Sunday, October 3, 2010

Gentlemen Take Polaroids - Japan

.....Japan actually formed in in 1974 but are largely associated with the 1980's as this was the period in which they achieved most of their success. Be it intentionally or not, many music fans (myself included) associate Japan, in terms of genre, with the New Romantic movement. They were a reaction in both style and sound to the doldrums of the 1970's. Ironically, just as internal conflict began to tear the band apart, they released two of there most successful studio albums, Gentlemen Take Polaroids, in 1980, and Tin Drum, in 1981. By 1982, following the successful release of Tin Drum, the final curtain came down on Japan, and the band broke up, reforming partially and only momentarily in 1990.
.....Gentlemen Take Polaroids was the first of two studio albums releases under the Virgins records label, and it's an exception piece of work. Like many of the great albums of this era, this one was produced by John Punter, a legend in his own right. One can't help but notice some similarities between this album, and Duran Duran's first release, specifically with respect to the the keyboards, and of course the vocals of David Sylvian. I also find myself hearing similarities indicative of later Roxy Music (Avalon, Flesh + Blood), especially in songs like "Swing" and "The Experience of Swimming". Like much of the New Romantic releases of the time, Japan experiments with a variety of sounds, and the keyboard takes prominences, this typical in tracks like "Burning Bridges", and "Ain't That Peculiar". That said, the over-all sound is still balanced by the guitar work of Rob Dean and some great saxophone work by Mick Karn.
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Track List
1. Gentleman Take Polaroids
2. Swing
3. Burning Bridges
4. My New Career
5. Methods of Dance
6. Aint That Peculiar
7. Nightporter
8. Talking Islands In Africa

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Produced by John Punter
Virgin Records

JAPAN are...
David Sylvian.........Rob Dean..........Richard Barbieri..........Mick Karn..........Steve Jansen
Note: This CD was re-released in 2003.
The re-issue contains three additional tracks ."The Experience of Swimming", "The Width of a Room" and "Talking Islands In Africa"
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Below...The Title track from the album which is nothing short of spectacular...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Remain In Light - Talking Heads

Released in 1980, this was the last of a trilogy of records the Heads made with Brian Eno (Roxy Music, U2, David Bowie) it is also the strongest of the three. Recorded in New York city and the Bahamas with the help of outside musicians such as Adrian Belew (King Crimson, David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails) the records sound can best be described as 1980's King Crimson, meets Parliament funk. Songs such as "Crosseyed and Painless", "Once in a Lifetime" and the amazing "The Great Curve" all have a bit of that George Clinton funk. That being said it still sounds like the Talking Heads (It still has the David Byrn quirky vocals and his own unique brand of guitar playing) This album was so complex, that by the time they finished the record and went on tour, they would need a ten piece band to perform the songs live. If you are interested in checking out what this band sounded like live, you may want to check out the second CD "The Name of the Band Is Talking Heads" gives you a complete show.
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Note: If you have a surround sound system try to buy the Duel Disc (DVD side containing a DVD Audio and a Dolby Digital version of the mix) it comes with a new stereo master, plus on of the best 5.1 mixes I have ever heard. You also get two songs done live on German TV (video).
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Track Listing
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1. Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)
2. Crosseyed and Painless
3. The Great Curve
4. Once In A Lifetime
5. Houses In Motion
6. Seen and Not Seen
7. Listening Wind
8. The Overlord
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All songs written and composed by The Talking Heads and Brian Eno.
The remastered re-issue was produced by Andy Zax, with the help of the Talking Heads.
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Sire Records

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Toronto Fan Expo 2010

...... Mavel Comic had a costume contest, lots of fun, lots of free stuff.

...................You'll see some of the most amazing costumes ever at the Toronto Fan Expo.


Summer Glau signs autographs at the Tornto Fan Expo as thousands of fans that line up to see her. From all accounts Summer was extremly nice and appreciative of all the fans, taking the time to personalize each and every autograph.

The 501st Legion is alway there in full forces at the Fan Expo, they are by far my favorite costumes, of course my opionion is a bit bias.

It's not easy being a Sandtrooper when tempatures this weekend exceeded 32 degrees, WOW was it hot.

The fighting 501st, you gotta love it, almost five thousand strong world wide, and growing every day.

The Steam Punks are a newer group that is getting more and more popular every year. They have some truly amazing costumes, and it appeals to a very wide range of fans.

Imperial Stormtrooper patrol the Fan Expo as the Galactic Empire brings law and order to the Toronto Fan Expo.

A great week to be a Geek, and every geek looks forward to the Fan Expo, I'm no exception, this is by far the biggest event of it's kind in Canada. This year, like every other had it's share of problems, primarily due to over-crowding. I'm not sure what the final numbers are but if I had to guess, I'd say that attendance exceeded eighty thousand. Part of the problem was the venue, in previous years the event was held in the South Hall of the Toronto Convention center, but due to scheduling conflict, this year it had to be moved to the smaller North Building. Thankfully next year it moves back to the south hall, but I suspect over crowding will still be an issue. That said is was still a fantastic weekend, among the many featured guest this year were Stan Lee, William Shatner, Adam West, Burt Ward, Summer Glau, Michelle Forbes, Peter Mayhew, Earnest Borgnine plus many, many others. Not gonna go into too much detail, it's quite impossible to describe this event, ya just gotta see it for yer self, suffice to say it's got a little of something for everyone. If ya can't find something that interests you at the Fan Expo, then your probably dead and just don't realize it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Filth And The Fury

"Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York.
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England was burning, a country brought to it's knees. The late seventies was characterized by turmoil, poverty and misery, the likes of which had not been seen for a very long time. Unemployment rocketed to 30 percent, while labour strikes in conjunction with violent protest became common place, not just in England but the rest of Europe as well. Ill-conceived Liberal policies originally adopted as an effort to assist working class had just the opposite effect, widening the gap between rich and poor, feeding the fires of discontent, and marking the most miserable era's since the great depression.
Enter The Sex Pistols, from all the carnage and misery arose one of the greatest and influential, but also short lived bands of all time. Truly a product of their own environment, bread of the discontent that surrounded them, the Sex Pistols were the quintessential backlash to a government, and a social system that had for all intensive purposes declared war on it's own population. "The Fifth and the Fury" is one of the best rock documentaries ever done. Weather you're a fan of punk rock or not, you will enjoy watching this film. In my opinion, it's as much a portrait of England, and in particular the lower class of the time , as it a documentary on the band.
....A Julian Temple film, The Filth and the Fury covers the entire story of the Pistols in a way that's never been done before. From their humble beginnings, growing up in the poor working class neighborhoods of London, thought their meteoric rise to stardom, and finally the utter implosions only 26 months after their formation. It's amazing story of success and failure, both happy and humorous, also sad and tragic. It includes some of the best video footage I've ever seen of the Pistols filmed during the pinnacle of their success. It also includes fascinating, and revealing interviews from all four member of the band who each give an account of the events with their own unique perspective. It helps paint a vivid picture of band awash in turmoil, and yet so intriguingly special, one can't help but be absolutely fascinated at the impossibility of it all. Every time I watch this documentary (and I watch it often) I find myself asking how the Sex Pistols could possibly have come to exist... in the immortal words of Johnny Lydon, "It shouldn't have worked, but it did."
....The DVD also contains a full length commentary by film maker Julian Temple, and a exception documentary called "Un-defining Punk", which is a very interesting in-depth examination of the Punk movement, a must see if ya haven't seen it already.
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Fineline Features
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a Jersey Shore/Nitrate Film a Julian Temple Film
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Paul Cook......Steve Jones......Glen Matlock......Johnny Lydon......Sid Vicious

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Stiff Little Fingers

.....The little facts you uncover when ya start lookin...I'll bet ya didn't know that U2 opened for this band back in 1981 when they played Leeds University... actually to be honest, I didn't know either until recently.
.....Formed in 1977, they came from, what was at the time strife-torn Belfast, Northern Ireland. There were a number of personnel changes over the years, but originally the band comprised of Jack Burns (Guitar, vocals), Brian Faloon (drums), Henry Cluney (guitar, vocals), and Ali McMordie (bass). They had a hard edged sound, inspired stylistically by bands like the Clash and the Sex Pistols.
.....There first two singles "Suspect Device" and "Wasted Weekend" were released on their own independent recording label Rigit Digits, and went on to sell over 30,000 copies, thanks to the help of London DJ John Peel who gave them extensive exposure. Their first full album Inflammable Material yielded the single "Alternative Ulster" the album hit the top 30 in the UK, quite an accomplishment for SLF, who were essentially a punk band. After moving to London, drummer Brian Fallon quite and was replaced by Jimmy Reilly, the band signed a deal with Chryslis Records in December 1978, and released their fourth single "Straw Dogs". In 1980 their second LP, Nobody's Heros was released which made the English top 10. The success of this album led to an extensive tour of not only the UK, but North America as well. The next release was a live album in 1981 called Hanx! followed by two more studio albums, Go For It, also in 81' and Now Then, in 1982.
.....Unfortunately by 1983 it was pretty much over, a number of issues including, but not limited to, declining album sales, dwindling fan support, and creative differences lead to the bands break up, although they did reform in 1987.
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Stiff Little Fingers are...
Jake Burns
Ali McMordie
Steve Grantley
Ian McCallum
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Former Memebers...
Gordon Blair
Henry Cluney
Brian Faloon
Bruce Foxton
Jim Reilly
Dave Sharp
Dolphin Taylor

Here We Go Again

Let us all take a moment....each in our own special way.....To thank GOD for THE NEW OLEANS SAINTS FOOTBALL CLUB!!! Who tommorrow night start their long and arduous journey which will once again lead them back to the Superbowl... Tommorow night they begin their stand in the Superdome against Darth Favre and the evil forces of Minnisota... tommorrow night they STAND and DEFEND what is rightfully theirs. Go Saints !!!!!
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No Offense to Viking Fans, I actually like the Vikings, but I'm a die hard Saints Fan, have been for the last 25 years.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Celebration V - Orlando Florida

When ever I see something impressive, I just need to say something about it, and few things are as impressive as the Star Wars Celebration events. Star Wars Celebration V took place Aug. 12-15, 2010 at the Orange County Convention Center, and I pulled a few picks off Flickr just to give you an idea of how massive this event is. Countless thousands of fans from all over the planet show up at this event that celebrates all things Star Wars, I've never seen so many members of the 501st Legion in one place, at one time, ever before, unbelievable. I will one day make it to this convention personally, soon as I can scrounge up the cash, it sucks having a mortgage.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Aerosmith - at the Air Canada Center

