It's the 80's

It's time for this week's musical equation: If the Ramones told us, "It's the end, the end of the '70s, it's the end, the end of the century," then as we approach the fin de si裬e, what decade is it really? Despite the looming presence of the Gnome's hippie neighbors and their Y2K garden, I'm guessing it's not the '60s or the '90s either. Which means it must be . . . the '80s?! How else to explain flicks like The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller running on TV all weekend? Or a KCMU DJ spinning "Touch Me I'm Sick" Saturday afternoon?

Maybe the DJ was gearing up for ABC's Saturday night "world television premier" of the late, great Chris Farley and the still-alive David Spade's second-best movie, Black Sheep, featuring an extended cameo by Mudhoney. In case you can't tell, the blinding, terrible sun forced the Gnome inside and in front of his Korean-made electronic appliance this past weekend—except for a post-Black Sheep jaunt to the Crocodile, where the decade-warp was in full effect. Yes, it was the Fastbacks onstage, with Kurt Bloch crankin' out righteous riffs like it was 1989—woo! Try as they might, the punk rock mainstays couldn't steal the show from the similarly speed-minded headliners, Faster Tiger (where's Velocity Girl when you need 'em? Oh yeah: in the remainder bins at Sub Pop Mega-Mart). The perky power-pop trio nearly packed the Croc for their well-publicized final show and were on their way to exiting graciously until drummer Emily Marsh looked out at crowd and posed the rhetorical question, "Where were all of you the past four and a half years?" Ouch!

Maybe Faster Tiger shoulda stuck around long enough to play Bumbershoot, where the luck just keeps on comin'. The latest coup came when something or somebody called Terrell dropped out, opening a space for media darling and funk soul motha Macy Gray.

Gray's funky new disc On How Life Is could've come in handy Sunday at a barbecue in Fremont, where a gathering of music biz types enlisted neighborhood breakdancers for impromptu entertainment. The BBQ hosts, apparently unaware that the '80s are back, scoured their record collection for appropriate beats and could only come up with the Beastie Boys' Ill Communication and a sorry-ass compilation featuring "Rapper's Delight." Which means the Gnome will have to exhort you once again: Always have at least one Grandmaster Flash disc on your shelves. You betcha!

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