Music as Identity – Part 3 – New Wave

As mentioned in the last post, I learned about (what we considered) New Wave music early in high school from a couple friends. Primarily my friend Eric introduced me to bands like Depeche Mode (around the time of Music for the Masses), New Order (Substance), and The Cure (Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me). From what Wikipedia says, this was music from the later period of New Wave. At the time, we listened to the local college station, WLUW, from Loyola University. They played almost exclusively music from this genre. I grew to love Erasure (The Innocents), Siouxsie & the Banshees (Peepshow), Art of Noise (Best of), Echo & the Bunnymen (self titled), Nitzerebb (That Total Age), Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (Best of), Cocteau Twins (Blue Bell Knoll), and the Psychedelic Furs (Midnight to Midnight). It was the music we listened to and danced to. I even had my hair cut in a ‘wedge’ through most of high school. Best described as an extreme combover (with a full head of hair) cut in a straight line, and shaved under on the sides.

DM, New Order, The Cure, Erasure, Cocteau Twins, and Siouxsie were the bands that stuck with me. The Cure probably more than the others. Somebody by DM and Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division were the songs of emotion from that time. The dance tunes were many from DM, New Order, or Erasure. As an aside, my friend Eric is Filipino he would often take me to family gatherings and events. One was a large celebration in a gymnasium with almost only Filipinos. There were usually only two or three other non-filipinos. We all chowed down on ponsit and chicken adobo. Anyhow, synth pop was very popular and what we called the Filipino national anthem was always played. Once they put in Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order, the dance floor was packed.

Oddly enough, after looking over the list of bands that are considered New Wave, it seems my tastes have always followed that genre. Before and after those bands listed above. Though these bands were more mainstream such as Duran Duran, INXS, REM, XTC, or Tears for Fears.

And now a little game of name that tune (my sister and Eric can’t play because they know them all, I’m sure.) The last one should be easy.

“He wasn’t white and fluffy, he just has sideburns”
“And turning on his heal he left a trail of bubbles bleeding in his stead”
“I’ll make your heart smile. Pain will you return it.”

Again, it is quite something to dig back and research the info for these posts. Brings back so many memories, most I have not thought about for over a decade. Finding bands that I only have on tape and still being able to remember the lyrics. Along with the emotions they evoke. Remembering the adolescent years and all that went on. Maybe I’ll finish processing the last few boxes from the move and dig out those tapes.

For the next post in the series, I will dig even farther back to the singer songwriters that my parents used to listen to.

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~ by Frank on December 9, 2005.

5 Responses to “Music as Identity – Part 3 – New Wave”

  1. Because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone else, I’ll cast my vote by saying “DM – S-r-n-e-o-e”.

    I’ve got them tucked away in my iTunes “memories of mood” folder.

  2. Hehehe 🙂 I love new wave. It’s my fifth best style, outclassed by classical-romantic era, jazz, electrojazz and recent blues.

    I went late on new wave, but with a vengeance. Love them all.

    B-52’s, Plastic Bertrand, The Humans, Ramones, XTC, Knack, Bauhaus, Joy Division, Soft Cell, Devo, Kim Wilde, Ultravox, Haircut 100, A Flock of Seagulls, Laurie Anderson, and so many more.

    Love the “no future” message of the cold war. Appropriate. Underground, everything.

  3. Paolo, Yep, you got it. I’m interested in seeing if anyone can name the other two. They’re more obscure.

    Michel, New Wave would be #2 on my list. It is interesting to see what each person’s collection of bands are. Your collection seems slightly before my time, and what would be considered a bit more obscure for where I’m from. I wonder if it is the geographical difference or just your preferences.

    Thank you both for the comments.

  4. Okay, I got the last one but I don’t know the first two. I have a feeling that the second one was a creation of Robert Smith (seems like his style) but can’t place it in a song.

    Oh, and by the way, years and years ago I put “I’ll make your heart smile” in the Reader‘s personals. Thought you could relate.

    Your sister –
    Ophelia

  5. Nance, That’s surprising. I thought you would have #2 since I thought you sent that one also into the Reader.

    #1 is Deus by Sugarcubes
    #2 is Like Cockatoos by the Cure (Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me)
    #3 is Strangelove by Depeche Mode

    I think you really need to know the albums well for #1 & #2. I thought #2 was off a more popular song. Another one is:

    You remember that day in Paris
    Where we wandered through the rain
    And promised to each other
    That we’d always think the same.

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