Saturday, July 23, 2011
too much trouble..........sorry people...
Monday, May 24, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
#11 MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO - Satyricon" (1992)
It was the dawn of the 90's and in addition to working my days away at Soundtraks records I was also now a working Disc Jockey. Both at the clubs (Voodoo) and at radio (WUSB 90.1 in Stonybrook). I remember getting an advance tape from Mute records of the new Meat Beat Manifesto album almost a year before the CD came out. I made many copies for my friends and played the tracks on the radio for my weekly show "Night-Trips". For a while there I thought the album would never come out....then it did. It was so far beyond what the group had accomplished on WAX TRAX, this was not Industrial, not New Wave, but something in between. Jack Dangers was actually SINGING, and he had a almost Dave Gahan tint to his voice. The first single was EDGE OF NO CONTROL , but I think CIRCLES would have been a great single. Here they are, in the promo-only single remixes.
#12 BLUR - "Parklife" (1994) / PULP "Different Class" (1995) tie
Ah....BRIT-POP!! The savior of the 90's. Towards the end of the century it seemed that musical trends were consisting of every genre that had come and gone in the century. Whether it be the re-emergence of Ska music, Swing, Mambo or British invasion Rock And Roll. Most of the bands that came in the wake of Brit-pop are long gone (remember Gene ......anyone?) But the boys that led the way will always be remembered. When PARKLIFE came out in 1994 it was a HUGE success.....in the UK.....in America we were putting crap like Right Said Fred on the top of the charts. It's the time I truly wanted to live overseas because the music was so much better. Just listen to LONDON LOVES or END OF THE CENTURY and then go listen to Boyz II Men or TLC or some other piece of crap that we here in the US had to put up with.......England....you got it right on this one...now, Robbie Williams....uh.....America didn't go for him, so chalk one up for us on that one.
Now PULP on the other hand, they had a very long road to fame. They were a unit in the 80's that just never had the goods to really make it, either at home in the UK or anywhere else. Common People and the "Different Class" album changed all that. Jarvis Cocker was a voice of a generation. Remember how he took the stage during one of Michael "the Molester" Jackson's performances and wiggled his sagging butt at the camera. Was it parody? A statement? Who knows....but it made Pulp heroes to many of us....and as far as I know Jarvis never had to pay a small child millions of dollars to "keep it quiet".....I'm just saying........
Pulp: SOMETHING CHANGED
Pulp: DISCO 2000 (Single only remix)
#13. THE SCOFFLAWS - Debut CD (1991)
Oh, how I loved the Scofflaws. What fantastic times I had back in the early 90's, when the band would pack a small club like New York Avenue in Huntington and we'd all dance and bounce around while Brooks and the boys would fill our heads with the adventures of Paul Getty and Pee Wee Herman and William Shatner. Their debut stands alone as the definitive work by the Scofflaws. Just gather 'round and listen to their version of Danny Elfman's theme to PEE WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE or the wacky SKA-LA-CARTE.
#14. SPIDER NICK & THE MADDOGS ' Voyage To The Palace Of Kali" (1997)
DUH.......This one is a given, right? How could I not mention the band I was in........I remember thinking to myself that I HAD to have an album out before I hit 30, and I believe the final remastering took place in Oyster Bay (Just Nick and myself) pretty close to my Birthday. Just made it....and who would have think it that a small self financed Ska band from Huntington, Long Island would go on to sell 10,000 copies of a self produced, self financed and self released CD. Just try doing that today. OK, it's true NO ONE can do that TODAY, cause people don't buy CD's anymore, but still it was a great feeling to have articles written about you in Newsday, to have kids ask for your autograph or to play 4 gigs in one day (or 10 gigs a week for that matter). There was only a short time frame when it all added up, but for those few years it was a great place to be. I wouldn't change a thing....'cept for my vocals on MINIMUM WAGE. I should have done another take cause I sound like I'm 5 years old , but other than that I wouldn't change a thing. And if anyone cares, here's a track from July 4th 1996. It was kinda like a pre-production recording, but we soon stopped playing this song live and it never made the album.....it's our cover of THE RETURN OF DJANGO and you won't find it anywhere else. and gee......that leaves us with the final album.....
