In a post on “Cover songs almost as good as the originals (and sometimes better)”, VodkaPundit writes “‘Nouvelle Vague’ is Portuguese for ‘New Wave’”. Actually, the phrase is French, not Portuguese, and was used to describe the movies* of Godard, Truffaut, and some of their contemporaries long before the band (which I’d never heard of) borrowed the name. According to Wikipedia, the band’s second album was Bande à Part, which is also a 1964 Godard movie, so the name must be homage rather than coincidence.
When the original ‘nouvelle vague’ appeared in the 1950s, the phrase puzzled Evelyn Waugh, who couldn’t tell whether it was supposed to mean ‘new wave’ or ‘vague novel’.
For the subject of VodkaPundit’s post, I nominate Dwight Yoakam’s cover of Baby, Don’t Go (with Sheryl Crow). It’s the best thing on the album Under the Covers. Until I heard it, I hadn’t realized that Sonny Bono had ever written a song that was any good at all. Yoakam’s cover of Kinky Friedman’s Rapid City, South Dakota is (in my opinion) slightly better than the original.
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Yes, I know, I should call them ‘films’ or ‘cinema’. Sorry, not going to do it.