Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Air Guitar 2008

Darling Daughter informed me yesterday that her school will shortly be holding its annual air band competition. Apparently each year this event is assigned a theme and a list of eligible songs is furnished to all the wannabee axe heroes/heroines.

And the theme this year?

The eighties.

I just about withered and died of old age when I heard that.

After recovering from my sudden and rapid decrepitude, I discovered that my street cred with Darling Daughter was increasing as I recognized and provided

both artist and useless facts to flesh out the names of their potential performance pieces. The menu included such hoary old chestnuts as The Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go," Kenny Loggins' "Footloose," and Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." The last of these ended up being chosen by

my progeny and her gang of Grade 3 grrlz, primarily because of the title. At least it wasn't "Footloose."

But it got me thinking: if I had my druthers, what other eighties tracks would I put on the airband list? As I pondered, I realized this could get tricky; after all, cool as it might be to stick "Debaser"on there, Daddy FiL winced slightly at the thought of 7-year-olds miming along to "Got me a razor / Aaah haaa haaa haaah / Slicing up eyeballs..." You see my point. Anyway, below are a few ditties that I thought might fit the bill. And I would be most interested to hear your suggestions...

Adam & The Ants - Antmusic (buy here)
Oh my, this is just fun, fun, FUN swimming in a pool of edgy, pop sensibility.

Siouxsie & The Banshees - Christine (buy here)
Coz it's never too early to get your kids into goth, especially when it involves banana split ladies and turtles.

The Brilliant Corners - Teenage (buy here)
The eighties weren't all big shoulder pads, Madge, and synthopop, you know. But I'm pretty sure Miss Teacher didn't have this sort of C86 thing in mind. It might also be a bit precocious and hormonal for the bairns, but it does have a fat, charmingly innocent streak running right down its middle. Aw, bless, it's lovely.

In other news, this week's Contrast Podcast is now out and it slaps you right in the face with a halibut-sized serving of the best choonz of 2008 (so far). Given the excellent taste of the CP Nation, you can be sure that what's on offer is indeed among The Best of the year. You can download the podcast here and fawn over the music here. In case you want to look before committing to download (I don't know, kids these days) here's what's what:

(00:00) Flight of the Conchords - All the ladies of the world
Tim from The face of today

(03:05) Royal Bangs - Cat swallow
Bob from Gimme Tinnitus

(07:45) These Modern Socks - Where I came from
Linda from Speed of dark

(14:14) Japandroids - No Allegiance to the Queen
FiL from Pogoagogo

(21:47) The Cure - The only one

(26:24) DeVotchKa - The clockwise witness
Marcy from Lost in your inbox

(31:14) The Weepies - Old coyote
Natalie from Mini-obs

(35:41) KaiserCartel - Okay
Duke of Straw from The Late Greats

(39:31) The Wedding Present - Spider-man on Hollywood
Jim from Quick Before it Melts

(42:48) Be Your Own Pet - Becky
Dirk from Sexy Loser

(46:45) Blind Melon - Wishing Well
Chip from Atomic Ned

(51:17) Counting Crows - Cowboys
James from Appetite For Distraction

(57:29) At the Stars - Forget
Andy from Circles of Concrete

(01:01:49) Stars - Take me to the riot
Miss Wired

(01:06:10) Religious Knives - The sun
ZB from So the wind won’t blow it all away

(01:12:27) Sun Kil Moon - Unlit hallway
Greer from A Sweet Unrest

I submitted the mighty Japandroids, about whom I posted here. What else did I consider? Not much - this track immediately suggested itself and kicked away any other contenders before they came to my attention. Actually, one other song was in the running, from Vancouver neo-shoegazers, Hinterland:

Hinterland - Detwiler Pavilion (buy here )
A catchy ditty about, of all things, obsessive-compulsive disorder. From the album Pan Pan Medico.

Next week we're back to sinning, so think thoughts of Greed and get submitting by following the instructions here.


Just a Girl said...

You know you are old when...

I don't know what song I'd choose but, being that I was country folk in those years, it would most likely be fairly mainstream. Joan Jett (rollerskating!), Toni Basil and Platinum Blonde (Good Rockin' Tonight!) come to mind.

Air band back in the day consisted of a lot of Madge and KISS.

Natsthename said...

FiL, such a wide-open field for air guitar. I'll add my 2 cents, though:
The Plimsouls - A Million Miles Away
Nick Lowe - Raging Eyes
The Go-Betweens - In THe Core Of A Flame
The Replacements - Left Of The Dial

China said...

"Antmusic!" Oh, what a fabulous choice, though there's not much guitar in it, is there?

I'd probably pick something by Bauhaus. "St. Vitus Dance" or whatnot. An excuse to wear a trenchcoat onstage. On the other hand, "Stray Cat Strut" might provide some wonderfully geekly solos and costume opportunities...

Greer said...

I can't add to this great list but I'll tell you a secret- I think your little girl has great taste. I still love that song.

Enjoying the Ladyhawke too, many thanks :)

mjrc said...

i was going to go all mainstream and suggest something from hall & oates' "x-static" but it turns out that was from 1979. it was a great record, though, i must say.

perhaps some r.e.m. would do?

uncle_alex said...

thanks for stoppin by phil, i ain't quitting anytime soon.

hmmm, 80s air band covers...Adam and the ants is a great one. Devo is a MUST - "uncontrollabe urge"; tight, herky-jerky choreagraphed dance hops and monochromatic clothing (and lego-esque headwear) to introduce these younguns to the quirky joys of new wave

depeche mode - just can't get enouch. this would require all the kids to shave the sides of their heads while leaving the tops in all their pouffy, teased and crimped glory. and maybe adding a little bit of leather play into the routine....:)

soft cell tainted love? a bunch of thrird graders in pleather members only jackets and thick eyeliner swaying to this track would be a sight.


FiL said...

Dearest JaG, all great choices. If they'd gone for Joan Jett, I'd be happy as the proverbial pig in poo!

Dearest Nats, another crop of grand selections. But I fear the weans would have shredded their wee fingers on all those riffs, even if it is only air guitar...

But Dearest China, Antmusic has the glorious dress-up cozzies and the wonderful lyrics! Andf Bauhaus - fantastic! But I'd have the same reservations as putting the kids up to do "Debaser" - all that flexibility and accessories and soft bouncing can't be good for them ;)

Dearest Greer, thanks so much for your kind words! Y'kow, I think she has pretty good taste as well, but then I'm hyper-biased...

Dearest Marcy, REM might work, but don't you find their stuff a bit to wry &/or serious for the leetle ones??

And Dearest Uncle Alex, how lovely of you to drop by! Yes, I think the Devo might be just the ticket - the little dears sure do seem to have uncontrollable urges most of the time. But Depeche Mode might also work - I can see Darling Daughter going for all the asymmetry, crimping, and teasing. she's already a real hair fiend. And Tainted Love? Perhaps not quite yet. Their mother would kill me and have my guts for garters :)

Anonymous said...

Good call on the Hinterland.