zondag 28 februari 2010

Sélection de Lundi: Gil Now

I don’t know the slightest bit about Gil Now, but this mid-60s Gallic mod killer track, originally released on Barclay Records, even surpasses the splendid French rhythm & blues adaptations by the late, great Nino Ferrer, and easily. Actually, Dis-Le Moi is a cover of Skate, a classic late nite Hammond dancer by Northern Soul legend Dean Parrish. This Monday’s motto: Je veux être noir.

Gil Now – Dis-le moi
Dean Parrish – Skate

dinsdag 23 februari 2010

Keren Ann & Benjamin Biolay

Benjamin Biolay and Keren Ann, singing a Johnny Hallyday song. Exciting, I know. It's from the soundtrack of the new French movie Thelma, Louise et Chantal, that has nothing to do with the movie Thelma & Louise - well, maybe a little. Lead characters are Jane Birkin, Caroline Cellier and Catherine Jacob - they're all on the soundtrack as well. As are Vanessa Paradis (see here), Melanie Laurent and Keren Ann, who wrote most of the music and also did a magnificent duet with Doriand for this soundtrack (La Question, by Françoise Hardy). See the trailer here.

Keren Ann & Benjamin Biolay - L'idole des jeunes
Johnny Hallyday - L'idole des jeunes

See original video (from 1962) here.

maandag 22 februari 2010

Reminder: Gainsbourg party in Amsterdam

Smoking to Serge Gainsbourg's music used to be easy to do, but since you can't do that anymore, dancing it is! On 17 March, the day before the wonderful film about his exploits premieres in the Netherlands (Gainsbourg Vie Héroïque), Serge's musical heritage will be celebrated at the Bitterzoet club with performances by Flora Dolores and Les Spinshots, Serge van Duijnhoven (poet and writer), La Secte Citron (theatre and music), Paris-Maastricht (music) and well as DJs Guuzbourg and Natashka. Everything that makes Gainsbourg so unique, his erotically charged songs, his jazz numbers, the reggae, the psychedelic stuff, you'll hear it all. Twenty years after his death Gainsbourg has become an icon for artists, fashion designers, musicians, writers and DJs. Je t'aime...moi aussi!

- Guuzbourg (from the Gainsnord, Filles Fragiles compilations)
- Natashka (DJ/event planner at Oh La La)

Live acts:
- Flora Dolores with Les Spinshots (music)
- La Secte Citron (theatre and music)
- Paris-Maastricht (music)
- Serge van Duijnhoven (reading)

More info:

Oh, and ofcourse, this weekend is the world famous Soirée Gainsbourg in Antwerp

zondag 21 februari 2010

Sélection de Lundi: April in February

User comment at YouTube: "This is the hottest thing I have ever seen, and I watch tons of porn." Nuff said.


zaterdag 20 februari 2010

Lightspeed Champion vs Gainsbourg

Indie-darling of the week Lightspeed Champion covers Serge & Jane's eponymous 69 Année Erotique on his new EP. There's another French song on it, called Tête Morte (a French version of a song on his latest album). Both feature a very fragile fille. No clue who she is - Emmy The Great, who sang backup on LC's first album? Ladyhawke? She doesn't sound French to me.In april Lightspeed Champion tours Europe.

UPDATE: Will Kane had the right answer. The girl singing is French model Valentine Fillol-Cordier. And of course, we got a picture. More? Here.

Lightspeed Champion - 69 Annee Erotique

In other news: Mordi has the new Alizée single up for grabs. Electro-pop, partly in English and French.

vrijdag 19 februari 2010

Jean-Paul's Angel

No one could resist this long legged beauty with the blow dried blonde hairstyle during the mid-seventies and eighties. She first appeared in 1974 in the American television serie 'The Six Million Dollar Man' with Lee Majors, to whom she got married in 1973 and divorced in 1979. But she grew real big (and so did her hairdo) as she started playing the role of Jill Munroe in Charlie's Angels in 1976. On top of that she did a shoot for Playboy in 1978. Hard to say what made her more popular.

Meanwhile the French actor, former Playgirl model (NSFW) and singer Jean-Paul Vignon was looking for a girl to record a duet with and one way or another came up with the blonde sexsymbol. Together they released the single 'You (Toi)' in 1977 on which Vignon sings the French parts and Farrah Fawcett sighs the English translations of it.
A remarkable duet that can't compete with other famous semi-erotic pillow talk duets, but nevertheless has a charm in it's own cheesy way.

Farrah Fawcett. She sure was an angel. A sighing one.

Farrah Fawcett Majors et Jean-Paul Vignon - You (Toi)

woensdag 17 februari 2010

Brssld in Blgm

„I think Brussels is a great city. The city smells of shit. ‚La merde’, but good ‚merde’.“ Belgian singer and ex-frontman of semi new-wave-legend TC Matic, Arno – feel free to check out Maks’s no. 1 fave of the last decade, Arno’s Charles Ernest album – sounds like a bastard child of Alain Bashung and Arthur H. A risky mixture, especially regarding my personal aversion against the late Monsieur Bashung, but his new album Brssld works just fine, provided that you’re into a deeply rooted 80s touch, complete with synth nostalgia, rasp-throated tenderness, and a remarkable, piano-driven salon version of Bob Marley’s Get Up, Stand Up. Dnt gv p th fght.

