INTRODUCING…Friday Night Videos, y’all!

Some of us didn’t have cable or MTV growing up; believe it or not, NBC was one place we got our music television (for Kazzy, “music television” was to us, what “Em Pee Threes” are to you).

I need that freeze-frame of Morris Day, with his eyebrows raised, as my new Gravatar pic.


Miami Vice was another good Friday night source for music (you know, NBC used to be kind of cool once).

I believe this was the first place I ever heard “Baba O’ Riley”. I know for a fact my friend bought Who’s Next shortly after this aired, because we liked the song so much.

It may also be the first place I ever saw a rollerskating coke dealer who made a guest-starring Little Richard seem comparatively butch:

“Wrong way to go, Skates.”
“You’re not gonna bust ME, Crockett!”

Oh, but he WILL:

This was a moody piece of music that always stuck with me:

Don’t listen to this one in the car unless you want a speeding ticket:

The 80’s…they seemed so modern at the time.

What are you listening to tonight?


Glyph is worse than some and better than others. He believes that life is just one damned thing after another, that only pop music can save us now, and that mercy is the mark of a great man (but he's just all right). Nothing he writes here should be taken as an indication that he knows anything about anything.


  1. So much 80’s. Now i feel awkward and shy all of sudden, just like the 80’s.
    Crockett’s theme is good, Tubb’s theme, not so good.
    Where is smugglers blues?
    Here is some phil collins appearance on MV? Good stuff.


    • I thought we all agreed to pretend that “Smuggler’s Blues” and Glenn Frey never existed.

      • If you deny smugglers blues then you deny all of Miami Vice…it would be like trying to deny christ yet still be a christian

        • Did you grow up in AK, or move there later (I assume)? I would imagine Vice would have seemed pretty exotic to a kid growing up in, say, Anchorage.

          • Didn’t grow up in AK. I grew up in NJ, but MV was still pretty darn exotic to a goofball teen in suburban NJ in the 80’s. I didn’t move to AK until 96 when i was 30. Even at that time Anchorage was 5-10 years behind the rest of the country in many superficial ways. There were many places in AK, as recently as the 80’s and 90’s, that only got tv when people in the lower 48 sent recorded tapes to them. They saw many shows weeks after they were broadcast.

          • Cool, I assumed you hadn’t grown up there since I couldn’t really picture a Bunnymen itinerary that included Alaska.

    • I’m not gonna lie, I recently broke down and got this.

      Playing it while running errands makes my life seem so much cooler.

  2. I may have been born in the mid 80s, but it still seems foreign to me. I’m more comfortable in the 90s, I keep trying to tell my co-workers. I can live with anything before the 80s… there’s just something about that decade.

    • The 80s were horrid. No denying it. Sure was glad to see that decade come to an end.

    • The decade that freaks my daughter out is the 70s. The clothing, the hair, the facial hair. When we watch something from or set then, she keeps asking me: did people really look like that?

      • Nobody looks good when they are hungover.

        In the 70’s, the whole country was hungover from the 60’s. It wasn’t until ’78 or ’79 that the country was able to get its teeth brushed and get to Denny’s.

        • This explains so much. I think the hair, clothes, and overall attitude from the 80s reminds me of the last hour when you’ve stayed up too late and had too much. The 80s needs to take an aspirin and chug some water so they don’t wake up in the 70s.

        • I don’t consider the 70’s to have ended until Reagan’s assasination. Only *THEN* were we ready for Webster.

          • The 50s started with Eisenhower taking office.

            The 60s started with either JFK’s assassination or the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, and ended with Nixon’s resignation.

    • I always chuckle at our changing perspective of masculinity…

      Long hair, waxed chests, body glitter, leather pants, love ballads, and lots of male-to-male, back-on-back action typified a certain red blooded male Americaness… But only in the 80s. Huh?

      • The wiser folks from the 80s knew better than to indulge in all that. All those hair bands were aping Led Zeppelin, a band I associate with serious junkies and some horrible people. Guns n Roses chief among them, the big hair bands invented nothing new. Metallica kinda broke free of that genre, they put considerable work into being originals. But most of what passed for “hard” rock was just awful.

