Je t’aime: The Story of French Song

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. […]

Source: Je t’aime: The Story of French Song, BBC Four | The Arts Desk

Chanson Du Jour: La Javanaise

Chanson Du Jour 10/26/2016: Pauline Croze performing “La Javanaise”

I think Serge Gainsbourg’s songwriting was at its best when he wasn’t attempting to shock with his “audio vérité” smutty songs. While 1967’s ” Je t’aime, Moi Non Plus” feels a bit skeevy today, “La Javanaise” feels like a cool breeze while walking along the Left Bank.

In this great 2010 clip from French TV’s Nouveaux Talents, Pauline Croze’ soulful wordless verse (1:35 to 2:20) is particularly merveilleux. Other good versions? Give a Spotify listen to Gainsbourg’s original and also one from (wait for it… wait for it…) Iggy Pop!  Continue reading “Chanson Du Jour: La Javanaise”