The most popular Acid House Week tracks were:
“Taxi for [soundslikemysurname]?”
“Aye, close enough. Jump in mate. It’s taken me fuckin’ ages to get here, the roads are a bloody mess and my radio is fucked. Prolly why I got the wrong name.”
“Ah, no problem. It happens.”
“Yeah. Anyway, so I’m taking you to the company headquarters in Coatbridge then?”
At this point it occurs to me that I may well be in the wrong taxi, and someone’s day just got a little bit worse. Due to this fellow working to a company account, I get abandoned at the nearest stop while he winds his way back into the shopping prison that is Braehead. Standing halfway between a branch of Lidl and the largest local hospital I can only reflect on the absurdity of the situation and laugh. Then recoil slightly as I notice a torn up pornographic magazine at my feet.
Other than the above, I had a reasonably entertaining day. Some nice new spectacles, a wonderful evening meal, the company of friends I don’t see often enough and best of all, I found my most favourite store in all of Glasgow had re-opened.
Due to over-zealous rapid expansion, the Fopp chain went bust earlier this year. On finding it re-opened and to show some appreciation I bought a few CDs, of which I’ve opted to share a few tunes.
The Best of Minnie Riperton : I am the Black Gold of the Sun. I have a thing for strong female vocals, and Minnie is one of the best. This is from her Rotary Connection days. There is a cover of this from 97 by Nuyorican Soul(i.e. Masters At Work), but it’s one of those covers that just doesn’t live up to the original.
Marlena Shaw – Spice of Life : Woman of the Ghetto. I’ve posted California Soul previously as it is the track that turned me in the direction of her fantastic vocals, but this is possibly my favourite track by her. There’s also a live version (from Montreux) that’s even more astounding, and those familiar with the track Remember Me by The Blueboy may recognise the vocal snippets throughout the live track.
Mastercuts Breaks : Cymande – The Message. This track was sampled by Master Ace for Me and the Biz, but on it’s own this is a beautiful funky track, and a good starting point for anyone interested in the band. I’d suggest tracking down Bra and Brothers On The Slide next.
Mastercuts Funk : Maceo and the King’s Men. Maceo covering Sly Stone.
Mastercuts Northern Soul : Detroit Sound – We’re Gonna Party. Northern Soul is a genre I’m not entirely familiar with, but I’ve always wanted to hear more in this vein.
Mastercuts Roy Ayers : Roy Ayers – Everybody Loves The Sunshine. A lazy, sunny groove from a master.
Best of The Pogues : Fiesta. My wife had mentioned previously to keep an eye out for a Pogues Greatest Hits, and I found this. I could have posted Waltzing Matilda, but it’s such a depressing dirge of a song that it would spoil the mood of the rest.
Ramones Mania : Animal Boy. 30 Ramones songs for 3 quid. That’s ten pence a song. You just don’t get rock and roll for that price these days.
On the subject of discarded pornography, there follows a tale of trains.
I was on a train travelling to Strasbourg to meet a Brazilian, and two French folk wearing all white sat across from me. The only ashtray was on their side of the seating, and I felt like a cigarette to help pass the time. I pulled the ashtray from the seating and accidentally tipped most of it over Mademoiselle’s pure white coat.
Later returning on the train back home, the conductor asked for my ticket. I had put it on the pocket of the chair in front of me for easy retrieval. I grabbed the ticket, and absent mindedly grabbed the magazine underneath it at the same time.
As the conductor approaches, I realise Iâ€™m sitting staring at gay sex and boy fucking monthly with open mouth as I was somewhat startled by the content. Not the most comfortable I’ve been while proffering a ticket to someone.
Sometime creating a post is the easy part, the hard part is finding the tracks themselves. Blue Monday items on ebay.
Continuing the theme of notable cover versions, here are a few oddities for today.
AK – Ghostbusters. I don’t know anything about this guy unfortunately as I’m sure the rest of his work is equally awesome. This and a cover of Theme From S’Express somehow made their way to me at some point in the past. Digging around the internet sadly doesn’t seem to reveal anything other than AK is sometimes how Atomic Kitten are referred to. Which really isn’t much use as I’m pretty sure this isn’t them.
