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‚Äôd 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‚Äôve 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‚Äôd 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 ‚Äď and for that matter, their decks ‚Äď couldn‚Äôt make it. In their absence I prepared a set of 11 CDs ‚Äď about 15 hours ‚Äď which, when played in sequence, took you from aperitifs and welcomers, to ‚Äúgo on have a bit of a dance‚ÄĚ, 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‚Äôd 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‚Äôd be it‚ĶI‚Äôd be off‚Ķ.

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 Mon√°e – 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

Max√Įmo 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 РYeke 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 РIf…

More soon.

‚ÄúIn the End, It Took Me a Dictionary to Find Out the Meaning of Unrequited‚ÄĚ #9

When posting songs about unrequited love in this series, it’s quite hard to overlook today’s selection.

And because of the straight-forwardness of the title, it also means I don’t need to say much by way of explanation.

So: taken from one of my favourite albums of the past ten years, this is Lykke Li:

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Lykke Li – Unrequited Love

More soon.

Friday Night Music Club

Regular visitors to the shores of Dubious Taste will know that I compile these weekly Friday Night playlists based on a couple of tunes that I hear during my daily commute to and from work. Sometimes, my permanently-on-shuffle iPod will play me something which instantly makes me think of a theme for the week, or which reminds me of another song, or just gives me a couple of songs which sound good next together.

Sometimes, and it’s a rare event, the stars align and all three happen. Such was the case with this week’s playlist. Since I only had four days in work this week, this was an absolute blessing.

So, shall we get cracking?

Twice a year, the clocks change in the UK. The event is always preceded by many conversations of the “Wait – is that the good one or the bad one?” variety. People here in the UK will¬†often¬†complain when the clocks go forward (the “bad one”), moaning that they have an hour less in bed on Saturday night/Sunday morning. I’ve never understood this. Unless you have somewhere to be on a Sunday, why on earth would you change the clocks before you get out of bed on the Sunday? Just stay in bed until whatever time you like, get up, and then change the clocks. Lose an hour of your day instead of your night, if you like night so much.

And for those who are not in the UK and have no idea what I’m banging on about…I really can’t be bothered to explain why we change the time twice a year, other than because we can.¬†Go Google it if you’re that interested.

Anyway, Tuesday morning started badly for me. I had gone to great lengths to¬†remind all of my work colleagues that the clocks were to go forward on Easter Sunday, had done the same when visiting my parents over the weekend, and then wouldn’t you just know it, totally forgot to change my own alarm clock when I got home on Monday, which led¬†me¬†to over sleep on Tuesday morning. A mad scramble to shower and get to work if not on time, then not too late, followed. (Luckily my boss had done something similar,¬†sending me a text to apologise as she was also running late, having¬†missed her train.)

My iPod had me covered though. Here’s what it decided to play me:

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204. Dusty Springfield – I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself

When your day starts so badly that you’re still getting dressed as you’re waiting at the bus stop (my apologies to the neighbours: that wasn’t a wardrobe malfunction you witnessed, it¬†was a life malfunction, like that makes it any better), the sound of¬†Dusty breathing into your ears certainly settles the nerves.

And then my iPod gave me this:

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205. Teenage Fanclub – I Need Direction

Admittedly, not one of my favourites by The Fannies, but I sensed a certain neediness in my iPods selections, a sense which was only confirmed by the next choice:

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206. Peter Frampton – Show Me The Way

I don’t feel I know him well enough to call him Pete.

Frampton first found fame in the late 1960s as a member of The Herd,¬†where he was¬†dubbed “the Face of 68” (that’s the year, not a slightly disappointing sexual position), which led to the¬†band¬†attracting a somewhat teen audience, which caused issues with the less pretty members of the band. (Also in the band: one Andy Bown, who has been an official¬†member of¬†The Quo ever since 1977. Read into that what you will).

They split shortly afterwards, and Frampton was recruited into Humble Pie, Steve Marriott’s first post-Small Faces project. Despite some modicum of success, Frampton quit in 1971 to go solo.