I saw Aerosmith in Toronto tonight, not exactly a new wave band that much is certain, but damn if it wasn't a great concert. The show was opened by Sammy Hagar who also did a fantastic job rockin a packed ACC. The fact that bands like these are still filling 20,000 seat venues like the Air Canada Center after 30 years says alot about these artists, and their loyal fans. Wasn't entirely sure I'd enjoy this night, as it's not really my bag... I was impressed to say the least...Rock On !!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wallpaper of the week - David Bowie

Click on the image for full size....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Relax - Frankie Goes To Hollywood


Well ya knew sooner or later you were gonna get this one, love it or hate it, it's undeniably one of the most recognizable, albeit overplayed tunes of the 80's. The big single off Welcome To The Pleasure Dome, this song was absolutely everywhere. And if you weren't listening to it on the radio, or playing it in the clubs, you were probably wearing it on your T-Shirt FRANKIE SAYS RELAX. I think this tune actually sold more t-shirts than it did singles (if that's possible). It was a massive hit all over the planet, especially England, where it stayed on the UK charts for 48 weeks, 5 of those weeks at #1. Of course it got some help from the wonderful people at BBC Radio 1, who refused to play it because of offensive lyrics...when will they ever learn...And you have to love the cover art, done by artist Anne Yvonne Gilbert, perhaps one of the most striking illustrations ever done for an album, or at least for a 12' inch single. A testament to a time when every aspect of an artistic release was meticulously thought out and created to be unique and original, much like the music.
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Side 1
Relax (Long Version) Time 7:23
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Side 2
Relax (7" Version Time) Time 3:56
Relax (Instrumental) Time 4:22
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Written by Holly Johston, Mark O'Toole and Peter Gill
Prouced by Trevor Horn
1983 Zang Tumb Tuum (ZTT Records)
Manufacture by Island Records

Sunday, June 27, 2010

G20 Toronto

...Regardless of what you've seen in Canada's over-sensationalized media, the police and the protesters got along quite well this weekend. It was an atmosphere of peaceful tolerance and mutual respect. There were some really great people that came out this weekend, representing some really important issues. It's a shame much of this got lost due to the antics of a very small number of individuals. I'm also very disappointed in the way our local media chose to portray this event, a very poor job to say the least. There were mistakes made by both sides, that much is certain, so lets just leave it at that.
...There are very few villains here, mostly there are just good people exercising there democratic right to voice their opinion on some very important issues, issues that should matter to all of us. Estimates are that this summit cost the Canadian tax payer about 1.4 billion dollars, off the record I'd say it's probably closer to 2.5 billion, but that just my opinion. Think of all the homeless that could have been sheltered, think of all the hungry that could have been fed, think of the Hospitals, and schools that could have been built, that's what pissed me off. There's been alot of bad feelings created this weekend for no good reason, and that's shame, a real bloody shame...I think both the police and the protesters need to be commended for a very orderly weekend in which not a single injury was reported...back to our regularly scheduled program...
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Images In Vogue

....From safety pins to synthesizers, someone once used this term to describe the transition of music from the punk rock 70's to the New Wave 80's. While there may be some truth to that, I seriously doubt you'd find any music fan that would agree that punk transformed into New Wave. Rather New Wave was born as a result of it, and just like punk it was the necessity to express ones self in a unique, independent and often rebellious way that made it so appealing. Canada like so many countries a the time, produced it's fair share of New Wave bands, the pool of talent during the 80's developed, and prospered on many different continents, and a myriad of nations were represented by bands of all sorts and styles, today this is of course no longer the case.
...One of the more unique and original sounding New Wave bands of the 1980's was Images In Vogue. The band was formed in 1981 in Vancouver, and originally consisted of vocalist Dale Martindale, guitarist Don Gordon, synth players Joe Vizvary and Glen Nelson, bassist Gary Smith and percussionist Kevin Crompton. They are a Canadian band of exceptional talent, from the very beginning they showed a willingness to pushed the creative envelope, blending synthesizers, guitars and electronic drums, moving back and fourth across that imaginary, and often dangerous line that separated innovative New Wave from Pop.
...I think "Lust For Love" is one of the best New Wave songs ever written, it also happens to be the most widely recognized song by this band. ...This is also one of the Coolest video's of the 80's...Enjoy...

circa 1977: The Diodes

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An Extraordinary Independent film
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Friday June 25, 2010 at Oz Studios Toronto
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This short notice, but if you can free up some time this Friday night, it'll be well worth your while, and you might even learn somethin... Much of the following info is re-blogged from another site, the link to which I will include below...
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After a successful, sold out screening at the NxNE Film Festival, circa 1977: The Diodes will be shown a second time this Friday, June 25 at Oz Studios, 134 Ossington Ave. Toronto. The screening times are 8:00 and 9:30 pm - seating is limited so get there early.
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NOW Magazine gave the film a 4 out of 5 star rating and said that "in just under half an hour, circa 1977: The Diodes creates a vivid picture of the Toronto punk scene 33 years past."

Produced by Ralph Alfonso and Nick Cushing, this is a new release by Independent film maker Aldo Erdic that documents the Toronto Punk scene through the past 33 years and in particular The Diodes, one of Canada's first punk bands.

A Synopsis of the film...

