On the Road

Road Trip, Anyone? If You Want To See Nouvelle Vague, You'll Have To

One more sign that Houston don't count for jack: Nouvelle Vague is playing Dallas (Feb. 12) and Austin (13th), but no Houston date. Hmmm...where have I heard this story before? NV have been wildly popular in Europe since their eponymous 2004 debut. We first stumbled upon them when we heard their amazing cover of the Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk To Fuck."

The brainchild of producers Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux, the debut album featured a mix of punk and New Wave covers presented in a perky bossa nova musical format. Collin and Libaux are the backbone of the band. As producers, they choose from a variety of Euro female singers, and have even worked with Julie Delpy on "LaLaLa," which was featured in the movie Two Nights in Paris.

As Collin explains on the NV Web site, "The original concept of Nouvelle Vague was to use young girl singers who don't know the meaning of punk and post-punk music. That way they are bringing something new and totally fresh to the songs."

French chanteuse Melanie Pain is one of NV's singers. Pain describes her influences as "Francois Hardy, Nick Cave, Claudine Longet, Nancy Sinatra, and Leonard Cohen." Works for us, and it is exactly the type of voice that works well within the NV framework. Here she is singing one of her own compositions, "(This Is Not) A Love Song."

So, Houstonians, once again it looks like a road trip to Austin or Dallas to catch one of the hippest Euro acts around. Yes, you are correct - this means we are awfully uncool.

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William Michael Smith