zaterdag 30 september 2006


Manu Markou is celebrating is his tenth anniversary as a recording artist this year, in 1996 his debut Bible Oath was released. In the passing years he made music to a ballet spectacle, and recorded an album with his personal fille sourires Odile Closset. Manu prefers Prince, Serge Gainsbourg and Leonard Cohen, while Odile is a child of the eighties (Cure, U2). You can hear references to those preferences on Mise En Scene, a song about the dramatic end of an affair I found on Manu's MySpace-site which I totally fell in love with. Slow, sultry and sad - that's my preference.

Manu Markou & Odile Closset - Mise En Scene (megaupload)

vrijdag 29 september 2006


As I said, it's Belga-week over here at FS. Roger Grund send another guestpost for his series on Girls Singing Wiz a French Accent. This one's about Veronique Vincent.

Mixing up English and French was de rigueur in early 80s Belgium Wave. Just think of Arno and his band TC Matic, think also of the influential chanteuse Jo Lemaire, who released an album named Concorde in 1983 with a French and an English side (these were pre-cd times). Thanks to the Belgium Wave and its neighbouring Neue Deutsche Welle a generation of music fans (including the writer of this) broadened its perspective into new territories and discovered non-Anglosaxon influences such as Brel, Gainsbourg and others.
And then there were the Les Tueurs de la Lune de Miel. Or were they called the The Honeymoon Killers? In fact both; we’re talking about a groundbreaking collective from Brussels, built around the hugely talented (and sadly deceased) Yvon Vromman. Their Fille Sourire (although smiling was not something that any artist would do in public in those days) was Véronique Vincent, their landmark song is Histoire à suivre/Wait and See, released in 1983.
True to style and to great effect, Véronique Vincent sings Histoire à suivre/Wait and See partially in English and partially in French. Chillingly and irresistingly Véronique informs us that "there is a hole in my body where my heart should be", before breaking into a breathy chorus in French. Rarely did the juxtaposition of languages (and everything that comes with language) work quite so well. Histoire à suivre is all you want from a song: the perfect unity of music, atmosphere, subject matter and a Fille Sourire vocal delivery. If people would listen more often to Histoire à suivre the world would be a better place. Then again, with ‘if’, you could put Paris inside a bouteille…

Honeymoon Killers - Histoire á suivre/Wait and See (megaupload)


Looking for more information about a French singer called Patricia is needle-haystack-situation. So far, only this little was know about the darkhaired girl whose claim to fame was a great 1967 French version of Nights in White Satin (oooh, that bass). Then Yves mailed me the url of his Patricia-appreciation page. He found out her last name (Paulin), and that she might have written songs under the pseudonym Bagheera. Plus, that she might've called herself Jenny Neska in the 70s. Intriguing. Her beautiful, moody voice is still a treat, especially on the slow, enchanting Quand on est malheureux. If you have any information about this woman (or more songs by her), please contact your local policestation please share! Yves mailed me a great crackling vinyl-rip from the Patricia-classic Vous ne saviez pas m'aime.

Patricia - Mes Reves de Satin (Megaupload)
Patricia - Tous Les Jours Qui Passent (Megaupload)
Patricia - Quand on est malheureux (Megaupload)
Patricia - Vous ne saviez pas m'aime (Megaupload)


Onna Belgian tip here this week: first Jo Lemaire, then Zoé, and now Marie Warnant. This fuzzyhaired, blue-eyed belle is 26 years old, played in some bands before encountering a solo career. Her first album De Un a Dix was released last year, and won her a few awards (Femme de Cristal 2005, for instance - no idea what that means or what it represents, but it sure sounds great). Her album features well-crafted rocksongs and tender ballades. One of them is a great ode to her hometown Bruxelles. More on MySpace.

Marie Warnant - Bruxelles (sendmefile) (megaupload)
Marie Warnant - La Vie est Belle (megaupload)

donderdag 28 september 2006


I made a podcast for Dutch magazine Nieuwe Revu, featuring ten of the finest Filles Sourires. Check here for the tracklist (notes are in Dutch, yes). Or rightclick/saveas from here.