Arno – Quelqu’un a touché ma femme
Arno – Get Up Stand Up

dinsdag 16 februari 2010

FS Does The Classics: Arthur Honegger

In January 1920, a Parisian journalist named Henri Collet proclaimed Les Six Francais, soon to be known as Groupe des Six, bracketing six French composers together as the avantgarde of the new decade. One of the members was then 25-year-old Arthur Honegger, who (unlike the others) admired Wagner and Debussy, and put on his kids gloves when it came to iconoclasm: „There’s no point knocking down doors you can open“, he would state 30 years later. In the summer of the same year, he wrote his ultra romantic Pastorale d’été, Poème symphonique, epigraphed by a line from Rimbaud: „J’ai embrassé l’aube d’été ...“ One flute, one oboe, one clarinet, one bassoon, one horn, plus strings: This is the first light of a warm summer day, and there’s few chances it will get more bright and beautiful again.

Pour H.

Orchestre National de l’ORTF/ conducted by Jean Martignon – Pastorale d´été

Pop Bâtard XII: Sex Mashine Working

French DJ/ bootlegger & lover of cool cover designs Sugamotor is the string-puller behind the aptly titled brand new Sex Mashine compilation which he rightly calls an „international orgy“. The album features 17 sultry mash-ups chockfull with moanin’ and groanin’, among them three blends incorporating French language songs, my personal favorite being Suga’s splendid fusion of Coldplay and Colette Renard’s charming 1958 cabaret classic Les nuits d’une demoiselle. For detailed info, see mp3 notes. The full album can be downloaded here.

Ben Double M – Sea, Love, Sex and Sun
DJ Giac – Girls bandent
Sugamotor – Nights in My Demoiselle

Colette Renard – Les nuits d’une demoiselle

zondag 14 februari 2010

Sélection de Lundi: Dalida

No, it's not Dalida week at FS. Remarkable, equally touching version of Piaf's Vie en rose anyway.


Hardy vs Fouxi

The new Françoise Hardy album, out March 29, sports songs written by Calogero (new single Noir sur blanc), La Grande Sophie and Arthur H. But the title track was written by none other than FillesSourires-friend Fouxi. Posted that song a year ago on this blog (see?), but it's time for a re-up. Fouxi told me a while back that Hardy was thinking of covering her song, and now she named her album after it too! Top that! Curious about the Hardy-version, and the rest of the album. Hope it's better than the mixed bag that duet-album Parentheses was.

Françoise Hardy - Noir sur blanc
Fouxi - Parapluie sans pluie

zaterdag 13 februari 2010

Mireille Meets Morricone

It’s easy to underestimate Mireille Mathieu, especially after all those atrocious 70s tv shows and her duets with Julio Iglesias, Barry Manilow, or Austrian schlock entertainer Peter Alexander ... but let’s not get started on this. Her most interesting record might well be her collaboration with Italian soundtrack giant Ennio Morricone in 1974, featuring the stunningly beautiful J’oublie la pluie et le soleil and an intricately arranged French Cinemascope version of the gorgeous main theme from C’era una volta il West – horse oeuvre going Opéra National.

Mireille Mathieu – J’oublie la pluie et le soleil
Mireille Mathieu – Un jour tu reviendras

Talking cool, Mireille also was part of the OST of 1968’s Girl on a Motorcycle, featuring Mick Jagger’s sixties paramour Marianne Faithfull on some semi-chic, but mostly forgettable Electra Glide in Blue ride. Despite the granny-pleasing refrain, Mireille’s song probably is the movie’s best moment.

Mireille Mathieu – Sweet Souvenirs of Stefan

Le bal des actrices

All actresses are self-centered, neurotic, and crave for love. This is not me talking, this is the thesis of Maiwenn Le Besco, a former actress who wants to shoot a documentary about ex-collegues to prove this thesis. Then, of course, she falls for one of her subjects. This is in a nutshell what the movie Le bal des actrices is about, a mockumentary/comedy from Maiwenn Le Besco, featuring Julie Depardieu, Charlotte Rampling and Yvan Attal (yep, mr Charlotte Gainsbourg). Haven't seen it, alas, but I did download the soundtrack. The music's by Gabriel Yared, and has songs sung by the actresses, with help from Pauline Croze, Anaïs and Armelle Pioline. The latter duets with Romane Bohringer about the ups and downs of being an actress, to a very Holden-like musical setting. Nice. Maiwenn herself sings the themesong, very fragile, very Gainsbourgian too. See the very funny trailer here. This site has some musical vids from the movie.

Armelle Pioline & Romane Bohringer - Mille et une femmes
Maiwenn - Le bal des actrices

vrijdag 12 februari 2010

New Francoise Hardy album, single

Here you can listen to a very short clip of Noir sur blanc, the first single from the upcoming Françoise Hardy album La pluie sans parapluie.

