maandag 29 december 2008


A link fell into my mailbox right before Christmas - two songs from the new album by Holden were posted on their Myspace. Fifth album Fantomatisme will be released in March. If you get a little Stereolab-ish when you read that title, listen to Mia. Second title Fin d'une manche is triphop-ish thanks to the vinyl-crackle, but lacks tension. Mia, on the other hand, is an early-evening dancefloor tune. Singer Armelle Pioline also guests on the upcoming new album by Bastien Lallemant. La Plage sounds like a Filles Sourires classic to me.

Holden - Mia
Bastien Lallemant & Armelle Pioline - La plage

woensdag 24 december 2008

A Nougat Christmas

A bonus to the Christmas Project is a special track by Nougat, the Dutch guys who also made the bonustrack on Filles Fragiles 2. It's a beautiful, slow, seductive song about hope. Enjoy the holidays, thanks to everyone who read this blog, contributed, commented and linked to it. Special thanks to Franss, Maks, Wouter, Natasha, Anna Maria, Sky, Jana, Ken, Alexandre, René, André, Romke, Gilbert and Jan-Willem. Back in 2009!

Nougat - Un moment d'espoir

Brigitte Lahaie

Ssssssexy! Regular guestposter Sky blows the dust off Brigitte Lahaie:

The French adult cinema of the 70s was about carnal excess as well as about hedonism, politics, and libertinage. For a brief moment, especially in the key year 1978, movies like 'Perversion d’une jeune mariée' or 'Je suis à prendre' transcended smut and sleaze into an art form – particularly due to the spellbinding presence of the young Brigitte Lahaie who managed to fill even the lewdest scenes with a kind of radiant innocence.
Her only single, Caresse Tendresse, recorded in 1987 for the Clever label, regrettably breathes just a faint hint of that sensual poetry and magic – Brigitte’s voice clearly wasn’t her strongest physical asset, and the song itself sounds like a dancefloor collaboration between the Vu de l’extérieur-Gainsbourg and a sedated church organist. So what? As for Brigitte, it was a labor of love anyway.
Bonus: The title track from the 1980 Lahaie movie 'Secrets d’adolescentes' (a.k.a. Le Porno esperienze di Luca a Fanny), a voluptuous soundscape by the great Roberto Pregadio that was also used in Franco Prosperi’s nunploitation shocker La Settima Donna. Ethereal moaning not by Brigitte, but by the similarly magnificent Edda Dell’Orso, better known for her awesome teamworks with Ennio Morricone – the queen of wordless erotic vocals of Italian cinema.

Brigitte Lahaie - Caresse Tendresse
Roberto Pregadio/Edda Dell'Orso - Secrets d'adolescentes

Youtube has a few clips with Brigitte, see here. She's also gueststarring in this video by The London Buses.

maandag 22 december 2008

Spinshots go French

A blonde with a ponytail, a tight red dress and fiery red lips, backed by turban-and-suits-wearing guys. A winning combination if you ask me, particularly when this Amsterdam based band decides to record a sultry version of one of their songs in French. Lyrics courtesy of this well-known scenester. There's a video (below), there's a Myspace, there's site, wealth and fame should come-a knocking real soon!

Spinshots - Desirs Mutuels

Happy Birthday Vanessa!

Amy Milan

As you may recall, January will be Oh Canada-month, posting the bestest French songs from Quebec and around. Some bands make it a bit harder to spot the French gems, like Stars. (But we got Franss to spot those, bless 'm) Together with doe-eyed Amy Milan they recorded a little sad ballad - and yes, that odd buzz is intentional. This is a song about a robot, right? Song sounds a bit like Ariane Moffatt. Tips and guestposts about yer fave French-Canadian songs are welcomed.

Stars - Sad Robot

donderdag 18 december 2008

Ticketpunchers and Telegrams

Two Serge-covers, one recent and one a little older (1994). Catherine Delasalle is a French born singer who moved to Belgium in the nineties, played in several bands and made a couple of albums. This very good, very jazzy version of Poinconneur was taken from her solo-debut.
Skye shares her name with the former singer of Morcheeba, but is very different. Her version of Overseas Telegram is taken from her debut, that features only covers. Songs by Brel, Citizen Cope, Emmylou Harris, Claude Nougarro and Tracy Bonham. Not all great, but this Overseas Telegram version is okay.

Catherine Delasalle - Le Poinçonneur des Lilas (merci Janne)
Skye - Overseas Telegram

woensdag 17 december 2008

Marianne Feder

Two recent musical trends in fragile French female pop: the use of ukelele, and the influence of gipsy-jazz and balkan beats. Examples of the latter are Rupa & the April Fishes, Claire Diterzi, Carine Erseng and Marianne Feder. Marianne was featured once before on this blog (here), duetting with Alexis HK. He's returning the favour on Marianne's second album Toi Mon Indien, released in October. The balkan influences are courtesy of La Caravane Passe, a band of merry men who sing in a made up language, who play balkan-esque music with a punk attitude (not unlike Gogol Bordello) and who's album Velkom Plechti! is great for partying. They take it down a notch on Toi Mon Indien, the titletrack was choses by the Le Pop-guys, a stamp of quality for sure. Here are two other examples.

Marianne Feder - Vent d'est
Marianne Feder - Farouche

dinsdag 16 december 2008

X-mas in Q-bec

Guestpost by Natashka on French Canadian Christmas HERE.

donderdag 11 december 2008

Filles Sourires Yearlist

Here are the results of the Filles Sourires jury, thanks everyone who send a top 5. Fun facts: four albums in this top 5 are debuts; 50 percent of the top5-senders were girls; one guy put an album sung in English in his top 5, but added that is was sung with a strong French accent.

