Tag Archives: 80s

Acetaminophen, You See The Medicine

I finally made it out to the doctor yesterday to get my sickness taken care of. Unsurprisingly, my ailment is still a mystery. They took some blood (a lot of blood, actually) and they’re running some tests. Hopefully I’ll have an answer soon as to why my digestive system seems to hate me. Until then, I decided to cut the chatter short and bring you a Top 5 list, which I haven’t done in yons. Today’s musical medication: Top 5 Medicinal Songs. Listen twice daily for best results.

5.) Bon Jovi – Bad Medicine

I’ll admit that I’m not a huge Bon Jovi fan. Most of their songs are too “stadium rock” for my tastes. However, this song is pretty rad to blast in the car on a warm summer day with the windows down.

4.) Thompson Twins – Doctor! Doctor!

The Thompson Twins have so much more to offer than just a good song to make out to while sitting on a table above sixteen flaming candles. This is classic new wave awesomeness.

3.) Hooverphonic – Shake The Disease

I was torn between posting this version of Depeche Mode’s frustrated love song or the original. However, I was smitten the first time that I heard Hooverphonic’s excellent cover, so as much as I enjoy any and all things Depeche Mode, I had to give props where props are due. Plus trip-hop is so damn sexy!

2.) The White Stripes – Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine

Arguably the best song on a really stellar album, this track reminds me why I was completely obsessed with The White Stripes for a good chunk of my twenties. And the lyrics are killer.

1.) Garbage – Medication

Garbage are undeniably fierce (I dare you to deny their ferocity!) so as soon as I decided to make this list I knew that this song would be my number one. It really is the perfect musical embodiment of how it feels to be sluggish and in a drug-induced haze, still sick and perhaps even worse off than before you took the pills that the doctor prescribed. One listen is all it takes to hear that Shirley Manson really gets it.

And that’s my Top 5 Medicinal Songs. Being sick really sucks. But great music makes everything just a bit better.

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In A Computer Fairyland

Hello once more, little earbuds. This week has been much better than the last. I’m still not 100% well, but I managed to eat my favourite sushi on Tuesday, so that alone equals a win for me. I’ve been thinking lots of big thoughts lately about life and ambition and direction and such, and hopefully I can share more of that later on, or at least the soundtrack to my inner monologue. But for now I bring you a classic 80s synthpop song, though surprisingly, it’s new to me. Or is it?

I was browsing iTunes once again, as I am prone to do when I want to waste time online (or have a gift card to burn) when I found Trans-X on a collection of dance songs. As you probably know by now, I love to dance, and I especially love to dance to 80s music. In fact, I already owned most of the songs in said collection. However, I didn’t have this one, “Living On Video,” but its punchy keyboards and robotic beats hooked me immediately. I not only bought the original album featuring the song, but also an updated re-recording of it, both of which are pretty freakin’ awesome. However, the more that I listen to it, the more I get the feeling that I’ve heard it before, perhaps in a goth club. Maybe it’s the Leæther Strip cover that I actually know, or maybe it just sounds like a track from the movie Party Monster. I can’t exactly recall dancing to it, but there’s something oddly familiar about those synths. However, whether it’s a rediscovered favourite or just new to me, I’m totally into this track. I hope you enjoy this electronic flashback of the week!

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Musical Grab Bag: It Never Rains

Hello once more, little headphones. I’ve been behind on pretty much everything this week, partially due to illness and partially because I just couldn’t be arsed. Hopefully that second part is due to illness as well and will dissipate as I get better. All of that aside, I had earmarked a delightful musical treat to share with you this week, then I discovered that not only could I not find a video for it, I could barely find any information on the artist! So I decided to make my own YouTube video in order to get this great song out there and onto the internet… but then we have the sickness coming into play, and the tiredness, as well as constant storms keeping me off of the computer. And so, after getting halfway done, once more I just couldn’t be arsed. (Having zero energy and being unable to eat seriously super sucks.)

So for this week’s video I once again decided to play musical grab bag, and only a few clicks in my lovely iTunes provided me with this classic Siouxsie and the Banshees song, “Happy House.” This was one of the first Siouxsie songs that I heard knowing it was Siouxsie; perhaps the very first, now that I think about it. I received it on a mixed tape, and I instantly loved how maniacally playful and creepily happy it was. As I listened to the song again today and heard the line, “It never rains,” I knew that this was my destined tune of the week, as it’s currently quite dark and stormy in my little corner of the world. The video is clearly ancient (in terms of music videos) but we do get Siouxsie Sioux dancing around with her punk/soccer mom hair, harlequin clown outfit, and ugg boots, which certainly makes for an amusing visual. All in all, it makes for a fitting end to a strange week that for me has been filled with insomniac daydreams and tiny cups of watery, unseasoned rice for dinner. Here’s to the end of another week, and may the next one be more fruitful, or at the very least more pleasant.

