dirty martini

old music for new people

high school musical: the 90s December 8, 2007

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it’s a testament to the scary times we live in that something as anodyne, safe and unchallenging as high school musical is so popular and gratefully received by fearful parents.

gone are the days when kids looked up to rebels – these days they actually swallow the moralistic, gap-sweatered cheese the establishment tried so hard to push in the 50s, and again in the 70s. i am talking about the kids who aren’t out shooting their classmates and working on their next asbo, obviously.

don’t call them throwback to the kids from fame – those kids had more grit. even the partridge family look hardcore compared to drippy gabriella and troy.

as in high school musical, my generation, the 90s high school crowd, were infinitely more stylish than the 80s crowd we looked up to, and no less bitchy. but the similarities with gabriella and co end there. the class of the 90s had designer polish by day but by night they lived the 90s dream – drugs, clubs and alcohol. yes, even yanks got pissed in 90s teen movies.

download here

never been kissed

madonna – like a prayer, ozomatli – cumbia de los muertos

the original version of the madonna classic is far superior and well used in this movie. the reggae club scene shows how underage partying has merged into the adult scene and lost its edge. gone are the days of smoky clubs and out of control house parties – the 90s girls have endless wardrobes and no need to work in record stores or gas stations to fund their social lives.

10 things i hate about you

brick – dazz,  kci and jojo – all my life

old skool funk and 80s soul ruled this soundtrack, and made such a refreshing contrast to the usual dreary US teen angst rock so prevalent in these movies, to the bemusement of the UK where complaint rock is so not popular. some indie warbling did slip past but the main character was resolutely alternative so this was to be expected…

american pie

etta james – at last, paul simon – mrs robinson

well this soundtrack was a bit of a mishmash of genres and these were probably the least offensive. again, the US preoccupation with MOR rock shines through most of the other tracks.

can’t hardly wait

kp and envyi – swing my way, tone loc – funky cold medina

not so great movie, much better soundtrack. miaow – but, does anyone really think jennifer love hewitt is attractive enough to play an obsessive love interest? i’m not buying it personally, can’t see the fuss. but then i’m not supposed to as i’m a girl.

she’s all that

rick james – give it to me baby, goldie – believe

by the late 90s, high school mean girls are apparently dating reality tv z-listers. never in the breakfast club. throw in some superfluous cameos by lil kim and usher within the lead characters’ army of skanks and apparently you have a movie. again – NEVER IN THE BREAKFAST CLUB.

clueless

coolio – rollin’ with my homies, no doubt – just a girl

generation defining movie that started the high school movie ball rolling again. alicia silverstone broke the mould as the teen queen with a heart. 12 years later, people are still saying ‘whatever’ and ‘as if’. much like ‘valley girl’ before it, clueless made er, being clueless, cool again.

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70s rainbow funk children August 18, 2007

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apparently everything in the 70s was rainbow hued. maybe in a backlash against the sixties monochrome, minimalist ideal or in a reaction to the unsettlement of the era – as much fun as the 70s look to those of us who didn’t experience them, people who did assure us that their abiding memories of the decade are rioting, powercuts and strikes, and that the colourful music was a brief escape.

its easy to forget that things were very different only 30 years ago, in terms of multiculturalism, values and wealth. there were the same problems of high inflation and unemployment as today, but it was less concentrated on the younger population as property was still affordable and people got jobs based on merit, not to satisfy government directives or for fear of legal action.

so the 70s are often remembered as the last days of political incorrectness, unrest and dodgy food but they were also the inception of many things we have today – microwaves, colour tv, video games, the internet. but this isn’t supposed to be a dreary post.  

there are lots of insights into the experiences of living in the 70s that can be found online. who knew that strawberry and lime aeros existed? i did say for years that there was a ‘red aero’ but no one believed me. despite the boil in the bag curries and deep fat fried food, many people reminisce over their 70s childhood cuisine – my mum has driven me crazy for years over fry’s five centres and cabana bars.

and sometimes i could kill for a glass of that transparent ‘orange’ squash we used to get in glass bottles – more sugar than orange but more fun than cloudy, 72% real fruit juice squash…at least 70s orange squash was defiantly nothing to do with actual oranges. was that the infamous kia-ora?

twelve technicolour grooves – download here

bar-kays – hit and run

the second incarnation of this group, saw them tread similar territory to george clinton and co. band member james alexander is jazze pha’s dad.

brick – dazz

enduring tune often confused with output from the dazz band and the commdores (brick house). the merging of a disco and a jazzfunk group to from brick, coined the term ‘dazz’ meaning ‘disco-jazz’

earth wind and fire – star

everyone knows ‘shining star’, but this is much better. ewf were what you might call prolific so there’s always more to discover.

ebonys – hook up and get down

one girl and four boys who formed part of the early 70s ‘fro and flares revolution.

jackson sisters -rockin’ on my porch

not letoya, janet and…the other one. the jackson sisters weren’t related to those jacksons. despite modest 70s success they were better appreciated after their time, during the rare groove revival of the 80s.

kool and the gang – hollywood swinging

kool and the gang’s 70s output is more funk-oriented than their slicker 80s sound. this track was sampled by mase for his debut ‘ feels so good’.

labelle – what can i do for you

patti labelle and co are infamous for ‘lady marmalade’ but they actually did make other songs, like this one.

ohio players – love rollercoaster

i first heard the red hot chilli peppers version of this song. this is the danger with cover versions.

parliament – flashlight

does anyone get the whole parliament-funkadelic thing? my understanding is that they are one and the same, but recorded for two different labels.

sly and the family stone – i want to take you higher

no rainbow funk playlist would be complete without a contribution from sly and the family.

soul children – hearsay

i only recently discovered this group but i love them.

tom browne – funkin’ for jamaica

features chaka khan. i didn’t realise that for a long time…