In 1979, the year Lizzy Mercier Descloux’s debut album Press Color was released, popular and underground music were both going through their own inextricably linked revolutions. Mercier Descloux, in her perhaps small way, was part of one of those larger musical movements—now called “post-punk”. It revealed shifting attitudes toward pop music (at the time, primarily disco), rock traditionalism (an adversity to anything that could be traced back to the id-based, macho roots of rock ‘n’ roll), and the influence of world cultures in Western art.
In 1976, a couple of young French dreamers finagled their way into New York’s punk scene under the auspices of their newly minted magazine, Rock News. Lizzy Mercier Descloux and boyfriend Michel Esteban took full advantage of the Lower East Side’s perpetually open door, scooping ad hoc interviews with the likes of Patti Smith and Television, and became vivid regulars (and Descloux a regular heartbreaker) on the CBGBs circuit. Across the English Channel, they met with the Sex Pistols, and brought stories of nihilists and poets back to France.
A peculiar gem of the unheralded No Wave scene, Lizzy Mercier Descloux’s story reads like the script for an imagined Coen Brothers film focusing on the late ‘70s New York loft party scene. It’s so fantastic, it hardly seems possible. Yet, it’s so good, it’s easy to becoming invested in it. The fact that her story is true makes it all the more amazing.
Lizzy Mercier DesclouxPress Color (Special Edition)(Light In The Attic)Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars The New York City lower Manhattan music scene circa the late 70s was a bubbling, effervescent confluence of disco, No Wave, jazz and punk. It birthed the careers of Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Television, the Ramones and even Don Was, whose Was (Not Was) band was also a player. Somewhere on the fringes was Lizzy Mercier Descloux, a French import who used music as just one aspect of her artistic avant-garde arsenal which also included poetry and fashion.