Friday Night Music Club Vol 23

And, as promised/threatened (delete as applicable), we’re back with one of my self-proclaimed ‘eclectic’ mixes.

This one clocks is at just shy of 90 minutes, as opposed to the usual 60-ish, which is partly to celebrate the return of the mix, but also as a reference to an NHS employee I encountered when I had my recent consultant with a rheumatologist.

As this was my first visit, I had to have the usual checks (height, weight, blood pressure) and as I entered the examination room the chap about to perform these tasks (he did introduce himself, but I’m terrible with names) commented that he liked my t-shirt.

I was wearing one which was a homage to the retro, and had depictions of nine cassette tapes on it. This one, in fact:

I pretended I wasn’t absolutely delighted to have someone commend my sartorial taste.

“Thanks,” I replied, “but you realise you’re showing your age, right?”

So, anonymous NHS chap, this mix is designed to fit on a C90 in your honour. Yes, I’d rather you had a decent pay rise too, but sadly that is beyond my control.

Anyway, since this mix includes a bit of actual mixing, it’s admin/disclaimer time: any shonky mixes are down to me; any skips or jumps are down to the mixing software or the uploading process; all song choices are mine.

Ready? Good, then let’s begin:

Friday Night Music Club Vol 23

And here’s your track listing, complete with sleeve notes:

  1. Spinal Tap – Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight

Regulars will know that I like to kick these mixes off with a pace-setter, and this week I was torn between four different tunes. Unable to decide which to use, I’ve included all of them. I was, as you will have gathered from the image at the top of this post, unable to resist starting proceedings with something from one of the funniest films ever made (and I don’t mean Big Momma’s House).

2. Led Zeppelin – Rock and Roll

Second song which could’ve been the opener. Since this is the first mix I’ve posted since October, the “been a long time” lyric seemed too appropriate to ignore

3. The Jim Jones Revue – High Horse

Whatever happened to this lot? Like Jerry Lee Lewis meets the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, this is fecking great.

4. The Vines – Ride

Potential opener number 3. Instead: consider it an invitation.

5. Ride – Like a Daydream

I couldn’t resist the theme. Sue me. Also: I was there Part 1. The video for this was filmed at That London’s ULU, and I was there. Sort of. A story for another day, I think (if I haven’t written about it before, that is…)

6. Helen Love – Power On the Music

Potential opener number 4. Helen Love are ace, even better now they’ve moved on from their original obsession with Joey Ramone to release a swathe of top-notch indie-pop records (not that the Ramone-fixated years weren’t also great). This little beauty is simply a call to play music loudly, and contains one of the few Super Furry Animals samples that I’m aware of.

7. The Lovely Eggs – Don’t Look at Me (I Don’t Like It)

Short of some decent insults? There’s loads in this absolute belter. Lovely stuff.

8. Fatboy Slim – Right Here, Right Now

At the time of writing, there’s a documentary on Sky/NOWTV which covers the events of July 13 2002, when Fatboy Slim threw Big Beach Boutique II, a free entry gig on Brighton beach which was expected to attract around 60,000 people, but which actually found the seaside town over-run by closer to 250,000. One of whom was me (I was there Part 2). I’ll be writing about it when the time is appropriate (i.e. come the 21st anniversary later this year…).

9. U2 – Even Better Than The Real Thing (Perfecto Mix)

Look, I know it’s not the done thing to like U2, and I would certainly not consider myself a fan. But, as the saying goes, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. It’s possible to think that this remix is great, but retain the belief that Bono is a prick. Lose the sunglasses, mate, you’re not Edgar Davids.

Edgar Davids: Not Bono.

10. The Tamperer feat. Maya – Feel It

Some dumb but great pop from 1998. At the time this was riding high in the charts, I was working at Boots the Chemist in Cardiff, and remember going to local dodgy night-spot Zeus with some of the store’s weekend staff – students, predominantly – and trying to explain to one them that the riff this is based on is a Jacksons sample. She didn’t know the original, nor who The Jacksons were for that matter, and I’ve rarely felt older until I just looked up the date when this came out.