Wearing a skyblue dress, and carressing a white swan on a examining table, Annika Line Trost looks like a cross between Twin Peaks characters Audrey Horne and The Log Lady. Annika, who suffered her first bout of lovesickness at the age of two when she saw Kralle Krawinkel, guitarist with the German cult band Trio, on TV, toured with Digital Hardcore-band Shizuo, and is still part of duo Cobra Killer. If you know those bands, you might think that Annika solo would be as loud and in-your-face, but on second album Trust Me the listener enters "a world where a sense of belonging can never be more than a passing moment, the colour of innocence is dark blue, and elegance has been defined by Brian Ferry for all time. Similar to the fleeting images of a David Lynch movie, accompanied by the manic despair of Francoise Hardy, Trosts songs develop a definitely light-footed, yet irresistible lure." Intriguing, eh? Annika sings in German, English and French, and makes weird videos as well.

Trost - Guy le Superhero (sendmefile) (megaupload)
Trost - Sans ta Scie (sendspace)

woensdag 27 september 2006


Blonde et Belge, electrique et eclectique: Zoé. Her album Tout va bien will be released in a week or so, and it's is a pink box-o-chocolats. Varied, from tango to rock, pop-infused and triphop-inspired. Zoé studied at Bruxelles conservatory, played at various festivals and was part of a spectacle produced by the company of director Luc Besson - who signed her as the first artist on his record label. She worked with some great musicians, and duetted with gravel-voiced Belgian hero Arno. Her songs are mostly about what relations can do to people - so no trouble relating there.

(PS: my interview with Charlotte Gainsbourg was published today. If you can read Dutch, go here)

Zoé - Je Porte Un Toast (sendspace)
Zoé & Arno - Amant Comptant (sendspace)


L'Eau, the third album by Jeanne Cherhal, is released in a couple of weeks. It's the follow-up to the very nice Douze Fois Par An, a kind of concept-album about modern relationships. Jeanne's first album was live and very theatrical, and although she has a good, clear voice, I'm not a big fan of cabaretesque music. L'Eau is more to my liking, with upbeat songs and beautiful ballads. Jeanne, who as a young girl dreamed of being a ballet dancer, started playing the piano at 12. She toured with various rockbands and worked with Albin de la Simone (her boyfriend), Thomas Fersen and even Georges Moustaki. Last year she also released a concert-dvd, recorded at the Cigale-theater.

Jeanne Cherhal - Tu M'Attires (megaupload)
Jeanne Cherhal - Douze Fois Par An (live á la Cigale) (megaupload)


I really thought we'd lost Jo Lemaire, cool dark angel of the eighties, to the fairs, carnivals, Night of the Proms and other stages were hasbeens just fade away. But rejoice: electronic duo Bardo State revived her chilling qualities for a track on their forthcoming album. Bardo State gets inspired by Shostakovich, Ravel, Barber, Satie, Albinoni and other great classicists - but add Zero7, Air and other chill-out artists too. Quote: "Bardo State managed to create a sound that pulls you out of every day life and lets you experience short journeys through the labyrinth of our deepest feelings." Paradis sounds like the perfect song for the closing credits to a gripping movie about lost love and loads of half-smoked cigarettes.

Bardo State & Jo Lemaire - Paradis

zaterdag 23 september 2006

Bonnie & Clyde

It was 1967, and the Summer of Love had had immense consequences. Take the young, gorgeous French filmstar and the ugly, talented French songwriter. Her marraige was afloat, he fell for her mightily. Those two were Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg, whose working relationship developed into a love affair. Bardot was starring on tv in the Bardot-show, a kind of MTV clipshow avant la lettre. Serge wrote some of his best tunes for her, which were performed with lots of costume changes and outlandish backdrops. One of the songs Serge wrote for BB was Bonnie & Clyde, about the famous gangster and his moll. To get in the mood for tonight's Serge Gainsbourg tribute in the Amsterdam Paradiso, here's the original version, a lot of coverversions, a remix and MC Solaar's Nouveau Western, the first hiphopsong to sample Serge. It's interesting to hear how the different artists approached the 'monkeysounds' in the original. Some chose not to bother, others took the comic route (Addictive Larsen), or made subtle use - take Bout d'Chou's German version. My favourite one is Luna plus Laetitia's slow, sultry Bonnie Parker-version.
UPDATE: more versions added, by James Iha & Kazu Makino, by Luna (live-version), by Hbsk (check his site!) and by Steve Wynn & Johnette Napolitano. Merci á Franss, Jean-Luc and Emily.

Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot - Bonnie & Clyde
Serge Gainsbourg - Bonnie & Clyde (English version) (merci á Euclide)
Addictive Larsen - Bonnie & Clyde
Steve & Heather - Bonnie & Clyde
Hbsk - Bonnie & Clyde
Luna & Laetitia Sadier - Bonnie & Clyde (Clyde Barrow version)
Luna & Laetitia Sadier - Bonnie & Clyde (Bonnie Parker version)
Luna - Bonnie & Clyde (live)
Stereolab - Bonnie & Clyde (demo-version)
Wayne Horvitz & Robin Holcomb - Bonnie & Clyde
Syria - Bonnie & Clyde(Spanish version) (Italian version)
Bout d'Chou - Bonnie und Clyde (German version)
Mick Harvey - Bonnie & Clyde (English version)
Hopscotch - Bonnie & Clyde (English version)
Walkabouts - Bonnie & Clyde (English version)
Walkabouts - Bonnie & Clyde - live in Bruxelles (English version) (merci á Franss)
James Iha & Kazu Makino - Bonnie & Clyde (English version)
Steve Wynn & Johnette Napolitano - Bonnie & Clyde (English version)
Oh! Penelope - Bonnie & Clyde (Japanese version) (merci á Earthgoesaround)
Jon Auer - Bonnie & Clyde (instrumental version)

Matthew Herbert - Bonnie & Clyde remix
MC Solaar - Nouveau Western

If you have other versions, please send 'm to me!

donderdag 21 september 2006

Cease and desist

So, thanks to 'fans' of Elodie Frégé, the French Anti-Piracy Bureau is knocking on my door. Their demands (in short): close down the site, or we will throw you in jail for three years. Now, I'm not easily impressed, but I do admit a tiny sweatdrop is starting to form just above my right eye. Should I tell 'm to go f*ck themselves (in a nice way), or should I continue without posting mp3's? Anyone had any experience with this, and hence any advice?

btw; the Belgian counterpart of the SCPP are also on the warpath against this blog. Nice.

woensdag 20 september 2006


Meet Roger Grund, who offered to write some guestposts on 'Filles with a French Accent'.

There was a moment in the early 1980’s when Belgium produced a wave of innovative music with a distinctly European focus. Being geographically and culturally at a crossroads, musicians from Antwerp and Brussels looked both towards the south and west for inspiration, and came up with truly original records that resonated internationally. Nothing typifies this Belgian Wave better than My Suitor by Bernthøler from 1983.
The Fille Sourire in Bernthøler was an Albanian singer named Drita Kotaji, for whom the adjective gamine has probably been invented (quite in the same way as Kylie Minogue is always affectionately called ‘diminutive’). Drita was neither smiling in particular, nor actually singing in French, however, her charming vocal delivery and her exotic accent captured the imagination of many on either sides of the sexual divide. So much so that My Suitor became a minor hit single in Western Europe.
My Suitor also leads us to the specialist Filles Sourires topic of ‘Filles With A French Accent’, of which more examples shall hopefully follow on this blog in due course.
Bernthøler, ever a loose collective in the first place, soon fell apart after their almost accidental succes with My Suitor, but their legacy remains intact today and My Suitor has gradually grown to Classic status. In 1999 a cover contest was organised by a Brussels radio station, and was won by Buscemi, who later released their drums-and-bas version featuring a Portuguese singer in the role of Drita.

Bernthøler - My Suitor
Buscemi - My Suitor
more coverversions (thanks to Emily) by Figurine, and Das Pop:
Figurine - My Suitor
Das Pop - My Suitor

Axelle (4)

What do Arno Hintjes, David Bowie, Sharon Stone and Axelle Red have in common? They're all Chevalier des Arts et Lettres in France - Axelle received this honour two weeks ago. Recipients "significantly contributed to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance", which makes Sharon Stone the odd one out, I guess. Axelle (real name Fabienne Demal) sings in French since the late eighties, and along the way graduated from pop to pure soul. French Soul, as one album states. Next week Jardin Secret is released, recorded at Willie Mitchell's studio in Memphis - can't get any more soul than that, I mean, c'mon, this is the guy who produced Al Green's and Ann Peebles' greatest hits. Then again, not Willie but Belgian soundwizard Daan was wearing the productionhat.
Anyways, second single Temps Pour Nous is out now.

