Café Mouffe: Carla Bruni

Set 1: Carla Bruni. Quelqu’un m’a dit.

She was an Italian supermodel, rumored at one time or another to be Mick Jagger’s and Eric Clapton’s flame. She might become the French First Lady, the next trophy wife of Nicholas Sarkozy. For now she’s a folk singer specializing in the suggestively intimate, breathlessly whispered timbre popularized (and capitalized) some forty years ago by Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin. I wasn’t wowed the first time I heard her several years ago, but I have to admit, the simplicity of her voice grows on me. It works on a winter day in a cozy little joint like the Mouffe. Maybe France should oust Sarko and install Carla as president.

Set 2: Carla Bruni. Those Dancing Days Are Gone. This is a poem by William Butler Yeats. Bruni explains how Marianne Faithful helped her choose the poem and craft the lyric on a No Promises promo. (Check out Bruni’s myspace page to hear the whole song plus several others. As myspace pages go, it’s pretty gentle.)

Set 3: Carla Bruni. L´amour. Notes with the clip include lyrics written by Bruni. She’s accompanied on this live performance by a hot young blues guitarist . Someone should warn him: get down any more frenetically, and you’ll snap your neck.

Encore: If Carla Bruni puts you in the mood, try the Granddaddy of all Breathless Whispers — Je T’aime… Moi Non Plus by Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg.

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