vrijdag 29 augustus 2008

Brigitte Sisters

A blonde asked a brunette in a fallafel shop of la Rue des Rosiers in Paris: "Do you want to make music with me?" The brunette smiled and said "yes!" With a small guitare with butterflies on it, a glockenspiel, a melodica, a mac, two voices, four hands, two heads and one room, they did just that. The name, you ask? Because of Brigitte Bardot, Brigitte Lahaye, Brigitte Fontaine, and Brigitte the old aunt of the girl next door; Brigitte was born. (By the way, we know the darkhaired Brigitte sister from here and here).
Another video here. Myspace here.

Brigitte Sisters - Apres Minuit
Brigitte Sisters - Le Coeur du Chewing Gum


Pierre Fa made this poster to promote the two Filles Fragiles concerts in November. It's also a first look at the cover for the new Filles Fragiles cd, that will be released in October. More on that later. (Click to enlarge)

donderdag 28 augustus 2008

Brigitte Fontaine

Guestpost! Natasha on Brigitte Fontaine:

The iconic Brigitte Fontaine – singer, songwriter, author, actress, playwright, novelist and poet, now 69 – has been a “sublime pain-in-the-ass” (the French name of her latest show) of the French, world, jazz, pop, electro, underground and God knows what else scene for some 30 odd years and is still going strong. Still going strong in Brigitte’s case doesn’t mean mellowing out and cutting lame, old lady tracks, either. It means appearing at the Barbican Centre in London in 2006 with English artists (Jarvis Cocker, Portishead, Beck, etc.) for the first public interpretation of the Serge Gainsbourg’s "Histoire de Melody Nelson". It also means working with Jacques Higelin (which has been doing for 30 years), The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Pierre Lapointe, Sonic Youth and more names that you can shake a stick at. Finally, it means constantly staying ahead of any critic telling her what her style is. Or her using dirty lyrics. Or criticizing the French government’s lack of legal abortion at the time. Or writing a novel. Or receiving the prestigious Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros.

Shopping in a minimalist vinyl store in Barcelona, there I saw it: her first ever CD entitled “Dévaste-moi” from 1966 (then titled “13 chansons décadentes et fantasmagoriques”). The title track, with its “Fever” like intro was apparently an instant hit in Japan. The rest is sung with the tone and cynicism of a younger Gainsbourg (more like the other way round, though), some snappy jazz and samba, and some great lyrics all written by her.

For some more recent party music dig into “Le Nougat”, an Arabic sounding number where an elephant ends up in her bathroom and fun stuff like “Je suis conne” and “Comme à la radio” (the remix) are good dance floor numbers as well. Just go out and discover more Brigitte Fontaine. Everyone should.

Brigitte Fontaine - Devaste-moi
Brigitte Fontaine - Le Nougat
Brigitte Fontaine - C'est Pas Ma Faute


When scanning older posts, I saw a comment that recommended Arolde (sorry, can't seem to find it now, but whoever made that recommendation Francelagale, merci!). This Belgian chanteuse is, sort of, the older of sister of Yelle. Joyous, electronic, childlike. Her real name is Zoé Jadoul, she used to be in a band called Les Brochettes, and she took her name from the movie Harold & Maud (Harold, Arolde, geddit?). No album so far, but you can dowload a bunch of songs for free on her site. These songs stem from 2004, don't know why she stopped recording. Maybe because of her filmwork. She does perform every know and then.

Arolde - Je n'irai jamais travailler

woensdag 27 augustus 2008


Good news and bad news. The bad news is that Coralie Clement is not coming to the Filles Fragiles concerts in November. Instead, Vanessa Contenay-Quinones is coming, and she's bringing Clive Langer along as guitar player. If that's not good news enough, a little birdie send me a link to a new track from Coralie's upcoming album, a very sweet ode to Paris and it's great architecture. I was a bit sceptical about Toy Store after the first EP, but this makes me want to hear that album so bad. Not only does it contain a duet with Chiara Mastroianni, it also sports a cover from Lio (La Reine des Pommes).
As you may know, Vanessa recorded a duet with Lou Reed a few years ago, an electorock version of the Velvet's Sunday Morning. Somebody put together a very sexyfunny version of this cover. It's like Lou sings: tu mange matin. Props if you can guess which music is used in hte background.

