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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Missed-Indie’s Big Adventure

posted by on September 11 at 15:14 PM

Misty's Big Adventure - 'Fashion Parade'

Since we’re on a middle-of-the-’00s bent, let’s abuse it along and bring back the idea that it’s too bad that “Fashion Parade,” a single released the same year by the band Misty’s Big Adventure, never got the attention it deserved.

Misty’s Big Adventure have eight members. They’re called Misty’s Little Adventure when they have less. The band is from Birmingham, England, home of Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, The Editors, Broadcast, Napalm Death, ELO, and The Streets, but also of childlike electronic experimentalists like Bentley Rhythm Ace and Pram, who the band seems to have shared the deepest genetic pool with here.

Scattered around the band, around such members as the glove-covered dance-monster Erotic Volvo, you’ll find odd music-hall influences and melodic knick-knacks along with animal costumes and construction-paper stop-motion videos, like a deadpan Flaming Lips, or The Mighty Boosh meeting your parents, or Arcade Fire with a chorus.

“Fashion Parade” is a song is about songs.

Or, to be more accurate, it’s a song about songs by the current British indie music scene.

Clomping on top of a list of the scene’s familiar crimes like they were all a bouncy castle, Misty’s Big Adventure, with help from Slade’s Noddy Holder, send up the still-recent trends of British music — post-punk, bogus cool, striped shirts, screamy bits, revivals-every-minute — and it’s as savage as it is cheerful and silly, getting you to bop a bit while making it hard for today’s NME types not to be embarrassed by themselves.

“Fashion Parade” captures just about all you ever needed to know about current British indie music and/or backs up all of your mounting disappointment with what the scene has become in the last decade.

A manifesto without being a manifesto.

It’s also (irony!) more memorably addictive than the sort of songs it scorns.

If nothing else, for the last two years, fluttering in the back of my mind, whenever I listen to a new British indie release, I see if it fits the “Fashion Parade” template, subconsciously checking to see if it crams into the song’s friendly chalk outline, using it to sift through the shit.

Thank you, middle-of-the-’00s.

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