        Awfulness defined 80s rock. Journey. Aerosmith. Styx. Van Halen. Etcetera. Boy-oh, the crap factory was working all three shifts, round the clock, stamping out Corporate Cheeze. These were not Manly Men. They were bloated, sick hogs who wallowed in excess.

        But in odd corners of the landscape, rock was still creating originals, though it took odd forms. Michael Jackson was, even then, a grizzled veteran of the Psychic Wars. Before he spun out of control, Michael Jackson was the cleverest man in the music business. Arguably, Madonna was the smartest woman. But it was still the Cheeze Factory described by Pink Floyd in Welcome to the Machine. Michael Jackson surrounded himself with stupid people and the Cheeze Factory ate him. Madonna was ruthless enough to stay alive but it was a narrow scrape.

        The Indie Scene was coming along, a brave-hearted attempt to overthrow the Cheeze Barons. It was not one scene but several: thank God for Athens, Georgia, which gave rise to both R.E.M. and the B-52s.

        The B-52s were the saving grace of the 1980s. If I had to hang my nail on the one band which single-handedly brought rock back from the brink, it’s the B-52s. Arch, sly, funny, they’re immortals. They brought back what had been lost since Rock-and-Roll had lost the -and-Roll part: Fun! Dancing! Music could again make people happy!

        • Not to take away from REM or B52’s, both awesome – but if not for Pylon, the American Gang of Four minus the politics (no politics!), there might’ve been no B52’s or REM:


          • Pylon… jeez, they were great. And yes, they were Fred’s inspiration for the B-52s.

            I remember buying Talking Heads 77 and earnestly pressing it into the hands of all my friends like a street preacher tryin’ to save souls. “You simply gotta listen to this. It’s the future. Rock-and-roll has finally gotten back on track.”

          • Although according to wiki, B52’s formed prior to Pylon’s formation and put out their debut first. Huh. I thought it the other way round.

            Oh well, Pylon is still awesome.

          • Erm…. I’m pretty sure Pylon influenced Fred and Kate. Hard to put a finger on what was going on just then: New Wave was emerging from various dark corners of the landscape as a reaction to the Cheeze Factory.

            For me, a band is truly set in motion once it starts releasing recordings. Rock history is denominated in BRL and ARL. Before Rock Lobster and After Rock Lobster. It’s the most significant piece of recorded music since the Beatles released Love Me Do. Changed everything. Rock started smiling again.

            But while we’re on the subject of rock’s redemption, the role of Seymour Stein and Sire Records must be put into evidence. Belle and Sebastian wrote a wry tribute to his role in the creation of the Smiths.

        • Power ballads generally suck.

          Journey, Aerosmith, Styx, and Van Halen were all cool bands at some point.
          “Cornerstone” is still good Styx.
          “Night in the Ruts” is still good Aerosmith.
          “Diver Down” sucked, but “1984” is good Van Halen.

          Ulrich Roth left the Scorpions.
          Def Leppard released “Pyromania,” and went even further downhill after that.
          Thin Lizzy got Gary Moore, which screwed up two great artists.

          There was what I call “LA metal,” and then there was the hardcore stuff: Metallica, Slayer, Celtic Frost, and later, Testament.

          Rock was still trying to re-group from punk.
          Prog had given way to new wave techno.
          Folk was redefining itself as “alternative.”
          Even most of the country coming out was trash.
          No more Midnight Special. MTV started taking over.
          And a lot of bands with one album; both good and bad.
          Most of it wasn’t pretty.

          But I reminded myself of Asia and Eddie Rabbitt in writing the above.

          • I cannot agree with anything said in the second paragraph 🙂

            Punk was an allergic reaction to what Rock had become.

            Prog lost its pretentious little mind: “classical” music was just popular music which people still liked a few centuries later. Frank Zappa used to quote Edgar Varèse, “the present-day composer refuses to die” I like what prog was trying to do but was often horribly embarrassed by what it actually did. Jethro Tull invited us all to let’s go living in the past — sorry, Ian, at the time, I really wanted to live in the present.

            Folk was another attempt to return to the past, a sort of “classical” music. It was like watching an embalmer at work. Dreadful, dreadful stuff, more horrifying with each incarnation of it. I would rather listen to fingernails on a chalkboard than anything Bob Dylan ever sang.

