Tag Archives: new wave

Blue Monday is 30

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image of the band New Order
New Order today

A friend posted on Facebook that Blue Monday a song by the techno group New Order was released today in 1983. Thirty years ago?!? I am sooooo old. I remember when the song came out and I wanted to hear it on a loop forever – that’s how great and ground breaking it was then. It changed my taste in music for the better.
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Who Knew Ocean Blue Was From Hershey, PA?

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image of my Ocean Blue album cover
Proof I bought the album

Whoa! Blast from the past. While looking for a different song I stumbled across Ocean Blue again. I knew I had one of their CDs from back in the day and sure enough in my Box-O-CDs I found their debut album from 1989. The first track “Between Something And Nothing” is why I bought it. It sounded like Echo and the Bunnymen and Cocteau Twins and I just found out Ocean Blue wasn’t from the UK they were from Hershey, PA
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Never Can Say Goodbye To The Communards

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image of Richard Coles + Jimmy Somerville of The Communards
Richard Coles & Jimmy Somerville
of The Communards

In the mid to late 80’s the music genre that got all the play on the radio was Synthpop which was an outgrowth of New Wave with a fast heavy dance beat and loads of synths. Since I loved New Wave I also loved Synthpop. One song that caught my ears in 1987 was “Never Can Say Goodbye” by the UK band The Communards. I was familiar with the original by the Jackson 5 and the cover by Gloria Gaynor in the 70’s so I can see why this cover was popular in 1987.
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Not “Disappointed” with this song by Electronic

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Here is an obscure supergroup made up of New Order singer and guitarist Bernard Sumner and ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr along with Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys on vocals. I wore out the cassette tape I had of the song dubbed off the radio. It’s tunes like this that make me fall in love with New Wave all over again.

Electronic — Disappointed (1992)

Finally Fabulous Stains is on DVD

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poster for the film Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous StainsI first saw “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains” on late night cable in the mid 80’s. I loved the music as I was just digging Punk and getting into New Wave. The more adult themes went over my head but I got the gist – the conflict between men and women in the music business and how media can build up and tear down stars.

I had wanted to see the film again but until 2008 it was still only available if it were shown on TV or if someone had a copy from a previous TV showing. The studio finally released a DVD of a restored print and I fell in love with it all over again.

Diane Lane, 15 at the time, plays the leader of The Stains, “Third Degree” Burns. Laura Dern, 13 at the time, plays Third Degree’s cousin and bassist “Peg”. The British punk band The Stains hang out on tour with is made up of members of the Sex Pistols and The Clash and fronted by Ray Winstone. Fee Waybill of The Tubes plays a hasbeen metal band singer. Christine Lahti, who plays Lane’s Aunt and Dern’s mother, kills in the two short scenes she’s in. Other notable cast members are David Clennon, Cynthia Sikes, Elizabeth Daily, and an uncredited Brent Spiner. The film was directed by Lou Adler who had directed “Up in Smoke” and was written by Nancy Dowd who had written “Slap Shot”.

Diane Lane shows once again her raw untrained talent in only her 3rd film at the time. Laura Dern also looks natural in her role. Along with Lahti, Waybill also turns in a great performance.

The film does a good job of showing one part of the rough and tumble music business before the MTV era. It’s rough around the edges with some cringe worthy scenes and stiff dialogue but overall it makes its gritty point about the nature of show business and the media and about gender roles. The happy ending that was filmed 2 years after initial filming fits in that it reminded me of the rise of the group “The Go-Go’s” They had started in the punk scene and moved into the new MTV scene and got the same make over “The Stains” get in the final scene.

The film has reached cult status not only from the late night cable showings and lack of a previous home release but also because it influenced future women singers most notably Courtney Love.

As noted before the film is jagged but Lou Adler made sure the music was as polished as possible to be heard. That of course is what is important – the music and the message.

*Side Note* If you are an “Old Fart” now and want to reminisce about the film and the time of the story, listen to the commentary by Diane Lane and Laura Dern on the DVD. They were a bonus and added to the value of the disc.

A little Eurythmics to sooth the soul

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In my younger days, when my emotions were not mature, I was prone to getting sucker punched by love. During those heartbreaking times my stereo helped me through the dark period. One band that seemed to speak to me directly was the Eurythmics and their album “Revenge”. Two songs on it really struck a cord for me and are still my favorites from the album.

Eurythmics – Thorn In My Side (1986)

Eurythmics – The Miracle of Love (1986)

My Connection to Elastica

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I don’t exactly remember when I first heard “Connection” by the UK band Elastica but I do remember having my mind blown. The song was simple but sounded tight. The bass and beat carried you though and the lead vocals from Justine Frischmann just added to the delicious sound. Elastica burst onto the scene and just as quickly went *poof* – too soon. The CD I bought 15 years ago is one of my all time favorites. It sounds as fresh as the day I bought it.

Elastica – Connection (Live at Jools Holland ’94)