woensdag 31 oktober 2007

Filles Fragiles cd


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


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

"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.

zaterdag 20 oktober 2007


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

dinsdag 16 oktober 2007

French Cowboys, Russian Suckers

French Cowboy is the new band created by Federico Pellegrini, singer of the late Little Rabbits, a bunch of cray-zee frenchies, who disappeared in 2005, after seven remarkable albums. Federico Pellegrini (yes, the partner of Helena Noguerra in the duo Baby Face Nelson and Dillinger Girl) plays with three of his mates: Gaëtan Chataigner (bass), Stéphane Louvain (guitar) and Eric Pifeteau (drums). To quote from the bio: "All voices ahead, sparing neither anger or lyricism, they are like some beach boys lost in the Arizona desert, where surfer girls have become characters out of Johnny Cash songs." Right. Now, Gainsbourgians like us, when we hear someone called Baby Face Nelson, we think of Melody Nelson. And so did Frederico, 'cause The Ballad of Baby Face Nelson nods more than a little to the ballade of petite Melody, quatorze automnes et quinze étés. I am not sure if the female duet-partner's Helena, though.

Yesterday I had a really nice conversation with Paul, who's going to write a big piece on this blog, this blog and these guys for this newspaper. Paul's a Eastern Europe expert, and I asked him if he knew any Russian versions of Gainsbourg songs. I have Polish, Czech and Hungarian covers of SG, and I just knew there had to be Russian versions. Serge is of Russian descend, and Paul told me he's regarded as a hero up there. He searched and struck gold right away. A band I know nothing about, called Nezhnoe Eto (which means something like 'That Lovely Thing'), did two brilliant versions of Les Sucettes. In a Pizzicato 5-stylee, I'd say.

French Cowboy - The Ballad of Baby Face Nelson
Nezhnoe Eto - Sosachki (Les Sucettes)
Nezhnoe Eto - Sosachki version 2

zondag 14 oktober 2007

Gainsbourg in Vanity Fair

I strongly advise you to buy the November issue of Vanity Fair (pictured), for it has a very revealing and touching article about Serge. Writer Lisa Robinson got a tour, with Charlotte as a guide, inside Rue de Verneuil. We get descriptions of all the untouched rooms ("The small kitchen at the back of the first floor has a 15-inch black-and-white television set, candy bars and two cans of tomato juice in the refrigerator, opened wine bottles, and, in the cupboard, cans of food from 1991 - except, says Charlotte, the ones that exploded"), a few great pictures from inside (made by J.P. Mondino) and great archive-material. Robinson spoke with Charlotte, Jane, Regine, Françoise Hardy, Bambou and Serge's sister Jacqueline. All women talk with so much love about Serge, although they don't hide his vulgar Gainsbarre-antics. Revealing quote (by Jane): "He was the cleanest man I ever knew, he knew how to wash all the bits, but in 13 years I never saw him take a bath. I never saw him go to the loo, I never saw him completely naked, the children never saw him naked - and they tried like mad."

Serge & Charlotte Gainsbourg - Plus doux avec moi

zaterdag 13 oktober 2007

France Gall 60

A few online articles to commemorate France Gall's 60th birthday on October 9 here and here, and a documentary here

France Gall - Pense à moi

This would've been appropriate too.

Bossa Filles

It's like Indian Summer here in AMS, so to celebrate (before I go outside) here's a couple of sunny bossa nova tunes.

Jeanne Moreau - Juste Une Fil de Soie
Isabelle Antena - Antena
Arielle - Mon Oiseau
Jil Caplan - Toujours a Mon Cou

donderdag 11 oktober 2007

Baudelaire, Ferré, Murat & Morgane

Quote: "I remember I even liked his name, Charles Baudelaire. His name in itself always seemed very poetic to me(...) Like a lot of other classics, you practically have to be an adult to read him." Hear hear, Jean-Louis Murat. I tried reading Charlie too when I was a youngster (along with De Sade, all thanks to an obsession with Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho, which wore off eventually), and I still think his name is very poetic. Murat just released an album called Charles & Leo, Charles being Baudelaire, Leo is Leo Ferré. Turns out the old master recorded music to Les Fleurs du Mal by CB, but never finished the album. After his death, Ferré's family pestered Murat about using Leo's music for a project singing Charles' poems. He declined, they persisted. Finally, he gave in: "This year, 2007, marks the 150th anniversary of Baudelaire’s birth so I ended up having to do the album pretty quickly, in the spring." Charles & Leo is an ideal fall-album: darkbrown, deep red, moody, intense, serious. Murat, who worked with Camille, Mylene Farmer and Jennifer Charles, called in singer Morgane Imbeaud (pictured) of folkduo Cocoon for help, she mostly sings backing vocals. But L'héautontimorouménos is a duet. Bonus by the cd is dvd with piano-versions. Equally beautiful. Here's an English translation of L'héautontimorouménos. [Merci Franss]

Jean-Louis Murat & Morgane - L'héautontimorouménos
Jean-Louis Murat & Morgane - L'héautontimorouménos (piano-version)

woensdag 10 oktober 2007

November 24

Mark 24 November in your agendas, book a flight or a traintrip to Amsterdam if you like - me and Natasha are plannig a big Chick Habit party in Cafe Pakhuis Wilhelmina. More news (guests, acts, etc) to follow. Also about the official Filles Sourires cd (called Filles Fragiles) that will be released that day...