1. Coeur de Pirate - Coeur de Pirate. Your comments: 'And suddenly there she was, as could be expected from fille fragile, whispers sweet words in your ear, and the songs will stay there, they won't go away; they are forever, like a tattoo.'
'Sssht... just listen and shiver.'
'From out of nowhere it came and destroyed all corners for the title.'
'It's unbelievable beautiful and a damn shame you have to order something excellent like this in Canada.'
Coeur de Pirate - Berceuse

2. Berry - Mademoiselle. Your comments: 'Images of flaring dresses, bubbling blanquettes and sultry evenings: Berry was queen of summer with her catching songs and adorable appearance.'
'I listen to her when I’m having a bad day and she makes me smile.'
Berry - Cheri

3. Loane - Jamais Seule. Your comments: 'Dark, smouldering ballads beautifully and fragilely rendered.'
'Soft, sweet, sexy and soulful.'
Loane - Petit Bonheur

4. Marianne Dissard - L'Entredeux. Your comments: 'If Paris, Texas would have a 2009 sequel, I'd ask Marianne and the guys from Calexico for the score in stead of Ry Cooder.'
'This quote from LA Weekly says it all - If you don't fall in love with her from the moment she says hello, then you will have done by the time she finishes the first line of her first song, and if you're not melting by then, you have a swinging brick instead of a soul.'
Marianne Dissard - Les Draps Sourds

5. Claire Diterzi - Tableau de chasse. Your comments: 'Comparisons with Kate Bush and Bjork are unfair. Tableau is an original, quirky but always compelling mixture of the experimental, gothic and ethereal, with traces of World. But not necessarily this one.'
'Fabulously inventive songs by ms.Diterzi'.
Claire Diterzi - Tableau de la chasse

Honourable mentions: Barbara Carlotti - L'ideal; Maya Barsony - Femme d'exterieur, and Poney Express - Poney Express.

woensdag 10 december 2008

Christmas Project (2)

Tis the seasons, and tis the time for another Christmas project. Last year, Hektor, Adeline Moreau, A Loulia and Marianne Dissard (among others) all wrote and recorded a Christmas song especially for this blog. The Marianne Dissard track ended up on this great compilation, by the way.
This year, I asked a bunch of other FillesSourires-friends to do the same. And lucky for us, most of them gladly did. So here are six brandspanking, very exclusive French X-mas songs, most of them very sexy and seductive. To keep you warm, in many ways.

Maud Lübeck - Comptes de Noël (Myspace)
Mallory Hays - Le 25 au carillon (Myspace)
Miam Monster Miam - Noel soul l'acide (Site)
Valery Saint-Germain - D'ou viens-tu bergere (Myspace)
Manu Markou & Odile Closset - La lettre au Père Noel (Myspace)
Fredda Dastrevigne - C'est Novembre (Myspace)

Oh and by the way: Christmas A Gogo has reopened.

dinsdag 9 december 2008

Let's not forget

This Saturday, here. Come dance, come drink, come have a good time!

Nina Morato, Zoe Avril

First winner of a copy of Le Pop - Les Filles is regular visitor Anna Maria from Sweden:

Nina Morato had great success in the nineties, and represented France in the 1994 Eurovision with this strident but melodic song. She sounds tomboyish but with a feminine slant to her singing that’s very appealing. The strings are sumptuous on this track, and Morato’s vocal quirks works well. She reminded me of Mylène Farmer at the time, perhaps due to a similar pop sensibility, but I don’t know if she appeared naked in her videos. She’s continued to make music, but I’ve not heard it so the time is right to see what she might be up to now.

Nina Morato - Je suis un vrai garçon

Second winner is Sayuri, with a post on Zoe Avril:

I love the French song of Zoe Avril: On ne changera pas le monde. In the song you hear a choir of children singing before Zoe starts with her part. It is totally a song you can not get out of your head! I like to play it on the radio (I am doing radio shows) because it fits perfectly into it and it is a song you really get a good feeling of. Another point: it is that kind of song i really love to dance to. Maybe i should look for more music.

Zoe Avril - On ne changera pas le monde
(see video here)

maandag 8 december 2008

Les Valseuses

What's better than one fille fragiles? Three filles, ofcourse. Introducing Les Valseuses: Laure, Marianne and Zoé, who met over cigarettes and coffee (imagine, with the smoking ban of today they wouldn't have met) worked on songs and their voicces and released an album recently. Funny 'n sunny songs, not unlike the Puppini Sisters or Pipettes. Only French. And yes, their name is a reference to one of the best French movies ever. Most songs on the Valseuses album sound pretty innocent, but they sex things up véry much on Lascive. Aah la la indeed. (Merci Franss)

Les valseuses - Lascive

zaterdag 6 december 2008

Monsieur Mono plus Ariane Moffatt

You still have a few days to send (guuzbourg(a) your Top 5 French Female Album List of 2008. A lot of you counted Ariane Moffatt's Tous les sens as one of their faves. An album I kind of forget - maybe because I still have to get used to her new electropopways. I rather hear sweet Ariane in a more gentle, fluffy environment. Like in this duet with fellow Quebec-native Monsieur Mono. It was taken from his second album, released earlier this year, and the slow, brooding mood suits both voices really well.
Because of all the great Canadian/Quebecoise music I got to know this year, from Coeur de Pirate to Amylie, I will post the best music from female French Canadian artists in January - Oh Canada-month. Tips and guestposts are, as always, welcomed.

Monsieur Mono & Ariane Moffatt - Comme en temps de guerre

donderdag 4 december 2008

Tricot Machine

Canadian duo Tricot Machine (best known for their hit L'Ours) made an EP with Christmas songs, and perform their view on the festivities during a theater concert. Should you bring stockings? See video here.
And remember, in a few days I present the new Filles Sourires Christmas Project.

Tricot Machine - Combien de Noel?

In other news: Nine Words made a very good mix of Sighing Songs, ranging from Carla Bruni to Tom Waits and Tricky.

English interview with Coeur de Pirate HERE.

