At first it seemed like little more than a novelty: Recruit a bunch of French singers, have them record mellow, ‘60s bossa nova cover versions of classic punk and New Wave songs, and call the project Nouvelle Vague (French for “new wave”). So clever, precious and ironic, n’est-ce pas?
But the result was so spellbinding – who would have thought blasé female vocals and lounge-y arrangements could turn these beloved, punchy songs into something haunting, beautiful and entirely new? – that eight years and six albums later, the group is still going strong.
If you caught Nouvelle Vague’s sold-out 2010 show in Miami, you’ll rush to buy tickets for this time around, at 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami. And as are so many of the most interesting shows in Miami, this one’s brought to you by the super-cool Rhythm Foundation.
So what to expect? Well, at the 2010 show, Miami-Cuban chanteuse Liset Alea opened, and now she’s a member of the group. Adding to the sultry atmosphere will be Zula the Shadow Dancer, direct from the avant-garde cabaret Le Crazy Horse de Paris.
Musically, Nouvelle Vague has dozens of tunes to choose from. You might hear Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun,” Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough,” The Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen,” Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself,” Blondie’s “Heart of Glass,” Echo & The Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon,” PiL’s “This is Not a Love Song,” Modern English’s “I Melt With You,” Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” New Order’s “Blue Monday,” The Buzzcocks’ “Ever Fallen in Love,” Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” XTC’s “Making Plans For Nigel” – well, you get the idea.
For tickets, call 305-672-5202 or visit www.rhythmfoundation.com. Tickets cost $30 and the concert is for ages 18 and over.