Coralie Clement - Paris, dix heures du soir
Removed on request
Vanessa C-Q & Lou Reed - Interlude

Nite Cells

Got the OK to post the wonderful Nite Cells remix for Division Kent's L'Heure Bleue. In a short while, the DK-album will be re-released with a bonus-cd featuring all remixes. So far, my favourite is by fellow countryman Shook, but Keenhouse and this one by Nite Cells certainly aren't bad either.

Division Kent - L'Heure Bleue (Nite Cells remix)

zondag 24 augustus 2008

Keep it Padam

In addition to this post (and this one), Didier send me two interisting covers of Edith's Padam Padam. There's the vocal acrobatics of Catherine Ribeiro (pictured, from her 1977 album Les Blues de Piaf), and there's the theatrical trickery of Anne Peko(slawska). I've added Arthur H's very smokey barroom version, and a very beautiful version in Afrikaans by Karin Hougaard. While googling away on Padam, I bumped on the band Padam. Never heard of these guys, but they're an interesting bunch, taking influences from gypsy music, blues, musette and whatnot. Les Papillons is the first song from their new album.

Anne Peko - Padam Padam
Catherine Ribeiro - Padam Padam
Arthur H - Padam Padam
Karin Hougaard - Padam Padam
Padam - Les Papillons

donderdag 21 augustus 2008

Marie Laforet

A highlight in my recent dj-sets, this little ditty by Marie Laforet. One of the few songs in which she sings higher than we're used to, thus she sounds more fragile. It's her first single. The version in the video differs from the studio-version. The clip is from the movie St. Tropez Blues (1961). I wonder if there's a better sound recording of this duo-version.

Marie Laforet - St Tropez Blues

dinsdag 19 augustus 2008

Marianne Dissard

Out in a month or so: L'Entredeux by Marianne Dissard. The mighty Le Pop from Germany is releasing it, you can see the cover on the left. I got a copy a few months back, and my initial reaction was: great, but why are your vocals so buried in the mix. It was like saying to a young mother: lovely child, but look at it's wrinkles, she's like an old lady. Or even worse. Marianne was not amused - but we're good now. The thing is, when you're blessed with a supersexy husky voice like Marianne's, you want it to be as upclose and personal as possible. Like she's whispering it directly to you, even if the lyrics are not so favourable (like in the song Merci de Rien du Tout). It took a while before the album was done, but it sure was worth the wait.
When she's touring in Europe, in fall and probably next year, I will say: Come here, Marianne. Closer. Clo-ser...(whispers:) merci, ma chere.
More here.

Marianne Dissard - Les Lendemains

Emi Bond

One to watch from Montreal: 23-year old Emi Bond. A name that sounds like a headline in the Financial section, but apparently it's her real name. Emi hails from a small village, relocated to the big city when she was 5, and worked her way up in the music biz doing talent shows. I think she needs to work on her voice, sometimes she sounds a bit bland; the song featuring reggae-influeces, modern-day rock and even some electronics are good enough. Like I said, one to watch, but not quit there yet. Kamikaze is her hitsingle, Parasol ends the album and is a very nice, fragile song. Just the way I like it.

