Our second annual show dedicated to your health and wellness, with this year’s focus being on dance tracks featuring female and female fronted acts of the New Wave era. #alzheimers #dance #newwave #womeninmusic
Today, children of the revolution, we’re gonna talk about real science: not international espionage conspiracy theories, not some QAnon craziness and not denying it as our government has been doing, because honestly, we have had enough of it all year long already.
Grace Jones, 1981. Photo by Jean-Paul Goude.
This year, health has been one of the most discussed topics in media, due in great part to COVID-19. What is only beginning to surface now is statistical data showing how bad the pandemic has been to those with Alzheimer’s disease in nursing facilities and with in-home care.
Blondie in 1977: Gary Valentine, Clem Burke, Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, and Jimmy Destri. Photo by Phillip Dixon, courtesy of Private Stock Records.
Even though Baby Boomers are the most at-risk group currently, those born at the tail end of of that generation and at the beginning of the next one, Generation X, is the next group en masse that will develop the disease. The track list presented here, if you were a teenager when these songs were new, is one of the soundtracks of that demographic.
Lene Lovich, 1979. Photographer unknown, courtesy of Stiff Records.
There are only treatments currently, and no known cure. However, research has illustrated that dancing may help prevent the disease by utilizing the brain’s neuroplasticity and increased oxygen intake to that organ via aerobic exercise. Dancing is amazing because it requires no special equipment, no formal training and regardless of skill level, anyone can find a way to dance.
Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex, 1977. Photo courtesy of Anorak London.
The musical focus for this program is the New Wave movement of the late 70’s and early 80’s: Was it Punk, Post-Punk, New Romantic, Synthpop, Goth, No Wave, etc.? By the mid-1980’s the term New Wave had fallen out of favor with mainstream U.S. audiences (just as the term Punk Rock had by 1978), and it was replaced by the terms Modern Rock and College Rock before settling into what we now call Alternative.
The Go-Go’s in 1981, from left: Kathy Valentine, Jane Wiedlin, Gina Schock, Charlotte Caffey and Belinda Carlisle. Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images.
Each of these all-female or female fronted groups were unique in their own way and all at one time or another falling under the banner of what was the very loose term of what was considered “Rock of the 80’s”, spearheaded by KROQ in Los Angeles. Some of these acts were embraced by Rock and Pop radio and now are considered Classic Rock artists.
Cover of Spring Session M by Missing Persons, 1982. Pictured: Dale Bozzio. Photo by Glen Wexler, design by Kurt Triffet, courtesy of Capitol Records.
This movement was the very first new music shift to feature women prominently on equal footing with men, with some of them actually outselling the major male acts of the day. It also featured women talking about sex with a boldness not previously seen in artists hitting the charts.
Debora Kay Iyall of Romeo Void, 1982. Photographer unknown, courtesy of Getty Images.
If it all seems a little odd, it was, even at the time, but it said one thing, and loudly: this ain’t your parents new music.
* Sex (I’m A…), 1982, Berlin, Pleasure Victim EP* Wrap It Up,