#15. COLDPLAY - "Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends" (2008)
The BEST album released last year, hands down, and perhaps the best of this crappy decade , the 00's or the "ODIES" or whatever they call it.....it was a shit decade as far as music was concerned. And like it or not, These guys ruled it. As much as I LOVED LOVED LOVED A Rush Of Blood To The Head, I have to give props to Chris Martin and the rest of the band for TRYING to go places they haven't gone before. ALMOST Every track on the album is a winner , LOST! is perhaps the greatest song on the record and Viva La Vida will be heard non-stop from now until the Earth explodes in 3 years so there's no need to post that track, but the U2-ish CEMETERIES OF LONDON and the Beatle-y STRAWBERRY SWING are fine fine songs as well. I remember how exciting it was when my Fiance, Mary Beth, won tickets to see them perform a free show at Madison Square Garden in May of 2008. I had never seen them perform and I was not disappointed. I hope to one day see them perform again. I know a lot of people slag off Coldplay for being "soft" or "Popular" or whatever....I say they're just jealous. Coldplay are the real deal. And there you have it......15 albums that pretty much sum up who I am and how I got this way. Life is good....peace
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
It's time to face the music........1985. What a crazy year for me......absolutely crazy. I touched upon that a bit in part 2, so with all that craziness, is it any wonder that 1986 was a much better year for me. At least it was more fun...I had my own apartment now, I hung out with my friends, we went to concerts in the city.....
#8. KRAFTWERK - "ELECTRIK CAFE" (1986) / LOVE AND ROCKETS "EXPRESS" (1986) tie
One memorable night in New York City, Vince and I went to see our then favourite band SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK playing at the world famous Palladium......OK, why are you laughing ?....OK, I will ignore that and move on..... This show is memorable for a few reasons, none of them having to do with the headlining band, who were pretty awful. Before the show the DJ played, in their entirety mind you, the then new albums by both Kraftwerk and Love And Rockets. I remember liking what I was hearing for both LPs, watching the still sparse crowd dance, and meeting some cool NYC hipsters. The Kraftwerk LP as a whole isn't much of an album, more like one very long 12-inch mix. It's a bit of a letdown after the 2 previous masterpieces they released (COMPUTER LOVE and THE MAN MACHINE) but I always loved MUSIQUE NON-STOP.
The LOVE AND ROCKETS album still holds up, I think. Just give a listen to AN AMERICAN DREAM. This show is also memorable for the warm-up act. A young comic by the name of Chris Rock. From what I remember of his set, he was many many years away from brilliance.I cannot imagine what must have been going on in his head, trying out his brand of comedy to a bunch of young white goths. Needless to say it didn't go over all that well. As far as the band Sigue Sigue Sputnik playing live.......well...they did a really terrible version of Bowie's Rebel Rebel. The singer just kept repeating the first verse over and over again ........yeah...........
#9. DAVID SYLVIAN - "Secrets Of The Beehive" (1987)
Just 1 year after the non-stop party that was 1986 I finally had a "cool" job and settled down a bit. I was working at Record World in the Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington. I made a few life-long friends in my nearly 2 years there. Friends I still speak to , and I was also exposed to some great music I might have otherwise not have been exposed to. One of those artists was former Japan singer DAVID SYLVIAN. His 1987 album Secrets Of The Beehive was a bit of a departure for him, but it's still the perfect Sunday Morning album.......quiet, folky, atmospheric. Nope....this album doesn't "Rock" in the slightest, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
#10. DEAD CAN DANCE - "Serpents Egg" (1988)
Another one of those bands would be Dead Can Dance. I have carried on an over 20 year love affair with this band now. In my days in the 90's working at Soundtraks in Huntington I have turned many a stranger on to their wild and goth-y blend of world music. This is a band that has to be HEARD. Have you ever tried to describe their music to someone? It's practically impossible. "ULLYSES"
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
And now we skip a few years. When we last left our hero he was stuck in December 1980. John Lennon had just been killed and he became Obsessed with all thing Beatle related (an obsession that continues to this day). As the 80's dawned I was kind of stuck between two worlds.......I was still listening to classic rock radio, but there was this New Wave thing happening that caught my attention. It wasn't until I finally got Cable TV (and MTV was constantly on) that I was exposed to all those freaky English bands and I had now truly found my place.