The Incredible Bongo Band – In A Gadda Da Vida. More famous for their contribution to breaks and samples by way of their Apache cover, instead this is a lighter take on Iron Butterfly’s 17 minute metal freakout. I don’t really imagine that when commencing on this project that Michael Viner and his cohorts were entirely serious about what they were doing, but a subsequent remix of the track from Grandmaster Flash fused the track into a sample legend and assuring it’s place in history.
The Wedding Present – Davni Chasy (Those Were The Days). From a jokey Peel Session where the band played a number of songs in a Ukrainian folk style, including this cover of the Mary Hopkins track Those Were The Days. The project went on to sell a surprisingly high amount of albums of the collected sessions. The Ukrainians exist in their own right these days as a touring band. The Ukrainians Official website.
Vitalic – Warm Leatherette. There are a number of covers of this track, and I find difficult to choose between this or the Chicks on Speed version, which retains the coldness of the original version by the Normal. This originates from a live session done for John Peel a few years ago, IIRC. Most folk may be more familiar with the version by lantern jawed Dan Dare photographic negative woman Grace Jones.
And to round out, Mina – Arkanoid. Covering Martin Galway’s theme for the C64 conversion of the 80s reworking of Breakout. It doesn’t really amount to much more than someone playing a guitar over the Arkanoid theme, but I like it anyway.
The only reason I think the track referenced in the title was released as a single was to indulge Jarvis and allow him to make the video that goes with it. I’m not certain who the director was, but I kind of suspect it was the man himself as he does have previous experience directing music videos. Sweet Exorcist’s Testone was resurrecting the creepy Test Card girl back in 1989, almost 20 years before Life On Mars made the iconic girl and clown puppet into forces of terror.
I don’t think there was a reference to Teletubbies in Life on Mars, but John Simm’s character can be seen watching them in Doctor Who. Which itself is a reference back to the earlier days of Doctor Who recalling The Master in prison. And before I go spiralling off wildly into televisual matters, there is a sequence in Life On Mars (while Gene is avin’ ‘oops, I think) with a modern piece of music playing on the radio of a cafe, and that which segues nicely back to the topic. It’s Pulp – Disco 2000.
Nick Cave – Disco 2000. From the Bad Cover Version single. One time Kylie collaborator removes the manic student disco energy of the original turning it into something more akin to a pub singalong. Nick Cave items via nick-cave.com fansite. Sadly, no Nick Cave dolls.
Roisin Murphy – Sorted?. Also from the aforementioned single. I’ve seen this lambasted as being a boring four to the floor techno number, but I get the impression it was written as intentionally dull, looping the phrase of the title and selectively sampling bits and pieces of the original as it does. I seem to remember several cheap remixes of tracks that didn’t amount to much more than this. Although Roisin seems to be making her way as a solo artist these days, this dates from the time she was better recognised as the vocalist of Moloko, my fellow droogs. Moloko.co.uk
Terry Edwards – Totally Wired. Yet another band I would never have heard if it wasn’t for the late lamented John Peel. Terry covers The Fall in his own unique fashion creating somewhat more of a Calypso feel. My favourite track from Terry Edwards so far has got to be his cover of Napalm Death’s You Suffer, famous for being the shortest piece of music recorded. Terry Edwards on ebay. Currently featuring an EP of Miles Davis tunes played as speed-metal.
Hawkwind featuring Samantha Fox – Gimme Shelter. This is a repeat, but I doubt anyone was actually reading this back in April and I don’t really feel too bad about letting more folk know about it as it’s a gloriously stupid team up. Kind of like when Hitler, the Red Skull and Henry Kissinger teamed up to fight the Avengers. As a charity initiative, it was a very good idea that was unfortunately crippled by bad planning of which version went where with the lead track ending up on the terrible cassingle format. I’ve posted the PWEI/On-U version in the past, and will post the 808 State & Roberts Owens one at some point as I’m kind of surprised that I haven’t already done so. The rest were fairly forgettable to be honest.
The Schneider TM Experience – Psychedelic Queen. Probably better know for a bleepy downbeat cover of The Smiths There Is A Light, this is a rather more interesting track reworking Queen’s zombie killing anthem in a Suicide style. Schneider TM on ebay.
