In the 1990s, nothing was bigger than the 1980s.
The phrase "sooo 80s" became applicable to every last iteration of big hair, bright colors, and schmaltzy synthesizers.
A few of the Me Decade's touchstone references: MTV overdoses, Madonna's dirty Bowery tutu, the Flock of Seagulls hairdo, baggy suits, too much eyeliner, brick-sized cellphones, and infectiously gooey New Wave à la Modern English.
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This lasted until, like, 2008. By that point, popular culture had gained enough distance from the Clinton era that the epoch of grunge and gangsta rap seemed ripe for the picking. And now, in the potentially (and probably) apocalyptic year of 2012, the '90s are the new '80s.
Still, it seems as though no matter which decade is the hipper source of retro inspiration, you can't go wrong with perennial pop titans like Modern English. This band epitomizes all of the hazy, lusty, feel-good tropes of Reagan-age jangle, and the group's smash 1982 single, "I Melt With You," will remain in heavy rotation until long after the 2000s have cycled through three or four waves of retro excitement.
Modern English. With Axe and the Oak. Friday, September 28. Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The show starts at 10 p.m. and tickets cost $15 plus fees via fla.vor.us. Ages 18 and up. Call 305-377-2277 or visit grandcentralmiami.com.