dinsdag 9 oktober 2007


DJ's love Contact by Brigitte Bardot - David Holmes used it in his fantastic Essential Mix, and now German minimal-heroes Booka Shade put an edit (with added beats) in their mix for the highly regarded DJ Kicks series. If you're into electronic dance music, you cannot afford to miss this edition, it has old faves, brand new tunes and some weird but good shit (Drums, by Tubes, for example). The song written by Serge is a spacey classic, it was even used by now defunct Dutch internet provider Zonnet for an add campaign. That version was sung by former MTV Europe presenter Simone Angel (in case you're wondering: Dutchie Simone is now living in Belize), who scored a hit with it around the year the 2000 in Holland.
Most covers stay close to the original, including the bleeps and the noise, but some (take John Zorn) make it totally their own. Japanese popgeniuses Pizzicato 5 throw in some Kraftwerk for good measure.

Brigitte Bardot - Contact(Booka Shade edit)
Belinda Carlisle - Contact
Emma Peal - Contact
John Zorn - Contact
Pizzicato 5 - Contact
Godzuki - Contact
Simone Angel - Contact
Jad Wio - Contact

vrijdag 5 oktober 2007

David Hamilton

Mr. David Hamilton is photographing me
Like a pervert teacher with his languid creature
Sketching out an adolescent sexuality
Where Nature longs for Culture, Culture longs for Nature

(I changed the original picture because of copyright infringement, so the comments below by Mathilde are not referring to this bookcover).

I've been waiting for a chance to make a post on David Hamilton, the iconic 70s photographer. Above is a quote from Kahimi Karie's ode David Hamilton, which says it all, really. London-bred Hamilton made a classic lesbian movie (Bilitis, with music by Francis Lai), the best known film out of the five. He was born in 1933, is still alive and has a wonderful website devoted to him (here). It says there that "David pioneered the soft-focus style which has been imitated so often and is even known as 'the Hamilton look'. The technique gives many of his works more the appearance of an impressionist oil painting than a true-to-life crisp photographic image." That Hamilton-look is what I think of when I listen to music with that plopping bass-sound, a high pitched guitar and cheapo synths. Like Emmanuelle, Hamilton's photography and movies are quintessentially Seventies-French to me.
I just got in touch with Worm-Eaten Backdoors, a duo from Denver, Colorado who made an almost perfect track for the Hamilton-look, called Born in 1979. Close your eyes, and the film behind your eyes shows soft-focussed ballerinas almost immediatly.
'1979' always triggers that great song by Smashing Pumpkins, and that band made a lovely pastiche of a French Movie Theme from the same era. And finally there's the ode by Kahimi.

Francis Lai - Les 2 Nudités (from Bilitis OST)
Worm-Eaten Backdoors - Born in 1979
Smashing Pumpkins - French Movie Theme
Kahimi Karie - David Hamilton

donderdag 4 oktober 2007

Duvall & Point

Jacques Duvall is a hero in my book: not only did he work with big names like Alain Chamfort, The Sparks, Jane Birkin and Etienne Daho, this is the guy who co-wrote Lio's Banana Split, a Filles Sourires-classic. Last year, Duvall made a duets-album with the oh-so-lovely Elisa Point. It features very tender songs, not all sung by the both of 'em by the way. It's all very Serge & Jane when they get together, ofcourse. Elisa does one cover, Leonard Cohen's I'm Your Man en français. As you know, I love genderconfusing songs, and Elisa does a great job.

(More on Elisa Point here)

Jacques Duvall & Elisa Point - Beau comme un adieu
Jacques Duvall & Elisa Point - Automne-Hiver
Elisa Point - Je Suis Ton Homme

dinsdag 2 oktober 2007

Yelle Talks to the Hand

Fatal Bazooka feat. Yelle & Christelle - Parle à ma main

For Dutch and Belgian readers (or Yelle-fans who feel like driving): Yelle is playing Thursday October 11 in Rotown, Rotterdam. Cancelled, Yelle's supporting Mika @ Zenith, Paris. Alas.

Tight rope walkers

This post was triggered when I listened to Marianne Farouch's Le Funambule. It's a duet (with Alexis HK) from her recent debut Le Nombril du Monde, an elegant song about tight rope walking (as a metaphor, ofcourse). Then I remembered that Marie Cherrier has a song on her new album called La Funambule - I just learned that Funambule is masculin, but if the tightrope walker's a girl, you use La. Enfin.
There are a lot of songs about Funambule's, and I picked out a few, male and female. But all very, very elegant.
By the way: Marianne Farouch's album is recommended if you like lazy jazzy songs, with oriental and Brazilian twists. But she can swing too!
And look at the very sexy Marie Cherrier in the video for her new single Pas Mas Faute on her site.
Illustration stolen from here.

Marianne Farouch - Le Funambule
Marie Cherrier - La Funambule
Alifair - Funambule
Gerard Lenorman - Le Funambule
La Serpent - Funambule
Mireille Rivat - Le Funambule
Bendub - Petit Funambule