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Okay, this is weird. The weird part was not ’70s Punk icon Patti Smith singing “You Light Up My Life” on a late 70s/early 80s children show. Not her, nor her choice of song or her choice of appearance.

The guy accompanying her on the piano? That’s Joseph Brooks, who wrote the Oscar winning tune. The weird, and ultimately sad part was, despite the fact that Joe Brooks had composed the biggest selling love song in the 1970s, the man was an accused rapist who just committed suicide earlier this week.

That’s not all. His own son stands accused of murder, currently at Rikers Island without bail. Apparently Nicholas Brooks killed his girlfriend Sylvie Cachay, an up-and-coming swimsuit designer.

A modern day story worthy of Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon book series.

When I was a kid, we used to sing this song during music class.

New York Times article about Joseph Brooks
Case continues beyond the grave
NY Mag article about both Joseph and Nicolas Brooks.

Wikipedia entry about children program “Kids Are People Too”

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Here’s a rare video of Brion Gysin:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brion_Gysin

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The first wave of the Batcave movement, later to be evolved to what is now known as Gothic began in the late 1970s/early 1980s. It’s (hair)roots can be traced to the United Kingdom. Submerging elements of Glam Rock, Psychedelic, Punk/Post-Punk, Alternative Rock, New Wave, and a bit of synthesizer created a genre still popular today. Unfortunately, although the term “Goth” has become overused and mainstreamed, this particular subculture broke off into a variety of other underground sub-genres. Some of the sub-genres listed include Darkwave, Industrial and some Electronica.

Some of the most known bands to emerge from the Goth movement range from Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. There was lesser known groups as well: Specimen, Christian Death, Xmal Deutschland, The Virgin Prunes, Skeletal Family…etc., etc. You could go in the direction of Alien Sex Fiend, or you entrance yourself in the ethereal/4AD sounds of such bands like Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil. Newer bands from the 1990s and 2000s include Bella Morte, and London After Midnight. Some of the older bands later shed the Goth label, finding commercial success. Others remained underground with small cult followings, most fading into obscurity.

The Danse Society was such a band with the misfortune of later obscurity.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Danse_Society

I remember Danse Society fondly. Suppose it was due to the fact that it brings nice memories of being a teen. I was just starting to learn about Alternative music. Plus the lead vocalist (Steve Rawlings) was easy on the eyes. There was a single this band had released titled “Say It Again.” Despite a more peppier sound than their earlier tunes, it was still a good song.

Considering that iTunes has some early Deathrock ditties like “Sex Beat” available, you would think “Say It Again” would be as well. No such luck. In fact, iTunes has two albums for purchase: the 1986 album “Looking Through” and the 2001 compilation “Seduction.” However missing was the later single “Say It Again.” Sigh….somehow this is typical of iTunes.

So once again we turn to that modern phenomenon called YouTube. This was the best copy of the promotional video I could find:

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Everyone knows Simple Minds as that 1980s Alt band who did that song “Don’t You Forget About Me.” Yeah, the famous theme song from that seminal teen flick from the Reagan era “The Breakfast Club.” Now don’t get me wrong…both the song and the movie were okay. My fave character from that club was Ally Sheedy’s character, the sulky Allison Reynolds. Probably because I had liked her messy hair and brooding demeanor.

Anyhow, I didn’t come here to talk about the film. Prior to Simple Minds becoming a huge 80s rock/pop outfit, they actually put out some decent albums.  One song I’ve particularly loved was “Travel” from the 1980 release “Empires and Dance.”

With Simple Minds’ third album release, “Empires and Dance” mixed the post-punk/art rock atmospheric guitar effects with dark dance beats.  Hints of slight 1980 European political overtones blended right into the slightly Roxy Music influenced sound. The Scottish based Simple Minds continued to fine tune their own sound until the massive bubblegum hit exploded in the US. By the time “Alive and Kicking” was released, the band briefly transformed into US arena rock darlings.

For sometime I’ve been trying to find that particular early Simple Minds song as an MP3. Imagine my surprise when “Travel” appeared out of nowhere during my search for another song; “Being Boiled” by The Human League.

Proof that there is a god, and it comes in the form of YouTube. Dig hard enough, and you will find. Here I found a UK television appearance promoting this single. Since mercury is presently in retrograde, this blast from the past is fitting. Or shall I say a past from the blast?

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