NOUVELLE VAGUE with CLARE AND THE REASONS and DJ JIM STONE at the Crofoot Ballroom

THURSDAY JANUARY 28, 2010
doors at 8PM
tickets: $18 (buy tickets)

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NOUVELLE VAGUE, the French band that conquered the world with bossa nova covers of punk and new wave classics, make their Detroit-area debut at the Crofoot!

Led by producer/arrangers Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux and sung by a revolving cast of chanteuses, the group’s first two albums, Nouvelle Vague (2004) and Bande A Part (2006) have sold well over half-a-million copies. On their debut, Nouvelle Vague took cherished tracks from the late 1970s and early 1980s by acts such as Joy Division, The Clash, The Cure, Depeche Mode and the Dead Kennedys and reworked them in a gentle bossa nova style. Sung by French female vocalists, some of whom had never heard the originals before, these cult hits had new life breathed into them, and their meanings became softly subverted. In French, Nouvelle Vague means “new wave”, and “bossa nova” in Portuguese. Even the records’ sleeves wittily referenced the artwork for Jean Luc Godard’s early-’60s new-wave films.

“The original concept of Nouvelle Vague was to use young girl singers who don’t know the meaning of punk and post-punk music,” says Marc Collin, in whose Paris studio the records are made. “That way, they are bringing something new and totally fresh to the songs, and it really worked. So we kept doing it in this direction.” The group expanded its musical palette on Bande A Part, adding touches of reggae, ska and blues to balmy readings of familiar numbers by Bauhaus, Blondie, Buzzcocks, New Order and Yazoo, among others. By this point, even hardcore fans who’d considered these easy-listening versions of punk staples to be sacrilege learned to enjoy Nouvelle Vague as a guilty pleasure.

To keep it fresh, Marc and Olivier approached the latest album in the same spirit of discovery with which they made their 2004 debut. Back then, says Olivier, they recorded four songs for fun and played them to friends, who loved them, and also loved the idea of turning new-wave songs into something different. And so they made an album. This time, reggae and bossa nova interpretations make room for country music, bluegrass, and dusty bar-room shuffles.

Nouvelle Vague will take the songs that you adore and make you fall in love with them all over again.

With CLARE AND THE REASONS and DJ JIM STONE.

 

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