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Monday, June 18, 2007

The mysterious Virna Lindt returns

posted by on June 18 at 15:49 PM

I love women who can’t sing. I don’t mean the mute, or the tone-deaf, but the type of artist the French politely call a diseuse, i.e. a performer who recites lyrics over music, rather than flat out singing (although when they sing, it is flat). Vocalists who do not even attempt to carry a tune – even when it may be as close as the piano accompaniment – because it is just too cumbersome, and, really a girl can’t be expected to hold anything heavier than a cocktail in these shoes.

Terry has written before about my very favorite diseuse, Cristina. But in the madcap ’80s, Ms. Monet Zilkha was but one of a clutch of like-minded dramatic dames who cut sought-after albums. Not long ago, LTM Recordings reissued the work of Hermine, a former tightrope aerialist and colleague of The Flying Lizards. Now they continue delving into this dubious tradition with expanded editions of the work of Swedish oddball Virna Lindt.

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Lindt recorded two albums, Shiver (1983) and Play/Record (1985), for the Compact Organization. Like New York’s ZE label, Compact was all about mixing sophistication and kitsch (their best-known artist was Northern soul torch singer and beehive model Mari Wilson). And Virna Lindt epitomized that mix. Her songs are ripe with allusions to international espionage and Bergman films, her vocals whispered atop backing tracks of cool jazz, sound collage, and vintage soundtrack gestures. If you are the sort of music lover who can name every Bond girl, this is the stuff for you.

LTM is also rolling out a remastered edition of the compilation A Young Person’s Guide to Compact, featuring the non-LP Lindt singles “Model Agent” and “Young & Hip,” as well as ditties by Wilson, Tot Taylor (who wrote and produced with Lindt), Shake/Shake, and others. All three of these releases hit stores on August 20. Something to sing about? Hardly. And that’s the beauty of it.

RSS icon Comments

1

There is one cd I must have from LTM. Extremely cool site, thanks; they read like the influential catalog for Teenbeat Records.

Posted by fanny | June 18, 2007 6:53 PM
2

The Cristina comparison was all you really needed to do.

Unsingers of the world unite.

Posted by Fawkes | June 18, 2007 7:35 PM
3

Exactly Kurt, these are innovative artists.

Back to the post about the circus with The Who, Marianne Faithful etc. and that guy talking about Bonarooo - festivals are great, but mainly they are for the audience, bringing people together. The artists 40 years ago were innovative because the fame game was new. Now, times are different. Performers at popular festivals are primarily there for the fame and money.

Writers doting on the olden days of the 60s and 70s, are just encouraging performers today to sell out, thus disillusioning them. There's tons of small festivals and artists these days doing great work. Even small festivals (Folklife, Shipwreck in Anacortes) are great in bridging the gap between audience celebration and quality music.

Notice that film festivals are full of innovative art compared with Hollywood. This is because the movie industry is a more intelligent crowd than the music industry.

Even the Grateful Dead played regularly for free when they started, and festivals in general back then were really cheap. Not in this day and age.

Basically to sum up, The Stranger, for the most part, is downright completely UN-cuttingedge.

Posted by folklife | June 18, 2007 9:12 PM
4

And, yes, there are are complaints in there, lame if you want to call them that, but that guy was too much a lame-ass himself to respond earlier.

Posted by folklife | June 18, 2007 9:24 PM
5

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