...to the maybe three people who still have this site on their feed reader! Here's a quick mix CD I've thrown together. Nothing terribly obscure or revelatory, and it's not mixed per se (both because I don't have the software or experience to mix these digitally and because they really wouldn't hang together too well anyway) but I hope you'll enjoy. I haven't changed the tracks' tags, so you'll want to use the handy provided .m3u playlist to get them all in order. Or perhaps...you won't? IT IS A MYSTERY
Also, if you're so inclined, pretend that "The Devil Is an Englishman" is in there somewhere; it's a fantastic record, but I definitely don't plan on testing Mr. Dolby's patience by making it available a second time. The CD can be had starting at a very reasonable $88 and change for a used copy, or if you've got an exceptionally well-stocked used music music store nearby you may luck into a copy of the 12" release or soundtrack LP.
Complete overhaul in the works. I've worked a bit of Music Fatigue out of my system, and am prepared to jump back into blogging with both feet. Look out for a short mix coming sometime in the next month, followed by more music both old and new.
Wait, let me back up a little bit: For ages I've known Severed Heads almost entirely through the singles "Dead Eyes Opened" and "We Have Come to Bless the House," never really bothering with the albums (of course, their tendency to go in and out of print didn't exactly help in that respect). When the wonderful LTM Recordings started in on their back catalog with a greatest-hits collection called ComMerz (yay, someone else digs the Schwitters) and the LP Rotund for Success, allegedly their most "pop" album, I finally got around to taking a look, and well, this song is SO GODDAMN GOOD. I'm way behind the curve here, and it may be old news to some of you, but if you don't know it I urge you to download it and give it a spin:
Quite special, this one- Oppenheimer Analysis were nuclear weapons consultant Andy Oppenheimer (no relation, I think) and Martin Lloyd of Survival Records, home of Tik and Tok. The New Mexico EP was released on audiocassette in an edition of 200, and rereleased on vinyl by Minimal Wave a few years ago. Now Clone have picked it up for their splendid Classic Cuts sublabel- it's out next week as part of the Classic Cuts compilation album and on a 12" sampler with tracks from Fockewulf 190, Trophy, and Jackson Jones ("I Feel Good (Put Your Pants On)", featured on James Murphy & Pat Mahoney's Fabriclive mix).
But what does it sound like? Like classic Italo disco, or John Foxx's early coldwave stuff, or the aforementioned Tik and Tok- incredible, that's how.
S&D are responsible for the fantastic "Johnny Cash" and "Dance Me In;" while I was kind of anxious after reading that Brett Butler of Suede would be producing the new album, turns out I needn't have worried.
You can stream the full album here. I don't know what the deal is with that page, or what the hell "Luisterpaal" means, but it's definitely worth bookmarking- they update constantly with full streams of new albums. Of the other stuff they've got, I'm liking Raz Ohara, and I'm more impressed than I thought I'd be with Vampire Weekend, as it turns out the much-hyped "Mansard Roof" is one of the worst tracks on the album. Still, the press coverage of their album has been pretty wretched so far, mostly centering on AFRICA HOW NOVEL (PS GRACELAND). Fuck Paul Simon, Lizzy Mercier Descloux co-opted African music first and did it better. For that matter, so did Duck Rock.
A compilation of work from Compass Point Studios, released by the resurgent Strut Records (responsible for the Wild Bunch mix disc, Disco Not Disco series, Grass Roots comps, etc). They stumbled a bit with the overcompiled and overexposed tracks on the third Disco Not Disco, but this is something else entirely:
1. Grace Jones – My Jamaican Guy (12” version) 2. Tom Tom Club – Genius Of Love (12” version) 3. Talking Heads – Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On) 4. Guy Cuevas – Obsession (The Nassau mix) 5. Set The Tone – Dance Sucker (Francois Kevorkian mix) 6. Gwen Guthrie – Padlock (Larry Levan mix) 7. Bits & Pieces – Don’t Stop The Music 8. Sly Dunbar – River Niger 9. Lizzie Mercier Descloux – Sun is Shining 10. Cristina – You Rented A Space 11. Ian Dury & The Seven Seas Players – Spasticus Autisticus (Version) 12. Chaz Jankel feat. Laura Weymouth – Whisper 13. Will Powers – Adventures In Success (Dub Copy)
Yes. "My Jamaican Guy" is from Jones' unfuckwithable Warm Leatherette/Nightclubbing/Living My Life period, "Genius of Love" needs no elaboration from me, "Born Under Punches" ditto, Sly Dunbar is god, "Sun Is Shining" is from Descloux's Mambo Nassau, one of my all-time favorite albums (though I would've picked "Sports Spootnicks" or "Five Troubles Mambo"), "Spasticus Autisticus" in any form is crucial, Chaz Jankel is also God (and was compiled to fantastic effect late last year on My Occupation). All this and Larry Levan too!
Poni Hoax, "Antibodies": I'm always a sucker for a good dance music video that actually features, you know, dancing, and while it's possible to go too far with the "Praise You"/OK Go self-conscious amateurishness thing, this hits the sweet spot with dancing that's both goofy and pretty goddamn slick. It doesn't hurt that the song is one of the best disco tracks to come out this year.
Leonard Cohen, "First We Take Manhattan" (you'll have to watch this one on Youtube since Leonard is an ornery old cuss and doesn't allow embedding): This track was my introduction to Leonard Cohen as a teenager and I was heartbroken to find out it was pretty much a one-off aberration. I've come around to "Famous Blue Raincoat" and "Tower of Song" and so on, but this is and will always be my favorite Cohen.
Chaz Jankel, "Number One": An ex-member of Ian Dury's Blockheads (and Dury's co-writer on many of his best songs), Jankel had a long and fruitful solo career making dance music, most famously "Ai No Corrida" (a huge hit for Quincy Jones) and this track (featured in Real Genius). There's a new compilation of his work out on Tirk that's worth its weight in gold.
Joe Jackson, "Steppin' Out": I remain convinced that Joe Jackson's move toward respectability and "sophistication" was a mistake except for this one song, which is perfect. Not "very good" or "best of his career" or whatever, I mean literally perfect in every way. The rest of Night & Day I can take or leave but this is a song I think I am physically incapable of getting tired of.
Hot Chip, "Ready for the Floor": in which Hot Chip and director Nima Nourizadeh dare DC/Warners to sue them. Seriously though, it's great- Nourizadeh directed Hot Chip's "Over and Over" clip, and here he kind of expands on the style of that video and gets a serious Batman fixation out of his system. Be warned that Youtube's compression strips most of the bass right out of the song, doing it a serious disservice.
Paul Haig, "Running Away": The former frontman for Josef K (and Rhythm of Life) brings us the most arch, fey and stiff Sly Stone cover in human history, and this is by no means a bad thing. The video has a kind of dreary Britishized Great Gatsby meets Chariots of Fire thing going on that really works for some reason.