Dustin’ Off The Oldies


When I was a kid my mom used to have WNEW-AM on all day long. No one was allowed to listen to anything else, so if you didn’t like Swing/Big Band and early standards (i.e. nothing post-1950) you were out of luck.

I remember when it went off the air, how upset she was. It was like a part of her life was over — even though the part of her life that she clung to through the music had been over long before the station changed formats.

For me, music started in the 60s. In the 80s most FM stations played “classic” rock (e.g. Zeppelin, The Doors, Black Sabbath, et al) and, around 1982, “New Wave.” (e.g. Psychedelic Furs, Adam and the Ants, The B-52s, The Ramones, etc.) Although a lot of the so-called “new” bands had actually been around for quite a while, it took some time before they got decent airplay on mainstream stations.

I italicized those genres because by today’s standards the music from back then sounds pretty tame and out-of-date. Just like my mom probably thought it was strange that, at the time, I didn’t know who Artie Shaw was I find it odd that most of the bands I liked are virtually unknown to today’s younger audiences, except for the recycled empty pop that’s been the staple of so many stations for the last two decades. Thanks to what I can only assume is lack of originality or some marketing decision made to gouge whatever’s left of my disposable income, I have been listening to the same songs over and over. For years.

An 80s weekend was nice once in a while, but not the same crap ad nauseam!

Lately, I’ve started to hear “reimaginings” of some of those 80s classics, and it makes me feel old. I can usually remember how old I was or whom I was dating when I hear the original; now, I hear a remake and it doesn’t make me think of anything because I’ll hear it while I’m going to the train or buying cat litter.

To wit: I didn’t hold on to 16 as long as I could.

Regardless of my own preferences, I do know talent when I hear it, and this guy has it.

Here’s Sam Tsui with his take … on Glee‘s take on Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”*

* see what I mean with all the reimagining stuff?

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