Formed in October 1976, the Diodes were one of Canada's first punk bands who, in the span of one year, opened Toronto's first punk club, became the first Canadian punk band to sign with a major label and had their debut album released before the Sex Pistols and other first wave UK punk bands. The Crash'n'Burn club they opened helped inspire new bands to form and catalyzed an explosive local punk scene that proved to be of the same caliber as the early New York and U.K. scenes. However, by 1981, the band was worn down by an indifferent Canadian music industry, a worsening economy and a lack of touring venues.

The Diodes are...

John Catto.......Paul Robinson.......John Hamilton.......Ian Mackay

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Directed by Aldo Erdic.
A Bongo Beat Films/ToBeScene Production
Running Time: 28 minutes.

The link to the official blog is below, check it out. You'll find a wealth of information on this important Canadian band and this important Canadian film....

http://circa1977thediodes.blogspot.com/

The link to TObeScene.Com is below, it's great place to get some valuable info on the latest independant Music, Film and Art. There's also alotta really cool video of some really cool bands to check out as well.

http://www.tobescene.com/content/index.php

Sunday, June 20, 2010

NXNE Toronto 2010

This really is the kind of event you need to take the entire week off work to truely experience. NXNE runs from June 14 to June 20 and features roughly 650 bands playing on over 40 different stages across Toronto. The North by Northeast Music Festival features something for just about everyones taste, and it's more than just a massive music festival, it features that lastest ideas in film, interactive media, and attracts artists from all over the world. You can click on the images to see them full size, except for the one directly below, for some reason it won't enlarge, not sure why... but I don't feel like re-uploading it so yer just gonna have to live with it. Have a nice day : )
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NXNE has it all, you'll see everything from well established bands, to garage bands, and even a few bands that can't yet afford a garage, and they all did a fantastic job bringing the city to life.

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Iggy Pop and the Stooges hit the stage at about 9:30 and the crowd went absolutely nuts. The amount of energy he has is unbelievable. Hard to belive he's 63.
. Iggy and the Stooges put on a hard rockin 90 minute show, it's easy to see why many consider them the greatest punk band in history. In March 2010 the Stooges and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it's about f_-kin time.
. The Raveonettes took the stage before the Stooges, a very impressive Danish alternative rock group that I would describe as a cross between Bauhause, Siouxie And The Banshees, and The Jesus And Mary Chain.


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The Raveonettes formed in Copenhagen in 2001 and have to date recorded four studio albums, plus a number of EP's. They are an exceptional band.
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WOW, what a crazy-ass party last night at NXNE. Headlining a free outdoor concert was Iggy Pop and the Stooges who came on stage at about 9:30 pm and put on a wild 90-minute show. The all day concert featured many different bands, and attracted more than 10,000 to downtown's Yonge-Dundas Square. The pictures I took kinda sucked, its hard to shoot in world's biggest mosh pit, but I did my best. Along with the absolute chaos, there was the sweltering heat to contend with as temperatures hit 32 degrees last night. Never-the-less the Stooges put on as great show, as did all the bands. What an amazing event.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bring On The Dancing Horses - Echo & The Bunnymen

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Jimmy Brown made of stone, Charlie Clown no way home. Bring on the Dancing Horses, headless and all alone...

...Echo & The Bunnymen had so many great tunes over the years it's hard to decide on a favorite, but I think if I had to choose this would probably be it. I also like the video, it's really f----n weird, I'm not sure who came up with the concept, but it's bloody brilliant, Perhaps it's politically motivated, or perhaps they were just smokin a little too much &!!#@, you make the call.
...For those who don't know ( and I hope that ain't many of ya) this band is from the great northern realm of Liverpool. They are one of the truly fantastic alternative bands of the early 80's. This tune was released as a stand alone in 1985 but was never actually part of an album. It was included on Songs to Learn & Sing, which was a singles compilation released by the band in November of the same year. I'm Still looking for the 12'inch single of this one, preferably a UK Import... I'm sure I'll find it eventually.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Duel - Propaganda

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....From Düsseldorf, Germany, who can forget this single, absolutely incredible work. Once again depending on who ya talk to, Propagada's either a New Wave band, a Synthpop band, or an Industrial band. Ain't it great the way everything was classified back then, everything fell neatly into it's own little category. Actually, come to think of it, things haven't changed much, they still do the same sh-t today. Personally, I'd classify them as New Wave, but you can call them what what ever the hell ya want, as long as ya call em good.
....This is the second single released by Propaganda, it features great vocals, fantastic keyboard work, and a heavy Industrialized beat. It's also the band's most recognisable release, the most successful single in the UK, and my favorite song by Propaganda. As was the norm in the 80's alot of time and effort went into the design for the record sleeve, this is as much a piece of art as it is a 12' inch single. In addition to being beautiful, the sleeve was also made of thin flimsy paper, so finding a copy of this EP without a crease in the cover is next to impossible, even mine has a couple of dents.
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Band Members for Propaganda at this time (1985)...
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Suzanne Freytag
Ralf Dörper
Claudia Brücken
Michael Mertens
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Produced by S.J. Lipson and Boby Krausbar
Musical Director Trevor Horn
Sleve Design....London Design Partnership with z.t.t.
Photography by David Levine (screams) and Peter Brown (skin shots)
ZTT Records London England.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

London Calling - The Clash

... The Clash formed in England formed in 1976 and are largely considered to be a punk band, although I'm not entirely sure I agree. While their music does contain elements of punk, they draw off a wide variety of styles that include ska, dub, funk, rap, dance and rockabilly. In the end, I just like to consider them a really great band, and part of the second British Invasion that exploded onto the North American music scene during the 80's. This is a great tune and a fantastic raw edged, no bullshit video, you won't see any special affects or choreographed dancing girls in this one. This is of course the title track of their third album, it's not surprising the Rolling Stone declared "London Calling" the best album of the 1980's, and the Clash as one of the greatest bands of all time.
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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dead Kennedys

