Sunday, July 26, 2009

New wave diary entry #1: Liverpool

Listening to music is an emotional experience. Sometimes I select a band to set a mood, other times I pick an album for precisely the mood already working on me. When I’m angry I listen to punk. When I’m happy, new wave. Music that follows the anarchic sound of the Sex Pistols is “punk”, music that tends toward the more polished sound of Joy Division is “new wave”. For some strange reason, English new wave acts--specifically early Liverpool bands--provoke a specific mood in me. As REM would put it: a shiny-happy-people-laughing/holding-hands kind of feeling.

And that mood was started by The Teardrop Explodes (1978) which got their name from a Daredevil comic book. Its members included future Echo and the Bunnymen (1978) vocalist Ian McCulloch and keyboardist Paul Simpson who, together with guitarist Jeremy Kelly, formed The Wild Swans (1980). Kelly went on to form The Lotus Eaters (1982) while Simpson founded Care (1983) with guitarist Ian Broudie. Parting with Simpson over musical differences, Broudie began recording alone under the name The Lightning Seeds (1989), and the rest they say is British indie-slash-alternative rock history.

Trivia: Care wrote a song called “Chandeliers” which was ripped off by local band Orange and Lemons as “Pinoy Ako” for reality TV show Pinoy Big Brother back in 2006. They denied the allegation, but considering the group wasn’t even aware--or so they claimed--that their moniker was derived from an album by another UK wave outfit XTC, what more could you expect?

Soundtrack: “Liar” by the Sex Pistols


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