By Tim Murr
“There’s a bit of magic in everything
And then some loss to even things out”
I haven’t had many mornings this year where I didn’t wake up with the Alice Cooper lyrics “Enough’s enough’s enough/this year’s been really, really tough” in my head. 2016 has seen many of our heroes go to the grave and in February I lost my friend Jason “Jase” Gollihar, who I’ve known since I was eleven years old. Couple those losses with numerous little personal tragedies, a couple of huge ones (that have just recently started correcting themselves), and an election year that I’m still trying to get a mental grip on… Yeah, this year’s been really, really tough.
By Brian Baker
Karen Allen is all smiles during her visit to Toronto ComiCon, March 19, 2016.
Marion Ravenwood, Katy, and Claire Phillips. They’re all roles played by Karen Allen in the lengthy filmography she’s compiled over five decades of work.
All three of those characters—from the films Raiders of the Lost Ark, Animal House, and Scrooged—have been strong dynamic women. They’ve also been a huge pleasure to portray for Allen. (more…)
I’d met Goldie through my friend Colin around 1983, I think. With his thinning hair and permanent scowl, he looked like a perennially pissed off old man. We shared a love for punk, even though he was somehow affiliated with the strange evangelical subculture I’d recently become part of. I remember him bringing us Dead Boys records when Colin and I were in residence at Bible College. We’d play those and Colin’s Zapp funk records as loud as we could, enjoying the vicarious thrill of swearing and talking sexy. I remember Goldie and I commandeering the lounge television one night when Rock ‘n’ Roll High School was on. So we shared a taste in music and a slightly skeptical attitude toward the world around us.
Does anyone remember what an album was? Do they still call a music “release” an album anymore? Well, back in 1980, when a band released an album, you bought an album, a piece of vinyl inside a paper sleeve slipped into a cardboard sleeve. I think I might have paid about $8 for this record when it came out in 1980. I was 15 years old. A bit of background may be in order.
There was once a time when “Sir” Bob Geldof was known for something other than organizing huge benefit concerts to feed the hungry. In fact, there was once a time when he was the hungry one. Hungry to find meaning in the world, and to find his place in it. In 1979, Geldof and his band The Boomtown Rats released one of my favorite albums, but the fact that it contained what amounted to a novelty hit (“I Don’t Like Mondays”) consigned The Boomtown Rats to “one-hit wonder” status and left the rest of this masterpiece of angry pop criminally undiscovered. In fact, the album was extremely difficult to find on CD in North America until a 2005 release added some bonus tracks.
There comes a moment in every parent’s life where you realize that your kid is officially cooler than you. It’s a humbling moment. They spend so much time as younglings, looking up to you, enjoying all the music and movies that you like, because it’s all they know. And they want to be you when they grow up, because they can’t imagine anything greater.
If any band was helping Eighties kids dance their way into oblivion, it was London’s The Fixx. Dance-oriented music with serious gloom and doom lyrics, The Fixx was the great combo meal of the decade. Worried about global politics and the possible annihilation of the self within an existential context? You’ll love The Fixx. Want to dance all night to some sweet bass licks and driving, sparkling synths? You’ll love The Fixx.
The Call was one of those Eighties bands that almost made it. They had a decently large fanbase, but they just never quite caught on. Most people know their biggest hit, “I Still Believe,” better from that scene in The Lost Boys, where it is performed by saxophonist/body-builder Tim Cappello. [That fuckin’ guy. All greased up and shiny in the firelight, like a Rob Liefeld comic come to veiny life.]
Some real wrist-cutting music came out in the Eighties. Gloom and doom, Reagan and Bush, annihilation from without and within; if you weren’t depressed and suicidal, you weren’t paying attention. The fact that anyone made it through the Eighties alive is a testament to how good Full House really was. That’s the only reason we stayed around. We put the blades down long enough to watch Full House, laugh for a few minutes, and when the show was over, we picked the pretty sharps back up and prayed for the cold hands of death to take us away from the living nightmare of suburbia.
If you were to take a poll of Eighties Survivors and ask them what the most depressing album of the decade was, a strong contender for that top spot would be Disintegration by The Cure.
In the Eighties, the Reagans told everyone to just say no, but our musical heroes were blatantly advising us to say “yes” as often as possible. Who do you think was more fun to listen to: Nancy Reagan or Terri Nunn?
Here then, in ascending order, are my favorite New Wave songs about sex.