vrijdag 29 februari 2008


So, the Dutch show (March 6, Amstelveen) of Marina Celeste has been cancelled. For reasons unbeknownst, but there will be a retry after summer. It might have something to do with Marina's new project. In English. But wait: on her Myspace is one French song too: a translation of Shivers down my spine. Exactly the feeling I got when I saw the video above - how I adore that teasing little smile of Marina, that look-but-don't-touch-curl. As far as I know, her Through the Looking Glass EP has not been signed, and I'm not sure our hero Marc Collin is involved (UPDATE: Marina writes: "The tracks are produced by Peter Morris"), but Marina has definitely said adieu to Nouvelle Vague. So welcome Marina UK!

Marina Celeste - Under My Skin
Marina Celeste - Shivers down my spine (French version)

SOM has a great acoustic cover by the lovely Berry.

donderdag 28 februari 2008

Chez les ye-ye's

Ok, drop what you're doing. Download the Minimatic remix of Serge's Chez Les Yé-Yé's. In the meantime, move all furniture to the side. Put on your dancing shoes. Turn op the volume. No, louder than that. Grab your partner. Ready? Press play. You hear that? The word you're looking for is: ecstatic. That's what I felt when I heard Mini's remix for the first time. And I'm still feeling it, ten plays on. Yes, it is B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T. Minimatic, what a stylish hero!

For good measure, here's also the original, a cover by Etienne Daho and one by the Cafe Accordion Orchestra. Plus, ofcourse, how could I forget, the version by ms April March.

Serge Gainsbourg - Chez Les Yé-Yé's (Minimatic remix)
Serge Gainsbourg - Chez Les Yé-Yé's
Etienne Daho - Chez Les Yé-Yé's
Cafe Accordion Orchestra - Chez Les Yé-Yé's
April March - Chez Les Yé-Yé's

woensdag 27 februari 2008

Isis vs Serge

There's only one way to cover Serge's Love on the Beat: upping the racey factor. Isis, consisting of Czech-born Hana and German Antje (and producer Jerome Badini) are doing just that. It's not better, but you definitely get some Eyes Wide Shut-like scenes in your mind when listening. Or six million volts in your, ehm, pylon?

Isis - Love on the Beat
Serge Gainsbourg - Love on the Beat

dinsdag 26 februari 2008


Aurelie Nguyen, aka Little, is a great admirer of Britney Spears. I guess that's the pop princess Britney, not the crazy, drunk, papparazzi-bumping mother-from-hell Britney. Little is Aurelie's nickname for a long time. She's 20 years old, and from Vietnamese descent; her mom and her brother were her first musical influences (mom sang Vietnamese songs, bro played acoustic guitar), but we shouldn't think the Nugyen's are like the Corrs (thankgod). A part from Britney, Aurelie also likes Pauline Croze and Anaïs. Which is nice. Last year she released an EP, her album will released in April. An acoustic version of Je Veux Des Violons is here. Myspace here.

Little - Je veux des violons (Merci Natasha)
Little - Chanson de Filles (Merci SOM)

If you think that last song is cute, watch this

HKU vs. Serge

Whenever Serge comes into play, I''m all ears. Barcelona-based triphop-artist HKU (Haiku) has made a beautiful, mysterious track featuring Serge's mumblings (probably) taken from an interview. If you're into mostly instrumental, cinematic, hiphop-influenced music, HKU's album Soukha is a real treat. He's giving it away (for a small fee, or no fee) at his site. Go check.

HKU - L'Histoire d'un Homme

vrijdag 22 februari 2008

Monade, Phoebe Killdeer

"If you can create even the slightest variation on one of the most distinct sounds in indie rock without losing what makes it work, the question of stylistic redundancy feels a bit like nitpicking", is what Pitchfork says about the differences between Monade and singer Laetitia Sadier's other band, Stereolab. Monstre Comic is the third album by Lae and the band, and held together by an abstract conceptual notion of how light and shade interact. Or something. It's arty, you know. Although I still prefer 90s Stereolab, there are some great songs on this album. Like the dreamy Messe Joyeuse, and the long Entre Chien et Loup, that exactly halfway changes from slow indie to percussive punk. Nice.

