11 January 2008

Mix Tape Friday: New Wave Friday

Favorite Boy and I have spent many an ’08 night chatting about music and YouTubing videos, which has left me musically nostalgic of late. Thus we must go new wave this fine January day.

You longtime readers may remember that new wave is my favorite genre of music. (You are journaling my likes and dislikes, no?) I’ve pondered the why. The obvious answer: It was the rage during my aurally formative years — eighteen to twenty-five. But it’s a bit more than that. New wave redefined pop music for me. After years of listening to pop ditties about afternoon delights, car washes, and rubberband men, suddenly I was singing along to brilliant, literate songs about detective-watching and Jackie O and shellfish. The subject matter was as cool as the beat.

And, thank God, my obsession with new wave saved me from going down the hairband aisle at Turtles Records.

New wave is hard to define. It’s sort of post-punk, sort of poppy. To paraphrase Justice Stewart, I can’t define it, but I know it when I hear it. I always start with the Stiff Records lineup — Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds and Graham Parker, Wreckless Eric and Ian Dury, Madness and The Bongos — then spin out from there. But new wave isn’t just a British movement. Talking Heads were a major player in the beginning; some say Sire Records’ Seymour Stein coined the name to market post-punk bands like them. About a quarter of today’s tracks are by Stiff Records artists, though.

Today’s tape includes tracks released between 1976 and 1983 — a truly golden age of music. Fittingly, the earliest track — the lone one from 1976 — is by Nick Lowe. I’m sure I missed one of your favorites — but don’t worry, because there will be more New Wave Fridays. List your favorites in the comment box.

Tears for Fears :: Mad World/Pale Shelter

The Psychedelic Furs :: Love My Way

Split Enz :: I Got You

Depeche Mode :: Just Can’t Get Enough

The Cure :: Boys Don’t Cry

Wreckless Eric :: (I’d Go the) Whole Wide World

Nick Lowe :: So It Goes

The Jam :: Modern World

Devo :: Freedom of Choice

Big Country :: In a Big Country

After the Fire :: Der Kommissar

Talking Heads :: Once in a Lifetime

The B-52’s :: Rock Lobster

Buzzcocks :: Everybody’s Happy Nowadays

Bow Wow Wow :: I Want Candy

Joe Jackson :: I’m the Man

The Vapors :: Turning Japanese

Thomas Dolby :: She Blinded Me with Science

The Go-Go’s :: We Got the Beat

XTC :: Generals and Majors

The English Beat :: Twist and Crawl

The Three O’Clock :: Jet Fighter

Let’s Active :: Every Word Means No

R.E.M. :: Stumble

The Cars :: Since You’re Gone

Violent Femmes :: Gone Daddy Gone

Madness :: One Step Beyond

Elvis Costello & The Attractions :: I Can’t Stand Up (For Falling Down)

Squeeze :: Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)

Dave Edmunds :: Girls Talk

Gang of Four :: I Love a Man in a Uniform

Gary Numan :: Cars

Lene Lovich :: Lucky Number

Ian Dury & The Blockheads :: Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick

The Stranglers :: (Get a) Grip (On Yourself)

Human Sexual Response :: Jackie Onassis

The Bongos :: Numbers with Wings

Boomtown Rats :: I Don’t Like Mondays

Aztec Camera :: Oblivious

The The :: Uncertain Smile

When I first started reading the beloved Bee Boy’s blog, he had “Every Word Means No” as his tagline. I knew I’d found a kindred spirit, and that’s why it was easy for me to pick which Let’s Active tune to include today.

You know of my deep love for Elvis Costello and Squeeze (again, you’re jotting down my faves, right?), but I have yet to wax poetic about Joe Jackson. Joe and Elvis defined the new wave era for me. In 1980 I wore white cruel shoes (with skinny ties, of course) just like Joe wore on the Look Sharp! cover. I’ve seen Joe in concert many times, and he’s always amazing — and I just found out hours ago that he’ll be here in April.

I’ve told this story before, but I never tire of telling it. Bob Geldof read the story that inspired “I Don’t Like Mondays” at my college radio station. WRAS had a teletype machine in the newsroom, from which we received news stories. The machine was big and clunky and very loud, especially when a major story was breaking. A big story came across the wire while not-yet-Sir Bob was in the studio, and it was so distracting he stopped the interview to read the story on the air. It was, of course, the story that inspired “I Don’t Like Mondays,” which he wrote later that afternoon. (That was a year or two before I joined the station; I was still in Athens at that time and thus cannot play the I Was There card.)

I worked for a Japanese company in the very early 1980s, where three of the four managers were Japanese. When they’d return to the office after a saki’ed lunch, they’d get me to sing “Turning Japanese,” particularly “No sex, no drugs, no wine, no women / No fun, no sin, no you, no wonder it's dark.” They thought it was a hoot. I never explained what “turning Japanese” meant.

