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Posts Tagged ‘1980s’

Last week’s social butterfly quest ended with a night at Dorian Gray. Usually I’m not that much of a clubber, but the way NYC has become so sterile as of late, perhaps it was good to take what I could get. First on Friday, I attended the Kunst party in Williamsburg, on Saturday it was Hank’s Saloon to celebrate Mike Moosehead’s birthday (Blackout Shoppers, Skum City), a break on Sunday, onward Monday to the 16th Annual Mr. L.E.S. Pageant, now this.

For those who don’t know about Dorian Gray, it’s a monthly club party created by Kayvon Zand, which combines Glam, Goth, and all around creativity. This month’s theme had an ’80s vibe. Many of the current nightlife personalities took to the stage to cover songs by David Bowie, Grace Jones, Pink Floyd, Siouxsie and The Banshees, and more.

One of the hosts of the party was NYC legend Gerry Visco. She’s a photographer, writer, academic, performer, nightlife personality and NYC legend.

Gerry Visco, writer, photographer, actress, academic, and nightlife personality. One of the hosts for the Dorian Grey party. Photo by Michele Witchipoo Feb. 2015.

Gerry Visco, writer, photographer, actress, academic, performer, nightlife personality, and NYC Legend. One of the hosts for the Dorian Grey party. Photo by Michele Witchipoo Feb. 2015.

Michael T did an amazing cover of Bowie’s hit ‘Modern Love.’ As an adult, listening to the lyrics of this tune made me reflect a bit about my own life.

MC of the 1980s Dorian Grey party, Michael T. Photo by Michele Witchipoo Feb. 2015.

MC of the 1980s Dorian Grey party, Michael T. Photo by Michele Witchipoo Feb. 2015.

A personal favorite of the night was seeing a club goer dressed up as a member of Strawberry Switchblade.

Someone dressed as a member of Strawberry Switchblade. Dorian Grey party. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Feb. 2015.

Someone dressed as a member of Strawberry Switchblade. Dorian Grey party. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Feb. 2015.

Classic Madonna. Dorian Grey party. Photo taken by Michele Witchipoo, Feb. 2015.

Classic Madonna. Dorian Grey party. Photo taken by Michele Witchipoo, Feb. 2015.

Someone doing a Siouxsie cover of 'Happy House' Dorian Grey party. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Feb, 2015.

Someone doing a Siouxsie cover of ‘Happy House’ Dorian Grey party. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Feb, 2015.

Two Devo fans. I'm the one in the yellow. Dorian Grey party. Feb. 2015.

Two Devo fans. I’m the one in the yellow. Dorian Grey party. Feb. 2015.

A cover of Bily Idol's 'Eyes Without A Face' at Dorian Grey. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Feb. 2015.

A cover of Bily Idol’s ‘Eyes Without A Face’ at Dorian Grey. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Feb. 2015.

Cover of Bronski Beat's "Hit That Perfect Beat' at Dorian Grey. Photo by Michele Witchipoo Feb. 2015.

Cover of Bronski Beat’s “Hit That Perfect Beat’ at Dorian Grey. Photo by Michele Witchipoo Feb. 2015.

Originally I had wanted to come dressed as Boy George. Someone suggested I go as Siouxsie Sioux. Which was a good suggestion within itself but I had spent a good part of my teenage years cloning her. My trusty old DEVO outfit ended up being recycled. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much of a reaction, knowing how the rest of the club revelers dress to the nines at Dorian Grey. To my surprise, DEVO got a positive response.

Here’s a video of Leo Gugu covering Grace Jones’ ‘Pull Up To The Bumper.’

Now I must get back to my own work, since March is going to be a much busy month for me. You can check out another link  of the night’s activities in the NEXT Magazine article. With that I’ll leave you with the Video of the Bowie cover, by Micheal T.

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Continuing where I left off yesterday, (Yesterday’s blog post) now I’m going into music pins, buttons and badges of the 1980s.

