Monday, September 22, 2008
Hormones, Synthesizers, Sans-Serif Fonts
These are the defining ingredients of my formative years. This music gets often swept up as "Eighties Music" by the gleeful reenactment crowd, but it bears mentioning that during the actual 80's, this was anti-80's music, a plastic response to steel and paper of the machine.
Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark - Architecture & Morality: "Joan of Arc" was on a K-Tel new wave sampler tape called The Beat purchased at a garage sale up the street. OMD was also my first concert experience, as they opened for the Thompson twins
New Order - Power, Corruption & Lies: Everywhere. I usually say the defining album of my youth is The Smiths' The Queen is Dead, but if one is running the numbers, this one is probably the real winner. The opening dut-dut-dut-dadadadadadadadadada-dut of the drum machine on "Blue Monday" is to me what the opening of "Like a Rolling Stone" is to muso-nostalgiacs older than me, for what it's worth.
Depeche Mode - Construction Time Again: DM was my band, since we all had to have a favorite distinctive from the others (at least I didn't get stuck with A Flock of Seagulls like my friend Kevin did) but really, it doesn't hold up well. But OMG when the gothy girl at from the bus line lent me her dub of this and I heard the dirgey "Shame" I knew I had picked a good horse.
Yello - You Gotta Say Yes to Another Success: pre-ubiquity of "Oh Yeah," Yello was sole province of the dance community of the 80's. I was at my cousin's house, and she dragged me to a friend's house and had me sit on one side of the room facing away from them while I guess they snorted coke or something, which was OK with me because the opening rumble of "I Love You" diced up with car screeches was riveting. Her friend got up and did a little dance, like rubbing his hands together in time with the keyboard burble, and then we abruptly left back to my aunt and uncle's house where I watched TV in the basement. Good times y'all.
Cabaret Voltaire - Micro-Phonies: This is true anti-80's music - arid unsmiling synth funk butting up against Bon Jovi and Huey Lewis and the News. Music like this is what quelled the Patrick Bateman brewing in all of us back then. We would circle the mall with this blaring out of my friend's mom's car, totally not caring what y'all all think anyway.
LCD Soundsystem - Sounds of Silver: this is actually very recent, but I heard "All My Friends" sublimely fill the air at a party the other night and it was the only song in the world right then. Synth music has a way of doing that, perhaps because it's sleek surfaces bond covalently with the landscape the way a guitar or saxophone does.