Axelle Red - Temps Pour Nous

dinsdag 19 september 2006


Warning: prepare yourself to be blown a-fucking way.
Last week I featured Olivia Ruiz, who was part of Star Ac (short for Star Academy, a French talentsearch, think American Idol), and who suffered from prejudice. Kind of the same thing happened to Elodie Frégé, who came third won in 2003. But merdenomdedieu, does she blossom (just like Olivia) on her second album Le Jeu des 7 Erreurs, to be released next week. None else than the magnificent, the genial, the masterful Benjamin Biolay took an interest in sweet blonde Elodie. He wrote six songs, made her do a Gainsbourg-tune and even the late great Jacques Lanzmann contributed one last chanson.
And it just gets better: not only did she do Velours des Vierges by Serge, who wrote it for Jane's Ex-Fan de Sixties, Elodie tops that version. By a mile. Furthermore, add a duet with Biolay (Bonnie & Clyde-style), plus a press-biography written by Gilles Verlant (yes, the biographer of Serge), who says that Benjamin "met his Elodie Nelson", than there's no other option than cream in your pants. Hanky at hand?

UPDATE: The French anti-piracy bureau got in touch - I have to take these mp3's down.
Elodie Frégé - Le Velours des Vierges
Elodie Frégé & Benjamin Biolay - Le Jeu des 7 Erreurs
Elodie Frégé - La Ceinture

Jane Birkin - Le Velours des Vierges

See video for La Ceinture here.


Gorgeous young blonde Dutch girl who sings classic French chansons. You'd think I'd be over the moon, but Wende Snijders usually makes me go hmmmm. Yes, she can sing, and she owns the stage when she enlives (not just sings) songs made famous by Brel, Barbara and Piaf. But on cd, she takes her theatrics a little too far. The way she sings is extremely loud and incredibly close; she so in your face that you'd like her to take it down a notch or three. The emotions are so big, the words so deep and meaningful, it's almost like she's afraid the listener won't 'get it', that she underlines everything. Wende made two albums and a dvd, to critical acclaim in Holland. Big names give her big compliments. Sophomore release La Fille Noyée just came out, on which she sings a couple of Brel-tunes, some translated Kurt Weill and a few Dutch songs - the latter is a baaaaad idea. Imagine Piaf in Dutch.
But when Wende does take it down a notch or three, she's capable of moving you to tears. Listen to three examples, and let me know what YOU think. I'm especially curious what French people think of her.

Wende Snijders - Le Plat Pays
Wende Snijders - Dis, Quand Reviendras-tu?
Wende Snijders - La Fille Noyée

maandag 18 september 2006


"You see, we never ever do anything nice and easy. We always do it nice, and rough", Tina Turner explains at the start of Proud Mary. Could well be the motto of Superbus, for Jennifer Ayache and the boys like to chew their popgum on the sound of screaming guitars. Superbus make superpop, with hints of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, American nerdrock and British ska. You can say Jennifer is the French, darkhaired counterpart of Gwen Stefani-while-in-No-Doubt. She has the same girlish voice, but adds a devilish grin. So much energy, it does get a little tiresome at times, but if you crank up the sound, that kind of complaints are deafened.
They like to cover a classic popsong on every album, alas not in French. Next (third) album is out next month - wonder what song they will powerpop-ify then. Listen to their new single on MySpace.

Superbus - Sex Baby Sex
Superbus - Tchi-cum-bah
Superbus - Into the Groove (Madonna-cover)
Superbus - Boys don't cry (The Cure-cover)


Not sure if Romane Serda got an open, objective view when she released her debut-album in 2004; articles about her usually start with saying that she is more than just another blonde Lolita. Most important reason for the justification: she was the wife of Rénaud Sechan, best known by his first name and rock royalty in France since the late seventies. They met in 2003, married in 2005 and recently had their first child.
She was raised in de Drôme, got her feet a little wet here and there in music, but her career really took off once she met Rénaud. This caused some heavy debating among Rénaud-fans, still, the title-free cd by Romane was nominated for various prizes.
I bought Romane's album just by looking at the cover, and wasn't disappointed. Elegant songs, wonderful production, one song co-written by Romane herself and one very nice cover of L'Amitié - made famous by Françoise Hardy. Be advised; Romane likes to add a little country-twang in her voice. Romane is in the studio at the moment to record a sophomore album.

