The Devil Came Down To Richmond

The Devil Came Down To Richmond

“Have you guys heard the D-Devils?” It was 2006 and the voice belonged to my good friend Rachael. The question was addressed to my wife and I. The answer was that no, we had not heard the D-Devils. So we did and there we were, all three of us squished in Rachael’s tiny car, zipping around the streets of Richmond, laughing until we cried. Rachael, a frenetic ball of laughter, turquoise hair, tattoos, and piercing, knew every word. She shouted the lyrics, such as they were, exulting in the goofiness, punctuating each line with effortless, raucous laughter. This went on for a few hours, before and after meals out, on and on, beat out by the steady metronome of that song. Here’s what we know: the D-Devils are Belgian. Very Belgian. They have two full albums out, “Dance With the Devil” and “No Future Without Us”, from 2001 and 2003, respectfully. This meant that, by 2006, they were already well into past due status in the quickly moving world of electronic subgenres. Today, they’re ancient, with a website which hasn’t been updated since 2010 (I’ve no idea why it was updated for even that long). The D-Devils are about schtick and, oh my, what schtick it is. They dress like devils, prosthetic horns and all, go on stage, and play what discogs.com refers to as trance, but is really closer to The KLF’s stadium house, albeit updated with newer bleeps and bloops (it should be noted that The KLF was dedicated to schtick, as well, and that the D-Devils’ sound is shockingly close to those other inheritors of The...
Taking My Viewing to South Beach: Miami Vice With New Eyes

Taking My Viewing to South Beach: Miami Vice With New Eyes

There has been a massive Miami Vice shaped hole in my cultural knowledge. This was not and is not a conscious decision on my part. My father, I recall, watched the show during its run. He wasn’t a devoted follower of the series, but I can distinctly recall snippets of episodes and that iconic opening from my childhood wanderings down the hall to our living room. One in particular, an episode with Sheena Easton, is in my mind’s eye. It’s nothing seared in my memory or anything like that, but the memory of watching that one episode is there.  Maybe it’s because I always confused (and still confuse) Sheena Easton with Sheila E, even though they’re nothing alike. Sheila E, as it turns out, is way cooler than Sheena Easton, but she was never on Miami Vice. But I never revisited the show to see what the big deal was as I have with so many others. It’s not that I dislike cop shows or crime dramas; I’m not particularly drawn to them, mind you, but I enjoy enough of them that Miami Vice doesn’t repel me or anything. The show just never did it for me. As a kid, it was like watching people my dad’s age try to be cool. My dad is cool, but he wasn’t so cool in 1985 to eight year old Ian; the thought of watching guys my dad’s age wearing suit jackets with t-shirts while living on boats in Miami to New Wave soundtracks just didn’t appeal to me much at the time. Grody to the max. As an adult, the whole thing...