Sunday, August 31, 2008

Inspired by VH1 Classic's "80 Hours of the 80's"...

Jim's recent post (only a few minutes old) has inspired me to get some blogging in on this quiet, but warm late-summer Sunday. And yes, Radiohead is holy. The video is proof.

Living off-campus has it's perks. One of them being advanced cable. I get almost as many channels as I do back home in New Jersey as I do here in my little townhouse just minutes from the south campus at KU. I've been a huge fan of VH1 Classic since I got the channel through digital cable and tuned in a few years ago. Recently, they've had some programming changes (getting rid of classic VJs and abolishing some of the really cool old shows). I could go on and on about how fucked up that is because MTV has killed what any rational person would believe "music television" should be, but that's being saved for a day I'm moody.

Regardless, VH1 Classic is a great station where you're never far off from a little treasure or a nostaglic memory. And speaking of nostalgia, VH1 Classic's got this thing going on all long-weekend long called "80 Hours of the 80's". It's basically all 80's videos...for 80 hours. From A-Z. A cool concept, but nothing ground-breaking. It's fun to kick back and check out these old classics from before directors and let-alone artists knew what music videos were or how they should be made. However, a lot of bands/artists/directors did things right and created some masterpieces that will stand the test of time, even when MTV ultimately eliminates music videos then denies their existence. It'll happen. Wait and see.

Here is my favorite and yet very predictable list of 80's music videos. Count 'em: 10 great ones. Check them out. I promise to keep descriptions short.

10. Men At Work - Down Under (1981)

Kooky and cool. The Aussie Men At Work just looked like they had fun with this one. It's a pretty early attempt at a music video and the song is apparently Australia's unofficial national anthem. Video.

9. R.E.M. - Can't Get There From Here (1985)

Another blatantly funny one. Just the four dudes from Athens, GA messin' around, frolicking in the fields, throwing popcorn at each other at drive-ins, etc. One of my favorite songs by one of my favorite groups. Video.

8. The Smiths - Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before (1987)

What a strange and egocentric world Morrissey has come up with in this one: everyone looks like him and they're all riding bikes around the Salfrod Lad's Club on the dreariest of days. I guess that's what depressed, new wave teens in the 80's were hoping for. Video.

Probably one of the artsiest videos from one of the artisiest group of art kids ever. Number 7 belongs to Talking Heads - And She Was (1985). It looks mad cool and still a little creepy. It's a trip, that's the best way I can put it. But I'll embrace it. You should, too. Video.

6. Duran Duran - Girls On Film (1981)

Jim will give me shit for this - he knows how much I love the song. The video itself is great, too (I think better than "Hungry Like The Wolf"). Say what you will about Duran Duran and their heyday as MTV big shots, but they deserved it: this song is a smash. Big ups to sumo wrestlers. Video.

5. New Order - Blue Monday 88 (1988)

After Joy Divison's frontman, Ian Curtis, passed away, the remaining members formed New Order and set the standard for UK new wave synth. "Blue Monday" was originally a 7:29 minute song back in '83, but they up-ed the tempo and cranked out a flashy re-release in '88 that is a dance classic. Video.

4. Psychedelic Furs - Pretty In Pink (1986)

One of my favorite tunes from a film. And another re-release. The Furs were my favorite new wave band, before I got into others like The Smiths, The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen, etc. Still, this is a great song that makes me jealous I didn't go to high school/fall in love in the 1980's. Video.


3. Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer (1986)

Ex-Genesis lead singer did pretty well for himself after those wild 70's performances alongside Phil Collins and Co were over. This video is actually one of VH1's top picks for best video of the 80's and I'm sure it's won a VMA back in '86. Another artsy vid that uses stop animation, claymation, and all sorts of wild shit to make it to #3 on my list.

2. a-ha - Take On Me (1984)

What a cool video. The best use of sketching in any video ever. See kids, this is what will happen if you doodle all day in class: you'll come across something potentially great. Though they were technically a one-hit-wonder here in the States, a-ha's got a great rep in their native Norway and this song cemented them in music video history.


1. Dire Straits - Money For Nothing (1985)

Look, we all hate our jobs. Unless you're a rock star. But this song and video illustrates that feeling perfectly. This song is the coincidental MTV music video ("I want my MTV". Well done, Sting). It's got some cool graphics (top of the line for '85) and the song itself has got the nastiest riff of the entire decade. It's glorious. Enjoy.

Happy Labor Day, everybody.

P.S. Piss off new MTV.

I want my "old" M-T-V back!!! You know, like the one that aired before I was even born.

We are Standing on the Edge

There are some bands I will be proud to tell my grandchildren about. Some I will not. If I have anything to do with it, my descendants will have no idea who Metro Station or Boys Like Girls Are. And I pray to God if they do find them, they are saddened and disgusted. One band that I will however be quite proud to mention is Radiohead. It is a rare occurrence that I talk to someone who doesn't like some album or some song by Yorke, Greenwood, and Co. Some people hate the electronic aspect of it, but still really like their "guitar music". Some, like myself, just love it all. Now what is the point of this poorly written post? Radiohead had a live web cast from the final show of their American tour on Thursday night. And while classmates and friends were getting drunk and dancing to Girl Talk, I was watching the Democratic National Convention and watching Radiohead live online, which is hopefully not the closest I ever get to seeing them in person. I leave you now, although there is no "you" since we have no readers, with my favorite Radiohead "guitar song" off the brilliant Ok Computer. From the Santa Barbara web cast, here is "Lucky".

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Something Glorious Is About To Happen...


This here be the "introduction post" for our new radio show that airs exclusively on Kutztown University Radio (KUR). Here's a bunch of different ways you can hear us:

88.3 FM & 1670 AM (If you're in the Kutztown, PA area; otherwise, you can't hear shit.)
Service Electric Channel 24 (Kutztown, PA)
Hometown Utilicom Channel 41 (Kutztown, PA)
On The Web (via our web stream) @

Eventually, we will get going on a Podcast. So look forward to that.

A little about us? Ok. Well, we are both students at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (middle of nowhere, but so what?) Jim is a sophomore and myself (Mike Pop) am a junior. We both met and got to know each other through the radio station here and realized our similar tastes in alternative and indie rock (as well as other interesting genres of mainly rock music). This blog was created to give our audience some insight on our show, post our own opinions/thoughts/feelings on radio, music, people, places, events, life, (whatever, etc.) and to give us something constructive to do when we feel the need to blog. This should be pretty fun.

We look forward to starting up our show (dates and times to come on an upcoming post) and hopefully taking this blog to a really cool and potentially popular level. So join us!

Before I save this post and publish it as our very first, here is a video of my buddy Jim and I (among a few other KU friends) at a recent Bloc Party show in Philadelphia. They played at the TLA in front of a smaller crowd and completely blew everyone away. We are big fans of these UK

P.S. I am seen at 3:09 stretching to the height of the Statue of Liberty on top of some fellow Bloc Heads, while Jim is seen crowd-surfing at 4:10. Keep watching: you'll see more of our friends dancing, surfing, and going nuts to the greatness that is Bloc Party.
post-punk/dance shy-guys and have seen them twice. This song in particular "The Pioneers" is a fan favorite and album closer on their first LP "Silent Alarm" in 2005. Enjoy.