zondag 31 mei 2009

Winner (3): Benabar

The last winner of Gentils Garçons cd is Bart from Utrecht, who was 'dead drunk' when he wrote this entry. Impressive.

If I would start about my favorite chanson sung by a man, I should actually write about my all-time favorite: Jean Ferrat's La Montagne. Or maybe about one of those heartbreaking miniatures by Jacques Brel. But to be honest with you, since I'm dead drunk at the moment - just arrived back from the Festival aan de Werf where Roosbeef gave acte de présence - I am in a sentimental mood and will say just a few words about Bénabar's most brilliant song: Le dîner. Doesn't he sing in that song the praises of what is in secret my deepest desire: a lovely girl to share a pizza with? A down in the dumps girl to see movies with Funès? A sweet girl to hang on the couch with? 'On s'en fout' he sings. And why wouldn't I drop anything indeed to go looking for such a girl? After this summer, I'll move to Paris. And that's a promise.

Benabar - Le dîner

Winner (2): Alex Beaupain

Omar from Texas won a Gentils Garçons copy thanks to this guestpost on his favourite French song, sung by a guy:

Alex Beaupain was introduced to me by the movies of Christophe Honore. Both artists have been collaborating together for so long that if you google one, you are bound to find the other's name somewhere in what you are reading. Alex was an artist in his own right before working with the director. He released a new album last year called 33 Tours. It is a great album, quirky and very french! (a collaboration with actrices Clotilde Hesme, Ludivine Sagner, and Chiara Mastroianni for the opening track). By far my favorite track on this album is Pas grand chose. An understated ballad sung by Alex with only a piano as his companion. The best part of the song, in my opinion, are the strings coming out of nowhere at the end of the song! By far the most played song in my ipod! Other great songs by Alex can be found on his debut album "=Garçon d'honneur and the soundracks of movies such as, La Belle Personne and Chansons d'amour.

Alex Beaupain - Pas grand chose

zaterdag 30 mei 2009

Winner (1): Georges & Youssou

Thanks for all your contributions to the Gentils Garçons giveaway. I picked three winners. This is from Brazilian correspondent Luciane:

I'm very much a beginner when it comes to french music. So, to me, listening to a new song is like tasting a new and unimaginable flavor of macaron. It always surprises me and the macaron jar is colorful and never-ending. Sometimes, a little rush of the heart can be heard through and through. That's when I know I've found a unique flavor. And such was the case when I first heard (and saw) Georges Brassens
singing Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux.

Now, as an absolute beginner, you might be wondering how I found him. Easy: the same way you can find Jobim. I first heard "Il n'y a pas..." in the voice of Youssou N'Dour. Something about his accent, I love to hear him in french. And when he sang "mon bel amour, mon cher amour, ma déchirure," I had to know who had written such a thing. Et voilà, there he was waiting for me, Georges Brassens.

Hearing him, watching him, the clear purity of his emotion, it was all so honest and bare that my heart skipped a beat. If you had asked my name, I would have said "déchirure." I was hypnotized by his voice, his guitar, his eyes... There is no happiness in love, is there?...

You can play several different scenarios in your head and this song still fits. Is it a garden on a clear day? Is it a hopeless full moon night? Is it you, pulling her by the arm as she walks out on you? Or is it the garçon you spot in the same coffee shop, always carrying three books at a time, impeccable suit?... By the way, the very visual beauty of the lyrics were inspired in a poem by Louis Aragon.

If there is a balm for a love injury, or even the anticipation that it will end and it will hurt, this song is it. Classic, timeless, Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux.

Georges Brassens - Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux
Youssou N'Dour - Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux

woensdag 27 mei 2009


Three songs with Belgian roots: a cover of Ça Plane pour moi by Nouvelle Vague (notified you about that earlier), original ofcourse by Plastic Bertrand. Karin Clercq electrofied herself for her new (3rd) album. See the video for the title track La Vie Buissonière here. I don't mind loud electronically enhanced guitarsounds, but most of the songs I've heard from LVB sound ugly in my ears. There are a few songs that are better.
When it comes to synths 'n guitars, Vive la Fête is a force to be reckoned with. On new album Disque d'Or, Elsjes voice is embedded by Danny's screaming noise, but also by An Pierlés piano. Something else, but something good too!

