Friday Night Music Club Vol 5.2

Well, hello. Nice of you to drop by. It’s Friday Night, fancy some tunes? Yes? Good stuff, I knew you wouldn’t let me down.

This week: the second week of the split down of the far too long, Volume 5. Running order tweaked a bit, a couple of songs which weren’t in the first one make an appearance, and there’s a definite 80s vibe about this one (once you get past the first five tunes, which are, in order: 70s, 60s, 70s, 90s, 00s.

I listened to this whilst waiting for a much delayed bus back from the hospital a few weeks ago, and, at the risk of appearing immodest, I bloody loved it. And I think you will too.

So let’e crack on shall we? Yes? YES!

Friday Night Music Club Vol 5.1

And, as is tradition, here’s your track-listing, and yes, this time I’ve even bothered to write some sleevenotes for you to tut over:

  1. The Stylistics – Sing Baby Sing

I’ve become a tad obsessed with The Stylistics recently. I’ve been trying to work out why. Is it the natty suits? The dance moves? That incomparible male falsetto? Could be. More likely is that this is just one of many Philly Soul records they put out that are just irresistable to these ears.

2. Sandie Shaw – Girl Don’t Come

Ah, Gawd bless Sandie. As it was Eurovision a couple of weeks ago, it seemed appropriate to slip one of her less-remembered tunes in. And you’ll find no smutty jokes about that song title here, you’ll have to make your own up, which I’m sure you’re more than capable of.

3. Blondie – Picture This

Suprisingly, given the ones which were to follow – like it was an aperitif, designed to whet the palate in anticipation of what was to come – this was the lead single from Blondie’s incredible Parallel Lines album. Anyone who heard this when it was released in August 1978 probably had no idea they were being lubed up for the pounding that was to follow. And anyone who doesn’t love that long-player must be dead – or, given that last analogy, at least a little sore – inside, I reckon. But what else is there to be said that hasn’t already been said about Blondie? Not much, so I’ll simply repeat some well-versed facts: Blondie were probably (as in “I haven’t checked”) the most commercially succcesful band to emerge from the New York punk/new wave scene, and that was in no small part due to Debbie Harry (before she insisted on being called Deborah) being sexy, coquettish and just downright cool. Girls wanted to be her, guys wanted to be with her.

4. Echobelly – I Can’t Imagine The World Without Me

This is just ruddy great. The band’s first of too few Top 40 hits, this scraped in at #39 in June 1994, which is criminal. And here we are, almost 30 years later and it still makes me want to bounce around the room and proclaim my undying love for Sonya Madan.

5. Girls Aloud – Wake Me Up

You can keep your Little Mix, your Saturdays and any other all-girl pop band that came after them: Girls Aloud may not have written their own tunes, but they sure as hell had some bangers in their repertiore. This one is not as well known as some of their others mega-hits, but damn right it’s worth revisiting.

6 Kim Wilde – Chequered Love

Nothing wiill shake me from my opinion that this, and not Kids in America, is her finest moment, I had the pleasure of meeting her once (CLANG!); she and her entourage came into the motorway restaurant I worked in when she was touring supporting some bloke called Michael Jacksonon his Bad tour of the UK. Not sure what happened to him. She had a burger and chips and an ice cream float. She was nice (swoons).

7. Animotion – Obsession

Yes, it’s a bit euro-pop. Actually, it’s a lot euro-pop. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s no good. Because it isn’t, it’s the opposite of no good, which I believe is commonly referred to as good. In fact, it’s better than just good, it’s a terrific tale of unrequited lust. Still with me? An over-looked 80s classic in my book. Mind you, there’s quite a few entries in that book.

8. Colonel Abrams – Trapped

Speaking of over-looked 80s classics…

9. Gorillaz – Dare

It’s hard to believe that Shaun William Ryder is now probably better known as “that sweary bloke from Celebrity Gogglebox” or “that sweary bloke from I’m a Celebrity…” than he is as one of the most pioneering lyricists and shambolic, shuffling lead singer of Happy Mondays and Black Grape fame. I think this record had a lot to do with his reinvention, projecting him into the psyche of a new group of fans, especially because, so the story goes, it was supposed to be called There but whenever Ryder tried to say the word, it came out as Dare, so the title was changed. I mean, how can somebody be as famous as he is without being able to pronounce such a basic word? And then I realise that Bez is almost, if not more, famous, and it all starts to make sense.

