Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Were the 1980's really that bad (see 8/19/10 below)? There's good music to be found in any decade, if you know where to listen. There are always forward-thinking musicians creating visionary sounds. Predictions of the future that were made in the past can be amusing when they're inaccurate (like the Jetsons, jetpacks, or Disney's Tomorrowland), but they're startling when they come true. Prognosticators, weathermen, and fortune tellers never have to admit they're wrong: they can always blame the future for failing to live up to their predictions.

The early 1980's, in particular, were actually a great time for music. After the first wave of punk dismantled rock convention, post-punk addressed the burning question, "What next?" One dedicated student of post-punk created
a ten disc collection of mixes from 1981 to point out the magnitude of musical invention in that year alone. In his book Independence Days, Alex Ogg describes "a cadre of groups who wanted to phase-jump to a new universe of sonic possibility." Ogg argues for "shifting the common perception of 'year zero' to 1978 or 1979 and the dawn of post-punk rather than the established reading of 1976."

Last month, I saw the band
Raymilland on the closing night of the Athens Popfest. Unlike our poor boy who believed in chance, the men of Raymilland fully grasped the intricacies of the modern dance. They absorbed the lessons of Father Ubu and took off for parts unknown, leaving a cosmic trail of datapanik in their wake. Raymilland was one of the openers for Mission of Burma. Having finally seen MoB, I realize that the horrible truth about Burma is their greatness. Have we failed to live up to the future that they predicted for us?

Buy the Raymilland compilation
Listen to Mission of Burma's set from Popfest
Buy the Moving Parts Wrong Conclusion

The Moving Parts: Max Ernst (1978)


At 10/19/2010 5:32 AM , Blogger ROOKSBY said...

"Where the 80s really that bad?" - Sir, the 80s were an amazing time or music. I listen to more great bands from that era now than I did THEN (if you see what I mean?). I'm constantly discovering new acts to devour as well, so it's certainly not just mere nostalgia...

UT, for instance.

Did you mention something about owning their Live 81 tape? I've been trying to find a copy since the mid-80s, so if you could help me out with some kind of rip I'll... probably explode(!).

Let me know... x

At 10/20/2010 8:58 AM , Blogger jonder said...

Don't come the critic with me, sir. I do not wish you to explode, as I enjoy your blog. Therefore I hesitate to help you with this tape you speak of. My friend Andrea, on the other hand...

At 10/20/2010 2:49 PM , Blogger ROOKSBY said...

OK, I'll refrain from self-immolation, etc for the time time being...

At 10/21/2010 2:09 PM , Blogger  said...

did you get all ten installments from musicophilia? By the time I checked it out, the Amplifier disc was not available. Do you have it?

At 10/22/2010 11:42 AM , Blogger jonder said...

I can hook you up with that one! I actually bought it from Soundslike (the compilation creator) when he first made the 1981 box available through ILM (I Love Music). He made a cool little case and a booklet with liner notes. "Amplifier" was the one featuring a lot of the US bands from 1981. Great stuff! I owe you one after all those cool fanzines you sent me, Nathan, so I'll be in touch!!!

At 11/26/2010 7:22 PM , Blogger  said...

You wrote about sending me the cd & booklet. If there is a problem, just upload the tracks. I'm totally down with that.

At 11/30/2010 11:11 AM , Blogger jonder said...

I haven't made it to the post orifice yet, but I'll get there this week.


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