Sunday, August 31, 2008

Death Proof: France Gall is Alive

A well-known cover since it has been used on the OST of Death Proof.

April March - Chick Habit (from a tribute album to Gainsbourg, Gainsbourgsion, 1994).

France Gall & Serge Gainsbourg- Laisse Tomber Les Filles, 1964.

You can also find a nice greek cover there.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Massive Attack loves French music too

A classic French pop song sampled with talent, becoming a classic trip-hop song. Buddhists may call that reincarnation ;-)

Serge Gainsbourg - Cargo Culte (1971)

Massive Attack - Karmacoma (1994)

Dr. Dre Loves French music

When a sample of a song of Charles Aznavour (one of the top CD seller in France) becomes a rap hymn.

Dr. Dre - What's The Difference (from 2001, 1999)

Charles Aznavour - Parce Que Tu Crois (from La Bohème, 1966)

Monday, August 25, 2008

When Movie clip And Song Match Perfectly

Songs of Oldelaf and Mr D is a chanson band with a great sens of humor. The music is good but really less interesting if you cannot understand the lyrics. Their best songs are Raoul Le Pitbull about a dog eating a whole family, and Nathalie, a parody of cheesy love song between two catholic teenagers.

But the best one is definitely Le Café. There is no official movie clip but two students of the Art School of Angouleme (EMCA) made one which is really amazing; a great cartoon by itself. On Youtube and Dailymotion, the video has been watched more than 1,500,000 times!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Discover French Music With Covers Of Brassens.

Georges Brassens, the King of French music has been covered by so many artists that listening covers of him can be a good way to discover French singers. Actually there are also awful covers, like Fernande sung by the dull Carla Bruni (the wife of Sarkozy). So here's my selection, 14 songs among plenty.

Old chanson:
Patachou - Brave Margot (Un Gamin de Paris)
Renaud - je suis un voyou (Renaud chante Brassens)
Le Forestier - Les châteaux de sable (12 nouvelles de Brassens)
Nougaro - Bonhomme (Georges Brassens et ses interprètes)

New chanson:
Têtes Raides - Pauvre Martin (Les oiseaux de Passage)
Yann Tiersen (composer of the score of Amélie)- Le Parapluie (Les oiseaux de Passage)
Juliette - la complainte des filles de joie (Putain de toi)
Weepers Circus - Quatre-ving-quinze fois sur cent (Les Oiseaux de Passage)

There are others nice covers in other styles:

Reggae with Sinsemila, La mauvaise réputation (Sinsé part en live) and Magyd of Zebda, Supplique pour être enterré à la plage de Sète (Putain de toi)

Rap with Joey Starr of NTM, Gare au Jaguarr (Gare au Jaguarr)

Rock with Noir Désir: Le Roi (Les Oiseaux de Passage) and Dionysos, La Cane de Jeanne (Putain de toi).

Metal with Lofofora : Les passantes (Les Oiseaux de Passage)

Jazz with a whole tribute album by Eddie Davis, Harry Edison, Joe Newman, and Cat Anderson- Je me suis fait tout petit (Giants of Jazz play Brassens). There have also been a jazz tribute album by Rodolphe Raffalli. They are really interesting to show the incredible swing of the music of Brassens.

If you are curious, you can find covers of Brassens in English, German, Russian, Spanish, Italian and Hebrew! There is also a good tribute album by the french singer Barbara but it was not available for the Jiwa player; you can listen to it on deezer. There is also a tribute album Ils Chantent Brassens that I haven't listened but with very interesting singers (Michel Fugain, Françoise Hardy...).

Links: wikipedia -
Buy on amazon

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Rock Made In France

Noir Désir (Black Desire) is unanimously considered as the best French rock band. If you wander in Paris on the Word Music Day (June, 21st), you would hear hundreds of kids covering their songs.

The band first achieved success with the 1989's hit Oh sombres héros de la mer, which means Oh dark heroes of the bitter. The title is a wordplay with La mer/L'amer, that is to say The Sea/The Bitter. As soon as their first LP, one can see grounds of the success of the band: strong and melodic rock, complex and romantic lyrics inspired by French Poets, left-wing political involvement and maybe most of all, the dark magnetism of the singer Bertrand Cantat, with his both angry and sensitive voice.

With their following albums, they gained both commercial and critic success, becoming one of the few bands to reconcile underground and mainstream. With the 2001's Des visages, des figures, Noir Désir moved to a calmer and more experimental sound. In 2003, Bertrand Cantat is sentenced to 8 years in prison for the accidental murder of his wife while he was drunk. As you might guess, the future of the band is quite uncertain.

