Swing along with this year’s Monterey County Fair.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Between the cotton candy and the best pig contests, this year’s Monterey County Fair also has a wide range of offbeat musical options. Check out this year’s lineup.BERLIN FEATURING TERRI NUNN, Thursday, Aug. 13
The early ’80s American new wave band Berlin – featuring the dynamic blonde-haired singer Terri Nunn – will forever be remembered for the melodramatic 1986 hit, “Take My Breath Away,” which wafted heavy emotion into the softly lit love scene between Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in Top Gun.
Top Gun wasn’t Nunn’s first experience in the movie soundtrack game. In 1985, she performed “Dancing in Isolation” solo, for the John Cusack teen film Better Off Dead.
Berlin and Nunn never topped the success of “Take My Breath Away.” After releasing the unsuccessful Count Three & Pray, Berlin disbanded in 1987. Twelve years later, Nunn created a new incarnation of Berlin and they released a cover of shock-rocker Marilyn Manson’s “The Dope Show” on their 2005 album, 4Play.
But after 29 years, several different manifestations and 13 albums, one thing about Berlin remains consistent: the deep, synth chops and breathy Nunn vocals in the (still popular) “Take My Breath Away.”BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY, Friday, Aug. 14
Swing revivalists Big Bad Voodoo Daddy blew up shortly after the release of Doug Liman’s 1996 indie film, Swingers. The band appeared in several scenes filmed at the Brown Derby in Los Angeles – a club they played at regularly. The two songs featured in the film – “You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby)” and “Go Daddy-O” – became international hits after the film unexpectedly became a sleeper sensation.
Hardcore Voodoo Daddy fans have had to wait five years for their new album, How Big Can You Get? A Tribute to Cab Calloway, released this past April. The album pays homage to the legendary bandleader and showman – who coincidently passed away in 1994, the same year Voodoo Daddy released their first album – and his rampant 1930s run at Harlem’s legendary Cotton Club. The 11-track LP features classic Calloway tunes repurposed in the Voodoo Daddy style. On their original take of “Minnie the Moocher,” a resentful trumpet snarls as Scotty Morris tells the ancient tale of a scheming cokehead seductress.THE SPAZMATICS, Saturday, Aug. 15
The Spazmatics, an ’80s new wave cover band from Austin, Texas, describe themselves as “nerds that rock.” The quartet’s getup includes pocket protectors, nametags, helmets, plaid pants, short shorts, skinny ties, bow ties and wristbands.
Al describes himself as a “geologist by day, rock star by night.” Bjorn says that he wears protective goggles in case there is a “freak guitar pick accident.” Drummer Cecil is known for his Tone Loc impersonation. And Geoffry’s non-descended testes help him achieve that high voice that is so important for recreating songs of the 1980s.
Overly geeky synchronized dancing and Dungeons and Dragons references accompany recreations of anthems like Men at Works’ “The Land Down Under” and Flock of Seagulls’ “I Ran.” The music is cool; the look of the silly cast of characters is like that of a group of escapees who wandered away from their caretakers and ended up in a karaoke bar.
All shows are at the Payton Garden Stage at 7:30pm and free with admission at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairgrounds Road, Monterey. 372-5863.