Vive la France! Five Songs in Celebration of Bastille Day
Brigitte Bardot says "Happy Bastille Day."
Joyeux Le Quatorze Juillet, tout le monde! Pardon my Franglish, but it's Bastille Day tomorrow, so feel free to eat some cake and go raid a prison or something-- just leave your guillotine at home. La Fête Nationale celebrates the French Revolution on the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille every July 14.
The French celebrate their independence much like Americans- with parties and lots and lots of fireworks. You can indulge your inner Francophone with some language lessons and music at the Musical Instrument Museum Saturday, July 14, with performances by Stephane Wrembel, Lafayette Escargot, James Gerber, and more.
In a discussion of French music, Frédéric Chopin may be the first artist to come to mind, but we're here to expand your knowledge of la musique française.
French composer Yann Tiersen is perhaps best known as the composer of the Amélie soundtrack, and if you're looking for something French to do tomorrow, there's absolutely nothing wrong with having a Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie marathon.
Tiersen is pretty much the epitome of French music, the songs are driven by accordion and piano. He also soundtracked Good Bye Lenin! and has seven studio albums to date.
"j'y suis jamais allé" is the unofficial Amélie theme song. The title translates to "I've never been there."
Gainsbourg was ranked #12 on our neighbor blog LA Weekly's 20 sexiest male musicians of all time. Of course, he has a leg up for being a smooth singing Frenchman, but those songs are just oh-so-sexy (and sometimes wonderfully weird).
Nouvelle Vague is a bossa nova band named after one of the greatest French cinematic movements of all time. The name translates to new wave in English, and works on both levels since the band primarily focuses on '80s music.
Their catalog is impressive, spanning songs from the Dead Kennedys and The Buzzcocks, the Violent Femmes, and Blondie. Their Echo and the Bunnymen cover is some of their most haunting work.
From model to musician to first lady of France, Carla Bruni has had an impressive career. Bruni mostly sings in French -- you may recognize "Quelqu'un M'a Dit" (translates to "someone told me") from (500) Days of Summer, as Tom tries to label his relationship with Summer. "You Belong to me" is one of her few English songs.
It's such a beautiful song to begin with, but she brings a nice, soft feminine touch to her version.
It's tough to settle on one French electronic group, so I picked the grandaddy of them all, Daft Punk.
There arguably would be no Justice, Yelle, or Rinôçérôse without Daft Punk, though the country has also spawned some other great bands with electronic influences such as Air and M83. Daft Punk pioneered what would become the future of electronica by coming house and synthpop, for a style that has been imitated or straight up borrowed (ahem, Kanye) may times, but there's one and only Daft Punk.
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