My button collection started during my preteen years. It was around sometime during the early ’80’s, and I had just discovered rock music. The closest supplier of these badges was a local head shop called Yogi Lala, located in Astoria, Queens. For a small shop it was jammed packed full of juvenile delinquent merchandise. All sorts of hippie accouterments, silver biker jewelry, patches, drug paraphernalia, and hard rock band tee shirts. If you wanted the back of your jean jacket painted with a rendition of a particular Black Sabbath album cover, this was the place. For good measure, Yogi Lala mixed the sex, drugs and rock n roll wares with some 14k gold trinkets.

There was certainly a variety of genres covered within the rock music merch this place sold. Not only did they have your average classic rock groups like The Who, Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, etc., but they also had the burn out Hard Rock stuff, Heavy Metal, and the newer New Wave and some Punk rock stuff. Mostly the more famous, or should I stay infamous bands like The Sex Pistols.

If you couldn’t find what you were looking for in Yogi’s, you could always walk further down Steinway Street, which to this day is one of Astoria’s main shopping areas, and check out Jolly Joint. The Jolly Joint’s store was a bit more spread out. It was a head shop as well, with a tiny more emphasis on the music. Jolly Joint was pretty successful in its day, with a second shop on Main Street, located in Flushing, Queens.

Jolly Joint is no more. Yogi Lala is still around, but they mostly sell gold jewelry now.

Anyway, I would start to buy these small music pins from these kind of stores. The pins would be proudly arranged with style and care on my jacket before heading off to my crappy junior high. The other kids would make fun of me listening to rock music, but I paid them no mind. I loved The Go-Go’s, Joan Jett, Soft Cell, Human League and David Bowie.

Metal David Bowie pin from the 1980s. Let’s Dance era. Most likely brought at Yogi Lala during 1983. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

I was very fascinated with the whole New Wave and Punk subculture, even back in junior high, although my tastes at the time were more mainstream. Guess this is when I started observing different types of counter cultures.

Assortment of Culture Club pins from the 1980s. Check out the “Boy George for President” button. Maybe since it’s election year in 2012, should I start wearing this again? Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Then came Culture Club. I loved Boy George so much, I even tried to dress like him. If you look in the photo, you can see a button that says “Boy George For President.” As I type this, it’s election year of 2012. Perhaps I should start wearing this one again?

Anyway, my attempts of emulating the Boy just resulted in more verbal abuse from my classmates. The comments got more ignorant too. My favorite one? “Are you a fag lover?”

Since I hated my junior high so much, I swore I would never continue getting my education alongside these ignorant f-heads. So I applied for a whole bunch of the NYC ‘magnet’ schools. To both my surprise and relief, I got immediately accepted into the High School of Art and Design. From there I met more like-minded peers. One of these kids would take me to my first ‘underground’ club, despite the underage factor. It was the original Danceteria, and I loved every second of it. Another girl took me to my first excursion into Greenwich Village. It was up and down 8th street to be exact. Eighth street at the time was the main shopping strip of the village area, full of record stores, imported shoe shops, clothing stores, etc. Located towards more going 6th avenue was The Postermat. That was my new found base for my button fix.

During my freshman year, my tastes in music was leaning towards mainstream rock, top-40, new wave and imported UK pop bands. I was still big into Culture Club then. For a brief time though, I was listening to the newer metal bands like Motley Crue and Twisted Sister.

Dee Snider, lead singer of Twisted Sister. 1980s pin. Possibly gotten from a button trade. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Sometimes us A&D students would trade with one another. I traded something for the U2 band shot, as seen in the middle of the pic below. I think a friend gave me the Cyndi Lauper and Prince pins. A loner guy mysteriously gave me the Billy Idol one. I forgot where the Frankie Goes To Hollywood button came from. Check out the photo below. I’m surprised I still even have these.

