Fellow “grew up in the eighties” people—I have strange news for you. We are officially old enough to be experiencing that exquisite moment when “everything old is new again,” meaning the music that we used to listen to in high school is totally influencing the indie bands of right now. I don’t know whether to be happy because I loved the music back then and am happy to have it (sort of) back, or to just let it remind me that we are all getting older and oh my God you can’t stop time. Here’s the first example. The Strokes are back, and this is their new single “One Way Trigger.” I dare you to listen to this while trying not to think about that AHA song "Take on Me." Go ahead. Try it.
Next, “Dancing in the Streets” by the Raveonettes. Please listen to the guitar, which will make you think of Johnny Marr’s epic playing in the Smiths, a band that I keep praying will get back together, but that probably never will because apparently Morrissey and Johnny Marr just do not get along, no matter how awesome their music might be. There is something so familiar about this opening guitar riff, for a second it takes me back to driving my 1982 diesel Rabbit home from school,, hoping that the air conditioning wouldn’t make the car stop in the middle of the road. Good times.
Don’t’ get me wrong—I’m not saying any of this music is derivative. Actually, I think indie music is wonderfully original right now, and it makes me happy that these musicians obviously share my love of great eighties music like New Order, The Smiths, and many others. I just think it’s funny, because this is probably exactly what our parents were thinking when we were listening to the Stray Cats, and our parents were like “That’s rockabilly.”
Here is a song called “Beta Love” by Ra Ra Riot, and if you can listen to this and not think of Erasure, I will give you a nickel.
Finally, there’s The National, all of whose songs make me want to break out some old Peter Murphy or Dead Can Dance albums.
I actually have a whole hobby Tumblr site on which I occasionally post, wherein Stephan and I will take a current indie song and break it down by what songs were most influential in that song. I don’t want you to get your hopes up that it’s packed with content or anything because we’ve only done a handful of songs so far and because Tumblr’s code annoys me so I don’t work on it that much, but it’s a fun project and we like adding to it. It’s called Band Tasting, in case you’re curious. Like I said, we are big indie music fans, and Sirius XMU is where we hear all of that music.