Alexandre (Castagnetti) and Clément (Marchand), two scruffy, good-natured thirty-something French musicians, have won the hearts of the French with their Chansons du Dimanche, bouncy, humorous songs composed and recorded on Saturday – often while the pair sits cross-legged in the middle of a Paris street, amusingly ignored by blasé Parisian passersby – and uploaded to their excellent Web site (by illustrator Stéphane Martin) on Sundays. Their songs are full of social and political commentary: for the visit of President Nicolas Sarkozy and his new wife Carla Bruni to England, for example, they wrote “Au Pays d’Elisabeth” in pure Franglais. It poses the question “Qui sera le prochain petit prince de Carla?” and warns of the arrival of “Camilla, la vilaine sorcière.” They will tour this summer and the inevitable album will be out in the fall.
A LADY AGAIN
It may look ancient, but the authentic Chinese junk moored near the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand was built only 30 years ago by two Frenchman who then sailed it around the world for 15 years. In 1995, this relic made of seven different exotic woods found a berth in Paris and became a concert venue known as the Guinguette Pirate. To celebrate the boat’s 30th anniversary, its owners have given it back its original name, La Dame de Canton. Concerts of everything from rock to chanson française are held almost nightly, followed by all-night clubbing with DJs (groove, rock or world music; no electro) for only €5 on Friday and Saturday nights. With its nooks and crannies and bordello decor, the cozy restaurant below decks is a perfect setting for a birthday celebration. Quai François Mauriac, 75013 Paris. Tel.: 01 44 06 96 45 (concert info) or 01 53 61 08 49 (restaurant).
SARKO IN SONG
With a sharp eye for drama and potential publicity, young French chanteuse Jeanne Cherhal has made a song out of the text message Nicolas Sarkozy supposedly wrote to his ex-wife Célilia one week before he married Carla Bruni: “Si tu reviens, j’annule tout” (“If you come back, I’ll cancel everything”). Listen to it here. Feb. 27, 2008