The “WLIR” years

I have a real soft spot for “80’s new-wave/alternative rock/punk”, from being brought up listening to 92.7 WLIR, mostly thanks to my brother Bob. I think it started around ’81, and lasted well into college, with WLIR’s sister station WXXP in Pittsburgh, and then with 92.7 WDRE when WLIR was shut down.

My favorites back in the 80s were The Smiths, The Cure, Thomas Dolby, Talking Heads, B-52’s, New Order, Depeche Mode, U2, R.E.M., Peter Gabriel, The Clash, Yaz, Eurythmics, Shriekback, They Might Be Giants, XTC, Tears For Fears, Howard Jones, Human League, Sex Pistols, P.I.L., Violent Femmes, Squeeze, Big Audio Dynamite, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and much more… I still love most of these bands.

The “Female Vocalist/Storyteller” years

I’d guess this phase really got kicked off when I borrowed some Kate Bush CDs from Steve in 1987, freshman year of college. I was familiar with Kate from the few songs that got radio play, but this was the first time I really gave her a good listen, and I was hooked. Next came Sinead O’Connor, Enya, Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Heather Nova, Happy Rhodes, Melissa Ferrick, Ani Difranco, etc.


My tastes lately tend towards Techno/Trance/Dance/Hip Hop/Pop. The techno trend started when I moved to Virginia in 1995, though I think it has some roots in some of my 80s music I like New Order and Depeche Mode, as well as all the computer music downloaded on my Amiga (MOD files) in the early 90s. Artists in my “favorites” list these days include David Guetta, Moby, BT, The Prodigy, Rihanna, Flo Rida, Lady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj.


Back in the day, I used to go to a lot of concerts. Reverse chronological list follows:

Lilith Fair (Sarah McLachlan, Jewel, etc.) July 29, 1997 Merriweather Post Pavilion, MD
Sarah McLachlan w/ Bare Naked Ladies and Fiona Apple December 9, 1996 9:30 Club, DC
Tori Amos August 16, 1996 Wolftrap, VA
Sarah McLachlan w/ Suzanne Vega and Paula Cole August 2, 1996 Starlight Amphitheater, LA WOW!! Seeing Sarah in concert was just incredible.
Front Line Assembly April 12, 1996 9:30 Club, DC
Eddie From Ohio April 9, 1996 Bad Habits, Arlington VA
Joan Osbourne April 8, 1996 9:30 Club, DC
The Roches Spring 1995 Long Island, NY
Tori Amos June 16, 1994 Beacon Theater, NY The acoustics sucked, but Tori was still good
They Might Be Giants August, 1993 Central Park Summerstage
Spin Doctors w/ Soul Asylum, Screaming Trees July 15, 1993 Orange County Fairgrounds
Clannad w/ Martin Joseph June 14, 1993 Beacon Theater
Grateful Dead March, 1992 Nassau Coliseum
They Might Be Giants w/ Eugene Chadbourne October 18, 1992 Variety Arts Theatre
Steve Miller Band w/ Curtis Delgato August 7, 1992 Orange County Fairgrounds
They Might Be Giants w/ Freedy Johnston August 5, 1992 Beacon Theater
Yes July 22, 1991 Orange County Fairgrounds
Dan Fogelberg w/ Tim Weisberg July 7, 1991 Jones Beach
Grateful Dead w/ Little Feat June 16, 1991 Giants Stadium
Bob Dylan w/ Raindogs May 7, 1991 Stonybrook One of the only concerts where I wanted to get up and leave
They Might Be Giants December 31, 1990 The Village Gate
The B-52’s June 15, 1990 Orange County Fairgrounds
They Might Be Giants February 3, 1990 The Village Gate
They Might Be Giants Early 1990 Stonybrook Union
Rock ‘n Roll Revival November 5, 1989 Madison Square Garden
Meatloaf November 1989 Stonybrook Gym
Fine Young Cannibals September 17, 1989 Jones Beach
New Order, Public Image Ltd., The Sugarcubes July 12, 1989 Jones Beach
Stevie Ray Vaughan December 31, 1988 The Ritz, NY
Siouxsie & the Banshees October 21, 1988 SUNY Stonybrook, NY
Pink Floyd August 23, 1988 Nassau Collisseum, NY
Stevie Ray Vaughan w/ Joe Satriani August 20, 1988
Fishbone Club California, NY
Squeeze w/ The Smithereens July 22, 1988 Jones Beach
Clannad w/ The Raindogs June 18, 1988 The Beacon Theater, NY
Thomas Dolby June 10, 1988 The Ritz, NY
The Alarm 1987 CMU, Pittsburgh PA
Squeeze November 23, 1987 Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh PA
R.E.M. w/ 10,000 Maniacs October 23, 1987 Civic Arena, Pittsburgh PA
U2 w/ Los Lobos October 13, 1987 Three Rivers Stadium, PA
The Cure August 10, 1987 Madison Square Garden, NY
Psychedelic Furs w/ The Call July 6, 1987 Jones Beach, NY
John Denver June 29, 1987 Jones Beach, NY