Twisted MixTape 42 – 80’s New Wave

mixtape jenkehl 200

This week’s theme is to make a mixtape of your favorite dance music or dance club mixes. It was requested by our very good friend of mixtape – Kir from The Kir Corner. She lost her brother suddenly at the end of they year, he loved music so much. And especially mixing up the dance music as a DJ.

What better way to honor his life than to boogie on down with him in mind?

There are three distinctive times in my life dance or club music were prominent.

In the mid-late 80’s first at under age clubs; our’s was called McGreevy’s or lovingly McSleezy’s. It was strictly under 18, with a bar, so that was cool. Because, you know, you could walk up to the bar and order a coke.  Then when I passed the 18 benchmark I was old enough to play with the big folks and spend the end of the 80’s hanging out at Medusa’s – the hottest alternative dance club in Chicago.

Random 80’s memory alert: Do you remember creepers? They were like wearing Doc Martins, but more like a shoe with an even bigger sole and wider rounded toes?

In my mid 20’s we (me, my sister, and our friend Chris, a boy, who could seriously dance) started going to a club in Chicago (that for the life of me I can’t remember the name of) which only played disco music. Now THAT rocked! They had the colored floor ala Saturday Night Fever, the disco ball, even the freaks dressing up like it was still the 70’s. However I really covered the 70’s pretty thoroughly over at Raised on the Radio for this post. So if you’re craving 70’s disco head over there.

And then there was the late 90’s (my late 20’s) my sister and I were both unmarried with really good jobs and basically had more money than we knew what to do with. OK not really. But we had enough to take two cruises a year and that was AWESOME! We got so into it, bought the ball gowns for the formal dinners and everything. We loved it so much that I got married on a cruise ship! Wait…where was I going? Oh right! Disco on the cruise ship! I was so not listening to pop music in the 90’s certainly not club music. But thanks to those cruises there will be some songs I will never forget, even if I try to scrub my brain from the inside out and stick hot pokers into my ears.

Enough time has not passed to make me revisit songs like Mambo #5 and I’m Blue (Da Ba Dee) but, amazingly, enough has passed that I actually find I enjoy listening to the songs from my first foray into clubbing.

Stomping With My Creepers and Bringing The House Down

This is me, sitting in the hall in high school. I saved that jacket that I bought at the most famous thrift shop in Chicago, Flashy Trash. I paid 8 bucks. Someday I bet Isaiah will love to have it! Ha.

This is me, sitting in the hall in high school. Some things to note: there is a green vine drawn from the corner of my eye, down my face. I have multiple piercings in my left ear and that FU look, it was permanant. I saved that jacket – I bought at the most famous thrift shop in Chicago, Flashy Trash. Paid 8 bucks, Isaiah will thank me someday. Ha.


And now….if everyone could please follow me to the dark side? Here you will see a 18yo Jen, well, you won’t recognize her. But she will be doing a dance that could only be described as the stomp. Basically hundreds of kids stomping their feet in time to the beat in their giant creepers or Doc Martin’s on the second floor of an old brownstone in Chicago to a new trend that would be known in the future as 80’s New Wave Music. It’s a wonder the floor never caved in.

Ministry with Everyday is Halloween – By the way, this song was our anthem. “Why are you dressed like it’s halloween?”


The Cult – She Sells Sanctuary


Siouxsie & The Banshees with Cities in Dust


The Cure – Close To Me


Sorry I just got so darn nostalgic I couldn’t leave this one out.
The Cure – Love Cats


New Order – Blue Monday

That's me on the left, it's a year later and I'm attempting to grow out a green mohawk. That explains the odd color and shape of my hair, although I think I was pretty stylin then.  And Yes - I'm hiding a cigarette behind my back. And doing a bad job of it.

That’s me on the left, it’s a year later and I’m attempting to grow out a green mohawk. That explains the odd color and shape of my hair, although I think I was pretty stylin then. And Yes – I’m hiding a cigarette behind my back. And doing a bad job of it.


You guys have been so awesome! I appreciate you coming to play so much, now share your MixTape with all of us. The best part of this party is we get to hear so much music that may be new, may be forgotten or may be just what you wanted to hear right now.