11. Tim Deluxe (Feat. Sam Obernik) – It Just Won’t Do

Fatboy’s opening tune from the aforementioned Big Beach Boutique II gig and an absolute “choon”.

12. Danny Tenaglia + Celeda – Music Is The Answer

In the words of Frank Sidebottom: “You know it is, it really is.”

13. The Prodigy – Breathe

It’s really hard to overstate just how massive The Prodg were way back then, but perhaps this best explains it: in 1998 (two years after this was released) I visited some friends in Nottingham and, as is the law there, we ended up at Rock City, where the DJ broke two golden rules: 1) he played two tunes by the same artists in the same set, and 2) he played them right next to each other, Firestarter followed immediately by this. Rather than point out his faux pas, I danced my legs down to the knees, as did pretty much every one else there that night.

14. Oceanic – Insanity (99 Radio Edit)

Still a tune. Whilst I’ve been off work, I’ve watched all the Top of the Pops recaps of the years on the BBC iPlayer, and the two members of Oceanic continue to argue to this day as to whose idea it was to include the key change in this. Doubtless, Louis Walsh will step in and claim credit at some point.

15. The Osmonds – Crazy Horses

I was DJing once, opening slot (so I could get home on public transport) when the chap following on from me decided to guide me through the records he had brought and especially drew my attention to an Osmonds Greatest Hits album he had in his record satchel.

“Do you know what I’ll be playing off of this, Jez?” he asked.

I gave him my best “do-you-know-who-you’re-talking-to?” look and replied innocently: “Love Me For a Reason?”. Twat.

16. Billy Bragg & Wilco – Hoodoo Voodoo

If I could find a clip of Vic & Bob performing their voodoo song – “Do you do voodoo?” – then I’d include it here, but I can’t so….tough.

17. El Goodo – Feel So Good

Apparently, I’ve met at least some of this lot, friends of friends, who have made the mistake of making themselves incredibly hard to find via a Google search, given that their name is derived from a very wonderful tune by icons-to-cool-indie-kids Big Star.

18. Django Django – Default

You can tell it’s getting near the end when all I can think of to say is that this is great. Next!

19. Cracker – Movie Star

Because your Friday night wouldn’t be complete without a song about a decapitated celebrity, right?

20. The Dandy Warhols – Bohemian Like You

Okay, so I know it’s an obvious pick from this band’s back catalogue, and also it was used in *shudders* an advert back in the day, but, at the risk of sounding patronising, I figured a tune most of you will know was needed. My apologies if I’ve underestimated you. This reminds me of dancing in a packed Cardiff’s Barfly with my buddies LlŇ∑r, Mike, Vicky, and the two Claires. Happy days.

21. The Stylistics – Can’t Give You Anything (But My Love)

I’ve had this in my brain for ages, a forgotten 70s classic. It’s another beauty, which probably would have sounded pretty great next to The Tamperer, but it’s getting late and I can’t be arsed with redoing the whole mix. Here is just fine.

22. The Divine Comedy – Everybody Knows (Except You)

And so we fade further into end-of-night sing-a-long territory. Probably my favourite Hannon composition (although, to be fair, that changes fairy regularly).

23. The Lemonheads – Bit Part

More sing-a-long stuff which, I’ll be honest, has been squeezed in for no other reason than I realised I had room.

24. Baby Bird – Goodnight

Night BB, thank you for not singing You’re Gorgeous. And that’s it, right?

25. R.E.M. – Afterhours

Wrong. I flim-flammed between this and The Velvet Underground’s original (and indeed We Are Scientists identically-named belter) as the final tune, before ultimately plumping for Stipe & Co’s rather shambolic version, deciding the applause to wrap things up was egotistically appropriate, if ill-deserved on my part. This is lifted from a rip of the band’s Tourfilm video which showed them on the tour to promote the Green album back in 1989 – the first time I ever saw them (at the Newport Centre, support from the Blue Aeroplanes), and to this day my favourite gig I ever went to. With thanks and much love to the much missed The Power of Independent Trucking blog for providing.

