I wasn’t going to update today, as I have two other blogs screaming for attention plus a YA novel that is dying to break out of limbo. However, post I must. It’s a grey, rainy day, and I can’t stop dreaming about this year’s Wave Gotik Treffen (which is the world’s largest gothic and industrial music festival, held once a year in lovely Leipzig, Germany). I have been fortunate to be able to attend for the past two years, and gods and plane ticket prices willing, I shall be in attendance yet again for the 20th anniversary this June. There’s always an incredible amount of bands performing on various stages throughout the city, and every year I have seen at least one artist or band that I never thought I’d ever get to see live in a million years. This year’s lineup, though sparse thus far, is proving to be no exception, as the one, the only, the seminal A Flock Of Seagulls is already a confirmed performer. When I tell most folks this news, they assume that my excitement is sarcastic, and giggles are heard all around. But I assure you, dear reader, my fervor for this band is quite genuine.
When I was but a wee pair of earbuds, I did not have MTV. In fact, I only had 5 television channels. So the only time I ever got to watch music videos was when I was spending the afternoon in daycare at a local lady’s house, and even then it was too noisy to really pay attention. At some point, however, I managed to see the video for “I Ran.” And I thought that it was WONDERFUL. The musicians were in some dark mirrored room, wearing puffy shirts and sporting strange angular hairdos. Then these women wearing black vinyl dresses and futuristic geisha makeup began walking around on top of the aluminum foil floor. And the music! It was so electronic, and the lyrics were so dark (why was he running? Because of a girl? What was so bad about her? Why couldn’t he get away?) and I LOVED it. I got a special tingle whenever I saw that video, and the lead singer in particular. I didn’t know what that meant at the time, just that I liked it, and I wanted to hear it again! Many years later, when I was an independent (re: driving) teenager, I found “The Best Of A Flock Of Seagulls” at the local indie record store, and I bought it in a heartbeat. I knew that if “I Ran” was so excellent, there had to be more. And I was right. Throughout the last decade there has been a resurgence of the “new wave sound” thanks to bands such as The Killers, La Roux, HURTS, and Ladyhawke. But 80s bands such as A Flock Of Seagulls are part of the reason there is something to resurge. And so I will share with you, dear reader, my top 3 FoS songs (that aren’t “I Ran” or even “Space Age Love Song”). Because this band has so much more to offer than one (admittedly low-budget looking) hit video and a punchline in an Adam Sandler film.
“Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You)” isn’t just my favourite FoS song, it’s one of my favourite songs of all time. It’s sweet and wistful, the best kind of longing love song. The keyboard in the refrain is so simple but effective, it makes my heart skip a beat. And check out that awesome faux-Star Trek set. I’m telling you, geek love doesn’t get any better than this.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find an official music video for this one, but it should be included if for no other reason than it’s so damn catchy. Listen to this song, and I can almost guarantee that you will find yourself, at some random moment in time, possibly later on today, possibly in a week, softly singing to yourself, “Te-le-ca-munication, te-le-ca-munica-sha-ON!”
Just when you thought that Tears For Fears had cornered the market on 80s British music videos by the sea, FoS begs to differ with “The More You Live, The More You Love.” Even though the lyrics are somewhat melancholy, the song has a great beat, and Mike Score is rockin’ a full-on fluffy lion’s mane mullet. And that would be difficult for even Jonathan Livingston Seagull to top.
Edit: Apparently YouTube doesn’t like me trying to embed this particular video. But you can still watch it on YouTube’s site here, and I highly recommend that you do. All kinds of 80s awesomeness awaits you.