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Monday, September 26, 2016

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Thompson Twins - 'Doctor! Doctor!'

I saw you there, just standing there
And I thought I was only dreaming, yeah
I kissed you then, then once again
You said, you would come and dance with me

Dance with me, across the sea
And we could feel the motion of a thousand dreams

Doctor, doctor, can't you see, I'm burning, burning?
Oh, doctor, doctor, is this love, I'm feeling?

I often will say that 1984 was musically one of the best years in my life. In a matter of months Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince, Cyndi Lauper and countless others were blaring from boom boxes while revolutionizing the fashion of an era. The group Thompson Twins can also quite easily be included in the mix of great music. 

Into The Gap was the group's fourth album (led by Tom Bailey and Alannah Curie) and it cranked out a few hits that landed on Billboards charts, including my favorite, "Doctor! Doctor!"  The heavy synth song did incredibly well on both the Hot 100 and Billboard's dance charts. The video itself was made at a time when technical tricks were more important than any kind of story line. Clouds, pastel lighting and ice skaters all are heavily featured in between the Thompson Twins performing their song. Check it out for yourself below. Do you still love this new wave style?

Currently Booming: Monday Morning 80's Playlist

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Exclusive Interview: Jody Watley Finds Joy in 'Shalamar Reloaded' and Peace in Addressing Her Nay Sayers

(Jody Watley Video Still 2016)

When I say the name Jody Watley a number of things may rush to the forefront of your mind. Grammy winner. Fashion icon. Soul Train and Shalamar. Eighties dance diva and of course, those hoop earrings. Even now, if you happen to catch her onstage during an energetic Freestyle Explosion set she's all sass and class. Seeing Watley perform live this past summer left me feeling like I had been handed a gift, that it was a real privilege to see her do her thing onstage. Offstage Watley exudes a peaceful, Zen-like energy that you feel even before you see that she has entered the room. It was an honor to be able to grab a few minutes of her time this past week to discuss her excitement over Shalamar Reloaded, her love for her kids and the need for people to lift each other up rather than bullying from behind a computer screen.

Cate Meighan: You've raised some eyebrows lately by finally addressing the rumors and internet trolls that have chased after you for a long time. Why did you choose to speak up now?

Jody Watley: Sometimes after you choose to stay publicly silent for awhile there comes a need to speak. I needed to say what I needed to say because the lack of fact-checking has lead to lies being spread on the internet, radio and television. I could only be thrown under the bus so much before I had to address it. I decided to deal with it in a way that establishes the fact that I have absolutely nothing to be angry about because I've enjoyed a very successful career on multiple platforms. I also wanted to try and disarm the notion that I'm some angry black woman while looking at our societies need to stereotype strong women as something negative.

C.M.: Your piece was clearly written by a strong and well-educated woman.

J.W.: Thank you. My mom actually called after reading that piece, to tell me that she thought that it was well-spoken. I've always been a writer by nature and an avid juournaler. It was written at a point in time when our first lady was taking some heat and some members of our women's Olympic gymnastic team were under heavy scrutiny and comedian Leslie Jones had been hacked and publicly shamed. I really hope that people will think about the damage that a lie or negative perception can lead to, especially when the target isn't given an opportunity to respond from the very start.

That's one of the reasons why I included the screen captures of real hostility from real people that have attacked me from behind their computer screens. It makes it a little more real when you read the person's actual words rather than just have them reiterated to you. A lot of it comes from other women that are for whatever reason, disappointed in themselves and want to bring others down with them. Women do this to each other instead of spreading support and joy. It's a conversation that needs to be had.

C.M.: Tell me about your latest endeavor, Shalamar Reloaded (SRL).

(Shalamar Reloaded Official Photo: Rosero McCoy, Jody Watley, Nate Allen Smith)

J. W.: Well, once I finally got the trademark it finally put an end to all kinds of false advertising. I knew that I wanted to take something familiar but put a new spin on it so there you have Shalamar Reloaded. I wanted to invest in new music videos and make a strong statement with whatever we put out. I've known Rosero McCoy since 1998 and working with him has always brought a lot of joy to my life. Nate Allen Smith beat out hundreds of other talented guys. He is our heart-throb (laughing). He is also just so humble and talented that it makes him a perfect fit for Shalamar Reloaded. It's really a collaboration when it comes to writing the songs. I feel like it's a gift from the universe to have a group experience that is this enjoyable. We really want to be together, we weren't just thrown together by other people and told to make it work.

