Tuesday, June 27, 2006

'Timesuck' Is An Understatement

by Tom Bozzo

I might be blogging Matters of Substance had Jeremy not pointed us to this site that hosts an eclectic collection of eighties music videos. Video quality (and even availability) is spotty, use of Flash instead of QuickTime leads to occasional strange playback behavior, and most of the stuff is total crap (it was the eighties, after all), but I have never before spent so much time in front of the computer with Suzanne, ever!

I didn't get to see MTV's "120 Minutes" very often in my youth, so quite a bit was new to me. Some highlights:

1. Sigue Sigue Sputnik, "Love Missile F1-11" Saw this crazy montage-style video exactly once in the U of D Student Center dining hall, blew our table of radio station dorks away. Not much of a song or a band, but fun.
2. My Bloody Valentine, "You Made Me Realise" Just a couple years later than S-S-S, in places makes the "Love Missile" editing look languid. Also totally rocks.
3. Devo, "That's Good" Old Letterman show appearance, no flowerpot energy dome headgear, evidently transferred from an old home videotape, spudtastic anyway. Believe it or not, I once had something very close to Mark Mothersbaugh's haircut.
4. Shop Assistants, "I Don't Want To Be Friends With You" In the early Jesus and Mary Chain style, but with the Reids (and Bobby Gillespie) replaced with women.
5. Pete Shelley, "Homosapien" What is this song about?
6. We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It, "Love Is The Slug" Solid effort from this outlandishly coiffed and not excessively talented pop-punk quartet that later made the fatal mistake of trying to become popular.
7. The Timelords, "Doctorin' The Tardis" This novelty record did make it to #1 on the UK charts. As the account of its production goes, fame, fortune, and sex are extra.
8. The Primitives, "Crash" A great pop tune, college radio fare here; a top selection from the very pale blonde lead singer genre.
9. Toni Basil, "Mickey" I like this a lot more now than I did when the song was originally released.
10. Swans, "New Mind" Do I see a "VH1 classic" bug on this brutal industrial dirge? Highly disturbing.
11. Depeche Mode, "Just Can't Get Enough" A fun, blip-bleepy early number, what Jeremy might call "dork-joy-pop." Didn't want to leave anyone on a sour note.
OMG! I suddenly have an urge to shave half my head and cut the fingertips off all of my gloves!
Watching those videos with you was like creating an 80s history that we never got to have. You sure were cute with that haircut.....
I'm not certain I want to see the Asia version of "Heat of the Moment," having learned to appreciate the song from Steve Hackett's live recordings from Tokyo.
Tina: Don't forget to grow the other half out into a suitably architectural do.

Suzanne: Thanks, sweetie! (Note to others: photographic evidence of that haircut does exist, but it's under close guard.)

Ken: I don't remember whether the Asia video is memorable; I haven't gotten far enough in the 'guilty pleasures' subset to other trad-rock hits. (BTW, very disturbing avatar!)
That site is the most amazing retroheroin ever.
Damn you! And I have a lot of work to finish today!! I'll have to relive the 80's by myself although I do see some whitesnake here for my head-banging husband ;-)
Think of the avatar as particularly appropriate to a discussion of ca. 1980s rock: both as something that we might want to forget but cannot, and as a referent to Roger Dean's cover for Going for the One (One of the reasons I took to rap so easily is that the bankruptcy of "classical rock" was made evident around the same time.)
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