Outsourced is an NJ-based band that covers a broad range of the 1980s and 1990s pop and rock songs. Bhavna’s brother-in-law attended Rutgers University with all of the band members, all of whom are doctors. We first heard them play when one of Bhavna’s co-workers, who is also a doctor and whose husband (who isn’t a doctor) also went to school with my brother-in-law’s friends, invited us to hear her perform with the band. She had been practicing singing with them for a few months. The doctors are super busy, so the group only perform a few times a year.

The band drew a sizable audience filling the tavern that night. They played many popular songs from the ’80s and ’90s including many of my favourites (U2, Duran Duran, Men at Work, The Police). We had a great time, but Bhavna and I realized that we listened to different things on the radio in the ’80s. She was very much into American pop, and I listened to (mostly) a mixture of British and European pop, American rock and roll, and of course reggae and calypso. That is to be expected. She grew up in New Jersey, and I grew up in the West Indies.

Bhavna and I also realized that we associated these songs with different moments and places in time. For many songs, I can remember the island where we lived and the general time of year or some memorable event associated with the song. Bhavna doesn’t think she has memories associated with songs, but I think she does.

My brother-in-law hosted a Super Bowl party this year, and we had a chance to talk with the singer for the band about how he chose the music for gigs and about his favourite 80’s music. Bhavna was particularly interested in the playlist of 1980s music he had created on Spotify. He sent me a link with the list. As we are Apple Music users, over the last two months I have recreated his playlist but added my personal favourite hits and made sure to include entries from Bhavna’s favourites.

Our 1980s Radio Favourites, a personal playlist on Apple Music, is a combination of our favourites.

NOTE: Martin McCallion’s recent post prompted me to write this one.

’80s Indie Essentials by Martin McCallion

  • Aperture—ƒ/4
  • Camera—NIKON D5100
  • Taken—25 June, 2017
  • Copyright—© 2017 Khürt L. Williams
  • Focal length—24mm
  • ISO—200
  • Shutter speed—1/160s

Growing up in the Anglo Caribbean ( the old term is British West Indies) I was mostly exposed to Kaiso ( Calypso ) and later reggae. Kaiso gave way to Calypso which due to American musical influences became SoCa (Soul Calypso).

I remember that my uncles listened to a lot of American Country Music by Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Junior but also quite a lot of Elvis Presley. I can’t explain why my uncles liked that music but I developed an appreciation for it.

My father preferred popular American musicians such as Andy Williams and Nat King Cole but as I grew older and my dad became an audiophile, he switched to Pink Floyd, Chuck Mangione, and Gato Barbieri. My musical tastes changed along with him.

In high school, I discovered my own musical tastes. I liked Bob Marley, David Bowie and The Police, the Beatles, Peter Gabriel and Devo and Flock of Seagulls, Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, and Prince and Michael Jackson and … yeah, my musical taste was all over the map. Consistently inconsistent. But in the 1980s I mostly listened to European alternative music.

First, it was records spun on my father’s audio equipment. He was a serious audiophile. Linn Sondek turntable and pickup, Bose 501 Series 3 and Quad ESL 63 hooked up to NAD preamps and Marantz amplifiers. Our living room was a listening room. I learned the difference between high bias metal cassette tapes and normal cassette tapes. I learned how to set the equalizer for each type of music listening experience.

Then CDs came and my tapes and vinyl were replaced by plastic discs. High-quality digital discs quickly transitioned to lower quality but “good enough” digital downloads. It’s not good enough. But that’s where we are.

I discovered the band U2 in my second year of college. I listened to the Joshua Tree album until it fell apart. I had to buy a second copy. Then I bought all their older albums. And the new ones as they were released. I had friends who travelled to Europe and who bought me bootleg copies of tape recordings of concerts. I couldn’t get enough of the band.

U2 lead me to REM and to Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and Nirvana. My 1990s was mostly filled with American alternative rock. I still listen to this genre today.

In the 2000s’ I listened to Cold Play and the OneRepublic.

Lately, I have been stuck on EDM. Paul van Oakenfeld, and Tiesto, and Armin van Buren. Right now that music seems to calm me when working and help blot out the voices of self-doubt.

Bob Marley reminds me too much of the life I used to have in the Caribbean and which I miss dearly. So … I don’t listen to reggae and calypso as much as I used to.

Music
Collection of Musical Items
  • Aperture—ƒ/4
  • Camera—NIKON D5100
  • Taken—25 June, 2017
  • Copyright—© 2017 Khürt L. Williams
  • Focal length—24mm
  • ISO—140
  • Shutter speed—1/160s

Created by photographer Frank Jansen, the Tuesday Photo Challenge is a weekly theme-based challenge for photographers of all kinds to share both new and old photography.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Music by Frank JansenFrank Jansen (Dutch goes the Photo!)
Music is all around us and more than just a human form of expression, as Nature is filled with examples of great music from the birds in the trees to the whales in the oceans. As usual, you can take poetic license into any direction that you desire, so that it can be music to your ears, a great performance or a cacophony of atonal sound!