Melanie Pain

When it comes to compiling French music, I bow down to Rolf and Oliver of Le Pop. This Cologne-based duo are the OG's when it comes to bringing the nouvelle vague to the people, with their versatile, handpicked and carefully annoted comps. The newest edition was just released: Le Pop - Les Filles. Now, some have suggested that Le Pop stole the Filles Fragiles concept, which ofcourse is nonsense. In fact, this Le Pop edition is a protest album! From the introduction: 'Whilst reading articles and record reviews about female French musicians and singers, we recently came across a strange phenomenon: and ever increasing number of articles included remarks like "...a pleasant exception considering your usual cliched female French Chanteuse..." In the face of allt these pleasant exceptions, one might start to worry about a whole genre evaporating into thin air! (...) Well, you needn't worry, all is well in French female pop, als Le Pop Les Filles clearly demonstrates.'
True! LPLF gives shelter to FS-faves like Coralie Clement, Loane, Marianne Dissard and Jeanne Cherhal. Introduces new names like Julie B. Bonnie and Doris Park, AND has a brandspanking new song by the ultralovely Melanie Pain! Yes, her album will be released next year. And if it sounds as good as the stuff released (via Le Pop) so far, it's a hit.

UPDATE: Thanks to Le Pop, I can give away THREE copies of the new Les Filles compilation! You know what to do: send me a guestpost of at least 100 words on any of your favourite French songs (sung by a girl, ofcourse). Guuzbourg(a)

Melanie Pain - Celle de mes 20 ans

Marie Audigier

Christophe from Bruxelles, who 'won' the Marina Celeste-cd, send me two songs by Marie Audigier. 'She has become quite obscure now', he writes. You don't say - there's very little I can find about her. These songs stem from beginning of the 90's. Rève un peu à moi is a Mama Cass cover, Dans la brume du Matin a Joe Dassin Cover. ' Een zuchtmeisje to rediscover !', Christophe adds. Damn right! What a great off-key voice! And the production of these songs is great as well. Who knows more about Marie? And who has her Crepuscule-album Ces Etes?

Marie Audigier - Reve un peu a moi
Marie Audigier - Dans la brume du Matin

woensdag 3 december 2008

Emily Loizeau

Songs in which the singer (or someone else) whistles are an acquired taste. Most of the time, it's a cheap gimmick, that drives me mad (example). Sometimes, it fits (example). Sweet Emily Loizeau has made a jazzy folky song (part French, part English), for her upcoming new album Le Pays Sauvage, that shows that yes, you can make whistling add to the summer's day atmosphere. Looking forward to that album (in February) very, very much. But please, don't whistle too much.

Emily Loizeau - Sister

maandag 1 december 2008

Les enfants d'Gainsbourg

Probably one of the most surreal 'tributes' to Serge is this clip, filmed at the end of the eighties, start of the nineties. In a French tv-show, a bunch of kids dressed up as Serge, sing a parody of Je suis venue te dire que je m'en vais.

Serge looks like he's very touched by all this, but my drawing friend Hanco K. thinks that at that point, Serge was well aware of the parody he'd become: a man remembered for his drinking, smoking and stubble. Thát is what he's crying about.
Today I found an even more unsettling tribute to SG by kids. Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint Marc sing on their new album Le poinconneur des Lilas - a song about a ticketpuncher in the subway, and who gets so fed up by his job that he put a big hole in his head.
Unsettling, that's the word. Not the first time that a children's choir sang a Serge-song, Belgian Scala sang Marilou sous la neige. Odd choice too, but less unsettling than this version. French horror-directors might put it to good use, though.

Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint Marc - Le poinconneur des Lilas

X-mas: Maryse Letarte

December's here, and while we in Holland still have to celebrate Sinterklaas, we're also making preparations for Christmas. Later this month, I will post a couple of brandspanking, very exclusive x-mas songs that were especially recorded for this blog (just like last year), by artists like Maud Lübeck, Mallory Hays and Frederique Dastrevigne. To kick off the dark days before Christmas, here's a song from Quebecs Maryse Letarte's album Des pas dans la neige, featuring folky christmassongs. Mostly in French, one in English, and a few instrumental soundtracks. Love her melancholy-filled voice.(Merci Franss)

Maryse Letarte - Entre Noel et le jour de l'an

Bahama Soul Club vs Isabelle Antena

I never learned to play an instrument, but if I could, I'd play either the percussion or the bass in a band like Bahama Soul Club. This German outfit plays a mix of bossanova, latin and jazz, with the sole purpose to make the audience move their asses. BHS uses various guestvocalists, like Pat Appleton from De-Phazz, but also the superlovely Isabelle Antena - one of the oz's (original zuchtmeisjes). A Bout de Souffle is a very danceable song, referring ofcourse to the Godard movie, and features a lot sighing. Great!

Bahama Soul Club feat. Isabelle Antena - A Bout de Souffle

vrijdag 28 november 2008

Quick giveaway

L'Entredeux by Marianne Dissard, Azul by Helena (Noguerra) and Cinema Enchantée by Marina Celeste (all promo-versions). Want one? Mail me (guuzbourg(a) and get one free!

all are given away.

donderdag 27 november 2008

Gainsbourg update

As said before, Gainsbourg is like God: he's everywhere. Every month, there are new remixes, new covers, new expo's, a movie, etc. On the new, very versatile Le Tour compilation (part 4) by Thomas Bohnet you find Minimatic's Chez Les Ye-Ye's remix, only this time with slightly different (not Serge's) vocals. Still, a dancefloor stormer. Plus a cover of Initials BB, renamed Initials SG, done by Mademoiselle Olivier. A duo who like Serge, comics, James Bond, punk and Alain Chamfort. Nice combo.
Sky send me a fantastic version of Sea, Sex and Sun by Japanese cultstar Mari Natsuki. Seven gorgeous minutes long.
Scanning the blogs I found several remixes, two by Serge songs and a good update of The Operation by Charlotte. Put your dancing shoes on!

