maandag 31 december 2007

Delphine


In the final hours of what has been a great year for me (and you too, hopefully), I post what's probably the rarest song to appear on this blog. It's a song that should've been a big hit, a signature song for Anna Karina. For Juliette Gréco maybe. Instead it's an almost forgotten song by an actress whom I had never heard before, but Wiki says Delphine Seyrig worked with Europe's top directors (Truffaut, Duras, Resnais) and directed movies herself featuring Jane Fonda and Maria Schneider.
She has a deep voice, perfect for a melancholy-ridden song that is Une Fourmi et Moi. Hope you all have a great new year's eve, that 2008 will be grand. See you in January. [Merci Pierre]

Delphine Seyrig - Une Fourmi et Moi


An addition to this post from Jan-Willem:
Around Christmas time I spotted Delphine Seyrig on TV5, in the 1970 fairy tale movie Peau d’âne (Donkey Skin) by Jaques Demy of Parapluies de Cherbourg fame. It’s a mildly psychedelic cross between Jean Cocteau’s La belle et la bête and Walt Disney’s Cinderella, featuring Catherine Deneuve as a beleaguered princess and Jean Marais as her besotted father king intent on marrying his daughter as she is the fairest in the land since her mother died (!). Seyrig, as a feisty fairy godmother, advises against it in a song by Michel Legrand that unfortunately appears to be sung by another woman: Click!

zondag 30 december 2007

Clare & the Reasons


Sometimes, someone else says it better. In this case Music Snobbery-blog, on Clare & the Reasons: "This is kind of music you play when you take your loved one out on a boat, and she's carrying a parasol and the pastel colors are swirling around." The sevenpiece band is led by Carla Muldaur, who was 'born on the island of Martha's Vineyard, in a vegetable garden amongst the most incredible tomatoes grown by her mother Sheila.' Album The Movie (released in September) is aptly titled. Themes for 1920's movies, borsalino's and broads. Guests include Van Dyke Parks and Sufjan Stevens, who are very much in place. One song on The Movie is in French, Pluton. I also post the quit funny Cook for You, about cooking in your underwear. [Merci John, merci Franss]

Clare & the Reasons - Pluton (video)
Clare & the Reasons - Cook for You

vrijdag 28 december 2007

New Project: French Wishing

After the duets, and the Frères Sourires, I'd like to kick off the new year with a new project: French Wishing. I will post songs (by girls) that are notsung in French, but should be. These songs would sound much better. I know of a few tracks, but you, dear visitor, can contribute as well. As always. Write a little piece, send your entry to guuzbourg(a)gmail.com.

Example: Life in Mono by shortlived triphopduo Mono. Heavily influenced by John Barry and nouvelle vague, singer Siobhan di Mare utters a few French words in this song, but it how grand it would've been if all lyrics would be Francais.

Mono - Life in Mono

donderdag 27 december 2007

Nougat


One of the people who send a real nice reaction to one the interviews I gave promoting Filles Fragiles, was Eric of MI5 Studios. Together with his partner Jeroen he composes soundscapes, music for commercials and (animation-)movies (yes, a bit like these guys). But also popsongs. Unreleased so far are songs by their project Nougat, featuring stunning redhead Cheeru. Best song they've made so far is Melodie d'Amour, the only French song. It's a ode, a pastiche even, to Serge & Jane-ish, Dalida & Alain Delon-like French duets. Eric wrote that it's just a demo, and that he wanted to Arno Hintjens to do the male vocal part. All he has to do is ask, I'd say.

Nougat - Melodie d'Amour

Claudine Muno


I say Luxembourg, you probably say...erm. If you are a cyclingbuff, you know that Frank Schleck and Kim Kirchen are from the Grand Duchy. If you're a music buff, you might know that Stefan and Brian of Placebo know each other from the American School in Luxembourg. Ofcourse you know that France Gall won the Eurovision Songcontest for the little country with Poupée de Cire. But do you know any Luxembourgian bands? You do now, 'cause here's Claudine Muno and the Luna Boots. Fronted by writer Muno, who debuted at 16 with an English novel. She has written a lot of books by now, her style is compared to Belgian Amelie Nothomb. The latter wrote songlyrics (for RoBERT), Muno formed a band in the late nineties, and made four cd's. I know only the most recent, Petites Chansons Méchantes, a folky 'n funny affair. Her singing voice and music reminds me of Emily Loizeau (Wiki says Jewel and Alanis, but that's just silly). On her new album, Claudine and band (that also features backup singer Sandra Cifani) play French songs (also the best songs), English songs and one in Luxembourgish.

Claudine Muno & Luna Boots - Je n'aime pas les robes
(video)
Claudine Muno & Luna Boots - Au Secours


I can give away one cd by Claudine. You know what to do: write a guestpost on your favourite French female singer or song, and you can win! Send entries to guuzbourg@gmail.com

vrijdag 21 december 2007

Etyl



Everyone who hates Christmas, and especially those boring family dinners, you've found a soulmate in gorgeous Eglantine. The singer who operates under the moniker Etyl (posted about her before here) made a funny video and a great track to console everyone who's about to undergo the yearly routine again. (Merci Maks)

Etyl - Noël

donderdag 20 december 2007

Vanessa, Keren


Two fairly recent nice things: Vanessa Paradis released a new single and video (see above, I love those scenes with that little space between her teeth), and Keren Ann re-released her Keren Ann-album with bonustracks, one being Silent Night.

Keren Ann - Silent Night

maandag 17 december 2007

Fotomoto


Guestpost! Martijn on Fotomoto:

Starting a synth pop band in the Ukrainian town of Zaporozhye (nine hours by train from Kiev) does not seem like the best possible start of a career, but despite that Anton Singurov and Serge Sergyeev founded their bedroom project Fotomoto there in 1999. With the recruitment of Alex Ivanov and Olya Volodina not much later, Fotomoto became a four-piece and, most importantly, female vocals and French lyrics were added to the hitherto instrumental songs. The songs, which sound like Stereolab has gone for real communism and moved into a Soviet style blocks of flats, caught the attention of few people outside their native Ukraine, among them a friendly, bearded man from Suffolk. Luckily for Fotomoto, this man hosted a BBC radio show under the moniker of John Peel, where he played their songs as early as 2001. The band eventually came over to the UK for a Peel session a few months before Peel's sudden death in 2004 and came back to Western Europe to play some shows in 2005. To date, they have released four albums, including the 2005 compilation Model, which is probably the best introduction to the band. Alternatively, a number of songs can be listened to via their MySpace, including covers of Joe Le Taxi and Voyage,Voyage.

Fotomoto - Le Sport, La Musique
Fotomoto - Le Passage
Fotomoto - Edmund


woensdag 12 december 2007

King of all Media (4)

On Friday Dec. 14, yours truly and Benoit & Iris of Peppermoon, will be on Dutch tv-show De Wereld Draait Door. To talk about Filles Fragiles (me), and to sing (Iris, with B. on bass).

See the Peppermoon performance here.

