Sunday, February 25, 2007

Marcia Baila

The United States had MTV. In Canada we had MuchMusic. But if you were a REALLY adventurous (or masochistic) Canadian you also watched MusiquePlus, the Canadian Quebecois music channel.

As a kid who basically flunked French in highschool, I didn't verbally understand much that happened on MusiquePlus, but I sure as hell knew that they had a significantly BROADER field of interest than plain-old, provincial MuchMusic. Crazier videos (usually from Europe), weirder production values, more beautiful was a joy. Among other obsessions that this station instilled in me (both big and small), I include Niagara, "Two Men, a Drum Machine, and a Trumpet," and Nits.

Not to mention Mitsou, who I'll get into some other time.

But this post is dedicated to Les Rita Mitsouko, a French band that blew my little mind when I first saw them on MusiquePlus:

I would like to post their song "Andy" -- my first Les Rita Mitsouko exposure, and still the funkiest, fartiest New Wave song ever -- but instead I present "Marcia Baila." I'm doing this as a public service since people who weren't actually CONSCIOUS during the '80s have some misconceptions about what it was really like. The best way to describe how a culture was SUPPOSED to look during a specific time is to examine how OTHER cultures interpreted that look. In short, this video is what the arty side of the '80s WANTED to be in terms of fashion and sensibility.

What did the '80s REALLY look like? Unless you were Jane Siberry, not like this, unfortunately. But just watch the video and revel in every bit of beautiful, over-the-top, French oddness that Catherine Ringer and Fred Chichin indulge in. Goregous, gorgeous, gorgeous. And these two geniuses are still making music today, by the way.


Anonymous said...

I lived in Montreal for 5 glorious years from 1991 to 1996 and I still miss it (or should I say pining for it). Montreal is certainly more adventurous than KW. And did I mention the seemingly limitless supply of restaurants to go for brunch?

VanillaJ said...

Oh, thanks for that. These are the corners of the 80's culture that are completely lost on the Gen Y'ers. Poor babies.

Anonymous said...

Mitsou RULES!!

Anonymous said...

People keep on telling me that Montreal is The Place To Go, and I've never ever been there. Brunch alone is enough to tempt me, as it is God's Blessed Meal.

Anonymous said...

Yes, at my advanced age I'm beginning to see the way that a decade becomes distilled, chopped up, and recycled in a way that misses much of the essence of what it was supposed to be. I would NEVER say that I grew up in two wonderful decades (socially, the '80s were pretty selfish and the '90s were pretty...well...slack and angsty), but...

...who now remembers the "strutty peacock" dance step, adapted from bad modern dance classes, performed by women in lime-green tights and a tu-tu? And get a load of Catherine Ringer sticking her fingers in her mouth and chattering her teeth during the first minute. Love the artificially bleach-white teeth. And Fred Chichin's terrifyingly lecherous, smug, hatchety, lipsticked face.

And Mitsou!

Okay, I guess I'm just dipping my toes into '80s avant-garde and pop culture (though even Mitsou was a bit beyond the "pop pale" in English Canada...she wasn't, say, Bryan Adams or Tom Cochrane).