All posts tagged: Thomas Dolby

Duran-Duran-800

10 Most Awesome 80’s New Wave Comebacks Ever

Ready for an excellent adventure? Fire up the Delorean, pad your shoulders, grab a turbo dog and bag of corn nuts, we’re about to bend the polyester fabric of space and time. Can music sound totally retro and modern at the same time? Let’s find out. Sadly, many of the best new wave acts of the 80’s fell victim to the same old song and safety dance: Score some hits, disappear for a while and then cash in on the nostalgia circuit playing weathered versions of the classics to an audience of beer guts, soccer moms and bewildered kids. Call it a miracle, but New Wave is currently experiencing a Second Wave — three decades since the launch of MTV and the height of Richard Blade, these 11 iconic acts are currently cranking out some of the best music of their careers. While the Human League (Credo), David Bowie (The Next Day) and Ultravox (Brilliant) missed it by “thaaaaat much”, these bands magically returned to form in the 2000’s: #1. Duran Duran Key Personnel: Simon …

OMG_thumb

Like, Omigod! Digging Through the ’80s Pop Culture Box, Part 13

Here’s where we start digging into Disc 4 of the seven-disc box set Like, Omigod! The ’80s Pop Culture Box (Totally). Let’s waste no time — grab your shovels and let’s go! #1 Greg Kihn Band, “Jeopardy” (1983) US #2; Kihn’s only Top Ten hit. Dave Lifton – An average song made palatable because of the clavinet. Damn, I miss that instrument. Dw. Dunphy – I like “The Breakup Song” better — even though it is essentially the chords of “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” repositioned into a different tune — but ‘Jeopardy” is okay. It doesn’t really grab me, and I have to believe more people would be familiar with the Weird Al parody over the original. Jack Feerick – Well, it’s hard for me to be objective on this’n — for reasons I hope should be obvious — but I do believe I prefer the Weird Al. Jon Cummings – Considering that “The Breakup Song” is, I think most people agree, a slightly (at least) better song than this one — and considering that …

Jody Ellen Popdose Cover4

Confessions of a Steampunk Siren: Jody Ellen of Abney Park

If you believe the legends, mad scientists, aviators, steamship captains and brave warriors have been adventuring between the past, present and future for more than a century. Jules Verne was the first to chronicle these escapades in the 1860s, the CBS TV-series The Wild Wild West followed suit 100 years later, and Thomas Dolby’s landmark The Golden Age of Wireless album and Flat Earth Society fan club were introduced a decade after that. Today, Steampunk is a full-blown cultural phenomenon — and at the helm of it all, is a band of airship pirates called Abney Park. Under the fearless leadership of lead singer/songwriter/Airship Ophelia pilot, Captain Robert Brown, Abney Park has become a self-contained cottage industry, selling steampunk apparel, accessories (including custom-made aviator’s goggles), CDs (almost a dozen) and original fiction online (at a website that rivals most major bands) and at their sold-out concerts all over the globe. Popdose coaxed some surprising confessions out of Abney Park singer Jody Ellen as she prepared to embark on her greatest adventure to date: a solo …

Bottom Feeders: The Rock End of the ’80s, Part 14

It’s the last week for the letter D, as we take a look at more tracks that hit the Rock charts but failed to cross over to the Billboard Hot 100. Dire Straits “Expresso Love” 1981, #39 (download) “Solid Rock” 1981, #56 (download) “Twisting By the Pool” 1983, #12 (download) “One World” 1985, #8 (download) “Ride Across the River” 1986, #21 (download) If you only know Dire Straits from “Money For Nothing” or “Walk of Life” then you’ll be surprised at how different the songs here are. “Expresso Love” and “Solid Rock” are from their third album, Making Movies. “Expresso Love” is almost a perfect Dire Straits song showcasing Mark Knopfler’s great guitar skills. “Twisting By the Pool” is the one that non die-hards might not recognize. It’s from a four-song EP they put out called ExtendedancEPlay and sounds different from all their other singles. Both “One World” and “Ride Across the River” come from their first really commercial record in Brothers in Arms. Both the tracks fit the album very well but outside of …

The Friday Mixtape: 10/2/09

The important thing to remember is that I didn’t set out to make this mix as it is. The initial concept was to pull out the box of CDs I seldom listen to and pull tracks from them. It is not a judgment call as to why the Beasties’ Hello Nasty is down there on the Island of Misfit Toys; I just don’t listen to the album much and, if I have a yen for the Boyz, I go for Ill Communication or Paul’s Boutique. If I am in a really regressive state of mind and nostalgia has me by the nosehairs, out comes A Flock Of Seagulls (which is amazing considering how tiny my nostrils are.) (Who am I kidding? My nostrils are HUGE.) There are songs here that I never listen to. The dust on Orgy’s Vapor Transmissionand the Pushmonkey CD are like instant mud – just add water. Some of these tunes are fondly remembered, some barely remembered and still others come from the “what was I thinking” file, but in combination, …

Pop Goes the World: Thomas Dolby, “Eastern Bloc”

Our Lord Jefito surely has a dozen stories on Giant Records and the litany of mistakes they made as a company – he seems to have at least one story for every label, further proof that he has forgotten more about music than most of us will ever know – but give Giant credit for allowing Thomas Dolby to make a mature, organic pop album at a time when mature, organic albums from ’80s synth wizards were commercial arsenic. (I’m still surprised that “Lift Me Up,” Howard Jones’ sole Top 40 entry from his 1992 album In the Running, made it all the way to #32.) You could even say that Dolby’s album Astronauts & Heretics (1992) beat artists like Santana to the punch in terms of stunt-casting, as the album features guest appearances by Eddie Van Halen, Eddie Reader, Budgie, Ofra Haza and even Jerry Garcia. Unfortunately, at the time, that and a buck were enough to get Dolby a cup of coffee. The album received mild support on AAA radio for “Close but …

Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the ’80s, Part 26

One of the things I just love doing that doesn’t happen much anymore is laying on the couch, in the dark, listening to an album. As I get older, I’m going to bed earlier, which limits how much time I have to listen to albums at night. However, my wife and I just had our first child, so I might be able to get back to it again. I can hear all of you with children saying “WTF, Steed? You think you’ll be able to do anything ever again with a child in the house?” Well, yes, I do. I’m in a two-level condo with the master bedroom on the second floor and the baby’s room on the first. So on nights where it’s my turn to stay up with the baby, this may be a good chance to pop on an album since my wife will be upstairs with the door shut. I very well could be dreaming here and just haven’t had enough experience yet with this whole fatherhood thing to understand that …

dolby[1]

Why You Should Like… Thomas Dolby

Ah, Thomas Dolby. No, please don’t instantly yell “SCIENCE!” Yes, he’s primarily pigeonholed as a one-hit wonder, with “She Blinded Me With Science” still getting played nearly daily on ’80s flashback radio, but that novelty unfortunately blinded (heh) many people to the superior musical and lyrical talent buried in those deep album cuts. Dolby struggled to match that fluke success with more serious work to little avail, finally taking a nearly 15-year break before returning to the concert stage last year. He’s currently tinkering on his first studio album since 1992. So, why should you like Thomas Dolby (and I’m not just telling you why because I came in second place playing Thomas Dolby in the North Ridgeville, Ohio, Spanky’s Nightclub Teen Night Lipsynch Contest in 1984, either!)? The evidence, please …