Paradis En Direct

Ochblogger and FS-regular Maks went to see Vanessa Paradis in Bruxelles. Here is his report:

'Bonsoir Bruxelles!', a long expected warm welcome from a well-known voice suddenly comes from somewhere behind the stage. A brief moment of silence, immediately followed by huge excitement in the crowd: Vorst Nationaal is completely sold-out (approx. 7200 visitors) and each one of them is totally ready for her, Miss Depp, the divine idylle, the lovely Vanessa Paradis! Pity though the announcement only turned out to be her announcement for a rather boring support-act on cello and acoustic guitar. Most support-acts destiny: being there to be immediately forgotten. No possible escape from that as your gig is being followed by such a mindblowing show as Vanessa performed last saturday night in Brussels.
She walked up the stage, up to the frontrow, sexy and sensitive and started off with - how appropriate - 'Irrésistiblement'. First completely on her own, but she was soon followed by her bandmembers, including French rock-hero M (Mathieu Chedid) on lead guitar. After a short break, used to tell the audience this show was going to be filmed as a part of a live-dvd release from this tour, she continued with a steamy version of 'Divine Idylle' that set the high standard for this show at once.
Paradis' voice, so powerful and yet seductive at the same time wasn't exactely what I had expected in advance. With 'Live Au Zenith' from 2001 in the back of my mind, I was somewhat afraid that she would sound too clean, too cultivated. And that she wouldn't be able to make me get rid off the idea that she's only a lolita girl singing with highly needed backing vocals, a gimmick. But things went completely different.
Vanessa's grown and her performance is mature, impressive, seductive, exciting, spontaneous and very professional at the same time. Of course, she's still looks good, no one in the audience could deny that, but far more important: she's a real artist who can sing and entertain just by her talent. No need for useless dress changing all the time (Spice Girls eat your heart out), just plain black jeans with a glittering silver top above. Some just don't need more.

Throughout the years Paradis built an outstanding oeuvre strong enough to keep her audience excited for over two hours. Including hits as Joe Le Taxi, Be My Baby, Dis-Lui Toi Que Je T'aime and Tandem of course, which was played only on four tomdrums with Vanessa and her bandmembers as Japanese drummers behind.
The show ended with Vanessa and 'M' intimate on barstools playing some acoustic tracks and finally she ended alone on stage, a-capella, as if she just invented the very first fille fragile. An apotheosis that couldn't have been better.
And damn was I right, as Ms. Maks asked me just before the show started, which celeb I would like to be for one day. The answer? Johnny Depp.

(Dutch review in Belgian newspaper De Morgen ici)


Vanessa Paradis & M - Pourtant (live)
Vanessa Paradis & M - Chet Baker (acoustic version live)

zondag 9 december 2007

Filles Sourires Christmas Project


Tis the season, and tis time to move house for me, the mrs. and the li'l one. That means we have a lot of packing to do, and not much time to blog. Plus: I'm not sure when, or if my internetconnection will work properly in the new Guuzbourg HQ. So, to get you and your loved ones through Christmas, here are 9 carols that were especially recorded for this blog. Never released before, all brand-spanking new (okay, the Watoo Watoo song's an old one). Merci to all visitors and contributors, we're back after X-mas. Then I will post the traditional yearlist. For now: happy holidays.

FILLES SOURIRES CHRISTMAS PROJECT

A Loulia - Je Nous Souhaite Un Joyeux
Hektor - Ce soir c'est Noël (Les Wampas cover)
Marthelene - Noël
Isa Sompare - Noël
Lilee - Petit Papa
Marianne Dissard & Amparo Sanchez - Je & tu ne croient plus au père noël
Moa - On Christmas Day (Le Jour de Noël) (video!)
Watoo Watoo - Les Visiteurs de Noël
Adeline Moreau - Confettis Blancs


MySpace Pages:
A Loulia, Hektor, Marthelene, Isa Sompare, Lilee, Marianne Dissard, Moa, Watoo Watoo, Adeline Moreau.

Picture of Kay O'Hara stolen from here.
More Christmassongs? Christmas-a-gogo has reopened!

zaterdag 8 december 2007

King of All Media (3)

Grrreat French review from M-la-Music's J-M Grosdemouge of Filles Fragiles (click). Also, thanks for all the nice text messages and emails about the funny interview on Vara's Spijkers met Koppen (click).

donderdag 6 december 2007

Agnès Bihl


If you came here because of an article in Dutch eveningpaper Het Parool, bienvenue. You might be a little offended because of the unflattering things I said in this interview about Wende Snijders, who sings chansons the way Martin Ros talks about books (if you're not Dutch, think Edith Piaf after 10 cans of Red Bull). Does this mean I don't like old fashioned, story-telling chansons? Pas du tout. Take blonde bombshell Agnès Bihl. Her newest album Demandez le Programme is just released, on which she (again) sings joyful, funny and bittersweet songs with loooong lyricsheets. Little stories, about the downsides of marriage, about girls on the town, about incest. She worked with big guns like Alexis HK and Aldebert, and she was handpicked by Charles Aznavour 'imself to be his supporting act. The album smells of the metro( where Agnes taught herself to perform) and Montmartre, with nods to vaudeville, gypsyjazz and folk. She has a pleasant voice, writes good lyrics and doesn't take it up to 11 to get her message across. Try it, you'll like it.

Agnes Bihl - Attention Fragile
Agnes Bihl - Silence on meurt (eco-sensitive song for a Greenpeace-album)

woensdag 5 december 2007

King of all media (2)

Dutch daily newspaper De Volkskrant not only published a very flattering 4 star-review of Filles Fragiles (click), music journo Gijsbert Kamer also reviews the cd on film.

Art Sullivan & Kiki


A great kitschy curiosity in Dutch pophistory is 1977's Et Si Tu Pars by Art Sullivan and Kiki. This single was mentioned on a Dutch forum, I remembered I had this single and decided to post it here. Kiki's full name is Kiki van Oostindië, she was a model (for the 'Alle 13 Goed!' compilations in the seventies) a singer and a songwriter. She helped Dutch rockhero Peter Koelewijn with the lyrics for Patrick Mon Cheri, a song (in English, she sings about her hot summer nights in Cannes) that was later covered by Sheila. After 'Patrick', Kiki made some solo-records, with less success. She even covered Tous Les Garçons, mixed with Dion's Teenager in Love. A mash-up avant la lettre! I couldn't find that cover, so if you have it, please share!
In 1977 Koelewijn hooked Kiki up with Belgian singer Art Sullivan, for the duet Et Si Tu Pars. The song wasn't supposed to be a duet, there's this video in which Art sings solo. It's a dramatic song, the girl wants to leave the guy, but still has feelings for him. The guy sings about what happens when she leaves. It sounds, though, like they're in separate rooms. They probably were.

Kiki & Pearly - Patrick, Mon Cheri
Sheila - Patrick Mon Cheri
Art Sullivan & Kiki - Et Si Tu Pars

dinsdag 4 december 2007

Filles Fragiles competition: Winner 5


DJ Sterrenmix from Deventer, Holland, goes all ooh-aah on us, in the final winning entry of the Filles Fragiles giveaway:

I didn’t know which one to choose. Claudine Longet singing her accent-laden rendition of Let’s spend the night together, or something by the Sissi-like romantique of Frida Boccara? Another fave is the lovely ditty Ces bottes sont faites pour marcher by Eileen (idd, a version of Nancy’s These boots…). Hear the erotic tones when she pronounces “Yeah” (0:49) or ”Ha” (1:48).

