zondag 30 juli 2006

Fils Sourire

Hi y'all,

Thank you very much for all your kind felicitations. Here's a nice pic of my son Stijn, made in his first hour on the planet.

dinsdag 25 juli 2006

Carole, Juliette

Two singers I got to know via MySpace: Carole Masseport and Juliette Clement, aka Mamzelle Juliette. Both are from Paris, both are at the start of their career (Juliette did play in some bands before), but that's where the similarities stop. Carole Masseport, who has an album out, sings with a low, stern, almost gothic voice. Blottie, the song posted below, has a modern fado-ish feel (think Madredeus), very intense, and builds like a bolero. Her other songs are more straightforward chansons, with added electonica. Carole's influences range between Barbara and Killing Joke. A singer to light a candle by.

Juliette Clement likes Lisa Ekdahl and Madeline Peyroux for the feeling, Gainsbourg and Coralie Clement for provocation and poetry and Fiona Apple for voice and craziness. Her delicate songs focus on her voice (sparse instrumentation) and her expression, as if she's taking the listener by the hand to guide him through the song. I sure like to take a walk with Mamzelle, how 'bout you?

Carole Masseport - Blottie
Mamzelle Juliette - Si Tu Ne Reviens Jamais


"It's so refreshing and different from the big belters", Blossom Dearie once said about Astrud Gilberto. A remark that could easily be about herself too: her very romantic, girlish voice is what they call 'an acquired taste' - on this blog, that is a big plus. Blossom (East Durham, 1928) is said to have been given her unusual first name after a neighbour brought peach blossoms to her house on the day she was born. She took piano lessons at an early age, was influenced by jazz-singers and -pianists and in her mid-twenties moved to New York to pursue a musical career. In 1952 she met Nicole Barclay, her husband Eddie owned Barclay Records, who suggested her to go to Paris. There she met Norman Granz, who signed her to Verve Records. My Gentleman Friend (with Kenny Burrell on guitar and Ray Brown on bass) is considered to be her best Verve-album. In Paris, she also fell for the language and recorded a few French songs. Her pronounciation isn't fluent, but if you like the way Claudine Longet sings in English, you must like Blossoms chansons. The original supper club singer still performs, as her website shows.

Blossom Dearie - Plus Je T'Embrasse
Blossom Dearie - Boum
Blossom Dearie - Tout Doucement

maandag 24 juli 2006


Your help is NO LONGER needed by identifying a song, and a singer. Longtime pal D. has send me a brilliant song, that could be from a musical or a movie, by an unknown singer or band, that is about petrol. More precise: the love for petrol, and the men who own the precious good. It has a Hair-like choir, and a solo-singer (well, she talks more than she sings). Lyric sample: Moi j'aime petrol, qui aime petrol. Have a listen to this mystery song (as always: right click-save as), if you know who it is, please leave a comment!

UPDATE: Ladies and gentlemen: we got him!
Michel Magne & Jean Yanne - Pétrol Pop

donderdag 20 juli 2006


How impressive a year living in France can be, is illustrated by Les Fleurs de Fouxi. Munich-based actress and singer Fouxi went abroad for a year and came back with a big love for the French language. She decided that her music combined perfect with her low, husky voice when she sang in French.
Music-wise, she was brought up with Zarah Leander, Beatles, Italo-pop, De-Phazz, Prince and more recent French artists like Biolay, Camille and Francoiz Breut. Her music has a laidback downtempo-flavour, but can be pretty intense. Listen to Au Trajet on her MySpace-site.
For some reason, German labels haven't signed Les Fleurs de Fouxi, although Thomas from Le Tour is considering Le Hawaii Interieur for his upcoming compilation. Good, for more people should hear Fouxi.

Les Fleurs de Fouxi - Le Hawaii Interieur

woensdag 19 juli 2006

Charlotte (3)

The Songs That We Sing is the first single from 5:55, the highly anticipated (well, by me at least) new album by Charlotte Gainsbourg. After Fictions by Jane Birkin and the Mr. Gainsbourg Revisited-tribute, this is the third major Serge-related release this year. (Maybe Bambou will release an album too, eh?) Contrary to Charlotte For Ever, her first album, this time Charlotte only sings in English - although songtitle Jamais might suggest otherwise. Just like on Fictions, a string of big names collaborated with Charlotte: producer Nigel Godrich, J-B and Nicolas from Air, afrobeat-hero Tony Allen, Neil from Divine Comedy, Jarvis Cocker and even Beck's daddy. The result is tender, lush, with a few flaws (not every song is memorable) but all 'n all way better than her debut. (Sorry, I cannot post more songs, my 5:55 copy is heavily protected)