C.M.: SRL has a new video coming out soon, right?

J.W.: Yes, “The Mood” will be released on Monday, Sept. 26th. It was filmed in Hawaii and was a lot of fun to make. We'll be teasing it a little earlier than that. “The Mood" will be featured on our upcoming full length album, Bridges.


C.M.: Aside from your work with SRL, you've also popped up on the Freestyle Explosion tour now and then with a bunch of other 80's divas such as Expose` and Lisa Lisa (of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam). I caught the Philadelphia show and you absolutely brought the house down.

(Freestyle Explosion- Philadelphia 8-2016)

J.W.: (Laughing) Thank you! People often seem to be surprised by my performance on that tour. I just bring in some dancers and try to create a contemporary moment with some of my old music. I try to serve up fashion, fun and a fierce performance. I do remember that show and we really did have a lot of fun. That whole experience is pretty amazing because this group of artists with decades of success really does get along. We enjoy doing these shows together because it's such positive freestyle vibe. The audiences really get into it and that makes it a lot of fun.

C.M.: You're always juggling a few different projects at once it seems. Is there a real plan behind-the-scenes or do you just kind of go with it?

J.W.: Both (laughing). There is always a framework to what I'd like to accomplish but then I do just go with things as they come along. SRL is my priority right now and finishing our album. But then Jody Watley as a solo artist is always going to be around because as Nate and Rosero say, I'm “the engine that makes it all go”.

C.M.: You've had so many huge, career defining moments that anyone can find out about if they take a glance at Wiki. I've learned that the quieter, in-between moments often mean more after everything is said and done. Has that been the case for you?

(Classic family portrait: Jody with children Arie and Lauren)

J.W.: Yeah, you're right. Being able to take breaks over the years so that I could raise my son and daughter has just meant the world to me. Playing dolls and superheros, going to the park and making Santa cookies- those things have kept me grounded. My daughter is the first college graduate in our family and my son is in college now as well, studying business and finance.  To send two people out into the universe to achieve their own dreams has been my bigger purpose. It's such a challenge to work with kids but I didn't miss the most important things, being there along the way for them. Being popular with my kids has mattered most of all. I'm a real mom and now I'm getting to have my fun with SRL!

C.M.: Tell me something that you really want your fans to know.

J.W.: I'm a hell of a cook (laughing)! Well, I am but... As long as we're alive it's never too late to go down new paths and to try different things. Our world is so youth-obsessed, stop comparing yourself to others and find your joy. Forget your age, feel good and enjoy your journey. Stay excited about what's next because it's a gift to be here! Love and let yourself be loved.

Upcoming Tour Dates for Jody Watley and Shalamar Reloaded:

October 8- Atlanta Pride
 Sat. 4 PM Piedmont Park, Atlanta, GA

October 14-16- Blues Alley
 Washington DC

November 11- Yoshi's Oakland
 Fri. 6 PM in Yoshi's Oakland, Oakland, CA

Check out Jody Watley:

(Photo: Albert Sanchez 2016)


Check out SRL:

Currently Booming: Nirvana Released 'Nevermind' 25 Years Ago Today!

Take another listen!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Currently Booming: Tori Amos on Ocean 98 to Promote Netflix Doc 'Audrie & Daisy'

Ocean 98's Bulldog & The Rude Awakening show had the privilege of chatting with Tori Amos this morning about her latest endeavor. Fans of Amos already are well aware of her decades-long work with sexual assault survivors and the documentary that she is currently promoting is one that everyone should take the time to watch. "Audrie & Daisy" will premiere on Netflix beginning on 9-23-16 and it focuses not only on the assault of two young women but also the bullying that follows an already traumatic experience. 

Amos is hoping that everyone will tune in and that this documentary will help to start a very necessary dialog. We hear about college kids being assaulted because those stories often make national news, but a lot of parents don't realize that these same scenarios are happening to girls in middle school. Take a listen to our interview with Amos this morning and then be sure to catch "Audrie & Daisy" on Netflix!

