Saturday, April 14, 2007

poles converging

The 80s were my "formative" years. I entered high school in 1980 and graduated from college in 1988. The vast majority of vinyl in my record collection was released during this decade. I had conservatively 843 hair styles during that time, though contrary to the faulty recollection of my family and friends, I never dyed it pink (well, not intentionally).

Although I had an appreciation for the punk aesthetic and its music, my claim was always that I was "new wave, not punk." This difference was most evident in the genre of music (British alternative pop), fashion accessorization (multiple piercings but only in the ears), and the rebellion factor (the closest I came was "Rebel Yell").

One of my favorite artists of the decade was a singer/songwriter/musician named Nik Kershaw. Catchy songs and clever lyrics -- a great combination. He enjoyed a little success in the States with the song "Wouldn't It Be Good," but was a massive success in England for much of the decade.

During the 80s, it was relatively easy for me to get his albums on vinyl. But toward the end of the decade when I started building my CD collection, it became much more difficult to procure their digital counterparts. I eventually found an independent record store in Yarmouth, Maine where a sympathetic owner (and fellow Kershaw fan) sought out the hard-to-find discs for me.

Like many artists, Nik slowed down after a period of high exposure, shifting his focus to writing hits for other artists (including Elton John!) and recording his own albums on a much more elongated schedule. I've managed to stay relatively on top of their releases and usually found a way to procure them since then.

Yesterday, I woke up from a dream where Gwen Stefani was performing a concert in my living room with Billy Idol and Nik Kershaw singing backup for her. (There was more to this dream, but isn't that enough detail?) I headed into the office with the distinct goal of filtering my iTunes library and listening to nothing but Nik Kershaw for the day.

I did just that, and spent a little time reading email and the New York Times while listening to gems like "Wide Boy" and "Billy" (how appropriate, given Mr. Idol's appearance in my dream). Then, at some point, I looked at iTunes and realized that the mini iTunes store at the bottom of the screen was suggesting I consider a couple other selections from Mr. Kershaw. One of them was an album I did not have! Released in 2006!

How did I miss this?!

Needless to say, I purchased it on the spot, and have been listening to it ever since. I am very pleased with it, and just have to forgive myself for letting five months pass before realizing it existed. (In my defense, I've had a lot going on in the last five months.)

Fast forward to last night. It was 11:00pm, Ted was asleep, and my second wind kicked in. I flipped channels looking for something interesting to watch on TV when I found the Henry Rollins Show on IFC. I watched it with interest, as I find Mr. Rollins eminently compelling. And while I was enjoying the conversation, it slowly occurred to me how much Henry Rollins now looks like Nik Kershaw. To wit:

Nik Kershaw 2007



Henry Rollins 2007

Now, to the uninformed, this might not seem such a big deal unless you have an appreciation for how very different they are from each other. Here are two additional comparisons to drive the point home. First, photos of each from long ago.

Nik Kershaw 1983
Henry Rollins 1983
Now, for musical differences. Take a few minutes to watch these videos.

Nik Kershaw 1984


Henry Rollins 1984


And there you have it. Today's "whoa, how did that happen" moment. Well, I guess it was actually yesterday's moment, and I'm just now getting around to blogging it. I feel compelled to once again observe how infrequently I'm blogging when, theoretically, I have more time to do it now than ever before.

I have also ditched writing about American Idol all together. This is partially due to my waning tolerance of it, and partially due to Ted's new Tuesday-Wednesday weekend which keeps us busy and even traveling. Oh well!

Now, I must review my "To Do" list, head to Costco, and get productive.

Song: "All About You" by Nik Kershaw (of course)
Book: "Field Notes on the Compassionate Life: A Search for the Soul of Kindness" by Marc Ian Barasch
Other: Won $330.40, mostly playing roulette, but also at the nickel slots

2 comments:

Lauren said...

OMG, they look like grandpas! I wonder how they look shirtless.

kellycoxsemple said...

I'm betting Rollins is still pretty buff. He's been a weightlifting maniac forever. At a bare minimum, he's got to look better shirtless than Keith Richards.

http://www.hecklerspray.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/05/keith%20richards1.jpg