Various 1980s music buttons. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Needless to say this phase didn’t last long. I discovered Siouxsie and The Banshees. Right there everything changed. Went to Astor Place for a major haircut, dying my hair much to my father’s chagrin. My wardrobe completely changed. I discovered Bleecker Bob’s, purchasing a second hand pair of combat boots. Boy, did those boots piss my mom off.

Most importantly, my music tastes had changed. I embraced the classic 80s Goth and Post-Punk bands. I liked much of the seminal ’77 Punk stuff, like The Ramones, for example. Although I never got into the Hardcore or crossover genres that much. As you can guess, my button collection reflected this. Instead of Culture Club and U2, I had bands such as The Damned, Bauhaus, and Sisters of Mercy. Most of the classic 80s Goth bands found a spot on my schoolbag. Only I wasn’t going to school as much. I had also discovered playing hooky. That particular discovery is something I still regret to this very day. I’m making up for lost time now, but there’s still a ping of regret somewhere.

Unfortunately, most of my button collection from that particular time is gone. Don’t know where they went. Perhaps they’re in a draw somewhere at my parents’ house, but at this point I’m not going to bother looking. It’s the past after all.

I did find this, however. An X-Ray Specs pin, which I think I might’ve gotten from the original Manic Panic shop in St. Mark’s Place. Was it that, or was it the pin that said “Oh bondage up yours!” I think it was the latter. That particular pin was stolen by none other than this kid Mike Waste. He stole from almost everyone. Not only did he steal that pin, he also stole my Cure shirt and something else. A total creep who told tall tales. He had ratty hair extensions that clung for dear life from the brim of his cap. Yet I heard about the early Industrial bands through him. I always knew he lifted from me. I suppose twenty years later I’m kinda sorta getting my revenge by calling him out on a public blog.

Here’s the X-Ray Specs pin that escaped Mike Waste’s grimey paws:

X-Ray Specs badge. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Now that I’ve blogged about these pins, perhaps its time to finally get rid of them. After all, they served their purpose. Maybe sell them on eBay or something. Besides, I’ve got my memories. You can never take that away.

However, if all else fails, you can tell people this:

Where’s the beef? Button from mid-1980s television commercial ad. The slogan was part of the Wendy’s burger campaign during 1983-84. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

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Mercury in retrograde’s about to hit this month, starting from July 14th and ends Aug. 8th,2012. For those who believe in astrology, it works a bit like this;  it’s both a time of reflection, and ‘Murphy’s Law’ in full effect. In other words, communication lines get crossed, so what can go wrong will.

Sometimes, right before merc in retrograde hits, you just might get a preview. Plans interrupted arguments and fights relating to misunderstandings, sometimes outright catastrophe. Yet it’s not all negative. As I’ve said before, during this time it could be used to reflect. Don’t be surprised that out of the blue, you’ll come into contact with someone from the past who you haven’t spoken to in years. Also, some of those unsolved conflicts that have knocked on your door have a chance to be resolved.

Enough of this mini-lesson. What this crash course about mercury in retrograde leads to is a chance to you show some of my relics. Not only does it bring back my personal teenage memories, they’re also pop culture artifacts. These buttons exhibits a part of NYC that is now long gone.

Back when I was growing up during the 80s, many teenagers flocked to the NYC area of Greenwich Village. West side, east side, 8th Street, Broadway, it really didn’t matter. It’s still the case now, but the popular shopping sites are significantly different. Back in the 80s, the trendier retail places gave away free buttons with every purchase.  Hell, sometimes you didn’t even need to buy anything. Just go to the counter, stick your hand in the small hard plastic transparent box, and grab a handful of these badges. Afterwards, you would display your coolness by pinning these items onto your over-sized vintage overcoat, or on your army schoolbag. You would arrange these pins right along with your pop and post new wave band buttons. This was exactly what I did back in my freshman year of high school. This didn’t last long, as I progressed the next year into a full-fledged Siouxsie clone. My badges went from store promotion to the bands like The Cure, Specimen, etc.

