by Carl Wilson
After a superb show by Joshua Abrams’ Natural Information Society last night, preceded by a fantastic time-traversing folk-song one-man-machine performance by Martin Arnold, someone in conversation mentioned this Nina Simone performance at the 1976 Montreux Jazz Festival of the Morris Albert song that was at that point a completely ubiquitous, world-shrouding hit. The original ironic punk cover version? Perhaps, but so much more. Over the course of playing it, Simone attacks the song satirically and aggressively, tries to get the audience to sing along, and yet also turns schmaltz to bouillabaisse. There’s nothing like it.