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.

How To Do A Cover Version (Be Llŷrious Edition)

No apologies to those that are bored of me mentioning him, but we’re fast approaching what would have been Llŷr’s birthday, and so today a moment of synchronicity.

I’ve written before, here, just after he passed, that I wouldn’t be writing this blog were it not for my best buddy reigniting in me a love of music.

One day, I visited Fopp in Cardiff – unless it has reopened since I left, it’s no longer there – and had come away with a double CD compilation album called Guilty Pleasures Rides Again.

And when I got home, I found that Llŷr had visited the same shop and bought the same CD; we listened to both discs and by the end we had disagreed with about 90% of the songs being described as “guilty pleasures”.

“What’s wrong with this?” one or the other of us would say, cocking a thumb in the direction of the CD player.

This morning’s record falls squarely into our agreed category of “Why Would You Be Embarrased To Like This?”, because it’s ace, and I won’t have a word said against it, and neither would he (nor, it later transpired, would his older sister, Hel):

Clout – Substitute

It wasn’t until much later that I found out it’s a cover version, but it’s one that fits my theory which is this: that, irrespective of how great the original may be (and on this occasion, it’s plodding and dull by comparison), you like the one you heard first, the one you’re more familiar with.

The Righteous Brothers – Substitute

S’not a patch, is it?

More soon.

Same Title, Different Song

One of the reasons I avoided watching The Who at Glastonbury last year (apart from the fact that I would much rather watch FFS, a decision which, having watched the footage when I got home, I was completely correct in making) was that I had been so disappointed by them when I last watched them at the same place in 2007.

And one of the reasons I was so disappointed by them then was that they didn’t do this, to my mind one of their greatest singles:

intoxica_37743

The Who – Substitute

On balance though, I would have been more impressed had they performed this entirely different song with – you guessed it – the same title:

clout-substitute-polydor

Clout – Substitute

I bloody love that record, and it is at least partially responsible for this blog.

Whilst it’s a record I seem to have always known – I listened to a lot of Radio 2 as a kid – I didn’t come into ownership of my own copy until I wandered into the Fopp record store that used to be in Cardiff one day about 10 years ago and came out owning it, on a double compilation album called “Guilty Pleasures Rides Again”. I hadn’t noticed it on the track listing when I decided to buy the CD, but when I got home and listened to it and it got to this track I remember thinking “What the hell is this doing on an album I’m supposed to feel guilty about liking?”

And then I realised I’d been thinking it for the previous ten tracks on the same CD (ELO and Manfred Mann are in that ten track bunch, for Christ’s sake – what’s wrong with liking them??)

I feel a new thread coming on…..

Anyway, imagine my surprise when several years later I found that Clout’s “Substitute” was in fact a cover version, the original having been done by (and I’m open to correction here, in case there’s an even earlier version I’m unaware of) this pair of housewives’ favourites:

the-righteous-brothers-substitute-haven

The Righteous Brothers – Substitute

More soon.