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This song goes out to everybody who had a shit week, or who just wants to practice for the next Dance Dance Party Party:
Damn, Mary J. Blige is the hotness.
I do like music that was released in this century, I swear, but still:
I am hoping to address one of the many unfinished posts I have saved around here, and maybe even present something of substance, for those of you keeping score at home. I seem to be suffering from a tenacious sinus-related malady that is draining my energy, which I must conserve for the Ceremonial Rewatching of the Entire Battlestar Galactica Series in preparation for the forth and final season, which airs on (OMG!!!!) April 4. I am hoping that the arrival of Spring brings me good health and renewed vigor so that I can blog AND watch BSG at the same time, but only time will tell.
Okay, commenter DiosaNegra1967 went and mentioned the totally brilliant Philadelphia dance show “Dancin’ on Air” prompting me to engage in a spate of intense nostalgia-driving web searching, resulting in this wonderfulness:
Things I love: In Deep, female-fronted 80s R&B dance groups, white dudes lip syncing rap breakdowns, Wayfarers, mullets, those dresses.
Here’s another clip featuring a local Philly band called Press that I include not so much for the music, but to provide an accurate visual of white people in the Delaware Valley area in the mid-80s. Yes, I had black leather fingerless gloves. And a perm. But really, we ALL had perms. See?
How awesome is Debora Iyall, lead singer of 80s post-punk group Romeo Void? Pretty fucking awesome, if you ask me. But see for yourself:
I love Pandora’s blurb on Romeo Void:
Thanks to the reductive onslaught of the “’80s party weekend” radio format and the numbing similarity of most ’80s hits compilations, hearing the name Romeo Void instantly conjures up the phrase “I might like you better if we slept together” in most minds. The unforgettable chorus of their best-known song, 1981’s “Never Say Never,” the phrase on its own makes the song sound like some kind of shock-value novelty, and indeed, that’s probably how many people remember it. Yet a careful listen to the verses, with their intimations of incest, murder, homelessness, and other dark subjects, makes plain that singer/lyricist Debora Iyall has more on her mind than simple salaciousness. The combination of Iyall’s powerful vocals and searing imagery with the band’s muscular blend of Joy Division’s atmospherics and the Gang of Four’s rattling momentum, with Benjamin Bossi’s splattering free jazz saxophone coloring everything, made Romeo Void one of the strongest of the American post-punk bands.
I personally was so awed by Romeo Void the first time I saw this video on Video Rock (any Delaware Valley people remember this show? It came on at 11 or 11:30 on weeknights and used Bow Wow Wow’s “I Want Candy” as a theme, over which a woman breathlessly intoned “It’s wild! It’s hot! It’s Video Rock!” Because back in the early 80s, videos totally WERE wild and hot!) that I quickly formed a totally useless band with some of my junior high classmates called Vandals of the Void, after the Harlan Ellison short story that I am pretty sure I have to this day never read.
Yay, indie rock! It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a show, what with law school and the bar exam ruining my life for the last three years, so it was with much excitement that I joined my husband and two friends at the AV-aerie last night for the Thank You/Lord of the Yum Yum/O’death/Dan Deacon show.
We missed Thank You, but Lord of the Yum Yum and O’death were pretty great, even though the bass player of the latter band was a disconcerting composite of like three of my ex-boyfriends. He did a lot of screaming, though, and that was pretty sweet, if you like that kind of thing.
Dan Deacon, who was the only performer that I’d heard of before the show, was super excellent. He set up his equipment on a table in the middle of the floor, which I guess is the way he rolls, and a minute into his first song, some over-zealous fan knocked a vocorder off the table and broke it. After getting everything squared away, while singing a little song about getting what he deserved for not playing on the stage, he recruited some big strong people to stand protectively around the table and got back to rockin’.
I’m not one for tight crowds or for standing with my face crammed into the sweaty armpit of a smelly hipster, so I stayed away from the fray and against the wall where I could have room to both dance and breathe. My husband stood to my right, and to his right, standing perched precariously on a folding chair, was a very short woman who was seriously on the nod. Now I have very judiciously and intentionally stayed away from junkies for a number of years now, so at first I was kind of pissed off at her for making me care about whether she fell completely off the chair instead of just dancing like a carefree crazy woman, which had been my intent. She stood there, holding a can of Coke, her eyes shut, wavering, then she would slowing bend her knees and sink down as if to sit on her heels, tipping forward at an alarming angle. Just when I thought for sure she was going to fall face first into the crowd, she’d catch herself, stand up straight, and start the process all over again. She did this so often that I finally stopped paying attention to her and got back into the music, until, of course, she toppled over onto my husband. I grabbed her elbow and suggested that, for the benefit of us all, she try sitting down for awhile. She agreed to at least sit back on the windowsill, and that, nearly an hour later, is where she was when the show ended, still holding a can of Coke, still with her eyes closed.
Meanwhile, in front of us, three girls who would have looked equally if not more at home in the the Wrigleyville Barleycorn as they did in a Wicker Park supermegaindierock performance art space, aggressively freak danced each other, Coyote Ugly style, which seemed a little incongruous but hey. Dan Deacon brings out the best in all of us, I guess.
The evening ended with a group sing-a-long to the epic song “Wham City”:
There is a mountain of snow
Up past the big glen
We have a castle enclosed
There is a fountain
Out of the fountain flows gold
Into a huge hand
That hand is held by a bear who had a sick band
Of ghosts and cats and pigs and bats
With brooms and bats and wigs and rats
And great big dogs like queens and kings
And everyone plays drums and sings
Of big sharks, sharp swords,
Beast bees, bead lords,
Sweet cakes, mace lakes,