Nouvelle Vague - Ça plane pour moi
Karin Clercq -Sur le bord du trottoir
Vive la Fete - Courtois

dinsdag 26 mei 2009

It hurts to dire adieu

As promised, here's the original version of Comment te dire adieu, sung by British diva Margaret Whiting.

On another note: I have a promo-copy of Emily Loizeau's freakfolky-album Pays Sauvage to give away. Mail me asap if you want it. Sorry, no more.
If you want a free copy of the new Gentils Garcons compilation, please mail me a guestpost (200 wrds) on your favourite French song, sung by a man. If have 3 cds to give away. Mail Guuzbourg(a)gmail.com.

Margaret Whiting - It hurts to say goodbye

maandag 25 mei 2009

Coeur de Pirate

Thanks to Franss and SOM, here are three wonderful special versions of Coeur de Pirate songs. Including one cover, she also did with Julien Doré (see here). But on this radiorecording posted here, it's just our lovely Beatrice.
She duetted with young mr Doré on the French version of her album, in the song Pour un infidèle. And saving the best for last, the fantastic team up of Beatrice and the beloved Ariane Moffatt. Shivers down my spine.

Coeur de Pirate & Julien Doré - Pour un infidèle
Coeur de Pirate - Umbrella (see here for live video)
CdP & Ariane Moffat - Fondu au noir

Wet Dreams

Sky N. is spoiing us with another guestpost. Je t'aime!

Enfant terrible Australien: Kim Salmon has a reputation of being the bad-ass of primal garage rock down under. With the Scientists, he invented grunge in Perth, Western Australia, before anybody over in Seattle even thought of a term like that – for a complete history of his miscellaneous bands, see here. In 1994, Salmon named Je t’aime (moi non plus) his no. 1 all-time song on Triple J radio; four years earlier, he already had transformed Serge’s tender intercourse ballad into a feverish sonic blast of a slow-motion wet dream. Rating: Ten Baise-mois, but judge for yourself.

Late night adult bonus: A delirious, seldom-heard Je t’aime rip-off under the title Ufffhss ... I Love, issued by the Wagram label, probably dating from the mid-70s and performed by two sweaty swingers under the moniker Régie Monceau, complete with Mediterranean organ and loads of tongue play – possibly Gérard and Fanny feeling like doing it, but of course that’s just a guess ... anyone here who witnessed the original recording sessions?

Kim Salmon & the Surrealists - Je t'aime moi non plus
Régie Monceau - Ufffhss...I love

zaterdag 23 mei 2009

Initials SJ

Scarlett Johansson has a type, it seems-- at least when it comes to recording music. Johansson's first album, the better-than-anyone-realized 2008 drug-pop swooner Anywhere I Lay My Head, consisted almost entirely of Tom Waits covers. And later this year, Johansson and singer/songwriter Pete Yorn will release a collaborative album reportedly inspired by Serge Gainsbourg's duets with Brigitte Bardot, according to USA Today.
So if you're a legendary songwriter with a craggy seen-it-all voice and a permanently unimpressed hangdog facial expression, you might eventually inspire a Scarlett Johansson album. Leonard Cohen-- call your manager! (Via)

Can't hear that Gainsbourg spirit yet on the first single. Listen here. (Merci JW)

vrijdag 22 mei 2009

It's here! (3)

Straight from the factory to my mailbox this morning: the new Gentils Garçons cd. And as was the case with the two Filles Fragiles cd's (here, and here), my son Stijn thinks it's just his taste! I made a Myspace page here where you can hear three tracks, and read the special introduction by Dutch singer Wende Snijders. The cd will be available in Dutch shops after Whitmonday (first week of June, that is), and later via the regular webshops. Like Bol.com (here) or Amazon.de, or Amazon.fr. No iTunes or other legal platforms - sorry.
I'm promotalking Monday 25th of May in Radio 5 show OBALive (here), on the night of May 31/June 1 @ Nacht van het goede leven (Radio 1, here) and on Monday June 1 @ Kunststof Radio (Radio 1, here).