Emi Bond - Kamikaze (clip)
Emi Bond - Parasol

maandag 18 augustus 2008


"There has always been an element of calculation with the music of Stereolab, and a title like Chemical Chords seems completely apt. This is not calculation in a “we don’t really mean this music, we’re smug nerds with Moogs” sort of fashion, more “we’ve worked hard on every note of this record, we know where each and every nuance is because we bled it”. The hard work, the preparation and, yes, the calculation has been totally worth it. Chemical Chords is an apt title." So writes Drowned in Sound, and rightly so. Chemical Chords won't make Laetitia and Tim win over new fans, but if you're into the band (and every Filles Sourires-reader should be) than you won't be disappointed. There are a few French songs on the album, one kicks off with that beloved, sixties-Serge-bass. The plopping bass, as I like to call it. A perfect song to post here.

Stereolab - Vortical Phonotheque

My Brightest Diamond

Country noir, a great way to describe the moody, almost gothic take on country by bands like Sixteen Horsepower, Handsome Family and My Brightest Diamond. The latter is the nom de plume of Shara Worden. A few months ago, her second album was released. The bio on her Myspace reads: A Thousand Shark’s Teeth is a musical snowglobe that sparkles each time you touch it. The songs, whose themes broach intimacy, kisses by moonlight, laundry, lost friendship and more, marry vast instrumentation – marimbas, harps, clarinets, French horns, rabid guitars, vibraphones to name a few – to create an unequaled amalgamation of style and color.'

She did a session for French rockmag Les Inrockuptibles, earlier her haunting version of Roy Orbison's It's Over was made available. Now, here's an mp3 of MBD's reprise of Edith Paif's Padam Padam. See Shara and her ukelele here. There's an EP coming out featuring two Piaf-covers by MBD, Hymne a L'amour and Adieu Mon Coeur.
I've added Piaf's original, and a German (!) cover by Petula Clark.

Edith Piaf - Padam, Padam (clip)
My Brightest Diamond - Padam, Padam
Petula Clark - Padam, Padam

zaterdag 16 augustus 2008


Thanks to SOM, I present you two highly exclusive songs, that won't be out until September. First is Marina, not to be confused with Marina Celeste. Marina is a contestant of Star Academy (like Olivia Ruiz), her debut album is called Libellule (hm, what's up with butterflies all of a sudden?) and the first single was written by Da Silva. Sounds promising.
Da Silva also collaborated with 80s star Elsa Lunghini (pictured), immortalized thanks to major hitsingle T'En Vas Pas (I still think this is one of the classic French 80s popsongs). Her sixth album (number eight if you count comps and live-cds) not only features Da Silva, but also a hookup with none other that Dominique A.
There's a lot to look forward to then; Coralie Clement's new album, Vanessa Paradis' live album and dvd, a new Francoiz Breut album, Marina Celeste's English project (maybe even her children's project), Marianne Dissard's debut...

Marina - Tout me revient
Elsa Lunghini - Oser

Miam Monster Miam

Miam Monster Miam is the moniker of Belgian Madcap Benjamin Schoos. On his Wiki he is described as an artiste touche-a-tous. There is very little Benjamin can't or won't do: he runs a label, writes, composes, produces and designs. And sings. As you can tell from his pseudonym, Benjamin is a big Gainsbourg-fan. L'Homme Libellule, an album that was released last year, is his L'Homme a la Tete de Chou. From this review: 'To the core influence of Gainsbourg, Schoos adds an array of other influences, all smoothly integrated. The first track, “La Mystérieuse Aventure,” the only instrumental, is brooding seventies prog—not bombastic, but atmospheric. Moreover, it’s French-style prog, rather than being in the Yes or ELP vein: It most reminds me of the obscure French group Flamen Dialis, but also is vaguely Magma-esque. Other tracks are overtly Gainsbourgian, such as “Insectorama en Mélodie Pop,” a duet with Sophie Galet, or “Saligotte Sally,” which sounds like an outtake from Gainsbourg’s Melody Nelson, while “Plutonium Baby” evokes the light-hearted, stylish new wave–isms of the Belgian band Honeymoon Killers, Family Fodder, or even Blondie. “The Takeshi ATT Cloning Love Machine” is seventies electro-pop, complete with cheap rhythm machine, while “Ninja Fury” has a seductive Euro-trash disco feel.'
The cover, pictured here, features Benjamin surrounded by John Lennon, Johnny Ramone, Bruce Lee (on congas!) and Serge, on guitar. Some help, eh.
There's one beautiful duet on the album, with folksinger Sophie Galet. Who I wish would sing more in French, because she's a modern-day Françoise Hardy.
MMM/Benjamin manifests himself online a lot. See his reprise of Laisse Tomber les Filles here. Read his blog here. Myspace here. Hear a liveshow here.