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I Wanna Keep You In My Heart

Happy February, little earbuds! The one-year anniversary of this blog is fast approaching alongside V-Day. I can hardly believe it!

Today’s video of choice isn’t just a gem, it’s an absolute diamond in both visuals and sound. I first came upon Class Actress when it was simply Elizabeth Harper, when her sweet and lovely ditty “Let Me Take You Out” was featured on a random collection of indie songs that I found on iTunes. Fast-forward to hearing the same song on The Vampire Diaries, only this time the artist was listed as Class Actress. I enjoyed the song so much that I had to download the rest of the EP, Journal of Ardency, and let me tell you, if it had been an old-fashioned record, I would have worn through the vinyl. As light and charming as “Let Me Take You Out” was, that’s how retro-electronic and sexy the other four songs were. After a year’s wait, Class Actress finally released a debut full-length album, Rapprocher, and the stunning first single is today’s video: “Keep You.”

I’ll admit that I wasn’t immediately taken with the song, but after only a couple of listens the snappy bass lines and 80s synths had firmly wriggled their way into my brain. I find myself thinking of the song and humming it (both aloud and in my head) quite often. It’s slick and insidious and completely addicting. I thought that it couldn’t get any better, but then I found this fantastic fan-made video featuring clips from a French 60s movie called Anna. I’ve never seen the film, but the colourful mods, random dancing, and dark looks from the leading man all fit the song incredibly well. I love awesome fan videos, and this is one of the best by far. It just makes the song that much more intoxicating, and the only cure for this hangover is listening to more Class Actress! I sincerely hope that synthpop is making a comeback, because if this is the wave of the future, it’s truly music to my ears.

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Today Is A Birthday, They’re Smoking Cigars

Hello little earbuds! Today is the fabulous Miss Pink’s birthday. Which means that you get a short and sweet treat as part of the celebration: Miss Pink’s Top 3 Favourite Birthday Songs!

3.) The Birthday Massacre – Happy Birthday

Pretty much everything by Toronto’s Birthday Massacre is excellent dance music. However, this one has always been one of my favourites. Besides being my first taste of this phenomenal band, this song is creepy and spooky and so, so excellent. The odds are good that even if your local goth DJ refuses to play “Birthday” by The Crüxshadows for you, she or he could hardly refuse spinning this dark ditty for any gothling’s birthday. (And yes, this happened to Miss Pink several birthdays ago!) “Happy Birthday” comes in at #3 on my countdown due to its less-than-celebratory message, but no birthday mix would be complete without its explosive synthrock disturbing partygoers far and wide.

2.) Cibo Matto – Birthday Cake

Let me start off by saying that every song on this album, Viva! La Woman, is about food. Every song! That’s awesome in and of itself. However, this punchy ode to festive cake was the one that caused me to go out and buy the album (many thanks to the Brain Candy soundtrack, and the Kids in the Hall, for introducing me to one of my favourite bands of the 90s). I love its punk-rock vibe enrobed in a luscious trip-hop melody. “Shut up and eat! Too bad no bon appetit! Shut up and eat! You know my love is sweet!” It’s so catchy, how can you not dance along or sing along or do both?

1.) The Sugarcubes – Birthday

I loved this song from the very first moment that I heard it on a mixed tape back in high school. When I went to college in a big city in another part of the country, far from where I grew up, I spent my eighteenth birthday alone. I had never had a birthday away from my family and friends, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself. So I put on my black velvet cape (oh yeah, I totally rocked a cape in my late teens!) and walked around the downtown streets. I went to FAO Schwarz, because that somehow seemed fitting, turning eighteen in a giant toy store. Then I went to Tower Records and bought this album, Life’s Too Good. I went back to my room and listened to this song on repeat while I sat on the heater beside the window of my ninth floor dorm room and looked out over the city. Ever since that day, no matter where I am or who I’m celebrating with, I always make it a point to listen to this song at the exact time that I was born. (It was tricky when I was living in England, but I did the math and made it work.)