As always, I am giving away 3 free copies. You know what to do: write a guestpost of about 200 words on your favourite French male artist, send it to guuzbourg(a)gmail.com and you may be a winner! Please before May 30th.

donderdag 21 mei 2009

Tragic news

Lucy Gordon, the actress who plays Jane Birkin in the upcoming Gainsbourg biopic, was found dead in her Paris appartment. Suicide. Tragic news on Ascension day.

woensdag 20 mei 2009

Stephanie Crayencour

The fuzzy-haired four of Suarez recorded for the French release of their very nice album On attend a duet with Belgian acting beauty Stephanie Crayencour. She played in a movie directed by none other than the great Eric Rohmer. It's a folky affair, the song I mean, and Steph has a honey-drenched voice that suits her dollface very well.

Suarez & Stephanie Crayencour - Juste pour voir

dinsdag 19 mei 2009

Madame Aime

Madame Aime is an album featuring the most gorgeous French actresses singing covers, mostly of 80s hits. Initiative of Madame Figaro, the magazine of newspaper Le Figaro. I got a copy of the mag that featured a photoshoot with all actresses, shot by Kate Barry. Philip Uminski and Bertrand Burgalat, who produced this album, are also featured. It's one of those albums that FS-fans just have to buy. I mean, Viriginie Ledoyen (pictured), Emmanuelle Beart, Emma de Caunes, Cécile Cassel, Valérie Lemercier, Léa Drucker, Isabelle Carré, Clothilde Courau, Mélanie Laurent, Joanna Preiss, Sylvie Testud - just calling these names out loud is a joy.
It's hard to pick songs (ok, well, not everyting is brilliant), but Virginie Ledoyen's version of Niagara's L'amour à la plage is great. Very Filles Fragiles-territory is Mélanie Laurent with Du bout des lèvres (orig. Barbara).

Virginie Ledoyen - L'amour a la plage
Melanie Laurent - Du bout des levres

maandag 18 mei 2009

Brazilian Interlude: Tiê, Clara

Special Brazilian correspondent Luciane on two fellow filles:

The moment I heard Tiê (pronounced "tee-eh"), I knew she was filles material: sweet, enticing, delicate, playful. She studied music in New York and toured extensively around the world with Toquinho, a major name in Brazilian music, before releasing a self-titled EP, in 2007. Her debut album, aptly called Sweet Jardim (Sweet Garden), was released the following year and fulfills the promise. She plays piano, acoustic guitar and signs all the ten songs with an intimate, autobiographical tone. At 28, we can only hope for more! Tiê flirts with English and Français besides composing in her native tongue, portuguese. Le pont (The bridge), from her EP, is an upbeat and playful french tune to sing along to the piano. Aula de francês (French class), from her debut, is as cute as it comes for low-fi charm. Her wordplay combines the honest mistakes of beginner students with a clear intention to communicate her desires and wills. Secretly, perhaps, but just enough. What is she a beginner at? Love, French or both?

This tasty wordplay with French and Portuguese brings us to another Brazilian fille, Clara Moreno, daughter of celebrated singer Joyce and previously featured here on FS. But now the invitation is to samba - and barefoot, no less! Why? Because we can! That's the story behind Pourquoi, an irresistible hip samba with a French spice from Clara's sixth album, Miss Balanço (Miss Groove). The song talks about this rebellious girl who wants to samba without her sandals on. But is it really so? Hmmm... You can't tell for sure if samba means dancing, flirting around when hubby is out of town or both. Either way, he comes home and doesn't like it. But this girl is the proud owner of a free spirit and the french chorus clearly states that she'll do as she pleases 'porque sim', a common portuguese expression to use when you don't want to explain yourself too much. It's very similar to saying 'pourquoi pas' or 'why not', but using 'yes' to make it more defiantly affirmative. Indeed, it takes a lot of attitude to samba barefoot, but not when you have the groovy sambas of Clara Moreno to lead you on. ;)

Tiê - Aula de Francês
Tiê - Le pont
Clara Moreno - Pourquoi

zaterdag 16 mei 2009

Jeremie & Emily

From the upcoming new album by Swiss singer Jeremie Kisling, this very beautiful duet with Emily Loizeau. See a live version on shaky cam here. If you think Emily's last album is a bit too freakfolkish, try this. (merci SOM)

Jeremie Kisling & Emily Loizeau - Nouvel Horizon

donderdag 14 mei 2009

Tigrita Project

You non-Europeans are probably oblivious about our Eurovison Songcontest - and rightly so. It's a campy feast (I mean, see this, or this) with usually bad songs competing. The finals are this Saturday, for France Patricia Kaas is participating with an okay chanson. I missed it, but thanks to Sam I know that Poland could've entered a probable winner. Tigrita Project, with Mon Chocolat. Yes, a French song, a tango to be more precise, sung by a beautiful redhead with a husky voice. Alas, they choose for this crap.

