Apollinaire’s Pink Hotel

midtsomThe folks at legendary East German youth radio station DT64 were the first to air songs by GDR blues rockers Keimzeit in 1980, though their first album – titled Irrenhaus (Loony Bin) was only released ten years later, when the Wall finally had vanished. Their new album Midtsommer under the moniker Keimzeit Akustik Quintett features two French lingo cover versions, Trenet’s La Mer and Pink Martini’s 1997 million seller Sympatique – though on PM’s album the credits go to band members China Forbes and Thomas Lauderdale, the lyrics were drawn from Guillaume Apollinaire’s poem Hôtel, already used by French composer and Groupe des Six member Francis Poulenc for his 1940 piece Banalités, FP 107: ii. Hôtel.

Keimzeit Akustik Quintett – Sympathique

When Gréco Met Apollinaire

Certainly Juliette Gréco’s new record is a must-have. It’s about, yes, bridges. Those places that span rivers, where you can meet other people or the Grim Reaper in case you prefer to jump over the railing. The probably finest song on Ca se traverse et c’est beau might be Mirabeau sous le pont, a clever, multi-layered hommage to the classic French poet, proto-surrealist and enfant terrible Guillaume Apollinaire, written by 80-years-old Jean-Claude Carrière, script writer of Bunuel’s Belle de Jour and 10000 other classics of the French silver screen. Of course, the song works like a movie. And surely it’s adult cinema.

Juliette Gréco – Mirabeau sous le pont