Miam Monster Miam & Sophie Galet - Insectorama en Melodie Pop

vrijdag 15 augustus 2008

Blues Trottoir

Jazzy pop from the eighties is my current obsession - yesterday, two vinyls from Blue Rondo a la Turk came in, and I've been listening to Sade, Everything but the Girl, Style Council and Carmel a lot recently. Thanks to Pierre Fa, I got to know Blues Trottoir. In 1986, Un Soir de Pluie was a massive hit in France. Because of the drumcomputer, it sounds a bit like Matt Bianco, the voice of Clemence L'Homme is similar to Isabel Antena's. Love that melancholy in her voice. I don't know much about what happened after their first album was released - Clemence went solo, and scored some hits too. But she didn't stay in the game. Now, with Japanese musician Yamori Kota she's making music again. And the new songs are really good. Especially love their take on Last Tango in Paris.

Blues Trottoir - Un soir de pluie (video)
Blues Trottoir - Last Tango
Blues Trottoir - Pars
Clemence L'Homme - Losin' You (1994)
Clemence L'Homme - Dis Moi (1997)

More videos here and here.
Pardon My Freedom has a great French 80s mix! Go HERE

woensdag 13 augustus 2008

New Division Kent remixes

Time to dance inna eightieswavedisco-EdBanger-stylee: thanks to Stefan, I got two brandspanking new Division Kent remixes. Of L'Heure Bleue ofcourse, a track that in it's original form is on Filles Fragiles 1. One of these heavy heavy bass-mixes was made by Shook, a Justice and Danger-lovin' guy from Holland. See and hear more on Shook here. Nite Cells from the City of Angels made the other remix. More on those guys here. UPDADTE: I'm not allowed to post that mix right now, but keep watching this space.

Division Kent - L'Heure Bleue (Nite Cells Roquefort remix)
Division Kent - L'Heure Bleue (Shook remix)

maandag 11 augustus 2008

Hollywood, Mon Amour

'Everything that was produced in the eighties sounds unfashionable now, but if you take a song like Flashdance and really break it down to the chords, you find a classic harmony there. You can interpret the emotion in another way - maybe this girl is not winning but she has failed all her dance exams. You get a totally different feeling from it.' Dixit Marc Collin, one of the official heroes of this blog, about Hollywood, Mon Amour. CD will be released end of September. The Nouvelle Vague-director did it again: he took 15 fairly well-known songs from fairly well-know 80s films (ranging from Flashdance to Forbidden Colours from Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, originally performed by David Sylvian and Ryuchi Sakamoto, a song that doesn't sound unfashionable to me now, by the way). Collin asked several female singers, like Skye, Juliette Lewis, Yael Naim and Nancy Danino. The result is quite nice, but like the last Nouvelle Vague-album, you catch Marc's drift after a while. And songs like Forbidden Colours or This Is Not America aren't that easy to 'break down' and 'interpret the other way'.
The only French words on this project are in Blondie's Call Me.

Hollywood Mon Amour feat. Skye - Call Me
Hollywood Mon Amour feat. Yael Naim - Flashdance...what a feeling
Links Removed On Request!
See trailer-videos for Hollywood Mon Amour here and here

woensdag 6 augustus 2008

Julie O.

