Posted in In English, musique, queen

Thoughts on Bohemian Rhapsody

I went to see Bohemian Rhapsody 3 times. It’s a movie that’s been in the works since forever and I’m glad it finally came out.

Putting aside the typical Hollywood biopic storyline (fake drama, twisting facts to fit the story, etc.), I loved it.

But for the life of me, how hard was it to copy Roger’s hair through the years? They nailed Brian’s hairstyle, John’s haircuts, Freddie’s haircuts (well, apart from the WWRY recording scene). Roger has ~1 hairstyle throughout the movie. That’s 15 years with the long/stort(ish) version of a same haircut.

Have a look. Here is Roger Taylor (left picture) chatting with the Princess of Wales at the opening ceremony of Live Aid, and here’s Ben Hardy (the actor) on stage at Live Aid (pictures on the right).

Anyway, despite seeing the movie 3 times, I apparently I managed to miss Bono who appears in one of the very first scenes at a photo shoot with David Bowie. Hat tip to the husband for pointing him out. I guess I was too focused on Bowie whom I adore about as much as I adore Queen. U2 delivered an incredible performance that day by the way. I mentioned Bad a couple of times before, but here it is again if you haven’t watched it (I’m improving your musical tastes, don’t thank me):

I’m very excited about the soundtrack being released on tape. It’s too bad Virgin did such a poor job with the tape’s booklet (the quality is like homemade printing), I actually questioned its legitimacy when I first saw it at the store. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Many of my friends and people from my family have seen the movie and texted me afterwards saying they loved did.

Have you seen it? What did you think? Do you want to learn more about Queen? I can recommend songs and albums to properly introduce you to their music.

Pictures: © Twentieth Century Fox Film, Daily Mail / Splash News, rogertaylor.info

Posted in cécile, In English, musique

On repeat: forever

I love music. Anyone who knows me knows I absolutely adore music. I have favorites in every decade from the 50s to up to now, and my dream as a kid was to get enough money to get a kickass sound system and a room full of records.

Now, there are songs I just can’t get enough of. I could literally keep the repeat button activated all day and be fine with listening to the same song over and over again.

Reasons vary: the words, the music, the people a song reminds me of, a guitar riff, etc. My favorite band is Queen, everyone knows that, but in this list I’m choosing to exclude them, so don’t be surprised if they’re missing. 🙂 I selected a few of these songs I could have on repeat forever, there are many more of course, but this is a good sample.

Elton John – Tiny Dancer

Elton John is one of my favorite musicians. I started listening to his music at an early age thanks to my parents. I remember borrowing (understand “stealing”) a very cool trifold greatest hits CD from my dad. I still have it; the corners are all worn off. I have lots of favorite songs from him of course, but Tiny Dancer is #1 in my heart.

Elvis Presley – An American Trilogy

Another favorite tune from my childhood, this time discovered thanks to my mom. This song is just so powerful. I especially like the last part of the song after the flute (?) solo, when the all the wind instruments and drums come in and Elvis’s incredible voice takes over.

Eric Carmen – Hungry Eyes

I know – cheesy, right? I don’t know what it is about this song, but I just can’t get it out of my head. It was playing in a shop in Spain when I was there recently, and I started slow dancing by myself, making my husband laugh. Good memories. 🙂

Kari Parker – Bette Davis Eyes

This cover is amazing. I love covers, and discovered this one following a recommendation on Spotify, I think. I’m not sure how. But just listen. 

Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights

Such a weird song. The chorus speaks for itself. I don’t think there’s anything else to add.

Paul Simon – Graceland

How many time have I come up to my husband and asked him very seriously if he knew the Mississippi Delta was shining like a national guitar? 😂I know this song by heart, it’s one of my favorite song of all time.

Adele – When We Were Young

OK, now it’s a sad one.

I’m not big on “today’s music.” I mean, there are a lot of non-mainstream bands I like, but no-one I’ll go crazy for. Except for Adele. She is honestly the best musician of our generation. It’s not just her golden voice; she’s a true artist.