Mademoiselle Olivier - Initials SG
Mari Natsuki - Sea, Sex and Sun
Serge & Jane - Je t'aime moi non plus (DJ Apt One edit)
Charlotte Gainsbourg - The Operation (25 hours a day remix)
Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot - Bonnie & Clyde (DJ Apt One edit)

My Brightest Diamond does Piaf (again)

Told you about My Brightest Diamond before, and the EP with the two Piaf-covers that was to be released. Well, it has been released, and turns out there's only one French song on it. The other Piaf-cover, Hymn a l'amour, is in English. So here's Adieu mon coeur (gorgeous version) and from this post, that Padam Padam cover again. See original versions here and here.

My Brightest Diamond - Adieu mon coeur
My Brightest Diamond - Padam padam

maandag 24 november 2008

Carine Erseng

The story of Carine Erseng starts off pretty standard. She writes songs from a young age, tried her luck in the cafés around St Germain des Pres and played several cabarets. Little by little, she grew more famous. The stages got bigger, her first 'autoproduit' album sold well, and then she bumped into the right person. Who let her play the world famous Olympia, home of Brel, of Piaf, of so many big names. And then she kept bumping into the right people: Michel Boulanger, who worked with Jacques Dutronc, is now her manager. She met with Alain Cluzeau, who worked with Vincent Delerm and Olivia Ruiz. And she formed a great band. Her album La Vitesse Superieure has cabaret-influences, a strong gitane-vibe (Sanseverino is a good reference) and a nostalgic chanson-ending. Retro, yes, but fresh too. Plus, I have a thing for girls with black hair and fiery red lipstick.

Carine Erseng - Les playmates (video)
Carine Erseng - Tu crois que je cours (video)


I want to make a list of our favourite French albums by filles - so please send your Top Five of albums released by French singing girls, released in 2008, to guuzbourg(a) And please, add a short motivation. Deadline is December 10, after that I will count everyting and publish the Filles Sourires Top Album List 2008.

To give you some inspiration, here's my top 5:
1. Coeur de Pirate - Coeur de Pirate. Young Beatrice from Montreal made an astonishing debut-album, highly emotional as young girls can get, but musically very mature. No matter at what hour I play this, it forces me to listen very closely. Aurgasm still has two mp3s.
2. Berry - Mademoiselle. And there she was, all of a sudden. The girl with the smile in her voice, and the urge to put world-music influences in her great songs. My favourite late-summer-evening record.
3. Francoiz Breut - A L'Avleuglette. Post-rock with a fragile twist. Live, during the Filles Fragiles night in Leiden, Francoiz and Boris were absolutely gorgeous.
4. Marianne Dissard - L'Entredeux. Joey and John from Calexico: merci bien. Thanks for mixing desert rock and mariachi trumpets, thanks for including husky female singers and thanks for inspiring Marianne Dissard (and playing on her record).
5. Loane - Jamais seule. Hotlipped girls sings tender ballads and country-ish uptempo pop songs. One to watch.

zaterdag 22 november 2008

Charlotte, Julien, Francis

In addition to the very good Charlotte Gainsbourg news (below), I post this song I recently found. It's Manu by Renaud, sung by Julien Clerc, Charlotte and Francis Cabrel. They did it for the Night of the Proms-ish Les Enfoirés in 2001. Charlotte sounds very much like a young Jane B in this song. Francis Cabrel turns 55 tomorrow (Nov 23), congrats!

Cabrel, Clerc, Gainsbourg - Manu (live)

donderdag 20 november 2008

Emma Daumas

The first time I posted a song by 'manufactured rebel' Emma Daumas, me and Em didn't get a lot of love. At the time (and maybe still) Emma was considered to be some kind of Avril Lavigne. Could be true, but I still like Ailleurs. And I very much like J'suis Conne, the first single from her new album Le Chemin de la Maison. Making a lot of Making Of's for the video might be pushing it a little, the good thing is that she (or her producers) decided to leave the big rocking guitar on the studio floor, and keep this album a lighthearded, acoustic-ish affair. Sunny songs, bit in the vein of Feist, Simone White and the new Anais album. Although Anais is a way better songwriter. That said, Le Chemin contains a couple of solid songs, and is worthy of your love. Really.

Emma Daumas - J'suis conne

Nice to know

Beck has revealed that he is working with actress Charlotte Gainsbourg on her forthcoming album. Beck said that he has been collaborating with the French star in Los Angeles and in her native France on the follow-up to 2006's '5:55'.
"I was supposed to work on her last album but I couldn't get over there," Beck said on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. "Now I'm working on her follow-up record."
Beck's father, David Campbell, was responsible for the string arrangements on 5:55. Gainsbourg also collaborated with Jarvis Cocker, Air and The Divine Comedy on the album. [Via]

See Beck sing with Jane Birkin here.
Hear Beck sample Serge here.

In other news: find a Swedish review for Filles Fragiles 2 here


First, there was a duo called DobaCaracol, best known for this hit. Then there was just Carole Facale, aka Caracol (Doba went away for reasons unclear to me), who shares her name with a tango giant (see?), a snail, and a mayan city. Not easy to find her. Unless, ofcourse, you visit this blog and find this link to her Myspace. And her site. And to a song (below), about the most famous Dutch spy, Margaretha Zelle aka Mata Hari. Caracol's album L'arbre aux parfums is a folky affair, with reggae touches and mostly French songs. And although the lyrics are sometimes about the dark side of human beings, I get in a good mood when listening to it.

Caracol - Celle que les hommes pleurent

Anybody out there?

