was living in New York and working in the restaurant industry by day and the music industry by night. It was an extremely productive time for me but a very unhappy one…

When I brought it to my dear friend and writing partner Verena (aka Céline Dijon), she brought her own darkness to the song, writing about traitorous lovers “damned” to an unhappy existence.

Her performance on the recording, superbly produced by Dan (aka Jean-Luc Retard) who forms the troika of our writing équipe, is as stirring to me now as it was that day, many moons ago, in an Eagle Rock recording studio.

For its pathos, it’s one of the songs that I’m the most proud of and it also features an amazing drum solo by our friend Joachim Cooder (who played on the entire album, Ménagerie, Aeronaut, 2009).

To listen to it now still brings chills to my marrow but it also reminds me that from darkness can come light… post tenebras lux

“Les Damnés” will be featured on the new HBO show Girls on Sunday, April 22, episode 2, “Vagina Panic.”


“Les Damnés” from the Nous Non Plus 2009 release Ménagerie (Aeronaut) will be featured on the new HBO series Girls on April 22 (“Vagina Panic,” episode 2).

“HBO’s ‘Girls’ Is the Best New TV Show of 2012.”
—Daily Beast

Back in the studio: good music, bad food, and some kick-ass wine

Just added: Nous Non Plus will be performing at Bordello in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, June 20 with fellow French rockers Tour de France. June 21, daytime show at the the Alliance Française in San Francisco (details to follow).

Nous Non Plus recently headed back into the studio to finish work on our upcoming release (working title, “Nous Non Plus: Deux,” fall 2008). Engineer and wine lover Bryan Cook manned the dials at Kingsize Studio Sound Labs in Eagle Rock, CA (check out the studio’s site… it’s kinda cool).

When you’re in the studio, you’re working hard (usually 10-12 hour days) and you don’t really have a lot of great food options (the section of Eagle Rock where we recorded looked like a scene out of the Lethal Weapon franchise). We did make some groovy music and we managed to drink well.

Tradition dictates that food writing should be positive… that we should write only about good food. But in the world of rock ‘n’ roll, even when the music is great, the food usually sucks.

Here’s a little photo essay of our session…

Bad: reheated Mexican food.

Bad: flavorless Thai food… hey, you know, sometimes you have to eat cause you’re hungry!

Good… actually, very good: 32-channel Neve 8068. Man, that desk sounds warm and rich…

Good: early 1980s Fender Super Reverb and Fender Champ (I believe they were post-1982 since that was the year that Fender started making them again). I also played through the Supro behind the Champ. When you turn those little amps up to 10 they sound fantastic.

Fun: the guitar selection at Kingsize is colorful… among other axes employed on this record, the Gretsch G1626 Synchromatic Silver Sparkle Jet with f-hole (second from right) sounded awesome on some of the more rocking numbers. It was made for only a few years and now is almost impossible to find. The main guitar I played was my custom John Carruthers “Johnny Rivers” model telecaster. Also played a beautiful vintage Fender Jazzmaster with tremolo.

Excellent: 1982 Salomon library selection Riesling was off-the-charts delicious.

Nice performance: Jean-Luc Retard (aka Dan, bass, vox) opens a bottle of one of NNP’s officially favorite wines, Movia Puro Rosé. In the photo, Dan is disgorging the sediment from the bottle in a sink full of water (the plates and cups on the bottom served as a stopper for the drain; Kingsize is a great studio but the plumbing is, let’s say, creative).

Hits the spot: after the wine is disgorged, it’s totally clear.

Good company, bad food: from left, our friend Joachim Cooder, Céline, Bryan, and Jean-Luc and I “grind out” on some mediocre Mediterranean.