Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hang the DJ


I don't like to mix post themes, even if I am writing them in the same block of time. So, after getting the KFC/Sweet Home Alabama question out of the way (maybe Neil Young has the answer, since Canada and chickens from the US are somewhat acquainted), on to the next thought.

Why are 80s request hours on the radio so incredibly devoid of any good music? If you don't know me at all, I do want to say immediately that I am not a music snob in the least. Truly. I can't explain the difference between goth and industrial. I really don't know why vinyl is better than CD. Whatever.

However, when it's the Friday Eighties Free for All on my local radio station, the next time some bozo who just wants to hear himself on the radio asks the DJ to play Heart of Rock and Roll, or maybe the Tarzan song (as my friend Abby spot-on named it), I want to rip the radio out of of my car and chuck it straight at the billboard advertising the radio station. Why request Heart of Rock and Roll or the Tarzan song when you hear it every day at 12:35pm as you're eating your pudding snack and furtively updating your MySpace profile at work?

Guys, there was some absolutely incredible music from the 80s that was by no means esoteric and does not take someone wearing a tight ironic t-shirt and an emo haircut to name. Bands like the The Smiths, New Order and The Cure were bona-fide stars and had commerical success on both sides of the Atlantic (still do). All I wish for is a little more variety and a little less monopoly from the likes of Huey Lewis, John Cougar Mellencamp and Kenny Loggins. Those guys are great, don't get me wrong (The Pretenders, another excellent choice!) but let's branch out a little!

If your heart has been moved by reading this and you repent of your boring music request ways, I say BE HEALED! Below is a (very small) suggested list of alternative artists and songs, just in case you get up one 80s Friday and feel like mixing it up a little. By no means are these "out there" songs. And, as I said before, I am no snob when it comes to music, I welcome debate, suggestions, and comments. Save the music!

1. The Killing Moon - Echo and the Bunnymen
2. Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
3. Regret - New Order
4. Love My Way - The Psychedlic Furs
5. Just Like Heaven - The Cure
6. Holiday in Cambodia - Dead Kennedys
7. Ana Ng - They Might Be Giants
8. Wrapped around Your Finger - The Police
9. Mary, Mary - Run DMC

And, just in case you feel like sticking it to the man on the air in a passive-agressive fashion...

10. Panic - The Smiths

Thank you. It feels good to get that off my chest.

Also, just found a great link to Rolling Stone magazine's article on a compliation called Left of the Dial - tracks of 80s underground music. Looks likes lots of new stuff there for me too! http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/blackflag/articles/story/6297750/janes_rem_on_80s_box

4 comments:

Tyrsman said...

"Life's What You Make It" by Talk Talk...there's a good one.

Commercial radio is the suck.

Tyrsman said...

You oughta give XM radio a try. You could probably find most of the bands listed on that compilation at any given time. So far, I've heard Black Flag, The the, The Cocteau Twins, Joy Division, lots of The Cure and The Smiths, etc.

Absinthe said...

They used to have this show called "House of Retro Pleasure" out of Atlanta that rocked my face off. "Echo Beach" by Martha and the Muffins. "One of Our Submarines" by Thomas Dolby. "Vienna" by Ultravox. It was bliss.
And speaking of crappy music and one of the artists you mentioned, here's a little word to the wise: while hanging out with a group of ppl from Indiana, never refer to John Cougar Mellencamp as "John Cougar Menstrual Cramp." You will be instantly hated. I did b/c I thought it had been universally recognized - LAWS PASSED, i mean - that he is Le Suck. Apparently Indiana didn't get the memo.

Tyrsman said...

Another cool song on XM this morning: "Cuts You Up" by Peter Murphy. Overcast, surreal, half asleep type music. Good 80s pop.