To Do List: Work On Beyonce Covers. Get Record Contract With Beyonce.

All this time we’ve been singing Beyonce songs at Karaoke Caturday Matinee when we should have been perfecting our Beyonce covers on Youtube. Click here and get to know the girls who might bey next in line to the throne.

 

Thomas Dolby: Where Is He Now?

thomas_dolbyThis week at Slacker we’re celebrating all things 80′s & New Wave while our Slacker countdown, the 101 Greatest New Wave Songs cranks in the background. What can we say, we’re New Wave fans! Some folks here (like myself) would even argue it was the greatest period ever in the storied history of Rock music. The hair, the synthesizers, the androgynous edge, the elevation of punk ethos and pop excess straight into outer space- what’s not to love?!

So in the spirit of celebration, we’re taking a rewind/fast forward look at some stand out New Wave artists to get a sense of what exactly they’ve been up to since their New Wave peak and where they are now. Today: Thomas Dolby!

I got to interview the legendary musician as part of Slacker’s partnership with Moogfest, an eclectic music festival in Asheville, North Carolina back in 2012. While predominantly known for his quirky 1982 hit “She Blinded Me With Science,” Dolby’s career has taken off in multiple fascinating directions.

After releasing his fourth album Astronauts & Heretics back in 1992, Dolby took a break from recording albums and turned to the world of business and technology. His first venture was called “Headspace,” a company that developed a new file format for downloadable music. He then founded a ringtone company and even composed the now ubiquitous Nokia theme. (Listen to it here, you totally know it!)

250px-Thomas_Dolby_at_TEDIn 2001 he came on board as musical director of the TED Conference, both providing actual music for the event and booking guest speakers and entertainers. And in 2012 he filmed a documentary about the decommissioning of a lighthouse near his home in Suffolk England. One thing’s for sure: Thomas Dolby, like any true artist and innovator, is never bored!

[Post by @PartyBen – partyben.com/]

 

B-52s: Where Are They Now?

The+B52s++1980This week at Slacker we’re celebrating all things 80′s & New Wave while our Slacker countdown, the 101 Greatest New Wave Songs cranks in the background. What can we say, we’re New Wave fans! Some folks here (like myself) would even argue it was the greatest period ever in the storied history of Rock music. The hair, the synthesizers, the androgynous edge, the elevation of punk ethos and pop excess straight into outer space- what’s not to love?!

So in the spirit of celebration, we’re taking a rewind/fast forward look at some stand out New Wave artists to get a sense of what exactly they’ve been up to since their New Wave peak and where they are now. Today: the B-52s!

First up, let’s get one thing clear: the apostrophe in “B-52’s” went away in 2008; it’s just one of the many mysteries surrounding this band. The Athens, Georgia combo were both ridiculously innovative and innovatively ridiculous for their time. It’s hard to imagine now how truly odd they seemed back in the late ‘70s, with beehive hairdos, a thrift store aesthetic, and gay members who aren’t afraid to be a bit camp on stage. This was Georgia, people!

The release of “Rock Lobster” in 1978 catapulted the band to international fame. It reached the Top 10 in Ireland and Canada and eventually inspired John Lennon to return to making music. While founding member Ricky Wilson’s tragic and untimely death from AIDS in 1985 sidelined the band for a few years, they were to go on to even greater success, with “Love Shack” and “Roam” both peaking at #3 in the US.

b522The band laid low for an even longer period after 1992’s Good Stuff, and didn’t release a new album until 2008’s Funplex, which received strong reviews. While the band continued to be a successful concert act, playing around 50 shows a year, in 2012 founding drummer and multi-instrumentalist Keith Strickland announced he would no longer tour with the band. Currently, Kate Pierson is reportedly working on a solo album. While there are no tour dates or releases planned for the band at the moment, you never know what to expect with the B-52s, one of the strangest and most groundbreaking acts to ever grace the charts.

[Post by @PartyBen – partyben.com/]

 

Bow Wow Wow: Where Are They Now?

Bow+Wow+Wow+Bow_Wow_WowThis week at Slacker we’re celebrating all things 80’s & New Wave while our Slacker countdown, the 101 Greatest New Wave Songs cranks in the background. What can we say, we’re New Wave fans! Some folks here would even argue it was the greatest period ever in the storied history of Rock music. The hair, the synthesizers, the androgynous edge, the elevation of punk ethos and pop excess straight into outer space- what’s not to love?!

So in the spirit of celebration, we’re taking a rewind/fast forward look at some stand out New Wave artists to get a sense of what exactly they’ve been up to since their New Wave peak and where they are now. Today– Bow Wow Wow!

I imagine this to be what happens at every marketing meeting on earth- a brand or product is conceived, market research is studied, the “Four P’s” are discussed… and then you hire a 13 year old Anglo-Burmese girl you found working at a laundry mat and build a band around her to really sell it. Right?

Worked for Bow Wow Wow, the British New Wave band created in 1980 by Malcolm McLaren to promote his and Vivienne Westwood’s New Romantic fashion line. In fact, McLaren’s pitch was so persuasive, he managed to poach guitarist Matthew Ashman, bassist Leigh Gorman and drummer David Barbarossa away from Adam And The Ants, (leaving poor Adam in a lurch to find new bugs). Once McLaren landed a lead singer in the form of 13-year-old Annabella Lwin, the master plan was complete!

However the band quickly found themselves at the center of controversies related to their album artwork and the content of some of their singles. The band was only allowed to tour outside of the UK once McLaren had assured British authorities he wouldn’t promote Lwin as a “Sex Kitten” as a result of the album cover for See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang, Yeah. City All Over! Go Ape Crazy, and EMI famously refused to promote their single “C-30 C-60 C-90 Go” because it allegedly promoted home taping as the Side B of the release was blank. Totally reasonable.