Monade - Messe Joyeuse
Monade - Entre Chien et Loup

Also released is the soloalbum by Phoebe Killdeer, who we all know of Nouvelle Vague. It's in English, and produced by Marc Collin (ofcourse), and it features uptempo, leftfield countryrockish songs. Think Tom Waits, listening to Johnny Cash and imagining himself as a sexy girl. Experienced French pop aficionado's immediatly recognise the bif! bang! pow!-sounds in the song Big Fight as references to Serge & Brigitte's Ford Mustang.

Phoebe Killdeer - Big Fight

Read a great review of a live show by Yelle in New York here, plus download an acoustic (!) version of one of her songs.

woensdag 20 februari 2008

Celine Dion

One of my pet peeves is Celine Dion. But not anymore. After seeing this, I think she's fucking amazing. And so will you.

Oh, and this blog's been nominated for a Dutch Bloggie Award in the Music category. Merci!

dinsdag 19 februari 2008

I like to watch

J'aime regarder les filles, that's no secret to all FS-visitors. I also really really love the 1981 Patrick Coutin track by that name. The psychotic way Patrick sings it (like he's in a mental hospital) is really a treat. Of all the coverversions, none really got that crazy vibe (see, for instance, here, here and here). French electropop quartet Pat Le Pirate trades the insanity for sexiness. One can only imagine what singer Delphie wants to do with all those girls, passing by on the beach (I know I can).
PLP releases their Coutin-cover in March, this is an exclusive preview. Go to their Myspace to listen to more PLP.
(PS: anybody got the J'aime regarder-cover by Astonvilla?) Merci Franss

Pat Le Pirate - J'Aime Regarder Les Filles
Patrick Coutin - J'Aime Regarder Les Filles
Astonvilla - J'aime Regarder Les Filles

maandag 18 februari 2008

Boutique, c'est chic

If there was ever any doubt that you can rock the roofing off of a house with french dance music, well, last saturday Georges Deligny, Minimatic, Natashka and yours truly showed Amsterdam how it's done. De Nieuwe Anita in Amsterdam was jampacked, the dancefloor just would not clear! The beautiful crowd sang along to the hits, and moved their hips to obscure gems. Upstairs, where the Boutique Chic-twelves were selling like hotcakes (there were even some people who did not own Filles Fragiles, amazingly), it took some persuasion before the crowd would leave - if we could, we would've kept going 'til dawn. So thanks to all who came, danced and drank. Thanks to Thomas & Pascal for their brilliant music (who will find 'em a venue in Paris to rock parties like this? Incredible but true: you cannot play yeye, French electropop and gallic funk in Paris. Thomas: 'It was wonderful to dj somewhere and NOT get anyone come up to me and request Eminem') and thanks to Natashka for organising it all so smoothly.
On the picture: Guuzbourg, the smallest dj in the world ;-)
More here, here and here.

Brigitte Bardot - Amis de la musique

zondag 17 februari 2008

Donna Regina

We're keeping it, in addition to Sky's wonderful guestpost, German here @ Fillessourires. Fellow French music-fanatic Oscar suggested Donna Regina, a band I knew by name but never really dug into. Turns out the trio did a couple of French songs, the language really suits the husky voice of singer Regina Janssen. Come to think of it, there are a lot of German filles who should take up singing in French (some more). Like Inga Humpe of 2Raumwohnung, Annett Louisan, and Klee's Suzie Kerstgens. Enfin. Donna Regina are releasing records since the early nineties, and are compared to St. Etienne, Autour de Lucie and Stereolab. Their site is either in English or Polish, strangely enough. They seem to have a big following in Poland, maybe because an influential journalist once wrote: "Immensely beautiful, charming and melancholic avant-pop music, permeated by healing female warmth emanating from the girl's voice of Regina Janssen, whose singing somewhat reminds of Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab. When Donna sings that 'everyone is a great shining star,' I believe her. Her small cosy house is truly magic and full of love". So there.
On DR's most recent album More, there's one great French song. Fine-combing their catalogue, two older (and partly French) songs popped up.