Now I’m off to put my hands, fingers and wrists in ice to recover.

More soon.

Friday Night Music Club

Evening all. Welcome back to this week’s selections.

For once, I’ve got a fairly busy social life this weekend, starting with a night out with some old friends on Friday Night, so this week’s choices feel a little strange to me, since¬†I’m actually writing this in the middle of the week, and not on Friday as I normally do. This shouldn’t have much of an impact, or so you’d think, but I wonder…

For a start, I don’t have that Friday night, no work for a couple of days,¬†vibe. More importantly, I have a strict “no drinking on a school night” rule, so this is being written stone cold sober. Let’s see how it pans out shall we?

So, much the same as when we went loud at the start of the year to shake off those post-Christmas blues, I thought I’d do much the same after last week’s Country choices, if for no other reason than to prove I haven’t forgotten that this series is supposed to be, well, fun.

So where better place to start than with this:

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105. Beastie Boys – Make Some Noise

The lead single from what sadly turned out to be their last album, 2011’s¬†“Hot Sauce Committee Part Two”, I was surprised¬†when writing this to find out that this didn’t even chart in the UK. In fact, none of the singles from the album did. I was of the opinion that the Beasties were a little more popular on this side of the pond, but I guess I was wrong about that.

Released in April 2011, it was soon over-shadowed by the death of Adam “MCA” Yauch in May 2012. The world is a poorer place with no new records by the Beastie Boys, in my book.

Anyway, this is supposed to be cheering us up and straight away I seem to be back talking about dead musicians. That’s the last one for this week, I promise.

*Scans the rest of the week’s selections*

Okay, maybe not quite the last one.

This lot, for example, may only have made one decent record (that I know of anyway) but they’re thankfully all still on this mortal coil. I think. Haven’t checked, if I’m honest.

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106. The Mooney Suzuki – Alive And Amplified

This record has a special memory for me. Before I moved to London eight or so years ago, I came up for New Year’s Eve one year, a night which started out with a few drinks, then moved to¬†The Garage, an indie club and venue¬†in Highbury where¬†two of our friends, Spencer and Ruth, had managed to bag themselves a DJ slot (if my memory serves, the¬† prestigious “over midnight” one, although I’m open to correction on that).

This was the first record they played, and the two of them bounced all over the stage like two excited Tiggers throughout.

After their set, they came and joined us on the dancefloor, and I interrupted Ruth to give her a big hug, planted a¬†kiss on her cheek and told her how¬†ace I thought they’d been, how much fun I’d had and how proud I was of them. Ruth gave me what I can only describe as a look of happiness, a little embarrassment, more than a little¬†confusion, and no small amount of terror.

It was only afterwards that I realised that when I referred to them earlier as being “our friends”, that wasn’t entirely accurate; they were friends of my friends, and I’d never actually met either of them before. I had managed to forget this teensy bit of information. Yes, I was that battered.

Anyway,¬†I managed to explain, and eventually she told security that they didn’t need to pin me to the floor and sit on my head anymore, and we all saw the funny side.

This next song was also in their set that night, and is a¬†staple of the very¬†occasional DJ’ing gigs I get these days:

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107. Andrew W.K. – Party Hard

Ever wondered what the “W.K.” stands for? Well I have it on good authority that it stands for “Wildebeest King”. Apparently, as a young man Andrew became a bit obsessed with wildebeest, after he read that they are noisy creatures;¬†bulls have an array of loud vocalizations, from moans to explosive snorts, not unlike Andrew’s own repertoire.

So obsessed is Andrew, that every May he travels to the mineral-rich grasses of the southern Serengeti (you know, where Kilimanjaro rises up like Mount Olympus) to witness the wildebeest mating season, and to feast his eyes on their annual displays of  showmanship, cavorting, standoffs, and the odd head to head tussle. Often he will don a set of curved plastic horns, smear his face with mud, and roll around in wildebeest dung so that he becomes infused with their odour, their very essence. Then, from as close but as safe a distance as he dare get, he will mimic their actions, ideally from behind a bush, until he has them as accurate as possible. He then tries to incorporate these movements into his energetic stage performances.

