The Late Movies: Songs About Obsolete Technology

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Nothing makes a song feel nostalgic like an out-of-date technological reference. Sometimes, it's charming, like in Paul Simon's "Kodachrome," and sometimes it's downright silly like in Gym Class Heroes' "New Friend Request," about the prevalence of Myspace. Here, six songs that harken back to a simpler time.

Pagers

"Throw my pager out the window! Tell MCI to cut the phone poles," sang Destiny's Child in their famous song "Bug-a-boo." Besides doctors, do you know anyone with a beeper anymore?

Myspace

In the Gym Class Heroes song, "New Friend Request," lead singer Travis McCoy belts out lines about when "my man Tom introduced us" and seeing a girl's face in the "top eight." Clearly, this was from a time of pre-Facebook popularity.

Star 69

It's almost hard to imagine a world when we didn't all have caller ID, but dialing *69 allowed us to learn who had called when we needed to know. In this REM song, Michael Stipe croons, "I know you called. I know you hung up my line, star 69."

Telegrams

This song by the Five Americans harkens back to a time when people sent messages via Western Union.

Answering Machine

This 1984 song by the Replacements ponders the role of the answering machine. (Writer's note: I cannot talk about answering machines without sharing my favorite answering machine message ever, courtesy of George Costanza.)

kodachrome

"It gives those nice bright colors," Paul Simon sang in his song about memory. He compared it to Kodachrome, Kodak’s film.

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May 13, 2013 - 10:00pm
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