Friday Night Music Club

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, I used to write a series here called Friday Night Music Club.

Here is what I wrote way back in March 2015 to explain:

Friends of mine will tell you I love a themed mix tape or CD.

In my old flat, we used to have what we (ok, I) liked to call The Friday Night Music Club. This would involve us a) getting very drunk b) me shaving my head at some point c) listening to the latest CD mix I’d made (later, when I bought a sound system that allowed me to just plug my iPod in (other mp3 playing devices are available) these mixes got waaaay longer, and probably waaaaay more tedious for the listener) and d) ideally having a bit of a dance.

I’ve done mix tapes and CDs for friends and family all my life (but you already knew that, right?) but the idea here was to make a series of mix CDs which, when played in sequence, you could play at a house party and which would keep the night bubbling along nicely.

Actually, this is something I’d already tried a few years earlier. Friends of mine used to have the most excellent parties at their flat on Hilldrop Road, usually with a DJ playing, but on one occasion the DJ – and for that matter, their decks – couldn’t make it. In their absence I prepared a set of 11 CDs – about 15 hours – which, when played in sequence, took you from aperitifs and welcomers, to “go on have a bit of a dance”, through to off your nut party anthems, and then back down to sitting round talking nonsense about radishes until 6am.

Anyway, back to the Friday Night Music Club. Occasionally I’d make a theme out of the whole thing (hey, if Bob Dylan can do a radio show using the same format, I can do a mix CD, okay?) or do more than one CD and spread the theme out (there was once a 4 CD opus to a former flat mate which deserves a mention in passing) but more often than not the theme would occur to me in the middle of preparing it, and that’d be it…I’d be off….

As an aside, I appear to have missed some fairly significant landmarks in the history of this place: my first ever post was in September 2013, and if you think my posts are sporadic now, bear in mind that my second post didn’t happen until a year later in 2014. Whatever, a belated 5th anniversary to me!

Anyway, it was when I became rather fixated on the theme rather than with just posting some songs which sound good when played together that I knocked the Friday Night Music Club series on the head.

Since there are now more of us are spending our Friday Nights at home, many of us getting drunk, I figured I would bring the series back for at least a one-off for you to use as your sountrack to your Zoom/Houseparty chats. There might be more, I’ve not decided yet.

Also, this, right here what you’re reading now, is my 1500th post, so I’d like to mark at least one of my landmark posts in a timely manner.

Ahem.

That’s better.

I figured we’d go back to where it all began, to the first few episodes of Friday Night Music Club, but now with fewer attempts to be clever/funny and just more songs to rock your end of the working (from home) week/kids are in bed celebrations.

Actually, I’d hoped to bring this to you last weekend, in time for the Bank Holiday, but time simply caught up with me, the bastard.

The initial intention was simply to repost those early “mixes”, with a few new songs thrown in here and there (and some brutally culled). But as I was working on it, it metemporphasised into something different, perhaps better described as a completely new mix of tunes, very loosely hung on the framework of the old ones, in an effort to reinvigorate them, poncey as that may sound.

If you’d prefer to just listen to this on Spotify, you can do here:

Friday Night Music Club Vol. 1

…although a word of warning: Spotify doesn’t have all of the songs in the playlist, so the only real way to enjoy this in it’s full…erm…glory is by ploughing through the links below.

Oh, and a second word of warning: there’s a fair bit of effin’ and jeffin’ on some of these, so perhaps not for those with young ears.

Hopefully, there will be something for everyone in here (there’s seventy tunes in just over five hours, so I bloody hope so!), so push back the sofa, get yourself a pint of White Russian (or whatever your weapon of choice is), dim the lights and turn up the volume. Let there be grooves. Let there be guitars. Let there be cheese. Let there be some surprises, some forgotten tunes and some old favourites. Let there be singing. Let there be dancing.