Electronicat – Amour SalÃ©. I imagine most people are familiar with Tainted Love in the Soft Cell incarnation, it being a cover of a track by Gloria Jones from the 60s. This is a dark and sleazy cover sung in French that’s just ever so slightly disturbing. Like the realisation that you’ve left your 15 year old daughter alone with Serge Gainsbourg. Electronicat items on ebay.
The Divine Comedy – I’ve Been to a Marvellous Party. Neil Hannon covering Noel Coward in the style of Underworld. The Divine Comedy’s store. I’m surprised to see that this track is included on their best of, but there is no inclusion of My Lovely Horse.
And today’s colour is blue.
Latour – Blue : From the pivotal dance scene in Basic Instinct. The movie in which you can see Sharon Stone’s fanny. In the British sense of the word.
Herbie Hancock – Bring Down The Birds : Might sound familiar.
Fortran 5 – Bike(Sid Sings Syd) : Cut up samples of Sid James carefully implemented to recreate Syd Barrett’s Bike.
The Frank Popp Ensemble – Hip Teens : Sadly I have some ignorance about Frank Popp other than I heard this on the radio a while ago, and it’s awesome.
Rod Freeman – I Hear A New World : An Atom Heart spinoff IIRC, covering Joe Meek/Telstar’s I Hear A New World. Nothing to do with the Blue Man Group.
Sadly I can’t find Eiffel 65.
Well, I’m not really that sad about it.
There’s a man, right? A spaceman. He’s caught diddling Ming the Merciless’ daughter or something like that. So whichever aliens we’re tallking about decide he is for the chop. As they take him to the space guillotine, he exclaims “You can’t kill me! I’m a reknowned international hero and space pilot! Check out my chin!”
The aliens, of which there are many, collectively say “Who are you?” “That’s a rather poor chin, you don’t look like an international hero.”
“Oh, come on. It’s obvious who I am. Lantern jaw, meticulously shaped eyebrows? I’m Dan Dare.”
“Yeah, right. Prove it.”
“Take me to Ireland, Earth, Sol. Everyone knows me there.”
The aliens take our chancing pilot of the future to Ireland. he looks around, and finds a two storey house. Walks up to the door and knocks on it. In a heavy Irish brogue, the woman of the house shouts “Is that you down there?”
The aliens fly off home, satisfied.
Johnny Foreigner may not be familiar with Dan Dare and the Mekon, which is kind of a shame as he was a stalwart of UK comics for years and years under the beautiful art direction of Frank Hampson. That’s not really important anyway, all you need to know about the Mekon is that he came from Venus, and had a brain so large that his comparitively shrivelled body had to be carried about on a chair. Kind of like Jimmy Saville, but without the badges. In recent years the Dan Dare brand hasn’t seen much success, but Virgin comics are resurrecting it later this year with Garth Ennis scripting. There was a great Grant Morrison/Rian Hughes version about 20 years ago, but otherwise the character has barely been developed. A great shame as it is a property that really needs to be updated for the 21st century. Warren Ellis had a go a few years ago with Ministry of Space, but, errr.. I seem to be posting something about comics when I was intending to say something about music. I should probably keep that for another time and place if I can muster the energy to talk about comics.
Jon Carter aka Monkey Mafia aka Junior Cartier aka the Ex Mr. Sara Cox. I read a description of the sound that he produced as Amyl House, but I think that’s kind of unfair as it doesn’t make you feel unbeatable for 5 minutes then deeply depressed for the next half hour.
Junior Cartier – Women Beat Their Men : I’m not sure when exactly this is from, but I doubt it precedes my interpretation of this phrase. On hearing Voodoo Ray for the first time, I could have sworn this was what the ooooohhhh-aaaahhh-aaa-haa-ooh-aaah was trying to say. Woooo-ooh-men beattt theiir mennnn.
Mekon featuring Roxanne Shante – What’s Going On?(Junior Cartier remix) : If you can find it, check Mekon’s Roger Moore eyebrow twitch after the “They all want to shag me” line in the video for this track.
And finally, the jewel in the crown as far as I’m concerned. An absolutely fantastic mix of West Street Mob’s Breakdance by Jon in his Junior Cartier alias.
Bonus Monkey Beats:
Godiego – Monkey Magic : BBC 2, Friday Night, 6 o’clock.
Buy Monkey Mafia items from ebay. And if you do happen to buy the Bobby Konders remix of Work Mi Body, I’d love to hear it.