Another example of a gothified fille. Lou (3 albums already) makes ‘Dark and down-tempo-chansons looking like slow-frenchy-folk-organico-minimal & groovy torch songs’ (says her Myspace). Try it on for size.
Lou – D’avril A Juillet
Funny song about them kids, sung by the highly talented Django Reinhardt-fan Mademoiselle Sane. Well, on her most recent album are some gypsyjazzified songs. This is a reggae-ditty, I strongly advise you to crank up the volume towards the end, for maximum effect. I have also added the seductive Dans ton cul, a song from her debut album. Yes, the title translates as In Your Ass. Like I said, funny.
Mademoiselle Sane – Les gamins (On n’en veut pas)
Mademoiselle Sane – Dans ton cul
Might be in the eye of the beholder, but more and more French girls seem to turn goth. Canadian singer Anik Jean got the biggest bat of ‘m all, The Cure’s Robert Smith. On Anik’s self-titled new album they’re redoing Believe, a song Smith sang on Earl Slick’s album Zig Zag. Anik added French lyrics (and vocals, obviously) but I doubt Robbie re-sang his part, to me it sounds more like he was sampled. Anyhoo, not a song for eternity but a nice diversion nonetheless.
Anik Jean & Robert Smith – J’aurai tout essayé
Earl Slick & Robert Smith – Believe
Today was a beautiful day, lots and lots of sunshine. And then this record fell on my doormat. Cuban superstar Raul Paz together with lovely French vocal-trickster Camille (in Spanish, ain’t she versatile). The record’s called Carnaval, and that’s what it is!
Raul Paz & Camille – Carnaval
When the female choir rises up, it’s quite easy to see Ceci est mon corps as a song that Gainsbourg never recorded for his masterpiece Melody Nelson. Some guitarriffs come really close to those on that album. That said, it’s a haunting ballad in it’s own right, with enough charm (and sexiness) to make a lasting impression. Lafille (don’t know her real name) chanes on her debutalbum from bratty poprock (Aujourd’hui J’me Lave Pas) to touching ballads (J’ai Rencontré Quelqu’un Qui Te Ressemble). I Wanna Be Your Cat is dreadful, but the two closing tracks Ceci est mon corps and the titletrack Lafille tout attaché(é) are absolutely brilliant. An album for the yearlists.
Lafille – Ceci est mon corps
Exclusive content on FillesSourires, a live-recording of Flemish singer/actor Evi de Jean doing Serge’s Le poinconneur. With this song she won the prize of the public of Le Concours de la Chanson, an acclaimed contest for (fairly) young singers singing French songs. The songs starts with Evi telling a story about taking the train from Amsterdam to Antwerp to visit her grandmother. In Belgium her ticket got punched by a train conductor – an odd thing, in these computerized times. It reminded her of Serge’s Le poinconneur des Lilas. Accompanied by a violinist and pianist she sings a slow, seductive version that picks up in a train-like fashion when the lyrics talk about the punching of the tickets. Nice touch. More on the impressive curriculum vitae of Evi here. The recording was made by Anton van Halderen for Het Chanson.
Evi de Jean – Le poinconneur des Lilas
Charles Baudelaire inspired many musicians, from pop to classical. His book of poetry Les fleurs du mal is best known, containing poems touching on lesbianism, sex, death and wine. Gainsbourg was a fan, obviously, and in the past artists like J-L Murat, AS Dragon and The Cure paid tribute. And now Dutch band Kashmir Boots set Tristesse de la lune to music. Guido of KB writes: ‘I recorded this with my ex-girlfriend Sarah, who is French and with whom I had a pretty intense relationship. We broke up, but saw each other recently and recorded this. Sarah loves French poetry, especially Baudelaire and Rimbaud. It’s short, but sweet. We might do this again.’
Kashmir Boots – Tristesse de la lune
Serge Gainsbourg – Baudelaire
Today Belgium lost one of its most remarkable (cult)icons for life. The day after he celebrated his 85th birthday, Bobbejaan Schoepen died of a heart-attack at the Turnhout hospital. He was famous because of his yodeling and whistling talent. Check a funny old video from the movie ‘At the the Drop of a Head’ (L’Ordonnance) from 1962 over here and see why he was often called the Belgium cowboy. Toots Thielemans taught him how to play the harmonica in 1951 while playing guitar in Bobbejaans band and – not coincidentally – Toots himself became a professional whistler too. Bobbejaan was the first European to do a gig at the famous Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, but wanted to spend more time back home with his wife.
In an attempt to quit touring that much, he bought a castle in 1959, which he turned into a place for variete. Nowadays this place is called ‘Bobbejaanland’, a very big amusement park for families with kids. This park made Bobbejaan a very fortunated man.
In 2008 the Belgium cowboy returned to his roots as he recorded a highly recommended come-back album simply called ‘Bobbejaan’. Acoustic mostly, fragile and intense songs on the edge of country and singer-songwriting. He also planned to release a new live-album later on this year… Don’t know whether these tracks were already recorded or not, but luckily for us he left us with two breathtaking duets on his last album.
Bye Bye Bobbejaan, I do hope the pubs up-there are well equipped!
(Clip @ YouTube)
Bobbejaan Schoepen – Café Sans Export (From the movie L’Ordonnance)
Bobbejaan Schoepen & Geike Arnaert – Le Temps des Cerises
Bobbejaan Schoepen & Axelle Red – Je Me Suis Souvent Demandé
Brune is a new, charcoal-eyed beauty on the Filles-front. Yes, that’s Brune, not BB Brunes or Paris Brune – it didn’t help that Brune’s song is called Paris while googling (though not as difficult as trying to find the band C++). Brune’s voice sounds a lot like Cécile Hercule’s, which is a good thing. If you go to her Myspace you can hear the lovely L’ Hiver en été, also available on the upcoming EP (see an acoustic version here). Here’s the video for Paris. [Thanks John]
Brune – Paris