In fact, the band’s biggest hit, “I Want Candy” was the only single released from their EP The Last Of The Mohicans and barely scrapped the Top 50 at the time, but has since become an enduring New Wave classic.

Fast forward to 2014 and you’ll find Bow Wow Wow has since gathered a roster of interesting admirers including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, No Doubt, Sofia Coppola, (who says she drew inspiration from Annabella Lwin as she crafted the style of her film Marie Antoinette), and the band Pretty Girls Make Graves, who covered “C-30 C-60 C-90 Go”. There are also two iterations of Bow Wow Wow playing today- one fronted by Annabella Lwin and the other under the guidance of bassist Leigh Gorman.

So what’s the lesson here? If you’ve got a got a New Romantic fashion line you’d like to launch- go build a band to sell it. You’ll make waves and be remembered. And puffy shirts the world over will rejoice.

Need some additional 80’s eye candy to jog the ‘ol memory? Here ya go, just remember to put Slacker’s, 101 Greatest New Wave Songs on in the background to round out the whole thing!

1. A Light In The Attic

 

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2. Married With Children

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3. Pillow People

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4. Teddy Ruxpin

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5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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6. Donkey Kong

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7. Jellies

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8. Bill & Ted

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9. Slouch Socks

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10. Punky Brewster

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11. Skip-It

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12. Jem

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13. He-Man & She-Ra

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14. Team Cyndi or Team Madonna

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15. Lisa Frank

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16. Cabbage Patch Kids

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Dead Or Alive: Where Are They Now?

DeadOrAliveThis week at Slacker we’re celebrating all things 80’s & New Wave while our Slacker countdown, the 101 Greatest New Wave Songs cranks in the background. What can we say, we’re New Wave fans! Some folks here would even argue it was the greatest period ever in the storied history of Rock music. The hair, the synthesizers, the androgynous edge, the elevation of punk ethos and pop excess straight into outer space- what’s not to love?!

So in the spirit of celebration, we’re taking a rewind/fast forward look at some stand out New Wave artists to get a sense of what exactly they’ve been up to since their New Wave peak and where they are now. Today– Dead Or Alive!

Holy moly let’s just get this part out of the way- Pete Burns, founder and lead singer of British New Wave band Dead Or Alive, looks pretty wild. Pretty much always has.

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Burns is often considered the poster child of New Wave androgyny and has pushed the boundaries of style, sex and art throughout his career. In fact, Dead or Alive was the product of two previous bands founded by Burns; The Mystery Girls and Nightmares In Wax, which both positioned Burns’ appearance as the primary “Wow Factor” it seems. Rumor has it the catalyst for Burns deciding to morph Nightmares In Wax into Dead Or Alive was pressure from local British music promoters to really “commit” to his outrageous appearance. Thanks British music promoters.

The result was a band that found loads of success on the British charts in the 1980’s- seven Top 40 UK singles and three Top 30 UK albums. Their biggest hit, “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)” went to #1 on the UK singles chart, #1 in Canada and crossed the pond to peak at #11 in the US, on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. What followed was a string of additional singles and albums that flirted with success on the charts, but drove the band further into controversy- videos banned from MTV, retailers complaining about album covers and gothic/horror movie overtones seeping into the mix.

So fast forward- Dead Or Alive never really broke up, but was pared down to Pete Burns and drummer Steve Coy throughout most of the 2000’s and the band continued to release albums comprised of new material, remixes and covers. Pete Burns also managed to solidify himself as a fixture of British reality television, appearing in Celebrity Big Brother, Celebrity Wife Swap & Pete’s PA as well as several TV specials where he recounted his experiences with plastic surgery and of course… he had his arm twisted into performing “You Spin Me Round” on just about all of them.

We’re glad Pete Burns is still with us and we’re glad Dead Or Alive happened; besides the fact that we love the music, he sure makes the folks chasing youth and vanity in Hollywood look like a bunch of cowards!

Need some additional 80’s eye candy to jog the ‘ol memory? Here ya go, just remember to put Slacker’s, 101 Greatest New Wave Songs on in the background to round out the whole thing!

1. Ecto Cooler

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2. Glo Worm

 

 

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3. Tee-Shirt Clips

 

 

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4. Super Mario Bros.

 

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5. Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

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6. Pogo Ball

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7. Gremlins

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8. Reebok Pumps

 

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9. Belle And Sebastian

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10. Double Dare

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11. Giggles

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12. Where In The World Is Carmen San Diego

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13. Bubble Necklaces

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14. Alf

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15. Small Wonder

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16. A Balanced Breakfast

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Grammy’s A – Z!

GRAMMY A-ZSlacker serves up a sweeping retrospective of the biggest hits and misses in the history of the Grammy Awards–in alphabetical order! Join your hostess Red, as she recounts Grammy record-breakers from Adele to Kanye to Sinatra, with a barrage of Grammy trivia lining up with each letter of the alphabet. It’s the Grammy A-Z; something that could only happen on Slacker.

P!NK Top 33!

PINK 33Pink has become one of the biggest names in music by doing things her way. The uncompromising singer was named the #1 pop musician of the first decade of the 2000s by Billboard magazine. This week she releases her new “Truth About Love Tour” DVD, and in celebration Slacker has put together a station counting down your favorite Pink songs using our Engagement Quotient. Get the party started with the Pink Top 33!

Grammy Awards 2014!

GRAMMY 2014Hello and welcome to Slacker’s Grammys 2014! On this station Slacker celebrates the 56th annual Grammy Awards with a collection of this year’s major nominees from Daft Punk to Black Sabbath, as well as highly anticipated performers like Metallica and Eurythmics. It’s your home for all things Grammy, and you can listen here- it’s Slacker’s Grammys 2014.

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