A couple years after his album Préliminaires, featuring some French classics (which we covered here), Iggy Pop is about to release Après, a collection of classic torch songs, ballads and French variété. We just love the way he wraps his destroyed voice around those French songs. Seems somehow appropriate.
If your Valentine happens to be both a Francophile and a cineaste, I think s/he might be quite pleased with Universal-France’s three-disc compilation, Nouvelle Vague: Chansons et Musiques de Films. The set includes selections from soundtracks composed by Michel Legrand, Georges Delerue, Miles Davis, Maurice Jarre, Serge Gainsbourg, Bernard Herrmann, and on and on, for films by such directors as François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Louis Malle, Claude Chabrol, Phillippe De Broca, Jacques Demy, and on and on.
We could wander these virtual stacks for days! So far, the Bibliothèque nationale de France has digitized more than one million works, including books, maps, manuscripts, images, periodicals, scores and sound recordings, and made them available for free to the public at the Gallica digital library. This is France’s answer to Google Books, and the result of the big fight from a couple of years ago.
Diddy is a self-proclaimed Francophile: with an album titled “Last Train to Paris” and premium vodka Ciroc attached to his famous name, you’d think he’d be riding around in a striped shirt, by now, baguette in tow. But it’s precisely this French fascination that recently got the hip-hop mogul and his crew into trouble with customs at Nice’s Cote d’Azur airport last week.
The work of Serge Gainsbourg, the large-nosed, Gitanes-smoking French icon whose jazzy, bohemian songs exemplified a sexually liberated France of the 1960s and 1970s, is enjoying a resurgence in the most unlikely of places — perfume ads.
…[T]he epic mess of Piaf’s love life, as well as the scale of her talent, make this story something special, while her brutal Dickensian childhood virtually ensured that she would spend her adult life in a doomed quest for perfect love and security.
We cannot express with mere words our adoration of Luce, whom we wrote about when she won La Nouvelle Star in 2010. She’s a character and a half, with the voice of a goddess, and her first album will be out on May 23. Till then, on her official site, a short comic video with a tiny taste of each of the songs is being posted every Thursday. Not to miss, vraiment.
We promised more révélations according to the Victoires de la musique shortlist. Meet Guillaume Grand, singing Toi et moi from his new album of the same name. You can buy Toi et moi at the Francophilia Amazon Store!
Every year the Victoires de la Musique (French equivalent of the Grammy Awards) identifies the révélations of the preceding year; new artists with star quality. We’ve already introduced you to Zaz and Camélia Jordana, both of whom appear on this year’s short list. FéFé, another coup de coeur of ours, gives you sophisticated urban rap with an African flavor, or blues, or reggae… You can’t pigeonhole him. Here’s his official site if you want to hear more.
We are just madly in love with Zaz. Heard her on the radio the other day. Gypsy jazz meets Piaf by way of pop… Here’s an acoustic version of Les Passants. You can buy her eponymous album at the Francophilia Amazon Store.