This song always uplifts me and makes me happy thanks to its light and airy rhythm and the sweet, almost incoherent lyrics. I loved it when I was a teenager, and I love it still today. This song can transform any day into a celebration of the little things in life, but I find it especially powerful on my actual birthday. It always reminds me of who I was, where I’ve been, and how much I’ve grown. And it’s a wonderful soundtrack to twirling, cloud watching, picking flowers, or just generally indulging in anything that brings a bit of magic into your life.

And that’s it for Miss Pink’s celebratory blog post today! I’m off to open some presents and eat some cake. Cheers, little earbuds!

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My Love Is A (Billy) Ocean

Hey, you, get into my car!

Remember when singing and dancing with cartoon characters was not a career death knell but instead the height of technology and entertainment? How about when gold lamé and oversized white trench coats were in fashion? Sometimes I catch these old videos and I have to sit back and marvel. What were we thinking in the Eighties? It’s so dayglo and garish, and yet so completely awesome at the same time. This particular ditty always seemed to play on the radio whenever my sisters and I were swimming in our backyard pool. My mom would blast the radio and catch some rays while my sisters and I danced in the water and created new diving board jumps and had the grandest time. To this day, most of Billy Ocean’s hit singles, and many other songs of the era as well, are what my sisters and I call “Pool Songs.”

For some reason “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” popped into my head yesterday and simply would not leave me be. Thanks to the magic of YouTube I’m currently grooving to “Caribbean Queen” and feeling an overwhelming urge to grab a bathing suit and do a cannonball. Or a watermelon, which my uncle David was always the best at. Whoever splashes the most water out of the pool wins!

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Concert Review: The Psychedelic Furs

Yesterday evening I got the chance to realize a dream of mine: I got to see one of my beloved 80s new wave bands live in concert. And what a concert it was!

I remember really enjoying “Pretty In Pink” the first time I heard it used in John Hughes’s film about teen heartache and hardships, then later on loving “Love My Way” after I heard it on the soundtrack to The Wedding Singer. But when I discovered “The Ghost In You” while out shopping one day, I knew that I needed to hear more from The Psychedelic Furs. And I was not disappointed to find such gems as “Heaven,” “Sometimes,” and “Until She Comes,” so when I heard that the Furs were playing at a tiny haunted theatre nearby, I knew that I had to be there.

My hovering view of the band from my balcony seat.

There wasn’t a lot of information beforehand, so I just showed up not really knowing what to expect. To my delight, the goateed roadie announced that there would be no opening band, and that the Furs would be performing their seminal album Talk Talk Talk in its entirety, taking a break, then “they’ll come back out and play the rest.” Sure enough, the brothers Butler & co. took to the stage like a hurricane and blasted into “Dumb Waiters,” followed immediately by “Pretty In Pink,” “I Wanna Sleep With You,” and the rest of Talk Talk Talk. Here, in a Hot Pink Headphones first, Miss Pink is sharing (gasp!) her own concert footage of the band performing the opening of “Pretty In Pink.” Unfortunately Miss Pink is in desperate need of a new camera (any secret admirers who wanna help out with that, feel free to drop me a line) but hopefully you get the idea.

The small venue wasn’t even filled to capacity, yet the Furs played every inch of that stage like it was Madison Square Garden. Tim Butler engaged with the audience, singing with them and even posing for pictures mid-song, and Richard Butler was surprisingly lithe and sexy as he channeled a bit of Bowie in hipster glasses. I was disappointed not to hear either of my two favourite Furs songs (“Sometimes” and “Until She Comes”) but seeing such an exuberant performance of hits such as “Love My Way,” “Sister Europe,” and “Heartbreak Beat” more than made up for that minor detail.

Richard Butler proves to the audience that new wave does a body good.

Having never seen The Psychedelic Furs in their heyday, I have nothing more than music videos to compare this performance to. However, I can say without any hesitation that the Furs are as good as they ever were, possibly even better than before. They performed their hits with so much joy and excitement that even the most stoic concert-goer was tapping toes and clapping along. If you get the chance, definitely go and see them. This is a band not to be missed live.

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Be Excellent To Each Other

According to Ted himself (aka Keanu Reeves) there will be a third Bill & Ted movie coming to a cinema near you. In honor of this auspicious news, today’s video is taken from the first film, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. It’s Robbie Robb’s awesomely 80s song, “In Time,” used when Bill & Ted take a side trip into the future.

