Friday Night Music Club

Here we are again, this week with the penultimate part of my six-hour mix, divided into six parts for your ‘delectation’.

And this week I think it’s fair to say we’re going full-on Indie Disco, albeit one from circa 1992 (with a few notable exceptions).

It’s also fair to say that once we’ve got past the chanting monks at the start of the first tune (and what better way is there to start a mix than with some chanting monks, right?) we go very LOUD before settling down to a mix of songs you’ll know, some you’ll have forgotten about, and possibly some that you’ve never heard before. Which is exactly how an Indie Disco should be, in my book: entertain and educate.

Many of these tunes remind me of when I used to DJ at college, but two in particular remind me of the first time I DJ’d in around 10 years or so (I’m excluding the time Llŷr and I DJ’d at a friend’s wedding, as all I did that day was hand him records to play).

I was at a party at Hel’s old flat in North London; our friend Ruth, her decks set up on the breakfast bar which looked out on to the living room-cum-dancefloor, has just performed a mammoth set of around 8 hours. People were starting to leave, and I figured she deserved a break. It was around 4am when I sidled up to her: “Do you mind if I have a go?” She nearly bit my hand off, and went and sat on the sofa with Hel.

Since they were practically my entire audience, every one else having left or crashed out, I decided to play some quieter stuff. My first choice caused both of my audience to break off their conversation momentarily, look in my direction, and go “Awwww!” I repeated the trick with my second choice. “Ahhhhhh!”, sighed the two ladies.

“Still got it,” I thought to myself, and played for another hour or so, until it was time to pack the decks away so Ruth could go home too.

I shan’t spoil things by telling you which two tunes I played, but you’ll spot them alright. Partly because, if you know the tunes in question (and I’d be very surprised if you don’t recognise either of them) you’ll probably make similar noises to Hel and Ruth when they start (I’ve put them together here, for maximum effect), but mostly because I couldn’t resist putting a massive sign-post in right before them.

I’ve done mixes, playlists, call them what you will, for years in various guises, from mix-tapes played in the 6th Form common room, in the motorway ‘restaurant’ I worked in during the holidays at 6th Form and at college (and for a year after I graduated), and in the video shop I pretended to work in after I finally graduated, all were sound-tracked by an ever-growing collection of mix-tapes. DJ’ing at college was almost inevitable, really. And then, when I left college – bar a very short, unpleasant stint working for a mobile DJ in Cardiff in the early 90s, which I’ll tell you about some other time (if I haven’t do so already) – nothing.

It was in those moments, standing in Hel’s kitchen, playing to an audience of two awake people and several sleeping ones, that I realised how much I missed DJ’ing, which is why I do these mixes.

So whilst the last of the six parts will be here next week, I’m already adding the final touches to the one for the week after. In short: tough luck, I’m not stopping just yet.

Time for the usual disclaimer: any skips and jumps in the mix are down to the mixing software; any mis-timed mixes are down to me (although on this one, it’s all about the timing rather than the mixing, as the cross-fader literally didn’t move from it’s central position throughout this one).

A cross-fader, yesterday

I’m not sure if that’s something I should be proud of, let alone advertise, to be honest…

There is, as usual, a little bit of potty-mouthed effing and jeffing, only on one song (I think), and as you cast your eye down the track-listing below, you’ll have no problem identifying which one it is. Previous mixes have contained worse (and next week’s mix definitely does), but it would be remiss of me not slap one of these on it for those of a delicate constitution:

Here you go:

Friday Night Music Club Vol 6.5

And here’s your track-listing:

  • Eat – Bleed Me White
  • Hole – Celebrity Skin
  • Senseless Things – Homophobic Asshole
  • The Futureheads – The Beginning of the Twist
  • Northside – Take 5 (7″)
  • The Fatima Mansions – Only Losers Take The Bus
  • The Smiths – Jeane
  • Billy Bragg – Sexuality
  • Elastica – Connection
  • Sleeper – Inbetweener
  • The Cure – In Between Days
  • Super Furry Animals – (Drawing) Rings Around The World
  • Teenage Fanclub – Star Sign (Remastered)
  • The Soup Dragons – Slow Things Down
  • Strawberry Switchblade – Since Yesterday
  • Blur – Coffee + TV (Radio Edit)
  • Pulp – Something Changed
  • One Dove – White Love (Radio Mix)
  • Prince – Little Red Corvette

Next week is, then, the final part of this series, where the cross-fader is in full effect as I give you over an hour of dance bangers (as I believe “The” “Kids” say, or used to anyway), which tests my actual mixing skills to the maximum, including as it does what my mate Rob insists is “the hardest tune in the world to mix in or out of.”

Tune in next week to see how successful I am.

More soon.

Got Your Big Plate, Jez?

Regular readers will know that at any possible opportunity, I will post something from the back catalogue of Alan Partridge Esq.

Usually, it’s this:

But I’m not posting that today. Oh, hang on…

No. For today, I want to start off by referencing my favourite episode of I’m Alan Partridge: Series 1, Episode 2, Alan Attraction, an episode which I think is probably the funniest of any sitcom ever.

