A few weeks ago as I was walking home from the town centre, a sign which I must have walked past a few dozen times since I relocated here caught my eye.
It was for a nightclub which I have never yet known to be open, but that’s probably because I’m not generally out when clubbing folks are out going to clubs these days.
Anyway, the sign looked like this:
It’s bugged me ever since that the marketing team coudn’t decide whether to call it TuesGay or TuesGays before releasing the promotional material. Come on guys, pick a side – your Tueday night punters clearly have!
I do worry sometimes that perhaps this place isn’t inclusive enough and so ever since I spotted this, I’ve toyed with the idea of a new series, posting songs by, or embraced and associated by, our friends in the LBGTQ+ community every Tuesday, and, obviously nicking the name for the series from you-know-where.
But I wanted to be sure that in doing so my intentions weren’t misconstrued. Rest assured, these will be songs that I love too.
Even more than that, I don’t want to accidentally “out” someone, or worse still, incorrectly “out” someone.
So I figured I’d start on safe ground, he says with a knowing wink and an innocent halo emoji:
Ready for another roller-coaster ride of fun? Well, you’ll just have to make do with another of my mixes, I’m afraid.
And I’m introducing a new mission statement for this series: no longer will there be mixes which focus solely on one type of music, be it dance, indie, rock or whatever. From now on, each week will be as much of a mixed bag of genres as I can throw together from all the tunes I own. I’ll try to introduce you to something new, remind you of some stuff you’ve probably forgotten about, and reacquaint you with some old favourites.
Place your bets as to how long I’ll last before I get bored and revert to type.
In the meantime, buckle up (or unzip, whichever floats your boat), and feast your lug-holes around my latest effort, No 20 in a series that thus far actually has actually contained 28 mixes and 2 *ahem* “Specials” at Easter and Christmas. Go figure.
And here’s your track-listing and sleeve notes – look away now if you don’t want to spoil any surprises:
Flight of the Conchords – Business Time
It takes a pretty special comedy duo to have released a record which still makes me laugh fourteen years after I first heard it, but New Zealand’s finest folksters achieved it with their eponymous album (the follow-up, I Told You I Was Freaky, not so much, although it has its moments).
Anyway, Business Time finds Jemaine getting ready to get down and dirty with his other half, and it’s the perfect way to kick things off this week, apart from the fact that Jemaine’s getting lucky on a Wednesday, but I don’t do a Wednesday Night Music Club, so here will have to do.
2. M J Cole – Sincere
Shortly after Hel and I first became mates, we began exchanging mixtapes. (I know what you’re thinking, but you’re wrong – neither of us was trying to impress the other in quite the way that preparing a mixtape for a member of the opposite sex usually indicates.) No, this was prompted by me confessing that (at the time) I didn’t own any Prince records, and only knew the singles. Hel provided me with a C90 crammed full of Princely treats, which was the perfect “in” (again, with his music) that I needed. I was, of course, tempted to reciprocate with 90 minutes of Quo, but decided better of it, and responded with a mixed bag playlist, much like the one you’re (hopefully) listening to now. She then responded with two mixtapes, modestly titled “The Greatest Mixtape in the World Vol 1 & 2”, at which point I decided to nip things in the bud before I was forced to buy shares in TDK to continue.
Anyway, this little beauty, which I’d never heard before, was on one of the ones she did for me, and I’ve loved it ever since.
And I have told you that because it was either that or make a rubbish joke about ex-footballer Joe Cole, and you wouldn’t want me to stoop so low, would you?
3. Oakenfold – Starry Eyed Surprise
Last week, I included an Oakenfold mix of an indie classic, and here he is again, this time with a song released under his own name. It features the vocals of someone who wants us to believe their name is Shifty Shellshock, who some of you may remember as the lead singer of Crazy Town, who had a hit with the godawful Butterfly back in 2000. Despite, or perhaps because of, all these composite parts, I really love this record, to the point where a couple of months agoI bought Bunkka, the double vinyl Oakenfold album it appears on. It speaks volumes that I’ve not listened to it yet, mind.
4. Sheila B. Devotion – Spacer
Now, even though the tag-line for this blog is that there’s No Such Thing As a Guilty Pleasure, there are still some tunes which I love but wonder if the world is ready for me attempting to defend. This, from 1979, featured pretty highly on the list. Until recently, when much respected music journalist Jon Savage released the latest in his excellent series of compilation albums (Jon Savage’s 1977-1979: “Symbols Clashing Everywhere”) recently, and included this. So, job done, I’m totally vindicated.
