Re-revisiting Upstairs at Eric’s

While poking fun at a ’90s cover band at a recent meetup, I tried to gauge the age of the guy with whom I was chatting (btw, so nice to meet you; call me). I alluded to how I attended ’80s parties back in my college days, “you know, when it was cool.” I’m not sure the reference hit the mark. This was before the resurgence of booties, goomies, and tunics, when the promise of “Come on, Eileen” and “Bizarre Love Triangle” did not elicit bouts of over-played nausea.

During this time, I bought Yaz’s Upstairs at Erics, much to the befuddlement of my internship boss, who remembered it from high school. The album includes the hit, “Only You,” which I knew as a camp song tune, but there’s also the timeless “Bad Connection” and synth-heavy melodrama of “Goodbye Seventies.” As I listen again, 10 years later, I hear shades of Discovery, MGMT, and Passion Pit, and the album is as relevant as ever. The ’90s covers, on the other hand, could have stayed where they were.

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