#4. R.E.M. - "RECKONING"
The first video I saw on MTV was the Talking Heads "Once In A Lifetime". I have that image stuck in my mind.....hanging out at my friend Vinny's house....watching the Rutles (on a very bad quality video tape) and staying up late to watch non-stop MTV videos. The very early years of MTV were fantastic.....they just played whatever they could get...videos that they never would touch again once the channel got popular....yes, those early years were filled with the strangest, colorful, MOST unique videos ever......then EVERYONE had a video on MTV, and the video itself, once an expressionistic canvas of flowing artwork and ideas, had become as generic as the many Duran Duran clones that were now littering the airwaves. But there was ONE band that just did not fit in with all these pretty boy posers, and that was R.E.M. I think their second album "Reckoning" is light years ahead of their debut LP. "Harbourcoat" , "South Central Rain" and of coarse, the best song on the album, "Pretty Persuasion". R.E.M.'s videos were dark, strange, and not at all glammy and over produced. And because of this I think they have aged WAAAY better than almost anything Else released in 1984. Except for perhaps maybe.......
#5 - U2 - "The Unforgettable Fire"
...A classic when it was released, and perhaps my favourite U2 album. OK, there's a BIT of filler on it....I can do without tracks like "MLK" or "Elvis Presley & America" (...and , as good as it is....If I hear "Pride In The Name Of Love" one more time I might just grow my mullet back in protest) but there are such beautiful, BIG, fantastic tracks on this album. Co-incidentally, the 25th anniversary edition has been released and it includes some great B-sides. "Boomerang II" is one of the better ones. Think of it as a sister to Tom Tom Club's "Wordy Rappinghood", only instead of a girl rapping, it's Bono singing.......OK, perhaps that might not make this track sound all that appealing.......just listen to it....and then you just might be ready for....
#6 - FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD - "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" (1984)
Remember...I said this list will includes those albums that inspired me, or records that I associate with certain memories...they are not all going to be winners. Having said that, I remember the anticipation I (and my friend Vince) had when this album was released. We were huge Trevor Horn fans and loved everything he laid his production ears to. I remember going to Titus Oaks in Huntington and we each wanted to buy a copy of this....he bought the US version of the album, and I wanted to Import. Then we brought it over to my house and listened to it. The first track is over 23 minutes long and to us this WAS out Sgt Pepper....our White Album...our Dark Side Of The Moon....this was going to be the best album EVER recorded. That feeling didn't last, but listening back to it now, there were a couple of cool tracks on it...like "Black Night White Light" (always an underrated track), or "Happy Hi".
#7. NEW ORDER - "Low Life" (1985) / CHINA CRISIS - "Flaunt The Imperfection" (1985) tie
The one year period from 1984 to 1985 was a whirlwind year for me. I graduated High School, moved out of my house, was briefly homeless, got a room in a house in a very bad neighborhood, and FINALLY got my own apartment. Nothing reminds me of this time like these 2 albums. Both classics, both timeless. Both should me part of a balanced breakfast
NEW ORDER - "SUNRISE"
CHINA CRISIS - "YOU DID CUT ME"
Monday, November 16, 2009
THE WHO - "ODORONO"
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Jose Gonzalez - "Teardrop"
And now for Simple Mind's new version of "TEARDROP". This is from the newly released album of covers called "Graffiti Soul". On this release they cover everything from Siouxsie & The Banshees' "Christine" to Neil Young's "Rockin' In The Free World". I'm not going to say anything bad about Jim Kerr's version of this song.......but I'm not going to say anything good about it either.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
ALONE AGAIN OR - "Smarter Than The Average Bear"
ALONE AGAIN OR - "Drum The Beat (Shall We Dance)"
And while we're at it, let's just add 1 more "A" band.
APB - "When I Feel This Way"
APB - "She's The Girl"
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
ALPHAVILLE - BIG IN JAPAN (EXTENDED MIX)
This one isn't so forgotten, but if you are the average American you probably haven't heard this for a while. These Germans formed in 1982, and in 1984 they recorded this, their biggest hit. Funny how time has been kind to "Forever Young", but not to this gem. This is the original 12-inch mix.
ALONE AGAIN OR - "DREAM COME TRUE"
If you were listening to WLIR in 1985 you might have caught this British import New Wave dance classic on "Off The Boat". Never charted here but I've always loved this tune. Reminds me of Spize, Paris New York and Malibu, although I don't recall hearing this at any of those clubs. I have no idea about where these guys came from, what ever became of them, or even if they actually HAD a full length album. This is all I know. And sometimes, that's enough.
Speaking of bands I know nothing about: AKU-AKU - "THE NIGHT BELONGS TO CHARLIE"
I can find no info on this band. And if you weren't listening to WLIR in the early 80's you probably have never heard this either. Shame, cause this track always seemed to make it on the very many mix tapes I made for people in the 80's.
OK....This is more like it, No?
A-HA - "THE SUN ALWAYS SHINES ON TV". Here's the extended mix. Great song by a band that continues to record to this day. They are HUGE in Europe still, but then again, so is David Hasslehoff.