These are the rules. Five songs (do your best to stick to it, I really do listen to every mix and I don’t want you to wait). Stick to the theme (as best you can). Try and check out at least two of the other players or more! (everyone wants to share their tunes with you).

Create a mix, not a “hey look at all the cool songs I know” we’re not snobs, if you were our best bud and you were gonna make us a tape, what would it be? And share this party so more people will play next week!

Do me a favor, if you’re a veteran, try to visit at least one person you’ve never visited before.


And now, The List of all Lists

January 28 – One of your friends is feeling down and needs to feel better. Make a mix to make him/her feel better. This can be songs you know your friend will love or songs meant to cheer someone up. You decide.
February 4 – A mix to Get Motivated. Whether it’s to workout, write or just get out of bed. Mix it up!
February 11 – Love to Love you baby. (Or friend or kid or dog or cat, whatever)
February 18 – We’re back to your choice, play us what you want, we’ll listen!
February 25 – Guilty Pleasures-the songs and or groups that you hate to admit that you love… (Thank you Sarah from The Sadder but Wiser Girl)
March 4 – If My Life Had A Soundtrack…


If you’re still here, thanks! I would love it if you checked out my site, Raised on the Radio we got hacked a few weeks ago and are eeeekkkking our way back up the search engine ranks, any click-thru or better yet share will help us get back to our rightful place!

45 thoughts on “Twisted MixTape 42 – 80’s New Wave

  1. Ha! Of these, the only one I know is Blue Monday. And that’s only because they play it on this awesome AWESOME retro radio station locally. And thanks to that station I discovered that my heartmusic is mainly from the 60’s. But there ya go. I posted my faves at Sandy’s blog after she got pissed when SHE was doing a New Wave thing cos I said that I was only born in ’83 and wouldn’t possibly remember 😉

    (Here – in case you haven’t enough to do already. Or you get a slow day in future –

    • She must have been ticked at you Lizzi! I just skimmed it, but left it open to read more because knowing that you only knew Blue Monday you must have screwed it up royally! LOL!

  2. I absolutely loved those flashback pictures of you and this walk down memory lane here. I was still a bit too young for some of these memories, but yes I sadly do remember Lou Vega’s Mambo No. 5 from the 90s and that song has a memory all it’s own with my ex, who at that time I thought was the one. I guess the if I knew then what I know now totally applies on this one for me for sure!

  3. Pingback: Everybody dance now | that cynking feeling

  4. Ooooh! You did it this week! Latest post ends up first! Fun! Of course I almost posted my link twice until I figured it out….

    I adore the Cure and the Cult so love those choices (I started with Depeche Mode and then did much of that style 80s) Didn’t know your first choice – but loved the visual of you all intently stomping. And the photos add so much to the post! Love that you shared those.

  5. *mwah! mwah! mwah* I ❤ this list so much!

    So I am playing through your list and got through half of the Siouxsie song and my husband comes running (well, he wasn't really running exactly) into the room and said "why are listening to good music?" (which I thought was a silly question because I am ALWAYS listening to good music! duh!) So I told him it was your Mixed Tape this week and he said, "Well, because those two songs are like my favorite alternative songs from the 80's …mix in some Cure and you've got yourself a great mixed tape!" Well…isn't that pretty awesome? Since you DID mix in some Cure!

    I love this list so much! …AND the pictures! (I had the multiple earring thing too)

    (oh just now from the other room he says, "Did she link just the song or the video to 'Cities in Dust'" I said, "Video." HE: " ..cuz I love that video! … it's spooky…"

    p.s. this making me to math to comment is for the birds. jus' sayin'… 😉

    • That is so awesome Kari! Obviously me and your husband would have totally hung out! I love the play by play with your husband, I feel so special! And I got rid of the math just for you!

  6. Shit, that’s two songs stuck in my head this evening just by the mere mention of them. You people are animals! Well not really, after all I included The Safety Dance.