But going for just one choice, as mr. Guuzbourg asked for, I prefer Le train fou by composer Jacques Denjean, from the great compilation The Sexploitation (Drive Records Italy, 2000). The band lays down an upbeat jazzy rhythm & blues 60’s mod-style cinematographic track with screaming flute & farfisa-organ. While playin’ a smokin’ train-like choo-choo-rhythm, a mademoiselle sighs and screams, varied by a Bluto-kind of male voice showing he enjoys the traindrive too. Watch your speakers melt by the growing tension, outta times when “hufterproof” trains didn’t really exist…

Jacques Denjean - Le Train Fou
Eileen - Ces bottes sont faites pour marcher


EXTRA: more screams of joy in a tribute to the music in Russ Meyer-movies, a mix by Roger Grund (see comments). Because of a nasty virus in my computer, here's a yousendit-file of that mix

maandag 3 december 2007

FF Competition: Honourable Mentions


Yes, I know the deadline was on Dec 10, but all 5 winners have been picked. The response has been really exciting. From all over the world too. Isabelle from Bruxelles, Randy from Brooklyn and René from Paris wrote really nice entries, that just didn't make the top 5. Sorry copains, but as a consolation (and because y'all chose great songs), I will post your pieces right here.

Isabelle's:
Marie Gillain, my favourite French fragile girl –who's not French, but Belgian– has only released three songs so far. The two first songs appeared in movies she played in (Sans mensonges on the soundtrack of Mon père ce héros, in which she played Depardieu's daughter; and Laissons Lucie faire, duet with the director Emmanuel Mouret- on the soundtrack of the movie of the same name).
My favourite song is her duet with Martin Rappeneau called Les figures imposées. It was first recorded by Martin Rappeneau solo on his album La moitié des choses. The album was rereleased a few months later with the duet. Marie Gillain gives a whole new dimension to the song. She turned the song from a lamentation by an abandoned man into a dialogue between a man and a woman who realize that they have to put a stop to their relationship. Marie not only sings the song, the interprets the character (her experience as an actress might have helped). In her voice, you can hear she still loves the guy.
The two met through Martin Gamet, Marie Gillain's boyfriend at the time (their daughter Dune was born in 2004), who is one of Rappeneau's musicians (he also plays with Camille Dalmais and Louis Chédid).

Martin Rappeneau & Marie Gillain - Les Figures Imposées


René's:

Are you French when you are born in Italy, but live in the country from the age of 5? Are you a fille fragile when you make a clip like hers? These rhetoric questions make you really wonder why Carla Bruni is not included on Filles Fragiles. This former photo model makes songs who make you sigh, smile and gives you a soft mood. Le
plus belle du quartier has made some time ago a new cd with English poems but the first cd (with beautiful photos) stays in my list of my favourites. The best known track is ofcourse Quelqu'un m'a dit (Somebody told me) and is as beautiful as madam herself. Only accompanied by a guitar speaks it about hope and love. I hope
Guuzbourg will take this song or another as bonustrack at the second pressing of the CD or put it on volume deux. To be honest, I don't doubt it will come next year.

Carla Bruni - Quelqu'un m'a dit



Randy's:


La Brisa Day Roché is a treasure. Like a river polished stone gleaming from the banks, her tumbles through the world only make that easier to see. Growing up in an environment where art and music drifted though the air like lightning bugs at dusk on warm summer nights, Brisa learned to create sonic maps where X marks the spot, as well as painting them (see her myspace page for a brief glimpse of at some of her paintings). Like the glistening river stone or the yellow phosphorescence of the lightning bug, Brisa's need to shine outlived her Northern California existence and so she traveled the world from Trinidad to Russia and many stops in between.
Her music perfectly captures her nomadic style of rarely staying still and incorporating many worldly elements into her being. Singing mainly in English, residing mainly in Paris, adding pinches of jazz, blues, folk, roots level country, pop, among others to her musical stew, Brisa is very much a global citizen. Her musical style has no single defining characteristic other than her enchanting voice, which I associate with the way that Serafina Pekkala, the witch queen from Phillip Pullman's ever wonderful His Dark Materials Trilogy, might sound (read the books the are extraordinary).
Her first album, The Chase, while stellar, hardly compares to her personal vision, Takes, just released. Hearing her talk about it makes listening to it far more satisfying. The seeds she sowed along her journeys have blossomed into sweet ripe fruit one can sink his/her ears into.
Her song Egyptian, is my favorite track from the new album, and seems to personify the many themes in her music as well as life, movement, art, love, and wanderlust. She performs it acoustic for L'Internaute Magazine, and damn if that whistle is not just as wonderful sounding as her voice. I am totally transfixed by this song and it makes me want to roll up my life and jump in my own borrowed hot rod to seek out my own treasured jewels.
While her travels might have taken her across the planet, looking for the treasure the world has to offer, we are lucky enough to find them reproduced through her music. So bask under the flow off her an become equally enriched.

Brisa Roché - Egyptian
Brisa Roché - Dans le vert de ses yeux

Filles Fragiles Competition: Winner 4



Ken from Valley Mills, Texas wrote a very flattering piece:

If someone had said to me a couple of years ago that there would come a point when several of my favorite artists would be obscure French pop singers, I would have laughed and turned up The Clash or Johnny Cash. I mean maybe the odd icelandic singer-songwriter sure, but come on - I don't even speak French. So I guess I would have been wrong. I really started thinking about this following a conversation with a friend about new music and I realized that many of my new favorite records are by french pop singers - imagine my surprise.
I don't mean to imply or suggest that I've abandoned any of the oldschool-jangle-modstyle-lofi-dreampop-hardcountry-skaterock-antifolk-postpunk-shoegazing-twee bands that make up the musical quilt that keeps me warm - I've just added some fancy stitching here and there. I guess the reason that I've been drawn to pop songs performed in French (and Portuguese, Swedish, German, Norwegian, etc.) has more to do with how I listen to music now, compared to several years ago. A change in my responsibilities at work resulted in the need for me to spend most of my time in my office, on the computer.
I began to use music to drown out the ambient noise of my co-workers and to help me focus on the reports I have to generate. The problem with this was that too often I would get distracted by the stories in the songs, or by things they would remind me of and I would be skylarking instead of working - deadlines would suddenly be looming from out of nowhere. The funny thing is, I don't really seem to have this problem too much anymore - Emilie Simon, Keren Ann, Sokogirl, Ivy, Melanie Pain, and Carla Bruni all make brilliant, beautiful music that is only occasionally performed in a language I can understand. I enjoy it completely on an aesthetic and emotional level, I'm just not able to sing along most of the time. My co-workers most likely think that's really a good thing.

The silky voice of French-Israeli chanteuse Keren Ann works as a tonic for those times when the stresses of life are working hard to bring you down. Her dreamy songs, sometimes barely rising above a whispered vocal and a delicate melody, will compel you to stop and listen and join her for a few moments – trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
Don’t be fooled by her softness – while the gentleness of the delivery might hint at naiveté, a closer listen will reveal a young lady who has learned some hard lessons. Delightfully, refreshingly – while these lessons have made her strong, her outlook remains innocent and sweet and hopeful. Musically, all of her albums suggest the subtle influences of Jane Birkin and Francoise Hardy but her new self-titled release sees her stretching herself musically to reflect influences that hint at Tom Waits and Emiliana Torrini. The new offering continues to explore the terrain she revealed on her first four solo records, and all of her work is marked by a singular vision - she infuses her strongly emotional aural postcards with subtle, languid arrangements that can send shivers down your spine. Keren Ann takes her gift for channeling mood into song and just quietly devastates the listener.

