Nu Shooz Redux
Ringing in 2005, I almost lost my shit at a party when someone put on Nu Shooz (scroll down to 1/2/05–I also just noticed that I resolved to eat more Japanese food in 2005, which I obviously forgot about since it’s been re-resolved for this year). December 31, 2006, The Whispers’s “Rock Steady” pushed me over the edge. This year it was a toss up between Jermaine Stewart’s “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off” and “The Humpty Dance” for the crazy-making award. (Thank god for YouTube—linking to all these random videos used to be impossible. See, ‘00s are better than ‘80s.)
I’m not taking it anymore. There’s a for real 2007 resolution. Seriously, I refuse to attend any more parties playing bad ‘80s music. It’s wrong on so many levels that I shouldn’t even raise my blood pressure over it, but I’m trying to get at the root of why this drives me batshit. And I’m definitely not trying to posit that my anti-‘80s stance makes me cooler than anyone else (though I will say that I thought it was fun and novel to dress ‘80s for a Halloween party…in 1994).
I don’t know that anyone with media awareness actually thinks that NYC is the epicenter of creativity or cutting edge anything. And wretched party music is just one symptom. But there’s still this outdated idea that Williamsburg equals hip. I don’t know why young people who don’t work but have money would be hip but who am I to question the pervasive sentiment.
Admittedly, the New Year’s Eve party I attended had a Madonna theme (which I didn’t realize initially. I blame the dire music situation dawning on me for my weird-eyed photo, but it's all I had to work with since I'm not much of a self-portrait type) so ‘80s music went with the territory. That just begs the question of why a Madonna party in the first place? I did notice that VHS or Beta (an 80’s derivative band) snuck into the playlist so whoever threw this party obviously owned music created in the ‘00s and chose to go with the tried (tired) and true.
But it didn’t stop there. Somehow I later ended up at Royal Oak, which has pained me on numerous occasions with crap like The Pointer Sister’s “Neutron Dance.” Before I could even get a drink, Eurythmics’s “Sweet Dreams” came on and I was like, “we need to leave now.” I was mildly hearted to see a decent proportion of thirtysomethings at Pete’s Candy Store around the block. The vibe was a little more inviting, and then, I shit you not, Eurythimics’s, “Love is a Stranger” started playing. I was practically bawling as the music progressed into U2 and Europe.
How can it be that Outback Steakhouse (Of Montreal), Sears (Spinto Band—I can’t find a clip of the commercial but the song used is “Oh Mandy”) Payless Shoes (Sambassadeur—also no clip, the song is “Kate”), Geico (Röyksopp) and countless others use cooler music to sell mediocrity than with-it people play in their own homes? People mock THIS type of music as Indie-Yuppie, crap Seth would love on The O.C. (I've never watched an episode in my life, yet I somehow know that this character is known for his adorable indie tastes. And yes, I know the show was just cancelled like today) or Zach Braff (don't watch Scrubs either) would put on a mixtape. I’ll take it. Please, just stop playing “Thriller.”
If youngsters have nostalgia for bad radio music, they should just go full throttle and blast 4 Non Blondes, Spin Doctors, Presidents of the United States of America, Blind Melon and Lisa Loeb. Stuff I wouldn’t go near last decade, but apparently the blinders of time make everything cool. Do you think that in ten years someone who was born in 1982 instead of 1972 like me will be subjected to Top 40 ‘90s music at every party and bar?
Of course there’s the strong possibility that I’m so freaking lame that I only frequent even lamer parties and bars. Please let me know where the secret parties and clubs are that play music created in this millennium, ok? And I don’t mean reggaeton, jeez.