Badges! Badges! Badges! – 2

¡Mamacita! it’s two weeks later and I have been slammed completely [and it’s going to get worse when the retail website gets the green light].  I am most chagrined that the blog is growing cobwebs, but it’s either this or no money. And no money is very bad. So I’m throwing out another handful of those colorful New Wave Badges the natives find so shiny and captivating.

The Residents were always a group I admired more than owned. I have some releases, but that’s a deep rabbit hole to explore. I first saw them on Night Flight where their seminal “One Minute Movies” were unspooled. The Residents are important for mapping out a viable independent career that owed nothing to anybody, for years before it became possible, much less viable! This button was definitely from Record Mart Warehouse; home of the best button spinning racks in Central Florida.

I’d loved Mitch Easter’s Let’s Active from the get go, when I first heard them on IRS’s The Cutting Edge” program on MTV back in the good old days. I got this button at the merch table at my first Let’s Active gig, when I trucked to Tampa [Bayfront Center] to see them open up for R.E.M. in 1986. Let’s Active were touring behind the incredible “Big Plans For Everybody” album whilst R.E.M. were flogging “Fables Of The Reconstruction,” as I recall. Let’s Active actually got an encore due to being friends [and more] with the headliners. They encored with an awesome Deep Purple arrangement of Joe South’s “Hush,” much to my ecstatic delight.

I had heard Magnetic Fields on WPRK-FM starting in the late 90s. They were certainly an amusing band. By the time of their epic “69 Love Songs” set, my wife took the effort to begin buying their recordings for our home. We finally got a chance to see the band on tour behind 2008’s “Distortion.” We trucked out to Raleigh to see them and snagged second row seats for ourselves and our Chapel Hill pals. Looking back, I can’t believe that we finally saw them! This came from the merch table.

They had two designs at the merch table and this was the mate to the design above.

Last March was the first time I had gotten to see fave rave band OMD as headliners, so in addition to dropping for VIP tickets, I hit the merch table.

They had a trio of 1″ badges available as a set with the new logo and branding from their ace reformation album, “History Of Modern.”

This one is 3/3 for the new designs.

Soft Cell turned a lot of heads in 1981 and I had read about them before hearing them in various UK mags. I sampled them via Flexipop, and liked the song “Metro Mr. X” enough to buy “Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret” as soon it was issued in The States. It’s an electropop album that wears its all-too-human heart on its sleeve, and that made it stand out from the otherwise frosty Class of 1981. This badge probably came from the Record Mart Warehouse racks. As usual.

This “Night + Day” badge was merch from the first rock concert I ever attended: Joe Jackson at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center in 1983. Yup. I was all of 20 years old and finally seeing a concert in person by an act I liked. Living in Orlando, Florida meant that I had a looooooooooooooooong wait until someone I remotely liked ventured down to my ultra-conservative “Rock Superbowl” country. Hell, growing up, I thought that Ted Nugent lived in Central Florida! He only played there every three months! Bitter? Naaaaaaaw!

Joe Jackson finally had a big hit in The States with “Steppin’ Out,” so that meant that even backwater hamlets like Orlando got a tour stop. Sure, groups like The Ramones [with Holly + the Italians!!!] had played Orlando, but being under 21, meant that entry to these events, where the evil John Barleycorn was served freely, was denied to the likes of me. So Joe Jackson was a watershed moment for me, even though I’m not the biggest fan. I consider him the runt end of the “Angry Young Man Of New Wave” genre pioneered by Graham Parker, and spearheaded by Elvis Costello. As for my absolute favorite bands, like OMD and Ultravox, it just didn’t happen. OMD didn’t touch Florida soil until 1985, by which time it was virtually too late.

– To Be Continued…

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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5 Responses to Badges! Badges! Badges! – 2

  1. Echorich says:

    Excellent selection…much envy for the OMD triple play!
    I didn’t get the chance to see Joe Jackson in the Look Sharp!, I’m The Man, Beat Crazy Era. In fact it wasn’t until 1986 when a friend scored two invites to the recording of Big World that I had the opportunity. Being at that show is a highlight of my concert going. When I got the album later that year it was an amazing experience to think I was in the crowd for one of the shows recorded.
    I can’t remotely imagine not having seen a concert until college age… Yes I had possible the greatest city in the world to see basically whomever I wished, making “the world my oyster” as far as music is concerned.
    I’ve never taken for granted all the great musical opportunities NYC provided and have never been one of those guys who went to a show just to talk through the whole show tearing it down.
    Last night was Peter Murphy with She Wants Revenge here in Tampa and a guy, not yet 30 – so he couldn’t have very much Peter Murphy/Bauhaus live experience, talked over the show so constantly that I had to turn around and tell him to either shut up or take it somewhere else so everyone else around him could make up their own minds. BTW, the show was great and PM was very much ON.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – Ah, “Big World” is the last Joe Jackson album in my collection. I like that album a lot, but after that I was just done with Jackson. Much like Costello’s records around the same time. I’ll see Costello in concert any time and be amazed [apart from that stillborn “Goodbye Cruel World” tour…]. Graham Parker, however, is still going strong. He has less stylistic range than Jackson or Costello, and he’s certainly far less pretentious that either of those two can get, but he’s as consistent a songwriter as the day is long. I became a much bigger fan of Parker by the 90s and remain so today. Plus, his books are great!

      I meant to convey the horror of living in Orlando as a New Waver by this latest badge commentary. Pickings were mighty slim there! It didn’t really start to heat up in Orlando, until the late 80s! By then, we finally had some booking agents who weren’t redneck Molly Hatchett/Nugent fans! Of course, it was all over but for the shouting by then. New Wave [and even New Music] was deader than a doornail by ’86 or so.

      Re: Peter Murphy. Glad you had a good time. Like I said, my last Murphy gig was highly amusing, but not much to write home about on a musical level. His latest material sounds very indistinctive to my ears.


      • Echorich says:

        I too took a break from Jackson after Big World. With Costello I open the door to him some releases and leave it closed for others. Big fan of Blood & Chocolate – even have the quickly deleted Cadbury Chocolate Bar Cassette which I snapped up in HMV on my first trip to London.
        As for Graham Parker, he is a masterful songwriter. He always impresses me. Squeezing Out Sparks and The Up Escalator are really important records for me.
        I have to disagree with regard to the most recent Peter Murphy release. It may be my favorite album this year. I listen to it constantly and think a few of the tracks are among the best he has released in his solo career.


  2. Brian Ware says:

    Interesting, I also stopped with “Big World”, but jumped back on board one more time with 2003’s excellent “Volume 4” which reunited him with his original band. And yeah, “Blood And Chocolate” is certainly the last great Elvis Costello album.


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