Before I bore you with details, here’s a photo.

1980 promotional buttons from NYC retail stores, Greenwich Village area. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

The stores listed before are no longer around. I’ll give you a brief breakdown about some of these places.

Flip was a clothing store located on west. 8th street. They specialized in selling new wave, punk, goth and glam rock threads. In fact, one of my first ever punk tees was purchased right here at this location.

Postermat was more of a novelty place. They sold all types of buttons, posters, tees, gag items. A bit like that Spencer’s chain store you see in the local mall nowadays. The buttons and pins were sold in the front of the store. They were stored behind glass counters as if they were precious goods. Two tiny black round controls when pressed, slowly spunk around the shelves inside. An army and navy store has taken its place.

Canal Jeans Co. survived for years, but eventually they shut their doors as well. This business was so successful at one point, they had two locations. The location on Canal Street is now one of the cheapest art supply stores known as Pearl Paint. The bigger store, located in the Soho area of Broadway sold both new, vintage, upscale and bargain merchandise. They shut down, very briefly re-opened for a hot minute on Broadway and Astor, and then closed for good in the early 2000s.

Canal Jeans Co. buttons had their iconic checkerboard background, in a variety of colors. Check the photo below:

Promotional buttons from Canal Jeans Co. Photo by Michele WItchipoo.

Zoot was a vintage clothing store. Zoot wasn’t around that long, but it’s competition, Andy’s Chee-Pees, hung around for a while. Zoot was located on Broadway, Andy’s on West 8th street.

Unique hawked its wares all throughout the ‘80s, going out of business in the early ‘90s. Also known as Unique Boutique, the large space had a variety of different departments. You had graffiti artists spray painting on clothing, vintage duds, and when it was extremely fashionable, a huge selection of bright neon attire.

As for some other shops that’s been around for a while. Enz have opened and closed, and opened again. They’ve moved around to different locations so Enz doesn’t count. Ditto for Andy’s Chee-Pees. Even Patricia Fields moved from its prototype home on 8th street to the now trendy Bowery area. Probably the only store left from that era is Trash and Vaudeville. Still at the same location since the 1970s, and still going strong today.

Keep in mind, I didn’t even touch upon all the numerous record stores open around this time. I’ll touch upon that in another post.

Other types of businesses got into the badge marketing act. Check out this photo here. There’s MTV when they were known as a video music channel.  WLIR was a Long Island based radio station that specialized (at the time) in New Wave, a tiny bit of Post-Punk, and imported UK Pop music. Then there’s the original Hard Rock Cafe. The first location in NYC was on West 57th, before they moved to the current location at Times Square. All three are still around today.

MTV, WLIR FM, and Hard Rock Cafe. 1980s promotional buttons. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

It’s a different time now. There’s the revitalized Brooklyn to contend with now. Trends have changed. Yet the ‘80s memories still stand.

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When discussing the history of Soft Cell, you’ll hear about a certain early ’80s club kid. This downtown vixen went by the name of Cindy Ecstasy.

“A few nights later I was to find myself in an after-hours club called Berlin. There I met the girl who had saved me at Studio 54 and who was to have a major part in changing my life. In fact she would change both my life and Dave’s profoundly, and our work in Soft Cell from then on.” – from the book “Tainted Life (the autobiography)” by Marc Almond.

As the story goes, Cindy Ecstasy was a drug dealer. Her moniker came about from what she supplied: Ecstasy. In 1981, it was a drug for the nightclub elite. Hence, the name Cindy Ecstasy. Somehow, someone came up with the idea of having Cindy sing back-up on many of the classic Soft Cell tracks. That way she’ll always be around. A decade after Cindy weaved her chemical spells, Ecstasy became known to the general public.

