I love scrolling through the Facebook and Twitter pages of Record Archive. Videos of the staff flipping through the new albums going into stock… pictures of all the cool stuff they have for sale… questions that make you go hmmmmm.

Yes, I did just make an Arsenio Hall reference. I think he’s poised for a comeback, especially with Coming 2 America hitting Amazon Prime in a couple weeks. Let’s give it up for the dog pound. WOOF WOOF WOOF!!!!

It’s been a while since I tackled the queries and comments posted by the Archive folks on social media, so let’s do that this week.

Q: What is the best new wave band?

A: Just for the sake of being consistent with things I’ve written in the past I suppose my answer is Elvis Costello and the Attractions. Click HERE to read my thoughts on Costello.

I’d like to throw in a few honorable mentions. It turns out I like this style of music more than I thought.

Squeeze… Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford were given the “new Lennon and McCartney” label when they came on the scene in the early 80’s. That is a bit of a stretch, but they did release a bunch of excellent albums, and I think I have all of them. Their “Singles- 45s and Under” greatest hits collection is essential as far as I’m concerned. I bet you can grab a used copy for $5 the next time you’re in Record Archive.

Talking Heads… While I am hot and cold on their studio recordings, “Stop Making Sense” is one of the greatest concert films ever, as is the accompanying live album.

Joe Jackson… No, not the baseball player better known as Shoeless Joe from the 1929 Black Sox scandal. No, not the father of Michael, Janet, Marlon, Tito, etc… I’m talking the British musician best known for songs like Steppin’ Out, Breaking Us In Two, Is She Really Going Out With Him?, and Sunday Papers.

Honestly I could probably go on and on, but before moving on to the next question I will mention that as I write this I’m listening to “Greatest Hits Live” by The Alarm.

Is The Alarm considered a new wave band? Wikipedia thinks so, and if you can’t trust Wikipedia who can you trust? I’ve been obsessed with their music for the past couple weeks… The Spirit Of ’76 might be the best song of the 80’s. Check out the video HERE.

Q: What is your favorite band name? For me L7 hits different.

A: Yes, I’m a huge fan of this group but even if I wasn’t I think Barenaked Ladies is a pretty great band name.

When I saw them for the first time in the early 90’s (way before they were popular or had any hits) I bought a shirt with the band’s name and cartoon caricatures of the members that I had to explain to people every time I wore it (which was a lot). I wish I still had it. Someone is selling one on Ebay, but I’m not spending $80 on a used thirty year old tshirt. Apparently no one else is either… the listing has been up for almost a year.

Q: What song does everyone love that you just can’t clown with AT ALL? Miss me with Wagon Wheel.

A: First, I’ll take a shot at translating the question for those of us who may not be hip enough for this jive lingo…

What song does everyone love that you dislike immensely? I don’t enjoy “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show (or the cover by Darius Rucker) at all.

I’ll have to go with “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond on this. Not that I hate Diamond’s version… I don’t… or didn’t anyways. Over the past bunch of years it’s use as a singalong at sporting events, bars, weddings, and concerts by bands using it as an ironic cover have annoyed me. SO GOOD! SO GOOD! SO GOOD!

By the way, I personally like Wagon Wheel a whole lot.

Q: What album defines the sound of the 90s to you? Gotta go with the self titled “The Presidents of The United States of America” on my end, but I may be biased since it was my first CD.

A: That’s a really good answer. I suppose “Gordon” (1992) the official debut album by the aforementioned Barenaked Ladies should be my answer. After almost three decades it’s still my all-time favorite record.

That’s not my answer. In fact it might not make the top ten.

For some reason the first thing that comes to mind when asked about 90’s music is the initial Gin Blossoms release “New Miserable Experience”. I don’t know why, it just is.

That is closely followed by Counting Crows “August and Everything After”, “CrazySexyCool” by TLC, Pearl Jam’s “Ten”, etc…

Do individual songs like Tubthumping by Chumbawumba, I’ll Be There For You by The Rembrandts, and Wonderwall by Oasis answer this question?

Another favorite disc that popped into my head is “Flood” by They Might Be Giants. A bit of research shows me that it was released on January 5th, 1990. That might make it, literally, the first album of the 90’s.

That’s a long way of saying I don’t know, but I’ll stick with Gin Blossoms.

I love 90’s music.

Q: Where are you going first?

A: Is there a section labeled 90’s music? No?

Actually, along the back wall of used vinyl there is a section dedicated to classic comedy albums. Every time I go in the Archive I walk out with at least a couple of those. Carlin, Pryor, Newhart, Jonathan Winters, Flip Wilson, Joan Rivers, Lenny Bruce, Robert Klein, Redd Foxx, Shelley Berman, and much, much more. If I ever win the lottery I’m buying that whole area. Who’s laughing now? That would be me.

That’s all for this week. By the time you read this my wife and I will have our first Covid vaccinations. Yay us. I might still wear a mask whenever I go out… I haven’t been sick in a year.

-Billy

P.S. Another new wave band occurred to me. Can I change my answer to that first question? I don’t think they have an official band name, but I may have to go with the Adams College supergroup formed by the fraternity brothers of Lambda Lambda Lambda and the Omega Mu sorority in “Revenge Of The Nerds”.

It was so satisfying to see Lewis, Gilbert, Booger, Lamar, and their crew of outcasts take down Stan Gable’s collection of a**hole jocks from Alpha Beta. GO NERDS! Watch the video HERE.

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