There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
I didn’t think there could be anyone more ready for a Blow Monkeys revival than me, but David Richards, editor of the fanzine Lexicon, is way more into Dr. Robert and Co., not to mention ABC and Heaven 17, than anyone I’ve ever met. Named after ABC’s debut album, The Lexicon of Love, Richards’ ‘zine is a loving and unironic homage to ’80s music.
“I think it’s music when it wasn’t quite as serious as it is today. It’s kind of the last time records could be a lot of fun,” he explains. “Records today are a bit more serious, and people take themselves a lot more seriously, and in a way a lot of the joy of music has gone out. Everyone’s tough and mean and…” Richards trails off.
Lexicon places interviews with well-known new wavers like Thomas Dolby and Heaven 17 alongside amnesia-inducers like Black and Real Life, and includes discographies, record reviews, and contacts for fan clubs and other journals devoted to the ’80s.
Since most new-wave bands have split up or don’t have record labels, Richards typically tracks down his interviewees through the Internet. And although bands like Heaven 17, ABC, and even Dr. Robert have new records out, Richards pooh-poohs the idea of an ’80s revival.
“You still see these things in the media about how the ’70s are coming back, and, for me, I remember the ’70s came back in the late ’80s,” Richards says. “I remember five and six years ago how the ’60s were coming back. So I just think the media gets bored and they say, ‘Oh, OK, the ’80s are coming back, because Adam Ant has a new album out.’”
The 30-year-old American University graduate student says his love of new wave began with his first records. “The first album I ever boughtI bought two of them on the same daywas the Buggles and the Vapors.”
While it’s tempting to ask him whether he’s bought any since, Richards does follow some modern bands, although they generally have an ’80s feel.
“I think people who listen
to the ’80s, that generation, is coming into making music. People like White Town, Elastica, My Life Story. There are a lot of bands that mine that sound from the ’80s, and I’m interested in branching out and following them as well.”
The fourth issue of Lexicon is available for $2.50 and features interviews with Curt Smith (ex-Tears for Fears), the Information Society, the Ocean Blue, and Real Life. Write P.O. Box 1734, Wheaton, MD 20195. Checks payable to David Richards.