5. Technotronic – Get Up! (Before The Night Is Over)
Yes. You read that right. Technotronic. Here, in one of my mixes. Because it’s ace, as is it’s predecessor Pump Up The Jam (although I hated both when they originally came out. No guitars, see?). And if you disagree, well, you’re just plain wrong. Nuff said.
6. Starlight – Numero Uno (Club Mix)
Since we find ourselves momentarily back in the realms of late 80s/early 90s dance anthems, this juicy slice of italo-piano house deserves a revisit too. Cracking stuff (although I hated it when it originally…etc etc etc)
7. The SuperMen Lovers – Starlight (Radio Edit)
To bring things a little more up-to-date (by which I mean 2001), I cannot deny that this is here purely because the previous tune made me think of it. As such, it’s as close to a link between any two tunes you’ll find in this mix. Funky stuff, which I liked quite a lot when it came out (the dance-penny having finally dropped).
8. Tush – Chrysalis
I imagine this lot are so-named because their records make you want to shake yours. And speaking of being up-to-date, this is from 2021, and is lifted from the band’s rather fantastic Fantast album. Check it out, I’m sure they’ll be getting ripped off fairly paid for having their songs on some streaming site or another.
9. The Bloody Beetroots – Cornelius
This is an absolute banger; it reminds me of The Prodigy output circa 2009’s Invaders Must Die album, except, y’know, good.
10. Lemon Jelly – ’88 Aka Come Down On Me
If you’re one of those people who think Lemon Jelly only released chill-out choons, then give this a listen and think again. And they were wise to the fact that ’64-’95 – the album this comes from – sounds very different to their previous output, for it had a sticker on the front warning: “This is our new album. It’s not like our old album.” And they’re right, it really isn’t.
11. Electric Six – Danger High Voltage
If I could be bothered to check, I’d look to see who appeared on the scene with their comedy chops unfurled first: this lot or The Darkness. Either way, they both got found out as being one-trick poneys around the same time, as I recall. Which doesn’t mean that neither of them made decent records; Danger High Voltage remains a belter in my book.
12. Stiff Little Fingers – Listen
Now there’s a well-engineered mood change, even if I do say so myself. This is not exactly typical of SLF’s output, it’s a little more chart friendly than, say Tin Soldiers or Alternative Ulster, but it does have an anthemic sing-a-long chorus you can join in with whilst you have yourself a nice sit down and a bit of breather, before we crank things up again for the finale.
13. Conway – Big Talk
This was much played on 6Music a few years ago. I bought it. Not many others did, I fear. It’s pretty good in that 80s-esque/Ladyhawke kind of way that was popular a while back.
14. Arcade Fire – Wake Up
And so to the…er…climax, although now I’m writing this I have a nasty feeling I’ve included this in a previous mix, which means I may have broken my “no record shall feature twice” rule. Ah well, if I have it was good while it lasted. In any event, it’s a thoroughly rousing way to round things off.
Welcome, welcome Chain Gangers new and old, welcome all.
Last week’s record was “Radar Love” by Golden Earring, and the gauntlet was thrown down for you to come up with records which linked to that five minute rock classic. Some of you chose to link to word “Radar”, some to the word “Golden”, one of you to the word “Ear”, but, and bless you all for this, not one of you went down the very simple route of suggesting songs which linked to the word “Love” or “Ring”.
Actually, that’s not quite true. For one from amongst our ranks linked to both. At the same time. We’ll deal with them later.
“Let’s get the cheese out the fridge early doors,” begins CC. Music to my ears, that. Regular readers will know that whilst we encourage, smart, clever, odd, witty, records here, we also enjoy a bit of cheese to off-set it all. So what does CC have in store for us?
“Golden Earring puts one in mind (or me at any rate) of Golden Brown by the Stranglers. There was a Boston Strangler leading to the poodle band Boston with More than a Feeling.”
If I could just clarify, Boston were a band from Boston who named their band Boston, that’s how full of innovative ideas they were. So clearly, Boston were not a band made up exclusively of Poodles. That would be ridiculous. There was a Yorkshire Terrier on keyboards too, and an American Hairless Terrier called Brian provided occasional backing vocals.
“I may well be back,” CC adds, somewhat ominously.