Charlotte Gainsbourg - The Songs That We Sing
Charlotte Gainsbourg & Serge Gainsbourg - Charlotte For Ever

dinsdag 18 juli 2006

Axelle (3)

Coming September, the new album by my favourite Flemish redhead Axelle Red will be released, Jardin Secret. If you've never heard of Axelle: one of her albums is called French Soul, and that is exactly what she's making. Imagine not Dusty Springfield, but Jane Birkin (with a more schooled voice) in Memphis. This time, Axelle and producer Daan went to Elvis' hometown to record in Willie Mitchell's famous Royal Studios. Helping musical hand were lend by guys who worked with Sam & Dave and Isaac Hayes. First single Changer Ma Vie is a sultry New Orleans-shuffle. For good measure I also post early (1993) single Sensualité.

Axelle Red - Changer Ma Vie
Axelle Red - Sensualité

maandag 17 juli 2006

Feist (3)

"The first thing you notice about Feist is her remarkably sultry voice. Sexy, coy and occasionally husky, her alto seduces listeners, instantly drawing them in like a siren’s call", says Askmen.com, and it's the truth. Canadian-born Feist used to be best known from her work with Broken Social Scene, but nowadays she's a star (well, sort of) in her own right, thanks to second album Let It Die. That album went gold in France - she calls Paris her second home. She duetted with Jane Birkin (on Rendez-vous) and Albin de la Simone, and more recently recorded a song especially for the soundtrack to Paris Je T'Aime, a collection of short films about the City of Light directed by (among others) Gus van Sant, Gérard Depardieu and Wes Craven that was shown at the recent Filmfestival in Cannes.
La Même Histoire is not on Open Season, the just released collection of remixes and rarities. Tout Doucement, originally by Blossom Dearie, is. But she sang more songs in French, like a beautiful cover of Hardy's L'Amour Ne Dure Pas Toujours, or the partly French Amourissima. Here's a collection. UPDATE: duet with Arthur H added.

Feist - Tout Doucement
Feist - L'Amour Ne Dure Pas Toujours
Feist - La Même Histoire
Feist - Amourissima
Feist & Albin de la Simone - Elle Aime
Feist & Juliette Greco - Le Javanaise (see? click)
Arthur H & Feist - Chanson de Satie (merci a Gerrit et Martin)

Marina Celeste

The bigshots behind Japanese label Rambling Records had a great idea: what if the lovely Marina Celeste, who ressembled a French actress from the sixties, made an album of songs that were originally sung by Anna Karina? Marc Collin, one of the masterminds behind Nouvelle Vague, had an even better idea: why not make an album with songs from different nouvelle vague-films? Inna bossa nova stylee? Marina, a self-declared film-buff loved it, the record execs too, and this March Cinema Enchantée saw the light. Songs written by Gainsbourg, De Roubaix, Lai and Agnès Varda, originally sung by Bardot, Deneuve, Anna Karina and Joanna Shimkus - what a concept! Cinema Enchantée was released in Japan only, but a European release is expected in October, a long with Marina's first Japan-only album.
Ofcourse, you know Marina's tender voice from the Nouvelle Vague-project: French female singers do covers of new wave-classics. On the second NV-cd Marina sang, for instance, Grauzone's Eisbaer.
But Marina in French is way better. Here's three examples, plus the originals.

Marina Celeste - Sidonie
Marina Celeste - Aujourd'hui C'est Toi
Marina Celeste - Sous Le Soleil Exactement

Brigitte Bardot - Sidonie (from the movie Vie Privée)
Nicole Croseille - Aujourd'hui C'est Toi (from Un Homme & Une Femme)
Anna Karina - Sous Le Soleil Exactement (from Anna)

vrijdag 14 juli 2006

Clémentine (2)

It's Quatorze Juillet, festive fires are already up in France, so why not celebrate this sunny day with a hymn to love. Edith Piaf sang the original Hymne á L'Amour in 1949, and lots of artists covered the song, like Mireille Mathieu, Johnny Halliday en Delphine Mailland. Most recent cover was done by Clémentine on her just released new album, Lumière. Clé is an interesting singer, she's quite big in Japan, but relatively unknown in her home-country. I'm not even sure her albums are available in France. Lumière is mostly filled with bossa-nova tinged covers of standards (Moon River) and popsongs like The Beach Boys' godawful Kokomo,Little Green Bag by Dutch cheese-rocker George Baker (both produced by Marc Collin, of Nouvelle Vague-fame) and Time After Time by Cindy Lauper. With help from bossanova-stars Celso Fonseca and Roberto Menescal, the vibe's good. But her taste in covers could improve.

