Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday 80s Flashback for March 29, 2013

Fun Is Just Over There - by brainwise

[Highs and Lows] -- I'm still at the Cleveland Clinic with my father (17 days and counting). And this week (like much of his stay) has had its share of ups and downs. At one point, we were told to prepare ourselves for "this may be as good as it gets" (Dad on ventilator and bed-ridden for however long). And then we were told that, even without a specific diagnosis, there are things that can be done to ween Dad off assisted breathing and even strengthen his other muscles. So, this week's Flashback reflects the highs and lows we have felt here rather than the upcoming Easter holiday (though I am sure holidays also have their fill of ups and downs). Today's image comes from my own collection on Flickr. I figure the Ferris Wheel is a good model of the cyclic nature of ups and downs. If you want to know what tunes are playing on my Ferris Wheel this week, just read and hear more after the break.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday 80s Flashback for March 22, 2013

[Breathe] -- Those of you who follow me on Twitter, or know me in some other way (either virtual or IRL), know that I have been out of town visiting my father in the ICU. He was admitted last Tuesday evening due to shortness of breath. Since admission, he has been shuttled between two different ICU departments (cardiac and medical), undergone a battery of tests, and subjected to intubation -- with that last one occurring twice! The various doctors and experts on staff seem to know what the problem is -- Dad's muscles are too weak to properly ventilate -- but they don't know the "why" of the problem, or how to reverse it ... yet. So, as you can well imagine, breathing has been very much on my mind lately. Unfortunately, the kind of breathing I have in mind isn't exactly enshrined in 80s tunes. But I'll do my best to deal with this week's theme as well as support my family during this medical crisis. If you want to know what made the playlist this week, you can read and hear more after the break.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday 80s Flashback for March 15, 2013

Due to a severe medical issue in the family, I am unable to create a new Flashback post this week. So I am re-posting the Flashback from a year ago this week. Hopefully, this present situation will be resolved positively, and I will be back to business as usual in short order.

[When Irish Eyes are Rocking - Redux] -- I have previously posted about why I do not celebrate St. Patrick's Day. So, I'm sure it is a tad surprising that the Flashback this week is about Irish bands. Well, I can be opposed to the celebration of St. Patrick and still be in favor of great rock music that just happens to have come out of Éire. Now, when most Americans are asked, "Who is the best Irish band of the 80s?" they will invariably answer: The Pogues. However, the Pogues -- although they do play punk rock with a certain Celtic flair -- are from London, so they will not be making an appearance in today's Flashback (sorry, Gary). And this Flashback post is not about the "best" Irish rockers of the 80s, it's about the most overlooked Irish bands of that era. That means we will be short on chart burners, but long on quality today. Well, I think these bands are long on quality, and I hope you enjoy them as well. To find out who made this week's list of underrated performers, you can read and hear more after the break.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Friday 80s Flashback for March 8, 2013

"80's Space" by Zoe Archer on

[To Boldly Flashback] -- I'm a big fan of space ships and planetary exploration -- both real and fictional. So this week's Flashback trains its long range sensors on 80s songs about space. Due to movies, TV, and the Space Shuttle, the 80s had something of a fascination with "space age," which is to say folks were fascinated with things that looked or sounded space age. Thanks to advances in synthesizers and keyboard technology, creating space age sounds was easier than ever. And 80s artists used the new tech and the appetite for spacey things to their advantage. Which stellar tunes are featured this week? Read and hear more after the break.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Friday 80s Flashback for March 1, 2013

Erase. Graphite on canvas, 31 x 53 in. by David Deutsch

[Not Erased] -- As I've written previously on this blog (and much of which will be repeated in today's entry), Vincent Clarke was a founding member of Depeche Mode, but he left after their debut album. He next recorded two albums with Alison Moyet as the duo Yazoo (or simply Yaz in the US). After that, Clarke dabbled with two other less-than-successful ventures on the way to forming the chart-topping machine known as Erasure. Clarke's time with Erasure is notable for a number of reasons. I will give you four: First, he started the endeavor by placing an ad in Melody Maker for a singer, and one of the applicants (Andy Bell, who ended up with the gig) turned out to be a fan of Clarke's work with Depeche Mode. (For my readers who were born after the days of internet dial-up, Melody Maker was a UK music paper, pretty much a fanzine with a classified section. You can think of those classifieds as a Craigslist for finding other musicians, but the ads are on paper instead of the web. Bold idea, I know). Second, Clarke stayed with this band for more than just an album or two; in fact, they have released a total of 13 studio albums over a span of 21 years. Third, Erasure's singer, Andy Bell, was one of the first openly gay performers in pop music and he has become something of a gay icon. Fourth and finally, 34 of Erasure's 45 singles and EPs have reached the UK Top 40, with 17 of those releases soaring into the Top 10. Clarke and Bell are definitely synthpop superstars. What super tunes will be featured today? Read and hear more after the break.