Friday, May 08, 2009

Friday Morning Videos: "Big in Japan"

Okay, so I'm getting tired of this particular excursion too. But before I go on to something else, I must face the question: why am I being so parochial? I mean, it's not like the synthesizer only existed in England. What about German New Wave...or "Neue Deutsche Welle," if you prefer? That made it onto American television more than a few times in the early 80s. So, all right, let's put something up. But which video should I choose? Falco's "Der Kommissar" (later crappily remade in English by After the Fire)? Maybe Nena's gorgeous "99 Luftballons" (even more crappily remade in English by herself)? No, might as well stick with the bands that sang in English from the beginning. And that means, of course...Alphaville. (And I make no apologies for not embedding the video for the ridiculously overplayed "Forever Young"; the Youth Group version is much better.)

2 comments:

Matt said...

Is "Forever Young" overplayed beyond the Mormon Saturday night dance field? (Do they still have Saturday night dances?) When I used to go to those "Forever Young" was _always_ the last song played. It was for this reason that it made sense to me that they'd play it at the high-school dance scene in Napoleon Dynamite, while it seemed really weird to everyone else. I don't think I've heard it outside of Mormon Saturday night dances and, oddly enough, the dances at the Johns Hopkins sponsored Center For Talented Youth summer camps.

On 99 red balloons, you should check out the english version by punk band 7 Seconds. I'm not a huge fan of all their stuff, but I've always really liked that version. (It's late '80s-early90's So. Cal. punk stuff.)

Russell Arben Fox said...

Is "Forever Young" overplayed beyond the Mormon Saturday night dance field? (Do they still have Saturday night dances?) When I used to go to those "Forever Young" was _always_ the last song played. It was for this reason that it made sense to me that they'd play it at the high-school dance scene in Napoleon Dynamite, while it seemed really weird to everyone else.Hmm...that's a good question, Matt. Was "Forever Young"--like, oddly, so many other New Wave/sythnpop/"modern" or "alternative" 80s music--just something that huge numbers of white Western American Mormons attached themselves to, or was it genuinely popular in America outside of Utah and Idaho? I really don't know. That'd be an interesting thing to look into.

Nice catch there with Napoleon Dynamite; a friend of mine made a similar obseravtion a little while ago, pointing out that you could tell that ND was taking place in a retro-90s Mormon milieu by the fact that When in Rome's "Promise" was on the soundtrack.

And yes, we still have Saturday night dances for the youth. My most recent responsibility in our congregation was with the young men, and I got to go to those dances as a chaperone every single month. My judgment? Mormons could dance back when I was a kid, and they still can't dance today. (But I suppose the same could be said for Americans in general.)