Tell you what: I’ll play a song or two by way of a little intro whilst you’re getting yourself sorted:

Patience & Prudence – Tonight You Belong To Me

The Jesus & Mary Chain – Some Candy Talking

Richard Hawley – Tonight The Streets Are Ours

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons – The Night

Lykke Li – Get Some

Richie Havens – Going Back To My Roots (Groove Armada Go North Remix)

Grace Jones – Pull Up To The Bumper

Roxy Music – Love Is The Drug

Earth Wind & Fire – Let’s Groove

Jackson Sisters – Miracles

Chic – Good Times (Full-Length Version)

Double Trouble & Rebel MC – Street Tuff (Scar Radio Mix)

Adventures Of Stevie V – Dirty Cash (Sold Out Mix Edit)

Skee-Lo – I Wish

De La Soul – Me, Myself and I

N.W.A. – Express Yourself

Public Enemy – Fight The Power

Clinton – People Power In The Disco Hour

Shed 7 – Disco Down

Los Campesinos! – You! Me! Dancing!

Cee Lo Green – Fuck You!

Janelle Monáe – Dance Apocalyptic

Taylor Swift – Shake It Off

Britney Spears – Toxic (Armand Van Helden Remix)

Girls Aloud – Something Kinda Ooooh

Icona Pop – I Love It [featuring Charli XCX]

Armand Van Helden – Koochy

Spandau Ballet – To Cut A Long Story Short

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Enola Gay

Human League – Fascination

Archie Bronson Outfit – Dart For My Sweetheart

Stellastarr* – My Coco

Franz Ferdinand – Do You Want To

Gang of Four – I Found That Essence Rare

The Fall – Dead Beat Descendant

Maxïmo Park – Our Velocity

Sports Team – Here’s The Thing

Super Furry Animals – God! Show Me Magic

Elastica – Stutter

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Spread Your Love

Sum 41 – In Too Deep

Good Charlotte – Girls & Boys

My Chemical Romance – Teenagers

Ramones – Beat on the Brat

Iggy Pop – The Passenger

Talking Heads – Girlfriend Is Better

Siouxsie & The Banshees – Hong Kong Garden

The Cult – She Sells Sanctuary

The Sisters of Mercy – This Corrosion

The Rapture – House of Jealous Lovers

Interpol – Mammoth (Erol Alkan Rework)

A Guy Called Gerald – Voodoo Ray (Original Mix)

Mory Kanté – Yeke Yeke (Hardfloor Mix)

Underworld – Cowgirl (Bedrock Mix)

Josh Wink – Higher State of Consciousness (Dex & Jonesey’s Higher Stated Mix)

The Stone Roses – Fools Gold

Flowered Up – Weekender

Happy Mondays – W.F.L. [Think About the Future]

The Charlatans – The Only One I Know

Inspiral Carpets – Find Out Why

The Doors – Touch Me

divinyls – I Touch Myself

Yazoo – Don’t Go

New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – Thou Shalt Always Kill

Echo & The Bunnymen – Lips Like Sugar (Way Out West Remix Edit)

LCD Soundsytem – All My Friends

Indeep – Last Night a DJ Saved My Life

Primal Scream – Come Together (Terry Farley Remix)

The Bluetones – If…

More soon.

The Fall

No, not them.

I’m writing this as an advance apology; there may be less writing round here for a little while, there may be more (we’ll see), but there’s a possibility that anything I do write might not make much sense. Teapotkettlebarbeque!

On Room 101, host Frank Skinner once illustrated that he was getting old by relating how once he was backstage at a gig, talking to a much younger comedian, when he (Frank) complained of some back pain. The younger comedian asked him what had happened, and he realised that this back pain came with no anecdote, he was simply getting old and had inexplicable aches.

I haven’t quite reached that stage yet, but I do ache at the moment, and that’s because on Monday I had what a different Frank – Spencer (look him up, millenials) – used to describe as “a bit of an accident”.

Rushing to catch the bus which would get me to work at something approaching ‘on time’ (a rarity on a Monday, hence my I’m Not Too Keen On Mondays series), I fell down the stairs to my flat.

Worry not, these are internal stairs, not an external fire exit.

But they are very steep, with a corner step right outside the door to my flat. There’s no bannister to hold on to, past a certain point; when I was discharged from hospital in 2018, with my rehab/physio incomplete, the thing I was looking forward to least was trying to conquer these stairs.