            Country was busily flirting with pop, as it had so many times before. 80s country did give rise to Dolly Parton, a cheerful, delightful creature, the most successful crossover from country to pop since Elvis had forged his own identity on that basis. Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson — all were reactions to what Nashville had been doing in the 70s. All those Plastic Hat Cowboys, Kenny Rogers and George Strait (Just Me is gonna kill me once she reads this) — country had gone crazy and if Jerry Jeff Walker hadn’t kept the torch lit, country music would have turned into K-Pop.

          • — a hasty postscript: Bob Dylan wrote some great songs and poetry. I enjoy many of his songs as long as Bob isn’t singing them. Bob Dylan’s voice reminds me of a donkey valiantly attempting to sing Verdi.

          • One of the coolest cuts from Cornerstone.

            This one sounds more like Styx.
            This is the one they used to play on Video Concert Hall all the time.

            Good Aerosmith.
            Probably my favorite Aerosmith song.

            I still like to play “Toys in the Attic;” though I play it almost completely differently from what I learned it.
            I do the pentatonic riff in the intro using my pinky at the 5th fret. The chords are what gives it it’s sting: the D chord with the high E and B strings at the 10th fret and the D and G at the 7th, and the A chord the standard bar form at the 5th fret, D, G, B, & high E strings.
            The chords for the bridge I play in bar form with the D & A at the 5th fret, and the G at the 3rd.
            The verse is a pentatonic run at the octave; beginning at the 14th fret on the D string; chorded at feel.

            That’s the way I like to play it; whatever else might be “right” isn’t right for me.
            But it’s fun.

            This is some fun Van Halen to play. (and it sounds better without the flange) (sounds better on acoustic really)
            Good Van Halen.

            After Eddie and all that tapping crap, everyone was wanting to play like Randy Rhoads.
            I wasn’t into that stuff at the time, but I came around later. Still, a lot of it sounds too processed for my liking. It screws up the tone.

            Processed guitar:
            Brian Robertson with Motorhead. (another fun one to play)
            Not processed:
            Brian Robertson with Thin Lizzy.

            The term ‘dry’ is most often used in reference to reverb, so I hesitate to use the term as a counter to an over-processed tone.

            The chords from the Motorhead tune are:
            (open chords here)
            C (arpeggiated) to D
            C to D, G (arpeggiated the same as the C) to C, then a little pentatonic riff to A.

            Then it goes into this really cool riff where the 4th on the D is added in on the first two figures.
            It’s just so processed that the sound is indistinct.
            That’s what sucks about it.

            But the 80’s also saw delays go from high-end rack units to stomp boxes, and then everyone had one.
            I guess could say that delay was the wah-wah of the 80’s.

          • I foresee a road trip in our future BlaiseP. One filled with the wonderful sound of twang. Nothing like a LONG ride listening to George Strait caped off with a little Pure Country.

        • For a viciously accurate analysis of the music biz, ask Ray Davies:

          Robert owes half to Grenville
          Who in turn gave half to Larry
          Who adored my instrumentals
          And so he gave half to a foreign publisher
          She took half the money that was earned in some far distant land
          Gave back half to Larry and I end up with half of goodness knows what

          • Since Blaise brought up Smiths above, I’ll finish it with a Mozzer lyric:

            And when it fails to recoup?
            Well, maybe:
            You just haven’t earned it yet, baby

          • Having narrowly dodged a career in music, I shall now quote Frank Zappa’s assessment of that wretched industry:

            From Madam Wong’s to Starwood
            To the Whiskey on the Strip
            You can hear the crashing, blasting strum
            Of bands that come to be real hip
            And get a record contract
            From a talent scout some day.
            They’ll sell their ass, their cocks and balls
            They’ll take the check ‘n’ walk away.
            If they’re lucky they’ll get famous
            For a week or two perhaps.
            They’ll buy some ugly clothes to wear
            And hope the business don’t collapse
            Before some stupid magazine
            Decides they’re really good.

            They’re a Tinsel Town rebellion band
            From Downtown Hollywood!