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(above: Andrew Wildebeest King, The Serengeti, May 2012)

Okay, I made all that up. In reality, his full name is Andrew Fetterly Wilkes-Krier,¬†but since that’s the least rock’n’roll name in the history of rock’n’roll names, you can’t really blame him for changing it. Or me for trying.

“Party Hard” has had a new lease of life recently, after it featured in the ad campaign for Google and Android. According to The Wildebeest King’s Mr W.K.’s¬†website: “The song highlights the individuality yet collective spirit of play and fun and partying featured in the ad.” which sounds like¬†a load of old PR-bollocks to me.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t post a link to an advert on here, but I think on this occasion I’ll make an exception. Watch this and then tell me if you think the ad demonstrates “the individuality yet collective spirit of play and fun and partying” or if it’s actually just a collection of clips of people pretending to be normal and who wouldn’t know an Andrew W.K. record if it walked up¬†to them and introduced itself to them with the words “Hello. I am an Andrew W. K. record. Apparently you like to play and have fun with me”.

Far more entertaining, is the fact that “Party Hard” is used as the walk-on music for professional darts player Steve Hine. Not heard of him? Well, his track record of impressive appearances at the PDC World Championship speaks for itself. Look:

  • In 2006, he got knocked out in the¬†1st Round by Chris “Mace the Ace” Mason
  • In 2007, he didn’t qualify
  • In 2008, he got knocked out in the¬†1st Round by Mark “Flash” Dudbridge
  • In 2009, he didn’t qualify
  • In 2010, he got to the¬†2nd Round, where he got beaten 4-0 by Phil “The Power” Taylor
  • Normality was restored in¬†2011, though, when¬†he got knocked out in the first round by¬†Raymond “Barney” van Barneveld

Now. I don’t profess to be either a darts fan or expert (I do know that both Phil “The Power” Taylor and Raymond “Barney” van Barneveld are a bit good at darts – by which I mean I’ve heard of them –¬†so maybe I shouldn’t take the piss), but I think I know what Steve’s problem is.

You’ll have noticed that all of the above have Darts Player Nicknames. Steve Hine has one too. His¬†is Steve “The Muffin Man” Hine, and he is well known for bringing muffins and tossing them to the crowd during his walk-on.

I¬†imagine that doesn’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of his opponents.

Anyway, I digress. Time for some more loudness:

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108. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Whatever Happened To My Rock’n’Roll (Punk Song)

It’s not a punk song, now is it, boys?

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club were originally called The Elements, until they realised that a) that’s not a very good name for a band, and, more pertinently, b) there already was a band called The Elements, so they changed it, naming themselves after Marlon Brando’s motorcycle gang in the 1953 movie “The Wild One” which, needless to say, is a waaay cooler name.

Although, had they kept their original science-y nerdo name, it would have made it a lot easier for me to link it to the next record:

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109. Placebo – Nancy Boy

According to Wikipedia, Placebo are a “British alternative rock band”. I always thought they were American, but it turns our that they¬†formed after lead singer Brian Molko met bassist/guitarist Stefan Olsdal by chance outside South Kensington tube station.

Molko, however, was born in¬†Brussels¬†to a Scottish Catholic mother and an American father of French-Italian descent, and lived at various points in his youth in Dundee (which, admittedly, he refers to as “where I grew up”), Liberia, Lebanon and Belgium. He attended The European School of Luxembourg¬†and the International School of Luxembourg. You don’t get much more British than that, right?

I suspect the band were worried about losing some of their more UKIP-y fans if they announced their true roots.

In the words of Stewart Lee: “If you’ve not seen me before,¬†I don’t think that. I think the opposite of that.” (I’m not Morrissey, for fuck’s sake) He delivers it may better than me though:

Please do not watch that if you are easily offended. Or if you’re American (although the pay-off might pleasantly surprise you). Plenty of swears, and as you will gather from the title of it, it’s not exactly Light Entertainment.