Yet despite me just being a third generation spectator, I somehow have to agree with record producer Mike Thorne. “In one book about the group, Cyndi is obnoxiously described as ‘a drug dealer’, which is glib and convenient journalistic nonsense. She was a camp follower who contributed to the general party energy level and had her own distinctive style and rasping Brooklyn sense of humor and delivery. She passed on wonderful substances to Marc and Dave et al, but in a street social way. Ms Big she was not. I wonder where she is now.”  – from Thorne’s website: www.stereosociety.com

Cindy Ecstasy became the electronic duo’s accidental muse of sorts. She made appearances in the Soft Cell videos “Memorabilia” and “Torch.” Cindy even went as far as appearing with Soft Cell on the classic British countdown show “Top of The Pops.”

Alas, fame was only fleeting for Ms. Ecstasy. She did background vocals for the first Marc and The Mambas album. When her friendship with Marc Almond dissolved, she formed her own band called Six Sed Red. The band had two members. It was herself along with musician Rick Holliday, formerly of the early 1980s band B-Movie. The single was co- produced by the seminal Electronic/Industrial band Cabaret Voltaire, and remixed by Depeche Mode producer Flood.

Never heard of Six Sed Red? Don’t worry – not many people have. The single failed to chart much, and soon Cindy disappeared. Since then, her whereabouts have been largely unknown.

“She had a band called Six Said Red, and that was, like, 1984. I don’t know what became of her after that. Someone told me that she had a guest house in some seaside town in Britain somewhere, that she’s running a hotel. But I have no idea!” – Marc Almond, 1999 interview from the online magazine Chaos Control.

Who knows what would’ve happened if Six Sed Red had been more successful. Cindy did have some potential. Personally, I think the single could’ve been a bigger hit. Could’ve, would’ve, should’ve.

Little known fact: right before her disappearance, Cindy and Rick Holliday wrote a song for 80’s pop trio Bananarama.

On the other hand, since she was dealing with drugs, perhaps she had to…”disappear.”

There’s really no new crucial information here regarding Ms. Ecstasy. What’s posted here isn’t any different from what anyone else has written. It’s more like wondering out loud; “where is she now?” Even if we never hear from her again, at least she already left a legacy of some kind. In the meantime, I shall leave you with a small watercolor portrait of the accidental chemical muse, Cindy Ecstasy. Created tonight in watercolor, pen and ink by me. Enjoy.

Small portrait of Cindy Ecstasy. Watercolor, pen, ink. Created by Michele Witchipoo, May 2012.

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Lately I’ve been listening to Marc Almond. Been a fan of his since I was a kid, thanks to Soft Cell’s biggest hit “Tainted Love.” But Soft Cell was way more than a band who did Northern Soul covers. In fact, after the  “Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret”/”Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing” period, Soft Cell produced two more darker, brilliant releases: “The Art of Falling Apart” and “Last Night In Sodom.” Alas, all good things must come to an end. In 1984 Soft Cell disbanded until 2001. In 2002, a reunion album came in the form of “Cruelty Without Beauty.”

What stands out with Marc Almond is his ability to have one foot in the mainstream, and the other foot in the more avant garde/underground music circles. Marc makes it look effortless as he switches from one genre to another, depending on the project he’s working on. Perhaps another reason why I’m still a fan of Marc is that musically he’s constantly evolving. Instead of resting on nostalgic laurels, as with the case of some ’80s bands, Almond embraced different styles such as French chanson and Russian folk music. With this Marc Almond has proved to be a versatile artist again and again. In my eyes he’s an extremely underrated musician, especially here in the United States.

