Archive | November 2011

The best of a good bunch

What were you doing in 1942? Probably not chipping in with the war effort I’ll bet, but that’s OK, I forgive you. Al Dexter was busy writing a song called Pistol Packin’ Mama about a woman who wields firearms for fun. This song has been covered many times with varying degrees of success but this version by The Hurricanes really swings. Yeah, that sounds like something Marge Simpson would say – what of it?

When the inevitable call comes from Brucie asking me to appear on Strictly I’m choosing this as my song for the Jive.

Unexpected reaction to Leona Lewis

Last night I DJed a Christmas party for a sports club I go to. The whole night was a great laugh and it was fun trying to keep up with people’s expectations of what to play.

All this week I’ve been getting used to Traktor, which is a DJ software allowing you to play digital files off your computer using your old vinyl turntables. This technology is called a digital vinyl system (DVS) and is pretty common but like everything I’m behind the curve.

One cool feature is that it automatically sorts your tracks by BPM, meaning it can show you that tracks you never thought would go together are actually at the same or similar speeds. I was messing about blending various songs with predictably carcrash results until I tried Leona Lewis’ Bleeding Love into Run-D.M.C’s Walk This Way. On paper it’s a nightmare but I assure you: IT WORKS!

After a few at the party last night I decided to try it in front of an audience to see if it would play and it killed! Having said that, I might have mistaken the cries of admiration for cries of relief that Leona Lewis had finished.

I’ll try and record a quick sample and bung it up here.

Har Mar Superstar – DUI

This is a slice of proto nu disco. I say “proto” because it kind of came out at a time before the term nu disco was being bandied about and got lumped in with stuff like Scissor Sisters and Electric Six and Mika. In my head. Anyway this was off The Handler LP and I never got on too well with the rest of the record but I used to rinse this song. It’s got funky chopped guitar chords, Har Mar’s ridiculous high-pitched vocals, a funky-ass clap and even a touch-tone phone in the mix.

What’s more, I’m interested in his current work with “soft-rock inspired” supergroup Gayngs. I really hope we see a non-ironic AOR-style album from them soon. His participation is unconfirmed and Gayngs appears to have gone quiet.

Hot Chip – I Feel Better

I feel this was never given the reception it deserved. After the massive success of singles of their first two albums, this felt like a radical departure. The sound is super slick and almost sounds like some kind of attempt at late 90s chart dance. Given that aspect it’s no surprise the song didn’t do so well on radio.

The video, however, is another matter. It was directed by Peter Serafinowicz and it’s mad. It has a boy band come on with typically “Serafinowiczian” names like Octavian and Popeye who then meet gruesome ends. It also features this dude from Britain’s Got Talent.

Cambian – And I’m Gone…

I have the pleasure of presenting a mix from my life partner and father of my unborn child Jimmy “Cambian” Bullimore.

He’s a drum and bass DJ and organiser of the mythical and secret Super Scratch Sundays – open house monthly turntablism/scratch meetings held in secret UK locations.

This isn’t the usual fodder for this blog but Jimmy’s snowballing on the drum and bass scene so I’m getting my post in first here before he leaves me for another man or possibly Jean Shrimpton.

Guilty m’lud…

I’m not a big fan of the expression “guilty pleasure” because it cunjours up images of either genuinely good music which just happens to not have been released in the last 5 years or an excuse for people who enjoy listening to boring rock and pop to give their tastes a more interesting name. I do have one song, which, through association I shouldn’t be allowed to like.

It’s the kind of song an ignorant Tea Partier would relate to and it’s got the most sickly, overproduced 90s Nashville sound but it’s a hell of a drinking song.

I first heard it at the tender age of 22. I was in Kansas City watching my beloved St. Louis Cardinals play the Royals in the magnificent Kaufmann Stadium, sat roughly where this picture was taken from so I could see a horiffic lightning storm rolling hunderds of miles over the midwest plains towards us. By the 7th innings the storm was almost upon us when the unmistakeable picked into comes in and the whole ground chimes in in unison:

“Blame it all on my roots/I showed up in boots/And ruined your black tie affair…”

I couldn’t help but be impressed. It was certainly better than the lawnmower race they had had during the previous break.

As the chorus kicked in the heavens opened with a downpour I’ve never seen before or since but that song stayed in my head long after it had stopped raining and the majority of the fairweather fans had come out of the stands. I don’t care if it makes me a small-government-loving, gun-control-hating, family-values redneck – I love this song.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1063893612084739337

What’s the deal with Browning Bryant?

So I’m listening to this mix by DJ Supermarkt (check it out it’s ace) and all of a sudden this song pops up and I’m like “Hello?! Who the heck is this guy with the super soulful gentle voice?!”. What’s that all about?

This is apparently what it’s all about: Browning Bryant was a teen idol in the 60s who went to ground for a few years before popping back up aged 16 with a self-titled album of soul songs produced by Allen Toussaint and with The Meters as a backing band. Liverpool Fool was written by Toussaint and is so beautifully sung it makes me want to rip out my own vocal chords in a jealous rage because I can’t sing it.

The LP in question seems borderline raer. I’ve never seen it and the staff at my local second-hand record stores hadn’t either. It occasionally appears on eBay US around the $30 mark. I’m watching eBay UK for it like a hawk.