Category: 80s-music

October 26, 2021

Kaelan Mikla Under the Cold Icelandic Northern Lights

How does one describe Kaelan Mikla? 80s inspired synth pop? Yep, there’s that. Atmospheric dance music? Certainly. Goth? Very much so. Proving once again that weird but great music comes out of Iceland (remember The Sugarcubes?), Kaelan Mikla, produces an amazing mix of dark, strange, and mysterious music that can best be likened to the most goth elements of Siouxsie and Banshees, Bauhaus, and Nine […]

September 29, 2021

Remembering Kirsty MacColl

I first heard Kirsty MacColl in the mid-1980s. She had recorded a very synthpop version of Billy Bragg’s “New England” and it was making the rounds of metro New York City clubs as well as the local new music station WLIR. Kirsty’s version was different enough that it was hard to tell if it was the same song. She had a voice that was as, […]

September 27, 2021

The Shivas Make Me Feel So Good.

Back in the early 1970s, the rock music writer Lenny Kaye was asked to put together a compilation of lesser-known songs from the 60s. The result was Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era. The album featured raw, DIY music from bands practically no one had heard of, or at least heard from in a long while. This music, later tagged garage or psychedelic […]

September 7, 2021

Concert Review: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Ok, usually I’m writing about new bands and music that will appeal to a… mature?… crowd. Yeah, mature. We’ll go with that. It’s rare that I delve into the past. This is, hence, a BIG exception. Cut me some slack. On Labor Day (US) I went to the New York State Fair. State fairs are a celebration of agriculture and industry. New York State is […]

August 25, 2021

The Cruzados Are Anything but Automatic

Back in the mid 1980s, a group of artists mixed new wave and punk with country, blues, and folk styles to create a genre called roots rock revival. For a short while, 80s style roots rock revival was a fixture on college and alternative charts. Groups like The Beat Farmers, The Long Ryders, The Blasters, Los Lobos, and Lone Justice updated American music to fit […]

August 17, 2021

I’m Loving Jungle’s Loving in Stereo

Back in the 1970s, I would have hated Jungle’s new album Loving in Stereo. In fact, I would have hated all of Jungle’s music. That’s because they are unabashedly retro but more specifically disco and danceable R&B. At that time, I was all about progressive rock and then punk and new wave. I even had a “Disco Sucks” t-shirt. Now, I’ve grown. I’m still not […]

June 22, 2021

Cola Boyy Premiers with an Unusual Album

The artist Cola Boyy (whose real name is Matthew Urango) has been described as a combination of disco and soft rock. After listening to his lead off album, Prosthetic Boombox, I find that description perplexing. It seems as if the critics (or marketing) people tasked with writing about Cola Boyy’s work have never experienced real disco. To use the term “disco” in the context of […]

April 9, 2021

So Much New Music I’m Going to Explode

Sometimes I go weeks without hearing anything interesting. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by waves of new music released practically on top of each other. Last week saw a brilliant release from St. Vincent and a decent, though uneven, EP from Foxes. This week, there is more new music goodness than I can describe. It’s as if the buffet was getting depleted so the kitchen decided to […]