Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Classic Vintage

Some years are just better than others. Fact. Certain vintages see sweet, sweet music flowing like the finest wine known to mankind, while in others what dribbles forth is thin, pissy vinegar.

This week sees our musical sommelier, Young Tim, invite us all chez Contrast Podcast to a delectable tasting of music from, about, or otherwise connected to 1986. Just to be clear, we're talking Château Lafite-Rothschild, not Black Tower. So getcher musical corkscrew out and uncork the goodness here.

The winelist:

(00:00) Billy Bragg - Honey I’m a big boy now
Tim from The face of today

(05:43) Camper Van Beethoven - Good guys and bad guys
Sid from Too Much Rock

(10:13) Les Thugs - Never get older
ZB from So the wind won’t blow it all away

(13:29) The Jesus and Mary Chain - A taste of Cindy
FiL from Pogoagogo

(16:48) Foot and Mouth - Seymour! (The room’s a mess)
Dirk from Sexy Loser

(21:02) The Go-betweens - Spring rain
Natalie from Mini-obs

(25:00) fIREHOSE - Brave captain
Ross from Just gimme indie rock

(29:15) Madonna - La Isla Bonita
Anna from Music I-Quiz

(34:18) The Pursuit of Happiness - I’m an adult now
Tom from Better in the Dark

(39:37) The Redskins - Keep on keeping on
Crash from Pretending life is like a song

(46:12) Paul Simon - Gumboots
James from Jamesisadork

(49:35) Kate Bush - Experiment IV
Mèden O. Zephyr from Old fridges can kill

(54:22) Joseph Arthur - There is a light …
Linda from Speed of dark

(59:36) Philip Glass - Forgetting (feat. Linda Ronstadt)
Nuno from Undercover songs

(01:07:47) The Chameleons - I’ll remember
Colin from And before the first kiss

For me, the Jesus and Mary Chain were 1986. Yes, yes, I know Psychocandy was first released in November 1985, but I it and the Bruvvers Reid were ubiquitous all the following year. Hence my pick. And I must give a special shout-out to Dearest Cindy Adzuki, her hubby Travis, and my own Dearest Wife for contributing to the intro! Y'all are simply mahvellous, dahlinks!

So, what was I imbibing in nineteen-eighty-six? Well, for most of the year I wasn't of legal drinking age (I won't get into the bizarre convolutions of drinking ages in America, where you can vote, kill for your country, and marry before you can legally enjoy a beer), but I drank in a whole lotta that musical elixir. Here are a few drams:

The Cure - Close To Me (buy here)
Released in the US that year on the Quadpus EP, but Robert Smith and the lads pervaded my entire yoof.

PiL - Rise (buy here)

I first saw PiL live in 1986
in, of all places, Radio City Music Hall. Personally I think Album was Johnny Lydon's last great musical output - caustic, bombastic, sarcastic, and anthemic all at once.

Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls (buy here)

Not life-changing, but I did love the cool synth, arch delivery, and pop sensibility of PSB.

Then there was all that lovely shtuff that ostensibly traces its roots back to that indiepop Holy Grail, the C86 cassette. And I got drunk on a lot of that stuff too, from 1986 on. Oh, I could go on and on, so let me limit myself to two examples:

The Flatmates - Shimmer (buy here)

Jingly-jangly Bristol goodness, but with a bit of buzzsaw to boot. One of the most aptly named songs I know, this just shines and sines like a butterfly's wing on a hot, summer day.

The Brilliant Corners - Meet Me On Tuesdays (off the Fruit Machine EP, but buggered if I know where to find it)
This is near to perfecton, Dearest Friends. Sparkling guitars, youthful angst, and wonderful, WONDERFUL horns! Oh, I'm dancing as I type this...

For next week, pick your gin or vodka, then start shaking and stirring as Contrast Podcast asks you to consider "The Martini." For full mixological instructions, click here.