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Ah, the halcyon early '80s: asymmetric hair; clothes that often resembled loud pajamas with zippers sewn on; a still-intact and still-dangerous Soviet Union; putrid drum sounds. (Belated punishment should be meted out to all the audio producers and engineers responsible for crimes committed against innocent drum kits in recording studios throughout the 1980s.) The dawn of that dicey decade also saw the rise to preeminence of post-punk and new wave music. Honestly, a lot of this stuff sounds like skillets being dropped on a tin roof, but there was also much of merit in it. A 1981 film called Urgh! A Music War collects the notable examples in one handy drawer. Featured are live clips from The Police, Oingo Boingo, UB40, Wall of Voodoo, X, The Dead Kennedys, The Cramps, XTC, Echo and the Bunnymen, Steel Pulse and the always-jolly Gang of Four. Plus even more. That's bulk quantities of early-'80s tuneage for only $5. Urgh! A Music War screens at 8 p.m. tonight at the Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue, Maplewood) as part of the Webster University Film Series. Call 314-968-7487 or visit www.webster.edu/filmseries for more information.
Wed., March 13, 2013