Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The '80s Folk Music Revival

The Washington Squares
The '80s is sometimes, rightly, identified with the colorful and quirky new wave musical movement, or perhaps with the hard rock of glam metal, or with any number of varied other genres, such as the roots rock of Bruce Springsteen or John Mellencamp. But the 1980s was a tremendously vibrant and culturally varied decade, with many cultural subgroups expressing themselves in different ways. One of them was a new generation of folk revivalists.

Folk music is probably most identified with the protest era of the 1960s, through musicians such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Peter Paul & Mary, but folk has both strong roots in previous eras, and also often reappeared throughout subsequent eras. The '80s folk revival was represented by such artists as Traci Chapman, Suzanne Vega, the Indigo Girls, Michelle Shocked, and the Washington Squares. I vividly remember Chapman's "Fast Car," and Suzanne Vega's "Luka," serious songs dealing with serious issues, on the radio when I first started college.  

Above is a great 1983 report about the folk scene at the legendary Folk City in New York's Greenwich Village, which now featured '80s folk revivalists The Washington Squares.  (Thanks and acknowledgement to Dnikdoog1.)

Here's the Washington Squares doing their version of Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows." (Thanks and acknowledgement to Dnikdoog1.)

Here's another group that was more visible toward the end of the '80s, the Indigo Girls with 1989's "Closer to Fine." I remember this song fondly from the beginning of my college years.   (Thanks and acknowledgement to IndigoGirlsVEVO.)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dire Straits: "Money For Nothing"

Here's a music video about music videos. 
About "playin the guitar on the MTV"

Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing"

Saturday, May 13, 2017

For Mom: "Thank You For Being A Friend"

In previous years, I celebrated Mother's Day by celebrating my mom's love of cop and action shows.  She also enjoyed comedy, especially the mild, non-edgy, well-meaning kind.  She loved the '80s and '90s sitcom "The Golden Girls," which featured the catchy opening song "Thank You For Being A Friend." The song was actually a top 40 pop hit for Andrew Gold in 1978, which was re-purposed for the show.

I think the song is appropriate, not only because my mom loved that show so much, but because the lyrics are also so appropriate.  My mom passed away in 2003, and this post is in tribute to her. Here's to you mom.

          Thank you for being a friend 
          Traveled down the road and back again
          Your heart is true, you're a pal and a confidant

          And if you threw a party
          Invited everyone you knew
          You would see the biggest gift would be from me
          And the card attached would say 

         Thank you for being a friend  

(Thanks to TVLand for the video.)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

John Cougar Mellencamp: "Pink Houses"


Here's a video, and song, from the 1980's that contains a story and a message. John Cougar Mellencamp's "Pink Houses," before he discarded the "Cougar" in his name. The messages about life and serious issues were one of the things I appreciated most about Mellencamp's work.  Liked that James Deanish "rebel" image he had.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Flock of Seagulls: "I Ran"


Music Video at its most '80s!!  This song was on the radio a lot in 1983, at least in the United States. The hairstyle is famous! And the video: classic '80s at its campy weird best (and yes thats a compliment).  So very new wave. (Also a compliment. . . this was my youth!!) Is that all aluminum foil? Who knew aluminum foil was such a medium for art!    

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Erin Moran (1960-2017)

Actress Erin Moran, most well known for playing Joanie Cunningham in the television sitcom Happy Days, and its spin-off Joanie Loves Chachi, has passed away.  

Moran also made appearances in many other shows. She will be fondly remembered by those who grew up in the '70s and '80s.  We'll miss you Joanie. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

J. Geils (1946-2017)

John Warren "J" Geils Jr., aka "J. Geils," the leader of the band of the same name, has passed on. He and his band will be remembered for their fun-loving rock from the '70s and '80s.  Above, check out their signature style on 1982's "Freeze Frame."