Despite the strangeness of the sequel, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, the first movie remains one of my favourite films of all time. I can watch it in any mood, under any circumstances, and it always makes me smile. I love the underlying premise of Excellent Adventure: yes, what you do can change the whole world. Beyond the hijinks of two funny and slightly dumb high school guys the overall message is that we can evolve, and things can get better. That’s a message that never gets old to me, especially given the inherent downers we all encounter every day. I have no problem with a third film in the franchise, and I’ll probably go see it in the theatre. I just hope it does nothing to mar that gleaming nugget of hope from the first that’s embedded in what is essentially a goofy buddy flick.

Party on, dude!

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All I Ever Wanted

Once again it is dreadfully late, dear reader. Well, late depending upon how much of a night owl you are. I happen to hoot with the best of them, and have been known to watch the sunrise before bed, so this isn’t late for me. However, when you have the goal of one blog update per day, Monday through Friday, midnight becomes a frightful hour indeed. Where has my day gone? A great deal has been spent playing around on Tinier Me (never have I been to a more addicting website). Then there was the two-hour period in which I finally checked out some much-anticipated anime, Vampire Knight Guilty. But what I’ve spent the most time planning (not only today but throughout this entire week) can be summed up in the title of the following classic music video. Enjoy this fabulous flashback, dear reader. Hoot hoot!

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I Was A Short Fuse Burning All The Time

Earlier this year, around the month of January, my sisters found their Chinese zodiac predictions for the rest of the year while glancing through a magazine. Despite the questionable validity of the source of the information, both were impressed by its accuracy to describe how current events were shaping up for the both of them. Later they told me my prediction as well, that this year would be one in which I focus on my family. Then I discovered my current yearly prediction based on my birth chart, which described how I’ve been living with my head in the clouds for the past few years, but this year I would finally move back down and become grounded in reality. Depending upon what sort of person you are, that may or may not sound like an enticing prospect. Usually I freely and proudly admit to being a perpetual dreamer, but there is something to be said for having concrete resolutions and achieving one’s goals.

Interestingly enough, though it is only March, I have seen evidence of both of the above predictions coming to fruition. In fact, both can be illustrated in one decision which I made just this weekend: instead of taking my third yearly trip in a row to Germany for Wave Gotik Treffen, I am staying stateside this year and vacationing with my family. Since WGT is in June, a high travel month, instead of its usual date in May, airfare, hotels, and the like are extremely pricey. Usually I don’t really take such things into account. Not to say that I have the funds to ignore cost, oh no, quite the opposite. However, I’m not good with denying myself, or with thinking about future consequences. I am like the grasshopper who sings and dances all summer long without thinking about where I’ll find food in the cold winter months ahead. So to suddenly do so, to debate the wisdom of my choices and the possible future outcomes, is somewhat novel for me.

There will be sadness, to be sure, especially when WGT comes and so many of my friends are partying without me, watching a great deal of amazing bands perform, and dancing and drinking that wonderful “Viking’s Blood” mead. But saving for tomorrow is filling me with an odd and newfound satisfaction. I feel the promise of tomorrow outweighing the party of today, and it is strange. I almost feel, dare I say it, dear reader, like one of those fabled “adults” I keep hearing so much about. (Not that this feeling will last, so worry not for Miss Pink! One of my planned family excursions will be to Disney World, and I wear mouse ears and run eagerly from ride to ride with just as much [if not more] vigor and excitement than any child.)

All of this really has nothing to do with music, unless you think of all of the bands that I will not be seeing in concert. But this is my blog, and it is about how I connect to the world through music, and so as I debate about my decisions, this song has been running through my head all day:

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New Order really are one of the most amazing bands, in my opinion. They have a song appropriate for just about any mood, from the highest high to the lowest low. No offense to the late great Ian Curtis, but I actually prefer New Order to Joy Division (blasphemy, I know!). Joy Division are a seminal band, and they influenced some of my favourite artists currently producing music today. But I’ve never had the urge to roll down the windows while I’m driving on a warm sunny day and blast “She’s Lost Control.” But give me “Age Of Consent,” “Ceremony,” “Temptation,” or “True Faith,” and that’s a road trip scene straight from any good movie. As for this video’s song, “Regret,” I can still clearly remember the first time that I really listened to it. I was working at a terrible job that I hated, my worst job to date. I honestly felt like it was sucking my will to live. I was depressed and felt like my life was moving nowhere. Then I heard this song on my car’s stereo courtesy of a free CD that came with a music magazine I had purchased, and the lyrics moved me nearly to tears. My heart suddenly filled up with hope, and I knew deep down to my core that things would get better. And they did.

Anyway, that’s all that I have for today, dear reader. Growing up. Weird. I’ll try it for now, but I make no promises that it will last.

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