Dazed by the recent Blondie retrospective at the (former) Chelsea Hotel? Celebrate Blondie at 40 with some music videos : = Dreaming Union City Blues Hanging on the Telephone Rip Her to Shreds Heart Of Glass (modern retake) Denis X Offender Atomic Rapture The Tide Is High One Way Or Another
Dave Holmes (yes that Dave Holmes) re-vists the hit songs and music videos of July 1983
Southern Belles, Latchkey Kids, and Thrift-Store Crossdressers. Worth a click if only for the photos of a teenage RuPaul. [more inside]
"You live now, Adam Ant, as you have lived many times throughout history, fighting evil wherever you may find it!"
They were a one-hit wonder in the 90s. Then they got a hit show on Nick Jr. and introduced a generation of young children to Of Montreal, Mos Def, and MGMT. They have another TV show where they fight evil monsters, but first and foremost they're a kick-ass band that mixes new wave, surf rock, ska, B-movies, nostalgia, romance, and general ecstatic feel-goodiness into a tight, clever, and totally awesome package. WHO ARE THOSE MASKED MEN, YOU MAY ASK??!? THEY ARE... THE AQUABATS. [more inside]
Jun Togawa is sort of like what you'd get if you crossed Kate Bush and Mike Patton. Togawa, who became known in Japanese culture after appearing in a bidet commercial, was half of the electro-cabaret band Guernica, which sometimes sounded very classical and sometimes sounded very new wave and sometimes much stranger. Somewhat more straightforward is her rock outfit Yapoos, which similarly varies quite a bit in sound and style. Her solo work, unsurprisingly, is quite melodramatic, with some very interesting arrangements, both parodically poppy and funky. I particularly like her covers of All Tomorrow's Parties by the Velvet Underground, Brigitte Fontaine's Comme à la Radio, and – weirdly – Pachelbel's Canon.
In 1980, director David Jove created New Wave Theatre, an L.A.-based music show showcasing live performances by California hardcore punk rock bands. [more inside]
Talking Heads, Live in Rome, 1980 The Talking Heads concert film you haven't seen: the show that would eventually be recorded in the (awesome) concert film Stop Making Sense 3 years later, recorded while it was still a bit weird and uncertain. And therefore, wonderful. [more inside]
The Way They Were (SLYT... 1:07:45 'The tape fails there!')... an old Granada / Channel 4 program that was a compilation of Tony Wilson's So It Goes a show that featured performances from some of the best British Punk and New Wave bands of the time.
In Southern California in the 1980s, KROQ had this weird un-DJ-like guy named (seriously) Rodney Bingenheimer, who came on late at night on Sundays and played punk records and new bands like Blondie, The Ramones, X, Joan Jett, Devo and Cheap Trick. Did this weirdo really have some influence? A 90-minute 2004 documentary now on YouTube, Mayor of the Sunset Strip (Part 1) tells his story, and it's weirder than you may have imagined. [more inside]
New Wave Time Warp is a tumblr featuring video of songs exactly thirty years after their release. Thirty years ago today: Pete Shelley, Homosapien.
In defense of Simply Red. A look at Mick Hucknall, and the 25 years since the band's debut Picture Book.
Currently gearing up for their first new album in 20 years (previously), Devo are making their new single "Fresh" available for free download for the next 24 hours. [more inside]
"Two hours of Irish punk rock, new wave, underground and just plain rock-n-roll THUNDER" courtesy of Last Days of Man on Earth 2.0
Pylon guitarist and co-founder Randall Bewley died yesterday of a heart attack at age 53. [more inside]
Connecticut's Have a Nice Life is responsible for one of the year's most acclaimed, highly conceptual albums this year, Deathconsciousness. The two discs (entitled The Plow That Broke The Plains and The Future, respectively) feature music spanning over five years of collaboration between the two artists, and are accompanied by a 75-page booklet on medieval Italian heretics in lieu of liner notes. Combining elements of shoegaze, new wave, ambient drone, post-rock, experimental industrial, avant-garde dark metal, and electronic music, and citing references such as My Bloody Valentine and Joy Division to their credit, the original and only pressings sold out within hours. Full stream of all 85 minutes available here. Direct mp3 samples here and here. [more inside]
New York No Wave Archive. "No Wave was a short-lived but influential music and art movement in downtown New York in the late 1970s and 1980s. The name was a reaction to the sanitized Punk Rock trading under the name 'New wave' for those people who wanted a sanitized version of punk." Also, outside of "No New York."