But despite his early success as part of the aforementioned bands, Frampton’s¬†first three solo albums tanked, and it wasn’t until the release of “Frampton Comes Alive!” in 1976 that his fortunes finally changed. This is not the sort of career path that many artists take: I can’t think of another act who released three consecutive albums to an increasingly lukewarm reaction, and who then decided, with his record label’s blessing, the way to turn things round was to release a live album (although I do wonder if he’d signed a four album deal and this was just a way of fulfilling his contractual obligations).

But work it did, in no small part to his use of the “talk box” on today’s choice, that odd “wah-wah-wah-wah-wah” noise that forms the solo part of the song.

And yes, I know we’re all supposed to laugh at Frampton and poke fun at his records, but “Show Me The Way”¬†fulfills one of the criteria which allows us to like such things, namely: has a band we all agree are cool done a cover version which is not seemingly ironic? The answer here is a resounding “yes”:

Anyway, by now, a theme for my playlist had been identified: being lost, needing help, and then getting advice, instructions or orders. I set about, as I always do, trying to think of songs which fit my self-imposed remit.

Which brings me on to the next track. A couple of weeks ago, I got sent one of those things on Facebook where someone asks you to name your favourite bands, songs, etc; this one was asking me to name 12 albums which had “stayed with me”, which I took to mean albums that meant as much to me now as¬†when I bought them, rather than¬†albums which have become like an unwelcome lodger, sleeping on the sofa, eating crisps, and leaving floaters in the toilet. Although, Lord knows I have plenty of records that fit¬†that description.

One of my choices was this one:

housemartins

207. The Housemartins – Over There

I loved The Housemartins, and I’m slightly surprised this is the first song I’ve posted by them. Seriously, what’s not to love about a band who are modest enough to refer to themselves as “the fourth best band from Hull”, who had a penchant for wearing rather fetching cardigans, who were often asked in interviews about their collection of crisp packets, who spawned Fatboy Slim and The Beautiful South,¬†and who also had a drummer who in 1993 was sentenced to spend¬†six years at Her Majesty’s Pleasure¬†for assaulting his former business associate with an axe and setting fire to his house.¬†Three times.

Next up, from the days when 7″ singles didn’t even have picture sleeves, and when Smokey Robinson was still just Bill “Smokey” Robinson, and his band¬†were still just The Miracles and not Smokey Robinson and The Miracles:

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208. The Miracles – Way Over There

Dusty and Smokey in the same post. I spoil you, I really do. I may also have just invented two new hand puppets to go with Sooty and Sweep.

Moving back to the 1980s now, and an absolute classic, and one which had every kid at my school attempted to do both the rap and the rock parts at school discos:

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209. Run-DMC [feat. Aerosmith] – Walk This Way

By the time this came out, we were used to rap records sampling rock records, but this was the first time we had heard two acts from the different spheres actually performing together.

So, whilst we’re fusing musical styles in¬† way that would make Richard Vranch jealous (obscure 1980s television reference for you there) here’s some folksters covering some rock:

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210. The Folksmen – Start Me Up

For those of you not in the know, “A Mighty Wind” is a film brought to you by the same¬†folks as one of the greatest, funniest movies ever: “This is Spinal Tap”.¬†I doubt¬†there is a single music blogger out there who doesn’t adore the endlessly quotable¬†“…Spinal Tap”¬†and “A Mighty Wind”, though less quotable than “…Spinal Tap” does for the world of folk what “…Spinal Tap” did for the world of rock: it affectionately mocks it.

Indeed,¬†The Folksmen are none other Jerry Palter (played by Michael McKean, or David St Hubbins in “…Spinal Tap”), Alan Barrows (Christopher Guest/Nigel Tufnel) and Mark Shubb (Harry Shearer/Derek Smalls). If you haven’t watched it, I urge you to rectify that as soon as possible. I love it almost, but not quite,¬†as much as I love “This is Spinal Tap”, which is bloody loads.