Anyway, on Monday morning, they finally beat me, as I went arse over tit down them. I’m blaming me wearing a different pair of shoes which perhaps had less grip than my normal ones, but truth be told I have no idea what caused me to fall.

But fall I did, from top-to-bottom; I think my arse hit every step on the way down, and my head at least one or two too.

The next thing I remember is the woman from the flat below me – who I don’t exactly get on with – standing over me, asking if I was okay. I have no idea if she heard the thumps of fat arse on step and had come out to see what was going on, or if she had found me there when she left for work, but she kindly helped me to my feet and asked if I was okay.

“Yeh, yeh…I’m fine…bruise a bit prided though….”

“I think you need to go to A&E,” she told me, and as I wobbled a bit trying to get to my feet and out the door, I decided she probably had a point.

And so Monday was spent at the local hospital, waiting, waiting, having some X-Rays, then waiting some more. Turned out nothing was broken, though they suspected I had “mild concussion”. The advice was to take it easy, and if I was feeling dizziness in a day or so, I should come back to A&E and they would do further investigations.

And so Tuesday was spent at home, flat on my back, watching TV. Which was nice.

By Wednesday, the dizzy spells hadn’t stopped so I returned to A&E and after several hours of waiting, I had a CAT scan to my head, which found nothing of any interest (insert own joke here). I relayed the result to Kay (my boss) and told her I would be back in the office on Thursday.

And so Thursday came; I went to work, and the journey was, thankfully uneventful. I had a chat with Marion, one of the senior managers, about what had happened and felt kinda fine. Stiff and achey, but otherwise ok.

Back at my desk, some twenty minutes later, the lad next to me said something. I asked him to repeat it, which he did. I looked at him quizzically. Why is he telling me it’s good to see me now, I thught, when I’ve been back at my desk for this long, and we’ve already discussed the ridiculousness of something he had been sent to review? On request, he repeated what he had said again, and at the third time of asking I realised he was telling me that Marion was trying to attract my attention.

Kay got in to work and suggested we do my Back to Work Interview straight away. We found a vacant room off of the main office space, and before my arse had even hit the seat, Kay had said: “Should you be here?”

Midway through the conversation I realised I wasn’t exactly sitting normally: my left hand was on the table between us, about half way across it, propping me up.

And then I realised I was blethering on about having bruises on my arse like when John Noakes had that accident doing the Cresta Run on Blue Peter in the 1970s, and when he showed off one on his hip he realised that he was wearing his wife’s underwear, which he had ‘accidentally’ put on in the dark that morning. (I wish I could find a link to this, to prove it happened…)

It was like a knock to my head had caused all of the built-up popular (and not so popular) cultural references were finally released into the wild, gambolling across the vesta, or rather spilling out and into my words.

And now I realise that I have also referenced Room 101 and Frank Spencer in this post and that Kay’s decision to send me home and tell me not to come back until Monday was probably wise.

So perhaps I should just skip to the appropriate tunes, some of which in no way indicate a buried Messiah complex.

Elbow – Fallen Angel

Adorable – Favourite Fallen Idol

Elvis Costello & The Attractions – I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down

Franz Ferdinand – The Fallen

The Chemical Brothers – Catch Me I’m Falling

More soon.

The Chain #10

I need to think of a new way to open these posts other than saying “So I left you last week with *insert name here* record and asked you to suggest songs that linked to it”.

But until I do, you’ll have to make do with this:

So, I  left you last week with “The River” by Bruce Springsteen and asked you to suggest songs that linked to it. This week, I’m simply going to post them in the order that I received them.

So, as with most weeks, first out of the traps was George who said:

“The Springsteen album The River has a track called Fade Away. And Buddy Holly wrote and sang Not Fade Away.”

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Buddy Holly – Not Fade Away

Next up, The Swede, with a typically classy link:

“I was born (and spent the first 15 years of my life) in Walthamstow. When I was a young lad, Dad would often take me for a Sunday afternoon stroll along the nearby River Lea. In my memory it was always a glorious adventure, but a few recently rediscovered photos taken at the time tell a different story – the river and the old buildings along the bank were in a pretty sorry state back then, though I believe there has been a massive regeneration of the area in recent years.

