When Serge Gainsbourg died in 1991, France’s then-president François Mitterrand mourned the loss of “our Baudelaire, our Apollinaire,” the man who had “elevated song to the level of art.” In a career spanning five decades, Gainsbourg embraced everything from chanson, mambo and yé yé to rock, reggae and electronica, incorporating lyrics that were in turn profound, witty or provocative and at times utterly obscene. Frequently employing ingenious wordplay that would give the lyrics two, if not three different meanings his compositions remain wholly original and uniquely out of time [ . . . ]
Actress, singer, songwriter and fashion icon Jane Birkin will perform Birkin/Gainsbourg: Le symphonique-her tribute to late husband Serge Gainsbourg-with a symphonic orchestra at Carnegie Hall on February 1. The concert marks Birkin’s first U.S. performance since 2011 and is part of an extensive international concert tour that has seen her playing to full houses in Montreal, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris and London, among many other cities.
[ . . . ] More at: Jane Birkin to Perform Symphonic Tribute to Serge Gainsbourg at Carnegie Hall
The problem with many music documentaries is that they suffer from over-familiarity. In a bid to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, they end up spreading themselves too thinly on an area already well covered. Viewers tune in and, largely speaking, have their knowledge reaffirmed while they hang around on the off-chance that there may be some newly uncovered archive footage to make their investment worthwhile. There are notable exceptions to this, of course, and generally they crop close on their subject, or as in the case of Je t’aime: The Story of French Song, focus on an area that has been long neglected – indeed by many outside France it has simply been dismissed. […]