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She Loves to 'Ye-Ye ' . . . Yeah

July 14, 1999|SUSAN CARPENTER

Known as the female Bob Dylan in her native France, Francoise Hardy made a name for herself as the original "ye-ye girl," fusing simple folk-pop harmonies with electric guitar and angelic vocals. That was more than 30 years ago.

Now comes April March, a 30-something Angeleno (by way of New York) who was barely born when this type of music was first popular but who sings and composes in the style. She is signed to Ideal, a local record label founded by the Dust Brothers (producers of Beck and the Beastie Boys), and her newest record, "Chrominance Decoder," is merely the latest in a 10-year career that includes performing and recording stints with Brian Wilson and Ronnie Spector, and time as an animation artist for "Ren & Stimpy" and "Pee-Wee's Playhouse."

March says her attraction to "ye-ye" (the French interpretation of the Beatles' "yeah, yeah") was its foundation on jazz and classical music rather than rhythm and blues.

"When I first heard it, I went, 'Whoa,' " says March, a.k.a. Elinor Blake. "It just really spoke to me, and that was that."

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