Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Night Jukebox, or, "It's Sunday at 8:30pm and, yes, I'm fucking working"

And this is on the CD player:The Eighties were in many ways a musical wasteland, and yet...

...I was young and energetic and bounced through the Eighties like Tigger. It seemed then like a happy time (and I was too young and, like many of the young, too self-absorbed to worry about things like Reaganomics and the Cold War and poverty and all the Troubles in the world). In all I found the Eighties enjoyable enough, and the music likeable enough, like Julie Brown, here. Call it silly, call it disposable, but she and her music sure were fun. My tastes in music aren't particularly complex, and "fun" seems like enough for me to conclude that Julie's contribution to the ouvre of Bach and Verdi and Sid Vicious was not an entirely risible one. So brava, Julie.

And just to show you that I'm not just a big ol' dopey Pinin'-for-The-Eighties goober, here's what's finishing up my evening; Jann Arden's "Insensitive".Beautiful song.

"How do you numb your skin
After the warmest touch?
How do you slow your blood
After the body rush?
How do you free your soul
After you’ve found a friend?
How do you teach your heart
It’s a crime to fall in love again?"

Mm. Beautiful.


Lisa said...

I'm afraid I must have bypassed some of the lyrics from the 80's, and thank you for exposing me to a lovely and wistful tune in "Insensitive".

Lisa said...

p.s. -- I think the '80's had some great music (mixed in with a lot of piffle), right up through about '86.

FDChief said...

I'm glad you liked Arden. She has a lovely, pliant, and winsome voice. And the song itself is plaintive without being self-pitying.

But my question would be...what happened in 1986?

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

Actually, there was quite a bit of good music all the way thru '89 (not '86). Look at the hits listed on the website and compare the early and late eighties music.

Although rock music didn't truly die until the early/ mid- nineties, it was beginning to become watered down by about '87. Groups like the Police, Styx, Rush, Men at Work, INXS, U2, Genesis, Duran Duran, Van Halen, Foreigner, Survivor, Journey, and Aerosmith (and also alternative groups like depeche mode, crowded house and simple minds) were virtually nonexistent (or highly watered down) by the late 80's, fast being supplanted by "light rock" or adult contemporary mavens like Whitney Houston, Bette Midler, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Richard Marx, Janet Jackson, George Michael, Paula Abdul etc.

Also, some of the cool band members of the early eighties actually led the wimp-rock brigade of the late eighties (ie. Phil Collins (Genesis) Peter Cetera (Chicago) Steve Winwood, etc.) Additionally, late-80's rock was not as distinctly eighties (stylistically) as early eighties music was.

Early eighties lite rock light rock, like Air Supply, Cristopher Cross, Survivor, Asia, Toto, Journey, The Eagles and Chicago were kind of cool and grew out of jazz and folk 70's music. Late eighties lite rock (=easy listening/adult contemporary) was merely cheesy and lame [think Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, George Michael, Paula Abdul, Whitney Houston, Richard Marx and Phil Collins], IMHO

Powerhouses like Michael Jackson and Madonna lost steam by the late 80's. Some of the cool rock held on 'til at least '89, but it was quickly wimping out, and creating the vacuum which made room for the ascendency of Grunge and Rap in the early nineties, at which point rock simply gave up the ghost in the early nineties.

We haven't seen decent rock since.

FDChief said...

Lisa: I wanted to argue the point, but then I tried to come up with a decent act that had emerged since 1990 and couldn't come up with anyone who had more than a single hit or two...

So I guess we're looking for the Next Wave.

I'll admit to regressing lately, listening to stuff like the Stolen Sweets and Madeline Peyroux, retro stuff that harks back to the swing and jazz and blues of the 1930s and 1940s. Maybe that says something about the state of contemporary music, too.

Lisa said...

Of course, there is always some one carrying the torch, but the stations rarely play the best.

I, too, love swing, jazz and the blues. I love soulful or happy music. I don't groove on the angry or blase´ attitudes surrounding so much stuff today.