It was a very good year for music.
I'm talking about 1978, the year that gave us both Blondie's "Parallel Lines" and Devo's "Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!"
And, nearly 35 years later, the music from those two seminal albums still sounds as modern, adventurous and exciting as ever.
The two bands, still going strong in 2012, co-headlined a show on Tuesday at the lovely Mountain Winery in Saratoga. (They also played a gig on Monday at the Warfield in San Francisco.) It was retro evening, full of nostalgia for the days before iPods, YouTube and, even, MTV, yet — just like those two albums — it still delivered plenty of thrills.
The bands are apparently switching up the running order on this tour, with each getting the chance to play the closing set. In Saratoga, Blondie went on first.
The influential New Wave act, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, sounded mighty strong as it revived such old favorites as "Hanging on the Telephone," "Dreaming," "One Way or Another" and, for the encore, "Heart of Glass." Vocalist Debbie Harry, now 67, still has a bit of an edge and 62-year-old guitarist Chris Stein definitely still knows his way around the frets.
As expected, Devo was even better, as it reawakened such post-punk classics as "Uncontrollable Urge," "Jocko Homo and its great Rolling Stones cover "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." Of course, those numbers were accompanied by plenty of shtick --
In all, it was a great retro evening, one that made fans remember just how daring rock 'n' roll was back in heyday of Blondie and Devo.
Follow Jim Harrington at http://twitter.com/jimthecritic, www.facebook.com/jim.bayareanews and http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/category/concerts.