10. Hercules And Love Affair – Blind

Now let me make something perfectly clear: I did not enjoy the musical output of Antony and The Johnsons. Each to their own and all that, but Antony’s voice just wound me up, like fingernails down a chalkboard, made worse when I read reviews describing his vocal performances as innovative, ground-breaking blahblahblahblahblah. So, suffice it to say I did not have high expectations for this tune, on which he, just like Ryder in the last tune, provided guest vocals. Blimey, was I surprised. I love this, I think despite rather than because of Antony’s presence. It’s a total banger, right kids?

11. Van She – Kelly (Cut Copy Remix)

The original of this is a bit yacht rock but this 80s-upped remix definitely isn’t. It’s the second best (that I can think of, off the top of my head) Kelly in pop, and no, Kelly Jones from Stereoploddingphonics is not the best (Kelly Watch the Stars by Air is, of course). And this isn’t a million miles way from the uber-cool French duo, it’s just a bit more upbeat and contains more obvious retro synth-stabs. You’ll like it. No really, you will.

12. The Human League – Love Action (I Believe In Love)

Since we’ve gone all 80s-esque, we may as well have the real deal, so you can see just how well these all slot together. Philip, Susan and Joanne: national treasures in all but name.

13. Beth Ditto – Open Heart Surgery

Back to the 80s-homage gang, and I’ve included this one because there’s something about the bassline which reminds me of The Human League’s Don’t You Want Me. Can you spot it too?

14. Simian Mobile Disco – Audacity of Huge

Here’s some reviews of this, which I lifted from wiki:

Pitchfork called it “a limber, name-dropping, ear-catching body-mover, sleek and uncluttered and populist”.

Consequence of Sound stated that the lyrics were “hopelessly catchy non sequiturs”

NME (remember them?) felt that said “hopelessly catchy non sequiturs” were the only thing that made the song “listenable” (instead of “as annoying as stubbing your toe”)

The Quietus praised it as “amusingly bizarre” and “a pitch-perfect satire of the bling-bejewelled breast-beating so prevalent on [Kanye’s] 808s and Heartbreaks

This is why I would never have made it as a music journalist, as I wanted to be when I was in my late-teens: I have no idea whether any of those reviewers actually liked it or not (admittedly, I’ve not read the whole review, which usually gives a score at the end, which is a bit of a clue).

I’d never hit my required word target if all my reviews simply read: “An absolute beast of a record.” which this clearly is. And it features Chris Keating of Yeasayer on guest vocals, which I gather should be considered another point in its favour.

15. The Gossip – Standing In The Way Of Control (Soulwax Nite Version)

Yes, I know that there’s a strict “the same artiste shall not appear twice on the same playlist” rule in place. I haven’t broken the rule by including this. Yes, Beth Ditto was the lead signer with The Gossip, but that’s a very different beast to her flying solo. Anyway, I’ve not featured any of Soulwax’s awesome remixes for a while, so it seemed fitting to bring this week’s shenanigans to a close with one of theirs this week.

And that’s yer lot. Hope you enjoyed.

More soon.

Friday Night Music Club

For quite some time now, I’ve been pondering what it is that is preventing me from posting with the same regularity as I was last year.

I’ve worked it out.

Regular readers will know that I generally sit on a Friday night, have a few drinks and write posts for the next week. But for a while now, I’ve become preoccupied on doing a new mix.

Warning: artist at work excuse incoming.

See, whilst they seem remarkably unpopular, I really enjoy piecing together a long playlist/mix/call it what you will, and that inevitably means a few drafts which don’t quite, to quote Echo & The Bunnymen, cut the mustard.

So, I’ve been working on this mix for some time now, but somehow something always seemed to prevent me from finishing it, be it me tinkering with the running order, or thinking of new tunes to toss in, or some kind of technical calamity, or (more often) listening to it and realising I’ve utterly messed up a mix and I simply can’t bear to have anyone else listen to it.

I’m not going to pretend all of the mixes between tunes here are perfect – there’s at least one which I know isn’t – but I’ve reached the point where it’s close enough to let it go and move on to something else, before I drive myself mad searching for perfection.

