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January 13, 2008 10:31 PM   Subscribe

Big hair, mall music and the hypest dance moves, Jersey style. From 1986 until 1992, junior high school-aged hipsters to be across America did their homework and honed their snark skills while watching Dance Party USA.
posted by freshwater_pr0n (44 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
I am so glad there are few existing photos of me from that era. Ouch.

One nitpick though... Madonna was not mall music. THIS was mall music.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:44 PM on January 13, 2008


The New Dance Show drops some minimal techno. I wish I had more clips of people playing 'serious' underground dance music on shows like these. It kind of cracks me up to see people who know how to dance to one kind of music flail about badly when they hear something different.
posted by empath at 10:49 PM on January 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Two words.

AQUA NET.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:03 PM on January 13, 2008


According to Wikipedia, Kelly Ripa got her start as a "regular" on Dance Party USA. Frightening.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:07 PM on January 13, 2008


OMG, seventh grade was all about Aqua Net. The popular girls would sometimes try to do something with my hair ("you *really* need a makeover,") but it always ended in a sticky, floppy mess. I always had a can of it in my bag, because it was a great fixative for pencil and charcoal drawings. Aqua Net, for me, will always smell like art and puberty.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 11:10 PM on January 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Blimey that's amazing. Cheers on the dan bell, empath, that's a great track... Looking back at the supreme appallingness of the fashion, I wonder if the 2000-present hipster fashion will be looked upon with similar scorn. At the mo, even early 2000s doesn't seem quite so bad. Sure a lot of people wearing ties and aviators to electroclash parties, but it seems alright. Even the asymmetric haircuts and fashion mullets of that period don't seem as cringeworthy as the ridiculous clothes I saw on these vids. Time will tell.
posted by Smegoid at 11:13 PM on January 13, 2008


The purple can, amirite? I think I did signifigant, irreversible damage to my nervous system with that shit, but my bangs? Were bitchin'.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:16 PM on January 13, 2008


That fashion was atrocious then. The difference isn't the time period, but urban vs suburban. Those are just middle-class suburban kids who always have horrendous taste in clothes.

The hipster fashion won't wear as badly. Though the trucker hat thing will be embarassing.
posted by empath at 11:20 PM on January 13, 2008


Princess was the bomb!

Jesus how do I know that and why do I remember? No, really, Jesus, why?
posted by sleepy pete at 11:43 PM on January 13, 2008


Also, their petition is a little out of date.
posted by sleepy pete at 11:45 PM on January 13, 2008


JAM
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:54 PM on January 13, 2008


JIMMY
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:54 PM on January 13, 2008


JAM!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:54 PM on January 13, 2008


JIMMY!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:55 PM on January 13, 2008


JAM!!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:55 PM on January 13, 2008


JIMMY!!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:55 PM on January 13, 2008


Ah, thanks(?!) for the memories.

Even more painful, perhaps, is watching them try to embrace that newfangled "alternative" music.
posted by NikitaNikita at 12:01 AM on January 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh god, Jimmy Jam is my new favorite ... everything. At the end of this one.
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:31 AM on January 14, 2008


wemayfreeze: Oh god, Jimmy Jam is my new favorite ... everything. At the end of this one.

This link... it is... stunning.

I think I have a new Youtube search query for when I'm feeling down. (Replaces "bloopers".)

I grew up in Canada and definitely did not get this show. I think my dancing skills would've been enhanced, though -- I had no idea I could do a somersault on the dance floor. Can't wait to try it out next weekend!
posted by loiseau at 3:56 AM on January 14, 2008


Ah, sweet, salty memories. Now someone do a post on Kids Incorporated.
posted by milquetoast at 4:19 AM on January 14, 2008


this post + this guy = reacquainting myself with MTV's The Grind.

Carried on the torch of Dance Party USA, in retrospect.
posted by NikitaNikita at 4:30 AM on January 14, 2008


The hipster fashion won't wear as badly.

Keep telling yourself that.
posted by jonmc at 5:54 AM on January 14, 2008


Aqua Net makes great spud gun propellant.
posted by kcds at 6:16 AM on January 14, 2008


As someone who came of age during the late 80's/early 90's, I have mixed feelings about the hair and styles of that time.