Dead Kennedys have continued to retain their fan base over the years, and their history is well documented. They are perhaps the most famous of all American Punk bands, The Kennedy's, as they were called form in San Francisco in 1978. The were heavily influenced by the British punk rock scene, and bands like the Sex Pistols. Their songs mixed shocking lyrics with sarcastic criticism of social and political issues of the 1980's. Many people including Christians, and right-wing politicians considered them the most dangerous of all hardcore bands at the time.
....On March 25, 1980, Dead Kennedys were invited to perform at the Bay Area Music Awards in front of music industry executives in order to give the event some "New Wave credibility", in the words of the organizers. They were to play, their underground hit, "California Über Alles", after about 15 seconds into the song, frontman Jello Biafra said, "Hold it! We've gotta prove that we're adults now. We're not a punk rock band, we're a new wave band". The band, who all wore white shirts with a big, black S painted on the front, pulled black ties from around the backs of their necks to form a dollar sign, then started playing a new song "Pull My Strings", a barbed, satirical attack on the ethics of the mainstream music industry, which contained the lyrics, "Is my cock big enough, is my brain small enough, for you to make me a star?". The song also referenced The Knack's biggest New Wave hit, "My Sharona". The song was never recorded in the studio but this performance, the first and only time the song was ever performed, was released on the compilation "Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death", which I actually own and will write about at some point.
....In 1985, the band was involved in perhaps their most famous incident of all, an incident that brought the band even more notoriety. An obscenity trial over the artwork of their fourth studio album, "Frankenchrist", which included with the album was a poster of the Swiss artist H.R. Giger's illustration of penises and anuses. In 1987 the case ended with a hung jury and was eventually dismissed.
....Among the bands other accomplishments was the formation of thier own record label, Alternative Tentacles, in 1981, the first release under this label was the EP, "In God We Trust". After realizing the potential for this independent label, they started releasing records for other bands as well. Alternative Tentacles continues to exist today, and is still owned by the bands ex-lead singer Jello Biafra, many hard core punk bands past and present are signed to this label.
....The Dead Kennedys released a total of four studio albums, one EP, three live albums, plus some compilations, not bad for eight years work. In January 1986, frustrated and alienated their own music scene, the Dead Kennedys broke up, they played their last concert on February 21, 1986. The bands history is a turbulent one, fraught with in-fighting among members, along with legal disputes over royalties and commercial activities. Never-the-less the band has maintained a loyal cult following over the years. They actually reformed in 2003, although the reformation did not include original lead singer Jello Biafra. In August of 2008, the band announced that they will no longer be touring in the foreseeable future due to health related issues of several members...the final chapter may well have been written for this band...
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Dead Kennedys former members...
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East Bay Ray (Raymond John Pepperell)
Klaus Flouride
D. H. Peligro
Jello Biafra
Brandon Cruz
6025 (Carlos Cadona)
Ted (Bruce Slesinger)
Jeff Penalty
Ron "Skip" Greer
Dave Scheff
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The bands web site...
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Monday, May 31, 2010

Deluxe Edition CD's a-ha - Rhino


a-ha - Two releases.........These will be shipped in June.
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For those lucky bastards that have the cash, these are well worth picking up. For those who are unfamiliar with Rhino, they are a specialty record label and they only release the best. Everything from Rhino is of the highest quality, and can be considered a rare collectible treasure. As part of a-ha's 25th anniversary Rhino is releasing an exclusive double-disc editions of HUNTING HIGH AND LOW and SCOUNDREL DAYS, featuring the original recordings expanded with unreleased and rare demos, alternate mixes and live recordings. These limited Deluxe Editions are exclusive to Rhino.com and won't be available in stores. The link is below...
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http://www.rhino.com/article/ha-take-3?eml=rn/052310/ahabanner

Friday, May 28, 2010

U2 - Magnificent

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.....I gotta be honest, I'm not crazy about the new album, but this song is absolutely astounding. It definitely reminds me of why I originally went crazy over this band in the first place. Magnificent has that old school feel, a back to basic approach. I love the guitar work by the Edge, and the video ain't half bad. Here's hoping Bono Vox recovers soon, I know there's alot of fans out there that were looking forward to the second leg of the North American tour. Get well soon Bono...
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Another Black Season

.......This is a new band, or should I say artist. The New Wave in its many forms changed our landscape during the 80's and this was definitely a change for the better. The punk explosion of the mid 70's helped usher in this decade innovation. But the 1980's was much more than just a decade of cool music, it was also a state of mind, a time when artists questioned the establishment, and broke from the norms to create some of the most amazing music ever. To write from a point of view that these were the Good Ol' Days would be to suggest that all the great bands and artists are gone, and the creative spirit, and sense of rebellion that drove them in the first place has disappeared... this is not the case.
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Although we now live in an age of Boy Bands and Bubble Gum Pop, were the airwaves, and the record stores are polluted with corporate shit ( I hope that didn't sound too cynical ) it's important to point out that there are still artist out there making great music. Although eradicated from the mainstream in the late 80's, along with most of the independent record labels, they still exists. Real bands making real music, I suppose they always have existed, it's just alot harder to find.
.....This artist's name is Robert Michaels, and he's based out of California, this exceptional work is released under the moniker of Another Black Season. Drawing his influence from a number of bands such as U2, Depeche Mode and The Verve, he's creating some absolutely incredible work, a unique sound that's definitely worth checking out.
....This guy really is unbelievable, not only writes his own music, but also plays all the instruments, and does the vocals; and if that ain't enough he's also the sound engineer..
Check out the myspace page.

