When Joker Out first sent me “Novi Val” and I found that the title translated as “New Wave”, it couldn’t help but raise a smile.
22 April 2023
As older readers may remember this was a tag that some wag borrowed from French cinephiles and attached to any beat group music from 1977 that didn’t either fit into glitter pants and platform shoes with a lick of mascara and rouge and couldn’t exactly be called “Punk.”
It was a flag of convenience but no group worth its salt ever called themselves “New Wave.” We already had daft enough names. Labelling things and making hierarchies is just something boys like to do at that age and some of them never get over it.
That’s the problem with road-signs, too many of them say, “Stop.”
For me, the “New Wave” in this song, is the image of twisted, grasping fingers stretching up from the dirt to pull joyful spirits back down to earth, before they float out of sight and beyond their envious reach.
“Old hands stretch out from the grave, say, “It’s a new wave.”
There were so many thoughts in Bojan’s original lyric that I wanted to respect while phrasing them in English for this lovely tune and adding a few thoughts of my own, around this theme. Sadly, I do not speak Slovenian but could gather the sense of the original lyric from literal translation.
For the key line, “We were born yesterday but we are already being blamed for everything”, I proposed making this even more direct: “We were born yesterday but we’re blamed for tomorrow” – and it seemed to sing well too.
For me, that line speaks of feelings that we’ve all probably had at some time in our life, when the road ahead should have appeared endless but you couldn’t strike out along it…
Because someone was telling you to apologize for littering the world with your opinions, your conscience or even your trivia.
Someone was saying, “You’re corrupting your mind or your morals with that hemline, with that soda pop, with your hula hoop or that damn rock and roll music.”
Or “You’ll make your eyes go square if you watch too much television or stare at that blacklight poster for too long.”
“You’ll become psychotic from playing too many video games, going to a Go-Go, going to the disco, swallowing Pop-Rocks, Alcopops, advertising or worse.”
Get in line, don’t waste your time on bubblegum cards, Game Boys, visiting too many backrooms, bathrooms, chatrooms or living in VR, AI or any of that other antisocial media stuff.
You know, all that kid’s stuff provided by grown ups to ruin their world and weaken their will to resist.
In the end, I’ve found a lot of hope in that chorus melody and I’m very proud to be part of this record.
It was lovely to see the fellers walking the streets of Liverpool in their ingenious video clip, although it’s disgraceful the kind of scallywags that they have painted on buildings these days. As the old saying goes, “You can’t go home again”, so Joker Out had to do it for me.
I want to thank Toast and Robbie for shooting the footage of the “Man In A Suitcase” in Beverly, MA and Joker Out for the ingenious way they incorporated it and Sebastian Krys for his terrific mix of the record. A salute must also go to Irena and Stephen (The Original G.F.) for their part in introducing me to the band.
Come what may, fellers, I hope you have a good time in Liverpool and I will look forward to what else you’ve been cooking up in Hamburg.