2017.03.22

Today I learned Sade is actually a band, not a solo artist. Yes, the singer’s (stage) name is Sade, but she has always released albums as the lead singer of a band of male musicians.

I grew up in the MTV era (in fact, we were born the same year), but I didn’t grow up with MTV. We had a TV with a rabbit ears antenna and five channels (six with good weather). Even now, after a decade of YouTube and a concerted effort on my part, I’m still seeing music videos from the ’80s for the very first time. This is Sade’s Smooth Operator, which sent me to Wikipedia this morning, wherein I learned this new fact.

Two years ago, I decided to read only female authors. This year, I doubled down on that resolution and deleted (most) male voices from my iTunes collection. (I kept a few duets and songs by male artists which featured women.) During the last week at my parents’s house, I discovered two cable music channels new to me: Stingray Loud and Stingray Retro. It’s a nice change from MuchMusic to watch a music channel with just videos and no ads.

There have been a lot of dudes singing on Loud, and not even as many silent female bodies as you might expect in music videos. But Retro has been the permanent “last channel” on the remote all week, a regular source of memories, new and old. While I’m watching Team Canada play (undefeated!) at the women’s curling world championship this morning, I just flipped back now to catch Nena singing “99 Red Balloons”.