Next, a similarly folky sounding bunch who the internet seems to know very little about. From their one and only album, originally released in 1985 on Go! Discs, but recently picked up and re-released by Cherry Red (Gawd bless ’em)¬†and available here, ladies and gents I give you The Boothill Foot-Tappers:

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211. The Boothill Foot-Tappers – Get Your Feet Out Of My Shoes

I remember reading about them in Smash Hits and being immediately intrigued, but found it difficult to actually track down anything by them. A couple of years later, after we had finished our shift in the motorway restaurant we both had the misfortune to work at, my boss Jane and I would often go to her house, have a couple of drinks, play some records and have a bit of a sing-song (anyone who has ever lived with me knows that this is one of my most basic pleasures in life, and actually is the conception of the Friday Night Music Club).

On one such occasion, I was flicking through her vinyl collection (not a euphemism) and found she had a copy of this album. We popped it on, and I immediately adored it. I left her flat clutching a copy on a C-90 cassette, along with¬†her vinyl copy of¬†Kate Bush’s “The Kick Inside” album, which she told me I could keep for reasons that I can’t quite recall. I still have them both to this day, though I haven’t seen or heard from Jane in about 20 years or so. Which tells you quite a bit about me, I guess.

For some reason,¬†something tells me that¬†Elvis Costello had¬†something to do with them (producer…?), though I may be getting mixed up with his involvement with The Pogues’ “Rum Sodomy & The Lash” album, and being Mr Cait O’Riordan of early Pogues fame (although in 2008 she denied ever having been married to Costello, saying¬†“We weren’t married…It was a kind of Muslim ‘I divorce you’ kind of thing.”)

Or maybe O’Riordan herself is the link, as¬†in my attempts to find something, anything about them (other than numerous references to them being a cow-punk band who only ever released one album…thanks, knew that already!) I find that in 1983 Darryl Hunt intended to ask The Boothill’s Wendy May to join¬†his jazz band “Pride of the Cross”, but when he mentioned this to O’Riordan she apparently laughed and told him that she ought to do it. I dunno. It’s a real head-scratcher and no mistake. Answers on a postcard please (or in the Comments Section would be better).

I digress. Let’s have another tune.

Some of you may recall that I’m in the process of adding the first 75 “Now…!” albums onto my iPod and the next choice was the first that it randomly gave me from the second volume:

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212. Matt Bianco – Get Out Of Your Lazy Bed

Do you remember back in the 1980s, when Saturday morning television wasn’t an endless stream of cookery programmes, but were actually a load of shows aimed at keeping kids preoccupied for a couple of hours? Often, the shows would have pop stars of the day in the studio, and they would be subjected to a phone-in. This was revolutionary at the time, the first time that¬†the general public had been allowed to interact with celebrities, a precursor to Twitter if you will.

People of a certain age will know exactly where I’m going with this:

Priceless.

There’s only one way to follow that,¬†from the 9th¬†“Now..!” volume:

Five-Star-Stay-Out-Of-My-Li-55932

213. 5 Star – Stay Out Of My Life

People of a certain age will know exactly where I’m going with this too:

Equally priceless.

Moving swiftly on, to a chap who needs no introduction:

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214. Tom Jones – Help Yourself

He knew Elvis Presley, you know. Keeps it quiet, though. Rarely mentions it.

Something a little more contemporary next:

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215. Lykke Li – Get Some

Thought my earlier mention of Andy Bown was going to be the only Quo reference this week? Think again (with obligatory take-down busting mis-spelling):

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216. Quaters Toe – Whatever You Want

Now, you can all laugh about my love of all things Quo, but it turns out even I have limits. In 2008, I found out just what those limits were: a duet with German techno outfit Scooter.

Jesus wept,¬†I’d forgotten just how¬†¬†horrendous that is. If “Walk This Way” is the finest example of rock and rap working sublimely then that is the polar opposite. My ears, my ears! Is it possible to unhear something?

When I started seeking out songs which fitted this week’s¬†theme I initially came up with about ten. As I started writing this post,¬†loads more came to mind, far too many to cover in just one week. So, you lucky people, you get Part 2 next week. I actually prefer next week’s. That’s what I believe is known as “a teaser”, though having just posted the above video you could be forgiven for never darkening my doorstep again.

I can’t possibly leave you with that last monstrosity ringing in your ears, so this seems an appropriate record to finish on:

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217. The Smiths – I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish

Deep breaths, that’s the way. And relax. Normality restored.

More so