by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Cocorosie - "Bisounours". From the forthcoming Noah's Ark. The girls still have their attic sounds, their toy instruments, their creaks and creep-out lullabyes. But on this track there's more. The strange musical boxes open for a moment, all together, letting you get a good look at the machinery inside, the wheeling golden wheels of their emotions, of that attic's memory. Some of the sounds: the circling murmurs of a woman (she misses him), the tender blur of a squeezebox, the shudder of an organ, a blush of whispered noise, the clear sound of an opera singer, gramophone memory, a french rap. Yes. By a man. But it's much more Hood than IAM, more Notwist/Themselves than Coolio, more Books than Bjork. It's not music for ghosts, but for the mornings when the ghosts are waking up. It's the music they eat breakfast to, the music they ache to. And the music that we wake, eat, ache to, too.

(what is a bisounours?)


John Lee Hooker ft. Van Morrison, Booker T. Jones - "I Cover the Waterfront". Hooker sings like a widower, Morrison like a man in love. And Booker T. Jones's organ is just the waterfront. The last time I heard a track like this was ages ago, Vincent Gallo & PJ Harvey & friends playing "Moon River". Another song that sounds like an arrival, holding all the mystery of life's arrivals - will [s]he, won't [s]he, can I wait, the water's waiting. The fog.

When Morrison comes in, he sings that he "waited all night long / in the cold and rain". Hooker answers, "I did too." And it's not bragging - it's plain, sad solidarity. The sad solidarity of, well, sadness. Of the blues. And as lost as he may have been in the past twenty years, all of Morrison's talents come rushing back with the repetition of the song's first gladness, the "lord lord lord", ecstatic and breathless and [dis]believing.

But we turn back to Hooker to hear the events of the story clearly, "a ship / coming down the ocean / out of the fog / rolling so / so / so slow." Simply sung, calmly sung, but still his heart is swelling. Sometimes we can't cry when we should. Morrison hears the truth in this. "Yeah," he answers, a statement of recognition.


(Thanks so much, Matthew. From John Lee Hooker's 1991 album, Mr Lucky. [buy])

Salman Rushdie has a new book coming out in September and it is about a clown. I am so excited!

If anyone has suggestions for places to stay in Ljubljana/Bohinj, or where to rent a car in Slovenia, please get in touch.

Posted by Sean at June 1, 2005 8:25 PM

Bisounours were a 1980s teletubbies-like cartoon : colored (and by colored I mean the most kiddish violets, greens and blues you can imagine) bears ("ours" in french, while "bisou" means kiss), each one carrying a different symbol on its belly (often different sorts of stars, rainbows, etc...). They could pack their (short) legs in some kind of kangaroo's ventral pockets and bounce away.

I think the cartoon was a huge success, but the most impressive success was that the cuddly toys sold in millions ...

Anyway, great track ... I think (am almost certain) the french rapper is a guy called (Spleen) who just released his first album (more here :|idheading1=2&url_2=home_mm.html&rub=inte)

Posted by garrincha at June 2, 2005 5:15 AM

Thanks so much, garrincha. I was hoping you (or Chryde) would chime in with that context. I had basically assumed that les bisonours were simply the french translation of the Care Bears (TM), but I see that's not quite the case.

And thanks for the Spleen tip - I love his flow, like a dive that hardly leaves a splash.

Posted by Sean at June 2, 2005 5:57 AM

Glad you liked that track... I got it on a CD of John Lee Hooker's duos (called Best of Friends). I really recommend that album, it's got his great songs with fantastic collaborations : Hooker plays simple, but he has that gift of bringing out great things out of the others (even Clapton isn't crap!). The songs with Santana are great too, in another style.


Posted by Matthew in London at June 2, 2005 6:00 AM

Oh and les Bisounours _are_ the Carebears! But in French... Thanks cause I loved some of the first Cocorosie tracks, and it's nice to promote some (good) french music.
How to discover cool French music and good French rappers? Easy, there's that internet show (that my sister produces):
Excuse my French!
Abstrakt Keal Agram are supposed to be great...

Posted by Matthew in London at June 2, 2005 6:04 AM

Could the Carebears "pack their legs" into marsupial pockets? (I wish I could.)

Posted by Sean at June 2, 2005 6:38 AM

I'm a huge fan of Salman Rushdie. Where did you hear the news?

Posted by Platypus at June 2, 2005 7:50 AM

as mr. yorke once said, I might be wrong. It was like 20 years ago ...

Posted by garrincha at June 2, 2005 7:53 AM

Me too!

I was reading the advance (press?) catalogue for the UK publisher. (Random House?)

New Paul Auster in January, and Cormac McCarthy in November (I think).

Posted by Sean at June 2, 2005 7:53 AM

Slovenia is near Austria!

(that's all I know)

Posted by Monica at June 2, 2005 7:58 AM

ooooooh, that cocorosie song is badass. thanks for posting it. i heard a live bright eyes cover of "mushaboom" with that spleen guy beatboxing and it was godawful.

Posted by george at June 2, 2005 10:29 AM


Posted by robin at June 2, 2005 8:20 PM

I have one Abstrackt Keal Agram song and one remix and both are tremendous. They have kind of a more hip-hoppish "Dead Cities" era M83 going on. And the remix of "Step Into Flowers" is AMAZING. One of my top 5 songs for last year.

Anyways, great songs, today, Sean. Right now I'm digging the new CocoRosie, but over time, I have a feeling the second track will become more precious to me.

Posted by caley at June 3, 2005 2:04 AM

I figured that rather than ramble on about them pretending like I know what I'm talking about, it'd just be easier to post the mp3, so drop my terrible, terrible blog, and dowload Akstrackt Keal Agram (it's yousendit, so it's limited to 25).

Posted by caley at June 3, 2005 2:28 AM

If you're into Abstract Keal Agram, you should try "Robert le Magnifique". I'll try to post something from him in the next few days ...

Posted by garrincha at June 3, 2005 4:11 AM

That is the most beautiful description of a song I've read in a while. The duet in question isone of my favourite songs by one of my favourite blues artists, and you've nailed it just right.

Posted by JP at June 3, 2005 5:48 AM

thanks for the song: I'm very excited you're going to Slovenia, I was there two weeks last summer, with a class--I can't help you with your questions but highly recommend the frescoes in hrastolvje! and the beer!

Posted by Big Kitty at June 6, 2005 7:41 PM

that coco song is so unbelievably wack it's out of control

Posted by kevin at June 9, 2005 12:56 PM

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