Hey now, hey now, let’s catch our ’80s nostalgia “deluge in a paper cup,” as Neil Finn of Crowded House lightly crooned in their 1986 breakout hit “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” A shining, majestic example of New Zealand pop balladry, the song is seeing new light in a fabulously curated SFMOMA event that’s capping off Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July’s exhibition, “Learning to Love You More.”
Before we dive into an endless hole of lyric quoting, let’s explore the simple yet brilliant concept that anchors the event. Will Rogan and Jonn Herschend of The Thing Quarterly, a local publisher, have put together a lineup of (semi-)local bands and musicians whose singular goal is to put their own spin on this piece of pop canon, playing off an assignment from Fletcher and July’s exhibition. Some of the performers include local string legends Kronos Quartet, noisier, experimental rock bands No Age (LA) and Bronze, Kelley Stoltz, and even the Albany High A Capella group. With such an eclectic group of musicians slated to play, it’ll be a treat to witness how each transforms the song into their own. Nay, a dream.
Unfortunately, it looks like tickets to this event are indeed over (sold out), but if you dream hard enough, find some friends who have a spare, or parse the Facebook event for some gracious resells, you might find that “freedom within” from the “wall between us” and the show.
For now, (hey now), fist-pump slowly to the sweeping original and its video (with its deluge of floating fish sticks and shattering plates) alongside this really neat Samoan-English cover version from Nyssa Collins.