Wednesday, December 01, 2004:

8 1/2 Souvenirs

8 1/2 Souvenirs -- After You've Gone
8 1/2 Souvenirs -- L'amour Toujours
8 1/2 Souvenirs took their name from the Federico Fellini film--his self-proclaimed eight-and-a-halfth film--about a film director who's suddenly become quite popular, is now directing a silly big-budget film, and is retreating into a fantasy world. Funny that; Fellini was in a similar situation after La Dolce Vita--at least in terms of popularity--so the film might be about Fellini filming his previous short, or it might be a film about Fellini filming 8 1/2. To prevent my head exploding from unescaped recursion, I'll just say that I think it's funny and odd and fascinating and sometimes disturbing but very cool, and then move on.

I think 8 1/2 Souvenirs picked a good namesake. Picture a European country-western jazz cabaret: classical violin, guitar reminiscent of Django Reinhardt, piano ranging from jazz breakdowns to ragtime to country, lyrics in French or English or Italian, albums covering rockabilly, swing, rock, and jazz standards.

The band has had a number of lineup additions and changes over the years, and I believe they called it quits after Twisted Desire: the one constant over all three albums was Olivier Giraud, and he's now playing with the Asylum Street Spankers (a group focusing mostly on old acoustic blues/folk/country tunes).
[]: Twisted Desire
[]: Happy Feet
And an Artist Direct writeup from 1997.


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