There's something happening here, and what it is ain't exactly clear, to cite a famous popsong. I see a decline in visitors (to zero per day), and it's hard to get on the blog. Please holler if you're still visiting!

woensdag 19 november 2008

maandag 17 november 2008

Eleni Mandell

A cross between Hoagy Carmichael and Leonard Cohen; or small, strong coffee with cream and one lump of sugar; or filet mignon and mashed potatoes. Interested? This description is taken from Eleni Mandell's Myspace, and especially the coffee-comparison works for me. Until Natasha told me about Eleni, I'd never heard of her. Turns out she's made several albums, and what I heard so far she has a fine, bit lazy sounding voice and makes well-crafted music. Madeline Peyroux is a good reference. Apparently, she did a punky version of the standard I Love Paris for a burger restaurant. Dis moi au revoir encore is her first French recording, and was released on a vinyl 7" (yay!), backed by another French song. To hear and/or buy that, you have to go here. Hopefully, Eleni will sing some more en français.

Eleni Mandell - Dis moi au revoir encore

New Coralie Clement video

In ander nieuws: Nederlandse en Belgische bezoekers kunnen Filles Fragiles 2 voor 9,99 euro bestellen via Zester (geen verzendkosten!).

zondag 16 november 2008

Filles Fragiles Night #2

It's Sunday evening now, and me & mrs Guuzbourg are beat. Mrs Guuzbourg said: it feels like it's Ash Wednesday. If you have ever celebrated carnaval in Maastricht, you know what that's like. The Filles Fragiles tour (Amsterdam, Leiden, small reprise in Maastricht) was a magnificent experience, with fantastic music, beautiful musicians and a very appreciative audience. Thanks to everyone who contributed. I have a lot of ideas for next year, keep watching this space.

This picture from Francoiz (by Rob) brings back great memories of a brilliant performance. See more pictures and videos here.

zaterdag 15 november 2008

Filles Fragiles Night # 1 (slight return)

Maks wrote a review of the FF Night in Sugar Factory (below).The drawing was made by Henk.

Back in 1963 Nico (Velvet Underground) recorded a brilliant track for a movie called 'Strip-Tease'. The song was written by Serge Gainsbourg.
When entering the Sugar Factory yesterday to be part of the first Filles Fragiles night, it felt as walking into that particular movie as I saw the lady at the stage. A stunning blond beauty, very high-heeled in a tight black dress made her moves: Vanessa Contenay-Quinones, pleased to meet you.
Very well aware of her own appearance she served a pretty tasteful cocktail of seduction, coolness and temptation. Musically with obvious links to the earlier mentioned Velvet Underground and yéyé, but still very authentic and exciting as Vanessa's seductive voice takes you anywhere she wants you to go.

Hardly back on earth and recovered from miss Contenay-Quinones, Iris - leadsinger of Peppermoon - walked up the stage. The girl the words 'fille fragile' seem to be invented for performed a most charming show with her band including beautiful versions of 'Les Petits Miroirs' and 'Nos Ballades'. Although the concert tended to be a little bit too well-behaved, the boys and girl from Paris convinced me with their charme and ability of writing little pearls of songs. In fact the only things that were missing, were feathered wings on the back of angel Iris' remarkable white dress.

Just before they got off the stage, Peppermoons keyboardplayer surprised the audience by announcing someone who wasn't at the bill originally: Erica Buettner. As I understood well she was there with Peppermoon because of her interference with the production of Peppermoons forthcoming album. So why don't play a few songs then?
Buettner conducted herself on acoustic guitar and did three songs. A marvellous version of Marie Laforets 'C'est Julien' to start off with, followed by a cover of Françoise Hardy's La Question. She ended with a song of her own called - how appropriate - 'The Most Fragile Thing'. Buettner did very well, sober but intense. A really fine surprise, although the best was yet to come.

Françoiz Breut, her guitar-player and record player treated the audience with an outstanding performance. The cute freckled fille fragile Breut performed very naturally and played quite some tracks from her forthcoming album 'A L'aveuglette', which - according to her show yesterday - undeniably must become one hell of an album! Her delicate way of singing combined with the non-traditional songs made it a really good experience and amusing to look at as she had to turn on another old 33" record. Breut manages to join skills, passion and talent in her songs and - not unimportant - there were loads of desirable sighs. Let's hope she'll be back for another show as her new album is released. Not to be missed!

A very successfull first FF night in my opinion. There were times I went home in a lesser good mood, to use an understatement.
And yes, I had sweet dreams. Thank you.

vrijdag 14 november 2008

Filles Fragiles Night # 1

Last night, when I was about to leave the Sugar Factory, a girl came up to me and said: I want to give you a hug for making this all possible. That was a perfect ending to a perfect night. The tv-show, meeting the supersweet living legend Liesbeth List, the performance skills of Ronald Giphart, that alone was overwhelming. After the tv-show, we all jumped in taxi's to get to Sugar Factory, and to kick off the first of two Filles Fragiles night. Incredible performances: the modern retro-sound of the gorgeous Vanessa Contenay-Quinones, the romantic fairytales of Peppermoon, the very fragile, very intense Erica Buettner (lump in my throat when she played C'est Julien), and the magical soundscapes of Francoiz Breut. No gimmicks, no novelties, just great music. And the best part: today we're doing it again in Leiden! Peppermoon & Erica will also play Maastricht.

This morning, I did the first of my weekly Zuchtmeisje van de week-columns at KX Radio with Jeroen Soer. He played a brandnew track by Vanessa C-Q, whom I described in Dutch daily Het Parool as a gifted with a voice like liquid sugar, an encyclopedic knowledge and a hot chick too. Jeroen wants a doorposter of V. I'll see what I can do!

