VHS horror movies are corrupting our children! A "20/20 Special Report" from 1987

Above: In 1987, TV newsmagazine 20/20 revealed the real horror of horror movies: children watching splatterpunk films on VHS in the comfort of their living rooms!

"Fair warning though: There is some graphic violence in this. But we say that for you, not your kids -- they've probably already seen it."

(via r/ObscureMedia)

Below, The Damned's tribute to the genre, "Nasty" (1984):

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Watch skateboarder Tony Hawk, age 13, in his first TV appearance (1981)

In 1981, Tony Hawk, age 13, appeared on the Captain Kangaroo TV program shredding at the legendary Del Mar Skate Ranch in Southern California.

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Listen to a 1980s teenager's Commodore 64 covers of Huey Lewis songs

It was hip to be square, even in 1986. Especially in 1986. Jma Mitch writes:

As a teenager in 1985 and 1986, I used my trusty Commodore 64 and the "Music Construction Set" program to create computer versions of a slew of songs by the greatest musical artist of all time: Huey Lewis and The News. Only Huey songs, that was the only artist I did. I recently (Feb 2020) was able to access my 35 year old C64 disks, many of which survived, including the ones with the songs I'm uploading to this channel. Some of the songs sound better than others, but these are the original unedited files.

More here: "Commodore 64 plays Huey Lewis (1985-1986)" (YouTube via Waxy)

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Stellar lineup for 1980s music festival: Bauhaus, Blondie, Devo, Echo & The Bunnymen...

On May 2, 2020, Carson, California will be host to an incredible 1980s music revival. The Cruel World Festival lineup includes Bauhaus, Blondie, Devo, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Psychedelic Furs, Violet Femmes, The Church, English Beat, Public Image Ltd., Gary Numan, Marc Almond, Christian Death, Missing Persons, and more than a dozen other acts. Oh yeah, also, um, Morrissey. When I first saw the lineup, I thought it was a hoax.

The good people at Goldenvoice are producing the festival at Dignity Health Sports Park. Tickets go on sale this Friday starting at $135.00.

Cruel World Fest

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Professional dancers analyze the finale "Time of my Life" scene in Dirty Dancing

Professional choreographers Lauren Yalango-Grant and Christopher Grant deconstruct the final dance in Dirty Dancing. Original below. Nobody puts Patrick Swayze in the corner.

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Watch this Coleco Adam home computer commercial starring Lori Loughlin (1984)

In this 1984 TV commercial for Coleco's failed Adam home computer, Lori Laughlin observes a young fellow able to power through his school assignment thanks to the magic of word processing. Laughlin asks, "Is that legal?" Ahem.

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Fast times at Roosevelt Field Mall, a documentary (1983)

In 1983, a crew of young, DIY documentarians visited Long Island's Roosevelt Field Mall to study mall culture. This is Mall City. (via r/ObscureMedia)

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Tour of the Universe was the best ride this 1980s kid ever took

The 1980s were a pretty sweet time to be a lower-middle class kid in Ontario. Marineland (which I now know was a terrible place for the whales, dolphin and deer they held captive there) and African Lion Safari were only a few hours away, for most of us. Canada's Wonderland, our first major theme park, opened its gates in 1981 and there were miniature golf courses, freaking everywhere. Not a one of them held my Star Wars-focused attention like Tour of the Universe did.

Housed in the basement of the CN Tower, Tour of the Universe was a space flight simulation ride set in the far-flung year of 2019. Upon entering Spaceport Toronto, passengers would be issued a round-trip ticket to Jupiter before passing through security, intergalactic customs and being subjected to a medical—inoculation against the Ganymede Rash and Alien Dropsy were a must. Upon entering your shuttle to Jupiter and strapping in, you'd be subjected to a quick, immersive space adventure: the 'trip' took place on a large screen inside of the cabin built out of the bones of a 747 flight simulator that was moved around on hydraulics in time to the action on the forward display. It was the first ride of its kind, anywhere in the world. American kids would have to wait a number of years for a similar experience when Disneyland picked it up and retooled it as Star Tour.

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Listen to the original "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" sung by Robert Hazard

In the 36 years since Cindy Lauper's "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" was an MTV staple, I had never listened to Robert Hazard's original version from 1979 that was only recorded as a demo. It's a totally different head. Totally.

(via /ObscureMedia)

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Watch the 1983 breakdancing documentary that inspired the movie Breakin'

Directed by Topper Carew, "Breakin 'n' Enterin'" (1983) documented the Los Angeles B-boy scene emerging at Venice Beach and MacArthur Park's Radio-Tron nightclub. Keep your eyes peeled for a young Ice-T, Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers, and Adolfo "Shabba-Doo" Quinones who all appeared the following year in Breakin'. The dancing in this documentary is much better than in the feature film though -- more complex, raw, and aggressive.

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Fantastic TV commercial from Mattel Intellivision (1982)

This excellent 1982 TV commercial for Mattel's Intellivision game console features a "computerized" futuristic newscast that predates both Max Headroom's cyber-pisstake on the media and A-Ha's rotoscoped classic "Take On Me!"