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Below: "Tonight's The Best Thing", from the Eden's Gift album by Another Black Season on iTunes now.
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Check out all of Another Black Season's music on iTunes and Youtube.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Depeche Mode

...This band along with Duran Duran and U2, more than any other is what most people associate with the new music explosion during the 1980's (at least the commercial side of it), and why not. They were popular, sold a shit load of albums, the chicks loved em, and the music wasn't half bad. I'll write a few words about them because sooner or later I have to. You can't really write about the New Wave movement without paying homige to this band. They were extremely good, and made positive contribution to the genre, a major factor in the explosive upheaval the occurred during this era. I'm not sure it's nessissary to write a whole lot about Depeche Mode because their history is well documented, there's a Gazillion web sites devoted to them already, most of which are alot better than mine, but here goes.
....They are from Essex England and are of course one of THE quintessential New Wave / Electronica bands. At one point during the 80's they were actualy classified as Industrial, but that term has long since been confiscated by other bands far different in sound and style than Depeche Mode, and I'm not even gonna start down that frickin road. Suffice to say that they are likely the most popular band of their type in all history, selling over 100 million albums and scoring #1 single in the UK, Europe as well as North America.
...The group's original line-up consisted of Dave Gahan (lead vocals), Martin Gore (keyboards, guitar, vocals, chief songwriter after 1981), Andrew Fletcher (keyboards) and Vince Clarke (keyboards, chief songwriter 1980–81). Vince Clarke left the band after the release of their 1981 debut album, Speak & Spell, and was replaced by Alan Wilder (keyboards, drums) with Gore taking over songwriting. The band made their recording debut in 1980 on the Some Bizzare Album with the song "Photographic", which was later re-recorded for their debut album Speak & Spell which was released under the Mute Records label in 1981. Also in 1981 just prior to the release of there debut album the band scored their first top ten single, "Just Can't Get Enough", the song remains popular to this day, and just about any bar that hosts an eighties night will play this catchy little tune regularly.
....To date the band has release twelve studio albums the most recent being Sounds of the Universe released in 2009. They continues to tour, and their loyal fans provde ample support, in fact just last summer they played to a sold out crowd at the Molson Amphetheater in Toronto. I had to miss that show but I'm sure they'll be back, something tells me this bands gonna stick around awhile longer. Depeche Mode is proof there's still a demand for real musicians, that write real music, and who actually really sing during their live concerts. Something we don't see a whole lot of today.
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Depeche Mode are...
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David Gahan
Martin Gore
Andrew Fletcher
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Former members
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Vince Clarke
Alan Wilder

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ronnie James Dio


....I was saddened to hear we've just lost a friend , Ronnie James Dio passed away yesterday morning, he was only 67 years old. You don't need to be a Metal fan to appreciate him, or his contribution to rock'n'roll. He will be missed by friends, family and music fans everywhere. Dio became well known as the lead singer who replaced Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath back in 1979. As their new lead man they went on to make two of the bands most successful albums of all time "Heaven and Hell" and "Mob Rules", he also fronted other groups like Elf, Rainbow and his own successful solo career.
....Dio announced last fall he was suffering from stomach cancer. According to his web site he was being treated at a Houston hospital. It was always hopeful he'd make a full recovery. I had the privilege of seeing him twice in concert, he was a wonderful talent and an incredible performer.

...Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever.

- Wendy Dio
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The link to his official web site is below, and if you get a chance stop by facebook and post a comment of condolence, I know his family will appreciate it...

http://www.ronniejamesdio.com/

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ball of Confusion - Love and Rockets


From the Ashes of Bauhaus came Love and Rockets and this is their first release under this new moniker. This is the 12 inch single version of "Ball of Confusion", released in 1985 under the Beggar Banquet record label. Much like my other EP's from the time, I wore out my original years ago and I acquired this copy just recently. Wikipedia refers to it a minor hit...perhaps as a bean counter from a pure sales perspective one might agree. For those who were paying attention to the music scene at the time and remember it's popularity, they couldn't be further from the truth. This quickly became a classic cover, and I don't know a single 80's music collector that doesn't have it, or doesn't want it. A hard edged punk/goth combination with regards to style, they turned this Motown tune into a phenomenally popular track, heard in ever new wave cave, and underground club, the world over. I absolutley love this tune, as far as cover songs go, this is one of the best ever done.
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Ball Of Confusion (12' Remix)
Beggars Banquet / Virtigo
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This Side......Ball Of Confusion (The Extended U.K. Vesion) Remixed
That Side.....Ball Of Confusion (The U.S. Remixed Version)
Both Side mixed by N.Whitfield / B. Strong
Produced by John A River & Love and Rockets

