Friday Night Music Club

Well done to you all, you completed another level in this game that we call life, and got through the week relatively unscathed (I hope).

Your reward this week is yet another all-new mix courtesy of yours truly. I know, I know, I’m too ruddy kind for my own good.

What have we got for you this week? Well, we kick off with John Lydon taking a break from advertising butter, waxing lyrical about Donald Trump and generally being a living, breathing caricature of himself, by popping by to say “Hello!” (although he practically scowls it, rather than saying it), followed by the second best record I own which samples the late great Bill Hicks, then a track by a guy I once saw about 15 years ago supporting Los Campesinos! (he was incredible, all guitar effects pedal, looped beats and other electronic gizmo-ness I can only explain like this: imagine if Ed Sheeran was entertaining and had something to say), then we’re off on a bit of a vegetable tip with Dan le Sac & Scroobius Pip and Kate Nash, followed by a side-swipe at the vacuous world of celebrity, topped off with a couple of classic old garage rock numbers which have been covered with much more success than they managed, a tune by one of the groups who recorded the more famous version of one of them, then a song responsible for probably my most favourite appearance on Top of the Pops ever, then a bit of Julian Cope and his bendy microphone stand, an overlooked rave-era classic before we’re back safely ensconced in the arms of Mr Lydon again.

There’s a modicum of swears on this one, so best I wheel out the ‘Effing and Jeffing Warning Sign’ for an airing:

Admin time: any skips or jumps are down to the mixing software; any mis-timed mixes are down to me; all record selections are mine, all mine, and you can’t take them away from me, okay?

You can, happily, download or just stream this though:

Friday Night Music Club Vol 12

And here’s your track-listing:

  1. Public Image – Public Image Limited
  2. Freeland – We Want Your Soul
  3. Napoleon IIIrd – Hit Schmooze For Me
  4. Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip – Cauliflower
  5. Kate Nash – Pumpkin Soup
  6. Kirsty MacColl – Fifteen Minutes
  7. Paris Hilton – Stars Are Blind
  8. Saint Etienne – Who Do You Think You Are
  9. Lily Allen – The Fear
  10. The Bobby Fuller Four – I Fought The Law
  11. The Strangeloves – I Want Candy
  12. Bow Wow Wow – Go Wild In The Country
  13. Adam Ant – Goody Two Shoes (Chris Hughes Single Mix)
  14. Julian Cope – World Shut Your Mouth
  15. Sunscreem – Pressure
  16. Leftfield/Lydon – Open Up (Full Vocal Mix)

Hope you kids have fun with this one.

More soon.

Monday Night At The Movies

Yes, yes. Buses. Nothing for ages then two in one day. Go on, say it.

Actually, due to my infrequent/non-existent posting of late, I’m late posting this. I thought the Oscars were on tonight, but it turns out they were on last night so I’ve missed the chance to look cool and clever and ahead of the curve on the film I want to write about, which is up for five awards, including Best Picture. As I write this (early Monday morning), it’s won Best Original Screenplay; I’ll update this post should that be added to as I’m writing. (PS: it wasn’t.)

There was talk a couple of years ago about whether Netflix original content, which had never been shown in movie theatres, should be recognised by the Oscars, but now, with the event of Covid – where pretty much nothing has been shown in cinemas for over a year, along with two other massive media corporations – Amazon and Sky – joining in the fun, there wasn’t really any way this content could be ignored anymore.

And it’s a film from Sky’s output that I want to flag to you today, specifically Promising Young Woman. If you’ve not seen it yet, redress that as soon as possible (if you can) before some idiot spoils it for you. I’ll try to avoid giving you any major spoilers.

We first meet central character Cassie (played, brilliantly, by Carey Mulligan – married to a Mumford as she is, her choice in life-partner is questionable even if her keen eye for a great role cannot be faulted, and man alive can she act – she’s done lots since but those of us who remember her breakthrough in an episode of (Tennant era) Dr Who – Blink, also often referred to as the episode the Doctor barely appears in, have known for long time what she is capable of) seemingly passed out in a bar. Three male office types at the bar see her; one, claiming chivalrous intentions, approaches her, offers to make sure she gets home okay. Home becomes his home rather than hers, and before you know it, he is taking advantage of this drunk woman, unable to resist, protest or fight him off.

Except Cassie isn’t drunk. She isn’t vulnerable. She’s very much in control, and she’s teaching guys like this a lesson.

As well as learning that invaluable lesson (which I would hope most of you knew already), we learn that Cassie is in her early thirties, works in a coffee shop and still lives with her parents, who needless to say keep dropping very unsubtle hints about wanting her to move out. Props to the casting crew here for picking Jennifer Coolidge – Stiffler’s Mom from the American Pie series as Cassie’s mother and Clancy Brown – perhaps best known as the evil bastard warden in The Shawshank Redemption (yes, that’s where you recognised him from) – who both play against type and are brilliant. When nerdy but determined love interest and paediatrician Ryan (Bo Burnham) shuffles awkwardly into her life, they are delighted, and we also learn that Cassie used to be a promising medical student, until she dropped out.

For a while it seems Ryan is going to be the catalyst to shake her out of her rut, and in a way he is, just not in the way expected. If this were your standard rom-com, then meeting Ryan would ultimately end up being the life-changing event which makes her stop her one woman correction-centre ways. Instead her focus switches to gaining some semblance of vengeance against those she considers culpable for the gang rape, subsequent cover-up and then suicide of her best friend at medical school, Nina. This, it transpires, has been the impetus behind her actions all along, it just took Ryan’s appearance – and his own back story – to make her become more focused in her actions.

I’ll venture no further plot-wise for fear of spoiling things. Suffice it so say that this film comes with a massive thumbs up recommend from me.

And, as you would expect from something I’m recommending, there are some great musical moments in the film too.

For a start, there’s the inclusion of this song, and a sequence which, just for a few moments, makes it okay to like it:

Paris Hilton – Stars Are Blind

And then, at a point where you fear just how dark this film is prepared to go, you notice the strings on the soundtrack, wonder how long they’ve been playing for and then suddenly you recognise them and know: bad things are about to happen.

Anthony Willis – Toxic (Score)

An honorable mention for this:

FLETCHER – Last Laugh

And then, at the end, there’s this, a song which I could have sworn had popped up on these pages before, but I can’t find any such post now. When it arrives in the film, it’s just so perfectly placed because…no, no spoilers. Let’s just say that the whole thing had me standing up and applauding.

Juice Newton – Angel Of The Morning

Dammit, I want to watch it again now.

It would be easy to characterise Promising Young Woman as a #MeToo movie, but it’s so much more than just a hashtag. It’s smart, funny and shocking in unequal measures. It’s a film which every man needs to watch to learn a valuable lesson, and every woman should watch to confirm they’re not alone in their experience.

More soon.

Promising Young Woman is available on NOWTV and Sky.