Vanessa Contenay-Quinones - Pour Quoi Pas

Picture of V taken yesterday by dj Natashka. See more pics here.

woensdag 12 november 2008

King of all media

So, tomorrow I'm doing DWDD (with this guy and this dame), and after that it's off to Sugar Factory for the first edition of Filles Fragiles Live. On Friday we're doing it again in Leiden, but in the morning I will do my first Zuchtmeisje van de Week-column for KX Radio (more on that later). And on Saturday, it's Maastricht.
If I don't see you there, I might see you here:

Adamo & Loane, Olive & Lux

When it rains, it pours: a whole bunch of brandspanking new cd's came my way (thanks Franss); I will share the best songs in the upcoming days. An album I was looking forward to is Le bal des gens biens by Adamo, featuring duets with the dog's bollocks of French pop & rock. Julien Doré, Juliette, Laurent Voulzy (goosebumps when they sing Tombe la Neige), Olivia Ruiz (yes, that song), and lovelies Jeanne Cherhal and Loane. What I've heard so far, out of every chanson speaks a lot of love and respeect for the très sympathique Salvatore, and rightly so.

Adamo & Loane - Amour Perdu

Also real nice is the debut by Olive & moi on the Tot ou Tard label (Delerm, Cherhal, Fersen). His album is getting good reviews, two songs feature Liz de Lux (Benedicte Bourlier). Well-crafted songs, gentle atmosphere. Video here.

Olive et moi - Ile ou elle
Olive et moi - L'Ascenseur

maandag 10 november 2008

Sandra vs Georges

Georges Brassens is one of the greatest French songwriters ever, but unlike Serge Gainsbourg, not many youngsters seemed to acknowledge that. Until now, that is. We already had young Belgians Suarez do a GB-cover on their debut, and now Sandra Nkake is paying tribute to the pipe-smoking master. On her new album Mansaadi she does a very Camille-like version of La Mauvaise Reputation. Her album features one other French song, that is also very much about vocal power. Sandra is best known for her wonderful smokey-jazzy performances on the still brilliant Ollano-album (written & produced by Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux). A funny thing: when I was in Paris to interview Collin, we ran into Sandra who was sitting outside the cafe and who'd just picked up her new album from the label. I reminded her that she once left a comment on this blog. She may do that again now...

Sandra Nkake - La Mauvaise Reputation
Georges Brassens - La Mauvaise Reputation

vrijdag 7 november 2008

FF in Time Out

Click to enlarge:

And don't forget, Peppermoon + Erica Buettner are playing the Maastricht Pesthuys on Saturday November 15, with yours truly dj-ing. Details here.

donderdag 6 november 2008

Anne Pigalle

'A unique, unknown voice, another left turn in an already surreal variety act, getting the best sutdio and production in the world, and all the world as a stage. Once described als if Edith Piaf walked in to the Star Wars bar at Mos Eisley spaceport, Pigalle left ZTT after her first album, headed to LA to work in film, and lives and works in London as a singer, performer and an artist.' This mini-bio was taken from the booklet by the just-released Zang Tumb Tuum Box Set (3cd's, 1 dvd) compiling the legacy of the label that brought us Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Propaganda, Seal, 808State and Art of Noise. And Anne Pigalle, a name that rang a very small bell when she was first mentioned during an interview I had with Stephen Emmer. I checked out several recordings, the nicest being the part French/part English Why does it have to be this way?, released in 1985. See a very 80s video here.

Anne Pigalle - Why Does It Have to be This Way?

Gainsbourg film, cd review

Not everyone is looking forward to the upcoming Gainsbourg-biopic. This Guardian-columnist has a few points, but let's judge until we've actually seen it, aiight?

I am very happy with this ****-review of Filles Fragiles in Dutch daily Het Parool, written by Peter van Brummelen. See right, click to enlarge.


Does anyone in France know that a guy who calls himself DJ Guuzbourg is doing for the promotion of French pop in Holland? About time that some French bigshot offers him a big medal at the Amsterdam Maison Descartes for his good work.
Guuzbourg is the one who introduced us to 'zuchtmeisjes', typical French female singers who sigh in a seductive way, but who also whisper beautifully, moan and groan. American singers belt, their French couterparts are keeping it small. The erotic effects are grand.
On Filles Fragiles #2, Guuzbourg let's us indulge in his harem featuring Vanessa Paradis, Carla Bruni (yep, that one), that we 'cheeseheads' know too. The rest is fairly unknown, but sound just as good.
FF#1 learned us that 'zuchtmeisjes' can come from everywhere, not just France. Even in the Dutch polder you'll find some. For instance, Amsterdam's own Leine is joining her French nieces, but the real surprise is L'Anamour from a 1970 album by Liesbeth List. Guuzbourg found this gem on a German vinyl album, and it sounds like it was produced by Gainsbourg himself.

Wouter, Eugene and Mordi were also very, very kind.
And whaddabout this review from Dutch daily Algemeen Dagblad (on the left) ?

woensdag 5 november 2008


A look at the cover again: yes, this must be the same Anais who rocked her audiences with Mon Coeur, Mon Amour. Who parodied Carla Bruni. But The Love Album is something else. Softer, sweeter, more girlie. Produced by Dan the Automator, and with help from American musicians, the music has some latin and Caribbean accents. The atmosphere is more in the vein of the first Camille album. Great songs, very good album. One of the highlights of this year.

Anais - Si J'avais Su Que Notre Amour

dinsdag 4 november 2008

Lola Dutronic

Out now: In Berlin, the new (third) album by Lola Dutronic. And the first album of new singer Lola Dee, who is from Berlin. Richard Citroen (the Canadian half of LD) is ofcourse still on board. Lola has a dreamy, super-husky voice that is excellent for the seductive, danceable music of Lola Dutronic. It was recorded in Berlin apartments, and some tracks feature Mike Garson on piano - the guy who plays the piano-solo on Bowie's Alladin Sane. He's also behind the keys on this LD track.

