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November 15, 2004 // UPDATED 4:39 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Holly Day
Holly Day

The return of the '70s

And now something handy and useful: the surest and quickest way to kill a youngster's party is to put on a Village People album.

One night, the kids next door threw a huge bash. There had to be over a hundred people, so many, in fact, that most of the party actually took place in the parking lot just outside my living room window.

These kids hadn't had the grown-up decency to invite their neighbors (even if they know they'll never show up), and that ticked me off. I hadn't made any effort to meet them, of course, but it still irked me .

Besides, it was late, and the party music had begun to degenerate to a non-stop grind of Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots. So I decided to help liven things up a bit with my own record collection.

I moved my entire stereo system to just-under the big living room windows and set the speakers facing out through the screens.

Over the course of the next hour, I tried everything to figure out what would kill the party quickest. Nancy Sinatra didn't do it -- too hip and kitschy to alienate the under-25 crowd. Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra also didn't have the desired effect; in fact, the debonair gents seemed to make my unwitting audience get even drunker and louder.

I finally struck gold with The Village People. It only took a few bars of "Macho Man" to send a good part of the party crowd scurrying inside to safety. "YMCA" got some of the girls outside to start singing along, so I eliminated that from the track list and then replayed "Macho Man" for good measure. A few more scattered so I hit "repeat" -- sure enough, looping "Macho Man" emptied the lot.

To chase out the remnants, I turned the speakers towards my neighbor's living room wall. This time it took just a half-hour to dissolve the scene.

All of this is pretty ironic considering The Village People's legacy of being more responsible for starting parties than stopping them. But then again, maybe only nice people who invite their neighbors to their parties dig The Village People.

The construction worker, American Indian chief, policeman, cowboy, sailor and urban guy open for the one and only never-fully-retired Cher.

Saturday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m. Target Center, 600 1st Ave. N. $34.75-$74.75. 673-0900.

The return of the '80s

They're back! Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith -- the duo responsible for such '80s radio staples as "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," "Shout," "Head Over Heels" and other delectable synth-pop hits -- are coming to Minneapolis to perform once again as Tears for Fears.

The band will perform selections from their past repertoire as well as their newest release, the colorful and Beatle-esque "Everybody Loves a Happy Ending," their first collaboration in over a decade.

Tuesday, Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m. State Theatre, 805 Hennepin Ave. S. $29-$34. 989-5151.

And now from the '90s

If it weren't for Green Day, it's doubtful that there'd be so many tattooed and pierced suburban kids, or that so many frat boys would have ever gone through a blue or green hair phase (well, at least the tips).

With their songs about girls, alienation, girls, growing up, and, well, girls, (and what boys do when they don't get girls, a la their monster hit "Welcome to Paradise") Green Day was definitely responsible for making punk rock accessible.

Content-wise, their new record is a definite departure from their previous subject matter. The grown-up guys are now concerned with bigger things, hence the politically charged, social commentary rock opera "American Idiot."

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 7 p.m. Target Center, 600 1st Ave. N. $33-$35. 673-0900.

Holly Day can be reached at lalena@bitstream.net.