Romane Serda - Mon Envers de Moi
Romane Serda - L'Amitié

vrijdag 15 september 2006

Public Service Announcement

Rockfort broadcasts an interview with Charlotte Gainsbourg on 104.4 Resonance FM tomorrow (12h30, 16 Sept) in London or - A ne pas manquer!

Missed that interview? Download another one here. (thanks Will)

By the way, lots of visitors are clicking via this TC4Ever-forum. But I can't get in. What's the deal?

woensdag 13 september 2006


Yep, that's him on the left: Jacques Prévert. You can easily see why Serge Gainsbourg liked this fellow: he's seldomly pictured without a cigarette. Prévert (1900-1977) was a poet, screenwriter, surrealist and theater-enthousiast, probably his best known poem is Les Feuilles Mortes. Set to music by Joseph Kosma in 1945, the song was translated four years later by Johnny Mercer. As Autumn Leaves, the chanson became a standard and has been covered many, many times (ranging from Juliette Gréco to Coldcut), but contrary to popular belief, Yves Montand wasn't the first to record it. Cora Vaucaire was, this Wikipedia claims.
Anyways, Les Feuilles Mortes ofcourse was also the inspiration for Serge's melancholical La Chanson de Prévert. Thát song has been covered a lot too, although not as many as Autumn Leaves. On the recently re-released double-compilation Gainsbourg Chanté Par are three versions, by Spanish singer Gloria Lasso (grrreat rrrolling rrrr), by Michèle Arnaud and by the obscure Vicky Autier. Rockbands paid tribute too; Sambassadeur (also the name of a Serge song) is a wonderful Swedish band, they do one of my favourite versions of the song. The Silencers are big stars in France, but hail from the UK. Kaho Minami is an actress you might've seen in Memoirs of a Geisha, but she sings on occasion too. If you're a regular here, you must know who April March and Isabelle Aubret are. UPDATE: Thanks to Franss, two extra versions, by Claire D'Asta and Guy Béart.
EXTRA UPDATE: Thanks to numerous vistors (Dennis, Franss/Inous, Jean-Luc, Natachka), added are versions by Nana Mouskouri, Jane Birkin, Jane & Patrick Bruel, Jane/Sandrine Kiberlain/Yves Simon/Alain Souchon, Kevin Johansen:

Serge Gainsbourg - La Chanson de Prévert
Claire d'Asta - La Chanson de Prévert
Guy Béart - La Chanson de Prévert
Isabelle Aubret - La Chanson de Prévert
Gloria Lasso - La Chanson de Prévert
Vicky Autier - La Chanson de Prévert
Michèle Arnaud - La Chanson de Prévert
Sambassadeur - La Chanson de Prévert
The Silencers - La Chanson de Prévert
Kaho Minami - La Chanson de Prévert
April March- La Chanson de Prévert
Cora Voucaire- La Chanson de Prévert (live)
Nana Mouskouri - La Chanson de Prévert
Jane Birkin - La Chanson de Prévert
Jane Birkin & Patrick Bruel - La Chanson de Prévert
Jane Birkin, Sandrine Kiberlain, Yves Simon, Alain Souchon - La Chanson de Prévert
Kevin Johansen - La Chanson de Prévert
Yves Montand - Les Feuilles Mortes
Juliette Gréco - Les Feuilles Mortes
Marie France & Marc Almond - Les Feuilles Mortes/Autumn Leaves

dinsdag 12 september 2006


The more I listen to Elli Medeiros' new album, the more I loathe it. Bad songs, bad singing, bad ideas. There was a time when Elli and songwritingpartner Jacno would write pophit after pophit. Like Amoureux Solitaire, in 1980 a massive European hit for Lio. Born in Portugal, raised in Belgium, Wanda de Vasconcelos (her real name) made several albums in the eighties and nineties, and came back to the scene this January with the beautiful Dites Au Prince Charmant. Most of her eighties-output them is re-released by the famous Ze Records-label. The compilation Les Ballades sports not only a great cover, but also 20 lush, sultry slow songs. Equally great is the cover of 1986's Pop Model. The re-release has seven bonustracks, mostly remixes.
Whilst clicking away on MySpace I bumped into electropopduo Kaptiv, who covered Amoureux Solitaire in a slow, Venus In Furs-style. Might be as a nod to their fetish-interested Friends.
UPDATE: if you use your imagination real hard, you can hear the popbrilliance in Lonely Lovers, the original version (in English) of Amoureux Solitaires, from Stinky Toys (featuring Jacno & Elli) album Plastic Faces. By the way, another intepretation of the song is on Elli's new cd - but let's not go there anymore.
UPDATE-2: Didier from wrote that Je Casse Tout Ce Que Je Touche in fact is Marie France's Je Ne Me Quitterai Jamais - with different lyrics. Both songs were written by Jacques Duvall. Thanks to Didier - we now can compare the songs.