From Des visages, des figures, 2001
Noir désir - Le vent l'emportera (The Wind Will Carry Tt Off). By the way Manu Chao is playing guitar on this song.

From 667.667 Club, 1996
Maybe the song with the most famous intro riff of French rock.
Noir désir - Un jour en France (A Day In France)

Noir désir - L'homme pressé (The Hurry Man)
Notice that in French, hurry man (homme pressé) and oppressed (oppressé) sound very similar.

A great song with a post-rock flavor and... english lyrics!
Noir désir - Twilight zone

Lyrics of The Hurry Man:

I’m a frozen model
With a tanned skin
Hurry man
My bullshits uttered
Are the destiny of the world
I don’t have time, I go off
My career is at stake
I’m the media man
I’m more than political
I’m going fast, very fast
I’m an universal human comet
I cross time
I’m a reference
I’m omnipresent
I invaded the world
That I don’t know
No matter, I talk about it
No matter, I know
Human are at my feet
Potentially 8 billions
of slave idiots
Except some of my friends
Of the same world than mine
You can’t imagine
Of happy they are
Chorus:Who wants me
And crumbs of my brain?
Who wants to enter
In the web of my network? Daily activist
Of inhumanity
Of instant profits
Of medias’ favor
I’m rich, very rich
I’m in the real estate business
I’m making money
There’re some people who can pay
I know the upper crust of Paris
And the others also
My unique friends
And their women that I..
See, of course. I know stock exchange secrets
There is no secret for me
I’m the King of kings
exploded audience ratings
And what do you think
It’s my way, it’s my luck
I love shows
On television
No time to watch them
But I make them
We spit food
On those starving eyes
You see what they ask
We know they are eager
Of our rottenness
Better than casting pearls
Before swine. Chorus You know who I am
An hurry man x3
I am
An hurry man x3

”Love Love Love”
People say in America
In Russia
at the four corners of France

Links: buy on amazon - wikipedia

Friday, August 1, 2008

Mano Solo, the Last French Great Song-writer

"I've got two news, a good one and a bad one. The good one is that I'm not HIV positive anymore, the bad one is that I have AIDS." Mano Solo, 1995.

Mano Solo is often introduced as as a depressive singer haunted by death and his disease but he's much more than that. His song are about love, about life, about the struggle against the whole world. He seems shouting with anger and passion, maybe I look weak and sad, but I'm still alive and I will enjoy my life until the last moment and I will fight for it. As he says in his song With giant steps, "Its not that I love mine, but for sure I love life".

His first three solo albums released from 1993 and 1997 (La marmaille nue (The Naked Rabble Of Kids), Les années sombres (The dark years) and Je sais pas trop (I Don't Really Now) are some of the greatest masterpieces of french chanson, alongside with those of Brel and Brassens. He does not just copy the old masters but he expresses a new way of writing and singing: deep, violent and passionate. He's influenced by chanson, but blends it with rock, gypsy and latin musics, african rythms... He even sang in a punk band, Les frères misères (Misery Brothers).

Here are two videos with english subtitles and three awesome mp3.

From La Marmaille Nue, 1993
Mano Solo - Allo Paris

From the live album Internationale Sha La La, 1999
Mano Solo - Tu t'envoles (You Fly Off)

Mano Solo - Le drapeau (The Flag)

Lyrics of The Flag

It has been months
That I'm waiting for you
So much and so long that I wasn't waiting anymore
I was almost dead
I painted 1000 times in my head
The Picasso of your portrait
One eye here, one ear there
You seem from an other world
But I was far from doubt
This color on your skin
The same that when we close the eyes
Because everything is fine

Colors that men like me wear
Colors of anarchy, of pirats
You'll be the flag, and I'll be the skull
And we'll flap in the breeze
Among birds' calls
In this life which is schrinking
We will resist until the last rag
You're so beautiful!

I dont know what to tell you
I've in my mouth
A cockroach's colony
And if I open it
They will jump on you
To eat in your eyes
To the least light of hope
Your are so beautiful
And I am so dark

Behind my skin, there's a cold night
But fuck, thought I got fever
I've seen myself, very close to you
Darken my mouth on your skin
But maybe you just see
A little white toad attracted by you
Full of venomous pustules
And smoking so much that it'll blow out

But I've seen you in the dark, like a cat
That you were beautiful to die
But I haven't seen your heart jumping
Neither your skin shouting toward me
You're so beautiful
You're so beautiful
I don't know what to tell you

Links: buy on Mano solo - wikipedia