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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 But there’s still this outdated idea that Williamsburg equals hip.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.

Me2007 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.

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  1. Meredith #

    OK… I agree with you about all this 80’s business, but it seems like it’s EVERYWHERE (not just the music). Skinny jeans? I know everyone is trying to claim it’s “Audrey Hepburn,” but please… it’s a new spin on tapered legs. That horrid H.I.P. (high intensity pigments) makeup that Beyonce models, with the hot pink eyeshadow all the way up to the eyebrow. Awful! I guess I would much rather hear “The Safety Dance,” than see everyone wearing penny loafers and belted tunics.

    Maybe if you had more to drink the music wouldn’t have seemed so bad… That usually solves any “lame party moments” I experience.

    January 4, 2007
  2. I’ve done a fair ammount of DJing (most recently, New Year’s Eve at Snacky) and a lot of times you can’t get any crowd reaction at all… UNTIL you break out the ’80s hits. You feel dirty afterwards, though.

    I tried to stay with the Hot Chips and Peter Bjorn and Johns this year, but I did break out MJ (“Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough”) and Madonna (“Borderline”) but I genuinely like both of those songs. But nobody danced to anything, kind of a weak crowd, though some dude did come up and hi-five me for playing Lupe Fiasco’s “Kick, Push.”

    January 4, 2007
  3. I’m afraid that I’m going to come off like a music know-it-all when I’m totally not. I only know about anything music-related from reading blogs, it’s not like I’m plugged into any scene. But it doesn’t take much effort to find out about music from this decade if you feel like it (and yes, I do like plenty of ’80s music). Maybe I’m just saying that ’80s worship is lazy.

    Funny that you’d mention “Dont Stop Till You Get Enough” because I was at a lame library industry holiday party and that was the one song that got all the middle aged women on the dance floor.

    January 4, 2007
  4. Meredith #

    Please post a picture of you in your H.I.P makeup. Maybe I have the concept wrong. Every time I see Beyonce in a magazine with pink/orange eyeshadow up to her eyebrows I want to die. But, maybe I just really hate Beyonce – so the product she’s affiliated with gets some undue hatred… I’ll have to ponder that one.

    January 5, 2007
  5. Slocker #

    Oh Oh Oh. We were in one of the nice pubby new bars on North 6th street yesterday, and “every breath you take” came on. It was probably on the bartender’s iPod, but again…why? It’s not even good in an ironic way in any way shape or form.

    I overheard this conversation a while ago about this concept of “kids dressing *indie*, but not listening to actual *indie* music, thus making those people “poseurs” for lack of a better term. I guess you could substitute the word “indie” for “interesting” or even just “cool”. The Eurythmics are most definitley not cool.

    I really think you should do a full-fledged op-ed investigation on the subject.

    January 5, 2007
  6. Slocker: maybe we’re just too Gen X, i.e. critical and ironic to appreciate the simple fun things like The Police and Michael Jackson. People born in the ’80s (or ’90s–these girls behind me in line at Target the other day were talking about their friend born in 1991 and it scared the crap out of me) are so freaking upbeat, confident (and entitled) that their taste is completely out of whack. I think there’s a correlation between being well-adjusted and lack of creativity.

    Meredith: I don’t actually own any H.I.P. pink and orange eyeshadow (I’m more of a blues and greens gal) but I wouldn’t wear it like Beyonce, I swear. I actually have a photo from a few 4th of Julys ago where I’m wearing orange and pink eyeshadow but it’s hard to tell because the photo is low res.

    January 5, 2007
  7. lisa #

    Every time I see Beyonce in a magazine with pink/orange eyeshadow up to her eyebrows I want to die

    I’m with you, Meredith. A few months ago, I took my daughter to her new pediatrician’s office to register. The Office Manager was a Tammy Faye in training, and had orange/purple eyeshadow, with a luminous pink shadow on her lids and tons of black eyeliner and mascara.

    And her name? I kid you not–it said “Thai Hooker” on her nametag. I don’t know if it was a joke, but it was a hospital-issue badge so I tend to think it was real.

    January 8, 2007
  8. Ok, I couldn’t stand not knowing the truth about Thai Hooker so I did a search at work and there is a Thai Hooker living in San Jose, CA. Full name THAISHONDA HOOKER. I’m guessing this isn’t an Asian woman.

    January 9, 2007
  9. Lisa #

    Well, if Thaishonda works for Pediatric Associates or Good Samaritan Hospital, she is our (Asian) woman. Really, I should carry a digital camera with me to document these things…

    January 11, 2007

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