Happy Bastille-storming!

Edith Piaf - Hymne á L'Amour
Delphine Mailland - Hymne á L'Amour (merci, Una Vida Rosa)
Clémentine - Hymne á L'Amour

Oh, and by the way, read this great piece in German newspapar Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung (FAZ) about music blogs, with a quote by me

donderdag 13 juli 2006


Daniel disovered this blog just a week ago, but is already contributing. Here's his first guestposting:

"Edgar de L'Est (key members Edgar Daguier and Isabelle Becker) encapsulates a time & place I didn't know existed before moving to Paris. It just carried certain truths not quite decipherable to my ears of melancholic melodies intertwined with care free singing. The more I listened, the more I wanted to leave the States. These tender notes helped gravitate me towards dreaming of a life possibly much better than my drab existence & making a reality of it. It's been a year since having returned to America.
I still listen to return to old dreams of déja vu."

Edgar de l'Est - Louise

PS: Isabelle has moved on to another band, Wandarine

dinsdag 11 juli 2006


"D.a.p. est sensible au charme des actrices-chanteuses, de Jane Birkin à Anna Karina, ces femmes qui murmurent à votre oreille." Okay, you got my attention! This Paris-based sextet of movie buffs (they list soundtrackcomposers Philippe Sardier en Michel Colombier as influences, and make note of their favourite movies on their blog) see Gainsbourg and Vannier as personal heroes. A posting on Filles Sourires is mandatory then, and if you hear Emilie murmur in L'Apocalypse Bar, you must agree. All songs on their Myspace-site are downloadable, but Bar is the only one with Emilie on lead-vocals. Shame.
No sign of an single, EP or album, but they are linked on this label's site, so a cd could be on it's way. Please, more Emilie on that one!

d.a.p. - L'Apocalypse Bar

maandag 10 juli 2006


There are a lot of songs about self-pleasure (you want a list?), but there's always room for one more. Especially if sung by such a beautiful girl like Elisa Tovati. 5 Minutes Pour Moi Toute Seule is taken from her second album Je Ne Mache Pas Les Mots, that was released two months ago. Most of the songs on the album (about psychiatrists, eating disorders, lazy lovers and, as said, masturbation) were written by Vincent Baguian and Frederic Lo, but Elisa (she acted and modelled before) co-wrote two songs as well. One of them, Fin de Partie, namechecks Zinedine Zidane (Oh Zizou, why did it have to end this way?), and could be the theme-song to BBC-series Footballers Wives. Some WAG's, anyone?

Elisa Tovati - 5 Minutes Pour Moi Toute Seule
Elisa Tovati - Fin de Partie


The Cheap Show by Anaïs (Croze, in no way related to Pauline Croze) was released last year, but will have it's official Dutch release this month - a good opportunity to post a few songs. The Cheap Show is both a debut-album and a live-recording, pretty rare for a new artist. She was born in Grenoble, raised in Marseille and is a former member of Opossum, a rockband in vein of Frank Zappa's more humorous ways. Anaïs likes to joke around as well, on The Cheap Show she does parodies (Bad Blues Player), cites Justin Timberlake and mixes tender acoustics with a blackmetal-grunt (La Plus Belle Chose Au Monde). On her site she's compared to both Mary Poppins and Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, and considered very unpredictable. I'm still not sure if The Cheap Show is good or mostly a collection of gimmick-y songs. But you can hear she's a great entertainer; she has the audience eating out of her hand.

Anaïs - Mon Coeur, Mon Amour (live)
Anaïs - Mon Coeur, Mon Amour (garage version)

Kelly Joyce

Sami, of the wonderful Pardon My Freedom-blog, offered a great song by Kelly Joyce. And ofcourse, I'm glad to post it:

"Kelly Joyce is a hidden gem born from Egyptian and Zairean parents and she was raised in Italy where she has released two albums. She had a minor hit in France during summer 2001 with the catchy Vivre la vie, which remains one of my favorite recent pop tunes sung in french.
First time I heard it, I instantaneously fell in love with that unusually retro
soulful voice, especially for her charming accent. The production instantly reminded me of that collaboration between Shirley Bassey and Propellerheads, a vintage cabaret piano mixing with modern beats, and arrangments really different from what was broadcasted in mainstream radios at the time."