Back to the music:

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110. Pearl Jam – Do the Evolution

Sacrilege time. I don’t really like¬†Pearl Jam much. Friends of mine border on being obsessed by them, but I’ve always found Eddie Vedder’s voice a little grating, and have always thought the band¬†were one of many far less talented groups who hung onto the plaid shirt-tails of Nirvana. I appreciate this is not a common opinion. Each to their own, eh?

That said, “Do The Evolution” has a groove about it that I’ve never noticed in any other records by them, and is well worth a listen if you don’t know it, or even if you do.

Another band who seemed to arrive on our shores at around the same time¬†are the next lot, although they do have a lot more tunes that I love. This is from their 1991 debut album “Gish”, and I don’t think they’ve ever bettered it:

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111. The Smashing Pumpkins – Siva

Ah well, since I mentioned Nirvana in passing, I’d be rude, bordering on ignorant, not to post something by them, right? Here then is the first record¬†I ever heard by them. It is¬† 1990, my buddy Keith and I are in Cardiff Student Union’s Hanging Gardens club. Fuelled by Snakebite, we¬†had ventured on to the dancefloor as they were playing R.E.M.’s rather wonderful version of The Clique’s “Superman”, which the DJ¬†followed up with this:

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112. Nirvana – Sliver

The place went mental, Keith and I were blown away and desperate to know what they hell had just been played, but did not want to get negative cool points equity by actually asking anyone, so we shuffled towards the DJ booth (which was in a kind of shed at the side of the dancefloor) and tried to look inconspicuously through the open window to try and catch a glimpse of the sleeve which, as you can see from the above, offered little in the way of clues.

Kurt Cobain happily (well, as happy as he ever was, anyway) conceded that the next band were a massive influence on him, and you can’t help but thinking that they must have had a similar effect on The Smashing Pumpkins’ main man Billy Corgan too, so effectively does “Siva” fit the loud-QUIET-loud¬†template that they if didn’t invent then¬†they certainly reinvigorated.

I speak of course of Pixies. Here’s a bit of a rarity for you, their appearance on The Word to promote their 1990 “Bossanova” album:

and here is a lovely MP3 of the same thing.

113. Pixies – Cecilia Ann/Allison

“Bossanova” often gets a bad rap, but then anything they released after the holy trinity of “Come On Pilgrim”, “Surfer Rosa” and “Doolittle” was always going to struggle in comparison. Personally, I think it’s a massively under-rated album; for example neither of¬†those tracks were released as singles, probably due to their brevity.

Next, another album track, but another belter. This band first came to my attention back in 1994 when¬†they appeared on Episode 4, Series 3 (I had to look that up, I admit it) of Later…with Jools Holland¬†performing their single¬†“Low” which is on their 1993 album “Kerosene Hat” which I rushed out to buy. “Low” is a fine record, similar in tone and angst to Buffalo Tom’s masterpiece “Taillights Fade”, but since we’re trying to be cheery, here’s the more up-tempo second track on the album, a charming ditty about a female actor who crashes her car and gets decapitated. It’s better than I’ve just made that sound, honest:

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114. Cracker – Movie Star

Ok, let’s round things off for another week with two songs so utterly wonderful they are bound to raise a smile.

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115. Weezer – Pork and Beans

I love that tune, especially when the guitar crunches back in for the chorus, and I love the video even more. I could have sworn I had already posted it somewhere on here, but it seems not, or rather if I did it was before I embedded video clips so I probably didn’t tag it. So, here it is, gently poking fun at the cult of celebrity in general and internet sensations in particular (all of whom seem to join in a self-deprecating way):

Fucking joyous, that.

So to the final tune of the night, and this is just, well, dumb. Glorious,¬†but dumb. And it’s another tune which reminds me of Ruth and Spencer, although I can’t quite rememberwhy (both are glorious, neither are dumb, before you say it):

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116. Tenpole Tudor – Swords of a Thousand Men

That’ll do yer.

I’ll be back at some point over the weekend, have a good one in the meantime.

Or to put it another way: more soon.