Friday, November 24, 2006

TIGF!!!(That's Incredibly Gay Friday): People's confusion of what is "New Wave"

Here are some video's from the group, Japan.

This is Japan in 1978 abouts. In this video, "Adolescent Sex", you can see that they don't know if they are too late for the glam rock movement of the early seventies, or too early for the hair metal of the eighties. David Sylvian (lead vocals) looks just like Duff from Guns and Roses! Awesome song. I would classify this under the New Wave genre--stuff that immediately proceeded the British punk movement of 1977-78. Japan got smart, or dumb, depending on your tastes, and changed their look and sound in 1979.

This song, "Quiet Life", kicks ass and Japan are retaining a bit of edge still. By 1980, they are transforming into this:

"Gentleman Take Polaroids" is now a full on transformation into something that is truly different from new wave: it is now new romantic. Duran Duran are so having to service Japan in the afterlife.

Well, I love post punk and new wave, like Wire, The Jam, Joy Division, Cure, Gang of Four, some Split Enz, some Human League, and some Ultravox (with Mr. Fox, not Midge Ure on vocals). Japan spawned the big hair and multi-colored dye and makeup that would dominate the '80s. It is TIGF, and most of it's spawn, I can't stand. But, I can listen to Japan and enjoy something that was slick, but not empty, arty, but not too serious. However, later on a band took the synth pop garbage that followed and then evolved into a band that would do some rather important stuff that hardly anyone listened to: Talk Talk. Yeah, we all know the "It's my life" song, because No Doubt covered it, but have you ever listened to their albums "The Colour of Spring" and "The Spirit of Eden"? They are that movement away from vapid, soulless, synth pop and into experimental progressive music.

All along there was a better group of kids coming out of the inititial punk and new wave movements, in the alternative rock of Echo and the Bunnymen, U2, The Smiths, and etc. But, I will not hang a TIGF tag on them, good, bad, or otherwise. I love those groups, but who are we really to thank? Try these big names: Roxy Music, David Bowie, Brian Eno, The New York Dolls, The Ramones, Television, The Velvet Underground, The Sex Pistols, and on and on with those groups. They took the music of the 60s and turned it up on its ear. Someone benefited from all that experimentation and put synths to it, making lots of cash.

This is in no way a history, but my meandering musings/ramblings on some TIGF group, Japan, and a bunch of subsequent and prior music that surrounded this short-lived, yet really influential band.


goldennib said...

The hair is amazing.

The music is good.

Scott said...

Excellent synopsis there Grunt. Good tunes and you are right about who we owe the debt to.


Karyn said...

Wait wait wait - - how do we feel about Duran Duran again?

Rock on, Grunt. Bowie, Ramones, Roxy, the Pistols - tell it like it is, baby.

Jules said...

I've never heard of Japan, and I've never seen those videos... but anyone who wears more makeup and does more with their hair than a chick... I just don't know if that's cool or not! The evolution of Japan doesn't seem very... evolved. Sorry Grunty! These guys are not my cup of tea, but I do like other bands mentioned here and I think alot of new wave music is great! Maybe if you posted a video clip of you headbanging to this group I'd have a change of heart!?

The Grunt said...

Worst TIGF ever!

Kidding. It must be the holidays. My initial idea was to profile Edward Teach, but I feared getting haunted by his ghost for the rest of my life.

Nessa~ See, you get it!

Scott~ Yes, and I would have to say that Roxy Music and David Bowie are the ones who inspired, for better or for worse, the band Japan and bands like them. BTW, I worship Bowie and Roxy Music.

Karyn~ Duran Duran are the band that reaped the rewards, but are not the originators. That's all I'm sayin'. Of course, everyone will end up servicing Elvis Presley.

Jules~ Don't ever come here again. I am sick and tired of you disrespecting everything that I like. Seriously, though, you got the memo about TIGF, right?

cindra said...

Grunty-i'm sorry...i think they suck. i'd rather listen to the originals in this case...nobody can touch bowie or the the ramones. i'm impressed with your musical knowledge! awesome range, dude.

Just don't put flock of seagulls on, okay?

The Grunt said...

Cindra~ I like such a broad spectrum of music it is bound to happen that someone will not like something I do. I am someone who gets into music for its history, so I will become a fan of a group because of the part they played during a certain time. I chose Japan because they seemed to be that band that translated specific elements of Bowie and Roxy Music into this slick, commercial, synth music, which Duran Duran, A Flock of Seaguls, and so many other groups cleaned house with.

If you must, must, know who my favorite bands are, they are your British Invasion bands: Kinks, The Who, Beatles, Stones, Them, Small Faces. But, growing up I was completely devoted to heavy metal, and not the hair band variety. The first concert I went to was the original Guns and Roses opening up for Iron Maiden. Talk about epic, wow!

Jules said...

Dude - Okay, I know you're just being sarcastic with me, but... ouch! That stung!

The Grunt said...

Jules~ Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. I was just kidding, but now I know that I can't handle you with kid gloves. I will go back to having pillow fights with ya.

Oh yeah, Neil Young is the guy who's music transcends everything for me and goes straight into my heart. I would have to say that he is my favorite all time anything--him and Crazy Horse. Especially Crazy Horse with Danny Whitten. Holy crap, this latest Fillmore live release of Neil's with the original Crazy Horse (as an independent entity from him)it is just out of this world. Him and the band Rush. Yes, Rush: they got me through adolescence.

cindra said...

Grunty-I would never put you down for your music. I just didn't like that band. I love a huge array of music. Since I graduated high school in 1983, I did my own amount of head banging, and saw the likes of Metallica, Cinderella, Scorpions, Judas Priest, etc. Never AC/DC though, damnit. And I do love all the British invasion groups you mention. With the exception of the Stones. THey are good, but I cannot stand Mick Jagger at all, so he ruins it for me.

The Grunt said...

Anyone that listens to and likes Judas Priest and AC/DC is mega cool in my book, Cindra. I did like the first Cinderella, but not subsequent albums. Scorpions were great for a long time, but they lost me in the late eighties. Metallica used to own metal. Now they are just bloated with riches and it shows. I still listen to those eighties albums of theirs.

Yeah, a lot of people don't like the Rolling Stones because of Mick. He is just that kind of guy, I guess.