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Watch a 1980s promotional video for a nudist resort (NSFW)

(NSFW)

Enjoy the c.1985 promotional video below for the Cypress Cove Nudist Resort in Kissimmee, Florida! It looks like everything you could want from a resort but with, y'know, less clothing. Based on the reminiscing and raving over at r/nudism, The Cove is still a happening scene. You can even live there, but only by purchasing a mobile home from a current resident.

And don't forget the reminder from the cheerful narrator: "Volleyball is popular among nudists, no matter what your level of skill." Read the rest

Watch Jimmy Fallon and Paul Rudd's remake of the 1984 video for "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)"

Jimmy Fallon and Paul Rudd remade Dead or Alive's classic 1984 new wave club anthem "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)." Original below. Pete Burns, RIP.

From Wikipedia:

According to Burns, the record company was unenthusiastic about "You Spin Me Round", to such an extent that Burns had to take out a £2,500 loan to record it, then once it had been recorded "the record company said it was awful. It was unanimous – it was awful, it was rubbish." Burns stated that the band had to fund production of the song's video themselves.

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Mark Hollis, lead singer of Talk Talk, RIP

Mark Hollis, lead singer of Talk Talk, has died. He was 64. While the UK "post-rock" band may be best known for their 1984 synthy single "It's My Life," Talk Talk's true masterpiece was the much more experimental 1988 album "Spirit of Eden" that dripped with ambient, jazz, and avant-garde influences. It's an absolute stunner.

From The Guardian:

Talk Talk’s bassist Mark Webb, aka Rustin Man, paid tribute to Hollis on Instagram. “I am very shocked and saddened to hear the news of the passing of Mark Hollis,” he wrote. “Musically he was a genius and it was a honour and a privilege to have been in a band with him. I have not seen Mark for many years, but like many musicians of our generation I have been profoundly influenced by his trailblazing musical ideas.”

In an interview with Q’s backpages at the time, later republished in the Guardian, Hollis expressed awareness that he could be “a difficult geezer” but that was because he refused to “play that game” that came with the role of musician in the spotlight.

“It’s certainly a reaction to the music that’s around at the moment, ‘cos most of that is shit,” Hollis also said of Spirit of Eden. “It’s only radical in the modern context. It’s not radical compared to what was happening 20 years ago. If we’d have delivered this album to the record company 20 years ago they wouldn’t have batted an eyelid.”

Posted on Instagram by Talk Talk bassist Paul Webb aka Rustin Man:

View this post on Instagram

I am very shocked and saddened to hear the news of the passing of Mark Hollis.

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Weezer's video for "Take On Me" cover stars Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard and his band Calpurnia

The video for Weezer's cover of A-ha's "Take On Me" stars Calpurnia, the rather wonderful indie rock band fronted by Finn Wolfhard who plays Mike on Stranger Things. The song is included on Weezer's new "Teal Album," a collection of 1980s cover songs including their acclaimed version of Toto's "Africa."

And just for kicks, here's Calpurnia's "Greyhound":

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Mallwave: nostalgic synth music for imaginary and abandoned shopping centers

Mallwave is a microgenre of bedroom electronic music and smooth jazz meant to evoke nostalgia for the vibrant mall scenes of the 1980s and 1990s that many of the music's composers are too young to have experienced or at least remember.

Think of Mallwave as a hauntological soundtrack for an Orange Julius-fueled consumer culture where Suncoast, Merry-Go-Round, and Spencer Gifts anchored suburban reality. (Or, in the case of some of the moodier tracks, the kind of muzak that might play in your mind as you wander an abandoned mall in a Ballardian trance.)

From Hussein Kesvanio's feature in MEL:

“The nostalgia is so real you can cry and wish you went back in time,” reads one comment underneath the video “Neon Wave Mall (Vapor Mix).” “I feel a certain sense of… familiarity watching this footage. Almost like I myself have set foot in these places,” adds a viewer of “Corp Palm Mall.” Under the same video, another person opines: “Why wasn’t I born in this time? This video makes me realize how much things were not as advanced as we have now but it was better. I could be wrong, but sometimes I feel like living around the ‘90s sounds fun. Lifestyle is different, mindset is different and not as much laziness.”

According to writer Joe Koenig, this kind of feeling — a “nostalgia for a past you’ve never known” — is called anemoia. In his ongoing project, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, Koenig describes it as “the desire to wade into the blurred-edge sepia haze that hangs in the air between people who leer stoically into this dusty and dangerous future.”

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Teddy Ruxpin won't leave my tortured brain alone

Just now, I tried to recall what I had for lunch the other day. I had to wrestle with it for a few moments before I was able to pin a chicken chimichanga at Espi & T's to the mat for a ten-count.

I don't remember the face of the the woman who broke my heart while I was in my early 20s nor what happened to the boxes of the comic books I used to own. But my head absolutely refuses to let go of the theme song to The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin -- a cartoon that I watched MAYBE twice in my life. It's been slowly driving me insane for the past few days.

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