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Level 42 - 'Lessons In Love'

I'm not proud, I was wrong
And the truth is hard to take
I felt sure we had enough
But our love went overboard
Lifeboat lies lost at sea
I've been trying to reach your shore
Waves of doubt keep drowning me
All the dreams that we were building
We never fulfilled them
Could be better, should be better
For lessons in love

We all have those songs that, for whatever reason, we just love and "Lessons In Love" by Level 42 falls into that category for me. It wasn't the band's most successful single when it topped the charts at number 12 back in 1986 (that honor goes to "Something About You" which reached number 7 the previous year) but it has always stuck in my head. The lyrics are all about screwing up a relationship and I'm pretty sure that my 15-year-old self had done exactly the same thing at that point in time, making it pretty much "my" song. 

The thing is that "Lessons In Love" could easily have been (and probably was) a lot of peoples' songs because who hasn't been there. The best lessons are those learned the hard way and Level 42 spell it out perfectly. I've always thought it was more than a little ironic that this songs melody makes me happy while the lyrics are a bit somber. Check out the video below. Do you remember this one?

Throwback Thursday: Vinyl Heaven- Madonna's 'True Blue'

No more sadness, I kiss it good-bye
The sun is bursting right out of the sky
I searched the whole world for someone like you
Don't you know, don't you know that it's
True love, oh baby, true love, oh baby
True love, oh baby, true love it's

Dear god, I'm getting really old. Every week I invest in new (old) vinyl to add to my throwback collection and this time around it was Madonna's True Blue.  Then I realized that this album is actually 29 years old! Holy crap. But man does it bring back a lot of great memories for anyone lucky enough to have been a teenager in the 80's. This spawned five amazing singles and much of the album was considered to be an extended love letter to Madonna's then-husband, Sean Penn.

Songs such as "Open Your Heart", "Live to Tell" and "True Blue" sky rocketed up the charts and "Papa Don't Preach" tackled the still somewhat taboo topic of teen pregnancy. True Blue had something for everyone it seemed with each track being radically different from the one before it and the videos were equally impeccable. Here's the full track list, does it bring back interesting memories for you guys as well?

1. Papa Don't Preach
2. Open Your Heart
3. White Hat
4. Live to Tell
5. Where's the Party
6. True Blue
7. La Isla Bonita
8. Jimmy Jimmy
9. Love Makes the World Go Round

So many possible videos to choose from here but I'm going to go with my favorite, "Papa Don't Preach". You can check out Madonna's official YouTube page for more of her video catalog.

Grab your own copy here

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Guns N' Roses - CBGB's Acoustic Set (1987)

I stumbled onto something pretty cool last night. An acoustic set performed by Guns N' Roses in October of 1987, about 3 months after the release of their now-classic album, Appetite for Destruction. Rather than performing the huge hits off of their debut album they used this opportunity to test out some new material, including a little song called "Patience". Check out the video below!

Currently Booming: 80's Hair Band Playlist

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Eddie Money 'I Wanna Go Back'

"I wanna go back
And do it all over again
But I can't go back I know
I wanna go back
Cause I'm feeling so much older
But I can't go back I know."

I remember being 15-years old and in tenth grade when Eddie Money released Can't Hold Back, an album that had several breakout hits like "Take Me Home Tonight" and "I Wanna Go Back".  The video to the latter was all about a middle age man revisiting his high school, walking through empty halls and remembering his youth. At the time of its release, I was still that high school kid and so while my head got the concept, there was no way that I'd really get it.

Fast forward nearly 30 years and "I Wanna Go Back" can almost feel like an anthem on particularly lousy adult days. It's funny how, as a teen, you really don't understand how your life will change. Some of those turns will be natural and gradual while others feel like detours that lead to nothing but a dead end. But one thing is constant and that is that nothing really stays the same.

Not that change is a bad thing by any means, but it's amazing how those years just fly by and those teenage worries that were like life and death now seem pretty laughable. Check out the video below, what does it remind you guys of?

Currently Booming: Two-For-Tuesday 80's Playlist

Monday, September 19, 2016

Daily Boom 80's Throwback: Nu Shooz - 'Point Of No Return'

You guys remember Nu Shooz, don't you? Husband-and-wife team John Smith and Valerie Day fronted the pop group, which dropped four pretty popular albums back in the 80's. 1986's Poolside brought us such singles as "I Can't Wait" and "Point of No Return", both of which are probably burned into the memory of most of us that were teens in the 80's.

In case you somehow were unfamiliar with Nu Shooz, Target  latched on to "I Can't Wait", using it as part of the retail giants 2015 holiday campaign. That is helping to bring Nu Shooz to a younger audience and the timing really couldn't be better, because Valerie and John just realeased a new album, BagTown, a few months ago.

Just Another Manic Monday