In the 80's a bizarre thing happened in America: songs sung in German actually CHARTED here......first it was 99 Luftballoons by Nena. Then Falco had a minor hit with "Der Kommissar" where he raps in German. How silly.....Hey, let's get some Americans to do this track in English. And unlike Nena changing her Luft Balloons to RED balloons, this actually WORKED. So as an added bonus, here's a unique mix of the classic Falco-penned "DER KOMMISSAR" by AFTER THE FIRE. They never scored another hit here, or anywhere else (although, bizarrely, their label decided to follow up Der Kommissar with "DANCING IN THE SHADOWS", which was the B-side to "Der Kommissar".
Stupid move, since everyone already OWNED the song. What were they thinking? I took the 12-inch mix of this track and mixed in the instrumental flip side on the 12-inch to create a unique mix. I hope y'all like it.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
The other night I had a dream. One of many that night, but at the end of it I could hear Coldplay performing a version of the Smiths "Asleep" ...and it sounded amazing. I woke with this song in my head ....a song that has actually, to my knowledge, never taken . This wasn't the first time my mind created a perfect blend of artists voice and style with a well known song by another artist. In 1987 I could hear, as clear as day inside another dream, Suzanne Vega performing a version of Jim Croce's "Time In A Bottle" and it sounded so beautiful and perfect I had to have a bunch of people convince me that it never happened in this reality.
That's the power of dreams, and perhaps it might be unique to musicians or at least music lovers that these kind of dreams speak to us and touch us deeper than in non-musical people. I also recall a dream I had in the mid-80's. I was driving up a hill and the music was New Order's "Perfect Kiss"....the end instrumental part of the song where it climax's , but Mick Jagger's "Just Another Night" vocal was playing on top of it.......perhaps my subconscious mind created the world's first mash-up.
So with this in mind, I would like to add my wish-list of covers. Song's I'd love to hear covered by artists I'd love to hear cover them.....just a couple :
Al Stewart's "Year Of The Cat" covered by THE PET SHOP BOYS (This about it...wouldn't this be PERFECT?)
The Who's "Our Love Was" covered by Elbow
APB's "Shoot You Down" performed by NINE INCH NAILS
The Undertone's "Teenage Kicks" performed by Oasis
Marshall Crenshaw's "Whenever You're On My Mind" performed by R.E.M.
Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptian's "Madonna Of The Wasps" performed by XTC
That's all I can think of right now.......til next time .....
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I KNOW...I KNOW....I haven't written in over 6 weeks...been busy at the 'ol day job and sleepy at night....but I have a couple of minutes so here goes another post. Since I can't think of any particular thing to write about I think I'll just take the IPOD, hit SHUFFLE SONGS, and write about whatever comes up.......OK..here we go:
Wow.....great first track. This is from Ween's White Pepper album, one of the better Ween albums. This track is SOOOOO 10CC I'm surprised they haven't tried to sue. LOVE this song though. If it didn't come out in 2000 I'd swear it was recorded in 1976.
Good track from a good album. This comes from the Fixx's 1984 album PHANTOMS. Some great tracks on this LP. "SUNSHINE IN THE SHADE" and "ARE WE OURSELVES" being the two stand-outs. Also contains "WOMAN ON A TRAIN" which I think should have been a single......it wasn't. Next
Cool........from their "comeback" album Accelerate, this was the first single. Great to see R.E.M. getting a bit louder and rockier in their old age. This song reminds me of last year when my fiance and I saw R.E.M. at Jones Beach and almost got hit by lightning. Then the skies opened up and we got soaked.....the band was great but I can't wait til the next time we see them...hopefully we'll be dry. next
From the great Architecture & Morality album.....Here's a remix of the classic track "Souvenir". I'm not sure who did this mix and I'm not sure where I got it....but that Piano line sounds way too Moby for it to not be Moby. This is such a beautiful song though, isn't it.
OK...that's enough for now....I SWEAR I will do another post this week....nice long 4 day weekend coming up and I'll have some time....til then......
Thursday, April 2, 2009
So.....it is left to the artist to put their unique spin on songs composed by others. Frank Sinatra made a whole career out of his unique interpretation of classic standards......and then there are THESE people:
Jack Klugman and Tony Randall. Such a classic comedy team. I LOVED LOVED LOVED the Odd Couple when it was re-run in syndication growing up in the late 70's / early 80's. And I love it today. I could watch it forever and never be bored. But THIS ???
