Pertinent Playlists

Pertinent Playlist #13: Cruel World Music Fest

This once-in-a-lifetime music fest will take place May 14, 2022, in Pasadena, California. It is a dream line-up for any new wave aficionados worth their weight in fishnets and manscara. This playlist contains not the biggest hits from each band, but my choice cuts.

New wave and post-punk fans who were “of the age” in the late 70s and early 80s – and appreciate the best music of the 20th century – will surely sit up and take notice of the news that Cruel World is on. The inaugural date in 2020 was canceled due to Covid-19. The bill is heavy with a who’s who of bands from the era.

While this is a superb collection of the most important groups of this genre, who is missing? What about The Cure? Well, Robert Smith and the gang have been recording and touring since their inception. Still, it would be nice. Did someone say New Order? Another perfect fit for this fest, also very active. I would have loved to have Matt Johnson’s The The on the roster. But I guess the line must be drawn somewhere.

The headliner, a man notorious for canceling shows, is Morrissey. While he has done and said some regrettable things, he did have a hand in bringing The Smiths to the world. And for that, I am eternally grateful. For what it’s worth, there is a Change.org petition circulating asking Morrissey and Johnny Marr to reunite as The Smiths on the Cruel World stage. Please sign the petition…if you don’t ask, you don’t get! Second on the bill is Bauhaus, headed up by that dark knight himself Peter Murphy. One of the first bands to be considered “goth,” Bauhaus has kept a following for some 40 years.

The show is filled with headliners. The top ten acts – in order of billing status – are on or near my own Top 10 list from the 80s. Blondie, Devo, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Psychedelic Furs, Violent Femmes, The Church, English Beat, and Public Image Ltd. sit atop the phenomenal lineup. More well-known 80s bands fill the bill along with others, including newer outfits who exist in the style and vein of new wave, post-punk, and goth music.

Tickets went on sale today at 10:00am PST and have apparently sold out. Can we get another date? Or move the show from Brookside at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to inside the Rose Bowl? I’ll wait…

Categories: Pertinent Playlists

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