two spooky beats to every halloween bar

in my itunes recently added folder right now is harry belafonte‘s greatest hits. it’s ACERS and perfect for halloween because…

i can’t help thinking that there’s something slightly sinister about calypso – whether it’s the lyrics, or it’s origins in the slavetrade. or maybe it has something to do with winona ryder (slightly spooky in a nice way) dancing to calypso/calypso-influenced music in films?

first she floats up the stair-rail to the tune of ‘jump in the line (shake senora)’ in beetlejuice (genius, tim burton). then a couple of years later she plays a slightly creepy teen with an obsession with nuns and does a kitchen dance-off with her mum (cher) and christina ricci in mermaids to ‘if you wanna be happy’. both a pure pleasure to watch, as well as listen to. but still – with a sinister vignette.

creepiness aside this got me thinking how good-for-disco all this syncopated rhythms and call-and-response stuff is. when the creeps played mr belafonte’s ‘jump in the line (shake senora)’ at one of our discos last year, we looked up and saw the dancefloor had turned into a mass conga. surreal, brilliant and a wee bit spooky.

so, in honour of the musical power of calypso and halloween on sunday, here are my favourite ten calypso/afrobeat/sounds like it could be calypso-influenced songs. in no particular order:

  • “if you wanna be happy” jimmy soul/roaring lion
  • “surprise hotel” fool’s gold
  • “feeling hot hot hot” arrow
  • “right by your side” eurythmics
  • “jump in the line (shake senora)” henry belafonte/lord kitchener
  • “white sky” vampire weekend
  • “banana boat song” henry belafonte
  • “on the wings of a dove” – madness
  • “graceland” – paul simon
  • “the lion sleeps tonight” – the tokens/solomon linda

i should add that the last song on this list was covered in 1982 by a band called tight fit, who in doing so somehow managed to bottle everything bad about the 80s in one small youtube clip. well done them:

srsly? leopard skin camel toes, jungle drums and safari helmets?

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veronica falls hard

veronica falls

the five things i like most about my favourite creepy swoon-pop band, veronica falls:

  • the handmade t-shirt i bought for £5 when the band played at white heat in soho last year. it was the last one.
  • starry eyes – possibly the best b-side of 2009/10. had it on repeat for the most of the first half of this year and still smile A LOT when it comes on my ipod.
  • one of the boys from the band is really friendly (joce met him in a pub once, and said he was pure nice).
  • the URL for their myspace page is ‘www.myspace.com/veronicafallshard
  • they are slightly creepy

you can listen to the delightful starry eyes, as well as the unsettling ‘found love in a graveyard’ and foreboding little ray of sunshine that is ‘beachy head’ (beautiful video below), on the band’s website. they are playing white heat at madam jojos on 16 november, as part of a wee winter tour. i’m going to be there.

tonight i celebrate my love for you, disco

dirtyconverse disco on saturday 9 october at king's cross social club

this beautiful poster tells you everything* you need to know about the next dirtyconverse disco, which takes place on saturday 9 october. THIS SATURDAY.

*click here for an indication of the sort of music we might play

**the delightfully twee-goth witch on the poster was drawn by alex of the creeps – our guest djs for this month’s creepy disco

***see facebook for any more info you might need

every day is like sunday

thinking of relevant things to post on here. relevant thing number#1 is the disco mixtape:

dirtyconverse mixtape sleeve

if your disco is all about music, then you should take time to make a mixtape to prove it, right?

if your equally as obsessed with seahorses, polka dots and typesetting then you take an even longer time making a beautiful sleeve for it.

so this is what the dirtyconverse mixtape looks like: a cd wrapped in a poster-zine. it says a lot about the disco and the people who have helped make it. mainly because we asked them all to choose a song and ten words explaining why.

this all actually happened a few weeks ago. at the time i sketched ideas for songs and the sleeve on a scrap of paper (and promptly lost it). so, belatedly, here it is.

if you’d like one then email your postal address to disco@dirtyconverse.com

thank-you to:

ruth and tamsin from unskinny bop; alex and john and camilla – the creeps; paul from scared to dance; rob; tim; the jo’s; la coop; the nicky; viks and darina; nick

tracklisting:

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas – Heatwave
Cher – Gypsies, Tramps And Thieves
Camera Obscura – French Navy
Sandie Shaw – Hand In Glove (Original Single Version)
Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy
Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
Pulsallama – The Devil Lives in my Husband’s Body
The Clash – Rock The Casbah
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Young Adult Friction
Joey Dee & The Starlighters – Peppermint Twist
The Knife – Pass This On
Magic – DJ Agent 86
Roxette – The Look
Fleetwood Mac – Everywhere
Patti Smith Group – Rock n Roll Nigger