All My Stars (31)

By: Joanne McNeil
August 4, 2016


One in a weekly series in which Joanne McNeil recommends books, films, exhibitions, and more. You can also subscribe to the All My Stars newsletter here.



This month, Hilobrow is running a series of posts in appreciation of New Wave hits from 1977–1982. Yesterday, my post on Gary Numan’s “Metal” went up.

I know these songs from that brief early-aughts revival known as electroclash. The actual electroclash bands were not so great but the DJs would cut in Italo disco, various new wave artists, post punk, and goth-twinged electronic music. Consequently, most of the music that reminds me of parties in my youth was actually released about the time of my birth.

That’s what I imported into whatever janky mp3 player I had at the time because an iPod was $400. (“In my day, an iPhone weighted seven pounds, didn’t take calls or have internet, and only held 1,000 songs….”) This was the only period of my life that I closely followed music and it reflects now in what I tend to turn on. Still, Cabaret Voltaire’s “Red Mecca” is my ultimate chilling-at-home record. I went to some epic parties back then, but now it’s over.

Perhaps no one will revist artists like Felix Da Housecat or Mount Sims, because the scene was so derivative of another period — I wonder. It felt like cosplay even at the time. There were a few songs that were very, very good like Solvent’s “My Radio”, but even then they weren’t particularly popular. Freak folk, emerging right on the heels of electroclash, was similarly nostalgic. But electroclash, as far as I can tell, never had its Joanna Newsom, whose records might deservedly sit alongside Sibylle Baier or Vashti Bunyan, despite the decades that separate them.

In addition to “Metal,” here are several other good synth heavy songs. I’ll inevitably write more about John Foxx and Anne Clark soon:



CURATED SERIES at HILOBROW: UNBORED CANON by Josh Glenn | CARPE PHALLUM by Patrick Cates | MS. K by Heather Kasunick | HERE BE MONSTERS by Mister Reusch | DOWNTOWNE by Bradley Peterson | #FX by Michael Lewy | PINNED PANELS by Zack Smith | TANK UP by Tony Leone | OUTBOUND TO MONTEVIDEO by Mimi Lipson | TAKING LIBERTIES by Douglas Wolk | STERANKOISMS by Douglas Wolk | MARVEL vs. MUSEUM by Douglas Wolk | NEVER BEGIN TO SING by Damon Krukowski | WTC WTF by Douglas Wolk | COOLING OFF THE COMMOTION by Chenjerai Kumanyika | THAT’S GREAT MARVEL by Douglas Wolk | LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE by Chris Spurgeon | IMAGINARY FRIENDS by Alexandra Molotkow | UNFLOWN by Jacob Covey | ADEQUATED by Franklin Bruno | QUALITY JOE by Joe Alterio | CHICKEN LIT by Lisa Jane Persky | PINAKOTHEK by Luc Sante | ALL MY STARS by Joanne McNeil | BIGFOOT ISLAND by Michael Lewy | NOT OF THIS EARTH by Michael Lewy | ANIMAL MAGNETISM by Colin Dickey | KEEPERS by Steph Burt | AMERICA OBSCURA by Andrew Hultkrans | HEATHCLIFF, FOR WHY? by Brandi Brown | DAILY DRUMPF by Rick Pinchera | BEDROOM AIRPORT by “Parson Edwards” | INTO THE VOID by Charlie Jane Anders | WE REABSORB & ENLIVEN by Matthew Battles | BRAINIAC by Joshua Glenn | COMICALLY VINTAGE by Comically Vintage | BLDGBLOG by Geoff Manaugh | WINDS OF MAGIC by James Parker | MUSEUM OF FEMORIBILIA by Lynn Peril | ROBOTS + MONSTERS by Joe Alterio | MONSTOBER by Rick Pinchera | POP WITH A SHOTGUN by Devin McKinney | FEEDBACK by Joshua Glenn | 4CP FTW by John Hilgart | ANNOTATED GIF by Kerry Callen | FANCHILD by Adam McGovern | BOOKFUTURISM by James Bridle | NOMADBROW by Erik Davis | SCREEN TIME by Jacob Mikanowski | FALSE MACHINE by Patrick Stuart | 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | 12 MORE DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE (AGAIN) | ANOTHER 12 DAYS OF SIGNIFICANCE | UNBORED MANIFESTO by Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen | H IS FOR HOBO by Joshua Glenn | 4CP FRIDAY by guest curators



What do you think?

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