Friday, March 27, 2009

Let's Face The Music And Dance

This is for a Dearest Friend, actually more of a Dearest Brother. The trouble ahead may be trouble now, and there may seem to be no moon. Indeed, there may even be teardrops to shed. But still you must face the music and dance, always dance.

And I'll be pogoing away like mad, right next to you.

Ella Fitzgerald
- Let's Face The Music And Dance (buy here)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Τὸ χόβερκράφτ μου εἶναι γεμᾶτο χέλια

OMD during their rebetiko phase

OK, lemme just say that I don't care what you think, Dearest Friends. Well, actually, let me qualify that: I hope this will give you as much headbanging, horn-throwing, arse-shaking, eighties-worshiping, improbably covertastic pleasure as it gave me when it came, unbidded, on my FiLPod TWICE in two weeks at times just when I needed it most. But if it doesn't, then mock all you want, I don't give a damn. Coz it doesn't get any more ridiculously sublime, any more chalk-n-cheesy delish, than a Greek power metal band doing a motoring version of the fantastic Enola Gay by 80s synth-gods Orchestral Manoevers in the Dark.

Wolfcry - Enola Gay (buy here or e-here)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Reasons to be Cheerful

Cos nothing says "cheerful" more than an otter...

Dearest Friends, if you're feeling less-than-perky, then listen up: I've got a bagful of goodies guaranteed to lift the most flaccid of spirits. No, it's true, hold your cynicism at bay!!

First up, there's Contrast Podcast! Always a cause for yay!! This week our intrepid guide, Young Tim, takes us on a dizzying alpine trek through songs about mountains. Lofty heights are scaled, thanks to our brave contributors, and I'd urge you to get yourself and your crampons, pitons, and carabiners over here to get some mountainous goodness. If you can't wait, download the podcast directly from here.

Now, as I mentioned a few posts back, I ain't gonna tell you what I submitted, though I will let on that it was both the first and the obvious choice for me. Truth be told, I never really considered any other tunes, though had I been more flexible of brain I might have given you this ditty from Vancouver's own poppily whimsical and melodic Cinderpop:

Cinderpop - Vesuvius (buy e-here)
The album cover has a Victorian octopus on the cover. How ace is that???

The second cause for cheer is my serendipitous discovery of the lovely Hooded Fang. You see, I was noodling about the web trying to find something about Herald Nix and clicked through to his page on the CBC Radio 3 website. So I'm reading the blurb, but the music playing doesn't really sound anything like Herald Nix. That's when I realize the page is streaming a playlist of indie-schmindie stuff and WOW, whatever this non-Nixian track is, it's lovely!!

So, long story short, it turns out that what grabbed me by the ears was none other than Hooded Fang, six boys & girls from Toronto with a fetish for Mordecai Richler's off-kilter children's books, jangly guitars, tinkly xylophones, sweet vocals, and fluffy dollop of twee. A perfectly serendipitous find for springtime, dontcha think??

Hooded Fang - Land Of Giants (buy here or e-here)

And finally, the most important reason to be cheerful: Merz is back. HOORAY!! Those of you who've been around for a while and already know him don't need me to tell you why this is such a joyful event. For those Dearest Friends who've not had the pleasure, Merz runs the excellent blog Mars Needs Guitars, which was one of the first ones that I ran across while taking my first, tentative steps into the interwebbybloggynet. If you're looking for fine music, delivered straight up with lots of honesty and not a trace of bullshit or ironic, hip pretense, then you need to get yourself over there right now. And he is a brave fighter; he's been dealing with some very heavy issues for some time now, issues which led him to take an 18 month hiatus from blogging. But Merz has returned - go show him some love.

Merz would be the first to admit that he has a serious shoegaze fetish, so in honour of his return let's have a bit of that stuff; from the poppier end of that genre, here's Berkshire's finest, Chapterhouse, with a wee gem from 1991:

Chapterhouse - Pearl (buy here or e-here)

And sorry, no Ian Dury this time. Don't want to overdo it now, do we??

Friday, March 13, 2009


Yes, well, it's been a while, hasn't it? Sorry, dog ate my homework. Leaves on the tracks. I couldn't on account of my asthma. I didn't have the exact change. I thought it was every third Friday. All circuits were busy.

Er, whatever.

So let's get this party (re)started, right? No heavy-heavy the first night back. Keep it light and airy. And I have just the thing.

The other week I finally broke down and got myself an iPod Nano. My old empeefree playah, a 512K Samsung mini-Mars bar YP-MT6, had been giving me grief ("Oh no, I'm not playing that song again! No siree, I'm just going to keep resetting my wee self.") and I actually became rather infatuated with the Nano after fondling a co-worker's. So thin! Yet so vast!! Hook. Line. Sinker. Done.

I've wrangled iTunes onto my PC, populated it with my muzak (do I really have over 28 days of the stuff??), and have started constructing playlists. Now, one of the first lists I composed was a part-tay one, to reside on the FiLPod just in case. In case what? Well, in case I find myself asked to DJ a wedding at a moment's notice. Or perhaps at a a morning-after-a-white-night breakfast in Sweden (happened once). Or maybe in the Fish Bar in the wee hours. Who knows, you need to be prepared.

Anyway, the list is full of random stuff, though there seems to be an overrepresentation of eighties cheese. Ah, well. But it does work! Driving to & from work today I had a party in my car! Just me and FiLPod!! We danced!! And here's some of what made us boogie:

Intaferon - Get Out Of London (buy here)
For a while in the early 1980s I was infatuated with this, one of the three electro-clattery singles released by flash-in-the-pansters Intaferon. Oh, the lyrics! "My mother was the queen of tarts my baby was a sex slave / Pa's selling weapons to the Red Army Faction / I burn myself in public just to get a reaction." What does it mean?? I still don't know!! But does it matter??

Shinehead - Chain Gang Rap (buy here)
A bit of "gee willikers" reggae here that manages to make me feel nostalgic about riding the NYC subway. And that, Dearest Friends, is pretty hard to do.

Jim Carroll - People Who Died (buy here)
A deathlist you can dance to, all rollicking punky-punk and anthemic and poignant and celebratory and hilaarious at the same time.

Quando Quango
- Love Tempo (buy here or e-here)
Um, some of that 80s cheese wot I told you about. But it'll get you a-boogie, or my name isn't "Body Motion."

Brilliant Corners - Meet Me On Tuesdays (buy here if you're loaded) OMG! Bags and bags of lovely HORNS!! And angsty lyrics!! Le C86 swoooon! It's become particularly poignant of late for reasons I cannae go into.