On one hand, I realize that it's downright clownish and will join the late 70's in the halls of Awful Taste.

On the other hand these were the girls that I chased and lusted after, so my libido still goes *boing!* at the sight of those four inch bangs and color-changing shirts. Aw yeah baby, those pocket-less acid-washed Guess jeans look great on ya. Now go rat your hair and we're going out on the town.
posted by unixrat at 6:53 AM on January 14, 2008


I used to watch a minute or two of Dance Party USA every now and then to reaffirm to myself how awesome thrash metal was.
posted by The Straightener at 7:15 AM on January 14, 2008


As much as I hated Dance Party USA, I now sort of like how unpolished it is. I don't get the impression that any of those kids have press agents or professional stylists.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:35 AM on January 14, 2008


I wonder if the 2000-present hipster fashion will be looked upon with similar scorn.

if history is any guide, yes. When I dressed like the kids in these videos - well, sort of like them - we were very proud that we had left the ugly 70s behind and looked so much more rad now. We were pretty sure fashion had reached its zenith with long plastic strings of pearls, thrift-store bodices under men's blazers, and velvet bow barrettes for our tall, tall hair.

When I clicked on the first video, I didn't realize I still had iTunes running on the other side of the computer. So when I turned up my speakers for the audio I saw kids dancing to Kentucky fiddle music. Awesome.
posted by Miko at 7:41 AM on January 14, 2008


Let's wander out of the mall and into the parking lot...
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:43 AM on January 14, 2008


It was never my thing, but growing up in South Jersey I had a bunch of friends who were on this show. Ah, the memories.
posted by amro at 8:52 AM on January 14, 2008


my fave dance clip (qt)

here
posted by post punk at 9:43 AM on January 14, 2008


post punk, is there a specific name for what they're doing in that clip? It looks like a cakewalk sort of thing done in two facing lines. You see it a lot in folk dance but I never saw a disco version. Anyone know what that might've been called?
posted by Miko at 9:53 AM on January 14, 2008


Look how no one was overweight on that '70's Soul Train Line video.
posted by wfc123 at 10:14 AM on January 14, 2008


I have a feeling if you filmed a fake television show of people dancing in a fake television club in 2008, you wouldn't see any overweight people either.
posted by Miko at 10:15 AM on January 14, 2008


There is a name for it miko, and it is right on the tip of my tongue, and driving me crazy that I can't think of it.
posted by post punk at 12:08 PM on January 14, 2008


The hipster fashion won't wear as badly.

Keep telling yourself that.
posted by jonmc at 5:54 AM on January 14 [+] [!]


Oh, I dunno. I've seen it before.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:34 PM on January 14, 2008


Johnny Ramone was no hipster, sir.
posted by jonmc at 12:38 PM on January 14, 2008


Tuesday?
posted by flatluigi at 1:50 PM on January 14, 2008


Johnny Ramone was no hipster, sir.

Of course not. What goes around comes around, and hipster fashion is pretty much a rehash of punk and new wave, with some random stuff thrown in. Either tight jeans and t shirts with sneakers looks good or it doesn't- if it wore well in 1977, it'll wear well in 2017.

ps: I'm a girl.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:22 PM on January 14, 2008


Bad. Hair. Decade.
posted by jonp72 at 3:58 PM on January 14, 2008


Dude, I TOTALLY remember watching Kelly Ripa on Dance Party USA!!!! She had those big crunchy tidal wave bangs.

hahaha, I loved this show when I was younger. It was the equivalent of the State Fair set to music; trashy and funny.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 4:53 PM on January 14, 2008



Look how no one was overweight on that '70's Soul Train Line video.


I'm wondering... did they discriminate against the overweight? In the meantime, my brain screams, "The hair! The Hair! THE HAIR!"
posted by globolin at 5:51 PM on January 14, 2008


I so totally enjoyed this post and thread! Oh man, it was so deliciously cheesy, energetic, wonderfully awful and awfully wonderful! Great post.
posted by nickyskye at 8:57 PM on January 14, 2008


Whoa! so thats what this is remixing (QT)
the rest of that site is worth checking out imo, especially 'church of the future'
posted by sponge at 10:01 PM on January 14, 2008


maybe not--- how many of these shows were there?
posted by sponge at 10:18 PM on January 14, 2008


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