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Fall

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...The Fall are an English post-punk group, formed in Greater Manchester in January 1977. The group has existed in some form ever since their creation, but has the probably had more member changes than any other band in history with only vocalist Mark E Smith remaining the constant. The original lineup featured Smith on guitar, Martin Bramah on vocals, Una Baines on drums, and Tony Friel on bass guitar, but Smith and Bramah soon switched roles, and Baines switched to keyboards, new drummer Karl Burnes was brought in to replace Baines.
''' The group first recorded for independent label Step Forward Records in 1978 releasing an EP Bingo Master Break Out in August and their first single "It's The New Thing" in November of the same year. Their first album Live at the Witch Trials was recorded in one day and released in March of 1979. It was followed by the single "Rowche Rumble", and their second album Dragnet in November. After a final EP for Step Forward Records, Fiery Jack, released in January 1980 the band signed to new a new record label Rough Trade. The first single under this new label was "How I Wrote Electric Man" and was followed by their third studio album Grotesque (After The Gramme) and a live album Totale's Turn, and the EP Slates, all in the same year of 1980.
... The group's output has been unbelievable over the years, as of April 2010 they have released 28 studio albums, and more than triple that in live albums and other releases. In January 2005, The Fall were the subject of a BBC TV documentary, The Fall: The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E Smith. They've never achieved widespread public success beyond a handful of minor hit singles in the late 1980s, but have maintained a strong cult following over the years. Through their history they have recorded under the following record labels, Step Forward, Rough Trade, Beggars Banquet, Situation Two, Narnack, Phonogram, Fontana and Matador. I normally include a list of band members at the bottom of each blog but in this case, it would be a long arduous task, taking more time than I care to spend, suffice to say this band is a revolving door, built around perennial lead man Mark E Smith.
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The video below is more recent, recorded in 2006. Halarious, Robert Plant followed by The Fall.

What a contrast, they don't quite fit together, and they certainly should'nt follow one-another.



Monday, May 10, 2010

Tattoo Rock Parlour - April 30, 2010 - Spoons

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...The first concert of the summer , and what better way to start off the season than with the Spoons live at the Tattoo. They played their 30th Anniversary party to sold out crowd, in what is sure to be one of the best shows of the summer. Every time I see this band they get better and better, and the shows get busier and busier. Arrived an hour before the doors opened last Friday and there was a hundred people in line, perhaps I should be concerned, I'd be extremly pissed if I showed for a gig one night and couldn't get in... It's certainly clear that their popularity is once again growing, and we're gonna have to share... Ahh Well, I guess that's a good thing.
...The show included a few surprises that many were'nt expecting, David Marsden, the driving force behind CFNY during the 80's was on hand to introduce the band. Marsden was one of the most influential figures in the Canadian Music Industry during the 80's, giving many Canadian bands and international alternative bands Major Canadian radio exposure. Also on hand was legendary producer John Punter, who not only worked with the Spoons but also Roxy Music, Nazareth, John Cougar, Japan, Bryan Ferry, Procol Harum and Sara Craig to name just a few.
...Along with the Spoons regular line up which includes Gordon Deppe, Sandy Horne, Steve Kendry and Steve Sweeny, Rob Preuss also returned to the keyboards for the first time in almost 25 years. Rob was the Spoons keyboardist during their heyday era of 81 to 85, he did a fantastic job playing the final set of the night as well as the encor. It's obvious he'd been practicing because it was an absolutley perfect set. He pulled it off without a hitch, much to the thrill of the crowd, most of whom were not expecting this surprise. Well done Rob, Way-da-Go!!! ...What a fantastic night.
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The Set List for the show was as follows...
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Trade Winds
Arias & Synphonies
Smiling In Winter
Romantic Traffic
Rodeo
Bending
2000 Years
New Song #1 - The Epic
New Song #2 - The Pop Song
My Favorite Page
Stop
The Rythem
Quiet World
Old Emotions
No Elections
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Encore
Tell No Lies
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...To view my entire albums simply click on the link below, still workin out a few minor problem with my new camera, but the pics didn't turn out bad.

For more pics and video clips of the show, check out the Spoons official web site below...

http://www.thespoons.ca/index2.shtml

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Some of the Concerts coming to town very very soon...
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PIL - Public Image Limited - Kool Hause - Toronto - Friday May 7th - This might be the last chance to see Johnny Lydon and the boys, they don't come to town that often.
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The Spoons - Tatoo Rock Parlour - Friday April 30th - This is a 30th Anniversary Party and they always put on a great show. It will likley Sell out so get there early.
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Echo and the Bunnymen - The Phoenix- Friday April 23 - A great band, that always draws a big crowd when they hit Toronto. Don't wait until the last second for this one.
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Massive Attack - The Sound Academy - May 7th and 9th - I've never had a chance to see them, need to mark this one on my calender.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Malcolm McLaren dead at age 64


....I was saddened to hear Malcolm McLaren, the former manager of The Sex Pistols and The New York Dolls has died, he was only 64. McLaren was one of the guiding forces behind the punk movement in the 1970's, he gained most of his notoriety as manager of The Sex Pistols, who shot to fame with irreverent songs like "God Save The Queen" and "Anarchy in the UK", during 1977. To help boost publicity for the band, McLaren organized a boat charter, having the Pistols play God Save The Queen on the River Thames, in front of the British House of Parliament. The Pistols split up after only one year but their influence continues to be felt to this day. Legal battles between McLaren and John Lydon continued until Lydon successfully sued McLaren in 1987 for contract rights and unpaid revenues. I think it's safe to say Johnny won't be attending the funeral.
...I think in a thousand years, three bands, above all others will define the Rock Music era of the twentieth century. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Sex Pistols. Admittedly, I've never has much use for the first two, but the Pistols have always been among my favorite bands of all time.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wallpaper of the Day

