(guest blogged by Nonny Mouse)
I lived in France for a long time, and one chilly Parisian afternoon, while waiting for a bus, I listened to a couple of schoolgirls in their early teens embroiled in a heated argument. ‘Non, non, non!' one of the girls insisted. ‘Cela ne s'est pas comme ça! Écoutez...! Then she launched into: ‘Oh Daddy, dear, you know you're still Number One, but girls just wanna have fuh-hunnn!' Amusing, yes, but it made me think: About the most French that schoolkids in America might ever pick up from music is limited to ‘Michelle, ma belle, voulez-vous coucher avec moi?'
So when Nicole Belle offered me the chance to choose tonight's Late Night Music, I knew it had to be something French. I thought about my favourite classical stuff like Bizet or Debussy or Saint-Saëns. Or maybe something intellectually snobby, like jazz manouche and Django Reinhardt. Or maybe something fun and bizarre like trobamuffin and the Massilia Sound System. But the thing is, none of those are ever likely to break into the mainstream American consciousness.
Then I remembered the first time I heard 36-year-old Québécois Pierre Garand (otherwise known as ‘Garou') sing ‘Seul'. He's got a voice like Gallois smoke and thirty-year-old Armagnac, and eyes so arctic blue they could almost solve global warming. He's played the hunchback in Luc Palmondon's musical, ‘Notre-Dame de Paris', and his ‘Lis Dans Mes Yeux' could rip your heart out. And I'll bet very few of you have ever heard of him. Here he is, in ‘L'injustice' :
(And if you liked that, check out the Sliding Doors type ending of this video clip in his ‘Je Suis le Même'). Tonight's challenge is to link to songs NOT in English that deserve more airplay on mainstream American radio.