            Tinsel town rebellion, Tinsel Town rebellion band (woo-oo! way-yah!)
            It’s a little bitty Tinsel Town rebellion
            A Tinsel Town rebellion band

            They used to play all kinds of stuff
            And some of it was nice
            Some of it was musical….

            But then they took some guy’s advice
            To get a record deal, he said,
            They would have to be more punk
            Forget their chops and play real dumb
            Or else they would be sunk!
            So off they go to S.I.R. to learn some stupid riffs
            And practice all their poses
            In between their powder sniffs.

            Chop a line now, snort it up now
            And when they think they’ve got it
            They launch a new career.
            Who gives a fuck if what they play
            Is somewhat insincere?

            Tinsel town rebellion, Tinsel Town rebellion band
            A Tinsel Town rebellion,
            A Tinsel Town rebellion band

            Did you know that in Tinsel Town the people down there
            Think that substance is a bore?
            And if your New Wave group looks good
            They’ll hurry on back for more?
            Of leather groups and plastic groups
            And groups that look real queer
            The Tinsel Town aficionados
            Come to see and not to hear.
            But then again this system works
            As perfect as a dream.
            It works for all of those record company pricks
            Who come to skim the cream
            From the cesspools of excitement
            Where Jim Morrison once stood
            It’s the Tinsel Town rebellion
            From Downtown Hollywood

            Is everybody happy?
            Oh never mind!
            No problem!

          • What makes this whole sub-thread so incredible is that I happened to be watching Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story while all of this was going on.

  3. As for who I’m actually listening to, I’m ploughing through a backlog of stuff I’ve been putting off, starting with Zedd, whose tune Clarity was hugely overplayed last year. Spectrum too — but damn, the boy can construct songs so well.

    • Pulled him up on YouTube just now. Not my cup o’tea, but it’s amazing how out of the loop I can be – boy is closing on at least 20 million views on just these two videos, and I have never heard of him?! How does this even happen? I mean, I don’t listen to Skrillex either, but I am aware of his existence.


      • (cruelly) You’re getting ooooold, Glyph. Too much dwelling on the past.

        • Eh, I listen to some more current stuff, but I haven’t touched on it too much here for two main reasons:

          1.) I like to spend some time with a record, under varying conditions, before forming an opinion. Sometimes a record doesn’t make sense until you hear it at the right time of day/year, or in the right frame of mind. There have been records I hated, and sold, only to later sheepishly re-purchase when it finally clicked. By the time I have a verdict, the world has often moved on. But I figure the musicians put a lot of time into making the thing, and I owe it to them to put a reasonable amount of time into deciphering it before I go off half-cocked about it to others.

          2.) I DO fear that much of what I am liking, I am liking because it plays into my existing biases. The new Deerhunter, for example? Scratches my noisepop itch bigtime. I like the texture of the thing; I find it pleasing.

          But I can’t tell if it’s any better than “pretty good”, though; I don’t think I can be objective about something so clearly in my wheelhouse.

          • I have a theory about this Clicking business.

            The Chinese have a word qi, meaning air, gas, breath — or a more interesting concept, the life force. It’s become one of those Mystical Concepts, much-abused by various snake-oil salesmen and holistic bullshitters of various descriptions.

            Plato wanted to ban certain musical modes from the body public. He knew music could summon up disorder and invoke emotions he didn’t think appropriate. Music directly affect Qi. The Clicking is when we sense those changes. The Varying Conditions you describe, that Frame of Mind business, I feel sure human beings sang before they spoke:

            And therefore, I said, Glaucon, musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul, on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful, or of him who is ill-educated ungraceful: and also because he who has received this true education of the inner being will most shrewdly perceive omissions or faults in art and nature, and with a true taste, while he praises and rejoices over and receives into his soul the good, and becomes noble and good, he will justify blame and hate the bad, now in the days of his youth, even before he will recognize and salute the friend with whom his education has made him long familiar.

            Yes, he said, I quite agree with you in thinking that it is for such reasons that they should be trained in music……….

            Even so, as I maintain, neither we nor the guardians, whom we say that we have to educate, can ever become musical until we and they know the essential forms of temperance, courage, liberality, magnanimity, and their kindred, as well as the contrary forms, in all their combinations, and can recognise then and their images wherever they are found, not slighting them either in small things or great, but believing them all to be within the sphere of one art and study.

