Both is a French-language band, formed in Metz (a city in the northeast of France, very close to the borders with Luxembourg and Germany) in March of 2004. They've released three studio albums.

I found it extremely difficult to research their lineup, as it has changed since the biography on their website went up, but here is as close as I can come:

Both's style shows influences from metal, ska, hip-hop, alternative, and other genres. To my ears, the sound is reminiscent of some American music of the early aughts, but it's extremely catchy, and French lends itself to wordplay that isn't possible with English. Both also strive to bring a deeper, more politically-oriented message to their lyrics than some bands, as their biography on Myspace states:

Both s'engage non seulement dans un éclectisme musical, mais aussi dans leurs textes, majoritairement en français, dévoilant ainsi leur idéologie, leurs joies et leurs peines ainsi ils essayent de faire passer leurs idéaux…
"Both isn't only involved (there are political overtones in the verb I can't exactly capture in English) in musical eclecticism, but also in their lyrics, which reveal their ideology, their joys and hardships. In this way they try to convey their ideas to the listener…"

I first learned about the band when I was trying to find out about French-language music in order to expand my horizons and practice a language that has been part of my life since I was a child in Paris. Both came extremely highly-recommended by actual French listeners, which was a big plus for me. And as much of the music I discovered during my explorations was by Quebecois bands (the neotraditionalist movement has a lot of steam there) it was nice to discover acts like Both, Diam's, and others from France itself, since I speak the French of France and have a hard time with other dialects (much as I enjoy artists like Guadeloupe's Admiral T, I find his patois all-but impenetrable).

Both's first two albums, "Simple Exercice" ("Simple Exercise," released in 2004) and "En Attendant D'Aller Sur Mars…" ("While Waiting to Travel to Mars," released in 2005) are available in mp3 quality for free from the music discovery website Jamendo, as well as in traditional CD format through online and real-life stores. Their third album, "Alice's Death in Wonderland" (released in 2008) is not available for free (yet). All three albums are self-produced; Both isn't associated with a label. The band is currently touring, promoting their new album.

Since they're available online for free, you have no excuse not to give them a listen. Even if you don't know the language, their catchy, high-energy music is a treat to listen to.


Both is a word in the English language (brought over from an Old Norse root, which yields begging as well) which indicates that some state of being applies to each one of a set of precisely two occupants. Russia and Turkey are both transcontinental. Australia and Antarctica both start with the letter 'A' and are both home to penguins. Both penguins and the letter 'A' can be found in Africa, as well. But occasionally one will see a lapse in grammar wherein the word, both, is used to denote a circumstance shared by three or more members of the set. As in, both Australia, Antarctica, and Africa contain the letter 'A.' Russia, Turkey, and Egypt are both transcontinental. No, this is wrong, three things do not 'both' contain anything, because the 'both' went out the window when the third thing trundled into the sentence, knocking over neatly arranged bits of punctuation and interrupting clauses which were trying to engage in polite and quiet conversation.

Now (as one fellow noder notes dutifully), there's an apparent exception to this whole conundrum. 'Apparent,' because really it's not an exception at all, it's the same situation with a difference in appearance alone. What if you're referring to two sets of things? For example, Both the Smiths and the Appletons enjoy Mozart. That is, both the set of (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) and (Mr. and Mrs. Appleton) enjoy Mozart. One could inartfully, but not grammatically incorrectly, state that both Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Appleton enjoy Mozart. And if you're inclined to go by first names alone, you could as accurately state that both John and Jane and Jim and Judy enjoy Mozart, and this wouldn't break the rules since the 'both' to which you are referring would be both sets of persons. This can come across as a threesome if you have one set of two people and one set of a single person. As one documentary noted, both the Duke and Duchess of York and the Prince of Wales enjoy wearing hats. Or suppose you've got some gay couples. Both John and Jim and Joe and Jay enjoy Christmas caroling.

And again if you have a pair of things to which a situation applies, as well as other things to which this situation likewise applies. For example, imagine you've got two gay penguins who live together in Australia (it being legal in Australia for gay penguins to cohabitate). It would be correct to state that both penguins live in Australia, because they do. And it would be equally correct if other things were in the set -- both penguins and the letter 'A' can be found in Australia. Both penguins, kangaroos, and koalas can be found in Australia (that is, kangaroos and koalas can be found in Australia, as well as both penguin Joe Smith and penguin Jay Appleton, both of whom enjoy both Mozart and Christmas caroling).

And finally, were one to note that both booth, bath, and berth begin with 'b' and end with 'th,' that would not be a problem of grammar, but of proper punctuation. Clearly the intended sentence is: both, booth, bath, and berth begin with 'b' and end with 'th.' And indeed, all of them do.

But don't use 'both' for an actual set of three things. Humans are capable of a great deal of forgiveness, so it would be going to far to call this extra-occupant intrusion an unforgivable error -- but though I'm not a truther or a birther, I guess you could call me a bother. It's just disconcerting enough that, well, let's both you and I avoid doing it. Blessings!!



Both (?), a. or pron. [OE. bothe, bae, fr. Icel. bair; akin to Dan. baade, Sw. b�x86;da, Goth. bajs, OHG. beid, bd, G. & D. beide, also AS. begen, ba, b, Goth. bai, and Gr. , L. ambo, Lith. aba, OSlav. oba, Skr. ubha. &root;310. Cf. Amb-.]

The one and the other; the two; the pair, without exception of either.

⇒ It is generally used adjectively with nouns; as, both horses ran away; but with pronouns, and often with nous, it is used substantively, and followed by of.

It frequently stands as a pronoun.

She alone is heir to both of us. Shak.

Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a covenant. Gen. xxi. 27.

He will not bear the loss of his rank, because he can bear the loss of his estate; but he will bear both, because he is prepared for both. Bolingbroke.

It is often used in apposition with nouns or pronouns.

Thy weal and woe are both of them extremes. Shak.

This said, they both betook them several ways. Milton.

Both now always precedes any other attributive words; as, both their armies; both our eyes.

Both of is used before pronouns in the objective case; as, both of us, them, whom, etc.; but before substantives its used is colloquial, both (without of) being the preferred form; as, both the brothers.


© Webster 1913.

Both, conj.

As well; not only; equally.

Both precedes the first of two coordinate words or phrases, and is followed by and before the other, both . . . and . . . ; as well the one as the other; not only this, but also that; equally the former and the latter. It is also sometimes followed by more than two coordinate words, connected by and expressed or understood.

To judge both quick and dead. Milton.

A masterpiece both for argument and style. Goldsmith.

To whom bothe heven and erthe and see is sene. Chaucer.

Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound. Goldsmith.

He prayeth well who loveth well Both man and bird and beast. Coleridge.


© Webster 1913.

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