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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Music, Musique, Muzak

Uff!   We watched the marathon of some four hours that is Les Victoires de La Musique on Saturday evening or rather, feeling more like a victime de la musique,  I gave in and went to bed 90 minutes before it dragged itself to an end. The clues were there of course: the word for prize and price in French is the same ie prix,  and in French those on whom the lauréats  are bestowed are récompensé  which is much too close to  compensated to be a mere coincidence.

Everybody and his mother was thanked and congratulated and there were homages to Michael Jackson by a rather amateur sounding combo and one, inevitably to the inimitable, though much imitated. Charles Aznavour.  Stevie Wonder produced his own homage and crammed in more songs and speechifying than everyone else combined, at least so it seemed. He had earlier been récompensé  with a gong from Fred Mitterand, the French Culture Minister, and was in ebullient mood. I imagined I'd not see his dubious hairstyle anywhere else but on the back of the Wonder head but, during an episodic flashback to previous winners over the last 25 years - for we were also paying hommage to the silver anniversary of the awards themselves -  I espied the exact same, or should that be the exact mane, on the member of a winning group in the early 1990s. For early 1990s style France read late 1970s UK.

There were some obvious winners ie not because their musical output was necessarily head and shoulder above the rest but because they were "originale" which , I suppose, is not a bad thing. Thus Olivia Ruiz won various awards for her increasingly less accessible quirkiness, and Benjamin Biolay won an award or two for being dark and brooding, I believe.  As for the rest, I was lost in a sea of names I had never heard and sounds that didn't really impress or perhaps just confused since I am perhaps not of the generation at which they were aimed?  I have, at last,  now heard of Pony Pony Run Run, Birdy Nam Nam, and Coeur de Pirate (a canadienne with little girl breathy voice at the piano).

Now I really thought I might like Yodelice, who, at least,  has the courage to remain in the singular. Sadly the song he chose for the evening's celebrations wasn't all that. I suppose I was put off from the start hearing it was entitled "Sunday Morning with A Flu" and wondering whether he meant in front of a roaring fire, but it lacked an e so it just evidenced that he had not fully profited from his time in the UK. Anyway the song aspired to, but completely failed to be one of those profound but simple works which somehow transcend their simplicity to become more than just the carefully chosen and meaningful words. 

No awards ceremony is complete in France without honouring Johnny Hallyday who managed to swipe the Tour of the Year award although his is incomplete.  Perhaps he'll get another or bigger one if and when he recovers from his recent overly mediatised poor health, to finish what appears to have started so well. Let's face it, he would have got it however the tour went and if not they would've invented a new honorary award. 

I was later informed that the aforementioned Coeur de Pirate had lisped her way to the song of the year with Comme des Enfants.  To be honest that was the only category I had any strong feelings about, having preferred, by a long mile, Calogero's  C'est Dit.

I gave up watching the Brits some years ago thinking it to be much less than the bluster and hyperbole which precedes it. However, the Victoires appear to have managed to incorporate all that hot air into one never-ending programme, which not only celebrated a quarter of a century but felt as if it lasted as long.  

French music TV ain't all bad though and I am looking forward to seeing the televised concert of Les Enfoirés on Friday evening.