Here’s how wiki explains the plot:

Without a second series of his programme, Alan is nearing bankruptcy and chooses to fire the staff at his company, Peartree Productions, rather than downsize his car. However, when the staff ask him if he has a second series, Alan panics, and tells them that he has been successful. While the staff prepare a party, and Jill, his flirtatious, chain-smoking, 50-year-old, divorced receptionist (Julia Deakin) goes out to buy some snacks, Alan tries to extricate himself by firing staff members for various “offences,” such as leaving an unwashed coffee cup on the table and rolling eyes. Whilst he locks himself in his boardroom, the staff leave. Jill returns, wondering where everyone has got to (he tells her they have gone to a spice museum) and the two go on a date to a nearby owl sanctuary, where Alan’s attempts at conversation bewilder Jill. In the evening, the two attend a Valentine’s Day dinner at the Travel Tavern, where Alan makes a fool of himself by badly singing “Close To You” by The Carpenters for her with the hired band, and Lynn attempts to sabotage Alan’s evening with the uncouth Jill. Alan and Jill go to his room. Alan attempts to have sex with Jill while providing a running commentary and attempts a discussion of the pedestrianisation of the Norwich city centre to delay ejaculating. Jill’s attempt at eroticism with chocolate mousse makes him angry so he ends his liaison with her. At the radio station that night, he announces on-air that he has sacked her.

There’s so many brilliant clips which stem from that.

Firstly, this:

And also this, for my money not just one of the finest comedy moments played out (almost) completely in the dark, but one of the finest comedy moments ever:

“Let battle commence!”

“Do you…er…like me doing that…? Shall I do it more quickly, or maintain the same speed…?…Shall I move on to the other one…?”

“That’s lovely…that’s first class…that…that is superb…ohh there you go..it’s all happening….”

“Jill, you know your onions….!”

“People need access to Diiixxxxons…..”

“Wheeeeeeeeeeeeelchairs!”

It’s all in blackout, but the genius is that we can all picture exactly what is happening, even if we’d rather not, thanks very much.

And why am I mentioning all of this, I hear you yawn?

Well, some of you may recall that several months ago I wrote about how I was going to have to temporarily vacate my flat whilst some subsidence-related structural work was done to it.

This has been rumbling along for over a year now, with no real end game in sight, but suddenly it’s all happening, and the day that I have to vacate my flat and be placed in temporary accommodation is today.

Back in April, the company charged with the task of rehousing me sent me a clutch of links to six apartments they had access to – three one bedroom, three two bedroom – and basically asked that I take my pick.

I would post a link to them now, but having tried to look at them whilst writing this post, I find that the link comes with one of those “site unsecure” warnings that people who click on dubious links will be familiar with, so I won’t bother. Maybe they can appear in the Comments if anyone’s really interested (which I doubt).

Suffice it to say that, frankly, the apartments looked amazing, and certainly better than my own flat.

I bit their hands off. “Any of those are fine!” I told them.

Before those flats were offered to me, I had some questions to ask of the insurance company, chiefly revolving around any extra costs I was going to incur whilst I was absent from my flat – if there’s no facility to cook, I will have to either eat out or get takeways, will I be reimbursed for this? And if there’s no laundry facilities in the apartment, will I be reimbursed for the cost of going to the laundrette? – but these were mostly answered by the apartments I was offered. All of them had a kitchen area, a dishwasher, a washing machine and a tumble dryer.

But all of the apartments were in central London and I live way out in the outskirts, in Zone 4, and I work even further out, in Zone 5. I get the bus to and from work, at a cost of £3.00 a day, but to travel from Zone 1 to Zone 5 and back every day would be considerably more expensive.

The Fatima Mansions – Only Losers Take The Bus

I bought that record on 12″, on the back of seeing this clip on the much missed SNUB TV:

But I digress.

So whilst I told the insurers that all of the apartments on offer were perfectly accceptable, I would need assurances that I would be reimbursed any additional commuting costs I might incur.

Sometimes I wish I had kept my mouth shut, for I have now been offered the considerably less salubrious, but much closer, surroundings of….a local Travelodge.

Time for me to rock this bad boy out:

and this tune:

The Big Dish – Where Do You Live?

At the time of writing, I am still in negotiations with the insurers about the internet access I get in such grand surroundings. According to the website, I get 30 minutes a day free or get charged £3.00 for 24 hours (or, as they try to big it up: “30 minutes FREE or £3 for 24 hours”); I pay a monthly fee to my broadband provider to have unlimited Wi-Fi, and so to my mind, they either reimburse me the cost I am paying to continue that (even though I can’t use it), or they agree to pay the £3.00 a day so I have the same whilst I’m re-accommodated.

And trust me: I work in insurance, I know exactly what I’m entitled to.

Anyway, what I’m building up to say is that until that’s sorted, things might be a little quiet round these parts. I’m trying to write as many posts as I can before the big day, but it may that be after today nothing happens around here until early December, when I’m currently rescheduled to return to my home.

So, more soon, I just don’t know when.