Savoir Fair: The Best of Family Fodder
(Dark Beloved Cloud Records, 1999)
Thanks go to my friend Deirtra for turning me on to this disc. I had never heard of this obscure UK band, which was a London-based musical collective centered around Alig Pearce (aka Alig Fodder) and his French girlfriend, singer Dominique Levillain, with members of post-punk ensemble This Heat involved as well. Apparently they existed in one form or another from the late '70s up through 1983, made one masterful album, Monkey Banana Kitchen, and were obsessed with Debbie Harry - releasing a single called "Debbie Harry" and covering Blondie's "Sunday Girl." They also covered Franz Schubert ("Die Leiermann") and Erik Satie ("The Big Dig"). Art school eccentrics. Go figure.
The collaborations with the multi-lingual chanteuse Levillain beg comparisons to Stereolab, but there's a lot more going on in their sound, as Pearce incorporates Dub, bass and drums, tape manipulation, and even unexpected humor - "Playing Golf With My Flesh Crawling" in particular is a hoot! - into the mix. One critic characterized the band's signature sound as "vocals emulating a driving piano/keyboard melody" with "thumping, 'four-on-the-floor' kick drum." Whatever, it's worth a listen.
Here are two video samples from YouTube.
FAMILY FODDER - "Debbie Harry"
A fan mash-up of the song set against a collage of iconic '80s chick rockers.
FAMILY FODDER - "Shame"
You can read more about Family Fodder at a wonderful website called The Greatest Band of All Time and read a detailed discography at the "lucidly hoptimistic fanzine" Letslivhappy! (while we await our death).
And you can read more about the Savoire Faire comp. at Fakejazz.com.
Alig Fodder on MySpace
Family Fodder on MySpace.