Last night, my wife and I enjoyed a rare night out since the birth of our child. We took in a little dinner and then a She Wants Revenge concert at the Black Cat. For those of you who are unfamiliar, She Wants Revenge is the latest in a series of modern rock bands that are capitalizing on a wave of 80's alternapop nostalgia (see also the much better Interpol as well as the Bravery). Compared to other acts, they seem to be wearing their influences a little more openly. You can definitely hear elements of Joy Division, The Cure, and Depeche Mode while listening to their album. To me, they also sound like a second-tier goth-pop band like The Wake or Rosetta Stone. Seeing them live, however, they had a lot more electropop posturing than gloomy goth broodiness.
I find it very interesting that the alternative music from the early 80's (even late 70's) should be so popular with modern listeners. When I was in high-school in the late 80's, we wouldn't be caught dead listening to music from just ten years ago, never mind twenty. I think it must have something to so with the fact that today's "alternative" music (whatever that means now) directly descends from the punk and post-punk of that earlier era. The Classic Rock and Prog Rock of the 70's (and earlier) seem as different from 80's alternative as 50's Rock n' Roll seemed from late 60's Psychedila. The music of today just doesn't seems as different from the best of the 80's music.
Of course, maybe it's because I'm an old fart (at 35) who's tastes were formed in the 80's. I'm sure people that grew up in the 70's or 90's feel differently.