By Jason Lamphier
When it comes to Nous Non Plus, there�s a fine line between true and faux. Since late 2005 the offbeat sextet have been slapping New York City�s underground music scene out of its cynical funk with their giddy 1960s Franco-pop, performing almost entirely in French and sporting punny pseudonyms like Cal D�Hommage and Bonnie Day (above, left). The thing is, apart from Swiss vocalist C�line Dijon (right), Nous Non Plus (translation: �neither do we� or �us no more�) barely have a grasp of the French language. The group�s American members write their lyrics in English, Dijon translates, and then they learn the songs phonetically.
Yet their act has been quite believable, says singer-bassist Jean-Luc Retard (a.k.a. Dan Crane), who frequently interrupts gushing Parisian fans when Nous Non Plus play overseas to tell them he can�t understand them. The lascivious Retard, he adds, is actually Crane�s uninhibited, omnisexual alter ego. In fact, Crane (center), who has dabbled with both men and women, says all of the band members� stage identities are personifications of the genderless ideal they eagerly promote on their new album, M�nagerie (out now on Aeronaut), a bubbly blend of horns, string sections, Moog synthesizers, and quirky percussion samples. �We try to maintain that playful sexuality of late-�60s French songs,� explains Retard. �We�re celebrating love of any kind, for any gender.
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