Right before Soft Cell broke up, Marc had two side projects. One was the very short-lived The Immaculate Consumptive. The members consisted of Almond, Lydia Lunch, Nick Cave and J.G. Thirlwell, better known as Foetus. The Immaculate Consumptive only lasted about three live shows. To my knowledge, no studio recording exist. Afterwards, Marc Almond formed his own off-shoot called Marc and The Mambas. Marc and The Mambas put out two studio albums. In 1982 was “Untitled” and in 1983 “Torment and Toreros.” This to me, is my favorite Marc Almond period. The other personal favorites besides the Mamba records is from his later solo years. There’s 1988’s “Stars We Are” and 1985’s “Mother Fist and Her Five Daughters.”

I remember buying “Untitled” used on vinyl years ago. It was brought on a lark, particularly since I had just gotten my first steady job. Later on, when I first got into Psychic TV, I was happy to find Marc Almond listed in the credits from the “Dreams Less Sweet” album. Also brought on vinyl was Marc’s second collaboration with Foetus called Flesh Volcano. Come to think of it, much of my teenage vinyl, ranging from PTV to Coil had Marc Almond doing guest vocals.

And so finally I get to the subject of the album cover art itself. After all, Marc’s portrait on “Untitled” helped persuade me to purchase this record many moons ago. That distinction goes to an amazing artist named Val Denham. If you don’t know who Val Denham is, well, you should. She’s a fantastic transgender artist and musician. She’s not only done work for Almond, but for Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV, and compilations put out by the Some Bizarre music label. Here’s the link to her work, and bio: http://www.valdenham.com/

Lastly, influenced by Marc and The Mambas and Val Denham, here’s my quickie artwork of Marc Almond. Here I used basic pen and ink, created tonight. Well, it is just a quick sketch. Enjoy.

Image

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So earlier this week I went to visit a long-time friend. I had originally met him sometime during the late 80s through a mutual friend, but hung out with him more during the mid-late 90s. Sometimes we used to go to Coney Island High together. Other times, we would just go bar hopping along the Lower East Side. This was way before NYC got bleached with gentrification. Back then, I did not give a toss about the next day; nevermind what would happen in the near future.

Of course, the good times don’t last forever. Nothing in life lasts forever. All you can do is to move on into the present. Anyway…I hopped onto a bus at NYC’s Port Authority to Reading, PA. Not that it was an exotic vacation by any means. In fact, downtown Reading is pretty much a dump. It wasn’t until I checked on my iPhone to discover Reading’s ranking as the 5th crime-ridden small town in America. Yeck.

Still, I had a good time. Went down a much needed walk down a nature trail. Along the way, me and the friend started talking about various music we grew up listening to. I’d be the first to admit, I much prefer to listen to music made 10-50 years ago as opposed to what’s being made now. Still, these conversations kinda sorta had me re-discovering stuff from long ago days. Like The Smiths for example. I was a big Smiths fan during my teen years. By the time 1993 rolled around however, I was so, so, so sick of them, and other such groups like The Cure. I’m still tired of The Cure. Unless its the very early stuff or Robert Smith’s side project The Glove, I never want to hear songs by The Cure ever again.

Rediscovering The Smiths proved worthy. Just listening to a few of Morrissey and Johnny Marr’s handiwork…they kinda like a Lennon/McCarthy of the 1980s. While everyone else was listening to garbage like Micheal Jackson, The Smiths hit a raw nerve to the disfranchised, the lonely, the confused, the heartbroken, the loners, the daydreamers.

When night came, we switched to early David Bowie. Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Young Americans, and a bit of the Heroes era.

There’s music made for for temporary mass consumption, and then there’s music for the long-term influential. Musical acts like The Smiths and early David Bowie fall into the long-term influential. The long-term influential isn’t just for other musicians. The tunes of the long-term influential also affects artists, writers, actors, directors, designers, travelers, mystics, and so on. Music and art go hand in hand, for imagination is the magician’s most crucial asset.

On the way home back to NYC, I started to think about all the great bands from the 1980s and the ’90s. Today, I discovered this online article from the Flavorwire website: 10 Glaring Omissions from Rolling Stone’s Top Albums of the ’80s.

