Category: 1985

1983, 1985, 1999, 2001, Music

Higglety Pigglety Pop!; Where the Wild Things Are (2001) by the London Sinfonietta conducted by Oliver Knussen, starring Cynthia Buchan, Lisa Saffer et al

This disc features both of Oliver Knussen’s “children’s operas,” based on books by Maurice Sendak.

1985

Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985) by Neil Postman

Amusing Ourselves to Death is a frustrating and maddening book that might be better called Old Man Yells at New Technology and About How Things Were Better Before He Was Born. It’s considered a classic examination of the problems of new technology, which I find odd given how shoddily the argument is made. If this …

1965, 1967, 1985, 1986, 2004, Music

Kagel: Pan; String Quartets I-III (2004) by Arditti String Quartet

This disc collects the first three of Kagel’s quartets and pairs them with a piece he wrote for string quartet and piccolo. (Dietmar Wiesner guests on that piece.)

1985, Books, Fiction

Less than Zero (1985) by Bret Easton Ellis

On some level, this feels like an ’80s LA Catcher in the Rye, albeit with richer and older kids, and drugs and prostitution. I feel like this may have been Ellis’ intent, I also think that the acclaim that greeted it upon its release likely was due, in part to that comparison, however misguided.

1985, Music

Rum Sodomy and the Lash (1985) by The Pogues

I have long loved If I Should Fall From Grace With God and considered it pretty near essential, especially as punk treatments of roots music go. It’s got what is probably their most famous song – “Fairy Tale in New York,” the Pogues song that you probably have heard even if you have never heard …

1985, Music

Brothers in Arms (1985) by Dire Straits

Ten years ago I wrote the following: This might not be so bad if they had actually hired a producer.  It’s like Knopfler put a big stamp on this record saying “This album was recorded in the ’80s!”  Knopfler’s production is the aural equivalent of those ’50s sci-fi films that imagined the “futuristic” ’70s and …

1985, Movies

King Solomon’s Mines (1985, J. Lee Thompson)

This is one of those wannabe Raiders of the Lost Ark films, even though it is based on a novel published about 100 years before that seminal film. But unlike some of the other ’80s adventure revivals, this is practically a copy of the Indiana Jones series, albeit with more (attempts at) humour. One could interpret it as a …

1985, 1990, 1993, 1995, Music

Kleines Requiem fur eine Polka; Concerto for Harpsichord; Good Night (1995) by Henryk Gorecki, performed by the London Sinfonietta et. al

This is a rather arbitrary collection of Gorecki’s later “avant garde” works, featuring a concerto from 1980 and two chamber pieces from the 1990s. But putting the arbitrariness to the side, what we are left with is some very stirring music.

1966, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1991, 2008, Music

Complete String Quartets (2008) by Philip Glass, performed by the Smith Quartet

First off, this is no longer ‘complete’ if it ever really was – Glass has apparently written a 6th quartet. (Also, there are other pieces he has written for string quartet that do not appear here, but they are not numbered among his string quartets, apparently.) Glass’ first quartet is a really great piece of …

1985, Movies

Transylvania 6-5000 (1985, Rudy de Luca)

Here we have a film inspired by the old popular song “Pennsylvania 6-5000” (supposedly the oldest continuously operating phone number in NYC, according to Wikipedia), a top 5 hit for Glenn Miller in 1940. The song inspired a 1963 Bugs Bunny cartoon and somehow that Warner Brothers cartoon became this movie. The title is a …