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.

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.

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.

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.

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