Sometime in the early 70's....to cash in on their new found fame....some record company decided it was a good idea to have these release an album. It didn't matter that Klugman couldn't carry a tune in a garbage can. And their version of Carly Simon's "YOU'RE SO VAIN" is so excruciatingly awful that it always makes me cringe and laugh at the same time. "Who are those girls?" Felix asks.
"Who are your agents ?" is more like it.....
Speaking of excruciating, dig THIS cover of the Nancy Sinatra classic "THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR WALKING" by the ever so bizzare Crispin Glover. In 1989 Enigma records (Now no longer a record lable....hmmm...imagin that)strangely gave a recording contract to this whack-a-doo. He filled this album with bad poetry, a rap about masterbation, a song about a clown (The Barnes & Barnes assisted "Clowny Clown Clown") ,a Charles Manson cover!!....and THIS. I love how the song starts bad and as it goes on he gets more manic and starts crying the lyrics.....Nancy Sinatra must be rolling over in her grave......oh wait......she's not dead......perhaps she's just never heard this yet.
Now HERE's a band that has been around for over 20 years now putting their unique spin on A-capella. Everything they do uses only their voices, maybe a drum machine occasionally, and their great taste in the poppier side of UK hits. In the 80's they actually had a hit with a pretty cool version of Yazoo's "Only You". That was actually GOOD........but as the years rolled on and the joke wore thin they recorded THIS. Prince's "WHEN DOVES CRY" is a classic mid-80's wonder of production over substance....strip all that away and what you get is this laugh inducing track. My favourite part is the beginning...TOO funny. And if you want more Picketts, listen to their version of Nirvana's "SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT"......and then take a sharp stick to your eardrums.......
Thursday, March 5, 2009
In 1984, The Romantics shot up to Number 3 with their hit "Talking In Your Sleep" (here's the 12-inch remix). So.....what to do for a follow-up? They actually released what I think is a better song, but it only made it to number 37 on the Billboard chart and the Romantics were soon forgotten about. That song was "One In A Million". I think the hook is catchy and it should have made it higher than 37.....and ask anyone today about this song and you'll more than likely get stares, frowns and perhaps red leather pants thrown in your face.
In 1979 Rupert Holmes hit it BIG with his album Partners In Crime, most likely due to his monster number one hit "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)". When you think back to that piece of crap song you think to yourself "Thank God he never released anything else".....but he DID....off the same album...and both songs were Billboard top-40 hits, too.......go on....try to name them.......I THOUGHT so......
So....how do you follow-up a cute little ditty about finding true love with the one you're already with....a song that even back then we knew we'd be hearing in every bar and wedding reception for decades to come? How about a song about a paranoid boyfriend that stalks his current girlfriend because he think she's cheating on him, but has no proof at all....he just KNOWS...."I know who left those smokes behind" he yells at his woman.....who probably is just blowing off this dude cause he's all old and beard-y.
This has got to be the CREEPIEST billboard top 6 song EVER.
"Him" made it to number six, and the song still gives me chills........that "Whoo-wooo" solo he does in the middle......couldn't the producer have said "Uh...Rupert.....DON'T DO THAT"........I guess not. The next single, "Answering Machine" also made it to the top 40.....number 32 to be exact. In this one our hero keeps calling up his girlfriend, probably the same one he accuses of cheating on him in "Him", and keeps getting the beep before he can finish his tirade. Hey Rupert, come out of retirement...perhaps you can make a comeback by writing a song about a 50+ year old man that keeps sending "add as friend" requests to a high school girl on Facebook....but she never adds him...and he gets mad....then the cops show up and take the old perv away....THAT would be a GREAT song......
I look back on it now and think "did top 40 radio REALLY play these songs...cause I do NOT remember that. But then again, I was 13, John Lennon had just been shot, and I was too busy going through puberty to notice.
Everyone THINKS that Modern English is a one hit wonder. Fact is that in this country the only song they're remembered for, "I Melt With You", only made it to number 78 on the billboard singles chart in 1982. I guess they could be called a no-hit wonder. Strange how time has been kind to I Melt With You. Their follow-up 2 years later, "Hands Across The Sea" was a better song in my opinion and it should have finally broken them here. Alas, it only made it to a pitiful #93 in the states.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
It didn't....and it didn't. But they did have a cute little video on MTV and got semi-famous for all of 15 minutes....or at least 4 minutes and 35 seconds. I always liked STATE OF THE NATION, but listening to it now it IS a bit of it's time and it's so sugary it'll give your ear diabetes.