* * * * * *

Labels: , , , , , ,


At 1/11/2008 01:10:00 AM, Blogger Splotchy said...

I just can't get enough
I just can't get enough
I just can't get enough
I just can't get enough

Thanks, Beth!

At 1/11/2008 07:26:00 AM, Blogger Marni said...

I do believe this is the first of your Friday posts that I actually know quite a few of the artists AND the songs! WOOT!!!

At 1/11/2008 08:08:00 AM, Blogger DaBich said...

I'll stick with "old wave" LOL!

At 1/11/2008 10:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! It's the soundtrack of my life twenty plus years ago. Radical!

At 1/11/2008 10:29:00 AM, Blogger mellowlee said...

I love it!!! A lot of these songs were on the first compilation tape I ever bought. I could only download two of them before the bandwidth police shot me down though. Damn bandwidth! I'll come back later and try to snag a few more. Turning Japanese was one of the ones I managed to get though, which is my fav! Thanks Beth!

At 1/11/2008 10:34:00 AM, Blogger Sean Wraight said...

Yet another stellar mix tape Beth! I saw your title and hoped you would include the Wreckless Eric track. It just makes me immensely happy everytime I hear that one. The XTC, pure icing on the cake. Very well done! I think I might just have to dig out my old Nick Lowe lp's out tonight to celebrate.

I'd really love to see an ultimate "guilty pleasures" mix tape sometime. I'll do one on my site too.


At 1/11/2008 10:43:00 AM, Blogger Malcolm said...

Excellent mix! When I read the theme, I started bouncing in my office chair.

When I clicked on the links to listen, I kept getting the message "This user has exceeded their quota for public file downloads today. Try again later!" Has anyone else told you they are having the same problems?

At 1/11/2008 10:44:00 AM, Blogger Malcolm said...

Never mind Beth. I just read Mellowlee's comments regarding the same problem I had. I will try again later tonight.

At 1/11/2008 11:07:00 AM, Anonymous Tim said...

LOVE Let's Active.

At 1/11/2008 11:08:00 AM, Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

I'm with you kiddo. New Wave and Punk redefined music for me in the late 70's.

It was going places that I didn't want music to go (read hair-bands here) and it was as refreshing as it could be.

I saw Elvis Costello perform in London in 79 and it was like I had seen the light.

Dig deeper and come up with some really cool obscure stuff like the Flaming Groovies - Shake Some Action.

At 1/11/2008 11:10:00 AM, Blogger Keith Kennedy said...

Oh, and I truly believe it would be a major "pubic" service announcement if you could tell our less enlightened readers just what "turning japanese" does mean!!

At 1/11/2008 11:55:00 AM, Blogger mellowlee said...

I just read your coment on my blog about Rob Sheffield and I got so excited! OMG you must hug him for me too please please please!!! A picture would be awesome too??? ;O)

I love when talked about setting music free when you put it on a mix tape. Love it! :O) I wish I could go with you to see him.

At 1/11/2008 12:41:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I'll be back after nidnight to download all the great songs on this mix tape I don't already have. You are such a sweetie for this service!

At 1/11/2008 12:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1997's "This is it" was my fave Joe Jackson album. Now I'll be singing "Different for girls" the rest of the day. I can't wait to download these in the am! Thanks :-)

At 1/11/2008 01:55:00 PM, Blogger Tenacious S said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Now I must dance.

At 1/11/2008 07:39:00 PM, Blogger datacine said...

you spin me right 'round
baby right 'round like a record baby right 'round 'round 'round.

I will add Pet Shop Boys "West End Girls" and Missing Persons "Walking in L.A." to your stellar list.

I have lived my entire life in Los Angeles which means that I was fortunate to be here and listen to KROQ while all of that great music was evolving. I still have my tee shirt "If it's not Stiff.......It's not worth a fuck."

At 1/11/2008 09:22:00 PM, Blogger justacoolcat said...

Well, you can kind of play the "I Was There card" card. I'll buy it.

At 1/11/2008 09:34:00 PM, Anonymous Glassmeow said...

Yep Roc is about to reissue Jesus of Cool (which we got in this country as Pure Pop For Now People). You can stream it now at their site www.yeproc.com

At 1/11/2008 09:56:00 PM, Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

Do you realize that almost a quarter of those songs have co-opted by mainstream advertising? I remember when just playing any of those songs on a boombox would send middle age people into apoplectic fits and now those song sell financial plans, cars and insurance.

At 1/11/2008 09:58:00 PM, Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

Oh, and thanks to blogs, I finally know how girls talk.

At 1/11/2008 10:22:00 PM, Blogger Barbara Bruederlin said...

New wave Fridays is inspired! I will always have a spot in my heart for new wave too.

I had not heard your Bob Geldof tale, but how amazing. Makes me want to play 6 degrees of Beth or something.