The song is called 'Film', and when you hear mysterious vocalist Julie O. whisper her confessions, you see that black'n white nouvelle vague movie almost instantly. The smoke a lot-drink a lot-talk a lot movies of the sixties are an inspiration to many - ranging from Dutch comedians Arjan Ederveen & Tosca Niterink (can't find a youtube link, but it's hilarious) to dEUS-sideproject Magnus (here). Headphone are a band from Gent (Belgium), who are compared to Radiohead a lot. Their bio says: lofi pop songs but with a club scene twist, sophisticated electronica and rock songs got them the brand new label 'indietronica'.' Nice word, but I like Dialectro better. (Example? Here)

Headphone - Film

dinsdag 5 augustus 2008


Charlotte Savary is an angel. So claims the biography of Felipecha, which ofcourse raises the expectations. The one song I heard (there are a few wobbly videos, here and here) is pretty good, in the vein of Poney Express and Emily Loizeau. They're making a lot of fuss online, a full album will be released next month. She was also the singer of Clover and Wax Tailor, bands I heard of, but never checked. Afther I saw some videos (here and here) I know I'm very glad Char decided to sing in French. And go more acoustic.

Felipecha - Quelque Part

maandag 4 augustus 2008

Un petit coup avec moi?

Heard this song last Sunday on Dutch radio (thanks to this show), and some memories of vacances with mes parents came back. This was a major summer hit in the early 80s, the soundtrack to the movie Vive Les Femmes. That was inspired by the comics of Reiser. You can see some clips from that movie here (ah, les jarretelles de Catherine Leprince!) and here. This is a video for a Benni Benassi song, set to the music of Dites... This is the real video. See for more info here. [Merci Franss]

Roland Giraud, Michèle Brousse & Maurice Risch- Dites, ça vous dirait… avec moi (Vive les femmes!)

Stephanie, Gerard

Canadian jazz-singer Stephanie Laliberté recorded a beautiful version of Serge's La Noyée on her recently released debut-album. It sounds like a standard, and ofcourse it is. Carla B. did an even nicer version on her debut, Yann Tiersen also recorded a great reprise. Keep 'm coming. Laliberté also does a song by Michel Legrand on her album.
I also found a cover of L'Anamour, from the soundtrack to Quand j'etais Chanteur. That's Gerard Depardieu singing a Gainsbourg-tune (see for yourself here). Gégé sang before, as you can see here. Guess he found his talent after all.

Stephanie Laliberté - La Noyée
Gerard Depardieu - L'Anamour

Carla on decadence

Carla Bruni - Fernande
Georges Brassens - Fernande

vrijdag 1 augustus 2008

Avec Elina, Serge et Leo

I think I might have developed a special antenna for Gainsbourg-covers. Yesterday I was trying some SG-titles in iTunes, when up popped the recently released album by Albanian jazzsinger Elina Duni. She set her first steps on stage as a kid violinst, after the fall of the communist administration she moved to Geneva with her mother. There, she studied at several conservatories. Back in Albania, she starred in movies and plays. In Switzerland, she founded her own quartet, winning several prizes. She's even called the most beautiful musical surprise of the 21st century. Elina has a sweet voice, bit breezy, less Balkan-heavy then you might think. The album has some Albanian songs, a few in English and a couple in French: two Gainsbourg-covers, and what some see as the most beautiful song ever written in French, Avec le Temps by Leo Ferré. That song was covered a lot of times, and Elina's version give me the opportunity to post several of my fave versions. The favest is by Jane Birkin, ofcourse. Elina's Myspace is here.

Elina Duni - La Javanaise
Elina Duni - Ces Petits Riens
(See original versions of these songs here and here)
Elina Duni - Avec le Temps
Leo Ferré - Avec le Temps (video)
Jane Birkin - Avec le Temps (very moving video here)
Patricia Kaas - Avec le Temps
Dalida - Avec le Temps (video)
Sapho - Avec le Temps