Monday, June 20, 2011

New Wave for the New Week #127

San Francisco's Los Microwaves were a quirky Synth-Punk trio who played together from roughly 1978 to 1982.  Comprised of David Javelosa (a/k/a David Microwave), Meg Brazil and Todd Rosa, the trio created four excellent singles and one pretty decent LP during their existence, and proved to be a very popular live act.

Finding their sonic home base somewhere between Wall Of Voodoo and The B-52's, Los Microwaves imbued their songs with a mixture of the mundane and the surreal.  At times they were guilty of trying too hard to be goofy - occasionally at the expense of the song - but more often than not they hit the mark.

Their best work is found on their singles.  They debuted in 1978 with "I Don't Want To Hold You," a blippy pop song that Javelosa would later rerecord under the David Microwave moniker.  The following year the issued the "Radio Heart" single.  One of their most popular songs, "Radio Heart" chirped along, irresistibly pushed forward by a nagging bassline and Meg Brazil's best Cindy Wilson/Kate Pierson impression.  Strange whizzes and boings and whatnot bubble up through the melody, but never quite overtake the song.  Excellent.

That strangeness would overtake the next single, the wonderful "Time To Get Up!" This may have been the most perfect encapsulation of Los Microwaves' sound: discordant keyboards, off-kilter sound, and Brazil's take as the reluctant sleepyhead combine to create one of the better singles of the genre.  Both "Radio Heart" and "Time To Get Up" appeared on Los Microwaves' lone album, Life After Breakfast.  While the good stuff on the album is truly fantastic (the two singles, "What's That Got To Do With Loving You?," the title track), the filler is at times difficult to get through.  Some bands are simply better as singles bands, and Los Microwaves were one of them.  A final single, "I Can't Say," was released in 1982, and that was the last of Los Microwaves.

This week's NW4NW entry includes an audio-only clip for the outstanding "Radio Heart," and the only promo video Los Microwaves made, "Life After Breakfast."  Enjoy!

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