French neo-rockabilly trio recorded an EP with reprises of old tunes, songs by Brassens, Don Cavalli, Patrick Coutin and yes, our Serge. Most of the time, these cover-EPs consist of throwaway versions, recorded just for fun, material to keep the fans happy. Mustang Reprend is just that – the arrangement of Brassens’ Je me suis fait tout petit is fine, Coutin’s J’aime regarder les filles doesn’t have the bite of the original and Chez les Yé-Yé does swing ferociously, but lacks the contempt of Gainsbourg, your honour. Still, I’ve heard worse.
A Kentucky-girl with a husky voice who fell in love with France, who learned to speak French by listening to French music and finally released a French EP. Dawn Landes‘ story in a nutshell. The countryfied singer, who released two albums on France-based label Fargo, got help from (among others) Karen Lohier of Katel, Tunde from TV On The Radio and Matthew C. from Nada Surf. With the latter, she sings a pretty duet. The EP closes with a Georges Brassens cover, and features touches of doo-wop, country, jazz and Françoise Hardy-style weepers. Not all songs are great (not a big fan of La Vie Au Lasso), but that duet is just lovely. The EP comes with a book of illustrations by Dawn.
Thanks to FS-reader Brad for reminding me that the earlier post on the Daft Punk-covers wasn’t complete. Five years ago The Brassens recorded this brilliant version in the style of Georges Brassens. Later, they changed their bandname to La Pompe Moderne and recorded an EP and a live-album with covers in the stylo of good ol’ Georges. Last year, they disbanded.
Georges Brassens in English, now there’s a challenge. His songs and poetryhas been translated, but very seldomly sung in English. Pierre de Gaillande, who has a French father and an American mom, is giving it a try on his album Bad Reputation. Why Brassens in this day ‘n age? Quote from the bio: ‘Brassens had no interest in being fashionable or cool, and yet defined coolness in a way that resonates for de Gaillande in our day and age. For de Gaillande, it boils down to language: “Using proper grammar, good spelling, and eloquent language is subversive and even sexy in this era of Tea-Party talk,” de Gaillande smiles. “That’s part of the mission of this project: to bring back that kind of sexy. I think it’s the hippest thing I’ve ever done. I draw inspiration from Brassens’ attitude: He didn’t care what people thought. He just got the poetry out there. “‘
The music stays close to the original, with the skipping rhythm and acoustic guitar, Pierre’s voice reminds me of Tom Robinson’s – it has the right amount of irony and sarcasm to sing Georges’ songs. On one song he gets help from FillesSourires-heroine Keren Ann, as far as I know the first time KA sings a GB chanson. The full album will be released on June 8.