FS Rerun: Sarah Nixey

Though Sarah Nixey is British, she’s a fille to boot, levitating effortlessly between the realms of innocence and lasciviousness, the subversive and the sublime. With Black Box Recorder – assisted by Luke Haines of Auteurs fame and John Moore, ex-Jesus & Marychain –, she recorded three of the smartest, though too much neglected pop CDs of the last decade. French Rock’n’Roll from Recorder’s brilliant second record Facts of Life echoes the spirit of Jane & Serge, London-style, and features even a few lines in French:

Black Box Recorder – French Rock’n’Roll

Solo, Sarah also did a trippy club cover of Francoise Hardy’s hit Le temps de l’amour, written by Hardy’s future husband Jacques Dutronc in 1962, and Ici avec toi, a gauloised-up translation of her original song When I’m Here With You.

Sarah Nixey – Le temps de l’amour

Sarah Nixey – Ici avec toi

Last not least, another of Sarah’s French connections from the compilation The Worst of Black Box Recorder: Her version of Terry Jacks’ weeper superhit Seasons of the Sun – cover of Jacques Brel’s classic chanson Le Moribond – reverberating an entirely different quality: the dizzy state when awakening from a already half-forgotten dream.

Black Box Recorder – Seasons in the Sun

Dia de Los Muertos (3)

There probably will be no music at my real funeral. I’d rather prefer a reading of the last three pages of Pierre Drieu la Rochelle’s Le feu follet. However, at my fictitious funeral this All Saints’ Monday, my future ghost will engulf in the kitsch grandeur of the English version of Le Moribond. Jacques Brel’s 1961 original is a bit too snappy for my tastes, and Terry Jacks’s 1974 smash hit adaptation – originally to be recorded by the Beach Boys (!) – well, let’s put a shroud over it. The ultimate version is undoubtedly by Rod McKuen, close Brel friend and translator of many of his lyrics. His rugged-voice US version, adapted first by the Kingston Trio in 1964, sentimentalizes Brel’s chanson for sure, and simultaneously transforms it into big-scope American death disc drama. Paradoxically, the starfish on the beach granted him a nice bit of immortality.
Rod McKuen – Seasons in the Sun