Lio - Amoureux Solitaires
Kaptiv - Amoureux Solitaires
Lio - Je Casse Tout Ce Que Je Touche (from Pop Model)
Marie France - Je Ne Me Quitterai Jamais
Lio - Seules Les Filles Pleurent (from Les Ballades)
Stinky Toys - Lonely Lovers

Pauline, Camille

When I went to Paris last week, I bought a lot (way too much) cd's, so in the coming weeks no shortage of tracks over here at Filles Sourires. Et si on arrêtait d'écouter de la soupe? is a double-compilation compiled by radiostation Néo, who label themselves as 'liberateur de talents'. They have artists come in to do acoustic sessions (is there a radiostation that doesn't, nowadays?), and on this compilation two certified filles sourires do great versions: Camille and Pauline Croze. Y'all know Camille, Pauline Croze is lesser known, but her husky, on-the-verge-of-tears-voice is a real treat, as is this stripped down version of the best track on her debut album.

Camille - Quand je Marche (version Néo)
Pauline Croze - Jeunesse Affamée (version Néo)

maandag 11 september 2006


Marthélène's first performance was at the age of three, when she performed Frère Jacques on the piano. It must've been an addictive experience (or her parents recognised a genuine talent, or both), for she studied cello before the age of ten. In her music, you can hear a classical influence, but understated, not full-on orchestral. Not sure if she ever pursued a musical career (motherhood might've ended that), still, she has a self-produced cd out with four gentle, well-crafted song that suit her clear, tad melancholical voice. The jazzy Sous Le La Surface, with braziian highlights, is my favourite. More Marthélène on MySpace and on her site.
UPDATE; Marthélène writes: "As a matter of fact, I still play the cello, in a philharmonic orchestra, and my career as an author/composer/interpreter has just began! I will make my first album in a couple of months. It will be on i-tunes etc from february on." Looking forward to that!

Marthélène - Sous Le La Surface
Marthélène - 3 Rue de la Paresse

Melissa & Pascal

Although he himself started out in the nineties, the nineteen-eighties were formative for singer Pascal Obispo. He hails from the South West of France, but was raised in Rennes, also stomping ground of eighties-stars like Etienne Daho and Niagara. As an ode to the new wave, electro and other musical genres of the eighties he recorded 1980 (with hints of New Order and Corey Hart's Sunglasses at Night), en duo with FS-favourite Melissa Mars (pictured). I was under the impression that petite Melissa was already a genuine star in France, but if you look at this clip, you see that Pascal has to introduce his shortshort-skirted co-star. Melissa made two albums so far, second cd Reine des Abeilles was re-released this year. She is like a dark-haired, gothic version of Vanessa Paradis. If you look at this clip, you can see is just as sexy.

Pascal Obispo & Melissa Mars - 1980
Melissa also did a very, ehm, muscular duet with Lara Fabian (first and last time I'll post something by Lara, promise)
Lara Fabian & Melissa Mars - Les Homericains

dinsdag 5 september 2006

Filles Sourires Mix Anniversaire

On September 10th 2005, I posted my first tracks on this blog. To celebrate one year of Filles Sourires, here's an anniversary mix slash tribute to the man without whom a lot of music on this blog would not have been possible: Serge Gainsbourg. Speaking of which: remember that on September 14th, a big Gainsbourg photo-expo starts at the Amsterdam Maison Descartes; on September 21, 22 and 23 movies with and by Serge will be shown in Amsterdam Paradiso, and also on September 23 a big tribute night will take place in Paradiso, with contributions by J-C Vannier, Sylvie Simmons, Cor Gout, myself and The Amsterdam Beat Club (+ Jacqueline Taïeb!). On September 17, I will host an FS anniversary afternoon @ Servaas' Café, Maastricht.

