Hello again and welcome to Fun-4-Friday. I'm your host Kristen Eck. This might be a good time to stop for a second and explain what's going-on here. While, my other feature, Knock Knock: New Music on Mondays features NEW music, Fun-4-Friday is all about retro-tunes. I tend to focus on alternative & indie-rock, but you know, there were many artists that made & influenced that music before it became its own category. Giants like David Bowie, Kate Bush, Frank Zappa, Lou Reed, and Iggy Pop blazed a path through uncharted territory, paving the way for others to dare to be different. Fun-4-Friday is where we celebrate all of that. What causes me to select an artist for each episode? It's usually something like the anniversary of an album release or a pivotal moment in an artist's career. It might be their birthday. Or they may be about to play out live, like my first artist this week, They Might Be Giants. They're playing tonight at House of Blues next to Fenway Park here in Boston.
The two constant members of They Might Be Giants, John Flansburgh and John Linnel are both originally from Lincoln, Massachusetts. They became friends while attending Lincoln-Sudbury High School and wrote songs together, but would not officially form the band until later when they met again in Brooklyn, NY. Their big break happened with their third album, "Flood" in 1990. Featuring the modern-rock hit, "Birdhouse In Your Soul," the record went Platinum here in the U.S.
Their current tour features two sets of music featuring many of their old favorites along with tunes from their new album, "I Like Fun," which was released in January. I want to jump-back to 1988 and their second album, "Lincoln" to share one of my favorite They Might Be Giants songs: "Ana Ng."
April 24th, 1990 saw the release of World Party's second album, "Goodbye Jumbo." World Party was the one-man creation of Welsh singer-songwriter, Karl Wallinger. He had previously spent two years playing keyboards as one of the multitude of people who had been part of The Waterboys. He left that band following their 1985 LP, "This Is The Sea."
While, "Goodbye Jumbo" was technically Wallinger's solo project, he got some help in the studio from some of his former bandmates in The Waterboys and from Sinead O'Connor, who he had assisted with her 1987 debut album, "The Lion And The Cobra." Let's have a look at the official music video for "Thank You World."
Speaking of birthdays, we do have one coming-up tomorrow. Kim Gordon, bassist and vocalist for legendary alternative rock band, Sonic Youth turns 65 on Saturday April 28th. She's kept busy since her divorce from band mate & husband, Thurston Moore and the subsequent breakup of the band in 2011. Gordon has published her autobiography, curated a number of art exhibitions, and has released albums as part of Body/Head and Glitterbust. She's just popped-up again this week as a guest vocalist on a new song from Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks. The track, "Refute" will be on the new Jicks' LP, "Sparkle Hard," out on May 18th.
Let's go back to Sonic Youth's 1990 "Goo" album for the lead-single off the record, "Kool Thing."
I had been talking back on Wednesday over on the I Listen with Kristen Facebook page about Brit-pop band, Blur. They were one of four bands that contended for musical dominance in the UK in the 1990's. The other three bands were Oasis, Suede, and Pulp. Very few people here in America would know about Blur until the arrival of "Song 2" (Ya know... The "Woo Hoo!" song) in 1997. Blur's frontman, Damon Albarn would become much better known here in the U.S. by 2000 with the debut of his new band, Gorillaz.
But Blur was fun! As the program director of my college radio station, WKKL on Cape Cod from 1988 to 1993, I had a music director who was a British music fanatic. The radio station office was littered with issues of NME and Melody Maker alongside our CMJ trade-journals. Morrissey and Robyn Hitchcock were station deities. Talking smack about Kate Bush was heresy. Needless to say, Blur's 1991 debut album, "Leisure" spent a great deal of time in our format. The tune "There's No Other Way" off that record did manage to crack the Billboard Hot-100, peaking at #82.
This week in music history saw the release of Blur's third album, "Parklife" on April 25th, 1994. While still a bit shy of the band being widely recognized in the U.S. it managed to sell over five-million copies worldwide. Check-out the video for the lead-single, "Girls And Boys." I was just stunned watching this again at how young Damon Albarn is... Crazy.
That's Fun-4-Friday. I hope you had lots of fun. If you did, tell your friends to join us and put my website at KristenEckRadio.com on your list of favorites. Comments? Questions? Yes, please! Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks so much for stopping-by! Happy listening!