Monday Night at the Movies

I’ve just got home from the cinema (fourth time this year! I’m really making use of this “Unlimited” use monthly subscription, right?), and this time it was to see Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver”.

In case you’re unfamiliar with Edgar’s work, he’s most famous for the TV sitcom Spaced”, and the subsequent Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, “Shaun of the Dead”, “Hot Fuzz” and “The World’s End”, all of which are great, Spaced” and Shaun of the Dead” especially.

“Baby Driver” is the tale of a young getaway driver who, due to a medical condition, permanently listens to music on one of his many iPods. I’ll not give away any more than that it has one hell of a soundtrack.

Put it this way: the first song you hear is this raucous corker:

orange digipak

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Bellbottoms

I settled back into my chair, knowing just from this, that I was in safe hands.

Moments later, there’s this:

bob-and-earl-harlem-shuffle-vocal-london

Bob & Earl – Harlem Shuffle

And then, within what seems to be just a couple of breaths, this, which is included for fairly obvious reasons:

Carla_Thomas_Baby_Cover_Art

Carla Thomas – B-A-B-Y

When the lead character first hears this, he doesn’t¬†recognise it, and has to ask the person playing it what it is. Now, it’s on occasions like this that I wish I wasn’t such a dad old loner, sitting in the cinema on my own with popcorn and Coke Zero spilled down my shirt, for what I wanted to do next was turn to¬†my companion and say: “It’s “B-A-B-Y” by Carla Thomas, it’s on Stax Records, and it’s wonderful, as is the version Rachel Sweet released on Stiff Records in 1978″.

rachel-sweet-baby-stiff

Rachel Sweet – B-A-B-Y

But as I leaned in to impart this knowledge, I realised that I didn’t know the person sitting next to me, and that maybe¬†revealing my inner nerd to them wasn’t a great idea. That’s what this place is for, after all.

Another record that I adore also features:

knowhow

Young MC – Know How

So yeah,¬†a pretty darned diverse soundtrack which, if I didn’t already own about 90% of I’d be rushing to buy right now instead of writing this. I’m quite literally having to stop myself from posting every song from it that I own.

Anyway, what’s especially impressive about the movie is that it’s all¬†choreographed to fit with the music being played; so guns are fired and reloaded to the beat, car gear changes are synced to chord progressions.

Oh, and Jamie Foxx, John Hamm and Kevin Spacey are all in it, which gives a fair indication as to the quality on show here. Jon Spencer also gets a brief cameo (as do Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Big Boi from Outkast. And probably loads more I didn’t spot.)

Midway through the film, a track appears which is just so incredibly well placed, so perfect for the moment, I reached down into my bag, pulled out my own iPod, and scrolled through to line it up ready to listen to, loudly, on the way home.

Now, ordinarily this would probably have gone unnoticed. I like there to be an¬†exclusion zone around me when I¬†go to¬†the cinema, so I had reserved my seat in advance, this morning, and had made sure I picked one as I usually do: aisle seat,¬†towards the back, with nobody either in front of,¬†alongside (and preferably behind) me.¬†But, as I already mentioned, someone was sitting next to me, a group of three lads, who I didn’t know, and who must have booked their tickets after I did, the cunning swines.

The one sitting next to me, who so narrowly escaped having me¬†whisper¬†about Carla Thomas and Rachel Sweet to him earlier on, clocks what I’m doing and leans over to me.

“Mate, do you know what this tune is?” he asked.

Ah shoot. You had to ask, didn’t you?

“Do you not know what this tune is?” I replied.

He shook his head.

“It’s…

focus-hocus-pocus

Focus – Hocus Pocus

…” I tell him.

He gives me a look.

“Are you taking the piss?”

I show him my iPod, Dutch prog-rock track cued up ready to go.

“Nope. Deadly serious.”

“Fair enough,” he says, before leaning back¬†to his mate sitting on¬†his right, presumably, to pass on the knowledge.

The film finished, I left the cinema, and listened to “Hocus Pocus” several times on repeat as I walked home.

What I’m trying to say is: if you love music (and since you’re here, I assume that you do) and great films, especially ones with more than its’ fair share of car chases, do yourself a favour and go see this.

More soon.

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Friday Night Music Club

Evening all. It’s that time of the week again, so let’s get straight to it.

First up, is a song that until a week ago, I’d never heard before. or rather if I had, my befuddled old bonce wasn’t in the mood to tell me.

You’ll recall that I left you last week with Dream Warriors’ excellent “My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style”. Only a few moments had passed after I posted it, when I had a message from regular reader Chad, one of the chaps I had the pleasure of spending Glastonbury with earlier this year, telling me that tune reminded him of tonight’s first, a song which I was blissfully unware of until I got his message. I remembered the¬†band performing it, sure, but had to confess I couldn’t name a single tune by them. So I checked it out, and have to say it’s rather bloody great.

