New Mood on Monday

I mentioned in Friday’s post that I had done a summery mix which JC over at The Vinyl Villain had been kind enough to post.

In the bit which he wrote to accompany my mix, JC (unintentionally, I’m sure) shamed me by saying that I post “daily”. I wish that were true; I have nowhere near the discipline to keep daily posts going on such a regular basis, although it does happen every now again.

So, in the spirit of our actually regular uplifting Monday morning post, I figured I would be positive this week, and try and post something every day. And then see how long I could keep it up for (as the vicar said to the etc etc etc).

But what to write about? Well, as you know, I love doing playlists, mixes, call them what you will. And, whilst I shy away from doing fully-themed ones on my Friday night posts, I do enjoy the challenge of preparing an hour-long mix of tunes with a common thread running between the songs contained therein.

However, when preparing a themed mix, it is very easy to get lost in the challenge, and include songs simply because they fit the criteria you have set yourself for the playlist in question, irrespective of whether they “work” or not.

I’m sure you all know what I mean, but I fear I’m not explaining myself very well.

Let me give you an example: the summery mix of mine which JC kindly posted last week was supposed to be a load of songs which contained the word “sun” in the title. A simple enough task: search iTunes for such songs, bang the good ones in a playlist, fiddle around with the running order, and Bob is indeed your uncle.

Having done that, you realise that you have included songs which are great, have the word “sun” in the title, but aren’t particularly appropriate. And that you have omitted songs which would be perfect for the playlist, but don’t fit the criteria.

So: I wanted to include Patio Song by Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Legal Man by Belle & Sebastian and Squeeze’s Pulling Mussels (From The Shell), none of which, the more astute amongst you will have noticed, have the word “sun” in the title.

The “songs with sun in the title” idea swiftly got binned.

For the rest of the of the week, then, I’ll be posting songs which did have “sun” in the title, but which got bumped from the playlist in favour of tunes which were…well, not better, just fitted better.

(Better, I mean better.)

Starting here, with what was supposed to be the opening tune in the playlist. I could have plumped for the Hair Original Stage Cast version, or even Andy Williams’s smooth easy listening take, but in the end I’d plumped for 5th Dimension’s go at it:

The 5th Dimension – Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In

Now, one of the reasons that got bumped was because the whole Aquarius bit at the start didn’t sit with the rest of the theme. If only there were a version which omitted that….

Count your lucky stars I didn’t remember this, which I actually bought at the time (in my defence: it reminded me of a great night out which wasn’t spoiled by this cheese-fest getting played):

Milk & Sugar – Let The Sunshine

More (playlist rejects) soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

A few years ago (actually, now I think about it, 12 years ago. Ouch!) a mate of mine threw a birthday party (I think….) at his place in West London. It was a day-into-night affair, so there was a barbecue and lazing around and drinking in the afternoon, followed by a fair amount of substance abuse of one kind or another in the evening. (Can I just stress again that when I mention this kind of thing, I am not advocating their use? I’m just relating, s’all. Y’know, just in case someone sues me or something. Don’t shoot the messenger.)

There were 30 or so people there, but apart from the host and his wife, and the couple I’d travelled up from Cardiff with, I knew nobody. This makes what happens next fairly predictable.

There was a trade-off to being invited: all attendees were instructed to prepare in advance, and provide on arrival, a mix-tape, over both sides of a C-60. All cassettes were to be unmarked, no track listing provided, and they would provide the soundtrack to the party. For added fun (there were no prizes), attendees were then supposed to try and work out who had made which mix-tape.

I still think this is a cracking idea for a party, provided you’ve got a working tape deck to play them on.

You won’t be surprised to learn that I attacked this task with much vigour and gusto. What I needed to do, I thought, was one of my trademark mixes that slowly build to a climax, but at the same time pick songs which I liked but which the few people I knew there might not necessarily associate with me, so as to throw them off the trail when it came to identifying the creator of the cassette.

In other words, I over-thought it.

You’ll be even less surprised to learn that of the 30 or so attendees, only four of us bothered making a mix-tape, all of whom were male. And one of whom used a C-90, the dirty rotten cheat.

My selection caused much bafflement and scratching of heads, and I was delighted that nobody managed to twig which mix-tape was mine. I had won!! I was the Belle of the Ball!!

But then, much later, someone else turned up with a mix-tape that started with Dennis Waterman’s “I Could Be So Good For You” and everyone forgot about mine and hailed him a genius instead.

Dammit, I own that on 7″ single, why didn’t I think of including it?

I’m not bitter though. Oh no.

I wish I could remember all of the songs I’d included, but alas, I can only remember the first three, the ones which were sufficient to throw everyone off the scent, and they’re all perfect for posting here, so, well, here you go:

In order they were (and, in brackets, my reason for selecting them):


The 5th Dimension – Up, Up And Away

(Step 1: Pick some weird old 60s tune everyone kinda knows, but which nobody would associate with you. Unless they had heard any of my previous mix-tapes (which they hadn’t) which almost inevitably start off with something in this vein. A scene setter, if you like. Ladies and Gentleman, fasten your seatbelts, we’re going on a journey).


Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – Patio Song

(Step 2: A journey to Wales. A stroke of genius this; the host of the party is Welsh, as are his wife and the couple I had travelled up from Cardiff with, but other than that, all English (as far as I can recall). I literally (not literally; metaphorically) cloaked myself with Welsh language psych-folk.)


Prince & The Revolution – Raspberry Beret

(Step 3: Then throw in a curveball, a tune by someone that you know at least one other person is bound to have a bit of an obsession with.)

It worked: there was much finger pointing after this came on in a “But this must be yours, you like Gorky’s and Prince!”, “So do you!” kinda way, but none in my direction.

Much, much later that night, as it got darker and colder and people started to either drift off home or, at the very least, into the house, I found someone frantically hunting around the tape deck. I asked what they had lost.

“I’m trying to find that tape that had the balloon song at the start,” they replied.

I allowed myself a smug smirk, and pointed it out from the pile. “Good that one, wasn’t it?”

And no I’m not going to play you “I Could Be So Good For You”. Well not yet, anyway.

That should get your Sunday morning off to a breezy start, alright.

More soon.