            Most assuredly.

            And then nobility of soul is observed in harmonious union with beauty of form, and both are cast from the same mould, that will be the fairest of sights to him who has en eye to see it?

          • One of my all-time favorite artists has certain barriers to casual entry. He is uber-prolific; he often favors lo-fi, noisy recordings; his lyrics are frequently nonsensical or dadaistic-seeming in toto (though when you parse them line by line, many are clearer than they first appear); certain “characters” or locations pop up again in other songs (or are related to the real world in strange ways); etc.

            I STILL remember what a joy it was when it all “clicked” for me – all of a sudden, my head popped out of the other side of the twisty and confusing rabbit hole I had been following him down; all of a sudden I felt like I could, to a degree, see the world as he does – it’s somewhat like our own, but skewed and fantastical.

            That’s what some art does. Because I had to follow, rather than him coming to me, in some small way I can see “his world”, or through his eyes, now.

          • Robert Fripp, he of many baroque aphorisms, once said a wise thing: “Music so wishes to be heard that it sometimes calls on unlikely characters to give it voice.”

          • Plato also wanted to ban modulation in that same passage. The thought of a symphonic poem, Pictures at an Exhibition, et al., would have left him aghast. Even the way that music is used in movie soundtracks.

          • Plato’s Republic would have been a fascist nightmare. When I encountered it in college, my professor told me to read it, tongue in cheek. Aristotle, he said, only made things worse, read him tongue in cheek as well Someone once said Aristotle was a Platonist, in spite of himself.

            But Plato was right about some things. It’s just that I hate all the conclusions he reached, heh.

  4. I’ve listened to none of these “Vidyas”. I have, however, spent the last hour scouring the youtubes for Jeff Buckley.

    Welcome to Friday Night.

    I hope you have Spinal Fluid.

  5. I just burned another mix cd for June. I do that about every 5 mos.
    The cd player in the truck won’t play mp3 discs like the car did, so I’m stuck with audio cd’s, and the size limitation.
    But this is what I’m listening to (for the most part):
    Kansas – Song for America
    Gordon Lightfoot – The Way I Feel (the faster version)
    Def Leppard – Two Steps Behind
    Queen – Who Needs You
    The Who – New Song
    Queen – It’s Late
    Todd Rundgren – Determination
    The Kinks – Do It Again
    Def Leppard – Ride into the Sun
    AC/DC – Dog Eat Dog
    Queen – Fight from the Inside
    The Kinks – The Hard Way
    Led Zeppelin – Royal Orleans
    Gentle Giant – Cogs in Cogs
    Def Leppard – Overture (LP version)
    Todd Rundgren’s Utopia – Utopia Theme (indexed into three parts)

    And I’ve been listening to Denis Azabagic’s Recital cd a lot.
    His dynamics are fantastic, and he has a good, free-flowing feel for certain pieces.

    • Is there a theme to the mix? Not that there has to be, most of mine are just “stuff I like, hopefully arranged in such a way as to have a kickass flow”. But sometimes themes are fun.

      Also, duplicating artists? A general no-no on my mixes (though exceptions have been made).

      • I guess that’s it. I’m listening to a lot of the classic Queen & Kinks (British bands), and still have a thing for the classic prog.
        I was trying to make a mellow mix, and then something inside me rebelled.

        “The Hard Way” & “Dog Eat Dog” are fairly similar.
        Looking at it again, I can see that Kansas & Rundgren are the only American artists.

  6. I always did think Michelle Rhee was sort of vacuous.

          • Soon enough, you’ll be watching Dora the Explorer, and you’ll know.

          • Dora the Explorer? Doesn’t even rhyme… That show has no future as an educational program.

          • I almost wrote it “Dora the Explora” – that’s how I say it, since I need it to rhyme.

          • How do you pronounce “Clifford the Big Red Dog”?

          • I pronounce it “painful.”

            Also, in a coffee shop listening to Railbird, trying to look hip, which is impossible because I have a 10 pound book in my lap (Truth and Method, which would have been hip in certain coffee shops about the time Miami Vice was on).

      • She was in that anti-Objectivist soap opera. You know, Not Randing.

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