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Hot Neon Magic in the air

Who doesn't want to relive the '80s? The big hair, oversized sweaters and shoulder pads, legwarmers and a flare for everything neon - and, of course, the music.

That's where Hot Neon Magic comes in. The Burlington-based '80s cover band has been playing hits from the Reagan Era since early 2007. Consisting of Jeff Margolis on bass, Ornan McLean on drums, John Whyte on guitar, Liz Ottman on lead vocals, and Adam Rabin on keys, Hot Neon Magic has been all about breathing new life into the New Wave scene many have tried to forget but even more have tried to remember - and of which some have never let go.

"We're not just musically-influenced by this period but, as you'll see, our fashion sense is heavily influenced by New Wave," said Rabin. "It's funny to see the colorful style come back in vogue. We see kids all the time dressing like they hit a thrift shop but they probably just picked up their clothes at the mall."

Hot Neon Magic has been playing at Olive Ridley's on a fairly regular basis, hosting shows every few months since 2008. What's kept them coming back to Plattsburgh is something Rabin sums up in one word: "enthusiasm."

"People simply have a blast rocking and dancing to these songs we grew up on but never had a chance to see live," he said. "There were so many memorable songs but they were largely written by one-hit wonders, some of whom never even played live."

"People forget that the early 1980s was such an adventurous time," Rabin continued. "Punk, New Wave, synth dance and hard rock were all converging and each artist mixed those ingredients their own way ... We work hard to capture the sounds and the attitude of that period. It's not simply about knowing the chords and simply playing. We put on a show that is musically and visually a piece of the 1980s."

(Editor's Note: Hot Neon Magic will be playing this Saturday, June 12, at the Naked Turtle. The show starts at 10 p.m. Follow the band and find a list of their upcoming shows on their Web site at www.hotneonmagic.com or check out their Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/hotneonmagic.)

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