Cyndi Lauper was right up there along with Madonna and Prince back in the 80's. They were for sure my first favorite artists that I obsessed over. And I was not alone. I blame it on MTV, but you have to give them credit for creating millions of fans out of these sort of weird artists. Somebody who looked like Prince or Cyndi Lauper would never make it on American Idol today. They would be included in the group of contestants who never make it, that everyone laughs at. I know it was a different time back then, but it still is amazing how popular music has became so boring and basic. I try to stay away from American Idol. I just avoid it because I know it will make me mad, but I happened to catch the last 15 minutes of the finale last week. The contestants are always the same. They have decent enough voices but they never have any style or substance to them. They are just exact replicas of the contestants of seasons before them. They have the rocker dudes, the high school musical showtunes people. The boring R&B singers. I would really love to see somebody like Cyndi Lauper on that show-- somebody totally crazy and unique. I don't think it will probably happen. The mainstream music fan has become complacent with boring music and is just not interested in anything a bit weird. Where is the next Cyndi Lauper? Will there every be another Morrissey or Robert Smith? Another Marilyn Manson? Where are the weirdos? The 80s really was all about the rise of the freak and weirdo. It is really amazing Cyndi Lauper became as popular as she did. She was like nothing before her. The songs were pure perfect pop and she had one of those unique brilliant voices. Anybody who was a bit weird themselves was drawn to her. They identified with her for being an outcast and weirdo, but then she became one of the most popular and recognizable singers of the 80s.
Cyndi Lauper is one of those artists that just makes me happy anytime I think about her. I smile whenever I think of her in the "We Are The World" video or in the video for "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough." I hate to imagine my life without her. How could I have got through the 80s without "Time After Time," "She Bop," "Change of Heart," and "When You Were Mine?" I remember being excited whenever I heard her on the radio or TV. The 80s would have certainly not been as interesting and fun without her. Maybe Cyndi should have her own reality show. It could be the search for the next Cyndi Lauper or the search for the next weirdo. Cyndi does have a new album out this week as well. Her album from a couple years ago was a pop vocals standards sort of album. This is nothing like that. It goes more back to what you might expect from her. The album is very dancey and very gay friendly. She still manages to make some super fun songs. Not sure I will be listening to it very much more, but I still love her and will most likely be seeing her in concert again when she brings her gay positive True Colors Tour to town.
The album I am really super excited about this week is the new Booka Shade. You might be surprised to learn that this is their third album. I was at least a bit surprised. I can't really say I had heard the previous two albums until recently, but as I said before, I love discovering new bands that have already been around for a while. It is nice to save some of these bands for a rainy day. I love this album. It has become my Justice album for the year. I just can't stop listening to it. It fits nicely into some 80s new wave albums-- mix in some 90s electronica and some downtempo, and you get an amazing little album. Much of the album is on the more mellow side. Some of the tracks could easily be instrumental Depeche Mode b-sides. The album is called The Sun & the Neon Light. It is very much a night album, the kind you could listen to in your bedroom or out in the city in you car. I imagine that if I had a car I would be driving around to this album all the time. Booka Shade is made up of Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeier. They come from the land of Frankfurt, Germany. They put out Memento and Movements before this brilliant new album. Some people might like those earlier albums better. They are great, but this new one is really fantastic...Maybe I just like it more because it was my introduction to the band. I put it on a couple months ago not really knowing if I would like it or not, but I ended up falling in love with it. It is sort of hard to explain what exactly this album sounds like, so you just will have to listen to it to find our for yourself, but this is one of those albums that has already changed my life. I am serious. They are just as powerful as the great Cyndi Lauper. I love when music is so good it actually changes your life.
Here is a little promo video for the new Booka Shade. You will fall in love with them just like I have if you watch this...
and here is a video for Cyndi Lauper's "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough," so you can fall in love with her all over again...
also out today...
Disco Italia: Essential Italo Disco
Health/Disco by Health
Same As It Never Was by Herbaliser
Dystopia by Midnight Juggernauts
Young Team by Mogwai (Reissue)
Sex & the City Soundtrack
Songs in A & E by Spiritualized