My list of favorite songs from Adele is long, and When We Were Young is definitely a special one. It’s now forever tied to the memory of a deceased family member who loved Adele, too. I can’t stop myself from shedding a tear when this song is playing, and that’s OK.

If you haven’t listened to the version displayed above, I strongly recommend you do. It’s beautiful.

U2 – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. But not the regular version. The version where they get together with New Voices of Freedom, a gospel choir from Harlem (I believe). It’s taken from the Rattle and Hum documentary, which I recommend if you haven’t seen it.

A side note on U2: I’m also a massive, massive fan of Bad played at Live Aid in 1985. I’m choosing not to include it here because I already did a piece on it on Instagram stories. You can learn more here (watch it all!) and here and you’ll know why I love it so much.

New Order – Temptation

Up down, turn around, please don’t let me hit the ground! How many time have I tweeted New Order lyrics? I love the rhythm of this song (new wave for the win!), the words, and the way it makes me want to dance. You can’t be in a bad mood if this song is playing.

Fleetwood Mac – Bleed to Love Her

Another mesmerizing song. Don’t get me started on Fleetwood Mac though, or this post will take forever to be written. It’s such a fantastic song. Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and, Christine McVie’s voices go so well together. The live version from The Dance is the one I listen to the most.

Ingrid Michaelson – Can’t Help Falling In Love

Another cover from a great artist by a great artist. It’s simple: voice + piano. It’s full of emotions and it’s really beautiful.

Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time

An absolute classic. It’s simple, I’ve always been obsessed with this song. Whenever the first note hits my speakers, I know I’ll have to play it over and over again.

Toto – Africa

I don’t think this needs explaining. Everyone loves this song. Apart from Queen songs, Africa (tied with 74-75 by The Connells) is my #1 favorite. The music video is also one of the first I recall watching as a kid, with the library catching fire and the band playing on a giant stack of books. Fascinating.

Simon & Garfunkel – The Boxer

By now, I’ve probably used the words beautiful, favoriteamazing and the fact that I know the lyrics by heart a hundred times. But it’s such a beautiful song! My favorite part is when they revive the song to give it even more power with the following lyrics: “And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down or cut him till he cried out.” 

Dire Straits – Romeo and Juliet

I didn’t give any order to this list, but if I had, let’s say from favorite to least favorite, Romeo and Juliet would most likely be first. What’s not to love about this song? The guitar (obviously) is fantastic, the piano too, and the words I know by heart. No doubt this one is on repeat whenever it plays.

Sixpence None The Richer – Don’t Dream It’s Over

Another cover. 🙂 The guitar solo is to die for, and I feel sorry for my neighbors whenever I yell the words after the bridge is over. Hey now, hey now!

Alphaville – Forever Young

Honestly, I’m not sure what to make of this song, I’m just obsessed.

David Bowie – Life On Mars?

This list is starting to get long, so I’ll stop with the one and only David Bowie. No words can do justice to the genius of David Bowie, so I’ll stop there. Make sure it’s on repeat, turn off the lights, press play, and close your eyes.


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Posted in In English, musique, queen, voyage

Barcelona (city, album and song)

I left home hoping I would “disconnect” as much as possible on this vacation. Anything from a computer to a tablet (I didn’t bring any) to work (I deleted Slack, my work-related WordPress app, and my emails last Friday after calling it a day). I bought a thousand-page book (Paul Auster’s 4321) and haven’t watched much TV (a 20 minute documentary on the consequences of overfishing in Senegal). I still have my phone, of course, for directions, taking pictures and, the occasional Instagram scroll (so that means I haven’t fully disconnected, have I?)

As we are speeding through Catalunya, I wanted to take a moment to remind anyone reading this blog of the importance of giving to those in need. Not everyone is born lucky and I believe we should help those who aren’t.

In 1987, Freddie Mercury met with Montserrat Caballé whom he admired. Their friendship developed quickly and the opera singer, a native of Barcelona, who was asked to create an anthem for the upcoming Olympic games, asked her new friend for help. Out of this collaboration came out a wonderful 8-track album (both the album and the song are called Barcelona), a perfect mix of Freddie’s sound and opera.

