In 1990 Glasgow was named "European Capital of Culture." In 2004 it finally merited the title by serving as the launchpad of one of the most cultured rock bands on the planet: Franz Ferdinand, a group of four musicians from different parts of the UK, who met less than 2 years ago on the Glasgow student/club scene.
Their cultural depth is nowhere more evident than in the skillful use of Surrealist collage and Soviet Constructivism to highlight the mechanical, brutalised feel of the music on the video for "Take Me Out."
Although often called a hard city, musical tastes in Glasgow have always been more fey, louche, and decadent, in an old-fashioned Weimar Republic sort of way, leading to music that is both more unique and, until now, less commercially successful than the beerish, laddish rock or druggy blip-blip stuff that has (mis)represented Britain over recent years.
Franz Ferdinand's take on post-punk, retro 80s, art rock (with globs of funk and lounge singing thrown in) is among other things, an expression of this. The attitude -- angular guitars/ rushed, glib, affecting arrangements/ detached, ironic singing -- fits perfectly with the slightly peeved way people feel in big cities, unleashing some of the same modernist angst still associated with bands like Joy Division, but with a Talking Heads sense of fun.
Catchy yet edgy; traditional yet fresh!