Control, the biopic covering the the life and untimely death of Joy Division's singer Ian Curtis, opens in the US today (on a limited release) [ trailer | fan site | on set interview ]. This is director Anton Corbijn's debut full length film [ interview ] and was co-produced by Tony Wilson (a giant in the Manchester and UK music scene, sadly missed. Check out 24 Hour Party People [trailer | clip]) . Control opened in the UK several days ago and the reviews are largely positive [ Guardian | Times Online | Independent | Channel 4 | Time Out | Manchester Evening News ]. [more inside]
Devolution: Nature's U-Turn is a new music video concept by rock band KoRn for their single Evolution. The premise? Mankind isn't evolving, it's devolving... getting dumber by the day. Wait. Haven't we seen this before? We have, and Devo's Gerald V. Casale isn't happy. "We denounce this as impostors playing with fire." he says of Korn on the Club Devo website. He elaborates in a new interview with Rolling Stone, including a possibility of their first new record in 20 years. Devo's also put out a new song, "Watch Us Work It", which appears in a commercial for Dell laptops [youtube link], with a official music video and single release to come.
On the cusp of DEVO's first tour of Europe since 1990, it's become clear that, though largely cast aside after their 1980 hit "Whip It", DEVO's influence is finally being felt on modern audiences, around the world. DEVO has inspired tribute bands, some traditional, some not. They've also spawned new bands, domestic [MySpace link], and Foreign like Japan's POLYSICS [YouTube], and Germany's Mutate Now [YouTube]. With musical inspiration like this, can't we forgive such missteps as Devo 2.0?
The site French New-Wave isn't what you think it is. Neither dedicated to the film movement nor the band Nouvelle Vague it instead catalogs French new wave music from the 1980's. It has interviews and much other information, but the real treasure is the media section which includes a photo gallery, streaming radio and, most importantly, links to sites where you can listen to French new wave songs (unfortunately, some of the links don't work).
Happy Birthday Ric Richard Otcasek turned 58 today. It's All Mixed Up, I had no idea he was so old. Well, no matter how old you are, you still need to let the Good Times Roll, so Let's Go wish him our very best, since it's pretty much Touch and Go for any rock star approaching age 60. Though many of the Cars hits where sung by the late, great Ben Orr, Ocasek was one of the more recognizable front men of the 1980s. So distinctive that, on April 18, 2006, he was ranked number 50 in The Boston Phoenix list of "The 100 unsexiest men in the world." Ocasek has had a low-key, but reasonably successful career as a solo artist, written a book of poetry and had a cameo role in the John Waters feature film Hairspray. He also appeared on the Colbert Report where he volunteered to lead a commando mission to "rescue" Stephen Jr., the baby eagle at the San Francisco Zoo. Ric also is notable as a producer, though he is probably best known (or infamous in indie circles) for producing Guided by Voices' much maligned Do the Collapse. As for my own personal connection, the first time I saw him was in 1984, when the Cars played a show with Wang Chung and the last time was when I stood next to Ric at Luna's Farewell show at the Bowery Ballroom, a well known Nightspot. Nice guy, he let me buy him a beer. It was, he said, Just what he Needed.
Discography as iconography of a po-mo epoch. Relayed from Boing2 because it's the glorious visual epitaph for GenX nostalgia. I'm almost crying over here, and activating eBay.
AppreciationFilter: Edwyn Collins --Scottish Britpop Master--from Nu-Sonic as a teen in the 70s, Orange Juice ("Rip It Up") in the early 80s, to "A Girl Like You" and "Magic Piper," and still going strong decades later. He even created a British sitcom, West Heath Yard, and now supports up and coming bands. Even if you've never heard of him, you've heard at least one of his songs, whether in Austin Powers or elsewhere. More history here, from his old site. (and you can hear 18 streaming songs of his on the main link, above.)
Edwyn is now in the hospital after suffering a serious brain hemorrhage.
Edwyn is now in the hospital after suffering a serious brain hemorrhage.