Tigrita Project - Mon chocolat (see video here)

Jenny Canto

Everyday, labels and promopeople offer me music to post on this blog. Most of those offers I turn down - although they claim to 'love' my blog, they send me noisy American indierock, weird clicks 'n cuts-music or country. Seldomly, it's female and French. Lo and behold: Jenny Canto is of Spanish descent, but sings in French. Her debut-single Me la couler douce has a big phat bassline, but her vocals are fragile the way we like it here. The label also send me a remix - not my cup of tea. But the link they provided to Eclats de Lune, a French collective of rappers and dj's, that was really nice. Check out the first track on their Myspace (Dans la lune), and you'll see why. (For the clueless: that's a Gainsbourg-sample right there). Jenny's songs is, and I quote, about 'urging us to let our hair down and get in touch with our inner child'. Irie!

Jenny Canto - Me la couler douce

woensdag 13 mei 2009

Make the girl dance

Ripped from this, yes. Gratuitous video, sure. But hey, it's in French, it's with sexy girls. What can I do but post?

Make the girl dance - Baby Baby Baby

The inspiration for the video was not this, but this.
Make the girl dance Myspace.

dinsdag 12 mei 2009

Jeanne Moreau

Sad but true: I have never posted this classic Jeanne Moreau song on my blog. I did post Vanessa Paradis' version, but not the original. Lucky for me, Virginia wrote a guestpost on this beautiful chanson:

Le tourbillon by Jeanne Moreau is a great, catchy song that’s easy to sing along to. I first heard the song in Jules et Jim, but by the end of the movie I had already forgotten about it because I was so struck by Moreau’s portrayal of Catherine. A few months later, I heard it again and I’ve loved it ever since. My French wasn’t that great when I heard the song, so it was nice that I didn’t have to look up too many words to understand its meaning. I like the chorus and how it changes throughout the song, especially the way it questions the characters actions at the end. Le tourbillon perfectly captures the action and tone of Jules et Jim. The song is lighthearted and playful, but also tragic because the characters remain entangled in each other’s lives and continue to hurt one another.

Jeanne Moreau - Le tourbillon

Sacha Distel

Sky wrote an addendum to this post:

Before Sacha Distel went to Planet Cheese, he was a highly versatile jazz guitar man. His teacher had been Henri Salvador who used to play with Django Reinhardt, Boris Vian, and Sacha’s uncle Ray Ventura. During the Fifties, Sacha became a household name in the Tabou in the Rue Dauphine and other clubs of the St. Germain de Près jazz scene, and from 1956-62 he was voted best guitarist in the polls of Jazz Hot magazine – seven years in a row!
Avec ces yeux-lá dates from May 1956, an accomplished bebop tune written by Michel Legrand and performed by a quintet featuring Distel, Billy Byers, Gene Di Novi, George Duvivier, and Charles Saudrais – a real all-star band for jazz aficionados. Marina, composed by Distel for the Roger Vadim segment of the 1961 omnibus movie Les sept péchés capitaux (The Seven Deadly Sins), sounds highly familiar – for good reasons. When Distel’s music publisher sold the tune to the US, it returned the following year under the title The Good Life – a huge hit for Tony Bennett, and recorded also by Bobby Darin, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan and countless other showroom giants.

Sacha Distel - Avec ces yeux-lá
Sacha Distel - Marina
Ann-Margret - The Good Life

maandag 11 mei 2009

Something stupid

Sky N. sends a guestpost. Hooray!

