Monday, May 10, 2010

Je cherche la musique Francaise.

In less than a week I will be completely immersed in French. Eep.

The Canadian government has a program through which students can do a five week french (or English, if they are a native French speaker) immersion program. Next Sunday I will be making my way to l’Université Sainte-Anne, a small French language university in Pointe-de-l'Église (Church Point), Nova Scotia.

A few weeks ago I received my "passport", a little blue book filled with information. And rules. Until that point I hadn't really thought about what French immersion actually meant. Sure, I realized I would be speaking French exclusively, but there was a line in the passport that made me realize the broader implications. Under the heading Stereo it says, "Portable stereos are permitted, but use headphones to avoid disturbing others or imposing your musical tastes on others. French music must be played at all times. Professeurs and animateurs may check headphones to ensure that English music is not being played."

So I need something to listen to. In French.

The Internet led me (somehow) to my favourite find, Ô Paon, aka Geneviève Castrée. She formerly made music under the name Woelv, and I love that stuff, too. You'll like it if you like slightly weird, haunting vocals and overlapping sounds that make you feel like you're listening to music while drifting underwater in the shallows of a dark ocean.

My friend J recommended Coeur de Pirate, the Montreal-based darling of the francophone (and otherwise) indie scene. And she is indeed darling. I downloaded her album, and while it's short, it's lovely. I also highly recommend listening to her covers of I Kissed a Girl and Umbrella - her voice is gorgeous and a bit smoky, and I love piano-based covers of pop songs.

My friend A then got me into the 60s French girl pop singers à la Françoise Hardy (LOVE the audience in this one).

And that's where I currently stand. I have a small selection of girl singers to listen to (people have recommended other stuff, but these are the ones I've liked best. I guess that's not surprising given what I listen to most in English). I'm definitely still on the lookout for some more selections, so if anyone has any recommendations, please send them my way.

Oh, I'm guessing the no English rule applies to blogging, too. I'm aiming to possibly, maybe do some updating en français. We'll see how it goes.

Oh! Also, I am going to need to find some French novels to read. Any thoughts?

And yes, a bit nervous, but très excited. 


Anonymous said...

check out Thomas Fersen. Especially Les Papillons - c'est magnifique!

Also, of course, Jean Leloup. But you probably already know all about the Leloup. Rawr.

Also, one of my favourite pieces of CDN franco-pop kitsch (aside from Mitsou, of course), is Je suis cool by Gilles Valiquette:

And, the cover by Gordie Johnson and Big Sugar:

You'll note that Big Sugar's cover is serious cancon bar rock. Apparently they went so far as to re-record one of their albums in french even though none of them speak french, just because it's canada and it's the right thing to do. or something like that.

finally, i understand that there was a serious Cdn franco-country-rock scene going on the 70s. this might be neat to hear, too.

Anonymous said...

ooh, I forgot to mention the darlings of the cbc two winters ago! malajube, montreal 40c.

A polar bear on the (auto-)bus!

Ange Friesen said... Merci. I remember that Malajube song. It's pretty catchy.


Email me at thenewisthetrue (at) gmail .com
My photo
Toronto, Canada
I think I might be addicted to books. And noodles. I need the ocean. I want to know everything. Almost. I love love. And loving things. Like love. And like.