Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lizzy Mercier Descloux- Press Colour & Mambo Nassau

I've been meaning to write something about this awesome chick for a good month now, shortly after my friend Richard discovered her and hooked me up. There is certainly music that sounds similar to the two albums from which these videos come, Press Colour and Mambo Nassau, yet at the same time, nothing else in music history sounds like her. She's a unique specimen, like Captain Beefheart or Richard D. James, very much of their respective times and musical eras and yet timeless, too.

While it's true that Press Colour could be classified as no wave/post-punk/new wave, in varying degrees depending on the song, I can't say I know of anything from any of those scenes that sounds like 'Hard-Boiled Babe' (which I think might actually be from another project she did, though it's included as a bonus track on Press Colour, so nyah!).

On a side note, I don't have a single critical thing to say about either album. They're brilliant, endlessly listenable, and seem to appeal to damn near everyone I (or Richard!) know.

Similarly, her cover of 'Funky Stuff', as well as most of Mambo Nassau are right out of the funky music being made by nearly everyone in the early 80s, bringing to mind Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, and even Parliament/Funkadelic....and yet, they sound very little like those, either. On 'Funky Stuff', Lizzy sounds like a bouncing cheerleader, or maybe a French version of Deborah Harry of Blondie on uppers and pixie sticks. Then there's a track like 'Milk Sheik', a sort of fairground/carnival/festival ditty, the sort you might hear in some place like Frankenmuth, Michigan or at your local German-American oktoberfest-style event.

Now, I know 'Funky Stuff' is a cover, but I can't help but feel it's a fine title. I admire and appreciate songs that tell you exactly what they are before you hear them, like 'Feedback' by the Grateful Dead (consisting of the band making feedback and noise), Daniel Johnston's 'Chord Organ Blues' (a blues song played on and about a chord organ) or even 'Billy's Tool Box' by Medeski, Martin, & Wood, in which drummer Billy Wood toys around with his available drums/percussion for about half a minute.

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