This is what 1980 sounded like. As punk’s righteous squawk shaded into hummable, danceable New Wave pop in lower Manhattan, a small army in skinny ties or stiletto heels sprouted uptown at Columbia University. And while most campus bands took the obvious route of learning to play their instruments before putting together a set list, The Art of Dating gave itself a more ambitious stylistic mission with a name cribbed from an early-’60s how-to guide, witty Dada-ist collaged gig posters, and a signature band look (black! hot pink! more black!). Live at CBGB‘s or at campus venues, drummer John Leland’s solidly funky time-keeping kept them happy on the dance floor, while bassist Amy Lipman’s subsonic thump dueled with Dan Zedek’s itchy scratchy rhythm guitar. On top of it all, Eric Daum crooned and yowled through twisted tales of good love, bad love, weird love, and gym teachers, leaving a trail of broken hearts, bent notes, and freshly-sprayed Aquanet. Zedek and Lipman went on to form the band Blue Palms, and Lipman later joined Artie Lamonica (ex-Shirts) in Rome 56. Zedek is currently recording and performing with Boston-based Field Day. Daum writes and performs in the ongoing multinational collaboration Electric Angels, whose recordings are available on SoundClick. Leland went on to write for Spin magazine and the New York Times, among other places. Several decades on, Marc Gertler’s declaration in the Columbia Daily Spectator that The Art of Dating was “potentially the best of the new bands” seems a bit much, but a joy at making noise and an infectious sweetness linger like pop rocks left out in the sun.