Friday Night Music Club

I was beginning to think this mix was jinxed.

I’ll explain, with some back story.

Firstly, I wanted to do a mix unlike the Not Christmas one, which I thought strayed a bit too far into the territories of cheese or chart music. Whilst it served a purpose, it wasn’t really indicative of the sort of tunes which usually feature here.

This one, though is a corker, even if I do say so myself.

Regular readers may recall that way back in the late 1980s, I started DJ’ing at college because I was fed up with being able to guess what song the indie DJs would play next. So imagine my annoyance when my own brother told me that on a previous mix he’d been able to predict my next choice a couple of times. Grrr.

But this mix has proved to be such a pain to complete; when I came to do it today, it tells me that some of the tunes have been played 22 times, which gives you an idea of how many times I’ve tried to get this one right. Pretty much once a week, since Christmas.

What’s gone wrong all those times? Well, on more than one occasion professional pride kicked in: I’ve messed up a mix between tunes, so have elected to start again.

On more than one occasion, preoccupied with playing Solitaire or Candy Crush just to have something to do whilst recording the mix, there’s a sudden, irretrievable silence where the next record should be. Oops!

Once I forgot to stop recording until an hour later, and, triumphant at how the mixes had worked out, I couldn’t understand why the mix lasted over 5 hours, until I listened to it.

The other problem is booze. More than once, I’ve taken drink to such an extent that I’ve forgotten I was doing a mix until the silence after one record has finished hits home and startled me awake.

Last weekend, I got to the third record from the end, and suddenly woke up to silence and realised I’d messed up again. That’s not an indictment of the standard of the mix, by the way, more an example of how drunk I’d gotten.

Even last night, when I finally nailed it, it was my second attempt of the night, having got through most of the mix when I had a drink-spillage event, which I thought I’d sorted, until, four records from the end, suddenly the sound cut out whilst the tunes kept playing and I had no idea if it was still recording the sound or the sound of silence.

Anyway, we’ve got here, and this has been a real pain, so if you could take a listen, that would be great.

I will confess that I have broken the golden rule of not featuring the same act more than once in this mix; this wasn’t intentional, but as the various run-throughs progressed, I simply forgot said acts already appeared as “featuring” acts. One is deliberate. Sue me (Please don’t).

Time for the usual disclaimer: any glitches, skips or jumps are down to the software or the uploading/downloading process, and nothing to do with my limited mixing skills.

Oh, and the usual “effing and jeffing” warning applies; it seems I’m incapable of doing a mix which doesn’t include more than the occasional swear.

I’m not posting a link to download here, other than the one to Soundcloud, where you can either download or stream it.

I couldn’t be bothered with the last ones, but I’ve done it this time: you’ll see a list of all the acts featured in this mix at the bottom of the page, so you can check whether this one’s likely to be your cup of tea before going to the hassle of actually listening to it. If you’re particularly short of things to do, you can try to guess which song I’ve picked by which artist. There’s fun.

But by way of a description: pretty much all life is here, from indie rock to 60s California hippy-shtick, some Old Skool dance classics, some hip-hop and some soul classics via some Northern Soul belters via some TV show theme tunes (sort of); there’s some hoary old rock and some psychobilly, and a couple of tracks which should have featured in a New post by now, but the bands in question played the 6Music festival last weekend so you’ll probably know them intimately by now. And, of course, there’s The Fall.

Easy on the cheese this time, there’s even some poetry so we can all pretend we’re intellectual. You’ll have chance to dance, sit and recover for a few moments, before getting back on it again.

Available for a limited time (i.e. until I do the next one), you can download or stream this on Soundcloud here:

Friday Night Music Club (Volume 4)

I hope you have as much fun listening to this as much as I had putting it together. And I found it utterly frustrating, so you’d better.

Oh, and it ain’t over ’til the fat bloke sings.

More soon.

How to Do a Cover Version

As I’ve previously mentioned, whenever I used to venture into town as a kid, my time would mostly be spent meticulously working my way through the racks of the second hand records section in the basement of Andy’s Records, and it was there that I remember first encountering today’s choice.

There was something about the sleeve of The Slits’ “Cut” album which caught my eye, but which also prevented me from buying it for fear that the person behind the counter might think I was some kind  of a pervert.

Of course, I now know that I was missing out on one of the defining releases of the post-punk era. And the original vinyl edition didn’t include today’s track, a glorious reinterpretation of a Motown classic, though it has subsequently cropped up on CD reissue, reissue, repackage versions:

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The Slits – I Heard It Through the Grapevine

I mention this today because it’s another Field Day moment; at some point, either in the pre-Avalanches DJ slot or more probably in the actual Avalanches set (I’m leaning more towards the latter, but I’d had quite a few beers by this point, so the memory is a tad on the fuzzy side) this got dropped.

You know those moments when a DJ kinda slips something in, when you hear little bits of the next track just bubbling through and your ears prick up? That’s what happened here. I was talking to my friend Llyr about who knows what when suddenly I caught a snatch of the bassline and my sub-conscious whispered “Here come The Slits” to me.

Hence Llyr’s confused look when, mid-conversation, I suddenly said “Oh my God, they’re playing The Slits!”, just a nano-second before the previous song was faded out and the throbbing – there’s no other word for it, it throbs – bassline kicked in.

So, anyways, here’s the original:

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Marvin Gaye – I Heard It Through The Grapevine

I could, of course, waffle on now about how this record got a new lease of life when it was used in an 80s ad campaign by Levi’s, an act which gave the world the musical genius that was Nick Kamen. (I’m hoping that you can sense the tone there. No?)

Well, here’s his first (of two, before our patience ran out) UK hit records, which was co-written by Madonna (who clearly knew it wasn’t good enough to release herself):

And here’s the advert that started it all:

Oh, and here’s the advert that rather finely sent it up:

So today’s lesson is this: cover a Marvin Gaye record, but make sure it’s utterly different to the original.

More soon.