Martini Music – this week’s easy listening

May 2, 2009

A very quick post, just to suggest Nouvelle Vague again. Nouvelle Vague is Marc Collin and Oliver Libaux and a whole bunch of collaborators from around the world.

Just picked up the first Nouvelle Vague release – remixed favourites with a groovy bossa nova beat.

The tracklist on this CD is another selection of 80s hits from Depeche Mode, The Clash, Jello Biafra, XTC, The Specials and many more. I’m taken with these guys. They have a smooth sensibility and a sense of fun. In this clip they’re covering Joy Division’s Love will tear us apart.

You can’t really take them too seriously, but they are clever. Remaking some punk and new wave/new romantic music that both showcases the richness of the original and the timelessness of a good beat, great rhythm and a nice vocal attack.

Also, for Mother’s Day: Leonard Cohen live. Old master Leonard Cohen did a world tour in 2008/2009 after nearly two decades of not travelling. Cohen and his band were fantastic. I was lucky enough to see them in Auckland.

I took my 76 year-old mother and she loved it. I found out accidentally she was a Leonard Cohen fan and the concert even converted my father, who claims that there’s been no good music recorded since Shirley Bassey.

He was tapping his feet and at the end admitted he was impressed.

This release is from the July 2008 London concert and the playlist is pretty much what he did in Auckland too. The arrangements are wonderful and the musicians absolutely top class.

There’s an official DVD release too, but I prefer the crowd-sourced stuff from YouTube. It’s raw, but you also get a sense of the power of Leonard Cohen. He’s the same age as my dad, but can sing a whole lot better (no offence pop, if you read this).

In case you’re curious, Ethical Martini buys his music from Record Time in Orakei. The people in the store know music and they’re incredibly helpful. They will find stuff for you and it’s a pleasure talking to them, plus they have a loyalty card system. I just cashed in $30 so didn’t have to pay much for this week’s purchases.