80sObscurities presents: Da! - 'Dark Rooms'

Posted on 04/02/13

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80sObscurities presents: Da! - 'Dark Rooms'

This 80sObscurities was founded by DJ Rexx Arkana to showcase old, often unknown or forgotten acts and tracks from the decade when electronic music was truly the new wave. Rexx Arkana has been a club/radio DJ and promoter since the mid-80s and headlined festivals on several continents and currently holds a residency at DEFCON, NYC's current longest-running weekly scene party. He is also the founder and lyricist of Brudershaft and one half of harsh electro act FGFC820.

Since I’ll be in Chicago this week on business, I thought it only appropriate today for 80sObscurities to showcase a band from the Windy City. Moody post-punk outfit Da! was formed by 16-year-old singer/bassist Lorna Donley in 1978. Originally a girl group, with guitarist/keyboardist Evelyn Marquis, drummer Dawn Fisher and Gaylene Goudreau, by 1980 Marquis was replaced by guitarist David Thomas.

Gigging incessantly locally, the group quickly became a fixture in Chicago’s scene, opening up for such art rock acts as The Fall, DNA, Bauhaus and Mission of Burma. Manager Terry Nelson, a local punk radio DJ, formed Autumn Records to record and release the band’s work, beginning with this classic debut 7”. The song expanded Da!’s audience throughout the Midwest, until legendary music video show “Rock America” picked up this self-produced video, made by George Kapoulis (co-founder of Autumn Records) and dropped it into heavy rotation. It’s American Midwest post-punk at its finest; a representative sample of the kind of angst-ridden alt rock that – while never achieving the same prolificacy or respect as contemporaries like Husker Du or Naked Raygun – ensured Da! a small footnote in music history.

Be sure to join us tomorrow when 80sObscurities presents an exclusive interview with Greek minimal wave outfit In Trance 95.

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If you've got a favorite musical memory from the 80s that you'd like to share, email Rexx your requests at rexxarkana@gmail.com . Rexx Arkana's 80sObscurities previous playlists are also available on Facebook and YouTube.

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