American magazine Vanity Fair publishes a lenghty interview with mme Sarkozy in the upcoming September issue. With nice pics by Annie Leibovitz. You can read the loooong story here (thanks taylor). Some quotes: "And I was never officially Mick’s girlfriend. I was never into his family and all that." (On Jagger). "I never slept with him, not even a minute." (On J-P Enthoven) "My Internet went down, and we found he had chewed all the cords!"(On her pet chihuahua) "He had seduced many women, and she was a kind of seductress. When two like this meet, it can be good."(Karl Lagerfeld on Nicolas and Carla). Oh, and apparently Carla makes music too.
What I like most about les filles fragiles are the highly imaginative songs, and the fairytale atmosphere most singers try to establish. Take Maud Lübeck (pictured) for instance. An unsigned (!) singer from Paris (and Antarctica, apparently) who has a nice husky voice, and creates with a few instruments a pastelcolored world, that is both childlike and very grownup. Listen to Maud's songs here or here, or download the two she send me. Miss Lilly likes Emily Simon, Björk and Camille, and it shows. Very delicate, very fragile, pretty electronics, pretty voices. Speaking of which: the voiceplay is maybe a tad too much like Camille or Claire Diterzi, Lilly needs to find her own voice some more. Still: a talent to watch. Miss Lilly - Ne Dis Rien Miss Lilly - J'en ai marre Maud Lübeck - Je t'aimais trop Maud Lübeck - Le Balançoire
Almost two years ago, I posted this chillingly beautiful track by Dutch duo Bardo State (vocals by Belgian sirène Jo Lemaire). Next month, the album (classical music meets lounge) by Bardo State is released. One of the guys made a video for Paradis, using scenes from iconic eighties movie Betty Blue (or 37,2 Degrees, Le Matin, if you like). See it below.
The third anniversary of this blog in September is celebrated in France by a special festival: Muzikelles. Only bands with female singers are performing, ranging from Anne Sylvestre and Suzanne Vega to Amelie les Crayons, Daphné and Soha. Also playing: a few unknown bands, like duo Piuma, singer Charlie, and Lola Lafon. If you're in the neighbourhood (Meaux, France), stop by! See full program details here. (merci rené)
We kicked off this year with the French Wishing-project, featuring (guest-)posts about fragile girls, nót singing in French. But oh, how lovely it would be if they did. We booked one big success: Ladyhawke re-recorded her Paris is Burning-smash in French. Hopefully, the supersexy blonde singer of Dutch popjazz-band Room Eleven will do us a favour to by recording a French song. On Lalala Love, from their sophomore album Mmmm....Gumbo? she mumbles a few French words. Listen carefully, you might miss 'm in this lovely Billie Holiday-stylish singalongsong. American singer Melody Gardot has a name that makes us French music lovers sit up straight: a tribute to Serge and Brigitte? As far as I know, it's her real name. She has an incredible story: after an accident, her doctor insisted she try and write songs, so that her cognitive impairment would heal quicker. She makes jazzy music, somewhere between Feist and Norah Jones, and utters a few French lines in the smokey Goodnite. Could be more. Way more.
Missed Julie & the guys (Yelle is, like Blondie, the bandname, not the pseudonym of the singer) (yeah, I thought so too) when they performed in Amsterdam recently, but lucky for me iTunes stuck a bunch of livesongs from a London show online. Songs do not differ a lot from the albumversions, but you get Julie's girltalking to the audience, and TTC's bad jokes. In case you're not a Hype Machine-regular: there are A LOT of remixes of Yelle-tracks. See here, here and here. For starters.
And the second I disable the mp3 of Marianne Dissard singing Padam, Padam, the nocturnal angel from Tucson sends a new file. A very smokey, intimate version of Django Reinhardt's Nuages, sung by her. With Matt Mitchell and Naim Amor on guitars, and Marco Rosano on melodica/clarinet. Mar also send an ambient version, with samples 'n shit, but the jury's still out if that is a good, or just a bonkers cover. Might post it later. Uh-oh, the inbox has a new mail from Marianne: a nice cover in the same gentle jazzy mood of Trenet/Sablon's Vous Qui Passez Sans Me Voir. Also done by Django.