Emilie Simon - Chanson de Toile (live)
Keren Ann - Manha de Carnaval

zaterdag 1 december 2007

King of all Media

Tonight, I am a guest of the cultural radioshow Opium (Avro Radio 1), to talk about Filles Fragiles. Here a Dutch online article on yours truly, here a great review. Here too. This one's in English.

Listen to Filles Fragiles in Realaudio via 3voor12 Luisterpaal.

Filles Fragiles competition: Winner 3


Matt from Columbus, IN, wins with this piece on Iris and Peppermoon.

The French female singing voice is magically timeless, while simultaneously conjuring strong emotional responses associated with classic French New Wave cinema, Paris in the 1920’s, the lover we long for, or the one we no longer have. Iris, of the band Peppermoon, may just be the perfect example of the 21st century “fille fragile”. In the song Nos Ballades, she paints a picture for us in a way that
only a French chanteuse is capable of. Beautifully understated purples and pinks (that seem to be specifically French variations of these hues) and the golden light one sees shining through dark clouds of a storm that has just passed come pouring from her mouth. The melodious piano lines and cleanly strummed acoustic guitar chords are a lovely accompaniment to Iris’ sweet, lilting vocals. The nostalgia she
expresses is French pop in its purest form, the mood a genuinely reflective one, a memory composed of music. The song is capable of causing a twinge in one’s heart or a tear in one’s eye; however, by the end, we hold hope in our hands, like a cherished keepsake. This song is perhaps one of the best illustrations of the fille fragile sound, as it is so wonderfully passionate, colorful, and visual, yet is brought forth with a delicate, gentle touch.

Peppermoon - Nos Ballades

vrijdag 30 november 2007

Christiane Legrand


Regular guestposter Sky (he gets a shoutout in the Filles Fragiles-booklet) on Christiane Legrand:

The high art of wordless female vocals is a seldom praised genre, despite works like Floyd’s 'Great Gig in the Sky' featuring the divine Clare Torry, Rita’s moaning classic Erotica or Teo Usuelli’s Piacere Sequence. The absolute, unmatched peak of the genre might well be Enterrement sous-marine (Underwater Funeral), a collaboration between French movie composer François de Roubaix and Christiane Legrand, one of the original members of the legendary Swingle Singers and voix chantée in Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, for the soundtrack of Les Aventuriers in 1966. Legrand’s beautiful soprano adds a unforgettably haunting dimension to the famous scene when Lino Ventura and Alain Delon float deep down in the sea with the body of their dead lover, Joanna Shimkus, before letting her go and allowing her to be swallowed by the dark waters – a melancholy underwater ballet oscillating between heavy grief and zero gravity, one of the finest romantic scenes in French movie history, and a sacred song.

François de Roubaix feat. Christiane Legrand - Enterrement Sous-Marine

Filles Fragiles competition: winner 2


Ariane from Minden, Germany, send in a great post for the Filles Fragiles competition on Souad Massi, the 'Tracy Chapman du Maghreb'.

I thought we might open our intercultural arms and welcome an Algerian singer like Souad Massi, the gentle ethno-folk-rocker-rebel-chick, into the sisterhood of filles fragiles. I remember reading about her on Filles Sourires, singing an ode to Paris together with Marc Lavoine. In Noir et blanc, the French-language duet from her first studio album Raoui (2001), the Paris-based émigrée teams up with Senegalese icon Ismaël Lô. And, wow, what a song this is! The universal sense of joy and infectious happiness it radiates, the accessible upbeat rhythms and Arabica-perfumed guitar accompaniments, the perfect harmonising between two voices and, oh, what lyrics! As in most of her songs, Souad’s honest lyrics promote large humanitarian themes. In 'Black and white', we hear:
‘La musique a parfois des accords majeurs qui font rire les enfants mais pas les dictateurs. De n’importe quel pays, de n’importe quelle couleur, la musique est un cri qui vient de l’intérieur.’
Music is a cry that comes from inside: obvious, yes, but Souad’s peaceful serenade shows just how much that ‘cri’ or cry, the opposite of a sigh, can be both powerful and fragile but always conciliatory. This soft-spoken yet courageous bard takes on complex political issues, speaking out to us in a quiet and frank way, using her music to comment positively on thorny social issues. Chapeau, Souad! I am walking barefoot through the lush oases of this world and suddenly, just for a moment, there is peace and justice everywhere…

Souad Massi & Ismael Lô - Noir et Blanc

donderdag 29 november 2007

Filles Fragiles competition: winner 1


Visiteur Roger Grund send in his entry to the Filles Fragiles-giveaway:

Although hardly a fille in our memory, Édith Piaf was the quintessential Grand Mère Fragile. Thinking about Piaf, I recall some footage I once saw: A very fragile and already terminally ill Piaf aged 46 marries a 20 years younger hairdresser and when questioned by a reporter, she replied: ‘I have never been happier in my entire life’. This to me sums up the essence of Piaf. She died aged 47 in October 1963. The nation mourned, and so did the grandmother of the writer of these words.
Exodus is one of the less well known songs from her extensive catalogue, and as usual with all good Artists, it deals with life and death. In my dreams I meet Édith Piaf in the catacombes of Paris, and while we have a glass of calvados together she tells me: ‘Live your life without fear, as if you could die any time, and face death with a smile on your face’. Salut Édith

Edith Piaf - Exodus

woensdag 28 november 2007

Keren Ann live


André saw Keren Ann live, November 27 in Bruxelles. Here's his report:

There’s a fine line between the artist on stage and the audience. The unwritten rules. The line is often crossed. Sadly enough, most of the time this happens for the wrong reasons. The rules are disrespected. By members of the audience talking through delicate songs. By the artist being too eager to please. Last night none of this happened. From the moment Keren Ann Zeidel took the stage of the Orangerie at Brussels’ Botanique the invisible line was drawn. The audience listened with respect and admiration, applauding enthusiastically in between songs. Providing handclaps where needed and laughing appropriately during Keren Ann’s amusing little stories. Apart from what appeared to be a radio station disturbing on one of the amps the sound was perfect too. Dressed in a sober black outfit and supported only by a guitarist and a drummer, Keren Ann stripped her songs bare to their essence and brought the focus where it should be: on her wonderful, lush voice. She only sang three of her French songs, but there’s no reason to complain with English songs like Not Going Anywhere, Chelsea Burns, Lay You Head Down and a great rendition of Big Yellow Taxi (which made me realise again how terribly bland that Counting Crows version is). None of this caused the fine line to be erased though. At the end of the encores it was still there. That’s when it happened: The audience just didn’t seem to want to stop applauding when Keren Ann reappeared on stage, to the point where it must have almost made her feel embarrassed. The line was already blurred. The enigmatic singer erased it completely by singing an Italian song a cappella (at least it sounded Italian to me). Magical.