At 1/11/2008 10:52:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

SPLOTCHY: I got the beat. I got the beat, I got the beat — yeah! I got the beat!

MARNI: Download regularly, and you may discover some gems. You hear every song for the first time.

DABICH: Oh, c’mon; give it a try!

DCUP: Isn’t it? I’ve felt like I was twenty-three all day long.

MELLOWLEE: Come back right after midnight EST, and the bandwidth will be open again.

At 1/11/2008 10:56:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

SEAN WRAIGHT: Did you see Will Ferrell’s cover of “Whole Wide World” in Stranger Than Fiction> Best scene in the movie. Excellent idea about the guilty pleasures tape!

MALCOLM: MyDataBus allows just so many downloads per day. Come back after midnight.

TIM: Didn’t you see Mitch Easter last summer? Still kicking myself for missing tht show.

KEITH KENNEDY: How lucky for you! To see Elvis in London must have been divine. I picked a lot of bands most would know for the inaugural new wave post — but look for more obscure bands next time around.

TO ALL: “Turning Japanese” is rumored to be a euphemism for self-pleasure … although this week’s research notes that this may not be the case.

At 1/11/2008 10:59:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

MELLOWLEE: Be very jealous of me. There will be a full post with photos about this grand event.

DR. MONKEY VON MONKERSTEIN: God put me on this great earth to spread music to everyone. I have a special purpose.

BLUEZ: Hope you enjoy the downloads. That’s a great Joe album, BTW.

TENACIOUS S: You’re welcome! You’re welcome! You’re welcome! And I’m dancing with you.

DATACINE: Welcome! We had to depend on college radio here in Georgia — but my campus station has long been considered the best in the U.S., so I got some great music lessons.

At 1/11/2008 11:02:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

JUST A COOL CAT: Then I’m laying down that card. And THANKS for the link!

GLASSMEOW: I saw that in one of the 21 e-mail YepRoc sent today.

WRITEPROCRASTINATOR: Or to market old age (Buzzcocks + AARP). Dave Edmunds was thirty years ahead of his time, wasn’t he?

BARBARA BRUEDERLIN: You’re still impressed by the Eddie Money story, aren’t you?

At 1/12/2008 01:31:00 AM, Blogger Johnny Yen said...

How weird-- the Stranglers' "Get a Grip On Yourself" popped up on my Friday Random Ten today.

It really was a great time for music, wasn't it?

At 1/12/2008 11:58:00 AM, Blogger Dale said...

Every word still means no Beth unless it's you asking and then the answer's yes!

At 1/12/2008 07:45:00 PM, Anonymous filegod1 said...

once again you have transported me to time before man boobs and all over body aches. brought back memories of too many nights at the Agora. Love the mix. I'm the man, Girls talk, I want candy. Takes me right back to walking the ramps at GSU. Beth, you keep us rocking in the free world.

At 1/13/2008 09:22:00 AM, Blogger Allison said...

I love your mixed tapes. I learn something new each week. Thanks for the tunes!

At 1/13/2008 12:59:00 PM, Blogger Erik Donald France said...

Oh man, ALL GREAT!

"a truly golden age of music." Touche!

I have a stack of recordss in my library office, and "kids these days" are fascinated -- even the very Wreckless Eric album "Whole Wide World" is featured on. Yeahman! Vinyl days and 8-track nights . . .

Very little innovation since 1982/83. Rap was already born, what's been made new since then?

Glad for this technology, though, certainly -- downloads and iTunes are to music what the internet is to libraries -- lifesavers. . .

At 1/13/2008 08:58:00 PM, Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

"Dave Edmunds was thirty years ahead of his time, wasn’t he?"

He and Nick were ahead of their time, their lyrics still hold better than anything on this side of the year 2000.

At 1/14/2008 08:37:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

JOHNNY YEN: Just the best. It was very hard narrowing the mix tape down to forty tracks.

DALE: I have lots of questions that need some YES!

FILEGOD1: Don't you miss the Agora? Still can't believe we never ran into one another. (BTW, you don't have man boobs.)

ALLISON: You're welcome!

ERIK DONALD FRANCE: Maybe alternative and grunge (hate that term)? And there's the indie movement now — but none of it was as exciting as new wave. Or maybe I'm just biased.

WRITE PROCRASTINATOR: Nick's still getting it done; his album At My Age was one of my 2007 faves.

At 1/14/2008 07:36:00 PM, Blogger BeckEye said...

Mmmmmmmm...new wave. Never gets old.

At 1/14/2008 09:56:00 PM, Blogger Scott said...

beautiful 80s music!!

I once had to find a picture of The The for a website I was working on. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to Google The The?

At 1/16/2008 09:50:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

BECKEYE: We are twin daughters of different mothers, child.

SCOTT: I can imagine! I always go to Amazon or Wikipedia to snare band shots.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

View My Stats