Sounds like a post about naturalistic painters, with those two names. But this is a post about two singers with a Jane Birkin connection. Lou Doillon is ofcourse the gorgeous daughter of Jane (and Jacques Doillon). A part from being a model and an actress, she also reads poetry in the theater, and sings. I never heard her sing, until I got a link to her Myspace, plus a mail with some mp3s (merci for that). She sounds very much like a young Chrissie Hynde. And nowadays looks like a cross between Jane and Amy Winehouse, as you can see on the cover of the March edition of French Playboy. I also got a mail containing a brandspankingnew song by Marie Modiano. The song has a breathtakingly beautiful woodwind arrangement, and sounds very much like a Birkin-song. It was produced by genius Peter von Poehl. Alas, Marie sings in English, as she did on her first album (the new one drops in September). She did a French duet with Thomas Dutronc, wish she sang in our beloved language some more. Lou Doillon - Girl is Gone Marie Modiano - Last Early Spring
On Thursday, I'm guest in Dutch Radio6-program Sjeng's Special Selection. It's presented by Sjeng Stokkink, a recordcollector with a staggering amount of vinyl. He specializes in funk, and it's safe to say that if he doesn't know it, it don't exist. Sjeng was asked to make 20 one-hour broadcasts about a certain theme. You can hear a show about songs that feature Sly Stone (but are not by Sly & the Family Stone), songs with silences, an eighties-disco special and three shows about grunting flutists. And me, on my favourite subject. I brought songs by Carla Bruni, Francoiz Breut & Calexico and Severine. Sjeng brought an album by Japanese 80s heroes Sandii & the Sunsetz, that featured one song in French. I knew of S&tS, but had never heard this songs. I guess it's pretty obscure, but it's also very good. Soulwax, Joakim or Fred Falke should remix the hell out of it. Sandii's also a nice addition to Mordi's Japanese doll-themed series.
Happy Bastille storming today. To celebrate the French National Holiday, I decided to put together a little mix of...guys. Yes, I know this is a blog devoted to French singing girls, but as you may remember from this project, I like to hear the fellas too. I chose fairly recent tracks, with added classics and old faves. There's no Serge in sight. But Jacques Dutronc is present (as is his son), while Dominique Ané covers Leo Ferré brillaintly, and Kebous rebuilds Noir Désir's Lolita nie en bloc. Hope you like it. As always, it's one big file. Download from HERE.
Tracklist: Si Facile - Salsedo Si Tu M'Aimes - Arthur H Rendez-vous Qui Sait (remix) - Benjamin Biolay Merci Pour Tout - Tarmac Les Limites - Julien Doré On S'Attache - Christophe Mae Mon Camarade - Dominique A. Lolita nie en bloc - Kebous Comme un souffle - Joseph d'Anvers Si - Saule Je suis Content - Jacques Dutronc J'aime plus Paris - Thomas Dutronc Laisse moi de venir ton homme - Jerome Attal Caravane - Raphael
Making a Perfect Sextape (see here, or here) stirs all kinds of reactions. Apparently, Minimatic's favourite bedroom song is Belle de Jour by Saint Tropez. I knew this anonymous band from there discofied Je t'aime-cover. Laurin Rinder and Michael Lewis, the masterminds behind a lot of discopophits in the seventies, had ties with some big names in the musicbiz (Rod Temperton, Barry White), and were very much inspired by bisexual women while making the Saint Tropez tracks. Although not mentioned in the linked interview, Serge was a big inspiration for sure. When Je t'aime became a hit, many many covers and ripoffs followed. See compilations like this one and this one. One of the best known rips is Erotica by Rita. Thát song was ripped off too, on my Sextape there a version by Manpower. For Natasha, the bestest moaning song ever is Viens dans my Bouche by porn-actress Nanette Corey. Incredibly, the great Jacques Lanzmann co-wrote the lyrics of this sexploitation song - that would explain the wit. Saint Tropez - Belle de Jour Saint Tropez - Femmes Fatales Nanette Corey - Viens dans ma Bouche
If you want more audio-erotica, go over to Splendida, for a mix by Roar. Featuring Valerie Lagrange, France Gall, Paul Louka and Dalida & Delon.
