Sunday, June 04, 2006

Back To School

Dearest Friends, though we find ourselves in the year 2006, my mind, spirit, and soul have all spent much of this week back to 1986. You see, my 20th high school reunion is upon me, so this time my nostalgia, I feel, is justified.

I have been finding it most peculiar revisiting those days in my mind. My time at school was largely a happy one; I had good friends and good teachers. But looking back at myself, I wince at at what I now see as my geeky gawkiness. The skinny ties, tweed jackets, and collared shirts that I wore as some sort of mod/new wave statement now just seem dreadful. My unrequited schoolboy crushes embarrass today as much as they did then. Yet what is also awakened as I handle today the artefacts of that era -- my old subway pass, my yearbook, my recently-liberated-from-the-basement vinyl records -- is the memory of a boy suffused with passion and excitement for the possibilities of the future. For him, 1986 was the edge of a new milennium. And how did he respond? He is still trying to figure that out...

I will not actually be able to attend the reunion; time and distance (I am in Vancouver, my high school is in Noo Yawk City) make it unfeasible. So instead I have created a wee playlist that I offer to the DJ who will be playing the imaginary reunion dance that won't be taking place. The songs, one for every year that has elapsed, are redolent of nights spent listening to The World Famous WLIR, the thrills of first concerts (General Public, 1985, Radio City Music Hall), and weekends spent trawling the record stores of Greenwich and East Villages (St Mark's Sounds, Venus Records, Rebel Rebel). So I invite you all in to the darkened cafeteria (there's a dustbin by the entrance labelled "Shame") to enjoy as you see fit. Go on, dance, or hang awkwardly around the edges if you prefer. Just party like you did in 1986.

Heaven 17 - Let Me Go
Blancmange - Living On The Ceiling
ABC - The Look Of Love
The Cure - Love Cats
Haysi Fantaysee - Shiny Shiny
Classix Nouveaux - Guilty
Jo Boxers - Just Got Lucky
Style Council - Shout To The Top
General Public - Tenderness
Madness - Our House
The Jam - Town Called Malice
The Beat - Ranking Full Stop
The Fixx - One Thing Leads To Another
A Flock Of Seagulls - Space Age Love Song
Duran Duran - Hungry Like The Wolf
Ministry - Effigy
Time Zone - World Destruction
Intaferon - Get Out Of London
Wide Boy Awake - Slang Teacher
Yazoo - Only You

Oh my, so much music. But you could start by buying these.