Gang+Starr+Lovesick+511498 42. Gang Starr РLovesick (Upbeat Mix)

As I enter what I must reluctantly concede are my late-40s, I now find that anytime I attempt to dance, it generally ends up with me doing the usual self-conscious two-step shuffle, and, unsure of what to do with my hands, I find my self clicking my fingers to the beat, and what¬†I especially love about that tune is¬†that it’s perfect for clicking my fingers along to. Finger-clicking good, you could say.

And yes, I did say clicking. Shurrup the lot of you. It’s the new “Big Fish, Little Fish, Cardboard Box”, the next dance sensation to sweep the nation,¬†and you know it. And you don’t look quite as fucking ridiculous as you did doing that Gangnam Style dance. Just as sad, maybe, but not as fucking ridiculous.

Anyway, cheers Chad!

Whilst “Lovesick”¬†reminds Chad of “My Definition…” it made me think of the next tune, although I appreciate that as it was released long after both those records, it should be the other way round.

R-14467-1220108769_jpeg 43. Fatboy Slim РWeapon of Choice

Until I started writing this post, I was blissfully unaware that “Weapon of Choice” wasn’t, as I had thought,¬†a¬†single in its own right, but was the additional track, the AA side for us old timers, from the “Star 69” single. But then, if you know “Star 69”, you can see why it didn’t¬†exactly pick up much airplay. And if you don’t know “Star¬†69”, have a look at the sleeve and you can probably work it out.

Anyway, that gives me the opportunity to play the¬†video for “Weapon of Choice”, which you all know¬†features former dancer Christopher Walken¬†busting some moves in a “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” style:

And yes, I have finally worked out how to embed a video rather than posting a link to it. Go me!

Next up, a blast from the even further past:

mc-tunes-versus-808-state-tunes-splits-the-atom-rap-ztt 44. MC Tunes vs 808 State РTunes Splits The Atom

Tuuuuuuunnneeee!

Listening to that made me think of the next record, which – and I appreciate that at this rate I’ll have to rename this post “My¬†Blissfully Unaware¬†Corner” – I was blissfully unaware of until a couple of months ago, when, laying in bed one morning, trying to convince myself that five more minutes was perfectly fine, it came on the radio (Shaun Keaveny’s 6Music breakfast show, in case you’re even vaguely interested as to what station accompanies my Coco Pops of a morning):

young-mc-know-how-vocal-delicious-vinyl 45. Young MC РKnow How

I’d love to say that it was the tune, absolute cracker that it is,¬†that stirred me¬†from my attempt at an extended slumber that morning, but no: it was hearing the lyric ‘When I get up on the mic I just release my spell” and sitting bolt upright in bed thinking “Did he just say ”When I get up on the mic I just release my smell’…??”.

Since we seem to be in the middle of a purple patch of stone cold rap classics, here’s two more which need no introduction, but will doubtless attract some pedant or other telling me they’re not rap, they’re hip-hop:

No_Diggity 46. Blackstreet feat. Dr Dre РNo Diggity

Whilst I wasn’t blissfully unaware of it, it¬†was only when I posted this that I was reminded of the fact that Dr Dre was involved in it. I quite literally had forgotten about Dre. (And yes, all of that “blissfully unaware” stuff was all just a set-up for that gag. I’m here all week.)

I’ll move swiftly on.

Skee-Lo_I_Wish 47. Skee-Lo РI Wish

And finally, a couple of songs which are guaranteed to brighten up any Christmas party, neither of which are even slightly Christmassy (unless a Boom Shack-a-Lak means bauble or something, which seems unlikely):

apache_indian-nuff_vibes_e_p 48. Apache Indian РBoom Shack-a-Lak

and

here-comes-the-hotstepper-ini-kamoze 49. Ini Kamoze РHere Comes the Hotstepper

which regular readers may recall got posted back when I did¬†all of the songs which feature in the excellent TV series “Peter Kay’s Car Share”, The¬†BBC is kindly showing again at the moment, so¬†in case you’re re-watching it, and fancy getting your hands on some of the songs mentioned, you can find them here all: self-promoting tosser.

And since it’s just started¬†on BBC1 as I write this, it seems as good a place as any to sign off for another week.

More soon.

UPDATE: Apparently there is an issue with downloading¬†the songs in this week’s post, unless you are signed in to a Box account. Sorry about that.

Here’s alternative links for them all, hopefully they’ll work a lil better:

42. Gang Starr – Lovesick (Upbeat Mix)

43. Fatboy Slim – Weapon of Choice

44. MC Tunes vs 808 State – Tunes Splits the Atom

45. Young MC – Know How

46. Blackstreet feat. Dr.Dre – No Diggety

47. Skee-Lo – I Wish

48. Apache Indian – Boom Shack-a-lak

49. Ini Kamoze – Here Comes The Hotstepper (Let Go Mix)