Not only is Carla Bruni the hottest First Lady EVER, she's one hell of a songwriter too. Her new album is (ofcourse) not the surprise hit her debut was, but Comme si de rien n'était has the same atmosphere, the same great songs and the same supersexy, up-close-and-personal singing style. I heard the album once in full, and several songs several times, and I'm not disappointed at all. La possibilité d'un Ile is one of the most beautiful songs I heard this year, L'Amoureuse (with Biolay) is one hell of single, and Il Vecchio E Il Bambino is a very touching lullaby. On the one hand it's incredible that the wife of the president of France is responsible for an album like this, on the other hand: we knew her before Nicolas, and we know that this is what she does best. I think we can be grateful. Carla Bruni - L'Amoureuse
Listening to the new Carla Bruni album right now (you can too, log on to Carlabruni.com), and although I haven't heard all songs yet, it's safe to say that she revived the spirit of her debut. Her singing style is very, VERY FS-friendly - L'Amoureuse is like Zuchtmeisjes 101. The Michel Houellebecq-poem is very touching - this is what No Promises should've been like. Also received the new EP by Coralie Clement - now we know why Benjamin Biolay went to South America earlier. Some songs sound like CC is jamming with those Peruvian flutists that (used to) crowd busy shopping streets. You really have to restrain yourself from whistling El Condor Pasa. Ukelele-galore! Still, I like So Long Babylone, and the beautiful duet with Etienne Daho. Coralie Clement - So Long Babylone
'If local singer Rupa were a movie, she would be Amélie meets Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown meets Latcho Drom meets Do the Right Thing.' Interested? Rupa Marya has parents from India, she herself was born in the Bay Area. Her parents moved to Aix-en-Provence when she was ten, there she started playing music. First in English, then in French. Because, in short, she found that language richer, more imaginitive. The name of her band The April Fishes is a play with words: Les Poissons d'Avril is related to the English expression April Fools. ExtraOrdinary Rendition (with songs in Hindi, Spanish and English too) is R&tAF's first album, she gets compared to Manu Chao, Paris Combo and Beirut. Some balk at her very very FS-friendly voice. No, really. Rupa & The April Fishes - Maintenant Rupa & The April Fishes - Mal de Mer See video for Une Americaine a Paris here In other news: I'm confirmed to play the Zomerparkfeest in Venlo on August 8, the main stage no less. Furthermore, Het Zesde Vlak asked me to compile The Perfect Sextape. So I did.
Ladyhawke from Wellington New Zealand describes herself as 'a lady who loves to play. I love videogames. I love my guitars. Synths. Cats. Makin noise, pressing buttons, wires, cables, solitude, staring at screens, movies, collecting stuff.' Her dancesmash Paris Is Burning is, erm, burning dancingfloors all over the world for a couple of months now. Randy made a guestpost about her on this blog, saying he wanted to hear her sing in French. A shitload of remixes (ranging from Cut Copy to Alex Gopher) appeared, but also a French version of this song. Randy's wish came true, hooray! (Merci) Ladyhawke - Paris S'Enflamme (video for the English version)
Gainsbourg is like God; he's everywhere, all the time, at surprising moments. I mean: would you believe Julien Doré (featured here before with his brilliant Alizee cover, see his Myspace for more reprises) covered SS in Uruguay from Rock Around the Bunker for his new album? But that's what he did. Swiss electronica hero Seelenluft aka Beat Soler sampled Requiem pour un Con for Blossom Headed Parakeet on his newest cd. And Comme Dans Un Reve is a brilliant pastiche on SG's boy/girl duets. See great video here. Julien Dore - SS in Uruguay Serge Gainsbourg - SS in Uruguay Seelenluft - Comme dans un reve Seelenluft - Blossom headed parakeet
Charlotte Gainsbourg is plotting a new album, to be released in 2009. She's looking for new collaborators. So no Air, Jarvis or Neil this time, I guess. Shame. This article says that CG signed with Because Records for three albums, so there's more in the making. (Merci)
Released in February, but recently brought to my attention is Premieres Lettres, the first EP by L. Yes, just L. It's the moniker of a mesmerizing singer who places herself in the tradition of Brel, Brassens and Barbara, singing Chansons à Texte. She also incorporates influences from fado, mornas, jazz and electronica. I'd add Madeline Peyroux as a reference, and Jeanne Cherhal. Almost from the first note, there's a special atmosphere, nostalgic yet timeless. And smokey. On the first day of the smoking prohibition in Dutch bars, restaurants and cafés, L's songs make a nice tribute (this said by a non-smoker) (apart from an occasional spliff). For more on L, see her Myspace and her blog. L - Petite L - La Pluie