I remember buying that particular Rolling Stone issue, either in 1989 or 1990. While it did mention Culture Club, Duran Duran, and Human League, I was disappointed with some of the other choices. Okay, The Clash was an important band way back when, but their album “London Calling” is in no way the best album of the 80s. No way.

This is all subject to personal opinion. I say tomateoo, you say tomatoe. Personally, I like some of the albums that Flavorwire listed. Totally remembered purchasing “Psychocandy” by The Jesus and Mary Chain. I played that vinyl until all the grooves were scratched up.

Here’s the complete list of omissions as determined by Flavorwire. I had many of these selections, either on vinyl, cassette or CD:

Pixies – Surfer Rosa
Dinosaur Jr – You’re Living All Over Me / Bug
Nirvana – Bleach
Mudhoney – Superfuzz Bigmuff
INXS – Kick
Throwing Muses – Throwing Muses
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Tender Prey
Big Black – Songs About Fucking
David Byrne and Brian Eno – My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
The Cure – Disintegration / Pornography
Devo – Freedom of Choice
Black Flag – Damaged
Sonic Youth – Sister
Minor Threat – Out of Step
Jane’s Addiction – Nothing’s Shocking
Simple Minds – New Gold Dream
Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
Galaxie 500 – On Fire
Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
Spacemen 3 – The Perfect Prescription
Cowboy Junkies – The Trinity Sessions
Killing Joke – Brighter than 1000 Suns
The Jesus and Mary Chain – Psychocandy
Echo & The Bunnymen – Ocean Rain / Crocodiles
The Triffids – Born Sandy Devotional
David Bowie – Scary Monsters and Super Creeps
Mötörhead – Ace of Spades
The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
De La Soul – 3 Feet High and Rising
Metallica – Master of Puppets
NWA – Straight Outta Compton
Depeche Mode – Music for the Masses
Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes
Soft Cell – Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret
The Gun Club – Fire of Love
Leonard Cohen – I’m Your Man
Grace Jones – Nightclubbing
Cocteau Twins – Treasure
EPMD – Strictly Business
This Mortal Coil – This Mortal Coil

I would also add these…
Psychic TV – Allegory and Self/Towards Thee Infinite Beat (This definitely subject to personal opinion. While some people still love PTV, others loathe Genesis P-Orridge. Depends who you speak with.)
Siouxsie and The Banshees – Juju/Kaleidoscope/Kiss In The Dreamhouse/Tinderbox
Skinny Puppy – Remission/Bites

I would also replace the Killing Joke album “Brighter than 1000 Suns” with “Nighttime.” Ditto for Sonic Youth. Replace “Sister” with “Evol.”

Enough of this opinionated musical memory lane. Time to head back to the present.

http://flavorwire.com/173341/10-glaring-omissions-from-rolling-stones-top-albums-of-the-80s

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Thanks to this nasty head cold, I wasn’t going anywhere. So of course, I’m surfing the internet, hit all the social networking sites, blah, blah, blah. Came across this entry on the Dangerous Minds blog. There was an article about 1980s NYC downtown king, John Sex.

I remember reading about John Sex during my freshman year in high school. Some mainstream magazine was covering the early 80s East Village underground. In those days, my father would bring home dozens of publications from his job. Dad wasn’t picky, he would bring home whatever. People, German rock magazines, various fashion publications, etc. The world of the subcultural seemed so distant, so mysterious, despite the fact I was a teenager living in Queens. Don’t remember much about that article, but this photo of John Sex stood out. A black and white image, his bleached blond hair standing straight up as if he had been in an electric shock.

New York City’s downtown area was a very different playground 20 years ago, compared to now. Manhattan’s underground club culture was very vibrant during the 1980s. Club Kid culture was gaining momentum. Unfortunately, John Sex passed away in 1990, from AIDS-related causes.

Here’s two YouTube videos I found of John Sex:

http://www.dangerousminds.net/comments/remembering_john_sex/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sex

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