a pure love letter to the disco

if christmas is “the most wonderful time of the year” then saint valentine’s day is surely the most thoughtful time of the year, no? even if you don’t love anyone you still get forced to think about love, often to the point of bringing up a little bit of sick. it’s great.

dirtyconverse disco love

one way of coping with this, i found, was to start a disco (dirtyconverse) and channel every available ounce of love into it – much better than getting angry with the world for giving me rubbish girlfriends (in the past).

this is why dirtyconverse is and has always been all about ‘pure disco love’ and so much of the music that gets played is selected for its dancefloor amour-inducing qualities (in a clean and wholesome way, of course). and it works – whether it’s faith-restoring lyrics, drums that beat-up angst or synth that simply makes you smile – there is a lot of love at our disco.

naturally this means the february party is extra pure special – being a chance to celebrate the love of music, dancing and everything else that comes with a good disco…so whether you’re hugging your friends, humping your other half or doing a robyn (that’s dancing on your own, not knobbing a hot blonde), you should find a place at our Second Ever Lovers’ Disco.

with that in mind here are ten carefully selected disco love songs, which ensnare every dimension of love and will likely make you sing, shiver and sick a little bit – hopefully, all at the same time. messy.

1. ‘dancing on my own’ by robyn. life-affirming synth for the unloved.


2. ‘feels like i’m in love’ – by kelly marie. giddy pop proof that even ginger-haired ladies with a touch of the troll about them can fall in love. if kelly can wear a bin liner One-Piece while looking like someone’s nan doing the robot on tv, AND still feel like she’s in love, then there is hope for anyone. provided you can do ninja kicks and unsubtle arse-slap dance moves, that is. that’s asda price!

[better videos here and here and also here in what looks suspiciously like it could be original video for this belting song, the embedding for all sadly disabled]

3. ‘everlasting love’ – by the love affair. something to aspire to.

4. ‘true blue’ – by madonna. even if you don’t appreciate “true love, oh baby” you can still enjoy the cute faux-innocent close-ups of the backing dancers well-toned asses. an american apparel-inspiring treat.

5. ‘young adult friction’ – by the pains of being pure at heart. sex in public libraries? (almost) better than love.


6. ‘your ex-lover is dead’ – by stars. not for the light-hearted, this one. cellos and duets and no end of sarcasm from a fresh wound. very raw, that one.

7. ‘put a little love in your heart’ – by jackie deshannon. do what jackie says and the world will be a better place, for you, and me, you just wait and see…

8. ‘heartache’ by pepsi and shirlie (and their ra-ra skirts). well, thanks to sony bmg preventing ANY wham embeds, sadly ‘wake me up before you go go’ and ‘careless whisper’ could not be included in this disco love-in. THANKFULLY, one-time wham backing (imagine if they were boys?!) singers and all-time disco princesses pepsi and shirlie, said ‘yes’. “remember we met and the room was crowded, i can’t forget the way that i found it…” if you’re listening, ‘hi shirlie!’

9. ‘fading like a flower’ – by roxette. belting break-up song channelling pain through power guitars. just let it go, go on…such a cold town.


10. ‘neighbourhood #1 (tunnels) by arcade fire. attention to the finer details of falling in love and forgetting everything that happened before. impossible not to love.


and finally, the voice of one angry young lady who has clearly been turned into a super-creepy she-devil by love. let this be a warning to you:

what were you listening to in 1991?

smash hits 1991 album sleeve cassette cd

this beautiful double cd arrived in the post a few days ago and is helping to brighten the grey abyss that is january in hackney. it will no doubt have an influence on the music played at the next dirtyconverse disco which is scheduled to take place on saturday 12 february…two days before Love Day 2011. pure disco love.

this brightly coloured package of early nineties treats was the first EVER album i owned (at the age of 10-nearly-11) and my original copy is the double cassette edition. it’s still intact and works fine on my jvc tape deck BUT disco practicality dictates that i must own it on cd if i am to share it with an audience. so i now own two copies. smash hits fan #1.

highlights from ‘smash hits 1991’ (as i remember them) include sophie lawrence’s cover of the donna summer classic ‘love’s unkind’ and ‘just another dream’ by cathy dennis. CATHY DENNIS!