Kelly Joyce - Vivre La Vie


On September 23, Serge Gainsbourg is finally coming to Amsterdam. In real life Gainsbarre never made it past Bruxelles (at least, when it came to playing live), but 15 years after his passing legendary Amsterdam stage Paradiso organises a hommage with help from biographer Sylvie Simmons (A Fistful of Gitanes is a must-read), Jean-Claude Vannier (the arranger and producer of Melody Nelson, see also here) and SG-fanatic Cor Gout, who will read from the freshly translated Jevgeni Sokolov-novel. There will be movies (Je t'aime Moi Non Plus, Charlotte Forever), there will be party (courtesy of Amsterdam Beat Club, ofcourse) and there will be yours truly behind the decks. More to follow.

donderdag 6 juli 2006

Bienvenue, Volkskrant-readers

Today, De Volkskrant (the Dutch Guardian, El Pais or Le Figaro) wrote a really nice piece on the girls of Nouvelle Vague, under the headline Zuchtmeisjes. That's the term I use for Les Filles Sourires, and yes, this blog and yours truly were mentioned. So, all readers of De Volkskrant who googled me: bienvenue! Read, watch and right-click-save-as as much as you want, leave a comment if you like and keep coming back if you like what you see.
The media-attention for this blog is very flattering. First Les Inrocks, the French musicmag that voted FS in their Best Musicblogs Top 50, after that some Canadian radio-stations, coming up is one full-page feature for Germany's leading Sunday newspaper and an article about the 20 best audioblogs for a pretty big culture/ lifestyle mag (FS among them), and now this. This could only mean one thing: France is becoming World Champion! Summer is here!

woensdag 5 juli 2006

Frédérique (2)

Frédérique Dastrevigne surfaced before on this blog (see?), but this time together with her pal Pascal Parisot. The jolly duo decided, after a tour through Germany and Russia, to record an album of uncut yé-yé-music, and named themselves Radiomatic. They wanted to unveil the treasures from the past, and one can only applaud to that. Ce soir après diner, nous passerons des disques... (great title) was recorded at their home, by themselves, and sounds really good. They re-recorded songs that were originally done by the likes of Sheila, France Gall, Mireille Darc and Françoise Hardy. Like Mareva (see below) they also made a scopitone of one song, Étonnez-moi Benoît. For your pleasure, here's three songs, plus the original versions.

Radiomatic - Le Jeu de Téléphone
Radiomatic - Étonnez-moi Benoît
Radiomatic - Nefertiti

Natacha Snitkine - Le Jeu de Téléphone
Françoise Hardy - Étonnez-moi Benoît
France Gall - Nefertiti

dinsdag 4 juli 2006


In addition both to the Lio- and the, err, lice-picking postings below, here's Yelle. Her song Je veux te le voir is quite popular in the blogosphere at the moment, only under its original name Short Dick Cuizi. This Cuizi-character, of whom Yelle sings she wants to see him perform in a pornographic movie, is a member of TTC. Pitchfork wrote about this French futuristic hiphop-outfit: "Much like their successful compatriots, Daft Punk, TTC sound like they're having loads of laughs at our expense." Je veux te le voir just had it's official release; her agitated, chant-style singing reminds me a lot of Lio, but Peaches and Uffie are good references as well. The electro-music is produced by Grand Marnier, whose own work is worth a listen as well if you're into robot-style pop.

Yelle - Je veux te le voir

maandag 3 juli 2006


This post started off with a version of Serge's Elisa, send to me and sung by the wonderful Audrey Levy, she of Melody Nelson-blogfame. Yes, a part from hosting parties, discovering new bands and dj'ing, 'the French Holly Golightly' also sings. And very well, I might add. Elisa was recorded with Big Apple-based alt.rockers Die Romantik. But fear not, no whining guys over strumming guitars, it's a happy duet that's as upbeat as the original. The song (about a 40-year old guy who asks his 20-year old girlfriend to pick the lice from his head while he is, let's say, servicing her) is from 1969, and has been covered twice by Jane Birkin. For her Versions Jane-album, with a grunge-rock backing, and as a duet with Arno Hintjens. Julien Clerc did a overjoyed version for a live album, while the Pierre Alain Goualch-trio turned the song inside out for a very interesting jazz-take. In 1995, Vanessa Paradis and Gerard Depardieu starred in a movie that was named after, and inspired by the song.

Serge Gainsbourg - Elisa
Die Romantik feat. Audrey*Melody Nelson - Elisa
Jane Birkin - Elisa
Jane Birkin & Arno - Elisa
Julien Clerc - Elisa
Pierre Alain Goualch Trio - Elisa
(Goualch really enjoys this post!)