woensdag 26 maart 2008


The French isn't flawless, but the version's real nice AND it's a Serge cover, so there.

Razorlight - Je suis venu te dire que je m'en vais
IFPI says NO!
(if you do not own or know the sublime version by Jo Lemaire, go here)

dinsdag 25 maart 2008


For everyone who needs to be reminded of the genius of Camille: check out this live performance for tv-show Taratata.

donderdag 20 maart 2008

Petite filles

Guestpost! Leonoor send me four very beautiful songs.

Many years ago, it must have been around 1986, I bought this wonderful cd Il Les Fait Chanter. Gainsbourg, the man who proved (practically) every french girl could sing, wrote Pull Marine for Isabelle Adjani. Wonderful song, both melody and lyrics are beautiful: 'Avant de toucher le fond, je descends a reculons, sans trop savoir c' qui se passait dans le fond.'
Another track from the same cd is Quoi by Jane Birkin (see video). Also sad, but bitter sweet.

Isabelle Adjani - Pull Marine (CLIP)
Jane Birkin - Quoi

'Une Petite Fille Chante Brassens' is an album with the beautiful songs by Georges Brassens, sung by a very young girl. Very touching and innocent. Who is this girl? I never got to know her name. Surfing the internet didn't bring me any closer to unveiling the mystery. Is she one of the grown up filles sourires we know now? Or was it really this momentarily career. If anyone knows...?
Amazon.fr says the cd is no longer available but I downloaded it from fnac.com.

Une Petite Fille Chante Brassens - Le Père Noel et la petite fille
Une Petite Fille Chante Brassens - Les Sabots d'Helene

dinsdag 18 maart 2008


You can tell someone has his mobile still on, when you hear that bipbip-sound on tv, or when you listen to your Ipod or cd-walkman. Makes me think of Autechre, or Aphex Twin, that sound. I don't know if they used it on a track, but Gael Mussati did. It works like a ringing telephone or doorbell in a song, you immediatly go checking. Funny. Gael debuted last year with an album that is very French (lots of accordion, references to all the great chansonniers), with a nice atmosphere. Not all songs are noteworthy, but these two are.

Gael Mussati - Le Parasite Pas Rasé
Gael Mussati - A Qui

Pop goes my love

Want to hear Blondie in French? Abba all Gauloise? Girls Aloud wiz an accent? Kylie as a Parisian? Go HERE.

Girls Aloud - Can't Speak French (french version). The original version can be seen above.

maandag 17 maart 2008

Erica Buettner

If I told you Erica Buettner was a songstress from the sixties, who made a beautiful album for a small label that nobody bought, but luckily was re-discovered again just recently, you'd believe me. Erica sounds a bit like Nico, and a lot like Joan Baez. But this American girl lives in Paris now, is in her twenties and makes music with a French keyboardplayer (a certain monsieur Fageolle) and a Greek accordionist. Until recently, her very emotional songs (tears well as soon as she opens her mouth) were all in English. But thanks to Pierre, she recorded a cover of a Marie Laforet song from 1976. The original is awesome, Erica added a handful of melancholy. With Marie, there's a chance Julien will fall for her in the end. With Erica, the longing never stops (think Remains of the Day).

Marie Laforet - C'est Julien
Erica Buettner - C'est Julien

Thanks to everyone who danced in the backroom (yes, that's where I was) of Petrol on Saturday to my French tunes and those by Dirk Ungawa! I got an invite for the next Soirée Gainsbourg, see you then?!

vrijdag 14 maart 2008

Audrey Maelis

I know that the record biz is struggling, that people won't buy cd's no more (if you want to read a funny story about how major labels did it to themselves, I suggest Dan Kennedy's book Rock On), but gawd, how can a talentspotter leave Audrey Maelis (real name Audrey Ismael) unsigned? Her song Baby Doll is sooo sexy, it tickles your ears the way a skimpy babydoll tickles a woman's skin. Or something. Audrey prefers us in the nude, by the way. She into the Sellaband thing too.
By the way, Baby Doll was recorded earlier by Iva Fruhlingova.