Now, once in a while a suggestion contains a bit of info that I didn’t know, and this week that dubious distinction goes to The Great Gog:
“Oh well, I’d better get it over with. For those that know about these things, there’s a bit of an elephant in the room with Golden Earring, or should I say Eggermont in the room. Japp Eggermont to be precise. Not content with providing a track for the Euro-version of Smashie & Nicey to play, Mr. Eggermont post-Golden Earring was responsible for the medley mania that blighted the UK Charts in 1981 with his Starsound project.”
In case you have no idea what GG is talking about here, the Starsound project was kind of like a prototype Jive Bunny, who simply mixed old pop hits together into a medley with an irritating drum beat syncing them all together. You can read about them here or if you’d like to actually hear one of them, this is the one that got to No. 2 in the UK charts in 1981:
Anyway, sorry GG, I seem to have interrupted, do carry on.
“This launched many copyists, but perhaps the most interesting lurked on the b-side of Squeeze’s “Labelled With Love” single – “Squabs On Forty Fab”. Clearly, Glenn, Chris and the guys weren’t taking it terribly seriously, but it’s a better listen than any other the others that were around.”
See? I had no idea that a bloke from Golden Earring was responsible for all those records, nor did I know that Squeeze had done a parody, of sorts:
“…it’s also a little known fact that this song’s title refers to Barrett Strong, American singer and songwriter, born February 5, 1941 in West Point, Mississippi.
Brenda Lee, although married to Ronnie Shacklett since 1963, apparently had a soft spot for lucky Barret as well, or is there any other explanation why she wrote a song about having sex with him and even describes her favourite position in the title?” [Erm…are you sure about this bit…? I’ve read this several times and can’t make out if you’re making a very rude joke or not – Ed.]
“And, friends, it must have been g.r.e.a.t. sex, because it was Barrett Strong who gave Brenda the nickname under which she was widely known until the end of her career: “Little Miss Dynamite”!
Also commonly not all too well known is that Barrett wanted more than just this short liaison, but it took him until 1973 until he responded with a song for Brenda: ‘Stand Up And Cheer For The Preacher’.
History shows us that his wish was never fulfilled by Brenda, nevertheless it’s my suggestion for this week’s link, so there you are!”
I have no idea whether any of this is true or not, so just in case, a disclaimer: the views of Dirk are not necessarily shared by the broadcaster.
Anyway, here’s the tune Dirk nominates, and rather fine it is too:
Time to welcome The Swede from Unthought of, though, somehow who proposes a song and a band I had no previous knowledge of, and who, on the strength of this song – which musically reminds me of Cowboy Junkies take on “Sweet Jane” from their The Trinity Sessions album – I’ve gone out and got me the album.
“There’s no way I can pass up such a (ahem) golden opportunity to suggest my favourite song of 2015. From Golden to Silver – ‘Silver John’ by This is the Kit.”
Which seems an appropriate moment for me to slip one of my suggestions in, for the first record that sprang to my mind when I saw the source material was this, one of those “let’s stick this previously unreleased track on the Greatest Hits album in the hope it helps flog a few more copies” affairs:
“Better leave it at that – I’m getting greedy…” he (finally) signs off.
Now, I’ve never heard that Stephen Hero record before, so forgive me as I’m not entirely confident in the place I got it from: is it supposed to do that thing where it seems to go into a completely different song for no reason whatsoever? (Not saying I don’t like it, by the way, just wondered if I’ve picked me up some duffer of a tampered with version).
Ok, so The Robster emailed me to tell me it sounded like I had indeed been sold a pup and that what I seemed to have was a sampler for the whole EP, which just goes to show what an idiot I am. Link now updated to feature the correct song. Many thanks to the Robster for pointing me in the right direction with this one, which I like even more now that I’ve heard it properly!
“I am (sadly) old enough to remember Golden Earring from when they first released Radar Love back in ’73 and I hated it! Not my thing at all and they stole valuable TOTP from my favourite teen idols of the day. Bit of a one-hit wonder though so they soon went away, but then what happens, they release the same bl**dy song again four years later! My musical tastes had evolved by this time but they still (to use a phrase last employed by my favourite person to stalk/spy on/copy, George) “rubbed me up the wrong way” – Again they were taking valuable air time away from the acts I did want to watch on television!
So, to pull a lyric from a song I really do like, they not only stole time:
One time, one time (but) Two times, two times…..
Yes, a very tenuous link to the Fugees version of Killing Me Softly from me this week.”