But I digress. I’d like to go from ‘The River’ to the River Lea to Jim Lea and ‘When the Lights Are Out’ from ‘Old New Borrowed and Blue’, which was his first ever lead vocal on a Slade track.”

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Slade – When The Lights Are Out

I don’t know about you, but I can no longer hear a Slade tune without thinking of this:

Slade in Flame, indeed.

Next up, Charity Chic:

“Not sure I can top the Swede but The River to River Deep Mountain High to the Mountain by Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band to Duke of Earl by Darts to Darts of Pleasure by Franz Ferdinand.”

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Franz Ferdinand – Darts of Pleasure

I can’t really ignore the mention of “River Deep Mountain High”, now can I? But since I very much enjoyed watching Ronnie Spector’s set at Glastonbury over the weekend (if you have access to the BBC iPlayer, seek it out), I’m going to plump for the Phil Spector produced version by Ike & Tina Turner:

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Ike & Tina Turner – River Deep, Mountain High

Which leads me rather nicely on to a suggestion I received that wasn’t via the Comments at the bottom of last week’s post. My boss, Kay, was talking to me at the start of the week, and suggested something called “Rolling on the River”, by which it transpires she meant this (although I think she wanted the Tina Turner version):

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Creedence Clearwater Revival – Proud Mary

Which, it turns out is a double link, referencing not just the river, but also Mary.

Final suggestion time, and this week, it’s from The Great Gog, who also goes with name of the heroine in Springsteen’s track as the link:

“‘The River’ was released in 1980 and mentions a girl called Mary. Another song released in 1980, mentioning someone of that name is Robert Palmer’s ‘Johnny And Mary’.”

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Robert Palmer – Johnny & Mary

Which just leaves my choice, and, since you know I have no shame, I’m going to post a song which references both a river, and Mary, who, it would seem comes to a somewhat stickier end than any of the other Marys mentioned so far. Oh, and there’s also the fact that the story told takes place in Nebraska, which was of course the name of a Springsteen album.

You might ask: What’s so shameless about that?

Well, my suggestion this week is by Richard Marx:

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Richard Marx – Hazard

(Go on, admit it. That’s alright really, isn’t it?)

Oh, and great though all of the other suggestions were this week, I win, with an unprecedented triple link choice.

And so to the admin task of posting the song that BBC Radio 2 listeners suggested to link to Springsteen’s song, and I imagine many of you will know what the link between the two songs was:

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The Rembrandts – I’ll Be There For You

(And if you don’t know the link between Springsteen and The Rembrandts’ “I’ll Be There For You”, there’s a bit of a clue in that picture).

So, as usual, your suggestions please for what we can play next week that links to The Rembrandts’ “I’ll Be There For You”; you can either leave them in the Comments below, or just shout across the desk at work.

More soon.

**NEWS JUST IN**

It’s not often (okay, it’s the first time) I get a late submission, but this just came through from Marie who said:

“I probably have this game all wrong, but “The River” led me to “One More River To Cross” by The Soul Stirrers (featuring Sam Cooke.)”

Well, you have the game pretty much right, just a week late. But since it’s a ladies prerogative to be late (and since it would be churlish of me to decline the chance to post some sweet, sweet Sam Cooke) I’ll let it slide:

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Sam Cooke with The Soul Stirrers – One More River to Cross

More soon.

Friday Night Music Club

Hello, good evening and welcome to what is for us lucky folks in the UK is that rarest and most beautiful of things: a bank holiday weekend.

For those of you outside the UK, that means we have Monday off.

And for what I think is the first time in my working life, I have been astute enough to book today off too, giving me a glorious 4 days off on the trot.

And how will I be spending it, I hear you ask? Predominantly, perched in front of my laptop writing guff for you all to enjoy read, interspersed with the occasional missive to the agency who manage the flat I live in about where they can stick the £150.00 “administration fee” they want to charge me to renew my tenancy agreement.

So before, I get all grizzly about that, let’s get going with a non-themed, just tunes Friday Night Music Club.

