Sally Shapiro, Disco Romance

It is Valentine’s Dance Night. He comes through the crowd in a checkered blazer. The Linn drum kicks in on the high school gym’s PA. Then, amidst a sea of bobbing crimped hair and neon hoop earrings, he sees her. She’s doing that Belinda Carlisle arm-swinging dance. As the sequencers burble, the song is no longer compressed through the in-film PA, but now floods onto the soundtrack. He gets up the nerve to walk towards her. Just then, her preppie boyfriend brings a meaty paw down on his shoulder pad and spins him around. Unexpectedly, the kid with eyeliner and The Flock of Seagulls hairdo pulls back and pops preppie with a right to the chin – he goes down. His computer programming buddy, or maybe the old caretaker at the school who taught him karate, laugh and give him the thumbs up. He comes up to the dancing girl with the pert nose, the Louise Brooks hairdo, the short tartan skirt and the black leggings. She wraps her arms around his neck and he pulls her in for the triumphant kiss. “The darkness will end, the dawn will shine,” sings Sally Shapiro and the two take off from the dance floor, out through the gym doors and across the snow-covered field. They spin around holding hands and take off down the street towards their future. In short: this is the soundtrack to a lost Canadian tax shelter-financed teen rom-com from the ’80s, the kind that you can only find in the discount bin at a Chinatown video store. Buying it sends you back on a nostalgia trip: you’re watching Superchannel in 1985 and dreaming dreams of teenage romance. And I mean it all in a good way. (Erik Weissengruber)

CD, Paper Bag Records, www.paperbagrecords.com

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