Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Dark Ages (80's)

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The 80s gave birth to a lot of dark natured songs. This episode is mostly a celebration of such music. Again I’ve been plagued with bands crossing over decades – mainly The Pixies – however I’ve battled through to create a nice, well-rounded and downright fantastical episode. By dark, my general meaning is lyrically, talking of sex, drugs and death in a slightly less positive tone than days gone by. This music is the morning-after of the pop, rock and punk that it followed. This of course doesn’t stop it from being some of the best music around and to be honest most of what I just said can probably just be ignored as I’m really just pulling analogies from thin air in order to fill space…

Why Can’t I Be You – The Cure
Listening to The Cure they appear upbeat and happy, yet pay attention to their lyrics and you’ll find them quite depressing . In fact this darkness is part of their image with lead singer, Robert Smith, being renowned for his pale skin contrasted against dark clothes and lipstick – a look that had the unfortunate effect of contributing towards the gothic image. On the subject of looks, I advise everyone to watch a collection of their film clips and notice how he gets fatter as the years go by. Back to music, they manage to transcend above their own gloom to create classic music

Debaser - The Pixies
This is an extremely underappreciated yet influential band. They are slowing filtering into the conscience of my fellow schoolmates which pleases me greatly; I hope this sentiment is mirrored elsewhere. Being a, if not the, favourite band of my brother’s, I’ve been exposed to and liked them for a long time. Their heavy sound and rough edges is perfectly balanced with underlying melodies. Their style is starkly contrasted to what I usually like however they managed to write many songs I love. The fact that they predominately spanned between 87 and 93 gave me a lot of grief in choosing a song. It wasn’t a matter of using a song for the preferred decade but rather a matter of using the decade of my preferred song…….. I have a million apologies to make however if going for a 90s song I probably would have ignored the obvious choices and gone for the slightly less known “distance equals rate times time”.

This Charming Man – The Smiths
Morrissey – a god in his own eyes – manages better than any other to disguise horrible lyrics in beautiful music. My favourite Smiths song for a while now, “Bigmouth Strikes Again”, demonstrates this perfectly – “Sweetness, sweetness I was only joking when I said I’d like to smash every tooth in your head”. It is this beauty that makes them one of the great 80s bands. I would normally have used this song however due to overuse and popular demand I have gone for “This Charming Man”. It’s only very recently that I’ve listened intently to this song and I can see why it’s so popular. I wouldn’t be surprised if the charming man was himself….

Moon Over Marin – Dead Kennedys
Despite its absence from their compilation album, this is by far my favourite Dead Kennedys song. It’s got a nice tempo and rhythm and epitomises them well. Looking at their name, their political nature is evident, listening to their music shows their punk roots – it’s as if they’re from the wrong decade. However that really doesn’t matter, their quality music and confrontational lyrics made them deservedly big

Golden Brown – The Stranglers
Such pleasant and soothing music is fitting for a song about the incredible high gotten from taking heroin. Rather oddly I got conformation of this on ABC radio whilst listening to the cricket today. Yes, Hugh Cornwell, the lead singer came into the commentary box as a guest and confirmed the reference saying “it puts you in a state of euphoria, you don’t need sex, you don’t need alcohol, you have everything you could possibly want – though I wouldn’t recommend it”. Yes I’m sure that’s gonna turn people off….Technically this band belongs to the punk movement of last week however I couldn’t resist holding them back in order to use this song

Whilst making this episode I’ve come to the startling realisation, that other than The Stranglers, I came across every one of these bands in skateboarding movies. In fact apart from The Smiths the songs I picked were the very ones I first heard. Oddly enough just about every other Smiths song I contemplated has been used (and chances are, so too this one) and I’ve got a feeling Golden Brown was used somewhere; I just can’t put my finger on it. It is clear then of just how great the skateboarder’s choice in music is – take note


Rock Daze said...

Yeah i heard Cornwell on the radio finally dispelling the myth that the song wasn't about heroin, that is that there was a theory that it was just about feeling good, well take that feel goodders, you lose, 10 points for drugs.

Peter said...

haha indeed. but what a strange coincidence it was that he came on that is good for something it seems