jacques brel

Recent content on Elsewhere by Graham Reid tagged as jacques brel.

Various: Next Brel (Barclay)

Various: Next Brel (Barclay)

The music and lyrics of Jacques Brel (1929-78) have seduced dozens of musicians down the decades, notably Scott Walker, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, Dusty Springfield . . . Actually just about anyone who appreciates his melodramatic darkness. Brel wrote and sang of street people, love and loss, was reflective or angry, romantic or...

Beirut; The Flying Club Cup BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Beirut; The Flying Club Cup BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Ambitious and slightly eccentric pop music doesn't come much more ambitious and eccentric as this, the second album by Zach Condon (aka Beirut), an American with a European sensibility whose musical reach encompasses indie Anglopop, French chanson, nods to Scott Walker, hints of Spanish or mariachi music, snippets of conversations, swooning...

Yael Naim: Yael Naim (Warners)

Yael Naim: Yael Naim (Warners)

The fact this French-Israeli singer has a song which currently helps sell the Apple Macbook has doubtless condemned her in some circles and to be honest that track, New Soul, is among the weakest songs on this folk-cum-jazzy outing (some sung in English, others on French and/or Hebrew). The album is co-credited to producer/arranger/artistic...

Rupa and the April Fishes: eXtraOrdinary rendition (Cumbancha/Elite)

Rupa and the April Fishes: eXtraOrdinary rendition (Cumbancha/Elite)

Gotta say on first listen this was definitley not my kind of music. It is a global meltdown of French chanson, gypsy music, tango, some vague French-Pacific suggestions, upbeat Latin rhythms and a bit of art music thrown in. All from a band based in San Francisco. It just sounded a bit too all-inclusive and cafe-friendly (missed anything,...

Jacques Brel, Infiniment (2004 compilation)

Jacques Brel, Infiniment (2004 compilation)

Jacques Brel is alive and well and living in ... Well, back in his hometown of Brussels, funnily enough. This is odd because Brel (1929-78) was ambivalent about Brussels. "Everyone has to come from somewhere," he would sardonically remark. And Brussels has seemed a bit iffy about him. The great singer-songwriter, who made his...

The Last Shadow Puppets: The Age of Understatement (Domino)

The Last Shadow Puppets: The Age of Understatement (Domino)

References in UK reviews to Scott Walker with regard to this album tweaked my interest -- more so when you look at who is behind it: Alex Turner from Actic Monkeys and Miles Kane of the UK indie-rockers Rascals, two least likely Walker aficionados I couldn't imagine. And yet . . . No there is no Amsterdam here, not even The Sun Ain't Gonna...

UTE LEMPER INTERVIEWED (2003): The ice maiden cometh

UTE LEMPER INTERVIEWED (2003): The ice maiden cometh

Midnight on a warm Wednesday in New York City, the Gotham of the Great Republic. The German cabaret maven has come home early from a recording studio across town so, sure, she has plenty of time to talk."I'm not an early sleeper," she laughs, somewhat stating the obvious.This is singer and actress Ute Lemper, once memorably described...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Emiliana Torrini: Me and Armini (Rough Trade)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Emiliana Torrini: Me and Armini (Rough Trade)

Only the most diligent Elsewhere reader with perfect recall might remember this Icelandic singer who appeared on the Next Brel compilation/tribute to the singer-songwriter Jacques Brel which appeared here some time last year. Torrini was one of the standout performers on that album and she has certainly drawn enormous praise for her previous...

Chris Eckman: The Last Side of the Mountain (Glitterhouse/Yellow Eye)

Chris Eckman: The Last Side of the Mountain (Glitterhouse/Yellow Eye)

Eckman has been one of the cornerstones of the long-running and very credible alt.country outfit the Walkabouts, has released solo albums, and been a member of the ever-evolving Willard Grant Conspiracy. All of which should recommend him if you follow this particular path of string-augmented, soul-baring songwriting. But the material for the...

