In 2005 Eddie Argos took Art Brut to the top of the pops, lyrically anyway, as indie rock’s thick-browed sardonic clown prince. It wasn’t about singing, it was talking to the kids, with acerbic cheek and barbed wit, so much so that Berlin University taught a lecture in his lyrics titled “The Depressive Dandy: The Lyrics Of Eddie Argos.” Three albums in and the shtick wore a little thin. Cue Everybody Was In The French Resistance…NOW, a side-project that allows Argos free reign to fix his sites on new targets. It’s not about hitting the top of the pops, it’s about Fixin’ The Charts (Volume 1). Eddie’s teamed with Dyan Valdes of L.A.’s the Blood Arm on 12 tracks which respond to better known hits: “My Way (Is Not Always The Best Way)” dialogues with Sinatra’s “My Way”; “Billie’s Genes” talks to “Billie Jean”; “Coal Digger” is in rebuff to Kanye. Get it? You get it. “G.I.R.L.F.R.E.N.” is for Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend,” which Eddie says is part of “an alarming new archetype in pop songwriting: ‘girl steals other girl’s boyfriend.’ This is a divisive message to send to young girls everywhere, and songs like ‘Girlfriend’ (see also ‘You Belong With Me’ by Taylor Swift) only teach young women that they can derive more worth and status from stealing each others’ boyfriends than they can from realizing their own achievements.”
The chorus covers that ground in girl-group fashion (“G.I.R.L.F.R.E.N. You know I’ve got a girlfriend … In case you had any doubt I thought we’d better spell it out.”), the video has Ed and Dyan pulling tarot cards to make it clearer. For those who take their satire with some substance:
Fixin’ The Charts, Volume One is out 2/16 via Cooking Vinyl.