Two live-tracks (not from the Bruxelles concert)
Keren Ann & Doriand - Le Dernier Pas (live)
Keren Ann - Hallelujah (live Leonard Cohen-cover) (thanks SOM)

dinsdag 27 november 2007

Giveaway


Want to get a free copy of Filles Fragiles? I am giving away five cd's. But you need to do something. You need to write a guestpost on your favourite song by a French fragile girl. A song that makes you sigh. A song that makes tears well in your eyes. A song that makes you want kick off your shoes and walk barefoot in a fresh green meadow. That guestpost has to be at least 150 words long. It doesn't matter if that chanson was posted here before. Deadline is December 10. Send your entries (with your adress) to guuzbourg(a)gmail.com. The most inspiring and/or touching guestposts get a free FF-cd.

Emmanuelle Béart


Must be the way she pouts constantly. Those lips, that mouth and those enormous eyes. They keep you glued to the screen, be it in the movies or at home in front of the tv. Emmanuelle Béart is an actress with magnetic qualities. A lot of fansites (here, here or here) agree. She played in films like Manon des Sources, Mission:Impossible, Héros de la Famille and 8 Femmes. In the last two she sang as well - being the daugther of chansonnier Guy Béart, she met Leo Ferré and George Brassens at a young ages, "nice uncles to go and pick cherries with", she once said in an interview. She appears in very sexy lingerie-commercials, but is an activist for human rights as wel, she recently wrote an article for Le Monde about illegal immigrants and their terrible housing conditions (here) in Paris.
With three movies in post-production, we're still hearing from Béart, one way or another. And this ofcourse is a dream of all of us.

Emmanuelle Béart - Histoire d'un Amour (clip)
Emmanuelle Béart - I'll Close My Eyes
Emmanuelle Béart - Pile ou Face (clip)
Emmanuelle Béart & Marc Lavoine - Fais Moi Un Place
Elsa, Emmanuelle Béart, Laurent Voulzy, Pascal Obispo - Message Personnel
Patrick Bruel & Sandrine Kiberlain & Emmanuelle Beart - Ou sont tous mes amants
Guy Béart - La Chanson de Prévert
Would-be-goods - Emmanuelle Béart


(anyone knows the song that is played during this steaming scene from the movie Nathalie?)

maandag 26 november 2007

Souvenir




Patricia & Jaime of Souvenir (also on Filles Fragiles) had their Allô Allô single remixed by Johan Agebjörn (of Sally Shapiro-fame). It's part of an EP called Extras 64, featuring new songs, remixes and covers (Hanging on the Telephone by Blondie in French!). Plus they made a fantastic video, it makes our Spanish duo look like the Jack & Meg White of fragile French girliepop.

Souvenir - Allô, Allô (Johan Agebjorn remix)

White Blossom


Ever heard a song you know you heard before in another version, but can't think of either title or artist? My mother experienced that when she listened to Filles Fragiles, and heard Marrianne Dissard's Quand Refleuriront Les Lilas Blanc. Now, I've made a post before about this song (here), and thought the orignal version was by Anna Thibaud, from the 1920s. A few googling hours later, I found out that QRLLB is a German Schlager written by Franz Doelle, called Wenn der Weisse Flieder Wieder Blüht. The Anna Thibaud song is called Quand Les Lilas Refleuriront, quite the same but not exactly. I think my mother heard the song the first time in the 1953 Heimat-movie Wenn der Weisse Flieder Wieder Blüht featuring Romy Schneider (and her mother Magda). I called my mom about it, she says is plausible she heard the song in that movie, but couldn't remember who sang the song it. If it was Romy, I sure want to hear it. The fact that the song was written right after the first World War, makes me believe that it was meant to cheer up the listener after a dark period. Dutch songs like 'Als op het Leidesplein de lichtjes weer eens branden gaan' did the same post-WW2.
Youtube-clip here. More (free downloadable) Matt & Marianne here.

Marianne Dissard & Matt Mitchell - Quand Refleuriront Les Lilas Blanc
Henri Gesky - Quand Refleuriront Les Lilas Blanc
Anna Thibaud - Quand Les Lilas Refleuriront
Richard Tauber - Wenn der Weisse Flieder Wieder Blüht
EXTRA:
Lou Bandy - Bloemen Bloemen Bloemen (Dutch version)
Zarah Leander - Vill ni se en stjärna (Swedish version)

zondag 25 november 2007

Javanaise (or: The Day After)


Post-party Sunday, still early. All quiet on the Westside. Only one song suits the mood. In 3 versions, that is. (On the picture: Iris from Peppermoon, at the Filles Fragiles-presentation/Chick Habit party. More pics here, thanks Yuri & Pierre)

Jean Corti + Olivia Ruiz & Christian Olivier - La Javanaise
Serge Gainsbourg - La Javanaise (inédit)
Richard Galliano - La Javanaise

vrijdag 23 november 2007

It's Here!



Stijn proudly presents Filles Fragiles, and it's totally his taste! Remember: party's on Saturday over here, cd can be ordered here, here or here!

Esclave d'Armande


Keeping up that eighties-vibe, and steering a bit away from the fragile filles, thanks to Pierre Peppermoon. He send me L'Esclave Endormi by French 80s heroine Armande Altai. She looks like a drag queen, but there's no doubt she's a real woman if you hear her, erm, operatic voice (more evidence: she did the Vagina Monologues). Nowadays, she's the voice-coach for contestants in Star Academy (French Idols, so to speak) and a bit of a gay-icon. In the seventies, the Syrian born Altain acted on stage and in movies, in the eighties she made the seminal Nocturne Flamboyant album, produced by Martin Hannett (of Joy Division-fame) and musicians from bands like Magazine and Visage play on it. The dramatic, epic and gripping L'Esclave Endormi is on that album from 1983. A few years later, Amsterdam's Hubert Baars, aka the androgynus Richenel covered the song for a Belgian record label. It was picked up by 4AD, owner Ivo Watts himself even remixed the song. After that, Richenel crossed over the popworld, scored a few hits (in English), and then faded away. Still, his version of The Sleeping Slave is as impressive as Armande's.

Armande Altai - L'Esclave Endormi
Richenel - L'Esclave Endormi

woensdag 21 november 2007

Olivia Ruiz


One freezing, dark winter’s night in 1874 in the Scottish city of Edinburgh. A young boy called Jack is born on the coldest night the world has ever known and his heart is frozen solid. The midwife overseeing his birth, who happens to be a witch, comes up with the idea of replacing the child’s defective heart with a ticking clock. So long as he avoids powerful emotional shocks in his life, such as love or anger, he will live a normal life. But one fateful day, Jack looks into the smouldering eyes of a beautiful young street singer…
Thus starts La Mécanique de Mon Coeur, both an album and a book by Mathias Malzieu and his band Dionysos. Call it a concept album, or a pop opera. It's a take on the Jack the Ripper story, the album is the soundtrack to the book. Characters are voiced by Arthur H, Emily Loizeau, Dionysos themselves and Olivia Ruiz, who plays the beautiful young street singer. She features on four tracks.
The Dionysos-album with Ruiz battles in the charts with Olivia's own live-cd Chocolat Show, that features three duets. One with Malzieu, one with Christian Oliver and one is with her father Didier Blanc, a professional singer and musician who belongs to a ‘tribe’ of music aficionados who had originally come to the south of France from Spain. That is why the song is in Spanish. The live album is very energetic, with references to klezmer and punkrock.
Olivia has a thing for doing duets, I've added a few other examples. On her Wiki you can see every collaboration (yes, the one with Adamo is on Filles Fragiles!)