Marianne Dissard: L'entredeux (TEM/Border)

Marianne Dissard: L'entredeux (TEM/Border)

Given that this album was produced by Calexico's Joey Burns (who also wrote the music) this one comes as something of a surprise: you might have anticipated some kind of alt.Americana. There is something of that in the music and arrangements in places, but Dissard vocals (all in French) have that whispered, intimate, beguiling quality of the...

MARIANNE DISSARD INTERVIEWED (2009): The Tucson chanteuse

MARIANNE DISSARD INTERVIEWED (2009): The Tucson chanteuse

Marianne Dissard is a woman whose music confounds expectations, yet there is an impeccable logic to it: she is French but lives in Tucson, so there is an almost inevitable marriage of chanson and Americana on her album L’entredeux which was produced by Joey Burns of Calexico, who also wrote the music which envelops and supports...

Serge Gainsbourg: Histoire de Melody Nelson (LightintheAttic/Rhythmethod)

Serge Gainsbourg: Histoire de Melody Nelson (LightintheAttic/Rhythmethod)

As with the great Jacques Brel, there is no easy shorthand into the French singer, songwriter, actor and cultural icon that was Serge Gainsbourg (1928-91). Gainsbourg -- much revered in France by many -- was undoubtably a roue and in these rather more sensitive times many would doubtless disapprove of his serial sexual encounters, love of...

Leonard Cohen: Live at the Isle of Wight 1970 (Sony CD/DVD)

Leonard Cohen: Live at the Isle of Wight 1970 (Sony CD/DVD)

“We have a fire on stage. If there’s any firemen in the area . . . “ This isn’t an announcement you hear too often at rock festivals -- but nothing was beyond possibility at the volatile Isle of Wight event in 70 when non-ticketholders stormed the site, the enraged promoter abused them for being ungrateful pigs and...

Ute Lemper: The Best of Ute Lemper (Decca)

Ute Lemper: The Best of Ute Lemper (Decca)

With this great entertainer returning to New Zealand after her thrilling cabaret-noir/showtunes performance in 2003 it seems not only timely to reprint the lengthy, career encompassing interview with her, but to point to this 21-track easy-intro overview from the late Nineties. Here, divided into easy to assimilate sections, are songs from...

Francoise Hardy: La Pluie Sans Parapluie (Virgin)

Francoise Hardy: La Pluie Sans Parapluie (Virgin)

At first glance this might just seem to be one for those who knew the title meant "Rain Without an Umbrella" or just want a bit of that breathy chanteuse mood music for dinner parties. But if you are in the latter camp you will be a little surprised: although this certainly has reflective ballads over piano and soft strings, Hardy's...

UTE LEMPER INTERVIEWED (2010): The fearless angel comes treading

UTE LEMPER INTERVIEWED (2010): The fearless angel comes treading

Ute Lemper – the foremost interpreter of Weimar cabaret songs and the music of Jacques Brel, Kurt Weill and Edith Piaf – doesn't pull her punches. With no prompting at all after she mentions one of her most recent projects has been creating a multi-media theatrical setting for the poetry of barfly Charles Bukowski, she...

Leonard Cohen: Because of (2004)

Leonard Cohen: Because of (2004)

The equation seems simple: Leonard Cohen the self-described "ladies man" + women + bed = But of course nothing is ever quite that straightforward with a Jewish Zen Buddhist poet-cum-singer and unlikely sex symbol even his mid 70s. Here with amusing self-effacement he confronts aging, his reputation, plays with images of...

Leonard Cohen: The Essential Leonard Cohen (Sony)

Leonard Cohen: The Essential Leonard Cohen (Sony)

The British rock writer Nigel Williamson, considering the career of Leonard Cohen, recently observed, “We often describe singer-songwriters as being 'Dylanesque', a band with great harmonies you might describe as 'Beatlesque'. We even talk about someone being 'Waitsean', after Tom Waits. “But have you ever heard the word...

