Can't always kiss you better
1. My adventures in asskickery and illness continue, hence my absence. It has been a rough week. Boy oh boy am I looking forward to Thanksgiving. I'll watch the Heroes* marathon on the Sci-Fi channel while The Monkey prepares the turkey. That's the life!
2. If you were the sort of adolescent girl who got into the notion of wind swept moors as erotic scenery and gruff, but secretly tender men who could sense your INNER BEAUTY, chances are you were a Jane Eyre fan. I was WAY into that shiz. So, when I read that Charlotte Gainsbourg had been cast as the titular character in the feature film version, I was vexed as all get out. Why oh why a Frenchie? Yes, I know she's half English, but she's a Gainsbourg for Chrissakes, you can't get more Gallic than that!
I was wrong of course. She gave a lovely and grave portrayal; playing Eyre with a steady gaze that said everything you needed to know about her inner tempestuousness. She looked just right. Not so pretty that she couldn't make her plain Jane (budump bump chhhh) protestations stick but also suddenly, surprisingly beautiful.
There is something of that quality to her singing voice. Of steel under butter, of gray into rainbow. It's soft, at times uncertain and on the high notes, a little weak, but the feeling underneath shimmers. When she hits her stride in terms of phrasing, which is impeccable really, her lines sound airy and light, and part of you wants to float away on that sound. And the world her voice inhabits is one where astronauts wear cashmere space suits and float to the soundtrack of a glockenspiel's bright pings. Nice, eh? You would think that an atmospheric bonbon of a chanson like Little Monsters would just disappear in the void after one listen but this one stays in your head.
Little Monsters/Charlotte Gainsbourg (YouSendIt download)
The Songs that We Sing/Charlotte Gainsbourg
(Check out the poached Bonnie and Clyde strings on this one.)
Buy Charlotte Gainsbourg's album, 5:55
3. When I first heard Parachutes by Sean Lennon, I thought it was a lost Squeeze number that was left off their albums due to its flippant morbidity. After all, Glenn Tilbrook specialized in relationship x-rays but his were more rueful affairs; this one has an undercurrent of something else entirely underneath. While the theme expressed is of ye olde 'Double decker bus/crashing into us' variety, there is something about all the love gone wrong metaphors that sounds sour. Don't misunderstand. I like this song. I like humming along to it. The melody is so ephemeral and slight. But it creeps me out too and I enjoy that combination in a pop song. For fans of Squeeze and the more rancorous side of Elliott Smith.
Parachutes/Sean Lennon (YouSendIt download)
I like this song as well. Prettily sung put down numbers really can’t go wrong, especially when the blame is parceled out to the one doing the bitching as well.
Buy Sean Lennon's album, Friendly Fire.
* I only recently started watching this show. Just so you're aware how intellectually engaged I am to this program, let me quote myself from this past Monday's viewing: "No! NO! Don’t kill the hot guy! COME ON! He’s HOTTTTTT"