June 30, 2014

Monday Mix: TV Girl

TV Girl's introduction to the ladies of French punk and new wave.

Just as a warning: I might get a little fan-girly when talking about TV Girl. Back in the day (like, three years ago), I would get tons of new music off of blogs and that's how I discovered the California-based band. It was the beginning of my sophomore year of college and I played every song off their first EP on my radio show multiple times (probably more than was OK by station standards). TV Girl remained one of my favorite bands through and post-college – their Benny and the Jets EP got me through a particularly trying break up and I even reviewed their last album The Wild, The Innocent, The TV Shuffle on THE LE SIGH before we became a strictly ~ladies~ blog. I found the band's innovative use of samples to be ridiculously catchy and unlike anything else I've heard before (or after). I was overly excited when a new TV Girl full length, titled French Exit, came out earlier this month, which was only heightened when member Brad Petering wanted to make a mix for us. To fit in with the title of their new album, the mix revolves around the ladies of the French new wave and punk movement, which I can't say I know anything about so I'll let Brad explain further from here. 

Brad Petering of TV Girl on their Monday Mix:

"In England and the States, women were often relegated to the side or completely (with notable exceptions of course). One neat aspect of the French scene was that women were often front and center. I've taken the trouble to compile a tiny sampler of some female centric acts. I'd suggest looking into all of their respective discographies. France’s most successful and notable punk band was The Stinky Toys who, at the behest of no less than Malcolm Mcclaren, played as the only French representatives alongside the Sex Pistols and The Clash at punk’s watershed moment at the 100 Club Punk Festival in 1976. The band was led by the fantastic Elli Medeiros, who later went on to co-found Elli et Jacno, one of France’s most successful new wave groups. Both of which are represented on this mix. I’ve also included OG punk rippers from Edith Nylon, Les Lous, and the mysterious Questions, whose only song comes from a rip of the obscure French film “Le brune et moi” (hence the bad quality and miscellaneous sounds). 

Anyone who knows me will be unsurprised to find ZE records heavily represented on this mix. For about two years in the early 80’s, ZE records’ “mutant disco” sound enraptured New York’s art elite and became the most fashionable indie label on the planet. The label’s roster boasted three talented French beauties. There’s the disaffected and oversexed Cristina, the subversive faux-airhead Lio, and the best of them all: Lizzy Mercier Descloux. My Lizzy obsession is well documented, and explains why she is featured twice on this mix. For the sake of brevity, just listen to her album “Zulurock” and tell me that it isn’t one of the most palpable expression of joy ever captured on tape. Other than that, there’s a few odds and ends that were too good to deny. The post-punk weirdness of Peggy Luxbeurk, the bubblegum perfection or Les Calamites, and let’s not forget “Desir Desir,” maybe one of the most beautiful songs ever written in any language. Hope you enjoy!"

Written by Emily Thompson