Daphné chante Barbara

‘Singing Barbara is like an actor playing Don Juan, or Le Misanthrope’, writes Daphné about her new album with 13 covers of the legendary lady in brown. Her dark chansons are classic material, Daphné’s not the first to do a cover, and certainly not the last. She has two duet-partners, Benjamin Biolay (who helped start her career) is sprinkling his Casanovian charm all over Dis, Quand Reviendras-Tu, while Dominique A. backs her up in Göttingen. I’m a fan of Daphné, not that familiar with Barbara’s back catalogue (though I adore Nantes). I guess D.’s adding a tad more hope, or light at the end of the tunnel, than Barbara in the original versions. I never thought of Dis… being a sexy song, Daphné and Ben pull it off.
Speaking of Biolay, I wouldn’t hold my breath about his upcoming album. BIG disappointment. Lacks ideas, lacks memorable melodies, under par production. Even Vanesse Paradis, Carl Barat and La Grande Sophie Julia Stone can’t lift this out of muddy mediocrity. More on Vengeance later.

Daphné & Biolay – Dis, Quand Reviendras-Tu?

Original version (video)

Loureb & K

On the cover, she looks like Françoise Hardy. Lou-Rebecca teamed up with K, aka Etienne Kerber of Les Shades, to record an EP called Born in the 90s featuring tracks inspired by music (Dylan) and films from the 60s (Truffaut, Rohmer, Godard). To confuse you even more, I’d like to add the compliment of compliments on this site: ‘Lio-esque’. Which means some tracks on that EP have that sweet smelling bubblegum 80s flavour. Anyhoo – watch and listen and think of your own reference.

See more of Lou-Rebecca here, more Loureb & K here and here.

Loureb & K – Nouvelle Vague

Alex & Alizée

Serge Gainsbourg, Lee Hazlewood and Edwyn Collins are his favourite artists, his dream was to record a French duet. American sharp dressed guitarplayer, singer and music lover (he plays with the brilliant Extra Golden) Alex Minoff asked his French-born cartoon-drawing friend Alizée de Pin to lend her Laetitia Sadier-ish voice for a rockabilly-guitar driven track. Think Mustang, think Del Shannon, think quality.

Caroline Christa-Bernard

An autobiographical song about a single mother, who walks the streets of Paris without a penny in her pocket but a Jack Kerouac poem in her hand. It’s high summer, her ‘gamins des rues’ are too poor to leave for the sea and settle for the chlorine odor of the swimming pools.
Intrigued? Listen to the song Caroline Christa-Bernard wrote. Find the remix here. Hear her sing a Jane Birkin song here.

Caroline Christa-Bernard – L’eau de chlore

The Rodeo

The Rodeo is French fille Dorothée Hannequin (Dorothee, The Rodeo, get it?), who debuted in 2010 with her Far West-tinged, Cat Power-ish album Music Maelstrom. On her new EP, out now, she recorded a French song. La Notte is inspired by the movie of the same name with Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau. Very, very nice.

R.I.P. Sylvia Kristel

Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel (best known for her role as Emmanuelle) passed away today. I’ve met her a couple of times, she recorded a beautiful Dutch Gainsbourg-cover with Rick de Leeuw for a project of mine. She was a fragile woman with a sad life, but she told great stories and was capable of captivating every one in the room. Rest in peace.

Sylvia Kristel & Rick de Leeuw – God trekt graag aan zijn Havana
Sylvia Kristel & Eddy de Clercq – Changes

Opposite Sex

We usually keep it plushy, soft-focussed and hoarse on this blog. But every now and then, we take a walk down the stairs, to the humid cellar, where things happen outside of the sun. Where bands like Liminanas play, Melody’s Echo Chamber and Granville. And New Zealand trio Opposite Sex. Alas, singer Lucy Hunter doesn’t sing in French, unless you count “au revoir, la rat…” as French (that should either be ‘La Rate’ or ‘Le Rat’). But hey, her voice is deliciously breathy, the music’s banging and clunking like a garbage truck (I mean that as a compliment) and when you call a track Mary Lu, you sure know your Gainsbourgian speak. Lucy also played the trumpet solo at the end of Connan Mockasin’s Serge-ish ‘It’s Choade my Dear’ as well as keyboards on other tracks on Connan’s album ‘Forever Dolphin Love’.
This is music that hides from the light, that breeds in the dark. Opposite sex, indeed.

Trois minutes à Dystopia

How could we miss out on this one? La Femme‘s Paris 2012 fuses proto-punk, surf attitude and 80s synth-pop into a razor-sharp garage cyberpop experience. Doubtless one of the most intriguing videos of the year, and super chouette apocalyptic fun.

Green Disco Machine

It’s a tough job to track Tony Green (photo: Tony, France Joli and Gene Leone at Alpha Studios, Philly, 1979) down on the net. Not only because of his stage name, but also because he’s obviously quite a reclusive guy. Actually, Tony – born Antonio DiVerdis Mazzone – was kind of the Canadian counterpart to Giorgio Moroder in the late 70s and a famous regular at New York’s Studio 54, where he certainly also crossed paths with Margaret Trudeau, the free-minded spouse of then Canadian prime minister Pierre T. (»I met her. You know, ›Hi‹. There she is.«). Green, whose recording career began in 1969, wrote and produced more than a dozen of international dance hits for Freddie James, France Joli (a.k.a. the Canadian Donna Summer), or the legendary U.N. Before his heyday, Tony Green recorded the ultra-rare French language dancefloor disco smoothie Amoureux, released as a 45 in November 1978. Despite the infectious character of his grooves, the Montréal-based disco god of the late 70s and early 80s always has been very private. »I kind of kept to myself«, he told Kelly Hughes of discomusic.com. »I was a real loner. I still am.«

Tony Green – Amoureux