I think a sufficient length of time has passed that my hatred for the French can subside (it was born on an October night when a certain Monsieur Henry robbed us of our dreams!)
Anyway as I mentioned in my profile (i think it's on the top-right of the page...) I am studying Arts in UCC, and as part of this I am studying French. As well as the obvious written and oral aspects, this includes a cultural section. Now I've always rather enjoyed French film and culture so I was quite looking forward to this. Alas, as is the general case with all these things, we are focusing on the classical aspects of French culture, rather than anything contemporary.
For film we have studied "Lacombe, Lucien", a rather charming work by Louis Malle from 1974 that deals with the people of Vichy France during the occupation. I was rather hoping we might focus on some more modern French works, such as "La Haine", "Tell No One", "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" or "Days of Glory" but I was asking a little too much I think.
However, I have found the musical angle quite difficult to endure. Truth be told I can't even remember the name of the artist we have looked at, though let's just say it's not of the standard I've come to expect from the French musicians I have enjoyed.
Check out Phoenix 'Lisztomania' below. The Grammy Award winners released a stunning work last year in "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix". Certainly a highlight of my year. A must hear for fans of Spoon, Vampire Weekend and such artists.
What else is France known for? In Ireland, they are probably best known for electronic acts such as JUSTICE, Daft Punk and Air. The legends that are Air are coming to the Olympia in Dublin for two dates on the 23rd and 24th of this month. As far as I know the first is sold out, though there are tickets available for the second so I'd recommend checking them out. Below I've posted the classic video for "D.A.N.C.E." by Justice.
Finally I come to Charlotte Gainsbourg (Yes I'm cheating a little here - to anyone not in the know she was born in London but raised in Paris.) The daughter of Serge Gainsbourg has released a fantastic record this year, almost entirely written and produced by Beck. "IRM" is a potential candidate for many "Best of 2010" lists I think, living up to the major buzz that was floated before it hit our ears. Check out the title track if you can! (I tried to add the video like I did above but I was having no luck for some reason! Apologies!)
I opted to not go into the French-Canadian artists (Celine Dion excluded!!), while I don't know much about French independent circles but PLEASE fill me in on anything you think I might enjoy! Always looking forward to something new.
Au revoir mes amis!
- Cork, Ireland
- An Irish based alternative music blog. Music news, gigs, live reviews, album reviews... You'll find them here. If you want anything featured or removed, please shout. I hope you'll discover something new to love on this little experiment of mine. Currently editing the Music Section of the UCC Express and contributing to Motley magazine on campus, as well as writing for PopCultureMonster and 4FortyFour. Always looking for new projects so please get in touch if interested. Thanks for reading.