Tag Archive: New Wave


QLAzzarus1

“Would you f*** me? I’d f*** me.” Can you hear the New Wave song “Goodbye Horses by Q Lazzarus without thinking of either Silence of the Lambs or the scene from Clerks 2 that makes fun of the iconic scene from Silence of the Lambs. It took every ounce of my willpower to not make the picture for this post just the still from Silence of the Lambs where Buffalo Bill has his penis tucked back while he’s in drag trying to look like a woman. I figured no one wants to see Ted Levine’s pubes unless you’re actually watching the movie. And even then, you don’t really want to see his short and curlys. But it’s the price you have to pay to watch such a great movie. Anywho, this is a wonderful song, and I’m almost sort of sad that I just immediately associate it with a transsexual serial killer that wants me to put the lotion on the skin.

 

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I think I’ve posited this belief on here several times (first with my review of Stop Making Sense, one of the greatest concert films ever made, as well as when “Psycho Killer” was one of my first Songs of the Day), but I firmly believe that Talking Heads are one of the most under-appreciated bands of all time. They get all sorts of deserved love from the indie music community (and people who were listening to the burgeoning notion of college rock in the actual 70s and 80s), but outside of “Burning Down the House,” the average American doesn’t know their stuff. It’s a shame cause David Byrne and crew were some of the top performers of their day, and they were making exciting, genre-blurring music that is still undeniable fun today. They’re my Song of the Day again today (usually today would be a day for new music since I did an older song yesterday) because I just watched (and thoroughly enjoyed) Lars and the Real Girl and during a particularly memorable (and awkward) scene, they played “This Must Be the place (Naive Melody)” and I loved it. I’m really sad that I’ll never see Talking Heads live. They’re up there with XTC on my top groups from the 80s that I’ll just never get to see.

On the list of weird British bands that you’ve likely never heard of, XTC has to be one of the better. It was a couple of years ago and my very hip cousin suggested that I check them out. I’m not sure what the impetus of the conversation was (but I’m assuming it had something to do with my recent discover of the Shins [which XTC sounds nothing like] and my love of New Wave/art rock), and the second that I heard their single, “Dear God,” I was hooked. They’ve got a bunch of great albums, and their record, Skylarking, is one of the better albums of the 80s. Nonsuch was pretty awesome for the 90s as well (cause it has the very cool “Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead”). XTC made music for a long time and the first single that brought them any attention (moreso in their native England than here in the States) was the proto-New Wave track “Making Plans for Nigel.” It actually caused a minor controversy in England at the time because of the jab it took at the nationalized British Steel. I just think it’s a great example of XTC’s signature quirky song-writing along with their great ear for hooks.

The Police are one of the best rock bands of the 1980s. It’s pretty clear to me. The way they combined reggae, New Wave, and jazz was light years ahead of its time in predicting the ska movement (along with the Clash who combined the reggae with punk). Sting is one of the best songwriters of the last 30 years, and their ear for hooks is uncanny. I don’t know how many guitar riffs or synth lines by the Police that I have memorized. Way too fucking many. How can you not listen to Synchronicity and not have your mind blown? People that scoff at rock musicians who have a great ear for catchy pop hooks irritate the piss out of me, and I know far too many “serious” music types that think the Police were too “poppy.” So fucking what? Anyways, I wanted to choose another song from the 80s, this time the early 80s. And thankfully The Police’s Ghost in the Machine came out in 1981, and it includes one of my favorite The Police tracks, “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.” It’s 30 years old now and still as brilliant as it was in 1981.

So, I saw the Shins last night at Terminal 5 here in NYC. I’d put a link up to my write-up of the show for work but we haven’t actually posted my review yet. Anyways, the band that opened for the Shins (Real Estate opens tonight and St. Lucia opened Sunday) on that particular night of their three night stop in New York City was Brooklyn synthpop/New Wave revival outfit Chairlift. They were fantastic (even if they’re a super odd choice to open for the folk-pop of the Shins). They had a bit of a breakthrough single back in 2008 when their song “Bruises” was used in an iPod nano commercial. I only just heard of the band this year when their album Something was the first album I reviewed at work (and I fell in love with the song “Amonaemonesia”. Anyways, I’m going to make this a quick little jot down because I still have to review Game of Thrones and Glee (man what a shocking episode of Glee). Their song “Bruises” is absurdly catchy and I love this whole trend of the last four or five years where the 1980s are really back.

The April playlist was finished yesterday which you can listen to here. I’ve also started May’s playlist. You can listen to that here and though there’s only one song on it, if you subscribe to it, you can see the playlist as it grows (which will often be a couple hours before I write this actual post).

Last summer, I reviewed the concert film, Stop Making Sense, which Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Rachel Getting Married) shot with legendary 70s/80s New Wave band, the Talking Heads. Along with the original Woodstock documentary, Stop Making Sense is widely considered to be one of the greatest concert films ever made. The Talking Heads (I know it’s just Talking Heads but that sounds like an incorrect way to start a sentence even if it technically isn’t) are one of my favorite bands of all time, and I was looking for a song from the 1970s to put on my Song of the Day series (it’s the only decade from the 1960s on I haven’t utilized), and I thought what’s better than the manic, disturbing single that put Talking Heads on the map in the first place. This song doesn’t really represent anything about my mood (which is still sick and sort of miserable). I just think it’s an awesome song that often gets ignored by the far more popular “Burning Down the House.” So without further ado, I present you David Byrne (who may or may not be in a giant fat suit).

 

The above video is from Stop Making Sense with David Byrne doing a solo acoustic version of the song alongside a drum machine. If you want to listen to the original version from Talking Heads: ’77, you can listen to it on my April Songs of the Day playlist here on Spotify.