Some time ago, we unearthed two songs by Canadian actress Joanna Shimkus (Les Aventuriers), one of the most devastating brunettes ever to grace the silver screen. Here’s a third tune: the French version of Something Stupid, written and first recorded by Carson & Gaile in early 1967 and covered by various artists in the following months (among them Ray Conniff, Jackie Mittoo with a reggae fairground rape ripoff that must be heard to be believed, Siw Malmkwist, and Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell), before it was immortalized by Nancy Sinatra and her blue-eyed daddy in September of the same year.
Joanna’s partner in crime was Sacha Distel, nephew of Ray Ventura and a first class jazz guitarist who played with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Barney Kessel or Louis Armstrong (see here), but soon chose to become the French Andy Williams – a jack-of-all-trades doing chanson, bossa, mambo and la-la-la clapalong ditties resulting in a string of hits pretty much unrivaled in French pop history. Living the St. Tropez life of ease, he also was a dedicated ladies man famous for his liaisons with Juliette Greco, Jeanne Moreau, and Brigitte Bardot. With the latter, he recorded a cash-in cover version of Stevie Wonder’s You’re the Sunshine of my Life (1973) – deconstructing a love ballad into an ashes-of-the-morning swan song. While Brigitte’s voice still breathes the perfume of velvet sheets, Sacha sounds fed-up of them stupid words ... forever.

(UPDATE: apparently I f*cked things up. Now Carson & Gaile, and Marvin & Tammi are uploaded)

Carson & Gaile - Something Stupid
Jackie Mittoo - Something Stupid
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell - Something Stupid
Sacha Distel & Joanna Shimkus - Ces mots stupides

Sacha Distel & Brigitte Bardot, Tu es le soleil de ma vie

Carly Sings

Two great things happened in the life of Carly Blackman, aka Carly Sings (I have posted about her before). Her first album The Glove Thief was released, sporting a great cover. Carly lives in Paris, and who did she meet there? J-C Vannier. Yes, the genius behind Melody Nelson. She asked him if he would write arrangements for her next cd, AND HE SAID YES! Amazing story, but true.
The Glove Thief is a highly recommendable album, featuring gentle (and funny) songs about love 'n life, sometimes sung just by Carly (her voice is a cross between Inara George and El Perro del Mar) and her guitar, sometimes she adds keys, flute or 'apocalyptic percussion'. Two songs are sung in a Blossom Dearie-ish French, very charming. Can't wait for that next album, but The Glove Thieve makes the waiting more bearable.

Carly Sings - Marie Galante
Carly Sings - God and the Girl

donderdag 7 mei 2009

1000th post

The 1000th post on this blog, and of course it's dedicated to the music I love. First week of June, my new compilation is released. Gentils Garçons, because 'nothing makes the girls sigh like a singing French guy'. It features Renan Luce, Sammy Decoster, Benjamin Biolay, Samir Barris, Eddy(la)Gooyatsh) and a few duets: Arthur H with Feist, Liben with Stephanie Croibien and Pierre Faa with Barbara Carlotti. The latter is an exclusive track - Pierre's solo-album will be released later this year. But first there's the debutalbum by Pierre's band Peppermoon. A trio FS promoted the hell out of, and I'm glad I was asked to write the linernotes.
Thank you, visitors of Filles Sourires, for stopping by, for contributing, for loving French music. Keep on doing what you're doing, I will too.
(cd-cover was made by this guy.)

Pierre Faa & Barbara Carlotti - Encore des étoiles
Peppermoon - Après l'orage

dinsdag 5 mei 2009

Nouvelle Vague, Greco

Now on the NV-Myspace: Ça plane pour moi by Nouvelle Vague. From the new album that will be released in June.

I almost missed it, but Sylvester told me that Dame Juliette Gréco released a new album. Back in the day she wasn't exactly a fille fragile, she now sounds like the French counterpart of Marianne Faithfull. Some of France's best songwriters worked on Je me souviens tout, like Miossec, Brigitte Fontaine and Maxime le Forestier. But she turned to the young guns too, like Adrienne Pauly and Olivia Ruiz. The song posted here was written by ms Ruiz.

Juliette Greco - Dans ma chambre de dame

zondag 3 mei 2009

Cali & Marie Gillain

It was Isa who introduced me (us) to the gorgeous Belgian beauty Marie Gillain, and today I found out she sang some more. With French rock hero Cali, for the movie Magique. I knew the song, because C. also recorded it solo for his L'Espoir album. Singers turning into actors (and vice-versa) is pretty common in France, but that don't necessarily makes good movies. Or good albums. Haven't seen the film, but the song really benefits from Marie's voice. Or maybe I'm just as in awe with her beauty as Cali is in this video?

Cali & Marie Gillain - Je me sens belle
Cali & Marie Gillain - L'amour
Audrey Tautou & Marie Gillain - Qui qua vu Coco
(from the Coco avant Chanel soundtrack)