Tracklisting FS Anniversary Mix:

Serge - Folk Implosion
Chatterton - Seu Jorge
Couleur Café - Babaloo
Les Sambassadeurs - Serge Gainsbourg
La Javanaise - Richard Galliano
Jane B - Sandie//Trash
5:55 - Charlotte Gainsbourg
L'Anamour - Ivy
Harley Davidson - Souvenir
Laisse Tomber les Filles - Mareva Galanter
Je t'aime Moi Non Plus - The Traces
The Ticket Puncher - Mick Harvey
Fuir le Bonheur - Ariane Moffatt
En Melody - Kahimi Karie
Initials BB - David Shea
Les Petits Papiers - Jane Birkin & Françoise Hardy

Download mix here (1 file, 71 Mb, 53 minutes)

Thank you everyone for your comments, your guestposts and your visits. Keep it up - I know I will. Grand bisou for Mordi, who inspired and still inspires this blog.


Lots of FS-visiteurs told me to check out La Femme Chocolat, the second album by Olivia Ruiz. In 2003 I bought her debut-album when I was in the south of France (Olivia hails from the Carcasonne-vicinity) just by looking at the cover: a smiling, darkhaired beauty with a latin name doing French songs - must be good. It wasn't. J'aime pas l'amour is patchy, lots of ideas, interesting instrumentation but very few memorable songs. When I read that she participated in Star Academy (a cross between American Idol and Big Brother), I knew why the album looked good, but lacked weight. Still, visitors (Bibi, Sir Edward, René S.) were persistent, so I checked out La Femme Chocolat. And read about Olivia - she grew up in a musical family and fronted her first band at the age of 12. Although the debut sold a respectable amount, she found that the Star Academy-participation was held against her.
That she's a genuine talent is marked by La Femme Chocolat, "an upbeat mix of rock, accordion, violins, tango, clarinets and Latin rhythms." And France recognised that talent: over 350,000 albums were sold, various prizes were won. And rightly so. Sorry for doubting you, Olivia

Olivia Ruiz - La Petite Voleuse
Olivia Ruiz - La Petite Valse de Narbonne Plage
UPDATE: from Olivia's debut-album:
Olivia Ruiz - J'aime pas l'amour
Olivia Ruiz - Tango du qui

See Olivia on Youtube


"Lisa Ekdahl's When Did You Leave Heaven was a big seller in Sweden, but the album received its share of negative reviews from American jazz critics, who felt that Ekdahl's thin, very girlish voice was wrong for standards and straight-ahead jazz", this site informs us. American critics may hate it, I luuuuuurve thin, very girlish voices, especially from girls who look like Lisa. Her cover of Björk's It's Oh So Quiet was used for a Cacharel-commercial, and my introduction to this Swedish singer. Didn't know she recorded a French tune, until Natacha send me L'Aurore, from her Sings Salvadore Poe-album (2001). Salvadore is her Newyork husband, by the way. Last February her most recent (and English) album came out, Back to Earth. No French song in sight, alas. S'il vous plait, Lisa, encore une fois?

Lisa Ekdahl - L'Aurore (fixed!)

maandag 4 september 2006


Back from a 17 year recording break: Elli Medeiros. Her new album EM was just released, and sports collaborations with Etienne Daho and former Stinky Toys-compadre Jacno. It's a mixed bag, with songs in French, English and Spanish. No latin-influences, like on her jolly summer-classic A Bailar Calypso, but straight, at times brooding rock. She still has the body, the looks and the voice, but her songwriting has suffered over the years - no song stands out, really. And I'm not sure that My Heart Belongs To Daddy-cover was a brilliant idea either. What do you think, Sir Edward?

See video for Soulève-Moi here.

Elli Medeiros - Soulève-moi
Elli Medeiros - L'Ailleurs
Elli Medeiros & Eitenne Daho - My Heart Belongs to Daddy


"Madeleine Peyroux doesn’t simply interpret songs, she possesses them…and vice versa", the biography on her website states. The Athens-born (Athens, Georgia, that is), Paris-bred singer has a new album out called Half The Perfect World, on which she covers (she rarely writes her own songs) Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Charlie Chaplin and Serge Gainsbourg. La Javanaise is a song that was covered by many (Juliette Greco, Regine, Mick Harvey, Richard Galliano), including Serge himself on Aux Armes Etcaetera. See for yourself if Madeleine adds to, or even possesses the song. Also posted is Jane Birkin's beautiful live-rendition.

Madeleine Peyroux - La Javanaise
Serge Gainsbourg - La Javanaise
Jane Birkin - La Javanaise