LEONARD COHEN PROFILED: Life of a ladies' man

LEONARD COHEN PROFILED: Life of a ladies' man

Even the writer Pico Iyer, who knows him better than most, concedes Leonard Cohen – so melancholy he used to be referred to as “a one man Joy Division” – presents a problem. "He is for most of us,” Iyer wrote in Sun After Dark, “a figure of the dark, sitting alone sometime after midnight and...

Edith Piaf: Live at Carnegie Hall 1957 (Fantastic Voyage/Southbound)

Edith Piaf: Live at Carnegie Hall 1957 (Fantastic Voyage/Southbound)

Those who are used to hearing "The Little Sparrow" in aching, melancholy mode will be surprised by this historic concert at Carnegie Hall where she appeared with a full orchestra and choir, and that on ocassion she speaks and in English. After the success of the Piaf film (with Marion Cotillard), interest in Piaf has seldom been...

Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg: Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg (Light in the Attic)

Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg: Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg (Light in the Attic)

Sex sells. It certainly sells the idea of maturity when former popettes decide to ditch the little sister look and get into barely-there leathers. Adults of course find this tasteless and the kids being manipulated, but it's nothing more than sex selling a product just like any other. Sex gets people hot under the collar (as in outraged) and...

SCOTT WALKER INTERVIEWED (2006). Loneliness is a cloak you wear

SCOTT WALKER INTERVIEWED (2006). Loneliness is a cloak you wear

No one could accuse reclusive songwriter and singer Scott Walker of haste. In the time between Walker's last album Tilt and his latest The Drift in May 2006, film director Peter Jackson delivered The Frighteners, his Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong. Van Morrison coughed up 11 albums, and Oasis -- despite fraternal bickering, divorces and...

JACQUES BREL PROFILED: Seasons in, and out of, the sun

JACQUES BREL PROFILED: Seasons in, and out of, the sun

Jacques Brel is alive and well and living in ... Well, back in his hometown of Brussels, funnily enough. This is odd because Brel (1929-78) was ambivalent about Brussels. "Everyone has to come from somewhere," he would sardonically remark. And Brussels has often seemed a bit iffy about him. The great singer-songwriter, who...

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Marianne Dissard

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Marianne Dissard

French-born but a longtime resident of Tucson, Arizona where she has worked with various members of Calexico, singer/songwriter Marianne Dissard (interviewed here) broke through ina quiet way with her album L'entredeux in 2009 which steered a canny middle path between French chanson and pop, and edgy alt.country. For her new album L'abandon...

Marianne Dissard: L'abandon (Dissard/Rhythmethod)

Marianne Dissard: L'abandon (Dissard/Rhythmethod)

Although her impressive debut album L'entredeux took her to small audience (she sings in French) this Tucson-based singer and film-maker is rather more edgy on this outing which might win her an even bigger following. Dissard -- interviewed here and more recently answering our Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire here -- lets some of the...

L/O/N/G: American Primitive (Glitterhouse/Yellow Eye)

L/O/N/G: American Primitive (Glitterhouse/Yellow Eye)

Those with passion for edgy alt.country and Neil Young in vinegary acoustic-rock mode need only know Chris Eckman (the Walkabouts, the innovative Sahara blues-influenced band Dirt Music) is one of those behind this occasionally churning, electro-rock outing with musicians from Slovenia where he now lives. The other prime mover is Rupert...

Scott Walker, In Five Easy Pieces (2003)

Scott Walker, In Five Easy Pieces (2003)

The only time I saw Scott Walker I burst out laughing. It was the mid-60s and he was one of the (non-sibling) Walker Brothers on a package tour with the Yardbirds (guitarist Jimmy Page) and Roy Orbison. When the Walker Brothers ran on to the Auckland Town Hall stage, skinny-legged guys in tight pants and teased-out bouffants, they looked like...

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