But first some admin: inspired by The Robster over at “Is This The Life?” I’m using a different file-sharing service this week. I’ve grown a little tired of people telling me they can’t use the Zippyshare link to songs on their phones, and even more so about the pop-ups that Zippyshare seem to generate, and the content of some of the ads they insert, which I definitely do not approve of, and which I hope none of you have clicked. I’ve road-tested the new one and it seems to be waaaaaay better, but I’d be grateful for your feedback (Cath, Llyr, Kay) as to whether it’s an improvement or not.

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262. The Cure – Friday I’m In Love

When I was in my final year at college, I would often spend a Friday night round at my mate Daints’ flat. Daints was the singer in the band that I attempted to play lead guitar in, and I would often seek sanctuary round at his. Occasionally we would rehearse or, heaven forbid, write a song; more often we would sink a few beers, smoke a few fags (USA folks: that doesn’t mean what you think), play a little Tetris (this does nothing to negate any nerd thoughts you may have had about me, does it?) and indulge in what today is annoyingly termed “banter” but back then was just some mates having a laugh.

On one such occasion, Daints was ribbing (again, not what you USA folks might think) one of his flat-mates (a nice enough girl called Paula, who my friends and I all referred to, rather unkindly I can see with the benefit of hindsight, as “Baked Potato” because of her resemblance to one) about her love of The Cure, by pointing out that there out-put at the time (i.e. when this came out) was nothing more than “chart music”. He spat the phrase out with such distaste that she had no chance of recovery.

Still, it’s perfect Friday Night fodder, and let’s be honest, whilst I have no clue about what bothers the charts these days, there’s nothing wrong with our favourite bands being successful, right? Hence it’s inclusion here.

Next, an oft-overlooked single from what I think is one of the greatest debut albums in recent history:

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263. Franz Ferdinand – Michael

Now, the closest you will get to a theme this week, and a man who apparently had no “G” on his keyboard :

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264. Michael Jackson – Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’

Let’s just examine some of the lyrics for a second:

“You’re A Vegetable (You’re A Vegetable)
Still They Hate You (You’re A Vegetable)
You’re Just A Buffet (You’re A Vegetable)
They Eat Off Of You (You’re A Vegetable)”

Erm, okay Michael.

Who knew he had so much in common with Thatcher?

Or the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for that matter (Let’s not go there – Legal Ed.)

Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Coo Sa indeed.

Ok, moving on to my favourite type of record to play when DJ’ing.: long ones.

The benefit of dropping long record are threefold:

  1. You don’t have to think about what to play next for a while;
  2. You can dash off to the toilet and get back in plenty of time for the next tune;
  3. Generally, people don’t like to walk off the dancefloor mid-record, as it makes it look like they didn’t know what they were dancing to in the first place. Long records test their endurance in a way that Bear Grylls can only dream of, allowing you chuckle about  those who start dancing and who then feel compelled/become determined to see it out to the end of the song, however knackered they may look 3/4 of the way through.

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265. Marvin Gaye – Got To Give It Up

That’s just shy of 12 minutes worth of funky grooviness right there, and if you can’t make it to the Gents and back in that time, then I’d suggest you contact your GP.

Next up, a song you will all know, but a remix of it that I first came across when I picked it up on a compilation CD in a Virgin megastore sale, and which has such a fantastically 80s bass-line it almost makes me want to be the next Mrs John Taylor:

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266. Duran Duran – Girls on Film (Salt Tank Remix)

And for all you lonely people (by which  here’s the original video, directed by 10cc’s Godley and Crème and banned by the BBC for what will become fairly obvious reasons if you watch it (by which I mean Dad, do not watch this when Mum’s around):

Moving swiftly on….and following on from my recent Kate Bush posts, here’s a remix of a 1992 tune by Utah Saints, which samples La Madame Bush, this version released in 2008:

Utah+Saints+Something+Good+08+430148b

267. Utah Saints – Something Good 08 (Van She Tec Mix)

…and which had a simply splendid video to accompany it:

Terrible gag at the end, mind, but as a former Cardiffian, I can’t help but love it.

