This Year’s Model


Frenchy still don’t rock or hip-hop real well; the gleaming silver FrancoDisco death machine has stalled. So while Parisians wait for Daft Punk to get off their robot asses and jam, it’s a good time for a traditionalist movement. Enter the latest thing, la nouvelle scène française. It’s unclear why singer-songwriters burbling gloomy pensées to accordion accompaniment is nouvelle, but it’s Gallic as fuck. Except the hero’s Italian born: Carla Bruni, known west of Biarritz as former girl on the side to Mick Jagger (celebrating 20 years of being less cool than all the girls he’s loved before!). Locally Bruni’s renowned as villain in a tell-all biography wherein holiday love pentangle ends with her in the arms of husband of daughter of nation’s most famous public intellectual/braying ass, “BHL.” In France, philosophers are brand names, and Italian hooker-waitress-model-actresses make lovely introspective solo-guitar nationalist-nostalgia albums with ditties titled “Chanson Triste” and “L’Excessive,” plus one listing all the guys she’s loved before, and nobody laughs, perhaps because almost all the songs are charming, open-faced, sans preciousness or crocodile sentiment, and it all ends with a 60-second track called “La Dernière Minute,” Bruni anxiously murmuring “ticktockticktock” as the clock runs out on the latest thing.