It wasn't so long ago that rock music of the '80s was punchline nostalgia along with the Rubik's Cube and Miami Vice. In 1998, Adam Sandler spent a whole movie, The Wedding Singer, poking fun at bands like Culture Club and A Flock of Seagulls, along with the kids with frosted, spiked hair who loved them.
But apparently everything that was once cool will become cool again some day, as 2004 has seen Top 20 debuts for both the Cure and Duran Duran and acclaimed new albums by their 21st century progeny like Interpol, the Rapture and Franz Ferdinand.
The triple bill of TV on the Radio, the Faint and Beep Beep this Sunday at Numbers is another signal that the bleeping keyboards and dark guitar jangle that fueled radio just before grunge and rap took over might be on the rise again.
"I grew up with commercial alternative radio WXXP 107 in Pittsburgh listening to bands like Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr. and the Stone Roses," said TV on the Radio guitarist Kyp Malone. "I can't really listen to commercial radio anymore. What they call modern rock radio now is just recycling Pearl Jam and Green Day. It's homogenous."
Malone and the rest of his band apparently did have cable when MTV burst onto the scene in the mid-'80s. Not surprisingly, it was artists like Eno, Peter Gabriel and younger groups with eccentric thinking like the Pixies and Jane's Addiction that appealed most to the band's own sense of song.
The Wrong Way, the opening track on Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes, is Adebimpe's thoughts on being a black man in American society that plays somewhere between the hard-edge of "Me Decade" rock stars Living Colour and the original conscious rap of A Tribe Called Quest. Others like Staring at the Sun and Dreams are quirky looks at love and relationships that speak the same ethereal language as Echo and the Bunnymen and Houston's King X.
Anyway. There are audio samples on the Chron page if you want to check these folks out.Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 18, 2004 to Music | TrackBack