Next up, a tune that simply sounds good played next to that one:

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268. Simian Mobie Disco – Audacity of Huge

I first came across the next record when I was DJ’ing at college; originally called “Pro>Gen”, it got it’s first release when the band’s sort-of original line-up was still intact, by which I mean before Will Sinn had tragically drowned off the coast of Tenerife.

Truth be told, it did little to bother the charts on it’s first release, but post-Sinn, in that way that records tend to do when someone involved with creating them dies, like the general public rubber-necking a car crash, it was much more successful when it got re-released as “Move Any Mountain”.

Here’s the original:

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269. The Shamen – Pro>Gen

I worked with The Shamen once. *CLANG* Name-dropping alert!!

We booked them on the Synergy Tour when I was at college and one of my many duties was to ensure their rider demands were met. On this occasion, one of them was that all of the performers were provided with a hot meal.

No problem, I thought: they can have something from the college refectory, same as every other band that had come through our doors. If it’s good enough for the Manic Street Preachers, The Blue Aeroplanes and Carter USM (CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!), it’s good enough for this lot, reasoned I.

So, they were provided with menus of the day’s delicious offerings, from which they all ordered, and I dispatched a couple of members of my team to go and collect their chosen sustenance.

Mr C. was, I recall, not happy about the standard of the slop that he was given, ranting off about how he hadn’t eaten properly for days and how he couldn’t eat what he had been given.

I stood up and looked him in the eye.

“We have to eat this shit every fucking day, mate” I said.

Mr C sat down again.

I still love his rap in this though.

After the gig, I ventured into the dressing room. Now I’m not saying that they weren’t all diabetics, but there were an awful lot of syringes laying around in there.

I once played “Pro>Gen” at a house party, and the now ex-girlfriend of one of my best mates started singing “E’s are Good” when it got to the chorus, not in any ironic “they all sound the same” kinda way, but in a genuine “that’s what this record is, right?” kinda way.

Lucky escape, mate.

At the same house party (shout out to the Hilldrop Massive!!), I played this, and a man I’d never met before, or since, practically exploded with excitement, came and hugged me, and then would not shut up about the fact I’d played it for the rest of the night. So, in his honour:

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270. Double Trouble & Rebel MC – Street Tuff (Scar Radio Mix)

Two more songs for tonight. Firstly, the song which they invariably use to mark the end of one of their gigs; this is essentially the sound of The Charlatans flicking the lights on and off, stacking chairs and starting to mop the floor around you:

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271. The Charlatans – Sproston Green (US Version)

But it’s not our end of night tune. That honour goes to another act that needs no introduction, and which, if you timed listening/reading to all of this just right, will be pretty much perfect:

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272. The Chemical Brothers – Midnight Madness

The video is rather fun/disturbing (delete as applicable):

That should do you for this week.

More soon.

How to Do a Cover Version

And whilst we’re at resurrecting threads I previously dropped, how about this one?

Anyone who has caught Hot Chip live in the last couple of years (an elite group amongst which I am unable to count myself, but I saw the Glastonbury footage when I got home…from Glastonbury. There was a clash, ok?? Super Furries or Hot Chip – you know which way I’m gonna swing) will have borne witness to the genius that is their version of Broooce’s “Dancing in the Dark”. And now, here it is:

hzAhCn Hot Chip – Dancing in the Dark

and here’s the original:

A_-Front Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark

I believe it is obligatory in blogland, having mentioned “Dancing in the Dark” to post the video, which features a pre-Friends Courtney Cox being dragged on stage to dance (badly) with Broooce (also dancing badly). What are the odds of that happening, huh? Here it is: obligation filled.

But wait! What’s that at the end of the Hot Chip version? Isn’t that the sound of one James Murphy and his LCD Soundsystem collective’s finest moments? Why yes, it is, and here’s all 7:37 of the glorious original:

LCD_Soundsystem_-_All_My_Friends_cover_art LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends

And while we’re at it, here’s Franz Ferdinand’s version of the same glorious song:

LCD_Soundsystem_-_All_My_Friends Franz Ferdinand – All My Friends

More soon. Possibly.