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Old wave: Men Without Hats performs in New Orleans 

The band safety dances into Siberia July 27

click to enlarge menwithouthats.jpg

"The Safety Dance" is one of the enduring documents of the early 1980s, a double-duty Pavlovian bounce anthem for New Wave club-goers and a defiant piss-off to those clubs' bouncers, as well as a set-list staple of Old Wave nights across the country since. Its creators, Montreal bro-bots Men Without Hats, didn't fare as well. Staring down obsolescence as an outdated synth outfit in the grunge era, the band tried its hand at Nirvana-style hard rock on 1991's Sideways, got dropped by its label and promptly broke up. (Men Without Hats without keyboards, it turned out, were men out of work; an aborted comeback in 2003 yielded one sadly prescient release, No Hats Beyond This Point.) The current iteration, which returned in 2010, features none of the original backing musicians, yet it retains the two most essential elements on 2012's time-machined surprise Love in the Age of War (Cobraside): the flatlining delivery of singer/songwriter Ivan Doroschuk and pogoing synthesizers probably covered in "Mondale/Ferraro" stickers. It is, unashamedly, music of a future past. But as long as they abuse it, they're never gonna lose it. Naughty Palace opens. Tickets $15-$20.


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