Lola Dutronic - Au Revoir

maandag 3 november 2008

The Lovers

Everytime I see Marion from The Lovers, I go weak in the knees. Fortunately, I saw her a couple of times the last year, and she was always wearing a very sex red corset. Ofcourse I know she's happy with Fred de Fred (as I am very happy with my own fille fragile), but still. What a woman. And what a band - all of you who did not turn up a few weeks ago for the concert in Amsterdam, you missed one heck of a show. This picture on the right (by Igor F) says it all. Marion is posing wearing nothing more then stockings and a girdle on the cover of the new Lovers-cd, Pardon My French. It features the funny, cheeky songs we all know and love, plus the gorgeous ballade Reverie de Lolita, also featured on Filles Fragiles 2. Near the end they do a very sultry version of a song by The Cure. It reminds me of Nouvelle Vague, only steamier.

The Lovers - The Lovecats
the Cure - The Lovecats

Vanessa Philippe

Idea for a new mix: only tracks by singers named Vanessa. Like Vanessa Paradis, Vanessa Contenay-Quinones, Vanessa Chassaigne. And Vanessa Philippe. Discovered by Maks, this very hotlipped beauty entered a couple of talent shows, had tracks on several comps and now releases an album: La Derive. She likes rock, folk and ballads, and has a very soothing, pleasant voice. See a shaky video of the track below here. Other videos here.

Vanessa Philippe - Hirondelles

vrijdag 31 oktober 2008

All Souls Day/Dia de los Muertos

It's All Souls Day tomorrow (Nov 2), so here are the winners of the Funeral Music competition. Five winners are picked, the best entry was by Enrique. Read his story below, the others are here.

Somehow I have to admit that it's kind of strange for me to think about the music at my funeral, since I won't be able to live the experience (I just thought before about donating my organs). Perhaps I would prefer to leave that decision to the people still alive, so that they can play whatever suits them better. But well, I felt challenged by the question, and as I remembered Ángel Pantoja's funeral, I tried to imagine myself kind of dead... so here I am.

Now, because you refered to the Día de muertos and maybe also because I'm Mexican, I came out with something in Spanish. Rebekah del Rio's cover of Cryin' (Llorando in Spanish) fits not only a David-Lynch-film, but would also suit a funeral, specially if it takes place on the Día de muertos. Rebekah's cover is far more sad than Roy Orbison's original song. And the (a capella) opera-style of her cover makes it even simpler, which would be the perfect counterpoint for the exuberant and bursting Día de muertos or a traditional Mexican funeral.

And out of the blue (the association was due to your reference to accordeon, the instrument played by Julieta Venegas) I thought it would also be nice to have a song called Ilusión and indeed this very version with featuring Marisa Monte .

Marisa Montes was part of Tribalistas. The name Tribalista comes from "tribe", because the people of the band were concerned with the individualism of nowadays. Is there anything more individualistic than death besides birth? No way. And still, for the rest of people still alive, it signifies a moment of strong cohesion. It's kind of a vital oxymoron.

If you listen to this song thinking about "life" as the gone "illusion" which is meant, then it makes perfect sense within a funeral. Also, the strings and flutes of this version share the very melancholy of the Portuguese language (at least for us, no native speakers).

Mais oui! Julieta Venegas is one of those girls who makes you sigh. It seems to me that she looks a little bit between Alizée and Melissa Mars.

¡Feliz día de muertos! À plus!

Rebekah del Rio - Llorando
Julieta Vengas & Marisa Monte - Ilusión

NYT goes French

Beautiful pictures of Carla Bruni, Benjamin Biolay, Vincent Cassel, Eva Green and other Frenchies in the New York Times. (Thanks Taylor)

Luisteraars van het zeer aanbevelenswaardige Radio6-programma The Beat kunnen een gratis Filles Fragiles 2-exemplaar winnen (kan ook als u stiekum niet luistert). Klik hier voor de details.

donderdag 30 oktober 2008

Valérie Lagrange

When listening to Liesbeth (below) I remembered that I brought the first Valérie Lagrange album from my last trip to Paris. Liesbeth's and Val's voice are quite similar, that's how. And their career started in the same decade (the sixties, ofcourse). Lagrange was a singing actress, she made six albums and about 25 films. Moitie Ange, Moitie Bête was released in 1966 and sported songs written by Pierre Barouh and Francis Lai, Valérie herself and Serge Gainsbourg. The latter offered La Guerilla, certainly not one of the highlights in his songwriting career, but a fun song nevertheless. Moitie Ange was re-released this year in a gimmick-y papersleeve.

Valerie Lagrange - Guerilla

Liesbeth List

Like I say in the booklet for Filles Fragiles 2: Liesbeth List is not a certified zuchtmeisje, but she sure is the godmother of every Dutch fille who sings in French. Nowadays, Liesbeth is in the theaters with her highly praised Piaf-musical, but she started her career duetting with...Serge Gainsbourg. Heard that very interesting story yesterday from Sylvester. Finally there's proof that SG performed in Holland in the early sixties. Actually, the tapes from that show were lost, because something went wrong technically so the show was never broadcasted. Still, there was a review in a Dutch newspaper (have to look that up one day), and that was read by Ramses Shaffy. This Dutch giant remembered the young singer, contacted her via the newspaper and the rest is Dutch music history, because Liesbeth and Ramses formed a legendary duo. Liesbeth also sang a lot of (translated) Brel songs, approved by Jacques himself.
Sylvester told me that Liesbeth sang more Gainsbourg-covers than L'Anamour (for the first time on cd, on Filles Fragiles 2) and Sous le Soleil Exactement. Turns out she did a absolutely brilliant, superfunky German version of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, and a stunning live(-ish) version of Sous le Soleil. I do hope Liesbeth will come to the Filles Fragiles theater-show in Amsterdam (Nov 13), keep you posted on that.
UPDATE: yes, she's coming to the show!

