Danger Mouse and Sam Cohen DJ a Francophile’s Dream Get-Together

With a familiar tune by Joni Mitchell and lesser-known gems by Françoise Hardy and more, the "Resistance Radio" collaborators mix up tunes perfect for your next French-themed dinner party.

Photo Credit: Michael Pontecorvo

Mixing up our party playlist this week is Sam Cohen, who’s worked with everyone from Shakira to the Grateful Dead, and Brian Burton, also known as Danger Mouse (and is half of the band Gnarls Barkley).

Sam and Danger Mouse produced a series of songs inspired by the TV series “The Man In The High Castle.” Each track is a dark, eerie cover of a tune from the ’50s or ’60s. The album is called, “Resistance Radio.” The duo dropped by our studios a few weeks back, which explains why their playlist is designed to give your party a certain je ne sais quoi.


Françoise Hardy – “Saurai-je”

Sam Cohen: Even though I don’t know the words, you can tell that it’s coming from the same DNA as, like, big Edith Piaf, Frank Sinatra kind of ballads, but then it has this younger generation cool to it.

Gillian Hills – “Rentre Sans Moi”

Danger Mouse: It’s a cover of a Zombie song called “Leave Me Be.” That was always one of my favorite Zombie songs. I never heard this version before, but running around and looking at lots of different French songs and compilations and things like that, I came across it and I thought it was great. “Leave Me Be” is just a love song about, if you’re not going to be in this, then just leave it alone and don’t keep coming back and messing with me.

Joni Mitchell – “Free Man In Paris”

Sam Cohen: Her song, “Free Man in Paris,” is about a trip David Geffen took to Paris in the early ’70s when he was still closeted and finally had a chance to kind of be himself. You listen to the words knowing that story and it’s all there. She’s talking about how much he’s doing for everybody, how hard he’s working on everyone’s careers, and sacrificing having that kind of comfort and intimacy in his life for fear of how people will react. It’s a really isolating thing. It’s cool that she fully embraced who he was all the way. It’s like a beautiful love song to a friend.

Sharon Van Etten – “The End of the World”

Danger Mouse: Sharon Van Etten, she came onto the project really early, and when she did this song, it really let us know the potential of it and that she could have been a really big vocalist, singer, back in that time period in the ’60s or maybe ’50s.

Sam Cohen: Yeah, she just kind of killed it.