09 August 2009

the sunday superlative - 8/9/09

This Week: Grab Bag: 80s Pop



As we all know, film director John Hughes died earlier this week. Mr. Hughes was responsible for some of the most popular and memorable comedies of the 80s, including (but not limited to) The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I thought, in the spirit of those films, that it was time to bust out another jovial grab bag of 80s pop. I'll let the songs speak for themselves!

The Hooters - "And We Danced" (mp3|4.43MB)
The harmonica makes yet another appearance, and while it's not quite as essential here as it has proven to be in other songs, it still adds quite a bit of character to what is, dammit, just one of the happiest and most irresistible pop songs of the entire 80s decade. It's so lively and cheerful and upbeat and plain damn memorable that it's no wonder the song was such a rousing success. Unfortunately, The Hooters never again reached the same plateau of musical popularity (fortunately for them, they had the masculine foresight to open a chain of curiously appealing restaurants). Still, every so often this song will creep onto FM radio waves, and every time I'll crank the volume up and bop along. It's joyful.
(from the 1985 album Nervous Night)

Oingo Boingo - "Grey Matter" (mp3|5.37MB)
Ain't nobody gonna deny that Danny Elfman is among the most successful musicians of the last thirty years. It's inarguable. Still, as captivating as his myriad film scores and The Simpsons theme may be, I'm still most partial to his work with the eccentric and often flat-out brilliant Oingo Boingo. My co-DJ is always throwing head-nods my way for introducing her to stuff, but it is to her that I am indebted for Boingo. "Grey Matter" is not one of their best-known songs, but by rights it should be: it has the same jaunty, yet more-than-slightly sinister edge that definies their most popular work. It's catchy, addictive, and purely Elfman. "There's something inside your head," he sings. I know what it is: this song, for the rest of the day. Have fun.
(from the 1982 album Nothing to Fear)

Was (Not Was) - "Walk the Dinosaur" (mp3|4.00MB)
Okay, first of all: dumbest fucking band name ever. We're talking, like, even dumber than Deep Blue Something. It's a good thing "Walk the Dinosaur" is such a groovin' song. I mean, it's dumb as hell, too; maybe not as dumb as the band name, but its lyrics feature at least one instance of eye-gougingly improper grammar (delivered in unison with a head-scratcher of a lyric about roasting pork), and the entire song is just kind of goofy-stupid for goofy-stupidity's sake. The good news? I kinda like goofy-stupid. This song is giddy. It makes me want to dance in the geekiest way, and I guess at the end of the day that means it's done its job right.
(from the 1988 album What Up, Dog? No, seriously, apparently that's actually the title)

All right, folks. That's it for me. Have a good week, and try your best to survive these dog days of summer. Lea's got you for Friday, and I'll be back a week from tonight. Adios!

As always, please send all comments, questions, concerns, and coupon catalogues that neither of us has any clue how the hell we got on the mailing list for to fridayfiveradio@gmail.com. Keep it real, homies.

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