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Sunday: March 30, 2008

Nouvelle Vague

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:18 PM UTC

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.

1 Comment »

  1. Years ago, I wrote a post called “50 Things Every Guy Should Know” or some nonsense like that. Mostly in jest. But I did say, “It’s ‘movies’ or ‘flicks’ not ‘film’ or ‘cinema.’” And I stand by those words today!

    Seriously, though – thanks for the correction. Hailing from Brazil, I just assumed the band name was Portuguese. As for French New Wave, as a semi-serious student of …movies… I’ve never been able to sit through an entire Truffaut flick.

    But do I get at least a few points for loving the ever loving heck out of Fellini?

    Comment by Stephen Green — Sunday: March 30, 2008 @ 11:34 PM UTC

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