Ah it's a snowy, dreary winter in Chicago...time to post some more music!
I have little to say about Venetians; they're from Australia, and had relatively little success there, let alone anywhere else. "Things" is taken from their 1985 debut Step Off The Edge. Sadly, I can't find this album available for sale anywhere, and no official website for the band, as they disbanded in 1989. So enjoy this mp3 and good luck finding more; I think it's worth digging up.
Someone came up to the booth and asked for this band one night but I hadn't heard of them. I keep a running list of these requests and yes, I really do try to find all of them. I can't know everything; the people on the dance floor are one of my greatest resources.
Naming themselves after the Ultravox song "My Sex", Mi-Sex is what happens when
This song is so so early '80s that it hurts; you can kind of hear a bit of their prog rock roots in the guitars, but it's all about the fear of computers taking control, with that trapped-inside-an-Atari vocal style fighting to be heard over all the synths. Coincidentally, due to their name, this landed in my "atomic blog" folder right before Ministry's "Same Old Madness" and they go great together.
How time flies...
People ask me sometimes how we get so many people to come out to Neo on Thursday nights. There's a lot of factors involved (remnants of a built in crowd, people really like Depeche Mode, Neo's new wave-steeped history), but the short answer is that Kamar and I knew what we wanted to do; we had a good idea, we executed it, and it worked. We've never gotten a whiff of press coverage. We're more likely to pluck our guest djs off of our own dance floor than book a big name. At the end of the night, what brings people back every week is the energy of the music and the crowd, the feeling that everyone is welcome, and that anyone can be and dance how they want.
The first thing we decided, and the one thing we've very much stuck to our guns about, is that it's not an "'80s night". We've all been to '80s nights. There's nothing special about most of them and we've all heard more than enough cheesy pop for our lifetimes. It's not what Atomic is about. There is an astonishing number of current acts in the new wave/synthpop/new romantic genres, and the best way to keep the music -and the crowd- fresh week after week is to include that.
The one band that matches our style perfectly, hands down, is Cut Copy. Their New Order-reincarnate sound has been a staple every week for the last two years, right in there with all the Soft Cell and Human League where it belongs. Now if they would just get a little more prolific...
Formed in 1989, Max Q was a collaboration between INXS singer Michael Hutchence and underground electronic post-punk composer Ollie Olsen, who met while working on the film Dogs In Space. Their single eponymous album was quite a departure for both musicians. Layering sparse lyrics with themes of politics and paranoia over industrial-tinged post-punk guitars, disco-inspired synths, and sweeping strings, it's closer to Depeche Mode than the alt-rock of INXS but much more commercial than Olsen's work with Whirlywirld, The Young Charlatans, and No. Chicago house aficionados might be surprised to find that the record's final mix was done by famous DJ and producer Todd Terry.
The album produced one top 10 hit in Australia, but it did not sell well and was never reprinted, and sadly seems largely forgotten by all but a handful of old INXS fans. Though Hutchence died in 1997, Ollie Olsen is still around, mostly doing sound design for films and art installations. If you're into experimental noise/punk, definitely
The 1984-esque lyrics of "Bucket Head" are delivered in soulful vocals over a minimal bassy background and pop synths that sounded a lot edgier in 1989, but it's still one of my favorites on here. "Monday Night By Satellite" is a futuristic ballad of long-distance love; pretty, dark, mysterious, and cynical.
It would be easy to dismiss this band as simply another one of those synthpop rip off bands from the late 80's and early 90's; especially considering their similar sound to late 80's New Order and their work with Arthur Baker. However, this Australian band formed in the mid-80's and experimented with house, techno, and trance for over ten years. This single (originally released in 1988) was taken from their 1990 album called Vertigo. They had minimal overall success on the charts but this track hit #8 on the Billboard Dance Chart 21 years ago.
If you like this song and like bands such as Red Flag, Cetu Javu, Camouflage, Kon Kan, Information Society, Depeche Mode, New Order and Cut Copy; check out the rest of the album: