The Rich Girls Are Weeping

19 May 2006

I keep forgetting to put mascara on. Seriously, this is like, the third day in a row that I've forgotten to apply mascara to my lashes as part of my morning makeup application routine.

I swear, I never thought this space would turn into a place for me to vent my frustrations about what's currently hot and happening in the music blog space, but it has -- so there you go.

Case in point, the new Nouvelle Vague album, Bande A Part (cute title, nice reference...) is beyond disappointing, but a look at the number of tracks posted in mp3 blogs lately from the Hype Machine indicates that I'm possibly alone in thinking this. I think I read about the first Nouvelle Vague release in an issue of Fader sometime in late 2004/early 2005 (I think) and went through great lengths to track down a copy stateside (I ended up finiding it on a bittorrent site and later encountered a copy on a friend's coffee table in London). About half the album is listenable; "Guns of Brixton," "Friday Night, Saturday Morning," and "Making Plans For Nigel" are exemplary, mostly because the bossa nova-ification of the tracks wasn't too far off from the tone of the originals. A few too many of the selections just sort of crumble under the belabored arrangements, though -- which is unfortunate -- who wouldn't want to hear blasé chanteuses interpret more obscure New Wave classics from the likes of Tuxedomoon, Visage, Blancmange, and Heaven 17? Despite the appearance of songs by the latter three on the group's latest effort, there's even more missteps. I think the main problem is that too many songs are directed in the cabaret style, and when combined with the now-flat gimick of the bossa nova-tinged arrangements of the rest of the tracks, the album is just rendered into an incoherent mess that leads me to suggest that you just download the versions of "Bela Lugosi's Dead" and "The Killing Moon" (which again, are successful because the arrangements are pretty faithful to the originals) and skip the rest (especially the overblown "Heart of Glass" and "Blue Monday" and "Fade to Grey" and the particularly horrific "Dancing With Myself").

In other news, I wish I had a satellite or something so I could watch the Eurovision Song Contest, which despite its complete cheezeball factor is still going strong after 51 (yes, that's right) years. (Past winning performers you may have heard of include France Gall, Sandie Shaw, Katrina and the Waves, Michael Ball, and uh, ABBA. Oh, and Celine Dion performed the winning song for um, Switzerland in 1988 -- just another facet of the wonderful and weird politics of the event...)

And hey, look! Tacks the Boy Disaster, one of the many members of the happy Tonewheel Collective crowd, is on Fluxblog today. And apparently, I missed quite a time at the Tonewheel happy hour last night...

You know what I saw at Target the other day? The Wolfmother CD! I'm amazed sometimes at how out-of-the-loop I can be when a blogger band crosses over into more mainstream markets.

Wolfmother -- Mother (MSTRKRFT remix)

All that tambourine and cowbell in that remix reminds me that I totally need to remind you that No Wave legends E.S.G. have a new album out on Soul Jazz later this summer. Here's two tracks that immediately snagged my attention:

E.S.G. -- Insane (tambourine mix)
E.S.G. -- Everything Goes


And one random one for good measure: I read about Fox'N'Wolf on Fluxblog (natch!), and I'm smitten; here's a nice Todd Terje remix of Snuten's "Wild and Free," now known as "Claws Against Knives" and features Fox'n'Wolf (or Fox, mostly, and her amazing 80's bitchy Latin Freestyle-esque voice), to cap the thumpy dance party we have going on here today.

Snuten (feat. Fox'n'Wolf) -- "Claws Against Knives" (Todd Terje Remix) [20 Jazz Funk Greats hosts the original version.]

11 Comments:

Blogger kathryn said...

It's funny that you never thought you'd use this space to talk about more-meta issues, because I enjoy that part of your writing so much. I wish more mp3blogs would shake things up a bit instead of doing the usual photograph-press-release-links regurgitation. It all seems so rote after a while, doesn't it?

As for the Eurovision business: BitTorrent? Newsgroups? Youtube?

Friday, May 19, 2006 3:48:00 PM  
Blogger cindy hotpoint said...

I guess I used to write stuff like this in my LJ too; I don't have a particular agenda or anything -- I generally just write about what I think up over my morning coffee and in the shower (though, the Nouvelle Vague thing has been bugging me for days).

Ryan Goodhodgkins.com reminded me today that there's kind of a dry spell currently and so the bandsthat are getting flogged (this week) are more questionable than the usual buzz bands, so it's not surprising that I'm more irked. I liked that explaination.

Of course! I should totally be able to find a bittorrent or youtube clips! Sometimes I forget about this newfangled technology!

Friday, May 19, 2006 3:56:00 PM  
Blogger kathryn said...

Totally! This is why I love the internet.

Also, Slate has some writing on this Eurovision business.

Friday, May 19, 2006 4:30:00 PM  
Blogger cindy hotpoint said...

Yay internet!

Thanks for the link. (:

Friday, May 19, 2006 4:44:00 PM  
Blogger cindy hotpoint said...

OMG, the actual blog of Mike Atkinson is a freakin' Eurovisionapalooza. Wow.

http://troubled-diva.com

Friday, May 19, 2006 5:02:00 PM  
Blogger cindy hotpoint said...

OMG THIS IS THE BEST SONG & VIDEO EVER OMG OMG OMG

Go Iceland!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCm9hWxH1rM

Friday, May 19, 2006 5:09:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Cindy, I am glad you don't like the new NV record either, but I wish you wouldn't characterize it as "bossa nova." Just because the hyping folk say it's bossa nova doesn't mean it has much to do with bossa nova. I listen to the record and I hear dry arrangements, dull solos (mostly echoing the vocal melody) and lifeless comping. You want bossa nova, go listen to Morelenbaum (2)/Sakamoto's "A Day in New York." This NV stuff is just fluff; the first record had the gorgeous vocals of Camille Dalmais, but the second lacks them and therefore any reason to buy it.

Friday, May 19, 2006 6:57:00 PM  
Blogger cindy hotpoint said...

Jonathan, dear -- I never said that the album was straight up bossa nova, I was very clear to use "bossa nova-ification" and "bossa nova-tinged." I admit, I'm no expert on the genre, but I do know that NV is not what one would traditionally term "bossa nova" and felt that my descripition conveyed that. I'm sorry if it was unclear.

Thanks for the reccomendation, I'll check it out! (:

Friday, May 19, 2006 7:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More Snuten:


http://www.snuten.no/video.html

Saturday, May 20, 2006 9:07:00 AM  
Anonymous ryan hodgkins said...

you have a knack for so eloquently stating my opinion. it's scary.

Sunday, May 21, 2006 3:40:00 PM  
Blogger jon manyjars said...

Oh my gawd, new ESG! Best news all week. THANXXXX!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 11:37:00 AM  

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