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Day: February 19, 2014

February 19: A tribute to Devo (RIP, Bob Casale, 1952-2014)

Ordinarily, it’s Wednesday and I’d be featuring a video (or more) on the subject of dance. Not today. I almost — *almost* featured a trio of Devo songs for Twofer Tuesday, but I hesitated. Yesterday, I heard that Bob Casale, one of Devo’s founding members, died suddenly of heart failure.

This has already been a hard year, with losing Pete Seeger and Shirley Temple Black among others, but they were both in advanced years. 61 (Casale’s age) is no longer as hugely distant as it once was.

Devo’s music had a major influence on my life, from taste in music to the realization that being different isn’t a bad thing. We’re Through Being Cool could be considered an anthem for some of the counterculture who thought of Devo as inspirational music.

Their brand of nerd rock predated “Weird Al’s” career by a solid four years. He eventually featured their music styling in an original tribute, Dare to be Stupid.

How do these music videos qualify for Dancing Wednesday? Well, if you’d seen me while I was an undergrad at SUNY New Paltz, in the local New Wave club, you wouldn’t have to ask.

The group is probably best known for the song “Whip It” —

— but there are others that I consider to worth including in this list. They follow, in no particular order. If you’re just discovering their music for the first time, I hope you can appreciate the influence they brought to music, especially during New Wave, and beyond as well.

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