Liesbeth List - Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
Liesbeth List - Sous le Soleil Exactement

woensdag 29 oktober 2008

Carla & Sarko to the Netherlands, reviews and more

Just heard from a reliable source: Carla and Sarko are coming to Holland, next April! That means, I guess, they will come to Amsterdam too. I know Carla's been to AMS a few times, when I interviewed her she asked me if I knew a friend of hers. 'course I didn't. But it might be a good idea to get in touch, hmmm. Here a link to the Julien Dore-Carl Bruni duet that was offline for some time.

In other news: the (Dutch) reviews for Filles Fragiles keep on a-coming. Volkskrant (4 stars!), File Under and Subjectivisten, for example. Got more? Lemme know. and are selling Filles Fragiles 2!!

dinsdag 28 oktober 2008

Gainsbourg film

Laetitia Casta will play Brigitte Bardot in the upcoming film about Gainsbourg! See The Playlist for more details.

maandag 27 oktober 2008

Three new tracks

'Un Tacle De Patrick Vieira N'est Pas Une Truite En Chocolat'. There's only one French singer who can come up with such a songtitle, and that's Vincent Delerm. The lazy-voiced singer disappointed with his cover-collection Favourite Songs, but is back with a vengeance with a couple of beautifully arranged tracks on his new cd Quinze Chansons. I have little info on the album (French bio here), so my guess on who sings the female part on Et François De Roubaix Dans Le Dos is as good as yours (Jeanne Cherhal?). More on Francois de Roubaix here.

Vincent Delerm - Et Francois de Roubaix dans le dos

Is it safe to call La Vie d'Aline the French answer to The Indigo Girls? Don't know about their sexual preferences, but the music of Brigitte and Sophie is very much in tune with their overseas collegues: folky, country-ish, tender. A tip for FS-readers who like their performers a bit grown-up.

La Vie d'Aline - Comme il fait doux

A few posts back I told you about Angel Corpus Christi; Zaza Fournier is a French singer who also likes to add a lot of accordion to her songs, 'cause it's a fun, sexy and strong instrument. She is not afraid to sound kitsch-y, which is a big plus. A fan of Edith P. and Elvis P., she reminds me at times of Elli Medeiros. Must be great to see here live, in a velvet-lined cabaret. See video here.

Zaza Fournier - La vie a deux

New Berry video

Berry - Demain

zondag 26 oktober 2008

Gainsbourg expo and other handy links

The Independent writes about the Gainsbourg expo in Paris. HERE

Plus: today in Dutch free newspaper De Pers, a big article on me, and Filles Fragiles. HERE

A damn fine Filles Fragiles 2-review from Eugene HERE

donderdag 23 oktober 2008

woensdag 22 oktober 2008

Mareva & Rufus

A match made in heaven: former Miss France and ukelele-promotor Mareva Galanter duets with Rufus Wainwright on a song that is called Serge et Jane. It's from Mareva's new album Happy Fiu, which she made with Britrockband Little Barrie. The Brits are playing on this song too, and they certainly get the SG-spirit.
The song has lines like 'Je vais marcher rue de Verneuil/Les murs sont couverts d'ecritures/La tes fans se disent no future/et moi je suis la sur le seuil' - very recognisable for anyone's who's been to Rue de Verneuil. When Mareva sings in English, I reach for the skip button, but that's only 3 times. The rest is great.

Mareva Galanter & Rufus Wainwright - Serge et Jane

Bringing sexy back

When I long for some deep digging into obscure, sexy music, I turn to Sky. He never dissapoints, as you can tell from this fantasic guestpost on Ralfi Pagan and Sylvia Robinson:

In the so-called 1972 porn classic 'Deep Throat', a notably sleazoid threesome featuring Dolly Sharp, Jack Byron and Jack Birch is scored with a delirious funk/soul track titled 'Love is Strange' The original version was recorded in 1957 by r&b duo Mickey & Sylvia – i.e. Mickey Baker, the hottest session guitarist of his time, who eventually bought a ticket to France and never came back, and Sylvia Robinson, who at least went temporarily to the Paris of her mind.

In 1973, she recorded a cover of Serge & Jane’s 'Je t’aime', released on the aptly named Vibration label, transferring Gainsbourg’s spirit to the sultry mood of Spanish language moanings. Her partner in cooing was salsa singer Ralfi Pagan, who provided the Latin lover feel, while Sylvia seemed to practice for her smash hit of the same year, 'Pillow Talk', a premier bedroom anthem foreshadowing Donna Summer’s disco orgasms. In short: 'Soul Je t’aime' wasn’t perfect, but a sexy mother of a song.

Jack Birch, the stud from 'Deep Throat', became father of Hollywood star Thora Birch (American Beauty). Ralfi Pagan was murdered during a tour in Colombia, while Sylvia founded Sugarhill Records in the early 80s, becoming the mastermind behind seminal pre-hiphop outings like the Sugarhill Gang’s 'Rapper’s Delight': She even played bass on the recording.

Mickey Baker - Parisian Holiday
Mickey & Sylvia - Love is Strange
Deep Throat version of 'Love is Strange' (should be ok now)
Ralfi Pagan & Sylvia Robinson - Soul Je t’aime
Sylvia Robinson - Pillow Talk

Marianne Dissard video

What were Marianne Dissard, Dominique A, Katerine, a lot of other people and a very sexy couple doing in a hotelroom? Click to play.

dinsdag 21 oktober 2008

It's here! (2)

Just like he did last year, Stijn presents Filles Fragiles 2 and it's just his taste! Like the Dutch expression goes, I'm as proud as a monkey with seven dicks. Props to Pierre (again) for the coverdesign, props to the Essential Peters for all their hard work on licensing and mastering, props to the artists, props to me for compiling a great album.
Great news for all the American readers - both Filles Fragiles 1 and 2 can be ordered via Belgian readers go here, or here. Dutchies go here. As soon as Amazon(.de, .fr., .com, etc.) lists it, I will let y'all know.