Remember how Charity Chic said they may be back later? Turns out, they weren’t ruddy well joking:
“In 1978 Radar Records released their first single (I Love The Sound of) Breaking Glass by Nick Lowe – hopefully got those brackets in the correct order Alyson!”
This prompted a mini-discussion (can two comments be classed as a discussion? Discuss.) as to whether there were any brackets in the song title in question, Alyson stating: “Not seeing brackets in any of my reference material for that one CC, although I’m not actually looking at the single so they might have snuck those pesky brackets in there.”
I was with CC on this one, right up until the point that, after uploading and naming the MP3, I checked the single sleeve. Oopsies.
Luckily, it turns out that we’re all right. For it seems that in some countries, it was released with, and in some countries without, the brackets. For example, when it was released on Columbia Records in the USA, the brackets were included. As evidence:
Glad to clear that up. And by the way, who said us bloggers were nerds?
Now does anyone know what time it is? That’s right: it’s George Time!
“Golden Earring were Dutch (I suppose they still are). So were Focus, but I chose them last week, but The Vengaboys were Dutch. I recognised We Like To Party (and did a little dance a la The Inbetweeners film which brought a smile to my partner’s face. Or was it a grimace…. ).”
For those of you new round these parts, can I stress that this is not the sort of record that George usually suggests. He’s been under a lot of pressure recently…
To try and balance things out a little, I’ve spent much of my spare time since George suggested this trying to find a clip of the Wenger Boys from Sky One’s Soccer AM, but to no avail. In my quest, however, I did find an article about Vengaboys which read: “Vengaboys are a Dutch Eurodance group…[who were] never critically acclaimed”.
Hands up who knows can think of a really good reason why that might be?
Here’s Rol from My Top Ten; surely he’ll have some blinding suggestions for us?
“My first thought this time was that Golden Earring also had a song called The Twilight Zone and recently I put together a Top Ten Twilight Zone Songs (songs which could have been episodes of the amazing Rod Serling TV show). Number One on that list was Angie Baby by Helen Reddy because it freaks me out every time I listen to it.
However, I’ve disqualified the above as it’s way too self-referential.”
“So instead, I offer Mark Germino & The Sluggers’ classic DJ song Rex Bob Lowenstein, taken from the album Radartown. Rex Bob is a hero to music bloggers everywhere – he refuses to “play the song list they send in the mail” and when The Man tries to make him, he barricades himself in his studio and “plays smash and trash till they cuff him on the floor”.”
“OK, sticking with Dutchness for a moment, one Dutch musician who passed through Golden Earring’s ranks was Robert-Jan Stips, later of art popsters Nits, from whom I nominate “Radio Shoes”. And since the first “R” of “RADAR” stands for Radio, that’s a connection by two different routes.”
What time is it? It’s a quarter past George Time! And here he is with another contender for Comment Showboat of the week:
“Taking Gold as a starting point, directly under gold in the Periodic Table is Roentgenium, symbol Rg, named after Wilhelm Rontgen, the discoverer of X-rays. And The Butthole Surfers have a song with lines I Saw An X-Ray Of A Girl Passing Gas, from the Hairway To Steven album. (Apologies to German readers and Germano-philes for not using an umlaut in Rontgen.)”
Last, but by no means least, of your suggestions this week, it’s welcome back to The Beard:
“Golden Earring are famously Dutch. The sport of darts has produced many famous Dutchmen, none more so than current world number one Michael Van Gerwen. In the glamour world of professional arrows, walk-on music is standard. His walk-on music is Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes. Frontman Jack White appears to have a low boredom threshold/strong work ethic and was also in, among others, The Raconteurs with a couple of gadges from The Greenhornes. My choice is The End Of The Night by The Greenhornes.”
Whilst Black Francis/Frank Black/whatever he’s calling himself this week and Kim Deal may be (or have been in the latter’s case) the famous ones in the Pixies, this overlooks their drummer, the fantastically named Dave Lovering. Which is probably why he plays an instrument that is played sitting down, to protect his Lovering. (You know when I said I wasn’t going for the easy joke? I lied.)
And one more from me. Some people claim to be able to use their Radar to establish what sexual preference a person is. Often this is referred to as a Gay-dar. Which sounds too much like this for me to be able to resist:
CC – you were so close to gaining some bonus points. So near, and yet so far…
Ok, so you all know what to do next. Send me, via the Comments section below, you’re suggestions for records which can be linked to “Radio Radio” by Elvis Costello & The Attractions, along with your explanation of the link between the two (or in The Robster’s case, five).