Dionysos feat. Olivia Ruiz - Tais Toi Mon Coeur
Olivia Ruiz & Didier Blanc - La Molinera (live)
Alain Leprest & Olivia Ruiz - Êtes-vous là
Weepers Circus & Olivia Ruiz - La Renarde
Bratsch & Olivia Ruiz - L'almée phénomène

dinsdag 20 november 2007

On the Radio

Tomorrow evening, around 18.45 hr, you can hear me (providing you're in Holland) on the radio, for I am one of the guests in DeSmet Live. You can also tune in via the internet.

zondag 18 november 2007

DKDent, Mad&Moiselle


Two bands with funny names, who fish in the same colorful kitschy pond. Mad&Moiselle is from Belgium, they are the amalgamation of Flemish roots, French chansons, Dutch hormones, German detectives and Brussels air. The songs on their MySpace are 10 years old, but sound fresh today. M&M brought themselves back to life because of an art show, and hopefully their poptastic hearts keep beating.

DKDent (pictured) is a duo from Cologne/Dusseldorf, Dirk has a past in various electro/ebm-bands, singer Stephanie did the rounds in jazz- and soul-outfits. Their ways crossed in 2003, and their influences range from Pizzicato 5 to Nina Hagen. Leçons Françaises is their only French song (that I know of), hopefully their upcoming album will feature some more!

Mad&Moiselle - Chupa Chups
DKDent - Leçons Françaises


In other news: liked my French Eighties Mix? Want some more? Go HERE.

woensdag 14 november 2007

Victoria Abril


Recently I posted a tango'd version of a famous French chanson, acclaimed Spanish actress Victoria Abril brought together a bunch of flamenco-heavyweights for her take on the chansons of Gainsbourg, Ferré and Nougarro. Olala is the name of Abril's (second) album, with a 'coeur Gitan' and 'une âme Française'. In the case of Serge's La Javanaise the outcome is, erm, interesting. Never thought a song that's so much about Paris, could sound so Andalusian. Elsa is a song based on a poem by Louis Aragon, with music by Leo Ferré.

Victoria Abril - La Javanaisse
Victoria Abril - Elsa

Biolay Live


Live-reviews are more than welcome - FS-friend Jan Hiddink wrote a great piece on the concert by Benjamin Biolay, in the Brussels Botanique.

So there he is. Benjamin Biolay. Benjamin is behind the grand piano, his band is aside to him. Drums, keyboards / electronics, guitar, bass, and a separate microphone waiting. Four men and a girl, surrounded by cardboard figures of American basketball players. We have no clue why these cardboard figures are there. And we don’t know who the musicians are, as we are supposed to. There can be no doubt about who we are here for. All of the stagelightning and setup is designed for one man only: Benjamin Biolay. His initials B.B.
B.B. might be the centre of the world, here in the Orangerie of the beautiful Botanique in Brussels, yet the first thing that comes to mind is that B.B. does not look too good –if not worrying bad. As with Gainsbourg, nicotine and alcohol come with the appearance of the singer.

READ MORE HERE

Benjamin Biolay - Tant de Belle Choses (live)

dinsdag 13 november 2007

Cecile Hercule


Isn't she lovely? Isn't Cecile Hercule wonderful? The singer/actress grew up with the Beatles and Renaud, and taught herself how to play guitar during her stay on Madagascar (on humanitarian mission). In Lyon and Paris, she went to theater-school, and acted mostly in tv-shows. She's also available for circus-tricks!
She has a gorgeous husky voice (a bit like Elodie Frégé), writes her songs (about men, love and life) herself, looks spectacular and nowadays tours as a backup singer with Tétard. I love the songs on her Myspace - watch that video for Si J'Étais un Garçon too!

Cecile Hercule - Printemps
Cecile Hercule - Comme Avant

Jane Birkin comes to Amsterdam

I know what you are doing on February 1, 2008. You're sitting next to me, in Paradiso Amsterdam, watching Jane Birkin play. That's what. (pre-sale starts Saturday November 24th. The same as...yes!)

In other news: want to pre-order Filles Fragiles? Go here. Or here. Or here. Or here.

Re-re-wind: Pauline Croze


After this debacle, I had to wait until the official release of Un Bruit Qui Court to post a great song (written by Arthur H) from a great album. Haven't heard all songs yet, but so far it's gorgeous. There áre repetitive elements, and the jazz-influence is evident (as said before). On Pauline's site you can see a Making Of of the Jour de Foule-video.

Pauline Croze - Baiser d'Adieu

maandag 12 november 2007

Sexiest French Video

Pop quiz: what's the sexiest French videoclip ever? Is it Libertine by Mylene Farmer? Bye Bye Mon Cowboy by Mitsou? Fleur de Saison by Emilie Simon? 5.55 by Charlotte Gainsbourg? Sexy Girl by Clara Morgane? (just kidding 'bout that last one).
Do you know another great sexy French video?

UPDATE: there can be only one winner to this 'contest', ofcourse:

zondag 11 november 2007

French 80s Mix


I've done a few interviews supporting the release of Filles Fragiles, and when asked about the how of my French girls obsession, I thought of the backseat of my dad's car, when the whole family was on holiday in France and we listened to French radio. That is when I heard about Elli Medeiros, Jeanne Mas, Stéphanie de Monaco, Corynne Charby and the oh-so-lovely Muriel from Niagara. Later I saw a few of their videos via RTBF's Cargo de Nuit. This, plus a few French female teachers, is the basis of my obsession, I think. French 80s hits recently popped up else where, about time I got involved too. Here's a French eighties mix, featuring songs I have fond memories of (Mas, Charby, Niagara), song I recently discovered (Elsa, Lio) and songs that should be in a mix like this (Gainsbourg, Mitsou, Regrets). Blowdry your hair, take out the leotards, roll up your sleeves and enjoy.
You know the routine: one file, 72 MB, over 50 minutes long, right click 'n save!

Filles Sourires French Eighties Mix


Tracklist
Tout le monde s'amuse - Regrets
Les Filles nous on veux du fun - Helena Lemkovitch
Comix Discomix - Lio
Juste une mise au point - Jackie Quartz
Cezanne Peint - France Gall
Charlotte For Ever - Serge & Charlotte Gainsbourg
En Rouge et Noir - Jeanne Mas
Naufrage en hiver - Mikado
Soleil d'hiver - Niagara
T'En Vas Pas - Elsa
Pile ou Face - Corynne Charby
Bye Bye Mon Cowboy - Mitsou
Toi mon toit - Elli Medeiros

zaterdag 10 november 2007

Delerm en duo



A French guy once said about Vincent Delerm that he "tries to embody the stereotype of the feminine, thoughtful, mysterious poet. Not working." There's some truth in that, Delerm has a remarkable singing style, and his nerdy presence and namedropping lyrics isn't for everyone. Cool by me. Most recent VD-release is Favourite Songs, an album with (mostly) covers. Now, as you know, I'm all in favour of the coversong, but whole albums aren't usually a sign of artistic progress. Still, Delerm chose to invite a whole bunch of talented friends to Paris theatre La Cigale - among them Benjamin Biolay, Georges Moustaki, Irène Jacob, Neil Hannon (who makes a funny mess of the French lyrics) and Renaud. The audience clearly didn't know who was about to come on stage - they roar everytime the guestvocalist appears. This album is a mixed bag, as is usually the case with these kind of albums. Can't say every version is up to par, his duet with Biolay is terrible. But there are a few highlights. I've added the original versions.
A special version of this album, including dvd's, is out next week.