    Why is your blog requiring me to do math to comment? That’s really, really mean…

  7. This list is great, I am going to have Close to Me stuck in my head now! I’m glad I read your post first because this is not the type of music I was thinking of at all. These videos are hilarious, what’s up with the white tights in She Sells Sanctuary? Are they tights or just really tight white pants? Either way – him dancing in them totally made my day!

  8. Speaking of disco, I used to go to this club in Schaumburg called Boogie Nights. All disco. I loved it. That was in 97-99, I think. Loved your pics!

    • Thanks Michelle! I love them again, I had a few years where I couldn’t listen to them. But the icky is gone, now it’s just pure nostalgia!

  9. Pingback: Twisted Mixtape Tuesday: Dance | Jillian Martin

  10. Jen,
    I love your mix, I was not part of the NEW WAVE, although we are the same age…I went for Wild for WHAM!, danced to Whitney, enjoyed the Breakfast Club RIGHT ON TRACK! but listening to these songs was awesome and I’m crying with so much gratitude for what you’ve done to HONOR my brother…there are not ENOUGH THANK YOUs!!!


  11. I really love your list. Our dance music preferences are different, but I remember listening to some of these songs when my then boyfriend and I would go out. He was a punk..mohawk, make up and all. He was also the one who popped my Rocky Horror Picture Show cherry. 😛

  12. I have The Cure on my iPod and never would have thought to include them on the list. For me, they’re an angsty, alternative band that I listened to in my high school days. Amazing to see how music is one thing for one person and something different for another.

  13. #1 – I want to marry you based on this mix alone.

    #1.5 – I’m serious.

    #2 – I LOVED Creepers, and still own a pair, in fact.

    #2.5 – Same goes for the Docs.

    #3 – Did you ever notice, without brick walls being readily available, our entire jaded generation would to this day remain pretty much undocumented, photography-wise?

    • SO you know how If eel about 1-2 already and I forgot to say. I know! About #3! I have an amazing amount of photos with brick walls. I have an awful lot of documentation, this post has brought a lot of friends out of the cracks who have asked me to post more!

  14. OMG, I love this list so much. Every single song could be on my playlist too. Now I have to figure out how to take it in a totally different direction! And I adore these old pics! I’d rock that jacket right now!

  15. I was just telling Lizzi that the only dance club I ever went to was an “oldies” club – all fifties, sixties, and seventies music – when I was in my early 20s. I never did the underage club thing – those were for the “bad kids” when I was growing up and I was decidedly a “good kid” (read: goody two shoes afraid of my own shadow and terrified of my parents if I stepped left of center). Ha.

    I completely love how your storytelling meanders into paths unknown and you have to remind yourself where you were headed in the first place. That is my every day. 🙂

    These were not on my roster of music – and I was definitely an 80s kid. I think I was listening to hair bands instead.

    • Thank you Lisa!! My sister and I went to those types of clubs in my late 20’s, she used to do Lindy Hop, I used to just watch mesmerized. It was amazing!!!

  16. Love this so very much especially because I lived in Chicago in my early twenties and I remember those Doc Martens. I was a dancer, which mean I was a waitress–a cocktail waitress at Excalibur. Is that place still there? It was mainly full of “708’s” but the money was good. I identified with the creeper-wearing crowd but could never afford a “real” pair. I had a knock-off pair from Payless that looked like police officer shoes. One day an ex-cop (creeper) stopped me in the street because of them and invited me to his house. I didn’t go. … There was a club under the L tracks at the Belmont stop that was good…what was it?
    Again, love this and I thank you for it.

    • Kim Excalibur the building is there, but the bar closed sometime in the 2000’s…. I can’t believe I can say that. It’s been a string of clubs, but none successful. The place was just too big!
      There was a club under the tracks…. I got a tattoo around the corner….what was it? My brain is like a sieve, it’s cool we have this in common!

  17. I was a child of the 80’s so my tunes to get down with were those cereal CDs…Kid pop/bop…something like that where the kids sing adult songs but in a kid way. Meh.
    Also New Kids On The Block.
    I wish that I could rock green hair. My sister is a multi-coloured zebra

  18. I was so excited to see that you included not one, but two songs from The Cure.
    Also, embarrassing fact… I have never until today heard “Every Day is Halloween.”
    Thanks for sharing!

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