Oingo Boingo
February 18, 2013, 6:55 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

What was the deal with them? What did they think they were doing?

An RWCG Readers Open Forum.

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18 Comments so far
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that’s how I feel about Frank Ocean

Comment by Kid Dynamite

Hey, “Caribbean Queen” wasn’t a bad song.

Comment by The Crimson Reach

not at all… billy ocean = good… Frank Ocean: not so much

Comment by Kid Dynamite

they made on of my favorite movies in the world… I give you “The Forbidden Zone”: < one segment "bim bam boom" < the whole movie!! if you can watch the first 3 minutes without laughing ill eat my hat

the alphabet song < danny elfman dressed as the devil singing minnie the moocher

Comment by dana

Thanks for those. I will watch!

But that’s what I mean. What did they think they were doing? Into which tradition does this fall?

Comment by The Crimson Reach

Surrealism, art rock, performance art, dadaism

Comment by Anonymous

All of those? And: is that what they themselves thought they were doing?

I think part of this is just that it’s disorienting. There is also some very mainstream, nice pop-rock from the late ’80s. Where does that fit into ‘dadaism’? Were they ‘being ironic’?

Comment by The Crimson Reach

Don’t you think they were just being rebellious and a little cute? It’s the “flippancy” mode of humor — not quite commentary, more puncturing what they saw as the inflated egos of the society that so cruelly constrained their creativity. Ah, the sorrows of having to earn a living in a bourgeois world. I like absurd humor, myself, though perhaps they’re not my favorite example. “Buckaroo Banzai” is more my style, or the Marx Brothers.

Comment by Texan99


Only a Lad

I used to listen to KROQ back in the 80’s. When you hear those two songs, you wonder how they ever got air time. I know Danny Elfman does a lot of movie soundtracks these days. He’s either gone over to the dark side or keeps his mouth shut.

Comment by Mike

I thought it was called Middle Class Socialist Brat.
And all other things aside, I liked that one.

Comment by aretae

I was always 50/50 on whether it was ‘ironic’ i.e. being sung in-character. Maybe just because one never heard stuff like that sung sincerely.

Comment by The Crimson Reach

Yup. So did they just ‘sell out’? And, consciously?

But the problem is larger. There are just multiple, incoherent phases to keep track of: that old Mystic Knights stuff whatever that was, the early-80s conservanerd ska, the late-80s pop, the movie soundtracks. How does one tell a coherent story here?

Comment by The Crimson Reach

I left KROQ and the eighties in California when I moved to Texas. Marriage and children prevented me from keeping track of all the various cul-de-sacs Danny Elfman and Oingo Boingo might have gone down.

I just got back form Wikipedia. Up until just now, I thought Jenna Elfman was Danny Elfman’s daughter. You can see how poorly I kept track of that stuff.

Comment by Mike

from. I just got back from Wikipedia.

Comment by Mike

Other bands went through phases from their early beginnings as Art Rockers to later periods as mainstream pop artists.

Some other examples;


David Bowie (Modern Love, Cat People, those are pure pop songs, no art to them at all, imo)

Check out this from Genesis, what the hell did they think they were doing?

Comment by Pastorius

A LOT of ACID, That’s what they were doing.

Comment by Anonymous

I haven’t even attempted to grasp early Genesis, let alone assimilate them in with ’80s-era Phil Collins (a topic which merits an RWCG Readers’ Forum all its own; why/how on earth did Phil Collins become a superstar?).

Comment by The Crimson Reach

They are one of those bands I always meant to get around to some day trying to think about someday maybe looking at getting to listen to at some point in the future.

Still thinking about doing that at some point. In the future.

Comment by d3ft punk

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