Monday, September 20, 2010

Music Mondays - La Roux "Bulletproof"

Let's start off the week with the recent hit by the British singer/producer duo La Roux:

I first heard this song through my mother, believe it or not. It was her and my sister's new favorite song, and has since become mine. Of course, this song and its music video simply ooze the 1980s, but if you're still not convinced just check out the album cover:

Seeing her perform on a great deal of variety daytime shows has really given me insight into the mindset that predominated that time period. I quite frankly used to hate the eighties. I felt the music was bad, the clothing was worse and I saw it as awkward transition between the seventies and the nineties. Recently, though, I've come to the conclusion that the opposite is true. The eighties were the iconic time whilst the seventies and nineties (though they did have their own distinct styles) were more transitional.

New Romantics such as Boy George incorporated 19th century clothing into their wardrobe, inspiring designers such as Vivienne Westwood to do the same.

The 1980s saw many great cultural changes across the globe. Calvin Klein began featuring racy clothing and underwear commercials in gigantic public billboards. Synthetic music was invented and exploded into pop culture. The punks of the 1970s would dovetail into the New Romantics and the Goths. Rap, Hip-Hop, Techno, and Rave were all subcultures that have their origins in the 1980s. Globalization began taking jobs from the United States and stores like Walmart and Kmart began to flourish under a stream of cheap products from Asian countries. The movie "Wall Street" epitomized the no-holds-barred attitude held, not only towards the economy, but also to almost every aspect of life.

Apparently Brooke Shields says she can still fit into the jeans from that controversial ad - Shields was 15 years old at the time.

When I saw La Roux perform on the Ellen Degeneres show, I was taken aback by how amazing this all seemed. I was also hypnotized by that drummer; the way he danced while he played. For a teenager coming of age in the 1980s, it must have been absolutely breathtaking... Nothing like this sort of music had ever been seen. Of course, synthesizers were used in disco, but this was not just about the music. It was a lifestyle. The music videos featured bizarre non sequitors. The bands wore crazy outfits and did crazy things. Imagine a pop culture permeated with Lady Gagas. That was the 1980s.
In retrospect, it's no wonder we all have this stigma with the shoulder pad and synthesizer culture. However, many signs indicate that the 80s are coming back. Music and fashion have reflected this, and I think the arrival of Lady Gaga has opened the doorway for other artists to help push the envelope in artistic expression.
Christina Aguilera is already getting flack for her video "I'm Not Myself Tonight" (Not Safe for Work), but she was already trying to push limits with her video for "Dirrty" (NSFW). She was completely bashed for being so hyper sexual in the 90s, but now she's following Lady G's lead and letting her hair down a bit.

Perhaps this means that we are, in fact, entering a new period like the 80s, where we will see behavior and statements that we could never have imagined. If a raw meat dress at the VMAs isn't enough to give that general impression, then I'm not sure what is. Hopefully, though, we'll learn our lessons from the past and avoid running the economy further into the ground through the near complete deregulation of Wall Street - but I promised I wouldn't get political, so I won't. In short: I'm excited for the coming decade - I hope you are, too!

Thanks for reading,
Nostalgically Yours

1 comment:

What do you think?