Donna Regina - La ou je suis
Donna Regina - Aimes-Tu
Donna Regina - Bouge-toi

vrijdag 15 februari 2008

Les Hommes Sauvages

And Sky has another great guestpost!

Berlin isn’t located in France for sure, but if you live in the Paris of your mind, it doesn’t matter anyway. On Trafic, the second album by Les Hommes Sauvages – as well as the first one, Playtime, named after a movie by French comedian Jacques Tati – even the few songs with German lyrics breathe a certain French melancholy and smiling ease. As if written on a rainy day in the Marais, with sunbeams already coming through. Premier guitarist and songwriter Christophe Hahn, who also worked with the likes of Hugo Race, The Swans and Tav Falco, provides gritty licks and sweeping, sometimes poppy grooves as on Le Matin. La femme sauvage in charge is chanteuse extraordinaire Viola Limpet, whose vocals effuse the vulnerable, oddly magic quality of a grown-up fille that has seen ... well, quite a lot. The cover version of Gainsbourg’s Je suis venu te dire fits the picture perfectly: It’s all about the unbearable lightness of being.

Les Hommes Sauvages - Le Matin
Les Hommes Sauvages - Je suis venu te dire

Catch that Wave

Guestpost! Sky says: Surf's Up!

Gimme a board, messieurs. Pour les grandes vagues et les surfer garcons (et filles), here’s a twangy big-ninth-version of Charles Trenet's La Mer (by The Aquamarines), and the most liquid version of Serge’s & Jane’s Je t’aime (moi non plus) ever heard, performed by Berlin-based guitarist and lounge expert Kahuna Kawentzmann – the German Kawentzmann translates as a rogue wave you shouldn’t even try on a Big Wednesday, catch my drift, kids? Wet name choice, and even your girlfriend may get instantly ... okay, forget about that. Both tracks from the stunning compilation Beyond the Sea – The Surf Instrumental Bands of the World Fearlessly Expand Their Repertoire. For now: Wahini!

The Aquamarines - Beyond the Sea/La Mer
Kahuna Kawentzmann - Je t'aime Moi Non Plus

woensdag 13 februari 2008

RIP: Henri Salvador

Henri Salvador passed away today. The 90-year old veteran scored his first hit in 1964, and was a quintessential figure in French music. He wrote many beautiful songs, but others contributed too. His version of Benjamin Biolay's Jardin d'Hiver is a classic. (Wiki)

Henri Salvador - Jardin d'Hiver (clip)

zaterdag 9 februari 2008


On February 12 (also my birthday), the first single from Camille's new album Music Hole will be released. An extrait can be heard on her site, providing you add yourself to her mailinglist. The song, Gospel with no Lord, is in the same style as Le Fil; (tweaked) voices and some percussion. I like it. It's partly in French too. The new album has songs by Benjamin Britten, inspired by his Ceremony of Carols, that were based on 16th Century poems. Hmm, I think I mixed up a few things. Camille did perform Britten's A Cermony of Carols last year, but as far as I know those songs aren't on her new album. From this site: "Let's bet that she's going to amaze us, with this third album including a lot of percussion. 'After 2 years of tour & an introspective album, I got a lot of energy, I wanted to dance, to make a party album with a lot of rhythm. I collaborated with Barbatuques, a Brazilian percussion band', she said." Also here's a mashup by DJ Zebra, Camille + Nirvana.