(totp dance moves to die for)

back to 2011 and having listened to half of cd1, i’ve just reactivated an absolute belter of rock ballad by roxette, which is best described as the musical equivalent of a swoon. ‘fading like a flower’ was on repeat in 1991 and 20 (!!!) years later…stilljustasgood.

trust me – it’s worth braving the ten second emi-sponsored ad to watch the official vid on youtube. backlit blonde hair, 80s-cum-danny-zuko-grease dance moves and that leather jacket, marie fredriksson, you are Invited to our lovers’ disco…

full tracklisting:

  • 1. Good Vibrations – Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch
  • 2. Thinking About Your Love – Thomas, Kenny
  • 3. One And Only – Hawkes, Chesney
  • 4. Happy Together – Donovan, Jason
  • 5. Just Another Dream – Dennis, Cathy
  • 6. Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave) – Roxette
  • 7. Get The Message – Electronic
  • 8. Over Rising – Charlatans
  • 9. Promise Me – Craven, Beverley
  • 10. More Than Words – Extreme
  • 11. I’m Too Sexy – Right Said Fred
  • 12. International Bright Young Thing – Jesus Jones
  • 13. Chorus – Erasure
  • 14. Love’s Unkind – Lawrence, Sophie
  • 15. Be Young Be Foolish Be Happy – Sonia
  • 16. Shocked – Minogue, Kylie
  • 17. GLAD – Appleby, Kim
  • 18. Are You Mine – Bros
  • 19. Footsteps Following Me – Nero, Frances
  • 20. Love And Kisses – Minogue, Dannii
  • 21. Baby Baby (I Know You’re A Lady) – Grant, Amy
  • 22. Charly – Prodigy
  • 23. Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
  • 24. Everybody’s Free – Rozalla
  • 25. Now That We’ve Found Love – Heavy D & The Boyz
  • 26. 3am Eternal – KLF
  • 27. I Wanna Give You Devotion – Nomad
  • 28. Alright Alright – Urban Soul
  • 29. Winter In July – Bomb The Bass
  • 30. Pray – MC Hammer
  • 31. Peace – Johnston, Sabrina
  • 32. Do The Bartman – Simpsons
  • 33. Insanity – Oceanic
  • 34. Move Any Mountain – Shamen
  • 35. 7 Ways To Love – Cola Boy
  • 36. Gypsy Woman – Waters, Crystal
  • 37. Ring My Bell – Monie Love & Adeva
  • 38. Can I Kick It – Tribe Called Quest
  • 39. Call It What You Want – New Kids On The Block
  • 40. Crazy – Seal

everyone loves jackie deshannon, surely?

isn’t she just wonderful? not least because her real name is actually SHARON, and being wise enough to know that a name like sharon wouldn’t sell records – even in the 1960s – she created jackie dee shannon, as a non gender specific nom-de-song (pretty forward thinking of her, no?).

i would have gone for jackie-shaz, personally, but each to their own. anyway, dee shannon soon became deshannon and this wee blond rock star hit the stage, singing all manner of treats including dirtyconverse favourites, ‘when you walk in the room’ and ‘needles and pins’.

the searchers borrowed both of these gems and made them more famous in the uk, and they were well cool. badge of approval.

AND, after the beatles toured with her (well, she toured with them) they wrote a song called ‘ticket to ride’, which if you listen to the opening guitar riff, could sound less like ‘when you walk in the room’:


jackie-shaz also co-wrote the subtly theatrical ‘bette davis eyes’ which was immortalised in beautiful 80s techni-colour surround sound synth by kim carnes in 1983. and she hung out with eddie cochran, swoon. pure…love…her.

and so, it was to my delight to note that one of my NFBs, tennis have covered a jackie-shaz track. this wee cover is ACERS. cannae wait to go see them play live in london on jan 7 @ the lexington.

the right side of my brain

yesterday an eerily lovely email inboxed from veronica falls telling me about a new song they had recorded “in a somewhat rainy east London” called ‘right side of my brain’. the best kind of email – local references and a link to the mp3.

sign up for foreboding emails on their website to get the mp3.

my thoughts: the guitars and drumming on ‘right side of my brain’ sound (a tiny little bit) like those on ‘beachy head’, which is perhaps not surprising given both songs are written and performed by veronica falls. it’s catchy and echoey and beautifully harmonised and has done nothing to dull my eagerness to hear the impending doom of their long playing record. 60s girl band in a coffin. they are probably still wearing too much black and no doubt just had a nice halloween weekend. more please.

“i hope that you also enjoy the new song which we recorded recently…” they’re so nice.

“…very soon we will be locking ourselves away in another studio to record a full length record…” exciting.

“…but until then, enjoy, and please come and say hello at any of our forthcoming dates with cloud nothings – tour starts on saturday!” will do. totes going to white heat on 16 november. still gutted about missing the ladyfest thing with MEN on 13 november.

exciting veronica falls tour dates:

November
6 – The Hope, Brighton*
7 – Thekla, Bristol*
8 – Harley, Sheffield*
9 – Deaf Institute, Manchester*
10 – Captain’s Rest, Glasgow*
11 – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh*
12 – Brudenell, Leeds (w/ Vessels)
13 – Ladyfest, London (w/ MEN)
16 – White Heat, London
*w/ Cloud Nothings