A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Over the past few years. . .

. . .I've developed a taste for 80's pop and new wave-type music. I don't know what brought it on, other than the kind of perspective that reveals itself to people when they approach their mid-thirties. Exactly what that perspective is, I can't really put a finger on. But, there is a distinct mellowing that occurs at this stage of life that causes one to feel less intense about things once loathed. And, make no mistake about it -- I absolutely loathed pop and new wave during the 80's. As I said in a post around this time last year, I was a metalhead. A headbanger. A longhaired, party-hardy, black concert t-shirt-wearing, rockstar wannabe.

Now, with my flaxen locks long since shorn (the part that hasn't fallen out, anyway) I find myself a little nostalgic for that which I once despised. Sure, there were some songs of that ilk for which I harbored a secret and shameful affection -- The Fixx's "Secret Separation" being one -- but they were limited in number, often tied to fond memories, or poignant moments. But, now, I find myself actually seeking out this music, and the newer music that evokes similar sensibilities. A recent example would be "Mr Brightside," by The Killers. For some reason, listening to that song brings back memories of things that never happened -- like me wearing a skinny leather tie and sunglasses, doing that pogo-stick type dance the new-wavers did at parties I never went to. In reality, I would have mocked and mercilessly derided anyone who dared be seen at such a party wearing such garb.

But, that's another thing that's mellowed in me over the past several years. I've learned to be much more forgiving of differences, particularly where matters of taste are involved. I find myself open to any kind of music -- even the odd hip-hop tune will have me nodding my head along with the bass line -- though, very rarely. (I've never been quite sure how to classify the Beastie Boys, but I do like a lot of their music -- just not the stuff on "License to Ill".)

One of the bands I've been listening to lately that remind me of that era in pop music, to much delight, is Texas (No. They're from the UK). I was introduced to them by my good friend blondie, a fellow Ldotter and somewhat lapsed blogger who has helped me with this blog on countless occasions with everything from html advice to putting together parody images. I can't recommend them too highly to anyone who has a taste for pop music. Their newest CD, Red Book, isn't available in the US, but I was fortunate enough to receive it as a gift from blondie a few weeks ago, and have been listening to it regularly ever since. It's difficult to nail down their sound as being similar to any single artist as their influences seem to range from Prince to Annie Lennox to no one you've ever heard before. Sharleen Spiteri, the group's lead singer, has an amazingly versatile voice (and a beautiful face to go along with it), and it amazes me that the band has remained a virtual secret on this side of the Atlantic for so long. If they're to ever have a big hit in the US, it ought to come from "Red Book". "Bad Weather" and "Cry" are wonderful examples, but unfortunately, the Amazon UK site doesn't offer any audio samples from their newest release. However, for a reasonable taste from past efforts, you can click here.

So, this is the kind of stuff I've been listening to lately. I just thought I'd offer up a few pointers to anyone who might be interested. Give them a listen, and if you like what you hear, email me and let me know.

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