DJ Zebra - Camille as you are

UPDATE: thanks to Marianne, here are two new songs by Camille! Hooray!
Camille - Gospel with no Lord
Camille - Money Note (wiki)

donderdag 7 februari 2008


Thanks to SOM for introducing me to this sensational new French fille, Berry. God, how brilliant is Mademoiselle, the song in the video above (yes, the conductor is none other than the legendary Eumir Deodato!). The album of the Parisienne (who sounds like eating a dew-dropped apple on a spring morning) drops in about two weeks, here's already two songs. Expect this high on my yearlist.

Berry - Demain
Berry - Bonheur (clip)

Also really nice: Brit singer Jo Stevens. Her new single Take Me Home was produced by our hero Benjamin Biolay.

Jo Stevens - Take Me Home

La Nouvelle Chanson Francaise

The recently released Nouvelle Chanson Française Volume 2-box gives you an update (spread over 5 cds) on the new(-ish) names of French leftfield pop 'n rock. Most of the names ring a bell by frequent FS-visitors (Valerie Leulliot, Jeanne Cherhal, Amelie-les-Crayons, Holden, etc), if you're into husky folky French guys who are inspired by Jack Johnson you're in for a treat too. I bought it for the new names, and the collaborations. Take the lovely Emily Loizeau for instance, who duetted with Les Blaireaux on the fantastically titled Des Moustaches a La Nietzche. Or gravel-voiced triphop-icon Tricky, together with Emilie Simon. Also triphoppy, and fronted by sexy singer Djazia Satour are Mig. They already released 3 albums, with songs in English and French. New to me was Ina-Ich, an Asian babe with three nerdy French guys who usually play blaring electorock, but for this comp they chose a tender ballad.
And finally Skye (pictured). Not the former singer of Morcheeba, but a French singer who made two albums already, the most recent was released last year. And the first song from that cd is called Sourire. So there.

Les Blaireaux & Emily Loizeau - Des Moustaches a la Nietzsche
Tricky & Emilie Simon - Je Tombe
Ina-Ich - Mon Empire
Mig - Escale
Skye - Sourire

woensdag 6 februari 2008


Went to Paris yesterday (to interview her), and not only did I buy a bunch of cd's (like this compilation), I also got a promo of the new Barbara Carlotti album! It won't be out until the end of March, but you can already save up for tis a beauty! Breezy, folky, danceable even, and beautiful. An example of that beauty is La Lettre, for which cool-voiced Barbara (pictured) got help from Canadian eccentric Patrick Watson.

Another exclusive is a sexy song from the upcoming album by The Lovers. Marion and Fred seem to be channeling Brigitte Bardot in their new work (I already heard a few other songs). And it looks like the jolly twosome are going to play in Amsterdam on Queen's Night! Hooray!

Barbara Carlotti & Patrick Watson - La Lettre
The Lovers - Reverie de Lolita

maandag 4 februari 2008

Fille Fragile

A song I might include on Filles Fragiles #2 is this one by Rachel Delahaye. Yes, FF number 2 is in the works, it will be out before summer. Suggestions are welcomed, as always. And we're also talking about Filles Fragiles nights in Dutch theaters, before and after summer. Keep you posted!

Rachel Delahaye - Fille Fragile

More Jane

A negative review this morning in Holland's Volkskrant about the Paradiso-concert of Jane. Basically, the guy slagged her off for doing a lot of old songs, and for smiling on stage. Riiight.
Moving on: While googling on Jane this weekend I came across a track by Swedish rockband The Soundtrack of Our Lives. They wrote a song in 2005 called Midnight Children, that was heavily influenced by Je t'aime...moi non plus. When it was almost done, they wanted a sexy girl to sing on it. They had a French lesbian in mind, when somebody suggested they should call Jane Birkin. Everybody laughed. Then somebody made some calls. And Jane, ofcourse, was very happy to cooperate. From this interview with Soundtrack-singer Ebbot: "She heard it and loved the song, so we went down to Paris and recorded it in three hours. She was still very good-looking. Maybe I looked a little bit frightening. But we got along. It sounds really cool. Kind of a departure, but in a strange way it fits into the album."