Vincent Delerm & Irène Jacob - Désir Désir
Laurent Voulzy & Veronique Jannot - Désir Désir

Vincent Delerm & Jeanne Cherhal & Albin de la Simone - Les Gens Qui Doutent
Anne Sylvestre - Les Gens Qui Doutent

vrijdag 9 november 2007

Gaële


Tango: the vertical expression of a horizontal desire. When you hear the take of French-born Quebec-resident Gaële on the tango, you'll get the picture. Her sultry little song reminds me a little of In-grid's Tu es foutu - danceable, tango-flavoured pop. Ofcourse Gotan Project come into play as well. L'Idéal Tango is from Gaële's debutalbum Cockpit - the song Léo can be downloaded free from her site, and from this blog.

Gaële - L'Idéal Tango
Gaële - Leo

donderdag 8 november 2007

Sylvia Kristel


Great day yesterday: I gave a promo-copy of Filles Fragiles to Sylvia Kristel! The worldfamous Emmanuelle-actress (still a very sensual woman) was a guest in Dutch tv-show De Wereld Draait Door because of the release of an updated Emmanuelle-dvd. I was there thanks to a friend who works for the show.
This new dvd-edition of the 1974-movie sports a Making Of-documentary. Kristel's not in this doc, she told the viewers that she didn't have the time to cooperate, and that they didn't offer her enough money. Still, she had some great stories to share about the filming, and even more on the casting. Back then, she was a slightly naive mannequin, 20 years old. At the time, she didn't speak French (that is why her voice is dubbed in the movie), and the producers wanted an Asian girl as a lead. Sylvia made an impression when she appeared for director Jaeckin and the producers in very loosefit dress. Her shoulderstraps slid down with one move - she did her audition bare-breasted, and was almost hired at the spot.
One great moment from the Making-Of features Serge Gainsbourg. He was asked to compose the soundtrack, but declined: he said Sylvia didn't gave him a hard-on. (He later made the soundtrack to Goodbye, Emmanuelle)
What do you think? Click.

EDC featuring Sylvia Kristel - Changes
Pierre Bachelet - Emmanuelle theme
Pierre Bachelet - Emmanuelle (vocal version)
Francis Lai - Emmanuelle II
Serge Gainsbourg - Goodbye Emmanuelle

dinsdag 6 november 2007

Salut les copains

Sound of Musique started blogging again, and he kicked off with some great stuff, for instance Vanessa Paradis duetting with Ben Harper. And Christine Spiked Candy is back on track too, and she spoils us by posting the bestest yeye-compilations! New in my linklist is GoGoClub. And check out Wheresourreadysteadygo too, for some Françoise Hardy and French new wave.

Edie



Babysue says about Edie: "Her music isn't immediately gripping...but rather slips into the subconscious before having its full effect". True. Had I heard about Edie (real name Edith Pijpers) before, I would've included her on my Filles Fragiles compilation. For she is the only Dutch-born singer I know who'd fit perfectly on such comp, or on a site like this. She's gorgeous, she sings in French (well, she sings in English too) and she sounds husky and fragile. And her music provokes strong images: "Marianne Faithful making out with Jane Birkin, with Nico watching", says one Robin Eaton on Edie's site. Have to listen more closely probably to get the same image, but still. Edie saw a lot of the world (she lived in Sydney, Paris, Los Angeles and Nashville), recorded three albums so far and a new one's in the making. Her music's very versatile, ranging from folk to electronica. As you can hear on these two examples.

Edie - Ca y est
Edie - Rien

zaterdag 3 november 2007

Veronika Silva


Ne Me Quitte Pas as a tango - but ofcourse. Veronika Silva recorded Brel's immortal classic inna tango stylee for her 2006-album Gorda. What a beautiful version! You might know Veronika from the live-shows she did with Gotan Project - a band that tried to fuse dance-beats with tango, which led to a whole bunch of imitators. I liked their first album, but after that they showed (just as their imitators) that the concept had it's limitations. I saw Gotan Project live a couple of times, I remember a show on the North Sea Jazz festival very clearly, it was amazing. But most recent GP-album Lunatico bored me to death. GP never recorded in the studio with Veronika - shame. Now GP's Philippe Cohen-Solal is releasing a solo album as Solal, which explores his country-side. Seems like he got bored with tango-lounge too. [Merci André]

Veronika Silva - Ne Me Quitte Pas

Pauline Croze


Thanks to Franss, I've now heard all songs on Pauline Croze's new album. It's a cd that's 'délicat, difficile et risqué!' according to this review by Rock 'n France. You can understand the fragility, difficult and risky are the way she sings - it's not monotonous, but she doesn't change the melody so that it seems monotonous. It's hard to describe - listen to Baiser d'Adieu (written by Arthur H), and you'd understand. Same thing goes with the guitar-parts - it seems like she keeps playing the same lick over and over again. The album kicks off with an 3 minute instrumental that is almost minimal music (think Steve Reich): repetitive, hypnotising. She's not making it easy for people who loved her poppier debut - although there were songs on that album with the same repetitive structure.


We had our legs pulled, people. It's fake. This is a deliberate loop. That's why it's so monotonous!

Pauline Croze - Baiser d'Adieu

For the RIGHT version, go here!

woensdag 31 oktober 2007

Filles Fragiles cd

bb-20070908_eflyer.jpg

Whaddaya think? I'm almost as proud when I saw my son for the first time. The cd is out on November 26, it will be sold abroad via various webshops (will let you know later). Cover and the rest of the booklet was designed by Pierre from Peppermoon, the illustration is by Colonel Moutarde. Dutchies: it features a short story by Ronald Giphart, the father of the term 'Zuchtmeisjes' (there is an english translation of that story available).

Oh, and that Chick Habit party, on 11/24 in Amsterdam? Peppermoon will play live (just Iris and Pierre, but nonetheless), the whole band is coming! Woo!

dinsdag 30 oktober 2007

Charlotte, Calexico & Bob


I thought I was well informed on the recording career of Charlotte Gainsbourg, but no. For the soundtrack to Todd Haynes' kind of eccentric movie about Bob Dylan called I'm Not There - with three actors playing Dylan, including Cate Blanchett (see picture) - Charlotte recorded a cover of BD's Just Like a Woman. Together with Calexico who, as you may know, like to record with French women: they did it earlier with Francoiz Breut, Marianne Dissard and Valerie Leulliot. (Thanks to this blog, I heard about it)
Never thought I would ever post a song from Dylan here - I have an ambiguous relation with him. I like his songs, I loathe his singing voice, but I love hearing him talk on his radioshow. Same with Bruce Springsteen - some great songs, but I don't want to hear 'm sung by the Boss.

