Monday, March 23, 2009

New Wave for the New Week #3

Lene LovichLene Lovich (via

For this week's NW4NW entry, we're back to 1979 and one of the godmothers of the New Wave scene, Lene Lovich.

For the uninitiated, Trouser Press provides the best description of Lovich's place in New Wave history in her entry on their site:

"Lene Lovich helped pave the way for female vocalists to use as many vocal eccentricities as their male counterparts, to be unafraid to play a solo instrument (Lovich's is sax), and — as important as anything else — to feel free to adopt and project personae that are obviously feminine yet not socially stereotyped."

Vocal eccentricities indeed! Lovich is famous for her occasional yelps, gulps, yodels, chirps and gurgles with which she conveys as much of the feeling of her songs as she does with her lyrics. Her longtime collaboration with husband Les Chappell (he's the bald dude in the clip) has given forth only limited fruit - her records have been few and far between - but what is there is wonderful. Her cover of Dutch band The Meteors' "It's You, Only You (Mein Schmertz)" was a standard in the early days of MTV; songs like "New Toy", "What Will I Do Without You", and "Say When" are bona fide New Wave classics.

Her grand work, though, was her first single, 1979's "Lucky Number". In this one song all the pieces of the Lene Lovich puzzle were strewn out and pieced back together: the vocal hiccups, the driving yet danceable beat, and the very visual aspect of her personality and performance. The clip is not without its humor, both intentional and unintentional. Just take a gander at the hair and clothes of the mall crowd!

So friends, here is your New Wave for the New Week for this week, Lene Lovich's "Lucky Number":

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