Tag Archives: new wave

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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Filed under Artist Love, Covers, Music Videos, Top 5

The Eastern Sea’s So Blue

Unsurprisingly, I’m really feeling the Eighties lately. I’ve also been going gaga for all things Japanese (as evidenced by my Music For Otakus series, and by an upcoming entry on visual kei). So what could be better than a new wave Eighties hit about Japan, sung by a German band? Exactly. Nothing.

I still distinctly remember the first time that I caught this video on VH1’s late late late night videos. I taped it to show my sister and laughed about the cheesy effects, but secretly I was already digging on the song. Flash forward to a scant few weeks later and I had Forever Young and Other Hits by Alphaville in my hot little hands. The entire album was only $5, but to my surprise there were loads of great songs on there! So what’s the point of this wee vignette, you might be asking? All I’m saying, dear little earbuds, is that you should never judge a song by its video. And don’t be afraid to fully chow down on the cheesy goodness of decades gone by.

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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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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:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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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The More You Listen, The More You Love… A Flock Of Seagulls

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.

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