Saturday, January 20, 2007

Just Doin' The Do

Oh, my word! Who would have thought it would come to this? A whole gaggle of grown men reduced to tittering hormonal lusting longing vainly after a flash-in-the-pan, nineties pop sensationette. But it's true. Oh, Betty Boo, where are you baby? We used to have so much fun. You drive me crazy...

I blame Young Tim of Contrast Podcast fame. Yes, had he not chosen BB's (N.B. Not to be confused with that other BB, Billy Bragg, a/k/a the Big-Nosed Bard of Barking) frugtastic 1990 hit 'Where Are You Baby?' as his submission for this week's cast, none of this would have happened. But he did, and you can read about the resulting kerfuffle over here. Thanks Tim, hope you realized you've whacked all of our hormonal balances completely out of equilibrium.

I asked myself what it is about BB that set me all aflutter those seventeen (gulp!) years ago. I mean, to start with, it really wasn't my kinda music. On top of that, her singing was nothing extraordinary, and her rapping was more Vanilla Ice / Wee Papa Girl Rappers rather than LL Cool J / Missy Elliott. She was Drop Dead Gorgeous (apologies to Republica, who, come to think of it, also boasted a rather pulchritudinous female lead singer), but that itself is not sufficient. I think what really did it was the irresistable, popaliciously hooky tuneage of that first album (Boomania), combined with the quirky comic-book, retro sci-fi style in which she was wrapped. To tell you the truth, I blanked everything else that followed, but that succulent debut has made me a permanent slave to her rhythm. And so to compliment Tim's submission, I give you both this here video and that there song:

Betty Boo - Doin' The Do (buy here)

Betty recently re-emerged with Blur's Alex James as WigWam, which purported to offer "experimental yet accessible 21st century pop". Their 2006 release met with an underwhelming reaction. I don't really want to talk about it, but you can have a look over here.

Alright Luvs, in an attempt to stop the hot flashes, let me now turn my hand to a spot of housecleaning. Hold on while I slip into me housecoat, put on me headscarf, and grab my featherr duster. There, all set. Now let's tidy the old blogroll. The time has come to remove a few departed cyberfriends from the shelf. So farewell it is to Capas de Culto (muito obrigado, Mary!), Good Hodgkins, Clever Titles Are So Last Summer, This Isn't What It Looks Like (hope to see you around, Dear Galateaa), and You Can Call Me Betty (do tell us when the podcasts go live, Oh Simone). As Abba once sang, thank you for the music.

But along with tidying up comes sprucing up. To wit, I'm very happy to be placing a few shiny, new friends on the pogo a go-go mantlepiece. So please welcome Crash Calloway at pretending life is like a song, JC tha Funky Caledonian at Vinyl Villain, and Dearest Dr Tristesse at Before The First Kiss (hmm, I feel I know you from somewhere...). They are all lovely people with fantastic taste in music, so do go visit them - links are over on the right.

There, that looks much better. Time to hang up the housecoat...

And finally, we started in 1990, but we'll end in the 1980s. You see, in a few weeks we will be hosting an eighties party, and I've been preparing the soundtrack in advance. So far I have over five hours of music queued up on the old laptop, which is a good start, but there is still more to be mined. In digging through the hard drive, I unearthed two rough gems that rocked my teenage world. I remember spending many pubescent hours in front of my boom box, fingers poised to hit Play/Record, waiting for some fine WLIR DJ or other to play them. So, Dearest Friends, here they are, from me to you:

Cult Hero - I Dig You (buy here)
Cult Hero were basically early Cure in disguise, and the song was written to see if Robert Smith & Simon Gallup were musicaly compatible. It manages to be menacing, hypnotic, and groovy all at once, and the dumb lyrics (enunciated by Smith's postman, wouldja believe) are just a scream.

Beastie Boys - Cooky Puss (buy here)
The first Beastie track I ever heard. Essentially a series of prank phone calls set to crunching, phat beats and bass overlaid with pimordial scratching. For the uninitiated, Cookie Puss is an cake made by Carvel, a US ice cream franchise. Yo, where's the supervisor at??


Anonymous said...

When I was 13, I somehow aquired a 'Cult Hero' mini-disc. Legitimately produced. Thought I was the coolest person in the world. Wrote 'Cult Hero' on my Doc Martens with silver nail polish.

Three cheers for the memories, FiL.

mjrc said...

do you remember the thrill and feeling of really getting away with something we used to get from making prank phone calls? the hours spent in each other's bedrooms sitting on the bed calling strangers and cute boys and people we despised? laughing our asses off when we got a particularly pissed-off response? ah, good times.

kids today have been robbed of those glorious experiences because of caller id, which is truly a shame.

Anonymous said...

There was a Mr. A. Crapper in my local phonebook when I was a teenager. Life was good.

Anonymous said...

I feel so out of the loop...I had no idea who she was until I hear Contrast Podcast and geeze, from the looks of that CD cover, she sure is nice to look at as well.

Anonymous said...

Don't blame me. ;)

Anonymous said...

Good times indeed, I used to run a prank call operation out of my bedroom for awhile. Damn that *69 it ruined everything!

Thanks FiL for taking us back and sharing your most interesting of tales. You tell the best tales of anyone I know.


Anonymous said...

For the record, yes, I did Do the Do. But I was very young and easily led. Life has grown up with me and now I know my own mind, mostly.

PS, It's all Tim's fault ;)

FiL said...

Dearest Liz: Well, you ARE one of the coolest people in the world, so you weren't far wrong at 13...

Dearest Marcy, Crash, and Rachel: I'm shocked! I would NEVER do anything like that!! Well, OK, I lie. I recall making a few random calls one drunken night during my freshman year at university. We actually got through to the Mayor of Washington D.C.'s office by accident...

Dearest Cindy: Not sure how much Betty bothered the charts in the US, but she did set pulses racing in the UK!

Dearest Tim: Oh, you mean like it's the addict's fault, not the pusher's?? ;-)

Dearest Tristesse: Oh, but wasn't it a sweet path down which to be led?? And you're right - all Tim's fault...

Anonymous said...

Boomania was the first CD I ever bought... had been putting off the CD revolution for a number of years, vinyl junkie and all that!

Bnd when I bought a CD player about 4 months later... wow!

Still sounds great today.