HERE you can download a session for the American radioshow Morning Becomes Eclectic by Charlotte Gainsbourg & Beck (Jan 27).

donderdag 11 februari 2010

Something completely different

If you see my playlist on Last.fm (bottom of this blog) you can see that I do not listen to French singing girls ALL the time (shock! horror!). For the website Het Zesde Vlak (a Dutch blog on advertising, gadgets, funny movies and fine music) I made a compilation called Perfect Arty Afro, featuring songs by mostly white rock bands that are inspired by African highlife and afrobeat music. From Talking Heads to Vampire Weekend. You can download the compilation here, by clicking on HIER.

woensdag 10 februari 2010

La mer est grande

Gorgeous grand-sweep opera version of Trenet's immortal classic, Italo-French style.


Quentin Mosimann

Joann Sfar said in various interviews that he partly made his Gainsbourg-movie to educate the kids - French youngsters don't know that much about the Great Serge anymore. Not sure if that's really the case - in recent years many winners of French talentshows (like Star Academy or Nouvelle Star, and winners of those shows usually are genuine talents) referred to Serge is various ways. Julien Doré covered a song by Serge on his debut and made a reference in his first video, Soan has a very Gainsbourgian side and now Quentin Mosimann sings a song chockfull of Gainsbourgian references on his new album. Can you spot all the titles and musical hints?

Quentin Mosimann - Gainsbourg Zéro-Dix

maandag 8 februari 2010

Emmanuelle & Iggy

See the conversations with Keren Ann too!

Sélection de Lundi: Serge's Delight

Serge's Bonnie & Clyde vs. Soul II Soul, Sugarhill Gang & Skee-lo. Bastard Pop Heaven from the highly creative Je deteste Serge G. bootlegger homage.


donderdag 4 februari 2010

French Lingo Foreign Style #1: Peter & Conny

In the late Fifties, nearly every country had its own Elvis. Peter Kraus mimicked the German one, selling millions of records with chubby cheeks, his characteristic giggly chuckles, and loads of fakey attitude: no question, he was about as hip as a shoe tree, but then, his Parisian equivalent Johnny 'allyday proved that it didn’t take much to be a teen idol in post-war France either. In 1958, Kraus also tried to cash in on the Gallic market, with a French language cover of his own hit Ich denk an dich (I Think of You), with a nice arrangement by Werner Schafenberger, the svengali behind many of Kraus’s Polydor recordings. The French didn’t buy it, probably still too much „Achtung! Stehenbleiben!“ echoes in their ears. Perhaps a mistake: This is a little charmer of a song.

Peter Kraus – Je pense à toi
Peter Kraus – Ich denk an dich

Around the same time, Kraus teamed up with German 50s cutie star Conny Froboess in a string of Schlager movies and duet songs. Despite her seemingly orgasm-free freshman aura, Conny had some pronounced sexy groove, and the better songs. In 1961, she recorded Chez nous, written by Pierre Dorsey and Charles Gaston Dumont, a longing tune with accordion bittersweetness and solemn flute ... gee, what French language can do.

Thanks to the indispensable Roy Black for providing the songs.

Conny & Peter – Ich möcht’ mit dir träumen
Conny Froboess – Blue Jean Boy
Conny Froboess – Chez nous

woensdag 3 februari 2010

Emmanuelle & Roman

There are two remarkable songs on Emmanuelle Seigner's new album Dingue, that drops in a week. One's a duet with Iggy Pop. In French. Remember Ig singing Les Feuilles Mortes, last year? This is a good. Or as awful, if you like. The other is the duet with her hubby Roman Polanski. Who's in quite a situation at the moment, and I don't mean his upcoming films. Still, he has some powerful allies. With that in mind, a song called Qui êtes-vous? (Who are you?) is, shall we say, very on topic. She calls him a pig, and threatens to call the police.
Dingue is, by the way, a very nice album. Song with a 50's rock vibe, some more folky tracks (one about her own name), and Em's charming, untrained voice.

Emmanuelle Seigner & Roman Polanski - Qui êtes-vous?

Agnès Bihl

The sung letter seems to be the new thing in French pop. After Benjamin Biolay and Jeanne Cherhal vocalising the post-it notes of a doomed couple, Agnès Bihl and 'slammeur' Grand Corps Malade (making a first appearance on this blog, after 2 albums) are doing the same thing on Bihl's new album, Rêve Général(e). She stays true to the vaudeville/classic chanson style of her first two albums - shameless romantic piano ballads, Django-fied songs, a bigband number, and two duets. The one with GCM really stands out.

Agnès Bihl & Grand Corps Malade - Je T'aime Que Moi

maandag 1 februari 2010


To get in the mood, one of the greatest French 80s popsong ever:
Regrets - Tout le monde s'amuse

Oh, and on March 17, me and Natasha do a Soirée Gainsbourg in Amsterdam. It's the day before the Dutch premiere of Vie Heroïque.

Luke video

Posted the song earlier, here's the video. Still don't know who the girl is that sings - my guess it's not the Nathalie Portman-lookalike in the video below.

Une fille du nom de Charlie

Maks discovered Charlie already in March last year, but somehow she slipped under my radar. Here she is again, with unmistakably weightless qualities.