Charlotte Gainsbourg - Just Like a Woman
Bob Dylan - Just Like a Woman

Soane


Artistes Autoproduit is a section on the Fnacmusic.com site - more and more artists don't rely on major recordcompanies to get their music out there. Take Soane, from Pays de la Loire. She's a very well trained musician (vocals, classic organ) and the songs on her album are arranged and produced very professionally. She has Ariane Moffatt, Clarika and Marthelene in her Top Friends on her Myspace, and those singers are good musical references (although Ariane adds more electronics). She likes to add latin-american influences to her (generally folksy) chansons, ranging from tango to reggae.

Soane - Mes Amants
Soane & Aldebert - C'est Quoi ton Problème

donderdag 25 oktober 2007

Ninja & Aldo


My quest for great, or completely bonkers coverversions of Je t'aime...moi non plus never ceases - I have over 60 versions now (excluding the ones by Serge). Recently I added a fantastic jazz-version by Italians Aldo Romano (who we remember from his duet with Carla Bruni), Baptiste Trotignon & Rémi Vignolo, who mixed up Valse de Mélodie with Je t'aime. Really good. Finnish supermodel Ninja Sarasolo covered it closer to the original version on her debutalbum I Don't Play Guitars. Pop-bloggers are all gaga for Ninja - musicwise I don't agree, but bodywise, I'm very much in favour.

Aldo Romano, Baptiste Trotignon & Remi Vignolo - Valse de Melody/Je t'aime
Ninja - Je t'aime...moi non plus

Madd for it


"Next!"
"Hello, doc!"
"Jeez! What's wrong with you?! You're shaking all over!"
"I know! I feel like I have an itch I can't scratch!" "And look at the way you're dressed! No offense, but I've never seen you dressed so sharp. Errr...why don't you sit down instead of dancing on the ceiling?"
"It's all because of this, doc."
"Let me see: an album? By The Madd? They're from Rotterdam, right? What's it called: Ongeneeslijk Beat. I thought you were into girls, singing in French only."
"Well, yes. But I love male yeye-music too."
"Let me put it on (...) Omigod! This is serious! This is sooo infectious!"
"Tell me about it!"
"Funny they recorded one song in French. Je Suis Parti was originally done by Magic Mushroom, did you know that? There's a funny video for that song on YouTube."
"Ever since I put Ongeneeslijk Beat on, with that Beatles/Kinks/Nuggets-style garage rock music, my feet are killing me! I just can't stop dancing. Is there a cure?"
"I'm not sure. Try to listen to this, while I look it up in my medical books."
"What is it?"
"It's L'Amour by Dominique A, godfather of La Nouvelle Chanson Française. It's a brilliant live version from his just-released Sur nos forces motrices-album. It's very touching."
"Yes, I know the original version on his Si Je Connais Harry-cd. It has Francoiz Breut on it."
"See, you're getting doe-eyed already."

The Madd - Je Suis Parti
Dominique A - L'Amour
Dominique A - L'Amour (studio version)

woensdag 24 oktober 2007

Tricot Machine


Great name, Tricot Machine. It's a duo from Canada, who released their 2nd album last spring. Actually, it's a trio: Catherine Leduc, Matthieu Beaumont and Matt's brother Daniel, who writes lyrics. Cat and Matt are a couple. Their music's labeled as folk - I always think of Steeleye Span then, but the couple agrees with it, so there. Piano, guitar, voice and a few effects, for gentle and happy songs. Similar to Alfa Rococo, Dobracaracol and Saule. Songs you'd want to hear lying on your back in the grass. Funny thing: in almost all songs they use one or two English words, as if they did not know the French ones and smuggled in the English. Best song on the most recent album is L'Ours - that comes with a very creative and funny video (click to watch).

Tricot Machine - L'Ours
Tricot Machine - Une histoire de mitaines

dinsdag 23 oktober 2007

Pauline Croze


Jeff Buckley and Wayne Shorter. Both musicians were highly influential on Pauline Croze's new album Un Bruit Qui Court (out November 22). Especially on her voice. She likes the way Buckley uses his voice as an instrument, like a saxophone. The way Wayne Shorter does his soloing (on the sax). A L'Evidence is a song on the new album that was based on a sound she heard from a saxophone. I haven't heard that one yet, but on new single Jour de Foule, you can hear that Buckley-influence very well. Another new song was released earlier on a Les Inrocks-compilation. On Legere she ad-libs a lot. No worries: she's no Mariah.

Pauline Croze - Jour de Foule
Pauline Croze - Legere (Souleve-moi)

Chick Habit Party

A beautiful flyer (thanks D!) for the Chick Habit party on November 24 in Amsterdam. Featuring dj Martin Hemmel (of Atomic Café/French Cuts fame!), dj Natashka and dj Yours Truly (me). More info here. And yes, it's the official presentation of the official Filles Fragiles compilation (compiled by me). More on that album later.
bb-20070908_eflyer.jpg

zaterdag 20 oktober 2007

Amélie-les-Crayons


The music of Amélie-les-Crayons sounds very wholesome to me. Made by a singer (Amélie) and her band of happy campers who spend most of their days outside, eat a lot of healthy things and leave a walk around barefoot. Wet red apples, that's my first association. Third album La Porte Plume, just released, is an acoustic affair, piano, glockenspiel, flutes, mandolines. Folky music that's more springtime than fall - although Amélie knows how to put some melancholy in her chansons. One song a-day keeps the doctor a-way.

Amélie-les-Crayons - La Citronier
Amélie-les-Crayons - Les Manteaux

donderdag 18 oktober 2007

Kyle samples Serge

(this is a restored post)
I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. The Queen of Pop samples Bonnie & Clyde for one of the brilliant tracks on her brilliant new album. All hail Kylie.


Kylie Minogue - Sensitized

The sex kitten relied on Serge before: see here.

woensdag 17 oktober 2007

Anna Ternheim


Guestpost! André on Anna:

Anna Ternheim? What is she doing here, you might ask. Sure, there are reasons enough to think of why she shouldn’t belong amongst the Filles Sourires. First of all she’s Swedish. A typical Scandinavian blonde. A very cute one, I might add. She covers Bowie (a very interesting take on China Girl) instead of Gainsbourg. She usually sings her self-penned songs in English with her lovely little Abba-accent. Not without success: her debut album Somebody Outside (2004) gained her a Swedish Grammy for best newcomer. The follow up Separation Road (2006) consolidated this success with Grammies for best female artist and best lyricist. Her live performances are mesmerizing, especially when she’s playing on her own, accompanying her pleasant vocals with only a guitar or piano. Still, all of this doesn’t explain her appearance on this blog. Just have a listen to the aptly titled A French Love, partly sung in French. “So we planned a secret rendez-vous / Toute la nuit / chez moi” should be reason enough. Still not convinced? I’ll throw in the French version of To Be Gone which Valérie Leulliot (of Autour de Lucie fame) translated into Oublie. This version appeared on a tiny 3” bonus disc that came with the French release of Somebody Outside. So there you have it: A girl. Singing in French. Making me sigh. Does this answer your question?

Anna Ternheim - A French Love
Anna Ternheim - A French Love (naked version)
Anna Ternheim - Oublie