If you’re interested in learning more about their story, I really recommend watching the documentary on Freddie’s life called The Great Pretender. There’s a full section on their work and relationship, genuinely told by Mrs. Caballé herself.

So why am I telling you all this, you ask? Barcelona (the song) came out in 1987 and Freddie Mercury sadly passed away in 1991, about 10 months before the opening ceremony of the 1992 Olympics held in Barcelona (the city). This morning we went to Montjuïc (where the Olympics were held) and walked up from the Plaça Espanya to the castle of Monjuïc, avoiding buses, escalators, and cable cars. As we walked up I thought to myself (I’m assuming most people hike and think up existential questions) that it’s a shame AIDS is still a thing and that people keep dying for no reason (whether it’s war or illnesses) when we’re lucky to be alive, (mostly) healthy, and have more than decent living conditions. I carry a lot of guilt, if you hadn’t noticed by now. I certainly can’t fix all of this but I can give to those best placed to help fix some of the problems. So as I while climbing the stairs up to Montjuïc, I set a goal: I’d give 10€ per kilometer to the Mercury Phoenix Trust.

I track my hikes and rides on a very useful app called Strava so figuring out how many kilometers I walked wasn’t an issue:

5 kilometers. That’s how long it takes to complete the route, starting at the massive Venetian towers on Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina up to through the laces of the Montjuïc hill. I went through with my idea and donated 50€ to the Mercury Phoenix Trust, to help them with their fight against AIDS.

As always, ending blog posts with a well written closing paragaph is not my forte, so instead here are a couple of ideas:

  • Give, if you can, to a charity. It doesn’t have to be AIDS-related, it can be anything close to your heart (girls education, fighting hunger, poverty, etc.). Every penny counts!
  • Listen to Barcelona (the album) and improve your musical knowledge. I recommend Barcelona (the song), Guide Me Home, How Can I Go On:
Posted in En français, france, musique

Mardi 17 novembre 2015

Ce soir j’devais voir les Foo Fighters. Ce soir j’devais passer un bon moment avec mon ami, Julien. Les concerts c’est notre truc vous voyez. J’en avais pas fait depuis longtemps mais ça représente toute mon adolescence et mes meilleurs souvenirs passés aves mes amis.

Alors ce soir on ira pas voir les Foos. Mais comme l’aurait dit Freddie, the show must go on. Et oui, on peut tuer un homme, mais une idée, ça on peut pas la tuer.

Posted in musique

Restauration : RL 140 de Bang & Olufsen

Il y a quelques mois, j’ai fait l’acquisition d’une chaîne hi-fi Bang & Olufsen Beosystem 5500 (modèle blanc) du designer Jacob Jensen sur leboncoin.fr. L’ensemble était en état correct pour une chaîne de 1986, ceci dit gros bémol pour la cellule MMC4 de la platine vinyle que j’ai du changer. Pour les non-connaisseurs, trouver une MMC4 en bon état c’est un peu comme trouver une pépite d’or.

Les haut parleurs vendus avec sont une paire de Red Line 140 pesant 15 kilos chacun. Ils sont imposants, lourds mais d’une qualité digne de Bang & Olufsen. L’un des deux haut parleurs souffre cependant d’un grave qui sature et pour pallier ce problème, je joue avec les réglages de balance. Après quelques mois de déni,  j’ai enfin décidé d’arrêter de repousser la réparation de ce boomer défectueux et de restaurer entièrement mes RL 140. Voici mon “journal de bord.”

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Posted in En français, musique, queen

Queen, Stormtroopers in Stilettos

Retranscription d’un article écrit pour Queen Jewels en mars 2011 :

Comment évoquer Queen sans parler de ses balbutiements, lorsque Freddie était encore Farrokh et que John démontait des transistors ? Ici Island Records pointe le doigt sur la période du groupe la moins connue du grand public, au grand bonheur de ses fans, en nous offrant un focus sur les 5 premiers albums. Fini donc les Greatest Hits à tire larigot, l’heure est aux classiques, repartons 40 ans en arrière, là où tout a commencé.

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