So here’s my latest mix, imperfect though it may be; frustrating as it has been, I really like this one, which starts off in the usual way – slowly – before getting into a groove which includes Kings of Leon from before they went stadium and knew how to use a cowbell, a new(ish) track by The Chemical Brothers, an obligatory Soulwax remix, two of the finest female pop stars going: Miley Cyrus & Dua Lipa (not on the same tune, sadly), the occasional hidden ‘joke’ (by which I mean it seemed funny when I first put the songs together, less so now), via Madonna having a short chat with Johnny Cash.

It’s the usual mix of songs you love, songs you’ve forgotten about, and songs which make you think “What the hell has he put this on here for??”. Some might say eclectic, but I couldn’t possibly comment. Think mainly Indie guitar stuff, with a few dance tunes, 80s pop songs and a couple of timeless classics – at least one of which you probably won’t have heard before – thrown in.

As always, no track-listing – I like to imagine your faces when the next song kicks in – but there’s a list of featured artists on the right hand side in case you want to see what you’re letting yourself in for. Which is a treat, obviously. If you desperately need to know what a track is, either Shazam it or, if you’d like to feed my ego, ask me via the Comments at the bottom of this post.

Usual disclaimer: any skips and jumps are down to the mixing software; any mis-timed mixes (and, as I say, there is at least one) is down to me. Either way: Sorry!

One more thing: you may recall that last time out I mentioned that my brother had said he managed to predict what I was going to play next, which annoyed me greatly. No such criticism of the last mix, although he told me he listened to it whilst out on his morning run, so some of the sudden gear changes weren’t helpful. I’ve tried to rectify that this time, with a relatively steady beat and tempo maintained throughout (after you’ve got past the traditional slow start) for those of you who listen to this whilst doing your exercises (not that I really understand what that means). The danger was that it would denigrate into either a Ministry of Sound pumping dance mix or a Top Gear/Best Driving Songs…in the World…Ever! playlist, but I think the song choices just about keep us on the right side of that happening.

Let’s say it starts slowly, gets into a groove, and then has more false endings than a Status Quo single.

I’m a bit annoyed that since I first decided to include it, at least on song here has popped up in an advert – and you know how I feel about them – for burgers, of all things. Rest assured, the advert in question was not the inspiration for the song’s inclusion. You’ll know it when you hear it, I think.

Oh and there are several songs which feature effing and jeffings – “sexual swear words” as Simon Bates used to say at the start of videos – so please avoid if you are easily offended by unfettered vulgarity and sauciness. Look, there’s a Goldie Lookin’ Chain tune which is probably the rudest and most inappropriate (but funny) thing I’ll ever post, so beware.

For a limited time (until I do another one, so y’know, could be months), you can stream or download it via Soundcloud here.

More soon.

Friday Night Music Club

Hello, hello, hello, hello!

It’s Friday night here in the UK, and that can mean only one thing: more tunes to add to the Friday Night Music Club playlist.

Tonight’s 5 sees us remaining firmly in 80s territory, and with me providing a lesson in DJing: it’s not always about playing the records you like. Sometimes, you have to play the ones that your crowd will like.

Such is the case with the first two songs in tonight’s list. These are definitely not my favourite songs by these artistes:

LetsDance David Bowie – “Let’s Dance”

(For the record, my favourite Bowie song is…fuck, I don’t know…where do you start?? Right now, it’s probably “Life on Mars”….later tonight it’ll probably be “Absolute Beginners”…tomorrow, or maybe even later tonight, it will be…oh this is too hard. It’s not possible to have just the one favourite Bowie song, in the same way as it’s not possible to have just the one favourite toe)

220px-Reflex7 Duran Duran – “The Reflex”

(For the record, this is much easier: my favourite Duran song is “Hungry Like The Wolf”)

348103 The Human League – “Don’t You Want Me”

Sometimes I like to slot songs together which kinda sound a little similar, or which remind me of each other, and such is the case with the next one:

dittoep Beth Ditto – “Open Heart Surgery”

I dunno what it is about that, but when I hear either of those two, I immediately want to hear the other straight afterwards. You’re welcome.

Finally this week, we start to move into slightly dancier waters, with a song that always takes me back to my clubbing days:

$_35 Goldtrix presents Andrea Brown – “It’s Love [Trippin]”

More soon. (Next Friday, to be precise).