Live Concert Photography: Fete de la Musique feat. Charlélie Couture, Yael Naim, General Elektriks and La Femme
SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield, Central Park 7/21/16
Summer is the busiest time of year in the JOVM world — and if you add the professional obligations of a day job, having a social life and trying to date (sometimes successfully, to boot), you can probably imagine that things are routinely hectic. Now, earlier this month I was at SummerStage‘s Rumsey Playfield, Central Park stage to catch a full evening of French music that featured headlining, Nancy, France-based musician and multi-disciplinary artist Charlélie Couture; Israeli-French singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Yael Naim; San Francisco, CA-based indie rock/indie pop act General Elektriks, fronted by French-born, San Francisco-based keyboardist Hervé Salters; and Paris, France-based psych punk/krautrock/global music act La Femme, a JOVM mainstay act, who received international attention with the release of their 2010 debut EP Le Podium #1 and their 2013 full-length debut Psycho Tropical Berlin.
Headlining act, Charlélie Couture is an incredibly prolific musician, painter, photographer and graphic designer, who has recorded and released 25 albums, 17 film soundtracks, held a number of exhibitions of his artwork, has published 15 books of reflections, musings, drawings and photographs and is probably best known for “Comme un Avion Sans Aile,” which was a major hit in his native France — and for being one of the first French artists to sign on renowned label, Island Records.
Interestingly, an photographer and painter, Couture is known for founding the Nancy, France-based collective Local à Louer, a collective inspired by his “Art Rock manifesto,” which stated “Art must make the junction between the functionalism of an industrial society and the aspirations of pop culture” and for launching the art journal Le Télégramme.
(Photo Caption: Charlélie Couture with his backing band at SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield a few weeks ago.)
Israeli-French singer/songwriter Yael Naim began her musical career with a part in the musical Les Dix Commandements and after her stint on stage, released her solo debut In a Man’s Womb back in 2001; however, she’s seen her biggest success collaborating with multi-instrumentalist David Donatien, with whom she wrote, arranged and recorded her critically applauded and commercially successful self-titled sophomore effort, which featured material that possessed elements of jazz, folk and pop paired with lyrics sung in French, English and Hebrew. Within a week of its release, the Israeli-French singer/songwriter’s sophomore effort landed at number 11 on the French charts. But she received massive commercial success Stateside when when late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs personally chose album single “New Soul” as part of the popular ad campaign for the company’s MacBook Air line. And as a result, the single landed at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts, making Naim the first Israeli-born artist to ever have a Top Ten hit in the US — and the song was featured on the soundtracks of two films, The House Bunny and Wild Target.
(Photo Caption: Yael Naim and her backing band, featuring multi-instrumentalist and collaborator David Donatien performing at SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield earlier this month.)
Founded and fronted by French-born, San Francisco-based Hervé Salters (lead vocal, vintage keys) and featuring contributions from his frequent collaborators Jessie Chaton (bass), Jordan Dalrymple (MPC sampler ,drums), Norbert Lucarain (vibraphone, drums) and Eric Starczan (guitar), General Elektriks over the course of their first three albums: 2003’s Cliquety Kliqk, 2009’s Good City For Dreamers and 2011’s Parker Street have developed a reputation for a sound that possesses elements of 80s synth pop, 80s New Wave, post-punk, hip-hop and arena rock.
(Photo Caption: Fans during General Electrik’s set at Rumsey Playfield earlier this month.)
And last but not least — or in reality starting off the afternoon was the Paris, France-based psych punk/krautrock/global music JOVM mainstay act La Femme. Comprised of founding members Marlon Magnée (keyboards), Sacha Got (guitar), Sam Lefevre (bass), Noé Delmas (drums) and Lucas Nunez, along with a rotating cast of vocalists including, Lara Luciani, Jane Peynot, Marilou Chollet and current lead vocalist Clémence Quélennec, the collective with the release of 2011’s Le Podium # 1 and their 2013 full-length debut Psycho Tropical Berlin received international acclaim for a breezy and global-hopping take on psych rock and surfer rock that boldly defies easy categorization.