OMD singer talks fame in America, middle age and being back on the road

With O.M.D. back in full swing, singer Andy McCluskey just wants to maintain his dignity

Paul Humphreys, left, and Andy McCluskey, return to Dallas after a triumphant stop at the Granada earlier this year.

With a handful of hits in the ’80s, British pop band Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark, or simply OMD, charmed with wispy romantic tunes such as “Dreamin’,” “So in Love” and “Tesla Girls.” Then the John Hughes penned-film Pretty in Pink hit theaters featuring “If You Leave” which put OMD on the map and into A-list territory. By the end of the decade, they dissipated and it’s taken them two decades to get back on the proverbial horse.

“The overall idea of us making another go was that we were alive and kicking and relevant,” singer and co-founder Andy McCluskey says. “It was down to a simple criteria: were we motivated to write music like the way we’re used to expressing or were we motivated because we’re a sad bunch of middle-aged men. We hoped we’re the former and not the latter.”

McCluskey keeps a sharp sense of humor about his sort of comeback position as well as a lackadaisical approach to being on the road. The band quietly released its latest album History of Modern last year and followed up quickly with a tour. But both have received critical acclaim and while the band may not be breaking Gaga records, the veteran band is if figuring out what to do with its resurgence.

That is if there is anything to do with it. When they blew up with “Leave,” the band fell into a trap.  The hit added pressure to their next release as well as practically bankrupting the band paying off people helping them get to the top. With that sudden rush of fame, the band imploded.

More after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

Blondie tonight at Granada Theater

Don’t strain your brain

Although the band hit it big in the early ’80s, Blondie’s hits never sound dated. Instead they sound cool and classic, much like singer Debbie Harry herself. But the band’s not too shabby either. See the band in the flesh as they bring back the new wave to Dallas.

DEETS: With Nico Vega. Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. 8 p.m. $60. GranadaTheater.com

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: CSS’ new video ‘Hit Me Like a Rock’

Today, Pitchfork premiered CSS’ newest video “Hit Me Like a Rock,” wherein the band teaches you how to dance. And I know some people who could use this.

This is perfect timing as the band is about to embark on tour again, this time with fellow queer musicians MEN. They were here back in April with Sleigh Bells at the Granada. Now, they come back to House of Blues Oct. 28. Select dates from their tour will feature local drag queens. I wonder if we’ll get to see any of our own on the HOB stage that night.

In the meantime, check out the band’s fun new vid below. You might learn a few moves, too.

—  Rich Lopez

Spin streams CSS’ new album ‘La Liberacion’

Back in April, CSS co-headlined a show at the Granada with Sleigh Bells and pretty much all I remember hearing about the show was that it was loud. At the time, I wasn’t sure why CSS was on tour. Their last release was in 2008, but perhaps La Liberacion is the reason.

Their third album isn’t officially available until Aug. 23, but give the Brazilian party pop band an early listen. SPIN is streaming the entire album now and it could be the perfect thing to pump up any droll afternoon. The caffeine in my iced tea is clearly not doing the trick. Starting off with some strong dance beats, the queer-centric band continues in successfully delivering a a dance party sound but with subtle complex touches that keep it a step above simple disco.

—  Rich Lopez

Sia tonight at the Granada Theater

‘Clap your Hands’ and say yeah

Even though Sia hasn’t quite made into the big time on the pop charts, she’s developed a strong following. The lez singer recalls the vein of Robyn, with smart pop music that keeps us coming back. She’s sold out here, but the venue has been releasing tickets so keep an eye out.

DEETS: With Oh Land and Ximena Sarinana. Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. 8 p,m. $24. GranadaTheater.com.

—  Rich Lopez

LISTEN: Girl in a Coma covers ‘Blue Christmas’

Lesbi-centric trio Girl in a Coma is helping get your Christmas season in full gear. The San Antonio-based band is now streaming their cover of “Blue Christmas,” which you can check out here. I’m still making up my mind on it. Singer Nina Diaz has a great voice, but it’s hard to beat Elvis’ swoony delivery.

GIAC stopped in town recently to perform with the Dresden Dolls at the Granada. If you missed the show, here’s some footage of their performance that night.

—  Rich Lopez

Logo premieres local musician Sarah Jaffe on NewNowNext tonight

Local musician Sarah Jaffe keeps making the right moves into becoming the next big music thing. Logo channel’s NewNowNext Music will premiere her video “Clementine” tonight at 1 a.m. I know, it’s late, but she’s so worth it. The song is from her debut full-length, Suburban Nature, on local based label Kirtland Records.

And don’t go jumping to conclusions about Jaffe. The show features music from both gay and non-gay artists. All you need to know is that she’s pretty amazing.

Once you watch the video, catch her live on Friday when she plays at The Loft. Get tickets quick though. She sold out the Granada earlier this year.

—  Rich Lopez

Your plans for tonight: of Montreal listening party at Good Records

Of Montreal fans who have been waiting with baited breath for tomorrow can get a sneak preview tonight of the new album. Good Records hosts a listening party for the upcoming False Priest, the band’s 10th full-length release, at 8 p.m. Although, I have some issue with frontman Kevin Barnes defiance of sexual labeling, the band whips out some pretty smart indie pop.

Good news for buyers. With every CD or LP purchase, Good Records will giveaway buttons and posters and more. But the best free item of all tonight? Um, the free beer.

And in case you didn’t know, of Montreal comes back to Dallas with the mega-cool Janelle Monae. They perform at the Granada Nov. 2.

—  Rich Lopez