Audrey Maelis - Baby Doll
Audrey Maelis - La Paresse

donderdag 13 maart 2008


Great song (I always thought complaining was only a Dutch trait), fabulous voice. Merci Freddy for the tip, merci SOM for the mp3. Speaking of SOM, he has a nice remix of a Keren Ann song by Etienne de Crécy. More on Etyl here.

Etyl - Je m'fais mal

woensdag 12 maart 2008

And the winners are... (2)

In addition to this post, Dailymotion has a whole bunch of performances from the Victoires-show (sound and images aren't always in sync, alas). Including Vanessa Paradis (above, who paid tribute to Henri Salvador),Emily Loizeau (simply beautiful), and Keren Ann (what's with the new hairdo??).

maandag 10 maart 2008

Ça Plane Pour Tous

After listening to Thee Headcoatees' cover of Plastic Bertrand's smash Ça Plane Pour Moi I thought: did more girls cover this? Yes, they did. Take leatherclad Swiss girlband Tears. Or pophiphop-star Leila K. Or German rockers Paula (featuring Elke Brauweiler). But the boys are present too, as are a bunch of penguins. If you check Allmusic.com, you'll find even more versions (anybody has the versions by Aluminum Babe? Annie Dufresne? Or the Spanish version by Manic Hispanic?). Bring 'm on! I will play a few no doubt this Saturday @ Soirée Gainsbourg in Antwerp. See an English translation of the lyrics here.
By the way, you know that rumour has it that not Roger/Plastic Bertrand, but composer Lou Deprijck himself sang Ça Plane?

Plastic Bertrand - Ça Plane pour Moi (CLIP)
Sonic Youth - Ça Plane pour Moi
Tears - Ça Plane pour Moi (CLIP)
Spider Nick & the Maddogs - Ça Plane pour Moi
Les Sans Culottes - Ça Plane pour Moi
Presidents of the USA - Ça Plane pour Moi
Pigloo - Ça Plane pour Moi (CLIP)
Paula - Ça Plane pour Moi
Leila K. - Ça Plane pour Moi
Humphries - Ça Plane pour Moi (recommended!)
Thee Headcoatees - Ça Plane pour Moi
LTNO & The Dead Sexy - Ça Plane pour Moi
The Boss Hoss - Ça Plane pour Moi
Telex - Ça Plane pour Moi
Elton Motello - Jet Boy Jet Girl (same music, different lyric, see here)
Richard Thompson - Ça Plane pour Moi (merci Patrick)
Richard Gotainer - Ça Plane pour Moi (merci Fred)

Valéry Saint-Germain

Remember Mauve? Never understood why this gothic angel decided to quit the biz, but she has a very nice replacement in the well-shaped form of Valéry Saint-Germain. She likes the drama as well, with added sexiness. Heck, she even won a nomination for best porno song. I don't know who nominated her, and what the ocassion was, but still. Froid is the song I like to hear when beautiful vampirellas are sucking my blood - don't you?

Valéry Saint-Germain - Froid
Valéry Saint-Germain - 48e Parallele Nord

zondag 9 maart 2008

Claude François

Thirty years ago, Claude François passed away. He lead an extraordinary life, wrote many beautiful songs, started a label and a model agency and nearly was killed by the IRA. He died from electrocution in his bathtub. No kidding. Claude is best known for composing Comme d'Habitude, translated by Paul Anka into My Way. Over 1500 versions of My Way were recorded - the best (and played to death, imho) ofcourse by Ol'Blue Eyes.
A lot of young French artists recorded François' songs for the tribute-album Autrement Dit: Brisa Roché, Elodie Frégé, Jeanne Cherhal, Clarika, Elisa Tovati - this is a dream project, yes. Also on the album: Jeremie Kisling, Alaim Chamfort and Elli Medeiros, who did an eerie version of Comme d'Habitude.
No flaws on this tribute-album, which is a big plus. Here's two examples:

Jeanne Cherhal - Un Petite Larme M'a Trahi
Elodie Frégé - Miss Felicity Gray

(merci Franss, Inous)

donderdag 6 maart 2008

Liz Cherhal

Liz Cherhal likes to sing about death. Accidents, suicides, fatal attacks. But she's chirpy about it, she and her accordéon. Or her guitarplayer Dédé. Liz is the sister of FS-fave Jeanne Cherhal, both sisters have a thing for odd subjects and folky music. Wonder what the christmasparties are like, with Liz, Jeanne and her boyfriend Albin de la Simone all together in one room. UPDATE: Jeanne and Albin aren't together anymore. Liz is with Alexis HK right now. Still makes interesting X-mas parties, no?

Liz Cherhal - L'Homme Chrysanthème
Liz Cherhal - Mes bretelles et mes hublots

dinsdag 4 maart 2008

Tift Merritt

Guestpost! Ken on Tift Merritt.

French Wishes DO come true!! Texas native Tift Merritt has been one of my favorite singers for years – she has that perfect combination of talents (songwriting, arranging, performing) that allow her to produce music that can literally take your breath away. She has an incredibly ability to express the emotion of a song’s lyrics in such a way that you, the listener, experience it with her, be it fragility or strength, defiance or meekness, joy or heartbreak.

And then there’s her voice…wondrously, achingly beautiful.

She’s produced five albums to date – the first one was recorded in 1999 with North Carolina’s Two-Dollar Pistols, two solo studio albums in 2002 and 2004, a limited edition live record in 2005, and her newest - Another Country – released last week. Each record has been outstanding, and each successive recording has seen her mature as a songwriter and performer. I’ve been anticipating this new record for several months, but I must admit that I did little (make that “No”) research or investigation regarding the style or content of the new album – I knew it would be good, I didn’t care about the details. This morning, I queued up Another Country for the first time ever and turned my attention to today’s list of tasks. As the songs unfolded one by one, I realized that this was, possibly, her strongest, most diverse effort to date – an early contender for my favorite album of the year. As the album neared its completion, I thought to myself “If only she sang in French – it would be perfection!”
…and then the last song began to play…and she was singing in French!!

A quick visit to her website revealed that she had traveled to Paris to gain some distance and perspective regarding some pretty serious personal problems and then returned home with the seeds of her new album. I can’t recommend this album strongly enough!!

Tift Merritt - Mille Tendresses

CLIP for new single Broken


I'm not holding my breath for the new Carla Bruni album (I did when I saw her in this photoshoot, and in this ad) - do you want to hear her sing about her relation with Sarko? Hm? So let's hear her sing an old Italian lovesong instead, written by Lucio Battisti. The latter is a legend in Italy. To be honest, I'd never heard of him before, until two Italian online friends emailed me about him. He passed away in 1998, tomorrow would've been his 65th birthday. Battisti is a very versatile singer/composer, see for instance videos from his romantic period, his hippie-phase and his, yes, electro-movements.
The song Carla sang during a live show is the very moving E Penso a Te (not to be confused with Morricone's Penso a Te), a signature song for Mina, but also wonderfully covered by the great Ornella Vanoni.

Lucio Battisti - E Penso a Te
Carla Bruni - E Penso a Te
Ornella Vanoni - E Penso a Te

(Merci Silvia, Renzo)

zaterdag 1 maart 2008

Coralie vs. Daho

Tombés pour Daho is a tribute to one of France's best-known and very versatile singers, Etienne Daho. Among artists who honour Daho are Benjamin Biolay, Sebastien Tellier, Elli Medeiros and Doriand. And our heroine Coralie Clement. She re-did Vis à Vis from the Réévolution-cd (that also features Daho's duet with Charlotte Gainsbourg, alas nobody chose to cover that), a version that stays close to the original. Don't matter, it's a new track from Coralie, and it's in French. More about the Daho-tribute later (merci Franss, merci Inous).
The title Tombés Pour Daho refers to Etienne's own hit, Tombé pour la France. CLIP

Etienne Daho - Vis à vis
Coralie Clement - Vis à vis