The Soundtrack of Our Lives feat. Jane Birkin - Midnight Children

Photo of Jane in Paradiso (c) Jean-Pierre Jans

zaterdag 2 februari 2008

Jane, live

Now, some things are better left unexplained. But one mystery that haunted me ever since the power of husky singing French females put its gentle arms around me, was: why do they sing like that? Jane Birkin herself, godmother of all filles fragiles (and with that million dollar smile of hers, les filles sourires as well), explained it to me yesterday. "Serge made Isabelle, Catherine, Brigitte and all other actresses ("Like yourself", i intervened) sing like himself. Very close to the microphone." A-ha! Thát is why you hear the breathing, why it's husky and whispery - you don't need big lungs when you treat the mike like a big popsickle. Ofcourse, lyrics, atmosphere and technical inabilatiy had a lot to do with it too, but I never thought of Serge making les girls sing like himself. Merci Jane. Now I only have to find out why the French (and you and me) are all ga-ga over this singing style. I asked Emily Simon before, she had no answer. Charlotte Gainsbourg, same. Jane? No explanation.
But like I said, some things are better left unexplained.

Interview with Jane was way too short, but okay. I asked her about the rumour I heard that her youngest daughter Lou Doillon is making an album. Jane was surprised, said that Lou is reading poems and letters on stage (that I knew), and I wasn't able to ask Lou herself when she brushed past me in the Paradiso corridor. Have to wait & see, then. Talked to Jane about her daughters mostly. Charlotte's health is fine now, she's a bit bored because she gets send boring screenplays, and Birkin said that Charlotte should've gone on tour with Air longer, or maybe even with her own band. Hear hear. Jane bragged about her girls a lot, as a mother should do. What a talented, intelligent, beautiful family. Jane's fun to talk to, ofcourse Serge was mentioned a lot. Like Charlotte, Jane's torn between the grief of his death (of which she's reminded daily) and the joy of so many people still admiring him and his work. A ghost you never can shake off, is how she described him.
She paid tribute to Serge on stage, later that evening, by singing his songs, by mentioning him like he was still around and in a speech of haunting ghosts, inspired by a visit to Anne Frank's house earlier (she said to me that Alice, daughter of Charlotte, looks like a young Anne).
The show was marvellous, way better than I expected. Jane has an ace band, three guys who play multiple instruments. She sang old and new songs, covers (a very funny Caetano Veloso song), did an emotional song she wrote herself about Aung San Suu Kyi and chose not very well known songs from the Gainsbourg-catalogue. Ofcourse she did Fuir le bonheur, Ex-fan de Sixties, Je suis venue and Di Doo Dah, but I did not expect Manon, for instance.
Turns out she did that before, I bought Jane Birkin live (a compilation featuring shows from Bataclan, Olympia and Casino Paris) that has a very orchestral version. Yesterday it was more fragile.

Jane Birkin - Manon (live)

Picture of Jane in Paradiso (c) Roy Tee.

vrijdag 1 februari 2008

Nancy Danino

Israel-born, France-bred Nancy Danino has been around. She worked with electronica-big guns like Shazz, Snooze and Bob Sinclar, sang duets with Swedish rockers Kent and Irish romantic Perry Blake and is now working with our hero Marc Collin. An album is in the works, according to the demo-tracks on her Myspace she's aiming at the Norah Jones-aficionados. Comfort-jazz, so to speak. Shame, 'cause when Nancy sings in French, the temperature goes up a few notches. Sultry on legs. Photo (c) David Hoch

Nancy Danino - Chaque Jour
Perry Blake & Nancy Danino - Ordinary Day (Un Jour Comme Les Autres (clip)
Kent feat. Nancy Danino - FF (clip)