February
19th 2010
Friday (baby)doll blogging: “Production values”

Posted under: American history, art, Dolls, fluff

Here’s hoping you’re not working “on spec” today.

“Let’s get into trouble, baby!”  For you youngsters who have never seen Tapeheads, yes that’s Tim Robbins and John Cusak.  Apparently, the song was by Devo all along.  (We just thought it was a brilliant parody of 80s Europop at the time–which, I guess it was, and still is.  Who knew?)  And, don’t forget about The Swanky Modes!

13 Comments »

13 Responses to “Friday (baby)doll blogging: “Production values””

  1. JJO on 19 Feb 2010 at 9:30 am #

    This made me smile. One of my favorite silly/stupid movies of all time. I’m not sure if it ever made it into theaters — if it did, I blinked and missed it — but after Cusack and Robbins got famous it made its way into local video stores. Should be taught (perhaps in conjunction with Red Dawn) in courses on the cultural history of the 1980s.

  2. Historiann on 19 Feb 2010 at 9:34 am #

    Woverines!!!!

    (JJO–did you know that “Baby doll” was by Devo before today?)

  3. JJO on 19 Feb 2010 at 9:41 am #

    I didn’t. That’s excellent trivia. I just assumed it was by a Swedish bodybuilder, just like in the movie.

  4. Indyanna on 19 Feb 2010 at 10:09 am #

    Thanks, first of all, for the enlarged ration of “fluff” this last week, Historiann. We need it to get through this crazy month. We’re braced for yet another storm!

    Are we not (all) hominids? And are we not (all) Devo? Can there be any doubt now that Ohio is one of the great cultural incubators of presidents, astronauts, and innovative music? The only thing I worry about is that pyrotechnica, the spirit of which led directly to the Great White disaster in Rhode Island a few years ago. Good thing they taped this in a hangar of some sort. I would have left it at the paint.

  5. Fratguy on 19 Feb 2010 at 11:30 am #

    Indyanna,
    Following the meme of musical innovation from Ohio, I would add Pere Ubu, The Breeders (or at least Kim and Kelly Deal, Guided by Voices, Over the Rhine as well as Adrian Belew’s work with the Outfield in Cincinnati. I agree with your concerns re the pyrotchnics. I found myself saying “I hope those are not oil based paints.”

  6. Liz2 on 19 Feb 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    Hey Fratguy – don’t forget about Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders – she’s an Ohio gal too! I used to go to the bars and see all those Ohio bands. I still have a bunch of Adrian Belew on cassette tape even!

  7. Indyanna on 19 Feb 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    Yeah, Chrissie is who I was thinking of! She played in a college band at Kent State with one of the Devonians. But the Outfield, how strange, never heard of them. I just Wickied them. An English band, originally called The Baseball Boys, they have an early album called “Play Deep” and a later collection called “Extra Innings.” Four MLB players, two outfielder and two infielders, use one of their songs as “their” song when they come to bat. The Wiki never really explained the source of all this strangeness.

    Don’t get me going on Cincinnati outfielders, though…

  8. Historiann on 19 Feb 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    Ay, oh, way to go, Ohio.

    Are you a Buckeye, Liz2? I am! (Fratguy is not, and Indyanna went to college there but is not a native, no matter how hard he cheered for the Reds as a boy.)

  9. Rad Readr on 19 Feb 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    Wow, Devo and Dead Kennedys. The way we were…the other day I was at the little store on campus buying some coffee and the kiddies were playing music that sounded like a mix between DKs and the GoGos, who were much rattier live. (I might have seen them live at some point, but at this point it’s only a vague memory. I did catch Devo a couple of times.) I was tempted to tell the students, don’t you have your own music? Wasn’t that the point of much of the 80s scene? But maybe I’m just being romantic, or a “new-ro,” as the case may be.

  10. Historiann on 20 Feb 2010 at 6:06 am #

    Rad? A New Romantic? Somehow, I didn’t picture you that way in the 80s.

    The Go-Gos were packaged in a particular way to sell, especialy as a “girl band”–but their roots were definitely in punk. But, Solid Gold never featured the DKs or the Bad Brains, so they were promoted more as a pop band.

  11. Liz2 on 20 Feb 2010 at 7:59 am #

    Historiann, I am indeed a buckeye. Although I haven’t lived in the state since the early 90s. Glad to know I’m in such good company!

  12. Historiann on 20 Feb 2010 at 10:08 am #

    A surprising number of historians are secret Buckeyes, Liz2. I work with two other Ohio natives, and it seems like most people I know can claim to have been educated in one of its many colleges or unis, and/or to have spent some time teaching there.

    It’s a huge state for higher ed–due no doubt to all of those New Englanders and Yankee Yorkers who migrated there in the 19th C. I wish Ohio had spent more of the last twenty or 30 years planning for their economy after the demise of the Big 3 auto companies–it would be in much better shape now economically.

  13. Indyanna on 21 Feb 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    I will enter a very mild demurer here to the thesis that “no doubt all of those New Englanders and Yankee Yorkers who migrated there” were the carriers of the distinctive elements of Buckeye culture, or even just the academical parmanyt. That has to be at least *part* of the story, as the history of the hundreds of colleges that got johnny-appleseeded across the Old Northwest would suggest. But my own mid-Ohio SLAC came out of the Methodist hearthland and the Methodies didn’t get too much play in New England. As Dee Andrews shows, they came onshore in the Delmarva, and one of their areas of cultural conquest was precisely the Genessee Country where the Yankee-Yorkers were streaming in.

    Congregationalists overwhelmingly tended to become Presbyterians and to some degree Methodists when they severed from the old Puritan hearth and went on their new errand. Genessee was partly laid out by Western Marylanders before the Yankee exodusters got to it. On the fertile wheatlands of western Iroquoia, Yankees accepted tenancy (well into the 19th century) as they never had at home and refused to in the Hudson Valley. I think that with William Cooper’s Town and the Genessee lying in their path, Yankees had a lot of cultural stuff leached OUT of them–and replaced with other stuff– before they ever saw Marietta or the Western Reserve.

    What’s that about? I’ve long thought that studying the historical construction of Buckeydom, via braided migrations from New England *and a lot of other places*, was the next great paradigm in early Am. culture history. BTW, I’m looking at the official map of the Ohio Dept. of Transportation (ODOT?), and it says that the Buckeye only became the official state tree in 1953. What’s that about, too? On the other hand, I’ve touted Susan Grey’s _Yankee West_ (about MI, alas) here, so I guess I’m open to a hybridized interpretation.

    If anyone out there could report on the punk or post-punk scene at Oberlin thirty years ago (to desperately try to get back on-thread), we might have some answers.

    Is this off-thread or what, from T&A and “let’s get into trouble today?!?” Maybe even off-off-thread?