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:

i live among the creatures of the night

laura branigan: highly likely to make you go a bit ‘kate bush’ on the dancefloor. even if you don’t remember it precisely you probably enjoyed listening to the soothing tones of ‘self control’ on steve wright in the afternoon at an early age in the 1980s. if you were lucky enough to do so the song would have imprinted itself on the back of your head, remaining there to this day, lurking, ready to provoke swirling arm movements and dramatic singing should you hear the chorus played at a disco.

this 1984 synth soap opera is everything a good 80s pop video should be and more. LB also sang ‘gloria’ as featured in the wonderfilm that is flashdance, thus making her officially all sorts of cool.

so, the news is that ‘self control’ has been covered by sunday girl, rather well, actually. i’m going to her gig on friday 21 jan at the nest in d-d-d-dalston. i live among the creatures of the night…

sunday girl’s previous releases ‘stop hey’ and ‘four floors’ while not as good are equally as en trend (i.e. pure synth pop with a pretty face and an acceptably lo-fi posh voice) so i’m sure she will be famous soon, or at the very least won’t look out of place in e8.

ma ma ma telephone

i wrote this for the fly:

Lady Gaga
O2 Arena, London
16/12/2010

Lady Gaga‘s festive freakshow rolls into London’s O2 Arena for two days entertaining girls, geeks, gays and even a few family units. The singer hops from Karen O-style studded leather jackets to Madonna-inspired breast cones complete with live fireworks, taking just over two hours to perform eighteen songs.

Most popular music cynics make an exception for Gaga whose brand of surrealist-shock chic has both enamoured and bonded an army of odd-balls, using collective appreciation of wacky hats and haircuts, pork product dresses and gender obscurity but perhaps most importantly, the love of a truly great pop song. And Lady Gaga well and truly proves her pop credentials tonight by firing out crowd pleasing treats such as ‘Bad Romance’, ‘Let’s Dance’ and ‘Poker Face’, mobilising the assembled devotees at this opening night show. Despite carting her crazy array of costumes and charisma around the globe for more than 150 dates (The Monster Ball tour began way back in November 2009) the Lady displays no sign of weariness as she grabs the O2 by the balls and entertains.

With only one full length album released she necessarily deploys a hefty dose of chat to fill her arena slot but cleverly mixes pensive life stories with filthy monologues and queasy videos to create a theatrical grand gesture. This is no ordinary gig. There’s a touch of Tim Burton to the sets and the audience anticipate the next costume choice as much as they do the next hit to be played from Gaga’s ‘The Fame Monster’ LP. Revelling in her position as pied piper for the socially awkward she sports a succession of oversized capes, leopard print leotards and boxy dresses as she looks out at glammed-up O2 Arena audience who have ‘got their Gaga on’ by wearing all manner of wigs, weird sunglasses and OTT dresses. On the odd occasion when she’s not hiding behind masks, monsters and costumes, and relies solely on her voice to grab attention, she proves to be a delicate human being, just like everyone else. And it is this rare flash of reality that keeps Gaga close enough to the ground to make her relevant. Seated at a piano she gives a haunting performance of album track ‘Speechless’ giving a glimpse of the inner Gaga and proving that she can sing and play her instruments, too.

‘Alejandro’ gets the full performance package with boy dancers kissing, but it is the perfect pop of ‘Poker Face’ which commands the loudest roar of approval. For ‘Paparrazi’ she fights with a giant monster, getting floored before rising from the bowels of the stage with fireworks exploding from her cone-shaped breast plates. Lady Gaga has already inspired a generation and the endless energy and enthusiasm of her performance means that no one goes home feeling short-changed by their trip to the Monster Ball tonight. Despite the incredible sets, wild hairstyles and provocative fashion, underneath it all is a genuine musical talent and a girl with a very relevant story to tell.

 

tanlines in the middle of winter

latest exciting gig-related news is that tanlines are playing at xoyo on 4 december as part of a small uk tour. i will be there, along with a sizeable proportion of the local hoxton tosspottery, no doubt.

this is why i like them:

‘real life’ is the latest in a long line of fine synth pop efforts to have made it onto my itunes playlist and as per the band hail from brooklyn. oh, and they refer to themselves as a ‘production duo’, which is far cooler than the more conventional ‘band’. nice.

the original is pretty cool too, although memorytapes did them all sorts of favours with their wee remix.

lovers lovers lovers

given that i can count on the fingers of one hand the number of good all-lesbian bands (organ, le tigre…struggling already) i was ever so excited to stumble upon lovers. a pack of three (surely they must be) lesbians from portland, oregon.

lovers dark light album sleeve

(the sleeve of the new album is VERY misleading if i’m wrong about the lez-thing)

listen to ‘barnacles’, ‘peppermint’ and ‘figure 8’ from new album dark light and you will see why i think lovers are ACERS:

they seem nice, don’t they? joce played ‘barnacles’ at the last disco and is a little bit obsessed with it too. i hope they come to the uk now that synth is in fashion and their new album is likely to become all sorts of cool. very good. there’s a bit more stuff on their myspace.

lead singer carolyn berk is not quite as marc jacobs modelling-hot as katie sketch but she does a good plaid shirt and wears her jeans awfully well. and she comes with two lovely friends. whatsnottolike? hope they don’t fall out and hate each other before they have a chance to travel a bit further than the west coast of america.

dark light is lyrically well-lez – “you hold on dear like a barnacle on a ship of fears” – and synth-cally it’s a postal service-the xx crossbreed. i like it. and my only question now is, why, in the uk when packs of lesbians decide to make music do we get stuck with shite like voodoohussy and the likes of this:

axe girl

the seattle subsonic blog will tell you more about the loverly lovers should you wish to stalk them a bit.

i play synth, we all play synth

so last week i subconsciously found myself obsessively listening to two amazing songs that i wasn’t sure how i knew (much less where they came from). one is called ‘move it’ and the other ‘time’. i think i played them both at the last disco.

both are the sort of sleazy synth pop that sounds like it was recorded in a downtime warehouse of the sort that jennifer beals called home in flashdance (ie. like, well cool), where the synth bounces of the exposed brickwork and the air vent pipes add to the echo. needless to say said warehouse is located in brooklyn.

well, what do you know. it turns out both songs are courtesy of the same band – selebrities. they are: a bloke that is in a band with the drummer from the drums; a bird called maria; and another bloke. of course they are from met in brooklyn.

selebrities

i don’t know much else about them asides from the fact that they are rather predictably getting blogged about in all the right places, including the lush iso50 blog. beautiful t-shirts and fine synth.

selebrities are playing live shows with hercules and love affair and cfcf. in brooklyn, naturally. love. and there’s a wee interview with them on the addictmusic blog which told me all i know.

get their brilliantly named ‘ladies man effect’ wee ep here for free. love it. full-length album on the way soon, appaz.