Sound Travels is all keyed up on the arrival of Milwaukee's only French festival: Bastille Days. Bastille Days starts today and continues throughout the weekend and will be featuring a bevy of local acts, notably Paul Cebar as well as som internatinal ones, with the Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars headlining on the main stage in Cathedral Square on Saturday night. If you wanna see the Storm The Bastille Run and witness history as I am prdicting a bicyclist winning the foot race (that cyclist WILL be moi btw.)
And we're celebrating the festivities going on through the weekend with a long list of some Sound Travels favorites that all happen to be in French. These tunes are by no means THE difinitive list (because that's been done, and is largely a survey of past tastes) but it's a good one and features classics as well as more modern tunesthat have caught my ears over the years…
Also, this list is not a ranking, it's a list; I hate ranking songs, that's like ranking your children according to how much you love them and who does thaaat? In any case, here's my list (with the ones I played highlighted.) On a side note, one of our excellent summer interns, Justin Barney has also posted a list of his French faves as well…
Eartha Kitt "C'est Si Bon"– Yves Montand is perhaps more famous in France for his version of the song, but it was Eartha Kitt who made it a hit here way back in 1954. I love her verion, and simply think it's sexier…
- Edith Piaf "La Vie En Rose"
- Charles Trenet "Douce France"
- Jacques Dutronque "J'ai Mis un Tigre Dans Ma Guitarre"
- Eileen "Ces Bottes Sont Fait Pour Marcher"
- Django Reinhardt "Belleville"
- Françoise Hardy "Le Temps De L'amour" – Francoise Hardy is still a star in France where the 69 year old icon is still holding it down. She is also one half of a music power couple, having maried pop star Jacques Dutronq back in the days when that didn't happen nearly as much as it does these days…?
- Serge Gainsbourg "Requiem Pour Un Con"
- Charles Aznavour "La Bohème"
- Sylvie Vartan "Son of A Preacher Man"
- Gillian Hills "Zou Bisou Bisou"
And some, more modern favorites…
- M "Belleville Rendez-Vous"
- Oxmo Puccino "365 Jours"
- MC Solaar "Nouveaux Western" – A hip hop pioneer in France, MC Solaar was also among the first to catch American ears. In the early 90's, he was a colaborator on Guru's Jazzmatazz series, and even his early material still holds up to the boom-bap test.
- AIR "La Femme D'argent"
- Cœur de Pirate "Danse et Danse"
- Zaz "Ni Oui Ni Non"
- Ben l'Oncle Soul "Soulman"
- Féloche "La Vie Cajun"
- Big Red "Je Prends le Mic"
- Yelle "Ce Jeu"
- Caravan Palace "Beatophone"
- Daft Punk "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger"
- Yannick "Ces Soirees La"
- Manu Chao "Bongo Bong/Je Ne T'aime Plus" – Manu Chao is actually a Spaniard, but he was raised in France where he remains popular to this day. Actually he's popular everywhere; and his sound is all summery, full of good vibes and good times…