Click the Image for full Size.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Corey Haim

 One of the most memorable films of the 80's was of course "The Lost Boys" Almost a microcosm of the era in which it was made, it featured big hair, outrageous cloths, and the over-the-top grandiosity of Pop music characteristic of the 80's. Where else in history, other than 1987 could you possibly find a saxophone player that looked like Thor ???. Like or hate it, this was at the height Post Punk era; a time where fashion and music had few rules, where anything, and everything was possible. Far removed from the cookie cutter age we're now currently living in. This film really does take us back to a special place, Corey Haim through his part in this film helped create that place and he will be sorely missed. Born in my home town of Toronto his career and his life were cut tragically short after and apparent prescription drug over dose on Wednesday. It's no secret that Corey spend much of his life battling a whole slew of personal demons, that much has been well documented..
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Friday, March 5, 2010

Bauhaus

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....There's a myriad of genres and sub-genres within the New Wave/Alternative, Punk/Post Punk movement, it's sometimes hard to classify bands as they move back and fourth across the spectrum of styles. I don't think many will argue that Bauhaus was; and still is a Goth band, one might even consider them the original Goth band. I saw them live about 10 years ago and what a fantastic show, many Marlyn Manson fans turned out for this gig. That familiar Goth sound that we are all so accustomed to today was pioneered by Bauhaus. There are few concerts where you'll see such a wide range in fans, everything from the teenaged punks, to the forty somethings right off Bay street. It's cool that some bands can still bridge the generational gap.
....With a darker more gloomy sound, they were a sort of backlash to the more commercial or Pop oriented New Wave bands emerging in the early 80's; God knows there were alot of them. Appealing to the more rebellious fringe types who preferred the underground music scene, Bauhaus targeted those music fans that abhorred anything that was even remotely close to commercialized; although if it was their intention to avoid the mainstream (as has been well documented) then I'd really like someone to explain to me why they appeared on Top of the Pops in 82'...Ah Well... We all have our moments of weakness...
....A quick history lesson; Bauhaus originated in 1977, or rather was formed from the remnants of two other bands back in 1977. A Northampton punk band called The Submerged Tenth (a phrase used to describe the lowest form of proletariat class) who among their members included David Jay (bass) and Keven Haskins (Drums). The band broke up after only three gigs which lead to the formation of a second band called The Craze, enter Daniel Ash (guitar). Much like the last band things went nowhere, but this short endeavor did lead to an introduction with Peter Murphy (singer), and the eventual formation of Bauhaus. The band released their first single in 1979 a 12" EP called "Bela Lugosi's Dead" under the Small Wonder Records label, which received alot of airplay on BBC1 and helped establish the band. In 1980 following the release of three additional singles "Dark Entries", "Terror Couple Kill Colonel" and "Telegram Sam" they release their first full album "In Flat Fields" under the 4AD record label. Shortly after this band moved to the Beggars Banquet record label the parent of 4AD and the rest is history, if ya need more go to Wikipedia or read a book.
...This band more than most has become almost legendary, in a relatively short time frame, from 1979 until their official break up in 1983 Bauhaus established themselves as one of the seminal bands of the 1980's with legions of fans that remain forever loyal. On a number of occasions through the years Bauhaus has re-united to play sold out concerts on both sides of the pond, they've even released new material for those diehards that just can't seem to get enough.
....Their fifth and final studio album "Go Away White" was released in 2008 after which they once again disbanded.
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Bauhaus are...
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Peter Murphy - Vocals
Daniel Ash - Guitar, sax
Davis J - Bass
Keven Haskins - Drums
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The bands official web site.
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http://www.bauhausmusik.com/

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pet Shop Boys - Live DVD / CD Release


Feb 20, 2010 - Pet Shop Boys Announce Live DVD/CD Release was a top story for this week. Pet Shop Boys return with "Pandemonium", a deluxe DVD/CD set containing their entire live show from London's O2 Arena on December 21, 2009. The film has been made by David Barnard who directed Pet Shop Boys' 'Cubism' DVD of the Fundamental tour. The audio for the DVD was mixed by Dave Woolley. My review will follow shortly.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Toyah


Originally part of the punk / alternative scene along the lines of Siouxsie & the Banshees, before restyling more towards a new wave and main stream. She always wanted to more popular in America, I'd say that's America's loss, not hers. Her music exemplifies the creativity and strive for uniqueness that was to prevalent to the 80's, a far cry from the conveyor belt pop we get from the music industry today. Toyah Wilcox was born in Birmingham England on May 18, 1958 and is recognized as much for her theatrical work as for her contribution to music. During late 1977 she formed her first band consisting of Joel Bogen on guitar, Steve Bray on drums, Pete Bush on keyboards, and Mark Henry on Bass. After signing with Safari Records in 1978 she released her first single "Victims Of The Riddle" and an EP "Sheep Farming In Barnet". In 1980 following her second single,"Bird In Flight" she released her first full album "Blue Meaning" which made the top 40 chart in the UK. After a UK tour mixed with extensive acting engagements Toyah still found the time to release a new single " Brave New World" and a new album "The Changeling" which incidentally was produced by Steve Lillywhite, perhaps my favorite producer of all time...1980 was pretty damn busy. She's continued to perform through the years and to date has released 30 albums.