emails from time to time advertising upcoming musical events and tours. Yesterday it was a band called “Modern English”. They are doing a concert in Connecticut soon. I didn’t take note of the date because I was fascinated with their promotional picture. Sometimes I look at these guys and I wonder what they used to look like before, because the current image looks like a quartet of aging dustmen, and I’m sure they didn’t start out like that. Sure enough, Modern English were a one – hit wonder from the MTV era. They had a song called ‘I Melt With You’. Apparently it was “on heavy rotation on the then-thriving Modern Rock radio format, MTV and dance clubs across the globe, and was prominently featured in the classic 1983 film Valley Girl, starring a young Nicolas Cage.” That’s from their official press release, so who am I to challenge it? Their new single is called “Long in the Tooth”, and they certainly have longevity, because they’re in the middle of an 18 date US tour right now.
Not so Modern English
To put it bluntly, Modern English today don’t look anything like they did in 1982. One of the guitarists has particularly morphed into such a heavily tattooed persona, that he looks like he wandered into the wrong photo shoot. The other guys are all wearing the same beige shirts, sans the the tats, piercings, rings and jewelry. The guitarist with the body art appears to have upside down cross on his forehead. He’s definitely out there man. It could well be right side up, it’s hard to tell. Where am I going with all this? I have no idea. It occurs to me that I’ll have to, at some point, need to get some publicity shots done myself, if I want to play anywhere outside of my house in the future. Bands almost always never smile in these pictures. It’s uncool. People don’t look like they did in 1985 either, so it’s a challenge to look good.
To be fair, that guitarist has always been a bit strange looking.
Modern English don’t seem to care though, and good for them. I just listened to their new “Long in the Tooth” single. It doesn’t add or subtract to anything in the current musical firmament in my opinion. Like the Rolling Stones, it’s probably hard to come up with something new when you’re still carrying around the baggage of your previous vehicle of success. The Stones have a new album out too. The video for the single wouldn’t look out of place in an 80’s hair band promotional commercial. That’s what these things are, just ads for a product. They’ve spent a lot of money digitally altering vintage billboards and bringing them to life. It’s mostly about legacy, not something fresh and new.
The Angry Stones – Jagger’s tinfoil covered pants cucumber seems to have shifted.
The hot chick in the bustier throwing her head back in the open sports car wasn’t even born when those billboards were originally on display, even if they were actually real in the first place. I wonder what the same video would look like if it were shot in London where the Rolling Stones actually came from? The whole thing looks like it’s morphing (there’s that word again) into “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”
I don’t know man. Time has a way of kicking your ass eventually.