In the Show – 12th May 2009

Kicking off the musical performances in this year’s French May on Saturday night were three very different bands. Opening the show was local indie band My Little Airport. They were followed by Lyon-based dub band, High Tone. While High Tone was electronically combining and recycling elements from a number of sources, Nouvelle Vague was recycling from the past in a different way. Nouvelle Vague began in 2003 as more of a concept than a band. Producers and multi-instrumentalists, Marc Collin and Oliver Libaux took songs from groups like XTC, The Clash, The Cure, Joy Division, and Depeche Mode, and recorded them with a stripped down acoustic arrangement and in a bossa nova style.

Chanticleer was founded in San Francisco in late 1978 by musicologist Louis Botto, who was studying early music, such as the music of the Renaissance. He noticed that men and women were not traditionally allowed to sing much of the music that he was studying. And he gathered some male friends that sang in their falsetto voices to sing the women ’ s voices as they would have done when the music was composed.

Anyone watching The Works last week may remember that we were speaking to Lu Chuan, the director of “City of Life and Death” about his movie examining the massacre of Nanjing. As a movie about a historically contentious subject, it has attracted both criticism and praise, and it’s certainly significant that such a film could be made in mainland China. But how successful is it as an actual movie? Reviewer Gary Pollard is in the studio to tell us.

Jing Wong is a young Hong Kong-based singer songwriter who takes his music out onto the streets of the city. Tonight he’s performing in The Works studio.

To see a streaming video of the show, please click here.

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